The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new theme is given.
This week the is : Top Ten Minor Characters
95% of the time I prefer sidekicks to main characters. That is a fact of my life, I rarely identify with the protagonist. But I do not see this week's Top Ten as a list of sidekicks I like. I think of minor characters as those ones that are almost never there in the adventures. They might be present in only one chapter, or they might make several appearances throughout a story, but are never the protagonists or secondary characters. But they are important. They are those characters you wish were present more, the ones that stay in your head even though they only said 5 lines. Maybe it's because they are not as overly present that, if well written, they inflame our imagination. We can imagine all of their stories, all of their adventures that they are having when we are not looking (reading). So here are some of my favourites:
I read Pullmans series when I was 15 and in French, and haven't re-read them since (and I should) so details are hazy, but I know I love love love it still. I was always fascinated with Serafina and the witches, with their all-females society in Finland, and their love of flying, their longevity and general bad-assery. Serafina was strong, sensitive, mysterious and often kind and helpful. I wish Mr. Pullman would write a novel about her and the witches or, if not about Serafina, then about another witch in this great world of his.
I fell in love with the Childlike Empress when I was young, through the movies, but have since loved her through the book as well. She is far more passive than what I usually like in female characters. She has no adventures, doesn't go on quests, and is barely active in the action of the novel. That said, I love her. I love her because she is the most important person in Fantastica. She doesn't rule her world through a political system, in fact she barely interacts with he rest of the world. But she IS Fantastica. She is the living embodiment of its life force. Should she die, the whole of Fantastica would too. Her lifetime is not measure in time, but in names which only the imagination of a human child can give her. When I was younger I would lie awake at might, imagining her, coming up with names for her, and still she is there often, in my mind, with her white hair, white gown and golden eyes, older than everything, but still looking like a 10 year old girl.
Merry was always my favourite of the four hobbits. Most people that I know will prefer Pippin or Sam, and I love them both, but I cannot let go of Merry. He was the first hobbit, in the book, that struck me and claimed my attention. He showed smarts and cleverness when he determined that Frodo was indeed trying to leave the Shire without his friends. He then showed courage and determination throughout the series and, in my opinion, deserves as much love as all the rest of his companions.
I love them all. Ron is my favourite character, but I love all of his family. Yes, even Percy. And poor Charlie who is barely there and mentioned in the whole of the series. Even in their poverty they find happiness in being with one another. They fight for each other and for the ones they love. They put everything on the line to bring the war to an end and defeat Voldemort. Molly and Arthur were in The Order of the Phoenix twice. They are true Griffyndors and, well, I just love them.
Okay, I am not even done with this book, but I love Baba Yaga. Admittedly, she is one of my favourite fairy tale character, and it would therefore be hard for me to not like her, but there are some interpretations that I like better than others. This, being one of them. Highly respected magician and witch, she has her own sense of justice. She never hides the fact that she eats people and children and is generally what we would consider evil, but she counsels the protagonist nonetheless. I love her bluntness. She tells things the way they are, she does not lie or wrap them in dreams and deceit and is bold and feared.
Another witch. What can I say, I love witches, they are always the most interesting characters. Fran Totenkinder represents all the unnamed witches in fairy tales, including the one in Hansel and Gretel. Her name means, approximately, "dead children" in German. Before reaching the mundane world and being part of the general amnesty of Fabletown, she sacrificed her own newborn son for power, was responsible for the curses on Beast, The Frog Prince and Rapunzel and brought despair to countless villages and people. In the series she is an old and frail-looking woman, who possesses enormous powers. She generally helps the other inhabitants of Fabletown, but never really loses that dangerous edge. Even though she now uses all of her powers to help and protect, she is still feared and looked up too.
While Neville has good moments, especially toward the end of the series, he is not that present as a whole, but oh, who cannot love him? He is brave and smart, even when he thinks otherwise. He has a terrible family history, his parents, not dead, but still absent for him. He takes part in Dumbledore's Army, goes to the Ministry of Magic with Harry in book 5, reforms the DA with Luna and Ginny in book 7, escape his tormentors, helps students, attacks Voldemort, destroys the last Horcrux and helps Ron in taking down Greyback. If that's not kick-ass and brave, I don't know what is. But even more importantly Neville is loyal, sweet and kind, and will always be one of my favourite characters.
And, I'm stuck. All the other ones I can think of are more secondary characters than minor characters. Or they are from movies or TV shows. I'm sure I'll go to bed tonight and some character will pop into my head, and I'll hat myself for forgetting him or her. Oh well.
Who are those minor characters that you love?