Thursday, 14 April 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 2

Okay, you know the score! I started this yesterday alongside Ria from *coughs* Bibliotropic, who came up with this fab little genre meme.

Day 2 (alongside most of them that are forthcoming) is a real head scratcher: Your favourite character. I can pick loads that I really enjoy reading about. I can pick many where I appreciate their dialogue, or their attitude, or maybe even admire their extreme hotness. But a favourite character? Out of everything I've read? (which is a DAMN LOT!) That is going to take some doing....

Let me muse...

Should it be one I've discovered more recently, since I am now a more discerning reader? Or should it be one that has been beloved for years?

My choice, dear reader, might come as some surprise. You may be familiar with him looking like this:

That chap is Bigwig from Richard Adams' Watership Down - or, to give him his true name, Thlayli. I read Watership Down at a young age, and it impacted on me a great deal. I think I've read the novel a good seven or eight times, and the character that always leaps out at me is that of Bigwig.

He is bolshy, independent, fiercely loyal, cynical - everything that makes a character beloved in my book. Here are a few key quotes:

[Confronting Bigwig leading a mass defection of Efrafans]
General Woundwort: Bigwig, you traitorous...!
[to a subordinate]
General Woundwort: Captain, get this miserable group back to their marks. I'll settle you myself, Bigwig. There's no need to take you back.
Bigwig: Come and try, you cracked-brain slave driver!

Blackberry: You're beginning to sound like a chief, Hazel. 'Hazel-rah'.
Bigwig: Hazel-rah? That'll be the day I call him chief, that will.

And my absolute favourite:

General Woundwort: Come out!
Bigwig: My Chief's told me to defend this run.
General Woundwort: [Stunned] YOUR Chief?

A simply awesome character. One I adored from the first page he appeared and still love all these twenty years later.

How about you? Who is your favourite character? What do you think of my choice?


  1. So did my question about Richard Adams somehow lead to this choice? Or was I just being eerily prescient? :)

    Bigwig is a good pick, though I'd probably go with Hazel over him. I'd say it's because Hazel is more "my type" of character, but then that makes explaining my own choice a bit more difficult.

  2. Bigwig is indeed awesome. I was always rather fond of Blackberry myself, and I always admire Hyzenthlay's gumption, but Bigwig is one that I think just about everybody remembers.

  3. Caine from Matt Stover's Acts of Caine. No doubt.

  4. This really is extremely tough. I was thinking Parmenian from Gemmell's Lion of Macedon, then Stardrifter from SAra Douglass' Axis trilogy.

    After much internal debate. I have decided my all time favourite character is Nighteyes from Robin Hobb's Farseer novels. While I thought all my previous favourites were awesome in their own right. I really love that wolf.

  5. Watership Down is an amazing book. I went through a rabbit faze as a child and it scared me to death, it's certainly not a fuzzy bunny story.

  6. I love your choice, but I was so sure it would be Rake!

  7. @Nick: That was my pick, too.

    @Mieneke: As was I!

  8. @Mieneke and Chris: I certainly did consider Rake, but thought that I couldn't put someone in who I have loved for five minutes in comparison :-) If I still love Rake in twenty years, then he might well earn a place!

  9. this is weird - about 2 weeks ago on Goodreads I wrote ""I loved this one too!" what's not to love? When Bigwig faces off against General Woundwort and at the end says he's not backing down because his chief rabbit told him to hold the way ... every bit as powerful and emotional as Gandalf's 'you shall not pass' vs the balrog. And when the rabbit god (prince elraha? frith? it's been too long since I read it) comes for Hazel at the end ... magic."