My seven favorite male characters from books:
Luke Garner (Shadow Children Sequence, Margaret Peterson Haddix)
“I have a choice.”
Luke is an illegal third child in a world where population is strictly regulated. He grows from a timid, quiet boy convinced of his own worthlessness to a brave, quiet boy who has infiltrated his enemy and (accidentally) started a rebellion.
Jaxom (The White Dragon, Anne McCaffrey)
“If he isn’t clean now, I don’t know what clean is!”
Jaxom is Lord Holder of Ruatha–as the result of a political bet. He is also a dragonrider, and his father was the bad guy of the century. He matures from a boy confused about who he is to a man who knows his place as a dragonrider and a Lord Holder, and is completely capable of doing his job and more.
Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins)
“I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever.”
Peeta is a baker’s son with an affinity for frosting. His problem: he is hopelessly in love with a poacher from the bad part of town, and they have both been selected to compete in a televised fight to the death. Peeta’s main transformation, as far as I can see, is in the stability of his mind. It goes from stable to unstable to generally stable-ish.
Four (Divergent, Veronica Roth)
“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different.”
Four was raised in Abnegation, but transfered to Dauntless to get away from his abusive father. (Those are factions, btw.) He only has four fears, but he can’t seem to get over them…until he meets another Abnegation transfer named Tris, who can take him through his fears. Oh, he falls in love with her. Of course.
Moist Von Lipwig (Going Postal, Terry Pratchett)
“I commend my soul to any god that can find it.”
Moist is a con-man. He’ll never grow out of it; he still steals Ankh-Morpork’s tyrant’s secretary’s pencil everytime he is called in. Yup, this con-man works for the government. He runs the post office, and wages bloodless wars with the alternative mass communicator, the Clacks. Not that he wanted to, but it was an excellent alternative to being hanged…again….
Doon Harrow (City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau)
“Unintended consequences, he thought miserably. He was angry at his anger, the way it surged up and took over.”
Doon has never seen sunlight, or grass, or animals. All his food comes out of cans, and all his light comes from a massive generator, which is failing. He and his best friend have to find a way out of their city, before the lights go out forever. Doon likes to know how things work. He’s good with his hands. He’s serious, fatalistic, compassionate, and has a black temper, which tends to get the better of him.
Matthias of Redwall (Redwall, Brian Jacques)
“Err, sorry Father Abbot. I tripped y’see. Trod on my Abbot, Father Habit. Oh dear, I mean….”
“Weapons may be carried by creatures who are evil, dishonest, violent or lazy. The true warrior is good, gentle and honest. His bravery comes from within himself; he learns to conquer his own fears and misdeeds.”
Yes, I know, Matthias is a mouse. And yes, I gave him two quotes and made him number one. Why?
As you can see from the first quote, the Matthias we meet is not quite…heroic. His sandals and his habit are too big, and his dreams of being a great warrior like the founder of his abbey, Martin, are out of place in his peaceful times. However, when Redwall Abbey is threatened, Matthias is the mouse to save the day. Figuratively. He finds the lost sword of Martin the Warrior and defeats the evil rat Warlord. Whoohoo. That’s not why he’s number one.
The reason Matthias is number one is because his growth is so much bigger. You see, he’s in a second book. Mattimeo. In Mattimeo, his son is kidnapped by a slave trader. Matthias will do anything to get his son back, and he does…barely. The second quote is him trying to teach his son the way of a true warrior. Can you see the difference? Bumbling young fool, wise father and warrior…ah, that is a good character. The best part is, you see him turn from one to the other. It’s not a “oh, look, he’s in a different book, so I can change his character” sort of thing. It’s a “this is who he was; this is who he became. Where can I take him from here” sort of thing.
There you have it! Why am I doing this? I’ll bet you can guess. I should do girl characters next, but I’m naturally more attracted to the male characters. There might be a few that are awesome enough to command my attention, though…hmmm…. Oh, by the way, none of the above belong to me. Obviously. They belong to the authors listed with them. Excellent authors, every one. XD