Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Character Arcs

Posted February 19, 2013 by Stormy in Books / 23 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is “Top Ten Favorite Characters in X genre”, but I’m cheating a little because I hate having to pick genre favorites. I read such a wide variety of genre and love characters from so many of them that I could never pick just one! So instead, I’m going to do my top ten favorite character arcs. Not necessarily my top ten favorite characters, but  just the character journeys that I thought were the best and appreciated the most. As always, these are in no particular order:


1. Mia in If I Stay

In case you didn’t know, this book broke my heart. The entire book is about Mia’s journey from an just an average, if extremely talented, girl, who then has to make a devastating choice. With every page I got a better insight of Mia’s character and it was just breathtakingly beautiful and heartbreaking, all at the same time. One of my favorite character arcs ever.

2.Lena in Delirium

At the beginning of Delirium we meet Lena who wants her cure so desperately because of what love has done to her family. By the end of the book, current Lena would never recognize former Lena. Lena’s learned what love can do and how even though it does cause heartache sometimes, it is so, so worth it.

3. Connor in Unwind

Connor starts out as a kid who’s gotten into a bit of trouble: nothing serious, but unruly enough that his parent’s decide it’s better to unwind him than to keep putting forth the effort to raise him. He’s impulsive and sometimes arrogant, but from the beginning there’s glimpses of the type of person he could be given the right opportunity. By the end of the book he’s a leader fighting passionately for a cause he believes in.


4. Katniss in the Hunger Games

So, Katniss ends up pretty broken by the end of The Hunger Games, but she has a really interesting character journey. It’s filled with torment and lots of “bad stuff”, for lack of a better term, so I don’t want to call it “great”, but I love how her character adapts. Even though Mockingjay ended with her in a place I never really want to see a character, it was just so fitting and part of the reason why these books are so emotionally compelling for me.


5.Edmund in The Chronicles of Narnia

The ultimate redemption journey. The Chronicles are full of really great character journeys, but I don’t know if anyone has a more major turn-around than Edmund. Eustace comes a close second, I suppose, but Edmund goes from being a bratty little kid who sells out his siblings because he’s petulant to being a king “known for wisdom”. That’s some journey there.

6. Boromir in The Lord of the Rings


Remember when I put Boromir on my Most Frustrating Characters Ever. list? Still a pretty frustrating character, but I love how much of a struggle you can see his character undergoes. He really does love his country and he gets some redemption in the end.


7. Neville in Harry Potter

Neville goes from being the character who you raise your eyebrows at and ask, “How are YOU in Gryffindor?” to being the character you raise your eyebrows at and ask, “Why aren’t YOU the hero of this story?” All along we get flashes of how awesome Neville can be, like when he stands up to Harry, Ron, and Hermione at the end of Sorcerer’s Stone, but it’s just that: flashes. By the end of Deathly Hallows, Neville has become the new “Harry”–the new leader– so to speak, and it’s clear it’s well-deserved. Ten points to Gryffindor.

8. Eli in The Compound

Eli has a fairly decent, safe, comfortable life in the Compound, but he’s settling. He knows it. He knows the preservation of his life is not worth certain measures that are hinted towards, and one day, he decides to finally do something about it. It’s a pivotal moment, and I cheered(in my head) once it came.

9. Tris in Divergent

Tris begins Divergent out-of-place in her faction and confused. She takes a chance by deciding to be Dauntless, and then she jumps off a roof, and things start changing for her. It’s definitely not a quick change, but Tris begins to really find herself, as cliche as that phrase may be, once she starts Dauntless initiation training.

10. Ginny in Harry Potter

How did shy, awkward Ginny become so fierce? This is one character arc I would have really liked to see more of, but I’ll take what I can get. By Deathly Hallows, Ginny’s a strong and formidable witch, and everyone knows it.

This was such a fun post to write! Now I’m really feeling the need to create a discussion post about character arcs–perhaps that will be the next post I decide to schedule. I look forward to reading everyone’s top ten characters in a particular genre today.


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23 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Character Arcs

  1. This is a great list, I love the perspectives.

    Edmond goes from being one of my least favorite characters to being someone I care about. That was some lovely writing.

  2. Jade

    Neville! 🙂 Lena is a great pick too.
    I’m currently reading Unwind, 100 or so pages in, I’m not really liking Connor currently but I guess he may grow on me.

    • Connor was a character that took a while to grow on me. For the first half of the book, he was my least favorite out of the main three, but one of my favorites by the end.

  3. Neville!! Love him too! I love your little cheat. I kept glancing over at the books on my shelf and saying…hmm can I put that on the list? Nope, that’s contemporary. What about that one? Nope, action-adventure. I guess top ten characters of all tmie would be kind of difficult… 😀

  4. Yes! I think Neville’s role in the Harry Potter series is highly overlooked. I sincerely believe the prophecy was about both Harry and Neville and that Voldemort could not have been killed without him.

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