Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters

“His purpose was rigid within him. He felt he could not bend to gentleness without breaking.”

Stephen Donaldson

  1. Thomas Covenant – The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson. I do love the Covenant series, for reasons, but gods the main character is frustrating, seesawing between inaction and action, deciding to do one thing and then the next moment something completely different, and his hesitation, his privileging of his own needs above others’, constantly puts lives at risk.
  2. Hugo Lamb – The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell. Hugo and Holly are my OTP, and I will never, ever forgive Hugo for swapping True Love for Eternal Life. Did he never read Harry Potter?
  3. Pamela Andrews – Pamela, Samuel Richardson. This is the first book on my list that I actually genuinely despise. Pamela Andrews is an intensely irritating, sanctimonious milksop who is defeated in her escape attempt by a brick wall and some scary-looking cows. I AM NOT KIDDING. Yes, she is a 17th-century heroine, but so was Sophia Western in Tom Jones, and she left her father’s house with a pistol in her bra.
  4. Wade Watts – Ready Player One, Ernest Cline. I hated Wade, and the book he appears in, with a passion: he is the ultimate in “…but my best friend is [insert minority here]” internet trolldom.
  5. Feanor – The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien. Back to books I actually enjoy. Every time I re-read The Silmarillion the plight of Middle-earth seems more and more Feanor’s fault. (Because it actually, um, is his fault.) IF ONLY YOU WERE NOT SUCH A DOUCHEBAG FOR FIVE MINUTES, Feanor. If only.
  6. Mrs de Winter – Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier. The unnamed heroine of Rebecca is such a weed. I always wish she would just stand up to Mrs Danvers and Frith and not feel judged by them. Like, I know everyone has had those moments of social awkwardness, but they are so frustrating to read about.
  7. Harry Potter – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix onwards, J.K. Rowling. Rowling is constantly telling us how Amazing and Noble Harry is. All I see is a fairly ordinary, very moody teenager making questionable decisions. The fact that he has the fate of the wizarding world in his hands is not A Good Thing.
  8. Evelina Anville – Evelina, Fanny Burney. Evelina is gloriously clueless, and I think the frustration of this book is actually part of the fun, as we watch her get into so many easily-avoidable sticky situations.
  9. Susannah Dean – The Dark Tower, Stephen King. That bit in the last book where she goes through the door? I know it’s supposed to be redemptive and shiny and wonderful, but it always seems a bit…flaky to me.
  10. Esther Summerson – Bleak House, Charles Dickens. “Look, I am perfect and angelic and I love everyone.” *retches*

(The theme for this post was suggested by the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday.)

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