My awesome friend Tracey Dyck tagged me in this lovely thing. (Look her up and read her list. It’s awesome).
-List your ten favorite screen characters.
-Tag ten other bloggers.
And I apologize profusely — I don’t know anyone that Tracey hasn’t already tagged! So consider yourself tagged and give me the link to your post in the comments. Please, darlings.
Ah-right, on to the list. Although I have no idea what to do with this, seeing as there are so many characters that have won my heart fully and completely. I think these are my top favorites…. And I tried to put them in order from 10 to 1, but I think I may have failed.
10) EUGENE FITZHERBERT/FLYNN RIDER
I’m a sucker for Disney, and Tangled is no exception. And as much as I love Rapunzel, Gothel, Pascal, etc., Eugene has to win my favorite character slot. He’s so human. We meet him as a common thief with sweeping dreams and an even bigger ego, but as he moves forward through the story, he grows and realizes what is truly important in life. He starts off as a bloke so self-centered he wouldn’t even think of anyone else, but when the film ends he has changed in the most beautiful of ways. He’s kind, courageous, and was perfectly willing to sacrifice everything for the person he loved. And he has a killer sense of humor.
9) FRANCIS SULLIVAN/JACK KELLY
Ah, Jack Kelly.
Sorry, Broadway, I’m sure Newsies is a mega-hit and everyone loves it. It’s still not the movie.
Jack, despite his laughter, teasing, and swashbuckling attitude, is a very sad soul. He yearns for family, for love, for happiness. He’s sick and tired of being trodden on by the big-wigs in their lust for money and power — so he stands up to fight them. He gets knocked down and bribed, but he doesn’t give up. He’s lived his whole life scraping for a living, battling for respect. The other newsies love him and follow his lead, but he doesn’t realize how much they care until the end. His friends have become his family. He’s finally won that happiness.
8) THE EVIL QUEEN/REGINA MILLS
Regina is one of those characters you can watch forever and always find another layer. She has been through so much pain and suffering, some caused by circumstances beyond her control, some that she created herself. She starts out in Once Upon a Time as the Evil Queen — her entire existence is wrapped up in taking revenge on Snow White.
Regina’s is perhaps one of the best redemption stories ever to be told. Human souls crave love, and evil queens are no exception. She ‘achieves’ her goal of destroying everyone’s happy endings, but her new life is surprisingly empty. She adopts a son, and now she finally has someone to fulfill her. But she doesn’t truly know how to be a mother, despite her love for Henry. As the series progresses, however, Regina learns what it is to genuinely love. Love is service. Love is kindness. Love is forgiveness. And as she lets go of her past, of the hatred that burns within her, destroying her, she’s almost … almost reborn, in a sense. Heck, it’s a hard journey, but she’s not about to give up. I relate very strongly to Regina because I’ve done some terrible things myself. I love her steadfastness in even just trying to stay on the right path. It gives me hope for myself, too.
7) GUY OF GISBORNE
Guy is one of those characters so terrible but with so much potential for redemption that no matter what he does, you root for him. Plus the man is drop-dead gorgeous. He’s the sheriff’s right-hand man and while he’s not entirely happy in his position, he craves power and respect and serving the sheriff is a way to get that. When Marian asks him why he works for the sheriff, he replies, “I choose power. He is my route to position, standing.”
But all those redeemable qualities finally come to fruition. His love for Marian begins to drive him, rather than his lust for power. Granted, he makes many, many mistakes along the way, but I can’t help but love him. Guy is — in my opinion — one of the few good features of the third season of Robin Hood. His character arc is finally finished, and when the show ends, you can’t help feeling pride for his progress and a respect that he has finally earned.
6) CYRANO DE BERGERAC
Cyrano is one of the wittiest characters in the history of literature. He is a literal genius with words. He can make you laugh, make you sit on the edge of your seat, make you cry just with words. He’s a poet in love with the beautiful, intelligent Roxanne, but his confidence as a romantic partner is so diminished by his facial deformity. His nose is overly long and large, but while he is constantly rising above that insecurity, declaring his love for Roxanne is something he can never quite do. All hope for him seems lost when Roxanne falls in love with one of his cadets, the handsome Christian. Christian, however, is not good with words, so Cyrano ‘lends’ him his. For months, it is the words of Cyrano that holds Roxanne’s heart, but she thinks they are Christian’s. Even when Christian dies, Cyrano doesn’t say a word to his beloved until the very end of his life. Even then, she guesses it and he still barely is able to admit to it. He is selfless, and in the end, he is remembered as a brilliant mind and a great man who rose above every challenge laid upon him.
5) JARETH, THE GOBLIN KING
I know I basically did an entire post dedicated to this guy, but he is one of my favorite characters. He has lots of faults, but he’s awesome.
Jareth is extremely selfish. He always has to be right, always has to be in control, and always has to win. He makes a formidable antagonist, even as his heart softens toward the young Sarah.
