So I’m going to be kicking off my reentry into T5W posts with a post that kind of stumped me lol
Today, let’s talk about characters that we either loved and came to grow out of or became neutral about – this is an awesome prompt given to us by Sam and Lainey over at the T5W Goodreads Group.
I’ll be throwing around sacrilegious opinions, though, so hold tight! This could be fun:
- Ariel from The Little Mermaid
- Odd Thomas from Odd Thomas
- Darcy Patel from Afterworlds
- Kate Harker from This Savage Song
- Boromir from Lord of the Rings
OH HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN
I can practically hear the pitchforks being lit, I’m so sorry everyone. But let me just start by saying I don’t think any of my opinions in this post are a reflection of the author (except one… meep). 3/5 of these authors are incredible and I could never hope to touch them in terms of talent, and one is a movie/Danish fairytale so it’s kind of cheating, but oh well…
Let me try to explain myself:
As far as Ariel, I used to love her as a kid, but I just grew out of it. As the comedian Iliza says oh-so-succinctly in her new standup routine, “No Soy Mermaid.”
No, but seriously, it’s just not a character who I really think is a good role model and I still laugh at her antics. She’s crazy. But I still love her soundtrack. Unashamed.
Odd Thomas is a bit of a heretical choice, too, and I’m sorry to admit how my feelings have changed in the past couple of months. Koontz is an amazing author and I don’t think this was a fault or anything to his books, but Thomas is a bit… whiny. It kind of sunk in how self-pitying he is and how much he defines himself by his relationship (which is really the only interesting thing about him, and it’s so disappointing that this happens because the dude can TALK TO DEAD ELVIS! How can a person become so defined by his relationship that Elvis can’t even save him??). Yeah, bad things happened to him, but self-pity is a deal-breaker for me. Self-Awareness = Good. Self-Pity = Bad.
Darcy from Afterworlds was a kind of shining spot in the darkness for a while, too, and I understand her character arc is WAAAAY different than most characters (after all, she kind of serves as a vessel for teaching the audience about the publishing industry as well as an entertaining storyline), but she is just a little too… wish fulfillment-y? She has all the right edges in all the right places and I think the end of her story was really forced upon further inspection. Westerfeld is an amazing author, though, and I think he just wasn’t sure how to give her an author’s happy ending lol
Aaaand the “strong” Kate Harker. I wanted to like her. I did, at first. I like her background and the conflict she has with her father. I like the world she lives in. I like her polar identity crisis with the other characters in the book. It took me a while to come to a conclusion about her, and I told myself for a while that I would buy the sequel to see what happens to her. But I won’t. She isn’t strong. She isn’t what the author was trying to portray her as. She’s such a shadow of what she could have been. This is the only character in the bunch that I think is the fault of the author, because Schwab’s schedule is stupid, disgustingly full to the brim. She has to churn out so many books- of course her characters will suffer. Kate is so weak I just… I can’t care how things turn out. She’s like that person in high school that always made things worse for themselves but couldn’t justify why. And here, the author doesn’t even justify it to you. You’re just left watching this trainwreck. No thanks.
And here come the pitchforks, because Boromir is one of the most beloved characters in Lord of the Rings. I tried to like him- when I read the books I just kind of let him be, but then I watched the movies and remembered just how much of a jerk he was.
Yeah, he repented when he tried to take the ring from Frodo… he served as a moral story about how karma will get you if you’re bad… but basically I felt he was like a death-row prisoner saying he was sorry when he was asked to sit on the chair for the first and last time.
What do you guys think? Did I just lose some friends? Lol
Until next time,
And remember to stay strong and be bright, my friends.