Favorite Characters?

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Roland Lockheart
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Favorite Characters?

Postby Roland Lockheart » Wed May 14, 2008 8:38 pm UTC

One of my favorite things about books is great characters. I often debate with my friends what different characters would do when put in certain situations or met other famous characters. (Yes, I loved the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)

Personal Favorites for me are Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Munoz (a character who appeared in an H.P. Lovecraft short story called "Cool Air" Here's a spoiler for why he was cool)
Spoiler:
He had been dead for nearly eight years, but kept his body preserved by injecting himself with a cocktail of chemicals and living in a cool climate. If you think about it he had great potential as a hero, being immune to injury until destroyed, kinda like a conscious zombie.


So, anyone want to share their favorite character? Drizzt? Don Quijote? Quasimodo?
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Narsil » Wed May 14, 2008 8:44 pm UTC

I want Edmund Dantes and The Bride to meet up and have adventures. That would be sweet.
Spoiler:
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby anterovipunen » Tue May 20, 2008 11:44 pm UTC

Reepicheep and Sherlock Holmes

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Midnight » Tue May 20, 2008 11:58 pm UTC

rorschach.

I do believe I flubbed the spelling, but I tihnk you know what I mean.


edit: i would like to add Khayman, from Rice's Vampire Chronicles.
Last edited by Midnight on Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:53 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Wed May 21, 2008 3:36 am UTC

Sherlock Holmes, Melanie Wilkes, Milo Minderbinder, Alice, and Tom Sawyer.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby annals » Wed May 21, 2008 4:57 am UTC

Tristan and Siegfried Farnon from James Herriot's books
almost everyone in Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time series
Pratchett's Commander Vimes

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Roland Lockheart » Wed May 21, 2008 2:54 pm UTC

Kendo_Bunny wrote:Sherlock Holmes, Melanie Wilkes, Milo Minderbinder, Alice, and Tom Sawyer.


I'm glad to see I'm not the only Sherlock Holmes fan! And which do you perfer, Tom Sawyer from the original books or the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen incarnation?
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Wed May 21, 2008 6:57 pm UTC

Definitely original. Besides, I've only read volume 1 of the League :P

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby tday93 » Wed May 21, 2008 11:46 pm UTC

Alexander Supertramp, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Bobby Pendragon, and Lenny
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Tonypedia » Thu May 22, 2008 12:15 am UTC

Ford Prefect from the last book in the trilogy After I got a job working on a newspaper, he inspired me to get fired.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu May 22, 2008 12:23 am UTC

The HHGTTG posts make me need to trump you all:

Marvin.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Allium Cepa » Thu May 22, 2008 1:13 am UTC

Inigo - The Princess Bride
Fred and George - Harry Potter
Arthur, Merlyn, Pellinore - The Once and Future King
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Barton » Thu May 22, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

.
Last edited by Barton on Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:00 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Roland Lockheart » Fri May 23, 2008 3:37 am UTC

Barton wrote:Lord Henry - "The Picture of Dorian Gray"
O'Brien - "Nineteen Eighty-Four"
Sauron - "Lord of the Rings"
Lord Voldemort - "HP"

But the favourite would be Mephistopheles from Goethe's Faust.


wow, someone is a fan of villains. O'Brien scarred the crap out of me, and I recall becoming extremely depressed after finishing that book.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Barton » Fri May 23, 2008 9:23 am UTC

.
Last edited by Barton on Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:04 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby tiny » Fri May 23, 2008 11:50 am UTC

1. The homicidal, opiate dependent and depressed genious that is the Phantom of the Opera. Because suicidal self-loathing has never been sexier.

2. The water bear amongst women - Scarlet O'Hara, who survives pressure, heat, cold and vacuum by flawless adaption and inexhaustable strength of will.

3. The most creative and deliberate self-murderer of all, Johannes Elias Alder, who committed suicide by sleep deprivation because he had his head too deep in his own ass to go for the girl he loves.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Roland Lockheart » Fri May 23, 2008 9:40 pm UTC

No, it's not that I like their ways all that much, it is their goals/views and characters that I like. Be it a particular (idealistic/nihilistic to extremes etc.) vision of the world, desire to bring it to reality, or simple (i.e. simple to familiarity) quest for power - almost every time the person in the heart of the conflict presents a tremendous interest to me. Moreover, I believe them to be much more informative and valuable for the reader than all those "positive" characters. Why? Because if not for them there would've been no conflict at the first place, and no setting, and hence no book. Who would've wanted to read 7 thick poorly written books about angsty redhead teenager seeking his ways with opposite sex (ref. to Ron Wisely) etc., if not for the powerful wizard who wanted to kill him along with his best friends in the spirit of revenge and on the path to immortality?

Another good example is a comparison of "The Hobbit"/"Lord of the Rings" with "The Silmarillion". Both are exceptionally good works, but many will agree - while seemingly speaking of the same reality, the latter didn't bring such great a thrill as did the former two.

So that little list can continue to eternity, including as well Mustapha Mond from "Brave New World" and many others of similar "antagonistic" role in the settings where there can be any personified anatgonism.

