Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

“Top Ten Tuesday” is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is the Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters.

As always, these choices are listed in no particular order.

The book boyfriend to end all book boyfriends. There, I said it. Creative, witty, intelligent, and undeniably thoughtful with just a touch of rebellion, Marcus Flutie is the epitome of what I want in a man. While Marcus was not always the centre of the universe in either Jessica Darling’s or Megan McCafferty’s fictional world, there was never a moment when I wasn’t absolutely in love with him. Although many have tried, I have still yet to read about a romantic lead male character who could have usurped Marcus’ place in my affections in the ensuing twelve years since I first read Sloppy Firsts. I think that says it all.

Let’s just say that he could pull my hair and call me ‘Carrots’ anytime.

As much as I adore Mr. Darcy and think he’s the cat’s meow, I’ve always had a bit of a secret love affair with Mr. Darcy’s cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. A kind, gentle man always willing to lend a sympathetic ear, I relished any opportunity we were given to a little learn more about him and thought he was one of the more compelling and interesting of Austen’s secondary characters. This was never more true than after viewing Anthony Calf’s portrayal of the character in the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, as I felt that Calf brilliantly captured the pure kindness and understanding of the character. If I’m being entirely honest, there was always a small part of me that thought that he and Elizabeth would suit well together. Don’t hit me!

Known for his striking resemblance to Friday Night Light‘s resident heartthrob, Tim Riggins, Rusty is easily my favourite of Jessi Kirby’s love interests, although Trevor from Golden certainly gave him a run for his money! A real man who is unafraid of getting his hands dirty and who’s a little rough around the edges, Rusty was an absolute dreamboat and made Honor’s journey for peace and acceptance in the wake of her brother’s death infinitely more enjoyable. While one of the things I typically appreciate about Kirby’s writing is the fact that the romantic subplots never overwhelm the story or detract from the protagonist’s personal journey, I looked forward to every moment spent with Rusty and would have happily read an entire novel based on his character alone.

Who knew that one little house elf could steal my heart so completely? Loyal and caring to a fault, Dobby was easily one of the sweetest and most special of the numerous creatures that populated J.K. Rowling’s magical world. Whether he was attempting to stave off Harry’s arrival at Hogwarts for his own good with often disastrous results or selflessly helping Harry and company when they needed it most, it’s safe to say that Dobby, The Free Elf, will always hold a very special place in my heart.

From Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert to Diana Barry and Ruby Gillis, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel Anne of Green Gables is filled with a plethora of loveable, memorable secondary characters, none more so than Rachel Lynde. The tough-as-nails local busybody with a tendency toward gossip and moral prosthelytizing, Rachel is one of those select characters who you want to hug and throttle in equal measure. While she initially makes life quite difficult for Anne in Avonlea, it’s not long before the reader is allowed to see the more sensitive, caring woman within (Deep, deep down). An endless source of entertainment both for the other characters and for the readers, Rachel Lynde has the distinction of being one of the most colourful secondary characters I’ve ever read about.

I do seem to have a weakness for assertive, meddlesome older women with a penchant for gossip, don’t I? Whether she’s reigning over Rosings Park like a despotic and eccentric Queen or berating Elizabeth in the humble gardens at Longbourn, I couldn’t help but love Lady Catherine de Bourgh all the same. I also must add that there will never be a better portrayal of one of Austen’s most colourful and strangely-beloved characters than that of Barbara Leigh-Hunt’s performance in the 1995 BBC adaptation. So fiercesome that she made Maria Lucas want to re-pack her luggage out of fear from miles away, Lady Catherine de Bourgh is one woman you simply don’t want to trifle with.

While I hesitate to classify Hermione as a ‘secondary’ character given the pivotal role she played in the Harry Potter series, there is little doubt that Harry is the primary protagonist in the series and therefore I feel justified in eking by with this technicality. An intelligent, logical, driven overachiever with a fondness for house elves, Hermione was easily one of my favourite characters in J.K. Rowling’s now universally-beloved series. Although perhaps a little difficult to like initially, I always had a soft spot for Hermione, likely because I’m very much like her. One of the first female characters I read about as a child who took pride in her intelligence and was not afraid to strive for what she wanted most, Hermione taught me to take pride in my accomplishments and that there is no shame in being an uptight, type-A personality. And remember: It’s Leviosa, not Leviosar!

