Top Ten Tuesday – Secondary/Minor Characters Who Deserve More Love

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future weeks’ topics can be found here. This week’s topic is…

Secondary/Minor Characters Who Deserve More Love

Yaaaasss! Minor characters are so often the best thing about a story. The protagonist has to drive the plot, but secondary characters generally have less to do and more space to just be awesome. Here are some of my personal favourites.

Hassan Harbish from An Abundance of Katherines

Witty, insightful, and loyal, Hassan is easier to like than the book’s slightly whiny protagonist. Also he manages to turn a bit of homophobic graffiti into “God hates baguettes”. John Green was fond of the character and considered giving him his own spin-off novel, which I’m still eagerly awaiting.

Reepicheep from The Chronicles of Narnia

Everyone loves a tiny badass, and Reepicheep is the tiniest and most badass of them all. Disrespect him and he will spank you with a sword.

Laura Moon from American Gods

I could have picked any of the secondary characters from American Gods, but I’m going with the dead wife. She’s a f*ck-you to the “women in refrigerators” trope, where a female character dies a grisly death to motivate the male protagonist and send him on his journey. Laura, bless her rotten little zombie heart, just won’t stay dead.

Hickory Sparkle from Mercedes Ice

This is one of those childhood books that’s burnt into my brain – there’s nothing else like it. Hickory could be dismissed as a girl with a silly name and a crush on Mercedes, but don’t be fooled.

Philippa “Phil” Gordon from Anne of the Island

What I love about Anne’s friend Phil is that she’s very casually a genius. Usually, clever girls are presented as uptight overachievers, constantly striving for straight A’s. Phil has “heaps of brains” but just isn’t that bothered with school.

Alicia Abshire from The Time Traveller’s Wife

Alicia only has a small role in this novel, but I love her for her sense of mischief and her plans for retirement (which involve listening to Jimi Hendrix and The Doors, eating chocolate and shooting heroin!)

The Them from Good Omens

I’m cheating slightly, but these four come as a team. Since they’re competing for attention with the dynamic duo of Aziraphale and Crowley, The Them are often overlooked in Good Omens. But they’re beautifully drawn characters who enjoy an idyllic, outdoorsy childhood before literally stopping an apocalypse.

John Childermass from Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Aside from having a fabulous name, Childermass is the ultimate puppet master. He might be a servant, but he’s always the one in control.

Brune from Bloody Rose

Bloody Rose is full of great characters, but Brune has my heart. He’s a shaman with a daft sense of humour and some serious identity issues. More importantly, he’s a ride-or-die friend.

Mary Malone from the His Dark Materials trilogy

In so many children’s books, the adult characters are bland or two-dimensional. But in the HDM trilogy they’re allowed to be complex and interesting without stealing focus from the young protagonists. Mary Malone is just one of my faves. She a nun-turned-physicist, memorably described in the TV series as “Impertinent. Intelligent. Free.”

Thanks for reading! Who are some of your favourite secondary/minor characters?

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