Tuesday, June 23, 2015

6 Assorted, Well-Done Characters

With all that talk of villains and antagonists, heroes and protagonists, and anti-heroes and anti-villains these past two months, I thought it only fair to share some of the best book characters for each of those categories today. I gave plenty of examples in my posts during that series, but today, I'm only dealing with characters who are well-done. Favorites, if you will, though I doubt that term could be applied to the villain category.

Hero/Heroine: Percy Jackson of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus 
by Pheonixefreet on deviantART
There are so many funny quotes from this dude that I didn't know which one to choose - which is something that I think sets Percy apart from most classic heroes, nowadays. He isn't boring (*cough cough* movie Harry Potter *cough cough*) but he isn't dark and broody (which would make him an anti-hero). Riordan found an excellent way to give a classic hero plenty of personality to go around, and make readers laugh as well. 
It is worth noting, I'm furious about those disasters of movies.

Anti-Hero: Vin of Mistborn
Cover art for Mistborn: The Final Empire
Most anti-heroes seem to be the "dark and brooding dude with the horrible past" nowadays (or is that just me?), so I liked Vin first of all because she was a brilliantly written female protagonist with some anti-social tendencies and trust issues (which puts her very neatly into the anti-hero category). I adored her character arc - how she learned to trust, how she learned that there were things worth fighting for in the world. *hugs her* And don't even get me started on her relationship with Elend.

Villain: Lord Deparnieux of The Icebound Land (The Ranger's Apprentice #3)
I assume that that is Deparnieux on the cover art for The Icebound Land
A classic villain is supposed to really scare you with just how evil they are. Not many have managed to do that like Lord Deparnieux from what is basically just an "in-between" book in The Ranger's Apprentice series. Deparnieux was depraved and cruel, and he liked to show that off. It was awful - I remember my stomach feeling a bit queasy when I read the book for the first time maybe four or five years ago. Don't give me another "I want to rule the world" tyrant-in-training - give me a guy who's proven he's bad news for the world with whatever he already owns and the people he already controls.

Anti-Villain: Marcus Altair of The Ilyon Chronicles
According to Jaye L. Knight's Pinterest boards, this is what Marcus should look like.
It was really tough to even think of a bookish anti-villain, and even Marcus changes character types during the second book of his series, The King's Scrolls. But until then, he is working against the protagonists (so he is serving the plot role of an antagonist) and yet is entirely sympathetic in his devotion to duty and confused loyalty to family. So far, he is one of my favorite characters of the series.

Protagonist: Shallan Davar of The Stormlight Archives
Shallan, from the inside cover art of Words of Radiance.
I couldn't even figure out if Shallan was a classic hero or an anti-hero. What matters to me is that she was a really relatable main character who learned to stand up for herself and seek after things that truly matter. She is curious and brave and comfortable in her societal role as a woman - which I love. Her determination, courage, and personality are what make her a great protagonist.

Antagonist: Dolores Umbridge of Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
You can't have a discussion about villains and antagonists without this woman coming up. Because, really . . .
'nuff said.

Who are some of your favorite characters? Do you share my feelings on any of the ones I mentioned?


  1. Okay, I only just found that one... And when I got to that last picture about Delores Umbridge, I had one of those moments where I was laughing so hard that I was almost hyperventilating, and sounded like a car that was stalling. Because OH MY GOODNESS, THAT IS SO TRUE!!!!!! XD *goes to die of laughter elsewhere*

    1. *dies laughing with you* She was so horrible that it is actually funny how everyone reacts to her. xD