Monday, August 9, 2010

Who's Got Your Back?

I'm currently reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and as this book is the first in which Harry and Ron's friendship is really tested, it made me start thinking about what the series would be like without Ron's brilliance in it. It was scary. I don't want to think about it ever again, because these books would lose 3/4 of their magic with just that one change. *shudder*

I'm almost always more of a fan of the sidekick than I am of the hero. I identify more with the person who supports and helps the hero to greatness but stays out of the limelight. They don't get the recognition, they don't get the glory, but they get the satisfaction of being there when they are needed the most, which makes everything else possible. So it made me start thinking, and I put together a list of my favorite sidekicks...These are the ones who enable their respective heroes to rise to the level of greatness they achieve. Without them... well the hero might not be nothing, but the book would suck anyway!

So here are the people who make the greatness happen! :D

The Ten Most Awesomest "Sidekicks"
(AKA: My favorites!)

10) Deck Shifflet. Yeah, I know, you're all like, "whuzzat?" or "whodat?" or whatever. Deck Shifflet is only the short, shifty, unscrupulous, ambulance-chasing, not-quite-a-legal-lawyer-yet-but-14th-time's-the-charm! hilarious assistant to hero Rudy Baylor in John Grisham's "The Rainmaker".

9)Grover Underwood. Not the one from Sesame Street, the one from "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan.
What's not to love about Grover? He's a satyr, which is cool enough on its own, but he's also sweet and loyal and brave even when he's not. He has a little bit of an anxiety problem, tends to get into more trouble than he averts, and as a guide/protector to hero Percy Jackson, he pretty much flops, but he's a great friend, and that's more important to me any day! :)

8) Ramon, who just so happens to be the best friend of our hero Samhain Corvus LaCroix (AKA Sam) is packed full of awesome and funny that he MADE Lish McBride's "Hold Me Closer, Necromancer" for me. He is full of witty comebacks, snippity-snapish one-liners, cojones that make him need to buy a size up when he shops for pants, etc. This dude... ROCKS. If you don't bust a gut when you read about him... well I'll just have to assume you have no soul.  
When this book comes out, (October 2010), I fully expect you all to read it, love it, and then petition Lish for a series. This is one book that would be criminal as a stand-alone. Just sayin'. 

7) Ford Prefect. Let me introduce you to the space-traveling, towel-carrying sidekick to one accidental-hero-extraordinaire Arthur Dent, who, if you don't know, is from Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series. 
Mr. Prefect journeyed to Earth from a distant planet and got stranded here, poor guy. Trying his very hardest to fit in, he attempted to communicate with what he thought was the intelligent species, a Ford Prefect car, and was nearly run down while trying to make its acquaintance. Much later on, right before Earth is about to be demolished in order to build an intergalactic expressway, he manages to rescue our not-so-much-a-hero, and many adventures ensue. Great stuff. 

6) Butler, only the most loyal, smart, ass-kickingest body-guard ever. He makes Artemis Fowl's diabolical schemes possible, and looks great in a suit. 
He's deadly, funny, pretty much down for anything, is rarely surprised and very hard to outsmart. If I had a bodyguard, I'd want a Butler. Yum. :)

5) Hermione Granger. No explanations needed really. She's smart, loyal, packs a mean punch. She's passionate about equality and stands up for what she believes in no matter what. She's an awesome strong female character! She is one of my favorite female characters ever, and the only female to make this list. I love her confidence and her willingness to go to any lengths to do what she feels is right, even when it makes breaking wizard law and putting herself in danger. 

4) Wolf. Once upon a time, in a book called "The Talisman" by Stephen King, there was a young boy named Jack Sawyer who could travel to a magical place called the Territories. He was on a journey to save his mother, and her Twinner in the Territories, the Queen. On his journey, he had many terrible adventures, but made a friend of Wolf, a large hairy werewolf shepherd. Crazy right? Wolf was unfortunately forced to leave his home, and was put through many trials in Jack's world, testing Jack's patience, but Jack couldn't ask for a more loyal and brave companion, when Wolf gave up everything for Jack.

3) Samwise Gamgee. Come on. You didn't expect me to leave out SAM, did you? This list would NOT be complete without him. A little bit simple, but kind, loyal, and brave and unflinchingly determined in his goal. He accompanies Frodo on his quest to destroy the ring, and does battle with more than just Ringwraiths and Orcs on the way - he does battle with the Ring itself through Frodo's will. He is willing to sacrifice and give up everything for Frodo to succeed, but the one thing that he never gives up is hope. Because he's The Man.

2) Eddie Dean. You might remember my Character Connection post on Roland Deschain. Or, I dunno, you might have heard me talk about Stephen King's Dark Tower series once or twice. If so, you might be familiar with Eddie Dean, the flunky heroin junkie that Roland pulls into Midworld, who becomes the first of Roland's Ka-tet. Eddie isn't exactly Roland's biggest fan, but he comes to love him and trust him, and more importantly believe in his mission, and gives his life over to the quest to save the Tower. Eddie is one bad-ass mofo, not only because he can fight (and win) in his birthday suit, but because underneath that sarcastic, take-no-crap exterior, he's got a heart of gold and will go to then ends of the earth for his friends. 

And finally... it should come as no surprise at all that Number One is... *drumroll*

1) Ron Weasley. Best friend of Harry Potter, youngest of 6 boys, constantly overlooked and undervalued and unappreciated, Ron is my absolute favorite character in the Harry Potter series. He is the reason that these books have made their mark on me. Ron is so human and so fallible that he brings these fantastic (in all senses of the word) books to life and makes them a joy to read over and over and over. His loyalty slips, but rather than being something to fault him with, it makes me love him all the more because he's so real. I just want to give him everything he never had. So for me, Ron is the real hero of the story. :D

There you have it. My Top 10. Who are yours??


  1. Great post Becky! I'm definitely with you on Ron. He's so great! I think I'm going to have to look into some of these others though!

  2. Great post! I love your idea of presenting sidekicks. They're in the background, but without them the hero would be pretty miserable.
    I like Samwise best.

  3. yeah for real, I could take that chick Sam marries. Is her name Rosemary or something? SHE IS GOING DOWN SAME IS MIIIIIINE.

  4. I love Ron. Forget Harry, the prat, Ron will always be my hero from the moment he entered the scene.

    I always preferred the other two hobbits in The Lord of the Rings, especially Pippin.

  5. Yes, but they aren't really proper sidekicks to Frodo as they don't go with him all the way to Mordor...