I did a similar list on Facebook as a Note a while back but since I am slowly gaining more readers here, I thought I’d see what characters my blog readers love!
Here it is: Think of fifteen fictional characters (television, films, plays, books) who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. In my original post of this, there was some discussion on whether or not a fictional character can influence or change you. I firmly believe that yes, he/she can! Though characters’ realities are not our reality, we can certainly learn from them and their stories.
1. Vicky Austin from A Ring of Endless Light (and the other Austin family books) by Madeleine L’Engle
She’s a teenage girl searching for truth as she experiences the miracles of the natural world, faith, and writing.
2. Mateo, from the movie In America (Christy, the daughter/narrator, was a close second.) He’s a tortured soul who still finds in in his heart to bless a struggling but beautiful immigrant family.
3. Ephram Brown from the show Everwood
The first Ephram I “knew,” this young man with an “old soul” had lots of ups and downs in his teenage years, but in the end he made the wise decision to help others and to go after his true love. (And now I have my own 4-yr-old Ephraim!)
4. Meg Murry from The Time Trilogy by Madeleine L’Engle
Awkward, nerdy teenage girl. Booksmart, but not street smart. Nevertheless, she was strong, brave, and loving. A hero in my book.
5. Emilio Sandoz from The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
This man went on the voyage of a lifetime to another planet – and lived through unthinkable experiences there. A modern-life Jacob who struggled with God, belief, and love.
6. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I have a soft spot in my heart for dear Bilbo, the first bearer of the ring. “We hobbits are plain, quiet creatures. Adventures make one late for dinner.” Yet what an adventure he went on!
7. Lyra from His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman
This orphan found courage she didn’t know she had when she saved a bunch of children from being separated from their souls.
8. Clare Abshire DeTamble from The Time-Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
You either loved this book or you hated it. I loved it. Clare had to live through so much suffering being married to a man who time-traveled. I hope I have such a love for my husband.
9. Jonas from The Giver by Lois Lowry
He had to face the truth about his society and keep the secret. His intuition and integrity at such a young age is amazing.
10. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
She’s dirt poor, adventurous, intelligent, and caring. And then she has to become a hero.
11. Elphaba from Wicked the Musical
I prefer the musical Elphaba to the book Elphaba. No matter how much she was ostracized, she always chose right.
13. Lucy Pevensie from the Narnia series
It was hard to pinpoint one character from this series. I like Lucy because she was the first one to go into Narnia, and always the one who believed even when she couldn’t prove or see it.
14. Maryam Mazars from The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther
This is a pretty unknown book, but a beautiful read. Maryam, who is from Iran but married an Englishman, reveals her haunting childhood to her pregnant daughter. Maryam returns to Iran to face her past and her first love.
15. Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I just love this little girl, who learns from her Dad that different doesn’t mean wrong.
Now it’s your turn!
I’ll try it! I really came up with only 13 fictional characters. Two of my very favorite story characters that have impacted my life are from the Bible: Esther and Ruth. I’ve read the stories of both women since I was a young woman and pick them up when life is “facing me down”. I just believe they are so brave and realistic about God being real. Reading their stories boosts my faith every time.
1 – The Happy Prince of the story with the same title by Oscar Wilde. (My heart knows that the gifts the Prince gives of himself is also what I should do for my neighbor and who is my neighbor? The person in need.)
2 – Aslan from the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. (The reality of this character has been an encouragement to my heart since I began to read the stories at age 11.)
3 – Ransom from the Science Fiction Trilogy by C.S. Lewis. (It is difficult to go to a strange new world and learn new languages and experience life from another point of view, but it can be done and God is there! — This character really spoke to me when I was overseas!)
4 – Scarlett O’Hara from the book Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Scarlett goes through a lot more in the book than she does in the movie. She is a strong woman and knows her mind and makes some really good decisions for her time and circumstance. She encouraged me to look around and see what I really had to work with and what could be accomplished — read in my late teen years.)
5 – Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein (I learned and was encouraged to believe again: life is an adventure, take it!)
6 – Mary Poppins as played by Julie Andrews in the movie of the same name. (I first saw this in the theaters when I was so young! My mother sang a lot at home and I’m sure she and Mary Poppins are taking up some of the same space of childhood in my heart: Home is happy when singing!)
7 – Frodo from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein (Life can be a daring and daunting task of an adventure — take it!)
8 – Pollyanna as played by Haley Mills in the movie. (I saw this movie when I was very young and was struck by Pollyanna seeing the best in everything around her and then her community coming to her aid when she couldn’t see the good. This helped me with attitude.)
9 – Darby O’Gill from the movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People (Also from when I was a young child: Mr. O’Gill is greedy for gold, but he has words to the wise if you listen and he learned an important lesson that I’ve tried ot remember: people are more important than money.)
10 – Mrs. Tittlemouse from the Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter (This little mouse keeps a very neat house and doesn’t let anyone get in her way or scare her!)
11 – Jeeves from the books by PG Wodehouse. (I’ve read these since I was about 20. I have kept in mind that it is important to be kind while being helpful and that doing ones duty is necessary to the making of a home — and a sense of humor really helps.)
12 – Maria as played by Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music (Again, I saw this when I was little, so I was very struck by the singing and that Maria was on her own in the world, but she believed God was with her everywhere and He gave her a family! So when I have been alone — before my family — this character would come to my mind from time to time and I always thought it encouraging.)
13 – George Bailey as played by Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life (I have not looked at my life in the same way since I saw this movie. I may not always be as thankful for my life as I should be, but I am more thankful for my life and those around me because of George Bailey “wishing his life away.”)
What an awesome list, Margie! I forgot about Mary Poppins and Maria!! Love them, too.
And I had not thought of Ransom, though I’ve read those books.
Scarlett O’Hara’s a great one, too!
Thanks for sharing!
This was a good exercise for me, Karissa. I have a tendency to read only books that are nonfiction, usually devotional, educational or true life stories of people who have struggled with life and God. Mark reads a lot more than me, and one of his books is almost always fiction. James is following in his footsteps. Natalie reads a lot, but this is for high school right now. I want to encourage their reading, but until I reflected on this list I was really looking down my nose at the fiction my family is reading. Now I see that there is good. Thanks!