Has anyone ever found themselves in a fiery debate over the merits and behaviours of their favourite character in a book?
I was recently engaged in a heated debate with my brother over a book we had both read. It was part two of Games Workshop’s Gathering Storm series and having both just finished reading it we engaged in what started out as friendly discussion about it. We started off discussing the contents of the book specifically, what we thought of it in general and what direction we though the next part might take. There was recently a leak with regards to the third book and we now have a good idea of where it is going to go, it involves the return of a character that I and many others loath with a passion. My brother however likes this character and is greatly looking forward to his return, this being were our opinions differed.
My opinion was that the series has been very good up to now, lots of twists and turns that kept the reader guessing, with some good background to boot. However, the character returning in the third book is a bit of a Marmite character, you either love him or hate him, there doesn’t tend to be much middle ground and truth be told his return probably doesn’t surprise many. Cue heated discussions as to his virtues or in my case, negative character aspects. Indeed, it got so heated that we were both starting to get exasperated that the other could not for whatever reason see our respective points of view.
This is not an isolated incident. Myself and my brother tend to have these discussions regularly, they get so heated that you would think that the people we were discussing were real. I suppose that is the sign of a good story with well-constructed characters, you feel such an attachment to them that you feel like you must defend them; well I do at least. I get so worked up that someone is criticizing my favourite character I feel an unstoppable urge to leap to their defence.
Grant Ward from Agents of Shield, Shane Walsh from the Walking Dead and Rogal Dorn from the background of Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 game to name but a few. I can’t help it, they’re great characters and don’t deserve a lot of the criticism they receive.
I could go on about this all day, so I’ll finish off with this. The art of great story telling is getting people to care about your story and your characters, if people get half as worked up about my characters as I do about other people’s then I shall be a very happy author indeed.
What about yourselves? Are any of you similarly pushed to these levels of defence? Any characters you feel are underappreciated?
Please comment below, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.