September 20, 2018

Forum: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Fictional Characters?

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Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question
: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Fictional Characters?

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz : So many fictional characters to like!

In literature:

Jane Austen’s Emma, “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, the original. When other kids were reading Nancy Drew, I was reading Sherlock.

Amor Towel’s Count Alexander Rostov of A Gentleman in Moscow. A man to love.

Guy de Maupassant’s George Duroy of Bel Ami, spiritual ancestor to Mad Men’s Don Draper and Bonfire of the Vanities’ Peter Fallow.

On film:
The entire cast of Casablanca. Every character stands out.

Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Leave out the action scenes and you find a human being.

On TV:
Emma Peel of The Avengers as interpreted by Diana Rigg. She took care of Mr Steed in great style. I want to be Emma Peel when I grow up.

Rob Miller : OK, here we go…the short list…Bart Simpson, Alice Kramden, Chaplin’s Tramp, Odysseus, Vulcan sex kitten T’pau as played by Jolene Blaylock, Rufus T. Firefly (Duck Soup), Bugs Bunny, Yojimbo (in the Kurosawa film of the same name), Edwina and Patsy from Ab Fab, Sherlock Holmes, Guy Hamilton and Jill Bryant (Aussie journo and his love object  in The Year of Living Dangerously), James Bond (the book one, not the movies), Larry Darrell in ‘The Razor’s Edge’ (book version) Jay Gatsby (ditto, the book), Ian Rankin’s detective John Rebus, Suzy Wong (both the book and the film) The Man With No Name, Col. Jock Sinclair (Tunes Of Glory), Chio Chio San from Madama Butterfly, Lucy Warriner in The Awful Truth.

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Dave Schuler : I couldn’t name any one favorite and I’m afraid my favorites are pretty lowbrow. Here are a few of my favorites

Nikos Kazantzakis’s Zorba
Robert Van Gulik’s Judge Dee
Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe
Seabury Quinn’s Jules de Grandin
Robert E. Howard’s Steve Costigan (from his novela Skullface)
H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain

That should puzzle just about anyone.

Patrick O’Hannigan : Among my favorite fictional characters, these stand out:

* Frodo, Sam, and Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” all of whom are steadfast in different ways.
* Éowyn, “Shieldmaiden of Rohan” in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of “The Return of the King,” because she steals every scene she’s in.
* Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt as mother-and-daughter con artists in the 2001 movie “Heartbreakers,” because they both act like they’re in on the joke (which, of course, they are)
* Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles-based private detective, who manages to be rough and cynical while remaining honorable.
* Don Quixote de la Mancha, because Cervantes made him more memorable than delusional.
* The entire cast of the “Princess Bride” movie (1987)
* The late, great John Candy as Dell Griffith, shower curtain ring salesman, in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”

Well, there it is!

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