I’ve read quite a few books in my life, but sometimes, certain characters just stick with me. These could be characters I most relate to, I feel for, or otherwise just think they’re cool. Here they are, in no particular order:
Nico di Angelo
Nico is a character introduced in the third book of the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. He starts out as an overexcited little kid who doesn’t understand the dangers of the new world he’s being introduced to. That is, until his big sister is killed, after which he closes himself off from the world and becomes a lot more goth. As a son of Hades, he has a natural affliction with the dead, and he actually enjoys hanging around with ghosts more than the living.
He’s a very powerful character, but I think what drew me to him is that he’s carrying around a lot of guilt and loneliness. He’s a kid trapped out of time, and I sort of felt that way too, what with everyone around me being good with technology or the girls in my classes learning to do makeup while I remained clueless to such things. I’ve never been very savvy with social media, so while I’ll never understand what it’s like to be a 30s kid in the early 2000s, I felt connected to Nico.
Hermione is famous for a lot of people not being able to pronounce her name right, and that’s something I understand wholeheartedly. She’s from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and I grew really attached to her because she was the only girl of the main trio, and she was the smart one most of the time. While I don’t share her drive for knowledge, I’ve always been good in school, and I was usually the one answering questions in class (sometimes under my breath if no one else was answering, even when not called on).
I love as well that she gained a life of her own in the hands of the fans, who rebranded her as a person of colour, even though she wasn’t initially written that way by J.K. Rowling. I like that fans are able to change things to bring more representation to a popular franchise; it’ll be great to see more of that in modern works.
Magnus is from The Mortal Instruments, written by Cassandra Clare, and I love him as a character simply because he’s glittery. He’s the ancient warlock owner of a nightclub, but he’s only physically in his late-teens-early-twenties. He’s very open in opinions and preferences—and sort of promiscuous, but what can you expect from an immortal?
He’s not really a character I relate to as much as admire and appreciate, but he’s a powerful magic user with a dark past that he’s running from. The other characters are always going to him for help, and it’s intriguing to see him have to balance what’s best for him and what’s best for the world—because he usually charges for his magic but often doesn’t when Alec (his love interest) is the one asking for help.
Aziraphale and Crowley
These two characters come as a pair. They’re from Good Omens by Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (which also has a TV series), and they’re the most hilarious characters I’ve read about in a while. They’re whole goal is to stop the apocalypse simply because they enjoy Earth the way it is, and in doing so, are disobeying their respective offices (Heaven and Hell). Though they succeed in stopping the end of the world, they’re not at all competent, and it makes for quite a few errors along the way.
It’s amusing to watch them stumble along, and also to watch them dance around each other (as the story is as much a love story as it is a comedy about the apocalypse). Though there isn’t a second book, there were plans for one—plans which will come to fruition in the second season of the show, which is coming out this summer.
Captain Jack Sparrow
Though he is not from a book initially, Captain Jack Sparrow is another beloved character on this list because of his free spirit. He’s such an unpredictable and self-serving character, but I love him all the same because he’s so entertaining. He’s definitely not the kind of person you want in your circle of friends but enjoy reading on the page or watching on the screen.
He’s someone with a mysterious past but with single-minded focus. His love for his ship is unmatched by anything but his love of freedom and the open sea. Something I found interesting, though, was a deleted scene from the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie in which Jack and Cutler Beckett allude to their history together, at a time which Jack worked for him. Beckett was the one who burned Jack’s beloved ship because he freed one hundred slaves which he was meant to be transporting. He freed them because “people ain’t cargo” showing an actual philanthropic side to him we’d never seen before. This was a big moment in building Jack’s character, so I found it interesting that it was left out—I suppose it wasn’t important enough to the overall story.
Why I Love Certain Characters
I’m not sure if I have a type of character that I love more than others, but I’ve always been partial to that Powerful Mysterious Character trope. The person who’s not quite the main character, but good as a foil or rival to them, or a powerful ally. These characters tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the main party/cast, though they do interact with one or two of the characters. Still, they’re usually doing their own thing.
I also love strong female characters or LGBT+ characters because I can relate to them, or I enjoy their representation. I especially enjoy when they subvert expectations. (On the flip side, I hardly ever like reading characters who fall into hard stereotypes.)