So this idea has actually been stolen from an article I read on Buzz Feed but I thought it was a cool idea. I invite all my friends, men and women to copy this and share your thoughts on 10 fictional characters who inspired you when you met them.
1. Ce’Nedra – The Belgariad Series, David Eddings
The minute I was introduced to this character in the series I loved her. She’s the feisty princess who crosses words with Garion from time to time and makes a lot of mistakes. She is also fiercely loyal and has a good heart and is a total fighter. As a teenager discovering my own personality, here was a woman with strength.
2. Ginny Weasley – Harry Potter Series, JK Rowling
In a similar vein, Ginny is one of my favourite women ever in literature. I’m a blonde but I used to have a fascination with red hair (still do) so I was already a fan. Ginny is stubborn, hot-headed and totally kick-ass. Growing up with six brothers, she ought to be. Her transition throughout the books is also believable. She starts off as a silly little girl in the early books and grows into a fiery young woman, not to be messed with. This doesn’t come across so much in the films which I was really disappointed with.
3. Catherine Morland – Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
Here is a young girl, naive, fascinated by novels and has a tendency to give way to fantasy. I can completely relate to this – my imagination is nothing if not over active (sometimes to my detriment)! She is also sensitive to the feelings of others and upset at the thought of causing offence or doing wrong. Catherine is also guilty of thinking well of people who may not deserve it – something I am familiar with. It leads her to get hurt at times but it also means she is open to those who truly deserve her good opinion like Henry Tilney. If ever I saw myself reflected in a character it would be Miss Morland.
4. Henry Tilney – Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
Sticking with Austen’s gothic parody, Henry Tilney is one of my favourite characters in literature. He is charming, handsome (JJ Field certainly is, anyway) and good humoured. He is also kind and has good principles. He gently pokes fun at Catherine for her naivety and innocence but it’s clear that this is out of affection and a desire to educate her and better her mind. When Catherine runs away with a notion about Henry’s father, Henry is serious with her and firm but it’s only in that moment and again from a desire to instruct. He is perceptive and loyal.
5. The Grandmother – The Witches, Roald Dahl
Talk about a kick-ass old lady! I hope I am half as cool as this woman when I’m old. Smoking her disgusting black cigars and doing exactly what she pleases because she doesn’t care – she’s old! I loved this woman and The Witches was one of my favourite books as a child (still is – I must re-read it soon). She took no nonsense from anyone and got excited at the prospect of finishing off the witches with her grandson. She was hilarious. I defy anyone not to enjoy this woman!
6. Geriatrix – Asterix Series, Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
Another oldie but goodie from the world of fiction is Geriatrix; the oldest member from the village of indominitable Gauls. This guy had it all – a beautiful young wife, feisty and always first to get stuck into the fighting. Never mind the fact that the man could dance! He always came to blows with his fellow villagers and liked to point out how things were done in his day. God bless him, he certainly felt that he was as young as the woman he felt!
7. Garfield – Garfield, Jim Davis
Ok. I know Garfield is a cat and not a man/woman from fiction but I loved him growing up, and still do. He loves lasagne, sleep and his family (a subtle fact which may escape some people’s notice). He is also smart and a smart arse. Everyone with a bit of mischief in them can relate to his antics. I know he picks on Odie but he just as often teams up with him to play tricks on Jon, which is even funnier. Again, he torments Odie out of affection – which he “keeps in the closet”. Considering my form of showing affection to my friends is teasing them and having a bit of banter, I can relate to this. And let’s face it – no one likes Mondays!
8. Rebecca Bloomwood – Confessions of A Shopaholic, Sophie Kinsella
I’m sure most women must have been able to relate to Becky Bloomwood at some point. Constantly feeding her shopping addiction despite mounting credit card bills and looming debt collectors. We’ve all bought things we shouldn’t. We’ve all made complete arses of ourselves in front of important people. We’ve all made whopping mistakes and lied like hell to try to cover our asses! It’s one of the reasons I love her. She is so cringe-worthy and constantly getting into trouble. She just can’t help herself when it comes to her finances (lack thereof) – we all know what it’s like to lose our self- control.
9. Ron Weasley – Harry Potter Series, JK Rowling
Ron is a character who holds a very special place in my heart. The funny man among his friends, insensitive at times but fiercely loyal with his heart in the right place. He sulks, he’s insecure and sometimes completely clueless. I fell in love with him from his first entrance in the series. For me, he remains the character with the most hidden depth in the series. What I also like about him is what he didn’t show. I find it difficult to write about Ron because it’s like writing about myself – it’s personal. I’m not saying that I’m like him but it’s just I relate to the character on a deeper level because I grew up with the books and went through the same stages of school life and love at the same time.
10. Helena – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare
We’ve all been there – both men and women. Head over heels in love with someone who doesn’t want to know. What I admire about Helena is she doesn’t give up and I don’t think it’s because she is desperate, contrary to popular belief. Demetrius made her fall for him and then drops her when he gets a whiff of Hermia’s dowry. We’ve all made fools of ourselves in the name of love and Helena actually becomes suspicious when he wants to woo her again. This is why I don’t think it’s desperation – otherwise she would have welcomed both his and Lysander’s declarations. She just has it bad for the bad boy. Fair play to her – she chases after the man she wants and although she humiliates herself along the way it actually works out in the end. Anyone can tell you how terrifying it is to chase after someone you like. I’ve done it and even though I got knocked back a few times it was actually worth it – even if only to get them out of my system. Oh, and ladies, according to at least 3 independent male sources: just go for it and ask a man out first. To quote one of them directly, “Why do women always wait around for the guy to ask them out?”