Despite her diminutive stature and relatively small role in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, twelve-year-old Rue from District 11 made a distinct impression on me and remains one of the most memorable secondary characters I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. Agile and crafty, Rue was often underestimated by her peers, and her sweet, quiet nature was a constant reminder of the purity and innocence that the Hunger Games sought to eradicate by the very nature of its existence. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house as readers read about Rue’s cruel fate, and for that reason alone, she will forever remain one of the most memorable characters from the series, and from the genre as a whole.

While this final choice could have just as easily have been Jonah, James, or even Audrey’s parents from Robin Benway’s delightful, sparkling contemporary, Audrey, Wait!, I chose Victoria because she’s the best friend that you always wished you had. Few authors are able to write secondary characters as well as Benway, and nowhere is this more evident than in the creation of Victoria Rodriguez. Loyal, outspoken, vivacious and laugh-out-loud hilarious, she’s always there for Audrey when she needs it most. In a genre where positive female friendship is often overlooked, Victoria is special not only because she’s a rarity, but also because of the heart and soul that Benway infuses into her.

29 responses to “Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters”

  1. Dobby!! What a fantastic choice!! I love it! Hermoine made my list, too! And it looks like I’m gonna have to read a few books to get to know the rest of your list! πŸ™‚
    Kelly @ Belle of the Literati recently posted…Top Ten Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  2. Frasier says:

    I love and adore your list, as usual. Excellent choices. Mostly looking at you Gilbert, Marcus, Rue, Hermione.

    I do feel I have a few books to add to my TBR list.
    Frasier recently posted…Don’t Look Now (PERSEF0NE #2) by Michelle GagnonMy Profile

  3. Hazel says:

    I totally love your picks for this week’s top ten!!! Swooning at your number one! Marcus is just so…. *dreamy sigh* I’m happy to see Hermione here! And there’s Victoria too! I gotta say, she really wins the bestfriend award. I mostly loved Audrey, Wait because of her incredible humor!
    Hazel recently posted…Behind The Blog Monday #1: Bad Boys or Nice BoysMy Profile

  4. Shelly says:

    Gilbert! I feel so bad that I neglected the Anne of Green Gables crew. I love your list.
    Shelly recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday!My Profile

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Man you are picking all the right things! I love that you have so many Austen and Montgomery characters on this list!

    And oh Gilbert Blythe *swoons*
    Elizabeth recently posted…Top 10 Most Memorable Secondary CreaturesMy Profile

  6. Oh Dobby! And RUE! Gah, so many great secondary characters! This one was really hard lol!

    Jennifer @ A Librarian’s Library–My TTT

  7. We have Rue in common this week! I adored Dobby. I can’t believe I forgot to add him! πŸ™‚
    Chrissi Reads recently posted…Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  8. Great list!

    Hermione made my shortlist too, for very similar reasons πŸ™‚

    I also included Matthew from Anne of Green Gables on mine … it was hard choosing between so many wonderful characters from that novel/series but his kindheartedness and sweetness won it for me. Although she annoyed and amused me in equal measure, I can definitely see Rachel Lynde’s appeal as well!
    Isabella @ Delicious & Fictitious recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  9. I love your choices for Dobby & Rue! I couldn’t decide if Hermione was a “secondary” character or not, so I left her off my list, but yes, I agree. In general, J.K. Rowling was REALLY good about fleshing out secondary characters where they all felt like real people in that world. *sigh* I miss getting new books. The HP series is really filled with memorable secondary characters. I think I could make a list of just my ten favorite HP characters.
    Stormy @ Book.Blog.Bake. recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  10. Cassie says:

    AH! I looooved Rusty also! And Rue! I’m so mad at myself for forgetting her!

    Other than that, I have a LOT of reading to do from your list. Don’t judge. :-X
    Cassie recently posted…TTT: Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  11. Oh my goodness, Dobby. Even thinking about him makes me want to cry – in the best way possible.

    And Marcus Flutie. I’ve only read the first book in the series, and I haven’t been convinced yet. However. I’ve heard from a reliable source that book two is where it’s at? Am I correct in that? I don’t know! I may need to reread Sloppy Firsts.
    tabithasbookblog recently posted…Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  12. Andi says:

    Rue! How could I have forgotten to add Rue?!

    Great list!
    Andi recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  13. omg LOVE your blog! It’s adorable. And such a great top ten list! I’m now following you bloglovin!

    Kelly @ Dandelion Dreams
    Kelly @ Dandelion Dreams recently posted…Top Ten & Teaser Tuesday: Secondary Characters and Stay With MeMy Profile

  14. Oh my gosh, I’m in love with this list. I almost included Marcus Flutie! Sloppy FIrsts and Second Helpings were two of my favorite books from high school.

