The Top 10 Secondary Characters Who Need Their Own Story

Top Ten Tuesday topic is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is a freebie!

When this idea popped into my mind, I was worried I had already done a topic like this one once, but the closest I found was My Top 10 Most Memorable Secondary Characters, which I wrote in 2013 and was a list comprised primarily of secondary characters from The Hunger Games. Since then I have read a lot of great books with interesting characters and feel I could create a more varied list, PLUS, make the focus be about the story they could tell. This week’s list is in no particular order.

1. Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles

throne-cressSource for Thorne art here

Marissa Meyer gifted us all with a short story about Thorne (that I still have not read!), but seriously, all Thorne fans know only a novel would suffice our desire for more Thorne.

2. Sturmhond from The Grisha Trilogy

sturmhond-grisha2

Sturmhond is basically the same person as Thorne, and again, we all want more. I would love to know what happens to him after the Grisha trilogy, but I would also love to know more about his life before!

3. Kiggs from Seraphina

kiggs-seraphinaI love Kiggs, and I would like to know how he grew up and what made him the way he is.

4. Elend from Mistborn

elend-mistbornOK, so I’ve only read book one, and I imagine there’s more of him in the next two books, but I would love to know the details of his royal upbringing, his antics growing up, and what got him started reading those forbidden books.

5. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley from The Harry Potter Series

weasleysAgain, I haven’t finished all these books either, but I just love Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and I’d love to know their backstory. Did they meet and fall in love at Hogwarts? How did Mr. Weasley end up at the Ministry of Magic? Did they always want a large family?

6. Finnick from The Hunger Games Trilogy

finnick-odairOf course, this list would not be complete without someone from The Hunger Games, and like many fans, I’d love details on Finnick’s backstory!

7. Gemma from The Young Elites

gemma-youngelitesImage on left found on Marie Lu’s The Young Elites Pinterest board

I find the whole thing about Gemma being from an aristocratic family and a malfetto, but not condemned like Enzo, really interesting within the world of The Young Elites, and I want more of her story!

8. Harriet from Emma

harriet-emma2I know this ship has sailed, at least for Jane Austen’s perspective, but I would love to know more about Harriet’s life after she married Robert Martin. I was a little surprised when, while watching Emma Approved, I became way more excited about Emma and B-Mart hooking up at the end than Emma and Knightley! It was just really cute! (Those paper cranes!) But when I read Emma, I also found myself really endeared to Harriet there. More please!

9. Caleb from The Divergent Trilogy

caleb-divergentI have some unanswered questions about Caleb, and I honestly found him so much more interesting and complex than Tris or Four. I need more!

10. Marguerite St. Just in The Scarlet Pimpernel

Marguerite-scarletpimpernelI know there are more of these books so there might be more about Marguerite, but I found her really interesting when I read The Scarlet Pimpernel, and my favorite chapter in the book is when she’s at home discovering who her husband actually is.

I was surprised to see this list was mostly guys! But I guess that’s because most of these books focus on a female character. In YA it’s a little more rare to get the guy’s POV, but sometimes I wish I could read their story too!

Which secondary characters would you like to see get their own story? 

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When You Love the Secondary Characters More Than… Everything Else

This discussion post is, of course, inspired by this last Top Ten Tuesday topic of most memorable secondary characters. I quickly found that I could have done a top 10 for Hunger Games characters alone, and then done a second one with every other book I’ve read! While compiling my list, however, there were some characters that came to mind that I really enjoyed, and THEY were the most enjoyable part of the story sometimes. Or maybe I liked the story OK, but I didn’t care a lot about the main characters.

Loved Harley in Across the Universe, thought Amy and Elder were just OK and liked the story just alright…

Got frustrated with the book Reached and with MC Cassia, but loved a random character with a small role named Dalton

Loved some guy who’s name I can’t remember from Insurgent who gets killed off within a few chapters…

Disliked Under the Never Sky so much that I didn’t finish it, but I found Roar and Marron both to be intriguing…

What makes me like a secondary character so much more than everything else? Here’s a few thoughts on when I think it happens…

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The main characters are whiny… From the above examples, Tris is a definite exception and Amy and Elder aren’t too bad, but seriously Perry, Aria, and Cassia – STOP YOUR WHINING. It doesn’t endear me to you at all.

Or bland… This applies more to Amy and Elder…

Or out of sorts. Tris struggles through Insurgent, and I’m OK with that because she’s a person, but I can’t say I was completely on-board with her during the whole story, especially when she got in a tiffy with Four (maybe she got just a tiny bit on the whiny side…). I didn’t stop rooting for Tris at any point, but I did kind of lose interest in her when she just wasn’t herself.

The story is mainly focused on a plot element I don’t care for… This is true for almost every example I gave. I don’t care about Cassia and Ky and poetry. I don’t care about Perry and Aria’s journey. I was totally creeped out by The Season and it lost some of the story’s overall credibility for me. I found some of Insurgent to be boring and/or confusing, so I clung onto anything that seemed grounded and interesting.

