I recently found myself sitting down and starting to write my first novel and it got me to thinking about the different elements of a great story, I mean, what makes it so great?  A beautiful world that jumps out of the page and pulls you in? Yep. A brilliant storyline that has twists and turns, pitfall and glories? Youbetcha. While I agree that these features need to be on point in order for a great story to be told, you also need great characters! You need to be invested in a character, to accompany them on their journey, to feel as they feel and to suffer as they suffer. Without this, all we have is a pretty picture. With this in mind, I thought it would be good to curate a list of my 10 favourite fictional characters. Here goes...

10.     Lord Voldemort Aka Tom Marvolo Riddle – Appears in….well, you know!

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‘He who cannot be named’ is the embodiment of evil. He splits his soul to create seven horcruxes and this granted him almost eternal life. He murdered wizards and muggles alike, as well as torturing those who displeased him. He is the most foul character in the wizarding world created by JK Rowling, but I love him, he is the perfect antagonist; brilliant, strong and dastardly evil.

9.       Jorg Ancrath – Appears in the Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence

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Jorg Ancrath is a brilliant character and the archetypal anti-hero. His actions are a direct result of the major trauma he suffered in his past (his mother and brother were murdered) and continues to suffer throughout the trilogy. Jorg’s one goal is to ascend to the throne of the Broken Empire and he doesn't care who he has to kill on the way. He leads a band of men called the Brotherhood and they are wicked (raping and pillaging is part of their repertoire). I love Jorg’s character because he is so single-minded and carries such a large chip on his shoulder that his redeeming qualities are not balanced with his bad, yet you still root for him.

8.       Tenaka Khan – Appears in Legend and the King Beyond the Gate by David Gemmell

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David Gemmell had the unique ability to capture the essence of a person and bring them to life on the page, and the character of Tenaka Khan was no different. Tenaka Khan is a Nadir warrior with violet eyes. He serves with the Drenai army as part of the Dragon but later returns and unties the Nadir Clans. Tenaka Khan is a brilliant character, he is lethal with a sword and ruthless when he needs to be. He united the Nadir nation in their fight against the Drenai. Tenaka is a born leader and commands respect wherever he goes, he is loyal, brilliant and a character that I could (and have) read about all day!

7.       Logan Ninefingers AKA The Bloody Nine – Appears in the First Law Trilogy, Red Country, and Sharp Ends by Joe Abercombie

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Now here is an anti-hero! Logan Ninefingers is the son of a Chieftain and one hell of a fighter. He is the most feared of the Northmen and the ‘King of Killers’. He got his name ‘The Bloody Nine’ whilst fighting for Bethod and killing scores of men. He enters a berserker-like state when he becomes enraged and this causes him to kill everyone and everything that is in front of him (including his own) but he isn't limited just to enraged attacks. Logan Ninefingers is also adept at fighting strategically and has defeated Legends of the First Law world, in duels. He is a fantastic character who is given a softer, more philosophical side and shows that he has brains as well as brawn.

6.       Vin – Appears in the Mistborn Trilogy (Original)

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Vin is a character who is shaped by her experience and the word around her and is defined by these. She is a thief whose life has been one of evasion and survival. Vin is distrustful of anyone with the exception of those she has come to work with. Vin is a noble-born allomancer but also has hemallurgic abilities given to her by her mother, in the form of an earring, and she uses these to steal from people and to survive in Luthadel. I love Vin’s character because she is strong yet vulnerable, and cold, yet still has the ability to love. She has powers that would enable her to exert control over others yet she does this only with consent and with a respect for this process.

5.       Tyrion Lannister – Appears in A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin

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Tyrion Lannister’s character is just brilliant. He is a survivor in the truest sense, his mother died giving birth to him and he has lived his life being mocked and despised because he is a dwarf. Tyrion is treated abhorrently by his family (with the exception of Jaime, although he has had his moments) and as such develops fierce independence. He is strategically superior to his counterparts and is supremely intelligent. I love Tyrion’s character and I think Peter Dinklage has really brought him to life.

4.       Druss the Legend – Appears in Legend, The King Beyond the Gate, The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend, The Legend of Deathwalker, and White Wolf by David Gemmell

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It is hard to describe Druss’ character in such a short space, he is heroic, loyal and ever-loving. He is also a great warrior with unnatural strength and he wields a battle axe called ‘Snaga’ that has a demon in its blade. Druss is a Drenai warrior who travels with his friend ‘Sieben the poet’ who documents Druss’ many feats and turns them into poems that are sung by warriors around the world. I think that what I most like about Druss is his reluctance to recognise his own strength and this keeps him humble. And when he does recognise his ability to influence men and give them strength, he uses this in a positive way. He is Gemmell’s crowning glory.

3.       Sand Dan Glokta AKA Inquisitor Glokta – Appears in The First Law Trilogy and Sharp Ends.

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Sand Dan Glokta is a former champion swordsman and womaniser. His sword skills set him apart from the rest and he used this to his advantage, adopting an arrogance that only a noble-born champion can have. Glokta was then captured by the ‘Gurkish’ and tortured almost to death. He is now ‘crippled’ and his body is deformed, causing him constant and immense pain. Glokta is a character that was humbled in the cruellest way, he is now an inquisitor – a feared torturer – who has great influence. His character is one that is bitter and sarcastic, constantly commenting on his own condition. He does have a softer side and develops a loyalty to Colonel West and protects his sister.

2.       Pug  - Appears in The Riftwar Saga (and many more) by Raymond E. Feist

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Pug is a character that goes through the most dramatic changes during his character arc. He is an orphan who is then apprenticed to a magician and he becomes the most powerful magician in ‘Midkemia’. His journey is not straightforward and he faces trials and tribulations throughout. I think Pug is an ode to the world created by Feist and enhances it as opposed to ‘making’ it. He is a character that I really enjoyed reading and that I could fully get behind and root for.

 

1.       Durzo Blint AKA Prince Acaelus Thorne of Trayethell AKA Ferric Fireheart

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That’s right, Durzo Blint, the garlic-eating ‘wetboy’ (‘Assassins have targets and sometimes miss, wetboys don’t’)  and possessor of the Black Ka’kari is my favourite fictional character, like ever! Durzo Blint has many aliases (these are listed below) as he has loved for 7000 years. He is the ultimate wetboy and, in my most humble opinion, the ultimate character. He is wickedly strong, unbelievably clever, and yet still loyal and loving. He has a rich history and has been any characters throughout the years, the legends of ‘Cenaria’ were created by Durzo over time. He has the ability to cling to walls, become invisible and come back from death (this comes with a great price) and he is almost immortal. He is a brilliant character whose history is as complex as his personality. He represents the world that Weeks created as he helped form it!

 

          Honourable Mentions

 

These are the characters who didn’t quite make the list;

Bayaz the Magician – Appears in the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

Azoth AKA Kylar Stern – Appears in the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

Kaladin Stormblessed – Appears in The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

So that concludes my 10 favourite fictional characters. What did you think of my choices? Do you agree with them? Let me know who your favourite fictional characters are.