    Also Rachel Lynde and Catherine de Bourgh absolutely!

  15. I almost put Marcus Flutie on my list, at least for Sloppy Firsts, but I ended up defining him and Gilbert both as primary characters. But I love them both so so much. Gah. Your reasoning for #2 is why Tucker in Unearthly is the ONLY choice.

    Confession: I think Dobby is the Jar Jar Binks of HP.

    RACHEL! She’s so annoying at first. Haha. And sort of later. You’re right about kind of wanting to throttle her.

    Also Lady Catherine! I almost put her on my list, but went for good ol’ Fitz instead.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: The 100My Profile

  16. Britt says:

    Excellent list. Rue. Some of these I haven’t read yet, so I guess I’ll have to get on that.
    Britt recently posted…Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

  17. This is most certainly my favorite list for this topic so far! Colonel Fitzwilliam certainly was such a memorable character. I also thought he and Liz would be great together, and I agree that the ’95 adaptation portrayed him well. AND LADY CATHERINE. Omg. *hugs list*

    Aww, I loved that you gave credit to Dobby as well. Rachel too, because she was hard to like at first!
    Christine @ Oh, Chrys! recently posted…Leave Goodreads Alone!My Profile

  18. Colonel Fitzwilliam was so nice, wasn’t he? & Lady Catherine De Bourgh definitely stole the scenes/pages she was in!

    Reading about Dobby has me tearing up. Oh how I miss him!

    RIP Rue <3

    I loved your list! So many great, memorable characters.
    Our Top 10 Secondary Characters

  19. Cait says:

    I totally agree 100% with Marcus Flutie! Ah, love him! And of course, any characters from Harry Potter! My Top Ten List.
    Cait recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  20. Betty says:

    Awww… gotta love Rue!!! She broke my heart! Love seeing Gilbert Blythe on your list!! He always makes my heart flutter! πŸ˜‰
    Betty recently posted…TTT- Top Ten Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  21. Maggie says:

    Oh my goodness, what a fantastic list! I love Lady Catherine, she’s one of those love-to-hate-her characters. (I had Mr Collins on my own list.) GIlbert is so fantastic and every time I watch Pride and Prejudice, I find myself rooting for Col Fitzwilliam.
    Maggie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  22. I loved so many characters from Harry Potter series so yes to Dobby and Hermione!

    Also, loved Rue! She is such a great character!
    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  23. I *still* haven’t read the Jessica Darling series. People keep telling me I should, but I just… haven’t.

    Of the books I HAVE read… you’ve got some great picks here!
    Mandi Kaye Ottaway recently posted…Dawn’s in trouble, must be Tuesday 8.27.13My Profile

  24. Katie says:

    DOBBY! Good choices here. I’m a huge fan of Hermione, too. Obviously. As EVERYONE loves Hermione. πŸ™‚

    I’m not with you on Gilbert, though…but I didn’t like ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. *dodges projectiles* *winces* Sorry. :-/
    Katie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  25. MARCUS FLUTIE. I love that you put him on this list AND that he is first! haha Perfect Fifths is THE BEST ending to all endings of all time. Gahh I get giddy just thinking about it (& him). I laughed at your Carrots comment, so true. And YES to your Audrey, Wait! mention. I adore that book SO MUCH.
    Ginger @ GReads! recently posted…Blue-Eyed Devil (Travises, #2) by Lisa KleypasMy Profile

  26. DOBBY IS A FREE ELF! I had to yell that in a Dobby voice.

    ALSO! Yayyyyyyyyy Marcus Flutie, he is my favorite forever.
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Saints | Gene Luen Yang | Book ReviewMy Profile

  27. Okay, so I just discovered your blog through Twitter last week. And 1) WHERE HAVE I BEEN? 2) Your design is AMAZING. 3) I already know I like you because you have two characters from Anne of Green Gables and two characters from Pride & Prejudice on your list. I’m sorry, but those are two of my favorite books EVER. And that doesn’t even include Hunger Games and Harry Potter – books I was a little late too but love even more than I ever though possible. So, anyway, great list and SO happy to have found your blog!
    Hannah @ So Obsessed With recently posted…Plan Your Posts With May Books!My Profile

  28. Kristin says:

    I just started re-reading the Sloppy Firsts series today. I LOVE Marcus Flutie. I put Hermione on my secondary characters list from ages past, but I can’t believe I forgot Rue! One of the most poignant moments in reading history for sure.
    Kristin recently posted…Low-Stakes Reading and BloggingMy Profile

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