Manders never fails to impress. This week's Thursday Thirteen is even better than the last.
(I would post mine over there, but I know some of you silly children don't check out her page regularly. Geez. What does she have to do? Go read.)
SO... without any further ado:
THIRTEEN FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS (any medium):
(I can't guarentee these are the 'top thirteen' but they're the thirteen that come to mind.)
1. Rob Gordon, High Fidelity (both film and book version)--gotta start the list off with a killer. And that's DJ Rob Gordon. Pathetic loser, slacker, music snob, hopeless and helpless romantic. Rob Gordon is the clarion call to the lovelorn and pathetic: you are not alone...but quit being a jerk.
2. Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings--Sam's the best example I can imagine of love and loyalty between friends. Sam's not very spectacular to look at, and he makes mistakes, but the courage and devotion found within him is inspiring. I've said it before and I still believe it: without Sam, Frodo would have shared Gollum's fate. Sam was the true hero of the story. Without him, all would have failed.
3. Biff Loman, Death of a Salesman--A frustrated young man who sees a life spent in sales as a death sentence (and rightly so), Biff finally tells the father he once worshipped the truth about his opinion of his father's "success" and his dread of following suit. I connected to a lot of this character.
4. Inspector Javert, Les Miserables--In this epic story of the struggle between law and grace, Javert was the living embodiment of "the law that brings death." He is so bound by rules that not only can he not accept the grace that is offered him, but he cannot live in a world where such grace exists.
5. Cyrano De Bergerac--Such a story. A hero whose physical imperfections loom so large in his mind, he cannot accept that the object of his love could possibly love him back. His story of self-sacrifice and devotion is one of my favorites. And in the end, panache.
6. Sydney Carton, A Tale of Two Cities--You're never really sure about Sydney. There is always some doubt about his loyalties, his opportunism. But in the end, all doubts are dispelled, as he literally sticks his neck out for the person he cares for most.
7. Lucas, Empire Records--Lucas is the epitome of cool, on the surface. But over the course of the film, you get to peek behind the curtain a bit, and you find that he's just as screwed up as anyone else. He finds something close to family, in the friends and coworkers around him.
8. Ash, Army of Darkness--Hail to the king, baby. Granted, over the course of the movies, Ash is a pretty uneven character. But come on, Bruce Campbell is just fun to watch.
9. Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman--You know, for years, I would have picked Batman over Superman, for the sheer fact that Superman has the "unfair advantage" of having powers, while Batman just has to go on gadgets and brute force. But the more I look at the comics, the movies, and, yes, the TV shows, the more I see that the story of Kal-El is one that's fundamental to human existence: the search for identity, for family, for a calling. That's why this character has been mined for stories since its creation in the 1930's. These questions remain through each generation. Why do I feel so different? Where do I belong? What should I do with my life?
10. Roland Deschain, The Dark Tower--the epic hero of Steven King's magnum opus. Roland is knight, gunslinger, hero, antihero, lover, brutal fighter. Ultimately, he is but the pawn of fate, of ka, and his quest is both satisfying and sad. King said he began with the image of Leone's The Man with No Name, but from that point, Roland bloomed into something much more complex and interesting. And that's why we kept reading about him, right to the end.
11. Mulder and Scully, The X-Files--If you weren't convinced I was a geek up to this point, this should send me over. (At least it's not Captain Kirk or something.) I loved watching these two characters interact. Mulder, the wild-eyed "believer" whose crazy theories often turned out to be frighteningly true. Scully, the steely cynic, who slowly learned that some mysteries could not be explained away. A perfectly matched set, these two. And come on, Gillian Anderson is just hot.
12. Bill, Kill Bill--He's a cold-hearted, blood-thirsty assassin. And a loving father. And a wounded lover. Bill is as incongruent a character as you can find, and that's what makes him so interesting. We don't know much about Bill, other than that he loves just as deeply as he hates, and man like this, with no moral restraint, is a dangerous one indeed.
13. Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World--I grew up watching this silly little sitcom, and it became one of my favorites. And the "boy" who grows into a man will always be one of my favorites. As funny as it sounds, I feel like I know him personally. I can't explain it any better than that.
Funny, almost all of my entries were male. Sorry, ladies. I guess when thinking about favorite characters, I thought about characters I related to in some way or another.
Here, as a consolation, a Bonus Five.
FIVE GREAT FEMALE MOVIE CHARACTERS:
1) Marty, Beautiful Girls--She was right, you know; she did grow up to be hot.
2) Arwen, LOTR--Liv Tyler speaking Elvish. Yowsa.
3) Penny Lane, Almost Famous--"She was your biggest fan! And you threw her away!"
4) The Bride, Kill Bill--"Hell hath no fury like..." Well, you know.
5) Kat, Ten Things I Hate About You--Attitude and intelligence. That works for me.