Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bold literary characters

Sirius Black, from Harry Potter. Sirius is a tricky character to classify. On the one hand, teenage Sirius was at the top of his game: he had popularity, good looks, and smarts. But post-Azkaban Sirius—the version of him we spend the most time with—is a shell of the person he used to be. But he still retains that bold streak. As a teenager, he had the nerve to defy centuries of family Slytherin-ness, and as an adult he continued to live by his mantra, "What's life without a little bit of risk?" That's why his story is so tragic to me—not only does he take the fall for his best friend's murder, but then he has to spend his "freedom" cooped up at home, away from the action. For a person with Sirius's temperament, that had to be almost as bad as rotting away in Azkaban with soul-sucking Dementors.

Ella, from Ella Enchanted. Ella may be cursed with obedience, but she takes what control she can and performs every command her way. With snark, if she can manage it.

Egwene Al'Vere, from The Wheel of Time. There are plenty of bossy women in The Wheel of Time series, Egwene among them. But she rises to power not because she is fond of telling the boys what to do, but because she can see what needs to be done—and then she does it. She doesn't let youth and tradition hold her back, which is why her leadership is so desperately needed among the Aes Sedai pinheads.

Kelsier, from Mistborn. I think Kelsier and Sirius would get along. They would probably leave worlds of destruction in their paths, though. Like Sirius, Kelsier has gone through some horrible things, but he is able to channel his recklessness into a brilliant and suicidal revolution. It takes a special kind of person to even attempt to beat such odds.

Athos, from The Three Musketeers. One of the only parts of the book I actually liked was when Athos single-handedly took on an entire army and walked away unscathed. He is by far the best musketeer, especially if you're going by the book.

Rachel Lynde, from Anne of Green Gables. Being bold enough to always speak your mind isn't exactly a good thing. But most of the time, I like Rachel anyway.

Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice. Women have come far since Jane Austen's day, but Elizabeth's strength in spite of society's limitations are still inspiring.

Gale, from The Hunger Games. Katniss fought because she had to, but Gale fought because he wanted to. One isn't necessarily better than the other, but Gale's way is more bold because he wanted to fight even before he was thrust into a revolution.

Bilbo Baggins, from The Hobbit. Bilbo did what no respectable hobbit would do—he had adventures.

And clearly, I read a lot of fantasy. What characters jump to your mind when you think of boldness?

Perhaps this index will help inspire you.