Well, after a slightly longer interval than usual, I’m back! May is shaping up to be a very busy month for me, so I will likely “travel light” for my next few posts. I hope that they’re still very fun to read, if not super-profound 😉
Compile a list of up to ten of your favorite fandoms. Books, movies, TV shows—you name it!
Tell us about your favorite character in each of those fandoms, along with an explanation of why that character is your favorite. (Your reasoning can be however long or short you’d like it to be.)
Tag however many (or few) friends you’d like to participate.
MY FANDOM FAVORITES
The Lord of the Rings: Sam Gamgee
Other fandoms may come and go, but The Lord of the Rings is forever. As an impressionable teenager, I was madly in love with Aragorn; as a twenty-something fighting off cynicism yet finding great contentment at home, I found great camaraderie with Bilbo Baggins; these days, I’m very fond of Faramir. But if I had to name one character who embodies so much of what I value and want to be, it’s gotta be dear Samwise Gamgee. He takes joy in strawberries and cream, and he finds light and high beauty even in dark places. #GOALS.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Jill Pole
I think Jill is the most relatable heroine of the Narnia stories, and only Orual of Till We Have Faces surpasses her (in my mind) as C.S. Lewis’ most well-written heroine. Jill is valiant, practical, and intelligent, and while she certainly has her struggles, she is faithful to Aslan and to Narnia. “There is no other stream,” Aslan tells her at the beginning of The Silver Chair, and once Jill accepts that, she sets her face like flint towards her calling.
Star Wars: Rey
Until she came onto the screen in The Force Awakens, I didn’t really have a Star Wars heroine who I could call my own. Rey, however, quickly catapulted her way into my list of Top Favorite Characters of All Time with her spunk, kindness, and capaciousness. And yes, even her decision (controversial among some fans) to align herself with the Skywalker clan still inspires and encourages me–for Rey stands on her identity as one truly aligned with goodness and light, no matter what the rest of the world or her biological ancestry tell her.
(An early “Happy May the Fourth be With You” to everyone, by the way!)
Star Trek: James T. Kirk
Confession time: whenever I hear Jim Kirk basically described as nothing more than a space cowboy with his mind in the gutter, I kinda want to fight the whole Internet. That description may be true of Chris Pine’s Kirk. (*Turns aside to gnash my teeth at J.J. Abrams, who also killed off Ben Solo and I shall never forgive it*) But William Shatner’s chivalrous, gentle, Shakespeare-quoting Kirk, who overcomes childhood trauma and the loss of Edith Keeler to become one of the greatest and most selfless leaders in the history of science fiction?! Y’all haven’t watched enough Original Star Trek and it shows, guys.
Marvel: Natasha Romanoff
For a long time I named Peggy Carter as my favorite Marvel character–and I do love her still. But over the past couple of years, thanks to Avengers: Endgame and Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff has just edged past my beloved Peggy. I used to find Natasha a bit bland, a “tough girl” character without much depth. But she’s evolved into a much more complex, admirable figure with her own history, romances, demons, and sacrifices–not to mention a delightfully dry sense of humor. (For the record, I ship her with Steve Rogers and Steve Rogers alone in an alternate timeline where he doesn’t go back to the 40’s. Endgame‘s time travel is weird.)
DC: Clark Kent
There’s a time and a place for characters like Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Han Solo, and Peter Quill…but I also believe there’s a place for characters of deep, gentle goodness like Cinderella, Steve Rogers, and Clark Kent. Man of Steel is still one of my favorite movies of all time, and Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent/Superman remains (for me, anyway!) one of the best parts of Zack Snyder’s extravagant (if sometimes self-indulgent) DC Universe.
Call the Midwife: Sister Julienne
“I want to be like Sister Julienne when I grow up,” I say every time we watch Call the Midwife. I can’t think of another fictional heroine who’s been more of a role model for me in my singleness, in my relationship with the Lord, and in the way I deal with difficult people and situations. As Jennifer Worth wrote in the book upon which the TV show is based:
“The impact Sister Julienne made upon me – and, I discovered, most people – was out of all proportion to her words or her appearance. She was not imposing or commanding, nor arresting in any way. She was not even particularly clever. But something radiated from her and, ponder as I might, I could not understand it. It did not occur to me at the time that her radiance had a spiritual dimension, owing nothing to the values of the temporal world.”
Yep, I want to be like that when I grow up.
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor
I did not think when I began the Twelfth Doctor’s era that he would become my favorite Doctor, let alone one of my all-time favorite characters–and yet here we are! Peter Capaldi’s gangly, grumpy, passionate, and ultimately kindhearted Doctor has a rocky start, no doubt about it. But if you can get past his first episodes and watch how he develops and softens over the course of three seasons…then oh, you’re in for a true storytelling treat.
All Creatures Great & Small: James Herriot
Can I just say how much I love the new All Creatures Great and Small? I’m still a fan of the 1980’s show, but the new Masterpiece Theater adaptation is absolutely beautiful in its portrayal of the Yorkshire Dales and James Herriot’s lovable cast of characters. James himself is my favorite character in the new show. He is so kind and gentle and brave…and yes, I’ll happily admit, he also reminds me so much of my kind, gentle, and very brave boyfriend.
(Yeah yeah yeah I know, I haven’t mentioned him here on the blog before now. But the full story will come very soon, don’t worry 😉)
English Literature: Jane Eyre
Jane Austen’s heroines are wonderful, but Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is (I think) one of the most principled and engaging heroines of English Lit. This book grips me every time I read it, and Jane’s deep convictions, sharp wit, and honesty make her a worthy protagonist in this 19th-Century-British-Gothic version of “Beauty & the Beast.” (For more about that, please see this article I wrote back in 2020.)