Ebonyrain wonders what the reasons behind why we love our favourite characters are.
Hi Blogclan! My name’s Ebonyrain, and with me today I have a project I worked on with a few of our favourite Blogclanners, new and old, that have helped answer the question of why we like our favourite characters. First I’d like to thank Stormtail for the topic idea and everyone that took time out of their day to answer this question.
So favourite characters, there are obviously characters that almost everyone unanimously agrees that they’re great. Whether it be grumpy Jayfeather or the brave Ivypool, we all have characters that we love. Sure, maybe you can defend why these characters are good, but have you ever thought that there might be a certain reason that you like a character that could make or break them? I interviewed multiple people about their favourite characters, so let’s see what they have to say.
eBay: “So, what is one of your favourite characters and, with detail, why do you like them so much?”
Stormtail: (spoilers for Crowfeather’s Trial- skip to next answer if you want to avoid them) “The reason I like Crowfeather is because, when I read Crowfeather’s Trial, he was one of the first characters who I agreed with in pretty much everything he did. When he snapped at Onestar, one of my least favorite characters, for being irrational, I agreed with him. Crowfeather and I have similar personalities, and I agreed with every single one of Crowfeather’s decisions, [except] for when he didn’t immediately look for Nightcloud when he was exiled. That was literally the only time he bothered me throughout the entire book. Crowfeather also had a bit of a redemption arc and made up with so many cats. And one thing in storytelling that I love is when characters make up and grow on [their] relationships.”
Thank you Storm! I had to cut out a chunk of your answer, but I do suggest that you write an article about Crowfeather because man, you have a lot to say about him!
So I think Stormtail brings up the first very important reason as to why someone might like a character, relatability. Relatability is almost essential to have in a fantasy fiction story, because without it, the world and characters will seem so far out of touch with reality.
Spidersong: “I’d have to say Yellowfang is probably my favorite character in the Warriors series. Her gruff/grumpy but loyal character (with an attitude) personality made me absolutely fall in love with her. Her soft spot for Cinderpelt was especially heart-warming!”
And here is another point brought up to by Spidey. Sometimes you can’t relate to a character at all and their personality is just so out there, but with good enough writing and reason for the way they are, you can have a masterpiece of a character.
Moonbreeze: (Spoiler for AVoS) “So I’d say one of my favorite characters is Needletail- I really like her because of how she grows over the course of AVoS. At the beginning, she’s bratty, annoying, and makes horrible mistakes. She deserts her leader for a group of rogues, and has no respect towards the Warrior Code whatsoever. But as the books progress, you’re able to see her change. She realizes that what Darktail is doing isn’t right at all, and realises her mistakes. So Needletail is able to realise she has to do something, and helps Alderheart and Willowshine get the herbs, despite betraying her new leader. When she realises that it’s her life or Violetpaw’s- she’s completely willing to die for her apprentice/best friend. She sacrifices everything she can to help Violetpaw get away, and dies at the paws of her leader, Darktail, and former best friend, Sleekwhisker.”
Thank you Moon for that really emotional recap of Needletail’s life. Clearly there is another point I haven’t brought up. Character development. It takes an excessive amount of talent to be able to take a hated character, and make them one of the most beloved, and I praise the Erins for being able to achieve this.
Alright I think I’m going to start breezing through these now or else this article will turn into a book!
Plumeflake: “When reading The New Prophecy in 2013, Squirrelpaw really stuck out to me out of the TNP six. I think it was because of my personality being similar to hers, as a child who always made trouble – whether it was on purpose or not – but had good intentions. As I read on, I was engrossed with her story and enjoyed reading about her romantic relationship with Brambleclaw. I always seem to choose characters with a similar personality or views to mine as a favourite, and having someone or something to relate might be the reason why. I’ve always liked Squirrelflight, even when I’ve mellowed down a bit and see myself a little bit like Leafpool.
Cheetahspark: ”I think my favorite character is Ivypool, because not being the special one and trying to make up for it is semi-relatable.”
Lavenderbreeze: “When Yellowfang first entered the story, I immediately knew I was going to love her. The grumpy, sharp-tongued she-cat quickly wormed her way into my heart and became my favorite character. I found myself eagerly awaiting when Firepaw would have to groom her or change her bedding. She was everything I loved in a character. Brave, but not traditionally so. Kind hearted, but with a cold exterior. Wise, but not boastful…. When she passed in Rising Storm, I learned how much a fictional character’s death could affect a person. Her death was the first fictional character death I experienced as a child and it never fails to make me cry, even as an adult.”
Wolfspirit: “One interesting cat is Jayfeather! He’s grumpy and kinda fierce you know? [He’s] blind so he has to memorize where things are which is so amazing because my memory is so terrible, and I can’t get how he does that. Jayfeather handled his fate pretty well. Of course it would be a shock at first but slowly, he got used to it and took charge of the matter very well. Also, I love the story of him and the stick. Jay’s life isn’t ordinary and being blind is tough.”
I wish I could talk about everybody’s answers more, but alas, I’m probably boring everyone by now.
I’m going to be honest, when I walked into the dms of the people I was interviewing, I told them that I was going to try to figure out if people liked characters based off of relatability or personality, but I think I accidentally opened a door to a larger room than I thought. The characters we like are not one dimensional names on a sheet of paper that’s so thin we can accidentally rip it, but rather names that we know the personalities of, people that we can relate to and see ourselves in, and characters that we see grow over time. It’s easy to hate a character. Make them do a few not-so-good things and you’re set. But to get a character who does bad things, but with a good enough reason and personality that you can redeem them and like them? That’s some character development and writing. Nobody loves a Mary Sue, but people sure as heck like Crowfeather.
So why do we like our favourite characters?
Well, it looks like we like our favourite characters because, not only do they have interesting personalities, but because we can relate to them, see them grow, and sometimes, see them redeem themselves. With Crowfeather and Needletail, we can watch them grow a person, and see them in a different light than ever before. With Yellowfang, we sympathise with her, and understand why she had to do the things she had to do. We knew she didn’t deserve to die in that fire, and so we felt even sadder, and cried even. We need more characters like these. Characters that we see as actual people, not just another Brackenfur that we use our imaginations to come up with a personality for and hope that’s what the Erins’ were going for.