It’s Saturday again. Boy did that creep up on me! This past week I’ve been so preoccupied with finishing up a writers group project and messing around in the kitchen that I hadn’t thought overmuch about what I would share today as the third week of Fantasy Month! It’s really come down to posting a section of the story I wrote for my local writers group (since my designated genre was ‘mystery romance’ – two genres I have no idea how to write – and Thursday was Valentines Day) or branching off from last week’s game of tag and making a list of some of my other favorites, namely characters – because what is a story without the people in it?
So I was thinking, since the mystery romance story is so long and I couldn’t possibly fit it all here, that I might just go for showcasing a few of my other favorite fantasy characters. (Psst: if you’re still interested in just what that mystery romance could be, let me know and I just might divide it into chapters and post them over the course of the next couple of weeks!)
And now, let’s dive in to a group of some favorite characters! We could go the easy way and pick the obvious choices, like Hiccup, Samwise, Mr. Tumnus, and other well known and popular characters, but I thought I’d pick a few different ones. Some you might recognize, some you probably won’t, but they’re all great!
Calcifer – Is he a human? Animal? Vegetable? No. He’s a fire demon! From beloved story of Howl’s Moving Castle, Calcifer is little ball of fire burdened by a curse and human heart. He’s the one that let Sophie into the moving castle, and who can fault him for that? He likes to gripe and complain, and his most notable line is ‘may all your bacon burn’ (who wouldn’t tremble at that?), but while he claims that breaking his own curse and being free is his only desire, the friendship of Howl and Sophie draws him back to their quirky and chaotic family.
Ginko – He is the main character in a lesser-known collection of fictional Japanese tales called Mushishi. Unlike a great deal of high-strung and hyperactive protagonists, Ginko is a very even keeled man. Marked with white hair and a missing eye from a past he can’t remember, he travels around the country researching these mysterious and oft invisible creatures called mushi (moo-she). Each tale features a different ‘species’, how it influences the people, and how Ginko resolves the problems that arise. Sometimes it’s a happy ending, sometimes it’s not, but oddly enough I’ve always found them relaxing.
Harrier Gillain – From The Enduring Flame Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, Harrier is probably the most-Samwiselike character I’ve come across. He is the loyal, even-headed companion to Tiercel, who tried to practice ancient magic and wound up on a wild adventure across the world. Harrier sticks with Tiercel through thick and thin, through desserts, dragons, and demons, fighting for him, fighting with him, and taking on a destiny far more grand than he ever pictured for himself.
Izumi Curtis – Truth be told, it’s not often I find a female character I can honestly say is a favorite. Izumi is one of them. She’s a no-holds-barred kind of woman, but not motivated out of some superiority complex against men. She’s just strong, and has a kind heart that is, admittedly, oftentimes hidden behind ‘tough-love’. In the story of Fullmetal Alchemist (which is the code-name for the main character), she is the one who taught the two main protagonists how to fight and how to use alchemy, which is a very real and very powerful science. It’s also a very dangerous science, and she is haunted by mistakes she’s made in the past, which have come back to haunt the present. She wants her students to be strong and to be smart and to overcome their own demons, and even though she can be harsh, everything she does for them is laced with compassion.
Mirri – Another favorite lady, this time from The Iron Ring, Miri is the low-caste, clever, and devoted love of Tamar’s life. She teaches him so much about true love and honesty while being a fearless companion upon his journey, counselling him, consoling him, and risking everything to save him.
Nock and Bolt – The archer twins of the Blackwood, you can’t really have one without the other. They are what helped instill in me a love for archery and the bond of brotherhood. They are super skilled with their bows and true servants of the King in the fantastical world Batson created with his Door Within Trilogy. Their relationship was beautiful and their separation by the cruel hands of war was heartbreaking. It still makes me cry on the inside.
Sindri Suncatcher – First off, this Suncatcher Trilogy by Jeff Sampson is just awesome. Part of the Dragonlance universe, but directed more toward the YA community, its a great story of adventure, puzzles, friendship, and trust. Sindri is a rare kender wizard – in training, of course – who is plunged into a quest that requires him to test the limits of both his magic and his heart. He was a fun character to read.
So how about you? What are some of your favorite characters, the ones that make you laugh, that make you root for them, that taught you things you didn’t even know you needed to learn, or took you on a wild adventure beyond our world?