Top 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 a chance to revisit a topic we missed out on, so I’m looking at my favourite characters.
The trick here is keeping it to ten, but I’m going to try really really hard. And I’m going to make it harder by creating arbitrary categories of archetypes I love and trying to pick a favourite for each. This can only break my heart when I realise in a week’s time that I forgot someone really obvious.
Warm-hearted & cold-blooded: Sissix, A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
Of course I had to have a reptile category. Sissix stole my heart and sold me on the whole damn book, because she not only blows open alien lizard stereotypes () but she’s a reptile so she has trouble typing when she’s cold. It me.
Woman in a man’s world: Alanna of Trebond, Alanna
Alanna appears to have been character-forming for me. She’s smart, she’s stubborn, and she sees no reason why being a girl should stop her doing something. Err, also me.
Manipulative mastermind: BITCH FIGHT
I think Melisande Shahrizai could take Diane de Tremontaine in a fight, but watching them be friends could be altogether more interesting as they could never trust one another. I do like a woman who knows how to get her way, is smart enough to do so and has relatively few scruples. This is a close call; I think Melisande edges it. Just.
The trickster is a classic and one of my absolute favourites: there was never any doubt that I’d love Tyrion Lannister. He’s the smartest guy in the room and he has a killer sense of humour (as likely to kill him as anyone else) as well as an unexpectedly warm heart.
Cantankerous oldster: Edie Bannister, Angelmaker
She’s an octagenarian spy with a small stinky dog who can kill you with a spoon. She’d be a member of RED, but she’d probably make them feel inadequate. And she’s a proper old lady – those years sit heavy, but she’s good at making the most of an opportunity.
Whose Side Are You On Anyway: Marquis de Carabas, Neverwhere
Arguably another incarnation of the trickster, I love the morally ambiguous ally you just can’t trust. The Marquis has panache, knowledge, charm and sharp edges that will make sure you know you owe him. Also, you know, Paterson Joseph.
Triple goddess: Orwen, Orddu and Orgoch, The Chronicles of Prydain
While we’re on archetypes, I’m a sucker for a triple goddess. There’s loads in Greek mythology, but my favourites are a very British incarnation of the Fates: three witchy sisters who live in a marsh and eat people. Probably. Or maybe Orgoch just likes to keep you away from their loom.
Devoted friends: Jean Tannen and Locke Lamora, Gentleman Bastards
I adore the Gentleman Bastards. They are each amazing on their own, but they excel as a team and their devotion to one another is legendary. So far, so Sam Gamgee. Where Jean shines is his willingness to call Locke on his shit and dish out some tough love where it’s needed. He may not be flamboyant, but he’s the anchor for all their endeavours.
But apparently my all-time favourite character may be Anne Shirley – so well-loved that merely thinking of her brought tears to my eyes. She’s fire and imagination and loyalty and love, and she’s totally adorable. See, I’m crying again.
Who are your favourite characters?