I’ve always wondered what his backstory was. How did he come to be this way? Even the woman he has come to love isn’t exempt from his malevolent schemes as she strives to rescue her baby brother from him. Did he have no examples of love or kindness? What terrible experiences have so hardened him against others? It’s questions like these that make me hold him upside down and take him apart piece-by-piece to examine his potential for redemption. I think he really has it. But it’s going to take a lot of work for him to get back to a good path, and first, he has to want to.
4) THE BEAST
By now you’ve probably noticed the recurring ‘redemption arc’ theme. I think that that’s what humans really crave. And I think the Beast is one of the best examples of a redemption arc. He begins the film as a selfish, sometimes cruel, creature who can’t stand not getting his way. He’s really very immature. He’s been punished to live as an animal for ten years after an enchantress saw that “there was no love in his heart.” The only way for the spell to be lifted was for him to love another, and for them to love him in return, before the rose linked to his life dies. At first he doesn’t like Belle — she’s only a tool for him to be free. But it’s not long before he falls head-over-heels in love with her. He learns to serve her and be kind to her, and his heart slowly understands what it is to truly love. He begins to care for his servants, ask their advice, and treat them with kindness. The curse is finally broken when Belle also admits her love for him. (Although, for the record, I cannot for the life of me connect that idiot-seeming prince at the end with the Beast with a man’s heart I had come to love during the course of the film. At least keep the voice, Disney!)
This girl is smart. She stands out in a “poor, provincial town” like a sore thumb. Everyone expects women to be subservient and simpering, but that’s just not Belle’s thing. She values education, learning, and kindness, and those are a little on the short side where she lives. She longs for adventure, for a place that can welcome her and appreciate her without judgment. She adores her father, and when he is taken prisoner by the Beast, she offers to take his place. What an act of selflessness. And at first the spunky girl is not too keen on her furry captor, but as he begins to change, she realizes it. I think sometimes we hold people to a certain level that we expect from them, and even when they rise above it, we have too much hatred to actually see it. Belle doesn’t do that. She learns to see into his new heart and loves him back. She uses her head, but her heart is well-utilized — she is a shining example of what a person can achieve.
I don’t think it’s possible for a person not to love Loki. In the first Thor film, he is portrayed as a young man who is often shoved aside for the glory of his elder brother. In the Avengers, he has grown and hardened into a man whose wounds have healed all wrong, making him very dangerous. In the second Thor film, his actions and experiences have taken their toll, but what really spurs him is the death of his mother. Grief-stricken, he’ll go to any lengths to avenge her.
I feel so bad for Loki. Despite his strength and intelligence, he’s a broken man. He discovers he’s the son of a mortal enemy of his family and no longer feels that he truly belongs in the place he’s always thought himself an integral part of. I think Loki feels things very strongly, so these new revelations push him over the edge, breaking his heart. He’s mischievous and dangerous, and combined with his hurt things get bad quickly … and they stay bad. Thrashing violently to get out of the pit in which he’s found himself, he just digs himself in deeper.
It’s such a sad situation. We’ve all had emotional pain and we’ve all lashed out because of it. But he is capable of so many more crimes than a normal human — being, y’know, not human — and at the same time, his potential is so great. I want to shake him and tell him how much he’s capable of. He’s done terrible, terrible things, but I don’t believe he’s past the point of no return. I want him to come back. I want him to find happiness.
My favorite film in all the world is the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Quasimodo is an exceptional human being. His entire life he’s been trapped in the bell tower of Notre Dame (NO-tre DOM, not NO-ter DAYM), told he’s a monster, and overall emotionally abused. Yet despite all of it, his heart is large enough to hold the empire of the world. His sweetness and innocence is beautiful, just beautiful, to behold. He has soaring dreams and a soul capable of the most tender of loves. He’s brave, compassionate, imaginative, talented, and kind. He can see past the skin just as he thinks others are incapable of doing to him. His forgiveness and love are an example for all the nations. He is protective over those he cares about and even loves those who hurt him. I wish he could see just how important he is. At the end of the film, when he is finally free both literally and figuritively, it’s enough to make you weep from joy.
Okay, that was long and I enjoyed every moment of it. I love people, and characters are just people that I can revisit over and over again in ways I can’t really do with my average neighbor. These people inspire me and teach me, and I’m proud to know them.
And Rumpelstiltskin probably would’ve made it onto the list somewhere except that I’m still ticked off at him for everything that’s happened since the end of the third season. Emma Swan is another of my favorites, and — oh, my word, how on earth did I forget Jack Sparrow? I feel like such a failure now…. Jack, forgive me…. Anyway, had I blinking had my brain attached when I made the list, he totally would’ve been one of the primary ones on here. But I’m way too lazy to go back and fix it.
And Shelby, if I tag you, will you get a blog?