Childhood heroes

I wanted to do a post about the characters that really inspired me when I was younger; the ones I wanted to be, the ones I thought of as my friends and the ones I looked up to.

Top of the list has got to be Lyra – my friend is reading The Amber Spyglass for the first time and I’m so jealous of him discovering that amazing new world that I don’t know what to do with myself. Lyra was, and still is, a fantastic character. She’s not that nice; she can be mean and ruthless, but she is also kind and selfless and brave beyond measure. I wanted to run around on rooftops and go to the North with her, and she so brilliantly encapsulates character progression as she comes to understand the terrible choices we can, and must, face.

Lyra is in good company on my list with other girls who don’t sit still; Anne (of Green Gables), Jo March, Lucy (why did no-one believe Lucy?) and Alice (proving curiosity trumps being sensible every time). And how could I forget Alanna, who made me want to be a knight and go out fighting sexism before I knew what that meant.

Ludo (of and the Starhorse fame) is also a firm favourite, again representing the underdog and showing that courage and kindness can take you very far in life, as in adventure. Kes from the Wind on Fire for saving her people and Mumpo for loyalty more valuable than brains. Demetria for giving up everything she ever knew to take a chance on a fairytale a stranger tells her, and Ender (‘s Game) who represents almost every good quality I look for in a human being, without being too perfect to be truly human.

John from You Don’t Know Me, for being as flawed as you can get whilst still envoking empathy and the pure hope that things get better. (I am) David for determination and a reminder that the world is still beautiful even when life is not.

I love Rand, but it was Egwene who made me cry when the series ended, who grew up too quickly because she had to, and it was Lan who showed me what responsibility meant.

Twig, who gets lost in order to find everything, but never forgets where home is.

Thinking up my favourite characters has been really fun, and its interesting to see that its not necessarily my favourite books which determines the best people, although I don’t think there’s any from a book I didn’t like. For some of my best-loved books, it’s just the story, or the underlying themes which I adore, rather than the characters.