Another important contribution these characters sometimes make to overalls of the book, though from a slightly different perspective, is that they teach us how to save ourselves from the path of corruption. (e.g. Darth Vader from StarWars series)


While I do certainly see the value in having an absolute villain to contrast with absolute good in order to exemplify positive qualities, I believe we can learn just as much if not more from good charactes with large or cumbersom flaws. My reasoning is this: human nature is rarely black and white in terms of morality, and characters that inhabit the gray area can be easier to connect with and more easily allow the reader to feel what the author wants to communicate.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby rockin2the70s » Thu May 29, 2008 10:24 pm UTC

Paul Atreides, from Dune and Dune Messiah and what you find out about him in Children of Dune
Spoiler:
His role as the Preacher


He seems like such a tortured character-he has the prescient vision, he knows what is going to happen if he doesn't disengage, he knows what he needs to do to escape the violence, but he just can't bring himself to do it. His plight just seems very identifiable.

Similarly, Aragorn from LotR (obvious, I know). He is one of those rare heroes that doesn't want to be a hero and yet it doesn't seem like the author has contrived it to be that way. The same goes for his fear of going down the same path as Isildur and his kindness to the "lesser ones". So many characters like that seem artificial, but Tolkein did a great job of making it seem natural.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Quixotess » Fri May 30, 2008 3:33 am UTC

See, I thought Voldemort was a pretty lame villain. Really, dude, you can call it luck all you want, the fact is that before he finally killed you, Harry evaded your direct attempts to kill him five times, all under the age of seventeen. Pathetic. Harry might have had help, but the fact is Voldemort fails. His evil speeches always rang so hollow for me.

Okay, but being positive:
Queen Daenerys, from A Song of Ice and Fire. Tyrion was pretty cool too, but no one is better than Dany.
Delirium, from Sandman. Also, Lucifer.
Lyra, from Northern Lights.
Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy.
Don Quixote, of course.
Queen Sharzarad (sp?) from Arabian nights.
Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw, from the Robot novels.
Jean Valjean and Javert, and Grantaire too.
This was a long time ago, but Alanna and Daine from the Tortall books.
Mameha, from Memoirs of a Geisha.
Hiro, YT, and Uncle Enzo in Snow Crash

I guess I'm a hero person.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri May 30, 2008 3:42 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:See, I thought Voldemort was a pretty lame villain. Really, dude, you can call it luck all you want, the fact is that before he finally killed you, Harry evaded your direct attempts to kill him five times, all under the age of seventeen. Pathetic. Harry might have had help, but the fact is Voldemort fails. His evil speeches always rang so hollow for me.


Yeah. Voldemort had terrible plans, it was pretty pathetic really.

Queen Daenerys, from A Song of Ice and Fire. Tyrion was pretty cool too, but no one is better than Dany.


Spoiler:
What do you mean, was? Tyrion's still alive. We last saw him leaving King's Landing after killing Tywin. He'll be in the new book that Amazon has set to come out in September.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby i_ll_winn » Sat May 31, 2008 1:03 am UTC

I LOVED Matt from the Wheel of Time series! He is so awesomely cool. :D
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Quixotess » Sat May 31, 2008 1:11 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Spoiler:
What do you mean, was? Tyrion's still alive. We last saw him leaving King's Landing after killing Tywin. He'll be in the new book that Amazon has set to come out in September.

Spoiler:
"Was" as in "He was pretty cool while I was reading the books." Sorry for my bad wording.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby invadermonks » Sat May 31, 2008 2:58 am UTC

Lord Peter Wimsey
Belwar Dissengulp (Drizzt Homeland Trilogy)
Raoden (Elantris)

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat May 31, 2008 3:00 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Spoiler:
What do you mean, was? Tyrion's still alive. We last saw him leaving King's Landing after killing Tywin. He'll be in the new book that Amazon has set to come out in September.

Spoiler:
"Was" as in "He was pretty cool while I was reading the books." Sorry for my bad wording.


Just making sure. I love Tyrion too much to let anyone think he was dead.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Asleep or Wrong » Sat May 31, 2008 5:33 am UTC

Woland from The Master and Margarita. Haven't yet encountered a representation of the Devil so pleasing (but then, I haven't read The Devil in Love, that book which is so endearing to Lucas Corso and the demon and their author). He seems so right, going about wrecking the nice order of the Soviet Union by means of funny little things.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Sandry » Sat May 31, 2008 8:03 am UTC

I second Lord Peter Wimsey. He's awesome without being too perfect.
Crowley from Good Omens. The bit about him threatening his houseplants is brilliant.
Kheldar (Silk) from Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean. He's a bit too perfect, I suspect, but he's so enjoyably snarky.
Kami Khuzud from D'Shai and Hour of the Octopus by Joel Rosenberg.
Will Stanton from the Dark is Rising series.
Ned Henry from To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

I read largely for character development, so I sort of have a lot, and I'm missing tons.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Masuri » Sat May 31, 2008 8:29 am UTC

The incarnations of Rhodry Maelwaedd from Katherine Kerr's Deverry saga. (Sounds odd, but it really is one soul, just reincarnated. I think that makes him one character.)

