Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Ten Characters Everyone Loves But I Just Don’t Get or Ten Characters I LOVE But Others Seem To Dislike.” Last year I did a topic very similar to this week entitled “I’m Just Not That Into You” and listed characters that I really could not get into regardless of how popular they are. This week I’ll be listing characters who are hated by at least a large portion of readers or whose narrative paints them as unlikable, but for whom I do not hold the same kind of disdain. Covers are linked to Goodreads.
1. Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter – There are a ton of reasons why I should really dislike this woman. She’s killed and tortured a large number of people. I’ll never get over Order of the Phoenix, but I just can’t muster enough hate for her. Perhaps it’s Helena Bonham Carter who is responsible for the fact that I don’t completely hate this character.
2. Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye – People are really divided over this novel and even those who like the novel understand that Holden Caulfield can be a real pill. I am one of those people. Holden is not the kind of person I’d want to hang out with, but I don’t hate him as much as some people. To me he’s just a lost kid with a whole lot of sadness inside of him.
3. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby – Everybody hates Daisy. It’s hard to justify her actions in the novel, but I think we can learn something more from her portrayal. Literary Starbucks, a tumblr account that imagines different authors and characters ordering drinks from Starbucks, summarizes her characterization quite nicely:
“Daisy goes up to the counter and orders the drink society expects and has pressured her into ordering. Everyone hates her for it anyway.”
4. Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice – Mr. Wickham. Mr. Collins. Lady Catherine de Bourgh. There are a number of characters in Pride and Prejudice whom are dislikable and for many, this list includes Lydia Bennet. I’ve never properly disliked her character, even if I disagreed wholeheartedly with a number of her decisions. She always seemed to me to be a very silly, emotionally immature girl living in a society that treats women very unkindly. I can’t really hate her for that.
5. Colin and Piper Greenmantle from Blue Lily, Lily Blue – I’m not even sure Maggie Stiefvater writes “bad” characters in a way that you can truly hate them. Much like the Gray Man in The Dream Thieves, these characters are just so interesting.
6. Dumbledore from Harry Potter – Believe it or not, there is a large portion of the HP fandom who hates Dumbledore. They blame him for not telling Harry enough, accuse him of only using Harry as a pawn, and a whole lot of other reasons I’m not going to touch on because I find them to be pretty petty compared to these reasonable objections to his character. Yes, Dumbledore did hold back a ton of information and in a way he did use Harry, but I completely understand his reasons for doing so and it’s hard to hate a guy whose full name is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
7. Edmund Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia – Okay, everyone’s least favorite Pevensie seemed to be Edmund, but he’s actually my favorite. Yes, he kind of betrayed his siblings, but out of all the children, I think he learns the most by the end of the novel and I’m just a big fan of character growth.
8. The Monster from Frankenstein – Yes, so maybe he commits murder, but Mary Shelley does such a phenomenal job of making him a sympathetic character regardless. How does the saying go? “Knowledge is knowing Frankenstein isn’t the monster. Wisdom is knowing Frankenstein is the monster.”
9. Kit from Dear Killer – Pretty sure it’s a bit weird to like a serial killer, but I can’t help myself. Maybe I should talk to someone about this because another killer from another book just came to mind who I ended up really liking too.
10. Davy Prentiss Jr. from Chaos Walking Trilogy – He’s about as terrible as they come and if it wasn’t for the second book in the series, I’m sure I’d hate him, but once we got to know him better and he ended up forming a bond with my favorite character, I started to really sympathize with him.
Which literary characters do you not hate even though many people do? What do you think of the characters I listed? Let me know in the comments and be sure leave a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.