Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Favorite Male Protagonist

So, since the book this week is all about the fact that there's only ONE guy left on the entirety of the Earth, I figured what better favorite for the week than our favorite male protagonist.

It was really a tie for me between Cal, from Scott Westerfeld's Peeps, and Quentin Jacobsen, from Papertowns.  But, since I talk incessantly about Peeps around here, and I really don't feel like I give Papertowns enough love even though it's one of my favorites, I chose the latter.

Part of the reason that I love Quentin is that he's the kind of kid who really walks to his own drum.  His friends are all band nerds and, while he hangs out with them, doesn't actually play an instrument.  He has a superhuman crush on Margo Roth, a girl who has run with the popular crowd for most of his high school career.  He's also just a likable characters.  He's funny and he's quirky and he's loyal and he's friendly, and sarcastic and I love it.

I also like that... his story doesn't turn out like you might think it would.  And I'm ok with that.  I'm ok with the decisions that he makes and the journey he goes on.  Inevitably, I just think he's a really well crafted, male protagonist.

I already knew that I typically preferred peripheral characters over main characters, but I didn't realize to what degree until I tried to pick a favorite male protagonist. Even with the influx of strong female leads in YA recently, most of the world's books have male protagonists... this was a really huge question. But every male character I like that I could think of is not a protagonist, and every male protagonist I could think of, I didn't like.

But I really like Tyrion Lannister. I love his character. And yes, I'm basing a lot of that feeling on Peter Dinklage's extraordinary capabilities as an actor and the characters he's surrounded by (specifically Bronn and Podrick). But I've read enough of Tyrion to know that I love the book version of him too.

He's the odd one out in his family, and really, in King's Landing. And everywhere he goes, actually. If he hadn't been born a Lannister, he'd have died shortly after birth. He has access to riches and the good life and he enjoys it, because he learned early on that he couldn't be his brother or his sister and shine in his father's eyes. (He also doesn't hold that against his brother, who is nice to him... he's a great brother to Jaime. Cersei is terrible to him, so he's terrible back, but I never said he was a saint. If he were, he'd be terribly boring.) But he also believes that intelligence and learning are very important, and he reads everything he can get his hands on. He actually did do a good job as Hand of the King, despite whatever Tywin thinks. Plus? He's hilarious.


  1. Harry Potter if we are just talking YA. Its funny, I like Tyrion, but not as much as most people. I think that the TV version is not quite as dark and questionable as the book version. I suppose he isn't one of the main characters, but I actually really like Davos. He is one of the few characters that I feel is coming from a place of pure goodness and duty. He's done a few not so great things, but he needed to survive, and he accepted the consequences and respects Stannis for carrying them out. I appreciate that he's a family man, and has a strong sense of duty. He has a lot in common with Ned, but I think his survival (for now at least) is due to being low-born, and thus not as bound by honor like Ned was.

    1. Let me tell you how shocked I am that you picked HP.

      Oh... wait. ;) But no, I love you, really.

      Excited about the new movies? Want to know how out of the HP loop I am? Didn't even realize that she had announced new movies until I had four people come into the store and ask for the stupid filler books and I was like WHAT THE HELL IS THIS MONSTER BOOK PEOPLE ARE ASKING FOR?! And then some lady told me about the movies.

      I hope you realize how convenient it is that she waited until RIGHT before Christmas season started to announce the movies. Prime time to sell more books... books which only come in a $40 box set.