I just finished reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and was exceptionally impressed with the quality of writing and the high degree of development of the protagonist, Kvothe. I’m not the only one who shares this opinion. Critics and over a quarter of a million readers rave about this compelling story that transcends the fantasy genre and is just a great character in a great story. If you read fantasy or adventure or just like a good read, I highly recommend this book.
Since I read the last page a few nights ago, I have been pondering the idea of characters and what is it that makes certain characters so memorable and others forgettable. Why do we remember Frodo Baggins and Gollum, Harry Potter and Voldemort, Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty, and Bella/Edward/Jacob, but can’t remember the guy who did that thing in that one book with all the magic and dragons, you know the one I’m talking about?
In my personal reading, the books that come alive most for me are the ones with the most compelling and realistic characters. Characters that carry on in the face of all obstacles and overcome their flaws to triumph in some manner and become changed for the better, and often making the world a better place in the process. Characters with whom I can relate on some level and identify with their struggles and vicariously experience all that befalls them.
I now ask the question of all of you. Who are your favorite characters in fiction and why? What is it about some characters that make them memorable to you long after you read the last page and close the book? What makes a character come alive in your reading?
I’m hoping we get a bit a discussion going here, so please share your thoughts…