Since the beginning of the year I’ve been revealing some of my favourite characters in books (characters I love to hate, favourite female characters and favourite supporting characters). Today I introduce you to some of my favourite protagonists. These are leading characters who stood out for me among the various I discovered throughout the years and that I keep remembering for several reasons. The books they feature in are not necessarily my favourite books of all time (although some of them may be), as when I like almost all of the characters, it’s difficult for one of them to stand out from the rest.
Mrs de Winter – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The unnamed narrator of the first book I read by Daphne du Maurier is quite an insecure young woman at the beginning, but that didn’t stop me from really liking her as a protagonist. The main reason why is her feelings being quite relatable, taking into consideration the situation she was facing. By the end of the novel I felt like I really knew her and missed hearing about her feelings and worries.
Jon Snow – A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Many people find Jon Snow a boring character, but I definitely don’t. In fact, I find his point of view quite interesting, as he struggles to be honourable, but at the same time has an inner desire for glory. Although I do love a wicked character, I can also deeply adore a hero, principally when they have faults. I don’t think Jon Snow is as pristine perfect as some people think he is. In A Feast for Crows, he makes an understandable decision but that distresses others. Also, he possibly has quite an interesting parentage.
Dorian Gray – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
In The Picture of Dorian Gray, we see a beautiful man descend into darkness. Dorian Gray is quite a narcissistic character who is led to believe that humans should seek pleasure and happiness above all. So, he starts living his life with no regard for others, even if they are close to him. That lifestyle obviously has consequences and not only for himself. He ends up becoming quite a loathsome person, but far more interesting as the story progresses.
Elizabeth Bennet – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Elizabeth Bennet continues to be my favourite Jane Austen heroine. She is intelligent, resilient and playful. Her witty remarks throughout the novel are an unforgettable delight, although she is capable of making fast and sometimes unfair judgments.
Petronella Oortman – The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Petronella is another character that became quite dear to me. She lives in a house with people she barely knows and who hide many secrets. She grows enormously throughout the novel, being able to take matters into her own hands. The empathic side she reveals is exceptionally touching.
Do you have any favourite protagonists? Tell me in the comments!