Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Top Ten Inspirational Characters

I’m back doing the Top Tens from The Broke and The Bookish. They have a great topic this week, Inspirational Characters.

1. Éowyn – The Lord of The Rings, The Two Towers & Return Of The King (J.R.R. Tolkien)
2. Offred – A Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
3. Mariam – A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hoseini)
4. Elphaba – Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West (Gregory Maguire
5. Elizabeth Bennet – Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
6. Susannah Dean – The Dark Tower Series (Books 2 to 7) (Stephen King)
7. Princess Elizabeth – The Paper Bag Princess (Robert Munsch)
8. Hermione Granger – Harry Potter Series (J.K. Rowling)
9. Danica – The Cleric Quintet Series (R.A. Salvatore)
10. Atticus Finch – To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

Honourable Mentions to Lisbeth Salandar from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre.

After re-reading the list, I realize that all but one of my characters is female. Maybe they’re who I identify with? About half of them live in male-dominated societies. Most of the characters deal with some kind of oppression. In their own ways, they’re all fighters. They fight for the truth, what they believe in, their own ideals. Maybe I like a person who can overcome the odds.


  1. Nice list! I love Princess Elizabeth & the message the book gives young girls. Such a unique character :) Your list is the only one I've seen with her on it.

    I want to read book #1 from the Dark Tower series for the Stephen King challenge this year. What did you think of it?

  2. Great list! I comletely agree about Éowyn, I put her on my list too.

  3. I forgot about The Paper Bag Princess! Great book

  4. Anonymous18/1/11 19:50

    We do have a lot in common! I have A Thousand Splendid Suns out from the library atm as well so I'm keen to read that one.

  5. Anonymous18/1/11 22:22

    I love that you took the time to consider the themes/impetus behind your list. Why do we love the characters we do? Do we see who we are, or who we want to be, in them?

    My inspirational characters "theme" ended up being "bravery." I like fighters too, the ones who stand up for what's right, and don't back down from what they know is right for THEM.

  6. Great list! I love that you included Elphaba and Atticus.

    Reading Lark's Top 10

  7. How is it that I've never read Paper Bag Princess?! And I call myself a children's librarian?!

  8. Teacher, I LOVE the Dark Tower Series. I know how much you enjoy King and you should definitely read the series.

    1girl, A Thousand Splendid Suns is one of the best books ever. The characters feel so real.

    Bookzilla, I think different characters are inspirational to different people for their own reasons. Looking at the themes behind these lists might tell someone more about themselves.

    Deb, You haven't read Paper Bag Princess? I'm surprised. You need to read it. It's one of the best children's books I've ever read. It was a favourite for me as a kid and it's one I'm already reading to my daughter.

  9. I really need to read A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS and THE KITE RUNNER, given that so many people have spoken warmly about them.