I really rather loved how she created him. It wasn't the same man from life to life - no one really is - but that core of honor, humor, and romance was there throughout. Maddyn was my favorite incarnation, I think. (Did we ever come to find out what happened to him after his time in the Westlands? I don't think so.)

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Asleep or Wrong » Sat May 31, 2008 11:34 am UTC

Sandry wrote:Ned Henry from To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.


jesus wept, i hadn't thought about that in a long while. he really is a great narrarator. what with the time-lag clouded detached but interested coloring and a splendid picking of words. so charming.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Roland Lockheart » Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:17 am UTC

I'm going to add another: Roland from the Dark Tower series.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby steewi » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:11 am UTC

Masuri wrote:The incarnations of Rhodry Maelwaedd from Katherine Kerr's Deverry saga. (Sounds odd, but it really is one soul, just reincarnated. I think that makes him one character.)

I really rather loved how she created him. It wasn't the same man from life to life - no one really is - but that core of honor, humor, and romance was there throughout. Maddyn was my favorite incarnation, I think. (Did we ever come to find out what happened to him after his time in the Westlands? I don't think so.)


Huzzah, and yes, you do if you keep reading the Raven Mage series. Maddyn is my favourite character (and Ricyn), by far, but Rhodry pisses me off on many an occasion, although I can't pinpoint why. Aethan/Dagwyn/Gwin are also up there on favourites.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Day Tripper » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:23 am UTC

- Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities. Although I don't know if I can say why, without spoiling the plot.
- Alex Burgess/DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange. He may have been sadistic, psychotic, whatever, but I found him to be oddly endearing. His way of speaking, violent playfulness, etc. Still, not someone I'd want to meet in a dark alley.

It's pretty strange when I think about it, since they're practically opposites of each other. I guess I like self-pitying characters.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Torlek42 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:37 pm UTC

Wonko the Sane from H2G2.

<_<

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby nevskey1 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:36 pm UTC

In no particular order:
Sancho Panza
Tristram Shandy
Quentin Compson (the older)
Underground man
Riddley Walker
Raskolnikov
Rolfe
Job
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Midnight » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:27 am UTC

should probably add Jaime from song of ice and fire, Mat from wheel of time, and um.. Zedd from Sword of Truth..
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Antimony-120 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:39 am UTC

"k" is a good one, very straight and narrow, although "s" has that whole single curve thing going for it.

Okay, without the bad pun I'm gonna have to go with:

The Comedian from Watchmen, he reminds me of me in a lot of ways, vices included (although the "incident" would not really be something I'd do).

Karsa from The Malazan Books of the Fallen

I like characters that might be a bastard-with-a-heart-of-gold but at the end of the day they're still bastards, they don't get "fixed".
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:24 pm UTC

Favourites are difficult. It's hard to remember who engaged with me the most out of so many captivating personalities. I find it easier to think about who I'd like to meet, however briefly in some cases. I just like characters to whom there is more than is present in the work, as they fire the imagination and leave the reader wishing they had any way at all to find out the truth behind their speculation.

Gloucester, from Richard III, who is the most engaging of Shakespeare's tragic protagonists. A close second is MacBeth.
Cheating a little, George Orwell, from Down And Out In Paris And London. Everyone would love to meet a vagrant who has really lived at the bottom of society, but who has the brains to comment on it insightfully.
Lolita, who I would ask definitively how much she was the manipulator, or how much she thought she was.

And, I suppose, my namesake. It always seemed to me that he was so tragic because he was the only one of the Endless who really understood the magnitude of his own existence. Since I have trouble considering the nature of even my own unremarkable existence, his would be quie a brain to pick...
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby nevskey1 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:29 am UTC

Dream wrote:Cheating a little, George Orwell, from Down And Out In Paris And London. Everyone would love to meet a vagrant who has really lived at the bottom of society, but who has the brains to comment on it insightfully.

For the exact same reason, I would say Henry Miller (whom, incidentally, Orwell was the first to recognize, praise, and support when Tropic of Cancer was published). An incredible person who lead an incredible life, and wrote about it ... incredibly ... well. Number one writer I'd want to have a drink with, with Robert Anton Wilson a close second.
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Jesse » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:52 am UTC

Spider Jerusalem and Ben Urich need to appear together. My two favourite journalists.

And for those talking about Deverry, where's the love for Nevyn? He's the best character throughout.

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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Alexiel » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:59 am UTC

Jane from Firefly. (well, everyone from Firefly...)
House from House M.D. (and Wilson)
Alucard from Hellsing
Dean from Supernatural
Onizuka from GTO
Saiga from Speed Grapher
L from Death Note

And since, ostensibly, these should be from books:
Vanyel from Magic's Pawn
Nathan Rahl from The Sword of Truth
Rhapsody from The Symphony of Ages
Sanglant from Crown of Stars
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Re: Favorite Characters?

Postby Sarr » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:10 pm UTC

Serenity's crew
Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Ser Jamie Lannister, Ser Barristan Selmy, Ser Brendyn Tully (I'm on a SoIaF kick ATM)
Calvin and Hobbes
Will from The Dark is Rising, tho it's been ages since I read that... I should go find that again.
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