Monday, July 27, 2009

Characters I Hate

Court over at Once Upon a Bookshelf started a list of characters in literature she hates, after doing her Rosie's Riveters post here. Kelly took it up at The Written World, and now I decided to do it, too. Why? Because I like to be negative and catty :-)

It's only fair, though, that I balance the scales and do a list of characters I love, too. That will be done at some point in the future but not right now. I'm pulling 70 hour weeks at work for about three weeks now- happiness and love are not my dominant emotions at the moment.

This list is in no order whatsoever. And, to be fair just for the last character- it's not all characters I hate, but sometimes characters I just expect a little more from. But mostly characters I hate :-)

1. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen - Gosh, these two make my blood boil. I went off against them in my Twilight review, I've gone off against them to anyone who makes an off-handed remark to me (and then completely regretted it, I'm sure), and I'll probably go off about them again several times. I just really strongly dislike them. Edward is possessive and obsessive and much, much older than Bella. (And seriously, he shines in the sun? Give me a break. The guy is not a god, he's a vampire.) Bella is just a twit. The girl has no backbone, no sense of balance, and no grasp on reality. Putting the two together, you do not get earth-shattering romance, you get a possessive and unbalanced glowstick (probably on acid at a rave). I can't even count them as two people because they are so wrapped up together in my mind. Anyone who cannot even be imagined without the company of another person is sad and unmemorable.

2. Katelina van Borselen - Dorothy Dunnett writes dense and sometimes cryptic prose in her two great series, The House of Niccolo and The Lymond Chronicles. While I am not as obsessed with these books as other people are, the characters do invite very strong reactions. And I have a very strong reaction to two of the females in the book (see next entry). Katelina is from the Niccolo series. She is the sort of girl who you "meet" in reading and wonder exactly how she sees situations; how can things possibly become so warped in her mind? She is completely self-absorbed and also delusional. Believe me- these two traits are really not good in tandem. Thoughts in her head must go something like, "I'm so pretty, every guy wants me. Even when they say they do not want me, they want me. Even if they ignore me, they are just pretending that they don't want me. Even if I seduce them and then they drop me, they still want me. And I will make them all realize how much they want me. And then I will hate them. Because that is how warped I am." Cow.

3. Oonagh O'Dwyer - From Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles this time. Honestly, Dunnett writes great males, but her females just suffer completely by comparison (as do most authors' females, to be fair. But hers to a greater extent). Oonagh has man hands, for one. That's weird. She's also depressing and fatalistic. A Debbie Downer, if you will. She gets herself into a complicated and bad situation and decides to just run away instead of dealing with it. Seriously, woman. Man up, if you don't mind my turn of phrase.

4. Guinevere - Yes, I wrote her up in my Rosie's Riveters post. Yes, she still sucks.

5. Catelyn - From George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. Um, how psychotic is this woman? It's like bizarre and misdirected Dawn of the Undead with her. I understand that it can be slightly awkward to face life as a zombie with a very inconvenient slit in your throat, but no need to kill every possible person you see as an enemy because of it. Calm down!

6. Leonie - From Georgette Heyer's These Old Shades. This girl is such a "Mary Sue." She's the most annoying person in the whole book, feeling a need to describe everyone around her as a barn animal, and somehow she gets this frightening older (much older) man to fall in love with her. Besides reeking of a Daddy complex, this just doesn't do it for me. Leonie was unworthy of Avon (though he wasn't such a great person, either, in my view), and undeserving of all the praise people kept piling on her. Also, this book irked me in general with the way Heyer used the whole Princess and the Pea mentality- as though it's in our blood to be either an aristocrat or a peasant. Though really, I guess all aristocrats thought that!

7. Heathcliff, from Wuthering Heights - It's quite likely Edward Cullen descends directly from Heathcliff (or, depending on Edward's age, it may be the other way around). Unhealthy obsession, and really cruel in the bargain. Talk about a sore loser.

