This week’s Booking Through Thursday question comes from Mervih, who wants to know our…
Favorite secondary characters?
Hmm… I’m not 100% sure about the definition of a secondary character... How far “off centre” should a character be to be called secondary??
Doing a little inventory in my mind, my first conclusion was that for me to remember a secondary character, he/she/it should either be in a book I read several times; or appear in more than one book in a series.
But then I started wondering if perhaps it’s the other way round… that it is a memorable set of secondary characters that makes me want to reread a book, and/ or read the rest of the series!
At least I guess that’s one reason why I reread the Harry Potter books so many times. There are so many characters besides Harry himself whom the author bothered to give their own personal history. Lots of stories going on within the story.
So I could pick a whole bunch of favourite secondary characters from that series alone; but to go with just one, I’ll choose Luna Lovegood. She does not come into it until the fifth book. Eccentric and somewhat unnerving, she tends to see beyond the obvious and it’s not always easy to tell if she’s right or not. But she turns out a very loyal friend. Famous quote: “Don’t worry. You’re just as sane as I am.” (And for those of you who have not read the books: Luna is nicknamed “Loony” by some…)
Another story with lots of characters to choose from is Lord of the Rings. One of my favourites is Treebeard, the Ent. Famous quote: “…my name is growing all the time, and I've lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story. Real names tell you the story of things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time saying anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.”
Trying to think of a different category of books than fantasy… Two secondary characters that come to mind are Simon and Deborah St. James, old friends of Inspector Thomas Lynley in the mysteries by Elizabeth George. I was disappointed that the TV series left them out after the first initial episode/s. Actually I stopped following the TV series after a while. And now I find that Simon and Deborah haven’t even got their own Wikipedia article/s – outrageous! (LOL) In the novels, Thomas Lynley and Simon St James are old friends; Deborah used to be Tommy’s girlfriend before she married Simon; and Lady Helen with whom Tommy is in love (later she becomes his wife), is Simon’s assistant, and used to be in love with him... Quite an intricate relationship setup that hovers in the background of all or most of the books. (Actually there is also one novel in which Simon and Deborah are in the foreground with Lynley only briefly in the background and Barbara Havers out of the picture.)