10 Under-loved Literary Characters



This week's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted at The Broke and the Bookish is all about Characters you hate that others love, or vice-versa. I've gone for the vice-versa - or at least, characters I feel don't get the appreciation they deserve. 


Scarlett O' Hara


Scarlett is a terrible human being most of the time - a terrible mother, a terrible wife, sometimes a bad daughter and definitely a bad friend. She's ruthless, mercenary, un-kind and she pretty much hates other women (except for her mother.) She's stupid about Rhett, stupid about Ashley - stupid about people in general. But somehow, even after all that, Margaret Mitchell still makes me like her. Scarlett goes through a lot, from such a young age and I understand every decision she makes, even if I don't like them. She's a survivor, she looks after her own and she never stops fighting. Maybe I don't like her, but I admire her in lots of ways, and sympathise in others. 



Fanny Price


Jane Austen said that in Emma Woodhouse, she had created a character whom no-one would like but herself - but I think that epithet can be better applied to the heroine of Mansfield Park. Everyone thinks Fanny Price is dull, but I like her. She's quiet but she stands up for herself when it matters most. When she's around people who are actually nice to her (Edmund, her brother, even the Crawfords towards the end) she is interesting. When I read the book, I kind of saw Edmund as the protagonist, with Fanny as the buttons/You Belong with Me style figure, just waiting for him to wake up and realise what he was missing. She's the underdog, and you've got to support the underdog.



Cersei Lannister


Possibly the most controversial name on this list, but I just love Cersei as a character. She's a proper villain, but there's so many layers there. I think most of my love stems from Lena Heady's portrayal in Game of Thrones, because despite the fact that Cersei really is evil, corrupt, malicious and an all around terrible human being, we can see and sympathise with her difficult position as a woman and a mother in a man's world. I mean, everyone's had a hard time of it in Game of Thrones, but the Lannister's are the epitome of a dysfunctional family. Cersei grew up with a cruel father, was practically sold off to a terrible husband and then her son turned out to be some kind of devil spawn. Okay, there's no defending her really, but she's definitely fascinating. My favourite scenes were always those between Cersei and Tyrion - especially if Tywin was around too.



Rufus Scrimgeour


**SPOILERS**

Harry is so rude to this man. Yes, he makes mistakes, but he's just doing his job. And look at things from the minister's point of view - would Harry's presence about the Ministry keep morale up? Yes. Should the Minister for Magic take orders from seventeen year old kids? Well, maybe in this case, but would you think that if you were Scrimgeour? No. Harry might have been Dumbledore's man through and through, but at the end of the day, Dumbledore wasn't the only one to die protecting Harry. And Scrimgeour wasn't the only one to use people.



Kitty Bennet 



Everyone forgets about poor Kitty. She's just your average seventeen year old really, but as she's over-shadowed by her more strong-willed sisters, and isn't the typical nerd like Mary, she tends to get left out of a lot of adaptations. Well done then, to Andrew Davies, and the actress who played Kitty in the 1995 version, for making the most of her tiny part and her few great comic lines.



Angela from Twilight



It's been years since I read The Twilight Saga, but one of the characters I always felt deserved a bit more love was Angela, Bella's friend from school. From the films we remember Jessica (the bitchy one) because of Anna Kendrick's scene-stealing turn, but who remembers Angela, the nice, quiet friend who Bella actually gets on really well with, until her life begins to revolve around the Cullens? At least, in the book, Stephanie Meyer gave Angela a nice boyfriend, and there's a cute scene in those Midnight Sun chapters, where Edward and Emmett set them up.




Elizabeth from Poldark



Everyone loves Demelza, and with good reason, but Ross Poldark's first love is nice too, you know. She never asked to be in a love triangle, and Ross was away at war, so what was she supposed to do? Elizabeth is beautiful, intelligent and kind, but she gets a hard time of it - both in the books and from the public. And  as the series of books progressed, I realised she was actually the one character I cared about most.



Susan Pevensie



*** SPOILERS***

Poor Susan. Peter's least favourite sister. C.S Lewis's favourite whipping boy. The Sansa Stark to Lucy's Arya.  But let's look at what she actually does wrong, shall we? She's kind and gentle, she acts too old for her age and she's practical. As a queen, she chooses not to fight in battles and she acts "more like an ordinary grown up woman." And then, when she's told she's too old to come back to Narnia anymore, she grows up, moves on and gets a life. What a terrible person. She obviously deserves to lose her whole family and be offered no sympathy whatsoever. 




