This week's topic was problematic faves.
Characters you don't want to love, but you can't help liking.
You all probably know by now that I am a huge sucker for characters that are likable, but awful, awful people. Honestly, the hardest part of this list was narrowing it down to just five, so I have some honorable mentions down at the bottom.
5. Skulduggery Pleasant - Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
He's rude, he's sarcastic, he's a walking skeleton. Skul isn't a bad person, per se, and he's usually trying to do the right thing, but he does a lot of questionable shit, and you sometimes wonder if his (metaphorical) heart is really in it. Despite his many, many flaws, Skulduggery is a really likable hero, and a great foil to the series' other protagonist, Valkyrie.
4. Ignifex - Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
|Fanart done by Vivi, taken from here. Used with permission from the artist.|
3. Victor Vale - Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Victor Vale could be the poser boy for "why trust fund babies shouldn't have superpowers." Despite being manipulative, self-centered, ruthless, and vindictive, Victor is easily my favorite character in the book, and you honestly want him to succeed. It helps that, when compared to the book's real villains, he's downright take-home-to-Mama material.
2. Amy Dunne - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Fun side effect of your book's protagonist being an asshole: you find yourself siding with the villain. At the end of the day, neither Nick or Amy are good, admirable people you should be rooting for, but with her intelligence and charisma, Amy's easily one of my favorite literary villains. (And Rosamund Pike plays her perfectly in the movie.)
1. Erik - The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Yeah, yeah, most of my Phantom knowledge and fangirling is from the musical. But it was a book first, and he's problematic as hell in both, so screw you, I'm counting it. Erik is a manipulative, jealous, petty, childish stalker... and one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. He's not a good person, but he's a compelling character. In fact, that's true of all the characters on this list
Honorable Mentions: J.D. from Heathers (if this were a movie or theatre list, he would be #1 with a bullet), Crowley from Good Omens (I left him off mainly because he fails even at being problematic), The Squip from Be More Chill (again, he's from theatre -- yes, the show was a book first, but in the book, he's not even a villain), Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby (MY MISGUIDED IDIOT BOOTLEGGER FAVE), L and Light from Death Note (L is a dickwad, Light did everything wrong, and yet I love them both), Mettaton from Undertale (he's such a prick and I love it), Erin from Kill the Boy Band (my murderous queen), Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows (kind of a given), and the Daemon from The Hearts We Sold (didn't make the cut due to being MARGINALLY less of an ass than Ignifex).
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Who are your problematic faves? Tell me about them down in the comments!