I recently found myself sitting down and starting to write my first novel and it got me to thinking about the different elements of a great story, I mean, what makes it so great? A beautiful world that jumps out of the page and pulls you in? Yep. A brilliant storyline that has twists and turns, pitfall and glories? Youbetcha. While I agree that these features need to be on point in order for a great story to be told, you also need great characters! You need to be invested in a character, to accompany them on their journey, to feel as they feel and to suffer as they suffer. Without this, all we have is a pretty picture. With this in mind, I thought it would be good to curate a list of my 10 favourite fictional characters. Here goes…
10. Lord Voldemort Aka Tom Marvolo Riddle – Appears in….well, you know!
‘He who cannot be named’ is the embodiment of evil. He splits his soul to create seven horcruxes and this granted him almost eternal life. He murdered wizards and muggles alike, as well as torturing those who displeased him. He is the most foul character in the wizarding world created by JK Rowling, but I love him, he is the perfect antagonist; brilliant, strong and dastardly evil.
9. Jorg Ancrath – Appears in the Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence
Jorg Ancrath is a brilliant character and the archetypal anti-hero. His actions are a direct result of the major trauma he suffered in his past (his mother and brother were murdered) and continues to suffer throughout the trilogy. Jorg’s one goal is to ascend to the throne of the Broken Empire and he doesn’t care who he has to kill on the way. He leads a band of men called the Brotherhood and they are wicked (raping and pillaging is part of their repertoire). I love Jorg’s character because he is so single-minded and carries such a large chip on his shoulder that his redeeming qualities are not balanced with his bad, yet you still root for him.
8. Tenaka Khan – Appears in Legend and the King Beyond the Gate by David Gemmell
David Gemmell had the unique ability to capture the essence of a person and bring them to life on the page, and the character of Tenaka Khan was no different. Tenaka Khan is a Nadir warrior with violet eyes. He serves with the Drenai army as part of the Dragon but later returns and unties the Nadir Clans. Tenaka Khan is a brilliant character, he is lethal with a sword and ruthless when he needs to be. He united the Nadir nation in their fight against the Drenai. Tenaka is a born leader and commands respect wherever he goes, he is loyal, brilliant and a character that I could (and have) read about all day!
7. Logan Ninefingers AKA The Bloody Nine – Appears in the First Law Trilogy, Red Country, and Sharp Ends by Joe Abercombie
Now here is an anti-hero! Logan Ninefingers is the son of a Chieftain and one hell of a fighter. He is the most feared of the Northmen and the ‘King of Killers’. He got his name ‘The Bloody Nine’ whilst fighting for Bethod and killing scores of men. He enters a berserker-like state when he becomes enraged and this causes him to kill everyone and everything that is in front of him (including his own) but he isn’t limited just to enraged attacks. Logan Ninefingers is also adept at fighting strategically and has defeated Legends of the First Law world, in duels. He is a fantastic character who is given a softer, more philosophical side and shows that he has brains as well as brawn.
6. Vin – Appears in the Mistborn Trilogy (Original)
Vin is a character who is shaped by her experience and the word around her and is defined by these. She is a thief whose life has been one of evasion and survival. Vin is distrustful of anyone with the exception of those she has come to work with. Vin is a noble-born allomancer but also has hemallurgic abilities given to her by her mother, in the form of an earring, and she uses these to steal from people and to survive in Luthadel. I love Vin’s character because she is strong yet vulnerable, and cold, yet still has the ability to love. She has powers that would enable her to exert control over others yet she does this only with consent and with a respect for this process.
So that concludes my favourite characters from numbers 10, to 6. I will provide my top 5 in the coming days. What did you think of my choices? Do you agree with them? Let me know who your favourite fictional characters are! 🙂