Sunday, 17 November 2013

Which character would you choose to have a prolonged interaction with?

     Based on an interesting conversation held with a friend, I began to wonder whether I could come up with a set of fascinating male characters that I would like to interact with if I got to meet them in real life. (Of course, if it is a fantasy story, I would then be situated in the world that the fantasy occurs in). It could be any film, tv-show, book, graphic novel etc.- basically, anything fictitious. Though I usually dislike the question regarding who my 'favourite' character is, I thought this identification of which character I would enjoy interacting with was a slightly different question. I believe that I (and this is a very personal notion, I guess) would enjoy interacting only with someone who is
a. sweet, kind, and basically cheerful
b. intelligent and smart.

     This is my preference list, of course, and it would probably vary from person to person. Yet, my friend and I, based on the above two ideas, wondered which characters would fit this description. But, to narrow the base, we were wondering if we could find men characters in this regard. So, we were mainly looking at
a. human men (as opposed to dragons, centaurs, fishes, pandas, ogres and other such characters)
b. not boys (so people above the age of 18 years, at least)

     Before going into the very minimal list we formed, we were also looking at a lot of women characters that we found fascinating. Some of them included- Arya Stark and Danaerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones), Jo (Little Women), Alice (Alice in Wonderland), all the women from Firefly, Kate Beckett (Castle) etc. There were many more, but I am not including a complete list.
     But we found ourselves getting stuck when it came to the male characters. We dismissed Gregory House, Sherlock (played by Benedict Cumberbacht, but also the book Holmes, and definitely also the Downey Jr. version) and even Wolverine as anti-social, Castle as over-the-top and we started wondering. These are characters we love on screen. Yet, when it comes to a face-to-face, we find them annoying or people we would not be able to interact with. Why is it that the grumpy or arrogant man is considered protagonist-worthy in today's world? When we did find sociable men, they were usually flirtatious, if not outright sexist. Very few characters were kindhearted and intelligent at the same time. We wondered whether Mal (from Firefly) would have ever read a book (could he have been patient enough?!). Even Jon Snow (who in the book is below 18 years, though) would have been amongst the grumpier characters.
     What we did find interesting was that the side-kick was usually more pleasant, and we tended to place them over the protagonist- especially when we considered associating with them. For instance, Wilson (from House), Watson (from Sherlock), Samwell Tarly (Jon Snow's friend from GoT) etc.
     These were some vague ponderings over a walk of three hours. I wonder whether you can come up with a list of ten protagonists who do fit the "if you were to have a prolonged association with a fictional male character, who would they include?". Some of ours included:
1. Atticus Finch, from To Kill a Mockingbird (though not a protagonist, he does play a lead role. Personally, I think he is perfect. Brilliant, smart, kind, filled with panache! I doubt I would be able to speak confidently if ever I met him, but I would hold him in awe.)
2. Ged, from the Earthsea series (Ged is more quiet than grumpy, I felt. He is contemplative, but kind and also does interact with the other. He, too, is somebody who, when I meet, would be spell-bound by).
3. Leopold, from Kate and Leopold (because he is just too charming)
4. The Three Musketeers (because all of them are a lot of fun, though I guess Arthos (if I'm not mistaken) is a little serious)
5. Radagast, from Lord of the Rings (because he can talk to animals, but again, not a protagonist) and Tom Bombadil also
So, if you guys have an interesting list, do add on...


Spica said...

You're right. I can't think of too many male characters. Bu-ut I cam up with:
1) Poirot - He would be charming, I'm sure.
2)Fatty from Five find-outers would be another person I'd like to meet.
3)Phil Dunphey from Modern Family
4)Psmith, Bertie Wooster/Jeeves - actually most of the Wodehouse chaps
5)The twins from HP
7)Calvin - I know he's kind of a loner, but it's ok cause he's a kid.
8)The president in The West Wing
9)Gus and Shawn from Psych
and * drumroll *
10) Gilbert Blythe!!!!!

Spica said...

Oh and not to overdo the Montgomery, but the female character I'd like to meet is The Story Girl.

Sayujya said...

I guess that is a lovely list. Though, one of the markers I had given in the list of specifications was that it should be someone above the age of 18, which automatically discounts cute and adorable kids like Calvin, and Fatty. It also discounts kids like Ronald Weasley, Nobody (from The Graveyard Book), the kid in Karate Kid and so on.

The reason kids were not included was because the 'childish' aspect usually provides the appeal.

Spica said...

Oh, I missed that caveat. One of my favorite scenes with the twins was in Book 5, so I'm going to keep them in. So I need to find replacements for the other three (Calvin, William and Fatty)..

How about the guy from Life is Beautiful, Hugh Grant's character in Notting Hill and Fred Garland from Phillip Pullman's Sally Lockhart series?