Time for Top 5 Wednesday! The theme for this week is awesome, namely to pick our favorite minor characters. I love minor characters that leave an impression on you, characters that, despite not being main or even supporting, ends up with such vivid personalities. I chose to pick characters that only appears once or just a few times, not reoccurring ‘background characters’ (ex. the Stoll brothers from the Percy Jackson series). They’re just someone who happens to be at the right (wrong most of the time) place at the right (wrong) time and are therefore included a short while in the story.
But they’re brief appearans can make you wish the author made a spin-off series for them.
5. The Fish Seller from Runelight by Joanne Harris
You guys remember the Cabbage Man from Avatar, right? This guy is basically him (although sadly, he only had one appearance). Here’s a question for you; if you see a horse eating your fish and then turning into a giant snake, do you a) run away b) scream and hide, or c) grab onto the serpent and demand to get your fish back? If your answer is c), then you share something in common with this guy.
4. The Party Ponies South Florida Chapter from The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Deus ex machina done right, the Party Ponies appearance at the climax really kills it (in, you know, the good way). The group of centaurs simply swoops in and rescues Percy, Annabeth and Tyson by attacking the enemy with paintball guns and arrows with boxing gloves attached to the point. Although they only appear one more time in the books, they are not easily forgotten.
3. Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty to Animals, Things Not Working Properly Even After You’ve Given Them A Good Thumping But Secretly No Alcohol Lager, and Really Cool People from Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
If you haven’t read the book, I guess you are in need of an explanation. Do you remember hearing about the four riders of the apocalypse? Well meet the self-employed four extra bikers of the apocalypse. These guys were a(nother) hilarious asset to the novel. They are definitely not the only minor characters you will remember, but I chose them because they are actually not at all relevant to the plot, yet they’re there and deliver. Their ending had me crying of laughter.
2. The Cheating Woman from The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
You know the scenes when the two partners-in-crime are executing their grand plan. They’re climbing up the building, setting up, etc. Well, sometimes it ain’t that simple. It’s not your nemesis or their associate that stops you, you just happened to have the ill-luck to climb up the wrong window… Jean and Locke happens to have just that luck. Discovered by a woman and her supposed husband, who starts climbing after them, what would have been a simply start to their mission takes quite a turn. As they manage to ‘defeat’ the man and climb into the window of the woman, suddenly the door bursts open and they think the man has somehow managed to quickly climb the stairs, it is instead revealed to be another man. This man thinks his wife is cheating on him with Jean and Locke (though she isn’t with
Discovered by a woman and her supposed husband, who starts climbing after them, what would have been a simply start to their mission takes quite a turn. As they manage to ‘defeat’ the man and climb into the window of the woman, suddenly the door bursts open and they think the man has somehow managed to quickly climb the stairs, it is instead revealed to be another man. This man thinks his wife is cheating on him with Jean and Locke (though she isn’t with them) she denies it and runs shrieking to her husband that he should protect her. When Jean manages to defeat her husband too, the woman suddenly shouts “Yes! Now throw him out of the window!”.
She has only one appearance, we don’t even learn of her name, yet she puts a hilarious twist on what would have been a simple window climbing.
1. The Stick from Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Yes, the first place goes to a stick. It is only the master writer Brandon Sanderson who can give such strong characteristics to a single stick who only repeats one line.
Shallan, wet and cold, tries to create fire (using a special form of ‘magic’) by convincing a stick into turning into fire. Unluckily for her, she manages to pick the most stubborn stick on the entire planet. It’s so stubborn and self-aware that not even the powers of God can stop it. Shallan, who has struggled through countless of traumas and difficulties, even she gives up when facing the stick.
“You want to burn”
“I am a stick”
“Think how much fun it would be?”
“I am a stick”
“Stormlight,” Shallan Said. “You could have it all! All that I’m holding.”
A pause. Finally, “I am a stick”
“Sticks need stormlight. For… things…” Shallan blinked away tears of fatigue.
“- a stick” Shallan said.