Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where book lovers post their top ten books for various themes that are given.
August 27: Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters
The hardest part, for me, about this top ten was putting them in order. I love all of these characters so much, it was hard to pick any over another.
1. Samwise Gamgee, of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. What makes Sam, like Frodo and Bilbo before him, so lovable a hero is that he’s no warrior, no wizard; he’s not exceptionally smart, nor very strong, nor particularly brave. He’s just a simple hobbit, with simple wants and needs. He’s you, he’s me, but even more, exaggeratedly more, mundane. But what makes him one of my favorite characters is his part in the quest. He wasn’t thrust into it like Frodo or Bilbo, he only became a part of it so he could follow loyally at his friend’s side. And that’s Sam’s strength: his loyalty. Simple he may be, but with a certain kind of wisdom even in his simplicity. He may not be very brave, but he stands loyally by his friend’s side and does what’s necessary. He’s the kind of hero we can all relate to. He’s the kind of hero I would want to be.
2. Gollum, of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The brilliance of this character could take hours to describe. There are a lot of great things about Tolkien’s stories that earned him his fame, and Gollum is at least two of them.
3. Robert Walton, of Shelley’s Frankenstein. Walton introduces and concludes the story. His part, so apparently unrelated, is part of what makes Shelley’s masterpiece so ingenious. He subtly contributes much to the story, without being any more than a medium between Frankenstein and the reader. And yet this lovable character has a story of his own worth telling, and worth hearing.
4. Monsignor Darcy, of Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise. The wisest and most memorable quotes in the whole novel were spoken or written by this character, a wiseman who spoke to me in ways few characters can achieve.
5. Professor James Moriarty, of Doyle’s “The Final Problem.” Just as Doyle set the standard for what the sleuth of detective fiction should be, so he set the standard for what the detective’s rival should be. And yet Moriarty appeared in so few Holmes stories! I doubt if Doyle even knew what he was starting.
6. Pinky Parrott, of Lewis’s Free Air. This colorful and amusing character was one of the highlights of an all-around enjoyable novel. I only wish his part had been bigger! He was in the story so briefly, but I could have read volumes about his exploits.
7. Cardenio and Lady Lucinda, just to name a few, of Cervantes’s The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. One of the highest qualities of this classic is the myriad of characters Cervantes put around Don Quixote. Their own stories as they went on around him, hardly related to his own ventures, are part of what made it all so interesting.
8. Mr. Brown, of Christie’s The Secret Adversary. If Doyle set the standard for criminal masterminds with Moriarty, Agatha Christie, as usual, perfected the criminal mastermind. It was difficult
9. Puddleglum, of C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair. This endearingly glum, hilariously pessimistic character was one of my favorite characters in the Narnia series. He satirized the follies of pessimism long before Lemony Snicket could even frown.
10. William Cecil Clayton, of Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes. As much as I hate Jane for what she did to Tarzan first, I don’t hate her less for what she did to Clayton later. I liked Clayton, and I sympathized with him; he adored Jane. Though he might not have been as strong as Tarzan, he at least had the heart of a hero. He would have done anything for Jane, and he tried his hardest.
Andrew’s Picks (not much explanation due to being tired):
- Bob, from the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. Hands down Bob has to be my favorite secondary character. He’s hilarious and just plain fun, and the perfect companion to Harry Dresden.
- The Man in the Grey Suit, from The Night Circus, by Emily Morgenstern. Ultimately he’s an extremely mysterious person, yet that was one of the things I loved about him.
- The Monster, from A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. Most of the book is about Conor, so I figured the Monster counts as a secondary character.
- Gollum, from Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I don’t think this needs much explanation–he was an awesome character.
- Ned Stark, from A Game of Thrones. Since he didn’t have his own chapters, I’ll consider him a secondary character.
- Mike Nash, from the Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn. He might be considered a main character in the books he’s in, but he’s only in two (maybe three, but was only heavily featured in two) books. But he was a great character.
- Gandalf, from Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m not sure if he even counts as a secondary character, but I figured he was more secondary than Aragorn.
- Smaug, from The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I mean come on. He’s a dragon, of course he’s one of my favorite characters.
- Death, from The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. So I guess Death might be a main character, but he doesn’t show up that much as an actual character, so I thought he might count. Seeing Death personified in this way was definitely awesome.
- Dumbledore, from the Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling.