Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

fireworks2Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.

This week’s theme is Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters. Sometimes we love a book for the dashing heroes, the leading love interest, the grand adventurer. And sometimes it’s the people in the background who really bring a book to life and give it depth, filling out an entire community even while they’re not the main focus. So here’s a salute to all those amazing characters who may not have their own books (yet!), but who make such an impact on us as readers.

Actually, my first thought with this week’s list was to fill up my 10 choices with just Harry Potter characters, which — believe me — wouldn’t be hard at all to do. But in the interest of diversity, I’m branching out and limiting myself to just one from Harry’s world, which is:


1) Dobby, Harry Potter series: We met him as an annoying little creature causing Harry all sorts of woe in book 2 — but by the 7th book, it’s clear that Dobby is one of the unsung heroes of the series. “Dobby is a free elf!” If you didn’t leave the first Deathly Hallows movies in tears, then I’m sorry, my friend, but your heart is made of stone.

2) Ian Murray (“Young Ian”), Outlander series. Ian always reminds me of an overgrown puppy, especially when he makes his first appearance in Voyager. But from a skinny, gawky, always-in-trouble 14-year-old, Ian grows into a strong, brave young man who has survived more than his share of heartbreak and impossible challenges. And always with so much love for his family, and so much devotion and loyalty!

3) Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings trilogy: Is there a better friend than Sam? He doesn’t get the glory, but without him, Frodo never would have made it to Mordor.

4) Reepicheep, Narnia series: A fearless soldier devoted to honor and adventure, who also happens to be a two-foot high mouse. Reep rules.

5) Claudia, Interview With The Vampire: Back before the flood of vampire books, there was Interview… and Interview introduces us to one of the most shocking vampire characters of all time: Claudia, turned as a little girl, destined to always be trapped in a girl’s body even after decades of life. She’s a killer, she’s wanton, and she’s utterly tragic.

6) Ivy Hisselpenny, The Parasol Protectorate series: Never underestimate the power of an atrocious hat! Ivy is the best friend of main character Alexia, and keeps Alexia amused and informed with her never-ending gossip, chit-chat and fashion missteps. Ivy goes from mere sidekick to a more active figure as the series progresses, but never loses her humor or her awful hats.

7) Dee, Just One Day: Gayle Forman’s Just One Day has at its center a love story and a girl’s personal growth and transformation — but a key part of Allyson’s development happens in college once she meets Dee, the outspoken boy from her Shakespeare class who convinces Allyson to break out of her shell and take some chances.

8) Charlotte Lucas, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Charlotte Lucas, best friend of Elizabeth Bennett, is kind of bland and unremarkable in Pride and Prejudice. But in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, as one of the afflicted, Charlotte is one of the funniest (and grossest) parts of the book. It’s kind of a riot to watch her slowly turning into a zombie while everyone around her is too well-mannered to mention her little problem.

9) Go, Gone Girl: Margo, twin sister of main character Nick, loves him and supports him, but is no push-over. She doesn’t have a central role, but I did always enjoy it when Go would show up in a scene.

10) Lou Carmody, NOS4A2: I absolutely loved the character Lou in Joe Hill’s super-creepy NOS4A2. As I wrote in my review: “Lou is terribly overweight and not very healthy, but has a heart of gold, the soul of a hero, and is a geeky fanboy through and through, as well as one hell of a mechanic.” Lou loves with all his heart, and does wonderful things because of that love.

So, sorry Fred and George, Lupin and Tonks, and the rest of the HP gang, but there just wasn’t room for everyone this week!

Who made your list this week?

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28 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

    • Oh, yay! Both worlds – HP and Outlander – have such a great supporting cast of characters, which I think is a big reason they’re such amazing fictional creations. Thanks!

    • I recently picked up the new Claudia-centric graphic novel — which wasn’t very good, but made me think again of Interview and how much I loved it. That’s another book that I definitely need to revisit sometime soon.

    • Thanks! Have you read all of them? I stopped after The Body Thief book, and just never got back into them — and yet Interview is one of my all-time favorites.

  1. Great picks! I don’t know how you managed to narrow it down to just the one HP characters, they’re all so fantastic. I think that’s what I really love about Rowling and Suzanne Collins as well — they create such rich, vibrant characters full of depth and tragedy. It’s hard not to have your heart melt (and break) for them all.

    Loved Reepicheep and Sam (LOTR) as well. I’d have to add Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, Roar from Under the Never Sky series and Sturmhond from The Grisha series to my list as well.

    • Yes for Inigo Montoya! But what about Fezzik? I know, I seriously considered doing an all-HP list, but forced myself to widen the net a bit. 🙂 I haven’t read the other two series you mentioned — should I?

      • Well Fezzik is definitely a given but I think my crush on Inigo won out on that one. And YES, YES, YES to both Under the Never Sky and The Grisha series. One is an amazing YA/sci-fi series and the other is a wonderful YA/fantasy series. Both keep on getting better and better with every new book.

  2. I’ve also got Lou and Ivy on my list this week. Both are so loyal to the people around them, and that’s something I really admire. Plus with regards to Lou, I kept thinking that Hill was making me love him on purpose just so he could take him away in a horrible manner…definitely kept me on the edge of my seat while reading. Great list!

    • Oh, I know what you mean about Lou! My heart just melted over him — amazing how Hill took this overweight, geeky guy and turned him into a sexy hero by way of his loving, loyal heart. And Ivy just cracks me up every time, although I agree too about her loyalty to her friends.

    • Oh, thanks! I know what you mean about drawing a blank — I literally walked around my house from bookshelf to bookshelf looking for inspiration!

    • Can’t go wrong with Harry Potter! If I did an HP-only list, it would have had about 40 people in it! Sam and Ivy are terrific too; maybe we need a top 10 best friends in fiction list?

  3. I *almost* included Dee! I agree, he was so important for Allyson in college!
    And I haven’t though of Ian in years! He’s an amazing character 🙂
    I’ve only read the first 2 Parasol Protectorate books but to be honest Ivy always kind of got on my nerves ^^” If I had to pick a secondary character from that series it’d be Lord Akeldama.
    Thanks for stopping by yesterday!

  4. Claudia is truly an awesome choice! There are many great ones to consider, though 🙂 Love your list!

    I participate in a weekly meme called Sidekick Showcase, where the secondary characters take centre stage, and each week has a different theme. I’ll tell you more about it on your contact page – it’s really a lot of fun 🙂

    Have a great Sunday.

  5. Pingback: My Bitchin’ Rundown (August 25 to 1 September) | Bitches With Books

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