Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Minor Characters

This might be my favorite topic yet. Too bad I didn't start thinking about it earlier in the week; at this point, I'll never remember every beloved character from the supporting casts in fiction.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Do come join the fun...

For the sake of defining terms, I'll exclude protagonists and their primary love interests, sidekicks, antagonists, mentors, etc. Everyone else is fair game.

Unfortunately, this rules out Jane Bennet, who counts as a best friend. Shoot. I really wanted to include her.

1. Dobby the house-elf (The Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling). How can anyone help loving Dobby? If someone set up a gravestone in an English seaside garden, marking it "Here lies Dobby, a free elf", there'd be flowers and mismatched socks all over it. And I'd want to go add my own.

2. Philippa Gordon (Anne of the Island, L.M. Montgomery). Frivolous outside and golden-hearted in, Philippa's cheery friendship with Anne and her sweet romance with the Reverend Jonas make for some of the most delightful little moments in the Anne octet.

3. Puddleglum the Marsh-Wiggle (The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis). I'm an optimist, but Puddleglum—and Bill Mueller's class on Narnia—taught me the value of a good pessimist. Besides, I love the homely old creature's fiery statement of faith in the face of hypnotic lies.

4. Loveday Minette (The Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge). She creeps into Maria's room every day and lays out the clothes for Maria's next adventure. Also, she raised a delightful son. She's delicate, sweet, pretty, and fairylike, and apart from a flaming temper over her love of the color pink, I wish I were more like her.

5. Old Parson (The Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge). He brings the children into the church and welcomes animals like St. Francis; he plays the violin and prays with his whole heart; he speaks praise and reproof with equal freedom. Also, his name is Louis. :)

6. Mary and Diana Rivers (Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte). Lovely, intelligent, and affectionate, they were sisters to Jane Eyre when she needed them. I like St. John, too, though he's sometimes awful.

7. Moiraine Sedai (The Wheel of Time books, Robert Jordan [I figured I couldn't count Nynaeve or Egwene]). She's one heck of a brave woman, and fairer to Rand than any other Aes Sedai has been.

8. Mrs. Gardiner (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen). More than anyone else in the family, she understands Elizabeth and Jane and does what she can to help them. Also, she has a good sense of humor. She could be my role model for good auntie-hood.

9. Elinor Loredan (The Inkheart books, Cornelia Funke). Besides being an amusing, stubborn old woman, she collects books. That's a habit I can admire.

10. The Luggage (The Discworld books, Terry Pratchett). All right, I'm starting to reach here. The Luggage is something of a monster. It's also hilarious.

This list is what happens when you try not to take too many from one book. I probably could have gotten ten just from Harry Potter. Let's see: Dobby, Lupin, Sirius, Lily, Neville, Molly Weasley, Arthur Weasley, Fred and George (they seem to go together), Hagrid, McGonagall. Yep. Too easy.

Who are some of your favorite supporting characters?


  1. Dobby used to really annoy me at first, but then I kind of started liking him! He's adorable, it was horrible when he died.
    The Luggage is my favourite - I love how it has a personality, and can show expressions without any features!!
    Nice list!

  2. Dobby! I agree.

    I'll soon be trying out the Inkheart series, so I look forward to "meeting" Elinor.

  3. Impressed with your list. I decided not to put any mental energy into it this week!

  4. Mrs. Gardiner from P&P for sure. I think I would have put Lily as my HP minor character instead of Dobby. And Eowyn from Lord of the rings. And heck, throw in Faramir for a twofer.

  5. Number 1 and 6 would for sure be on my list. I just started the Inkheart books and I like Elinor as well. I really want to go to her house and see all those books, sounds like my kind of place. I would like to add Piglet to the list. I am reading the chaper Winnie the Pooh books to the kids and loving them all over again.

  6. Christine, me, too. :)

    Priya, it was fun to find someone else with The Luggage on their list!

    Annie, I knew there should be someone from Lord of the Rings, but my brain wasn't working.

    Sarah and Ronnica, enjoy the Inkheart books! I loved them and just couldn't put them down--had to read most of the way through a night to finish Inkdeath.

    Kathy, yeah, I hear you. Coming up with a list of ten takes more time and energy than I originally realized. :)

  7. I have a cat on my lap so I can't scan my bookshelf, but here are a few I can think of:

    Dobby and Philippa, absolutely. Mrs. Lynde and Charlie Sloane because they're hilarious. Ditto Nellie Olsen from TV Little House. Fflewddur Fflam from Prydain. Luna Lovegood. Alice Cullen and Angela. Again, Benjamin Linus from LOST.

  8. Anonymous-whom-I-suspect-to-be-Arabella, I have NO IDEA how I forgot Luna Lovegood. Flewddur Fflam would have been a great choice, too.

    Of course, I like all of your choices. Charlie Sloane did cross my mind, but I never could stand him. You're right, though--he was hilarious. :)

  9. Yes, that was me, forgot my signature. I need to get a Google account, "that's what"!

  10. Me again. Some of the characters I chose were obviously unlikable or pains in the patoot. "Sloanes will be Sloanes!" But it's such characters who give stories spice, without whom no story could be told that's worth hearing.

    If you want terrific minor characters, many of whom are wonderfully and hilariously wackadoo, look no further than Eva Ibbotsen's witty, sly, satirical romances.



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