8. Yudhishtira, from the Mahabharata - Most people are probably unfamiliar with Hindu mythology, but Yudhishtira always gets on my nerves. He's quite righteous and injured-party-ish for someone who was willing to sell his wife and his brothers at the gambling table, much less his kingdom. Control yourself, buddy. Maybe that way, you won't be the cause of death of practically every man on earth.

9. Maia, from the Falco series by Lindsey Davis - She's apparently Falco's favorite sister, but I certainly don't know why. She's loud and brash and mean and I will be very, very upset if she ends up happily ever after with a certain someone...

10. This is actually a huge surprise to me, but I think the seventh book took me over the edge with this character. I loved him in the first part of the series, when he had the best lines and was funny and sweet and supportive. But then he became all teenager-like, with his inferiority complex and temper tantrums and jealousy... Ron Weasley, here's hoping that you straighten yourself out after high school and become worthy of Hermione Granger. She doesn't need to put up with your crap.


  1. Haha, love your take on Edward and Bella!
    So true, yikes he is such a stalker and honestly, she is a bit insane and can't even function without him

  2. Anonymous7/28/2009

    This is a nice list. I like Edward alright but I hate Bella for the same reasons and I hated her the most in New Moon.

    Heathcliff too. I did not finish the book just because I couldn't stand his character and the heroine too (Sorry I don't remember her name)

    I pretty much have no strong opinion of anyone from The Mahabharat. But I adore Krishna :)

  3. Anonymous7/28/2009

    I love your list! Great remarks! And I agree with Violetcrush - hated not just Heathcliff but Cathy too!

  4. Yes, Violet- It's hard not to fall in love with Krishna... but then, every girl did!

    Violet and Rhapsody- I agree with you both. Cathy is horrible, too. I thought my list was a bit girl-heavy, though, so I made it just Heathcliff on the list. But those two... gosh, horrible people!

  5. Even without reading Twilight, I agree about Edward and Bella :P

  6. LOL. I love your comments about them all! It's so fun to be bitter about characters sometimes.

  7. On Yudhishtira: Good lord, I agree with you so hard on this one. I think that's why its so satisfying when he has to endure a rather ignominious death as well as a few minutes of hell at the very very end of the Svargarohana Parva.

    We need to talk about this for sure :)


  8. I love this post! I could probably come up with a list like this, and Heathcliff would definitely be on it. I also have a bit of familiarity with Yudhishtira, and I agree, he was a total jerk and loser. I might have to think more about this topic, as I am sure my list would be quite long

  9. Oh, that's a hilarious list! I love that you rant off on Edward & Bella at the drop of a hat.

    Heathcliff is such a horrid person. I cannot believe that I ever once thought he was romantic. The mind boggles.

  10. Okay. How did I put Bella down and leave out Edward? That was stupid! Great list. :)

  11. Sudha- Yes, I think we've discussed Yudhishtira before. I agree about his stint in hell. And then, sadly, going up and reaching moksha and finding Duryodhana already there waiting for him. Tut, tut.

    Zibilee- I would LOVE to see your list like this! I am sure it would be entertaining :-)

    Kelly- you were probably too busy listing my beloved Mr. Darcy to think about Edward!

  12. I totally agree with your evaluation of Yudhisthira. I mean, how can someone be dharmaraja when he can sell off his family! I thought he should have been in hell for that, not the lie he told.
    And Edward, I don't like his overpossessive attitude, but I think he is positively angelic compared to Bella. I just can't stand her.

  13. Anonymous8/11/2009

    I agree completely with your discription of Bella. I attempted to read the Twilihgt series, but Bella's total dependence on others, as well as her unecessary mood swings surpassed my point of annoyance by far. I find her repugnant for her total lack of character, confidence, courage, or any implication of inner strength.

  14. Heathcliff as Edward Cullen?! But... but... he's one of my favorite characters precisely because he's such a bastard. Hmmm, I'll have to read WH again to see if Heathcliff can survive the Twilight comparison.


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