What draws us to our favorite characters?
In any book or movie, people tend to feel drawn to certain characters. As humans with our own unique thought processes and life experiences, these favorite characters say a lot about us and our own character. There is a certain connectivity that we feel with some characters that endears them to us more then others. For myself, personally, I have several favorite characters in the Potter series. My list includes Sirius, Lupin, Snape, Luna, Fred, and George. When asked the question “Who is your favorite character?” I would say one of those names in an effort to avoid the typical response of one of the trio, but in all truth, my favorite character is Hermione.
My reasons for this are multiple. It’s not just because she is more prominent in the books and we know more about her; it is in the way I can connect myself and my experiences to her. I was always a bit bossy. I still am. My friends have to put up with me obsessing over school to the point of making myself sick before tests. When Hermione went to Hogwarts, she felt like she had a lot to prove. Being Muggleborn, she felt that everyone else who came from wizarding families would have more experience than her and be more prepared. I was home schooled my entire life, so I felt the same way when I started college. I felt the need to prove that I was just as smart as everyone else even though I had never been to school before. Earlier today, I was asking my friends who their favorite characters were and why. They all had something interesting to say that either showed their values or their experiences.
Here are some of the quotes I got in response to my question:
“Ron. Obviously. He sticks by his best friend through everything. No matter how much of a jerk Harry acts like towards him, Ron stays by his side through everything.”
“I’d have to go with Ron. All of my family went through the same high school, so Ron resonated with me because he is the kid that has to live up to the family name.”
“I think my favorite character is Snape. [He] devoted his whole life to Lilly even though she was married and then continued to devote his life to her after she died. I think he shows the most love throughout the books even though he shows it in an unusual way.”
“Snape is unquestionably my favorite character. He is brutal in the first few books, and he is my most hated character until we meet Professor Umbridge. Snape appears to hate Harry for almost the entire series, and as a reader, I had no idea why. And it made me hate him in return. Rowling did an incredible job in making him. When Snape’s true character is revealed, my mind was BLOWN. He is the character that literally loses everything. Everything. For Lily. And he doesn’t get a happy ending. Period. And that to me made him the most compassionate and amazing character to ever be written. I think that Snape, the one revealed to us, is the kind of person we should try to be like. Not the ‘mean’ aspect but the devoted and committed person. Someone who is willing to do something crazy because of his love for another person.”
“I think my favorite is Hermione because I like her best out of the main three, and you just get to know those three better than the rest, so they’re easier to connect with. She’s smart, and as she gets older you see that she’s not just book smart but also has a lot of common sense.”
Out of all these quotes, we see that it’s values like friendship, commitment, and the strength of love that draw people to certain characters as well as life experiences. Connectivity and believability are two of the most important things that a writer should keep in mind when developing characters. We all know that J.K. Rowling is a genius when it comes to that.