Commodus_thumbs_up2

The secondary character has just way more personality… Secondary characters can outshine the primary characters’ and it still work… Finnick to Katniss, Iko and Thorne to Cinder, Petra to Ender… but the main character still has to have something going for them. I often love when a serious, straight-laced character is complimented by a secondary character who is more laid-back. But if the main character has the traits I mentioned above, and especially if their overall story arc does not seem to be going any where interesting, I will cling onto that bright spot in the story, that guy or gal with so much personality and intrigue about them.

commodus

Just remember, Commodus is judging your characters. And speaking of him, talk about an extremely creepy but well-done secondary character…

What secondary characters do you love more than everything else in the story? And why do you think this is? 

My Top 10 Most Memorable Secondary Characters

Top Ten Tuesday topic is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

AKA, dang Suzanne Collins, you sure know how to write secondary characters.

Seriously, I am going to apologize upfront that nearly half of these characters from The Hunger Games trilogy. But you know what, I’m not really that sorry, because they’re awesome and deserve to be seen as such! I could easily do a Top 10 Hunger Games secondary characters, but I refrained myself. Here they are, in no particular order…

1. Haymitch, The Huger Games trilogy

haymitch&katnissHaymitch starts out as the old, drunkard Victor who feels trapped by the system the Capitol has set in place, but with many thanks to Katniss, grows to believe change is possible.

Haymitch takes the seat across from me. “We’re going to have to work together again. So, go ahead. Just say it.”
… All I can say is “I can’t believe you didn’t rescue Peeta.”
“I know,” he replies.
There’s a sense of incompleteness. And not because he hasn’t apologized. But because we were a team. We had a deal to keep Peeta safe. A drunken, unrealistic deal made in the dark of night, but a deal just the same. And in my heart of hearts, I know we both failed.
“Now you say it,” I tell him.
“I can’t believe you let him out of your sight that night,” says Haymitch.
I nod. That’s it.

2. Cinna, The Hunger Games trilogy

Cinna is an incredible secondary character, who shows great strength and great restraint, quietly rebelling against the Capitol in his own way and loving Katniss the way she needed someone to love her.

“Don’t worry. I always channel my emotions into my work.  That way I don’t hurt anyone but myself.”

3. Effie, The Hunger Games trilogy

At first Effie seems as flighty and silly as Capitol people come, but through Katniss and Peeta, we see her change and as she comes to  realize just how truly evil the Games are. Unfortunately, however, we don’t know how her story ends.

4. Finnick, The Hunger Games trilogy

Just like Katniss, I was suspicious of Finnick at first. I mean, “Do you want a sugar cube?”? Really? Creepy! But he proves to be so much more than the famed hunky Victor Katniss believed him to be. He proves to be someone who loves deeply and will fight for what he believes.

“Did you love Annie right away, Finnick?” I ask.
“No.” A long time passes before he adds, “She crept up on me.”

5. Iko, The Lunar Chronicles

Iko is Cinder’s robot companion, but she’s far from boring, bursting with a fun personality regardless of whether she is talking to Cinder about Prince Kai or if her program has been re-routed into a ship where she laments getting used to her new “body.” Iko definitely made me smile several times while reading Cinder.

“Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I’m overheating.”

6. Max, The Book Thief

Max is a Jew in Nazi Germany who hides in Liesel’s basement. Liesel comes to befriend him and they talk to each other about words and nightmares, helping each other through their own tragedies.

7. Rudy, The Book Thief

The-Book-Thief-Liesel-Rudy-CROPThe story of Liesel’s best friend seriously gave me all the feels. What is not to love about a rambunctious young boy who relentlessly pursues and teases the girl he’s crazy about?

The only thing worse than a boy who hates you. A boy who loves you.

8. Repicheep, The Chronicles of Narnia

Reepicheep, the most daring and courageous mouse of all, starts off a bit prideful, but in the end is humbled as he enters Aslan’s country. I love this feisty mouse and his story.

Reepicheep: I can eat and sleep and die for my King without one [a tail]. But a tail is the honour and glory of a Mouse.
Aslan: I have sometimes wondered, friend, whether you do not think too much about your honour.

9. Bean, Ender’s Game

Bean is one of the very few people Ender can rely on in the middle of his chaos of trying to discover who he is when the weight of the world is literally upon him. It’s neat to see their friendship develop and it made me interested in reading about Bean’s point of view in Ender’s Shadow, but I have not yet.

“They can’t break you.”
“You’d be surprised.” Ender breathed sharply, suddenly, as if there were a stab of pain, or he had to catch a sudden breath in a wind; Bean looked at him and realized that the impossible was happening. Far from baiting him, Ender Wiggin was actually confiding in him. Not much. But a little. Ender was human and Bean had been allowed to see.

10. Valentine, Ender’s Game

ender&valentine

Ender’s sister Valentine is also a very interesting character. She is incredibly smart but is considered too compassionate for the role of saving mankind from aliens, but she is exactly who Ender needs as he is falling apart. But Valentine is not perfect, as she allows their other brother, Peter, to manipulate her into exercising out his political schemes. It’s interesting to watch her reactions to Peter and Ender in the novel, and I am really looking forward to seeing how Abigail Breslin portrays her in the movie.

Ender: I didn’t want to see you.
Valentine: They told me.
Ender: I was afraid that I’d still love you.

What do you think of these secondary characters? Who are your favorite secondary characters?