Gale Hawthorne



***SPOILERS***

Yes, I like Peeta. He can do no wrong. But for myself, I'd go for Gale - and it's not about looks, either. He's principled, he believes in his cause and he fights for it. He makes it clear to Katniss that he loves her but he doesn't give her a hard time about Peeta and the Games. He respects her and treats her as an equal. He looks after her family for her, he saves as many people as he can from District 13. And what does he get in return? A terrible (and unfair) accusation put on his head and a years long friendship dismissed without a second thought. He deserved better.



Meriadoc Brandybuck



***SPOILERS***

Otherwise known as no-one's favourite Hobbit. Merry is smarter and more principled than Pippin, and more fun than Sam and Frodo. He pretty much convinces the Ents to go to Isengard single handedly, he helps kill the leader of the Nazgul, he's brave and determined to do his bit. But you still like Pippin better, don't you? Maybe because that Gondor armour is so much more flattering.



(Some SPOILERS in comments)






Comments

  1. I agree with all of these! Especially Cersei Lannister! Everyone I know hates her but, whilst she isn't exactly likable, I do admire her strength. And you are so right about Susan being the Sansa to Lucy's Arya! I never thought about it like that before but that's exactly it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting! And glad it's not just me, haha. Sansa and Susan are the ones I always feel should be my favourites, because they're so disliked - they've got that in common at least!

      Delete
  2. Scarlett O'Hara is one of my favorite characters. It took a few reading for this to happen, but happen it did. And I always loved Merry and Pippin equally. :) Sam is my favorite Hobbit though. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Sam's my favourite too :) And I know what you mean about Scarlett, I see more things to like the more I re-read the book - and I notice Rhett's flaws more, although I still love him!

      Delete
  3. Who are these Merry haters? Bah! I love Merry. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, maybe I was wrong about people's opinions of Merry - but if you had to pick a favourite, would it be him? Really? :P

      Delete
  4. Oh I love Elizabeth! I'm glad to see her on your list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to know she's got some fans! I wish her and Demelza could have been friends :(

      Delete
  5. I totally agree with you on Susan and Gale; I loved both of them and The Hunger Games and The Chronicles of Narnia and feel like they both get over looked too often.

    Thanks for stopping by A Real Writer's Life today!

    -Miranda Atchley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan and Gale really are under-appreciated - and you're welcome!

      Delete
  6. This is the second list I have seen Fanny on this week! It makes me happy, because I love Fanny :) But I didn't know that she was so disliked by others til today.

    Merry and Pippin are so equal in my head, it's hard to tell who I like better! They are pretty much just one person to me, and I hated when they had to separate.

    My TTT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I suppose they do come as a pair :) I never understand why people dislike Fanny so much - or I'm guessing they do, since they always change her personality in all the adaptations!

      Delete
  7. Yes GALE! So many people are slating him this week and it makes me sad. Or wonder whether I read the books wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You didn't, he's lovely! They just can't appreciate a rebel :P

      Delete
  8. i love your take on the theme! And awww Merry :) My TTT

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fanny Price's quiet nature doesn't bother me. Austen had created other characters who were similar - Elinor Dashwood and Anne Elliot, to be precise. But while she is good at judging others, Fanny seemed to lack the ability to be aware of her own flaws and those of her cousin Edmund Bertram, whom she loves. I find this trait a bit hypocritical.


    I believe Gale Hawthorne was too aggressive for his own good . . . even more so than Katniss Everdene, whom I also believe was a bit too aggressive. One problem is that he was unwilling to accept that he may have been partially responsible for what happened in the third novel. And to be honest, he and Katniss were too similar for each other. They would not have made a balanced couple. But I do wish that Katniss had made her peace with Gale.

    Personally, I find Elizabeth Poldark rather fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aw, she's been in love with Edmund since she was like 10 though, you can't expect her to be completely impartial. I do think she's a bit judgemental but, to be fair, she only holds people to the same standards she puts on herself.

    I see your point with Gale, but I sort of like that about him. He's assertive! haha, and you can understand why he doesn't want to think Prim's death was partly his fault. That would be too terrible to deal with. Plus I don't think he was partly responsible - he had the initial idea but it wasn't his decision to drop the bomb and he wouldn't have put it to use in those circumstances. I did want Katniss to get with Peeta though - he was what she needed. I kind of hoped Gale would end up with Prim someday though. Or Madge!

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

Popular posts