Top Ten Tuesday: when I grow up

Top Ten Tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, in which we all talk about a bookish topic and have fun making lists. This week is more speculative than usual: we’re wondering about what happened when characters grew up.

I found this week incredibly challenging. Why? Because it turns out most of my favourite books are multi-generational (or have sequels), so I got to see how my favourite characters grew up; or are coming of age stories; or have flashbacks and other devices to explore characters’ history. Sheesh. So, inevitably, I’m going to cheat.


Let’s start with the original question: who do we want to see all grown up? 

Arya Stark

Maisie Williams as Arya StarkOkay, so we’re watching her grow up (and it’s anyone’s guess whether she’ll get to complete that journey), but I want to see her as an old lady. Think fifty years time – I don’t think she’ll be a Maester Aemon-like compassionate sage (of death-dealing); I’m going with Edie Bannister levels of murderous competence and a vicious streak that puts the Queen of Thorns to shame. Keep off her porch, kids.



Book cover: Among Others - Jo WaltonMori grows up so much (and in so many ways) through Among Others, but I’d love to see her all grown up. I think she’d be a writer, and she’d write the sort of heart-burning science fiction that brings me to a standstill.


Ruth ‘Nancy’ Blackett

Book cover: Swallows and AmazonsHow many ways do I love Ruth? Let’s start with her calling herself Nancy because she wants to be a pirate, and her uncle told her pirates were ruthless. I don’t see her growing up quietly with a husband and kids; I like to think she did desperate heroics during WWII and became a spy or a fighter pilot.


Flipping the question on its head, what were our beloved characters like as kids? 


Cate Blanchett as GaladrielWe never see baby Elves. They’re all ancient and regal. I’d like to see Elvish childhood and adolescence. Galadriel growing up too fast and being skinny and leggy with skinned knees. Galadriel being a bit clumsy and knocking things over and blaming it on the twins. Galadriel having an epic crush on Glorfindel and blushing every time he gets mentioned.


Richard St Vier

Book Cover: SwordspointI’m obsessing about Riverside, and who better to obsess over than Richard? We meet him as a damaged adult who learns wisdom and love, ever conscious of his failings and his honour. But his past is quite mysterious. Of course I want to know.


Arkady Renko

William Hurt as Arkady RenkoI love Renko for his dejected, dogged pursuit of truth at all cost. His father was top brass, so he must have had a pretty easy childhood – but did he sit in window sills reading books? Was he slightly awkward at making friends, because he could hear the lies in their enthusiasm? Did he ever run and play care-free and joyous? Oh, Arkady.


But what I’d really like to see is beloved characters getting old…

Jean Tannen

Alfred Molina looking dapperCome on, he’s a cinnamon roll. A warm-hearted, pot-bellied, book-loving con man who will rip you to pieces if you cross him. He’s a good teacher and a better friend, and I’d love to see him live happily ever after. He’ll be a generous old man, optics on his nose, surrounded by books and still cooking up a storm. I hope. Yes, I’m fancasting Alfred Molina (old Locke? Gary Oldman)


Lisbeth Salander

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth SalanderWhat will Lisbeth be like as an old lady? I wouldn’t dare say, but I bet she – like Arya – would still be fearsome as all hell. I’d like to think she’ll have faced her demons and found some happiness too.



And because I can’t ever get past the line ‘when I grow up, I want to be…’ without thinking of this awesome parody ad (double points for being a parody of an actual ad AND a biting satire on the industry that made it), here’s a blast from the past: