Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life

Hey there! It’s Tuesday, and as usual I’m participating in the “Top Ten Tuesday” link-up hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


The theme for today is “Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life.” I actually had a harder time writing this than I thought I would, but decided to keep the “who” anonymous to protect those in my life (and lets be honest…myself… :P). The characters below remind me of people close to me, people I’ve known in the past, and in some cases myself. I’ve noted the qualities and aspects of these characters that remind me of the real-life folks.  For those of you who know me in real life, you can try to guess who I am referring to but right or wrong I will not confirm the answer…it’s my secret 🙂

Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life:

1. Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games trilogy

In keeping with the Hunger Games mania that has descended this year, it seems fitting to include Katniss on this list. Katniss is one of the most focused characters I’ve ever run across, and she nearly always accomplishes what she puts her mind to. She is a little bit rebellious, but mostly conforms to the rules of her world in order to survive and thrive. Katniss at times can seem to be cool and emotionless, but deep down she cares deeply for her friends and family. She is a fierce competitor who isn’t afraid to take others down in her quest for glory, but will also help out a friend in need. Generally, she is someone you want on your team because you know competing against her would be very difficult.

2. Petyr Baelish from the A Song of Ice and Fire series

Confession time: I have yet to read any books of this series but I am a BIG fan of the Game of Thrones television show. One of the most interesting characters in the show (and presumably the book series) is (Lord) Petyr Baelish. He is one of the shrewdest and most intelligent characters in the series. As a “self-made man” he maintains his status by constantly changing allegiances, and manipulating circumstances to suit himself. He’s a character that audiences love, and love to hate. You are never really sure whose side he is on, and the truth is the only side he is really on is his own.

3. W. P. Inman from Cold Mountain

I am currently listening to this audiobook, and the character of Inman frequently reminds me of a few people I know in my real life. Inman is a confederate solider in the Civil War who grows disenchanted with “the cause” and war in general, and ultimately deserts the army to begin a long journey home. He is intelligent (although he doesn’t have much in the way of a formal education), posses ample amounts of street-smarts, and has a strong moral compass that always points north. Inman is most definitely an individual, and marches to the beat of his own drum (as many people who are brought up in rural areas do). He is always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need, but also isn’t afraid to stand up for himself if the situation calls for it.

4. Emma Woodhouse from Emma

Emma has always been one of my favorite characters from literature…probably because certain aspects of her person hit a little too close to home (I bet you can guess who this character reminds me of!). She is intelligent, high-spirited, and genuinely wishes for the happiness of those around her. This desire to see her friends and family happy generally extends into interfering in their love lives. While I’ve never gone so far as Emma frequently does, I have been guilty of doing some matchmaking in my day. Luckily, so far those matches have gone well (one even resulted in a marriage!). I do think I distinguish myself from Emma though because I have more real world expierence, and am (I hope) more self aware.

5. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series

Luna is a very sweet girl with a gentle disposition, and she has an ethereal, almost otherworldly quality to her. She is by far one of the most “unique” characters in the Harry Potter series. Although she is best known for her strange interests, bizarre fashion choices, and unique turns of phrase she is also one of the most loyal and loveable characters in the series.

6. Don Quixote from Don Quixote

Don Quixote (DQ) is by far one of the most memorable characters in literature. After stubbornly setting out on his quest to restore chivalry, he is able to sweep along friend and stranger in his long journey. His optimism, courage, and unwillingness to accept reality as it is make him particularly memorable. His “reality distortion field” (borrowing a term from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography)  does indeed sometimes make reality malleable, and it can seem as though he is able to make things happen just because he believes so strongly in it. We all need a DQ in our lives to pick us up when we are down, and to encourage us to “dream the impossible dream.”

7. Ellen Olenska from The Age of Innocence

This was one of my favorite books that I read last year. In exploring the boundaries between responsibility and personal freedom, Edith Wharton created Ellen Oleneska. Despite suffering from a troubled (and perhaps abusive) marriage to the Polish Count Olenski, Ellen returns to the United States with her dignity in tact. She is honest, fair, and treats everyone (even her maid) as her equal. Although some may take aim at her behavior throughout the novel (especially in regards to her affair with Archer), she ultimately chooses to make a personal sacrifice for the good of her family. In the gray areas that overlap the black and white portions of a life, she makes her decisions gracefully and selflessly.

8. Denys Finch Hatton from Out of Africa

Although Denys is not a fictional character (as he was a real person who is portrayed in Isak Dinsen’s famous memoir), his larger-than-life persona could easily be adapted into a novel. In the memoir, he is portrayed as a dreamer, the quintessential “anywhere but here” guy. Denys  is intelligent, very well-traveled, and retains a certain wildness which makes it impossible for him to be tied down. He is a friend to everyone, but ultimately is unable to belong to anyone.

9. Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

After doing the “hard 20” for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister and her son, Jean Valjean is released back into the world as a marked man. Bearing the markings and papers of a former convict, it is nearly impossible for him to make an honest life. Despite these initial setbacks, he manages to make his fortune and care for an orphan girl. He devotes his life to caring for her and others, often at great personal risk to himself. Through all of his trials and tribulations, Valjean remains fiercely loyal, honest in his dealings with others, and is always willing to give people a second chance. He is dealt one of the worst hands that life can deal a person, and yet manages to make a good life in spite of that.

10. Jane Eyre  from Jane Eyre

I think almost every (female) lover of literature likes to think that she shares common traits with Jane Eyre. Jane is intelligent, passionate, and somewhat of a feminist (before that was even a thing). She has a very strong moral code which she strictly adheres to, and refuses to be subservient to the men in her life, even her deepest love. At times this places her in less than ideal situations, but she always manages to make the best of it. Her courage and “stiff upper lip” are great examples to us even today.


Are there any characters that remind you of yourself or someone you know?


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Streetlight Reader
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 11:39:42

    I loved that you included Luna Lovegood in your list. She’s such a great character. And it’s really great that you included Jane as well. Jane, Jo March and Elizabeth Bennett seem to be the characters from classics that people are reminded of. Great List btw 🙂


    • exlibrisheather
      Jun 26, 2012 @ 16:58:28

      Thank you! I was looking for a way to include Jo, but just couldn’t think of anyone in my life who resembled her enough to put her on my list. She is one of my favorite characters though.


  2. Mary
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 11:46:50

    I HATED writing it this week – and ended up just copying out a funny convo with my boyfriend – but Im really enjoying reading others’! Like Don Quixote here. Brilliant!


    • exlibrisheather
      Jun 26, 2012 @ 17:02:45

      Thank you! DQ is one of my favorite characters! Also, as I commented on your blog I love the conversation you posted in lieu of finishing the list. Very entertaining. 🙂


  3. Ula @ Blog of Erised
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 11:48:08

    Great list! I love the fact that you included Luna and Littlefinger. I was actually considering them both along with Katniss, but I’m neither highly unselfish and brave, nor scheming and mysterious or otherworldy and brutally honest and I don’t know anyone like it either so I left them be. But they are definitely a good choice.


  4. barefoot_med_student
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 12:33:18

    I wish I were more like Luna! She is so sweet… and lovely… and unique.


  5. Lis @ The reader lines
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 12:51:10

    Oh man! I agree Katniss and Luna are awesome!!!
    Don Quixote is kind like me as well.
    Great picks!!


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