My Top 10 Favorite Characters of All Time
If you read my post on top literary influences, then some of these won’t come as much of a surprise, but since this question didn’t specify the type of media (book, movie, play, etc.), I have a variety. In general, I find that I’m drawn to characters with deep flaws who struggle with making the right choices. I like the outcasts, the misfits, and those who are one step away from being the villain.
So in no particular order, these are my top 10 favorite characters of all time:
1. Frodo Baggins
Okay, Frodo is and always be number one in my list. He went through the worst kind of hell to save his beloved home, and he was forced to look in the darkest depths of evil, both outside and inside of himself. Whenever I think my lot is bad, all I have to do is think of poor Frodo.
2. Stephanie Plum
Stephanie Plum is the Jersey girl turned bounty hunter in Janet Evanovich’s mystery series, and she cracks me up but also inspires me with her stubborn optimism when life throws everything at her. She may be terrible with a pistol and have the worst luck with cars, but she has a knack for making friends who often help her save the day.
3. Raistlin Majere
Yes, I read all the DragonLance books, including the second trilogy that focused on a certain mage named Raistlin and his twin brother Caramon. Raistlin is a man constantly at war with his own selfishness and negativity, always in the shadows, and you never knew at a given moment if he’d end up being a hero or a villain. I liked his internal struggle and the fact that he wasn’t a “good” guy but managed to save the world a few times even so.
Vanyel started out so angst-ridden and whiny that I wasn’t sure if I liked him, but he soon grew on me and went on to become one of my all-time favorite characters. I like that he started out spoiled and selfish, and had to learn through the harshest loss what it really means to love and to give. Plus of course there was the whole cool being a mage thing. Yes, I do have a thing for mages. Can you tell?
5. Jean Grey/Phoenix/Dark Phoenix
And here we have another example of someone with incredible power who is corrupted by that power and who struggles through her darkest side to find the light again. I was reading X-men comics back in the late 80’s and 90’s, and I always liked Jean Grey best. The best part was that despite her awesome abilities, she’s more human than most superheroes.
6. Detective Rizzoli
I enjoy a few television shows, and since I like mysteries and cop shows, Detective Rizzoli from “Rizzoli and Isles” is right up there as one of my favorite female characters. I like that she’s tough but also has heart, I love her sharp and gritty Boston attitude, and I love that she cares about people even when she’s taking out bad guys. In fact, I love this character so much, I want to write a mystery series with a younger version of Rizzoli as one of the protagonists.
7. Kermit the Frog
I had to include Kermit, because I’ve been a fan of Kermit since I was old enough to talk, I collect Kermit memorabilia, and I just think he’s the cutest thing ever. What I like about this frog is that he tries to make the best of whatever situation he finds himself in, and though he may lose his cool sometimes, he never loses sight of his friends. Plus I love his flailing arms.
8. Darth Vader (the original, not the Hayden Christensen version)
I’m embarrassed to say just how many times I’ve watched the original three Star Wars movies. Let’s just say it’s a lot and I could probably recite most of the dialogue. I always thought Darth Vader’s cape was rather cool, and I liked that he was evil but in the end chose to save his son. I suppose he’s just another example of someone who started out good, was tempted by power and overcome by it, came to regret that and tried to redeem himself. Something about that personal journey draws me over and over again.
9. Severus Snape
Another example of someone who started out selfish and power-driven and learned to sacrifice everything for love. I love his snark, his intelligence, and his bravery. Plus I think Alan Rickman did the best job any person could ever have done in portraying him in the films.
10. Abby (NCIS)
Abby on the television show NCIS reminds me of some of my friends—she’s bubbly, always positive, and yet also into death, gross things, and the color black. I love that she’s not afraid to be girly and quirky and yet also intelligent and hard-working. Plus she has awesome fashion sense. Abby is one I’d love to have as a best friend because she’s always loyal, and she has a huge heart.
About Murder Once Seen
In the city of Nis, things often aren’t what they seem.
Derwin is a bounty hunter gifted with the Oddity of superhuman strength and agility—perfect for hunting down fugitives and demons who roam the streets. One killed his boyfriend two years ago, and Derwin won’t stop until he finds out who. Police suspect it was someone he sent to prison, but he can’t shake the idea that they’re missing something.
Elliot is a rentboy who’s been living on the streets since his parents disowned him. He mistrusts everyone and, given his uncontrolled ability to Read Objects and a client list that includes a major gang boss, despairs of ever having a normal life.
Derwin and Elliot meet in a storm of lust. Derwin’s Oddity is fed by the pain of others, but he only wants what’s freely given. Elliot loves pain, but needs safety and a way off the streets before he can allow it. They may be able to solve each other’s problems . . . if they can survive long enough to work together.
Available now at Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/murder-once-seen
About JT Hall
J.T. Hall has been writing for many years under this name and others, and has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online books. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, her master’s in education from Argosy University, and works as an independent technical writer for state and federal programs. In her free time, she volunteers for the LGBT community and is active in the leather scene. She has a teenage daughter and a partner of over ten years. They live in sunny Arizona with three adorably cute dogs, three black cats, and a hamster who loves peanuts.
Connect with J.T.:
- Twitter: @JTHall7
To celebrate the release of Murder Once Seen, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 17, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!