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10 Feb 2012

Friday Fives: Show some sidekick love!

I've seen a few blogs take part in Friday Fives for a while now.  It looked like fun so here I am this week! I'm taking part and sharing some awesome literary love.  This week:

Who are your five favourite literary sidekicks?

1) INIGO MONTOYA from The Princess Bride

Inigo, of course, is more than a sidekick.  He becomes a memorable character in his own right with his determination to study sword fighting just to avenge his father.  Six fingered men beware! He's not just assisting pirates and taking on the odd kidnapping job.  He's on the hunt with a well rehearsed introduction.

2) Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series

Ah, Neville.  From dorky, bullied and timid boy to loyal ally of Harry, Dumbledore and all that is good.  He was never the greatest wizard at Hogwarts but he was still ready to fight and show everyone that Gryffindor was the right house for him.  I liked that it wasn't a sudden burst of confidence but something that grew as the series went.  I remember from the first book where he stands up to Ron, Harry and Hermione, ready to stop them from breaking more rules.  In Neville's mind he just wanted to make sure his house didn't lose more points and get into trouble.  Talk about loyalty and consideration for so many peers as well as taking that brave decision to gain the confidence to speak up for what he thought was the wrong thing to do.  This ended up with Neville being rewarded ten points at the end of the school year for Gryffindor and ultimately made them the winning house as they had just been equal with Slytherin.  That was my favourite Neville Longbottom moment, even topping the 7th book.

3) Nanny Ogg from Discworld

Somewhere I always find a chance to rave about an aspect of Discworld. ;) This time it's the hilarious Nanny Ogg of the witches' storyline.  There's Granny Weatherwax with her cold demeanour and Agnes Nitt with her split personality issue but Nanny Ogg is my favourite of the trio.  At first it's her pleasant and friendly nature, being a well-liked member of Lancre that I like.  Then it's her little oddities like the rude garden gnomes and her annual bath night that is feared by the townsfolk.  I just love a good comic character.

4) Johnny Cade from The Outsiders
A very tragic end for a remarkable secondary character.  Johnny was the quiet Greaser with a poor home life and had already had a frightening experience of being attacked by the Socs prior to the book's beginning.  So when the enemy gang attack him and Ponyboy again (the narrator + MC), almost killing his friend, Johnny makes a move that ruins his life and in fear he runs just because of self-defence.  But running was just the beginning. 

5) Watch from Spooksville
This is going all the way back to my childhood but even now I still remember how much I enjoyed this MG series as a child and how fascinating I found the character of Watch.  He was the quietest member of the tween gang (I seem to have a habit of liking the shy, quiet ones) and the most mysterious.  Watch's background was never really looked into.  The series hinted that he lived alone and his real name was never mentioned.  Everything about him was secretive and he wasn't usually the type to stand in the spotlight.  The one rare time we saw a trace of how he even felt about his life was in The Invasion of the No-Ones where he considers immortality and escapism from the life he currently leads.  Such sad feelings for a boy of twelve.  I would have loved to have seen more about his character in the books.


  1. Interesting selection, Robin. I almost went for a Princess Bride sidekick, but I've yet to read the book--I've only seen the movie--so that seemed a bit of a cheat (not that I'm above cheating on a Friday Five... but just for once...). I also considered Nanny Ogg, too! In the Discword books I've read so far (up through LORDS AND LADIES), she and Granny Weatherwax seem like a tight team. :)

  2. I'm totally with you on the Neville thing. Such a great character and a loyal friend. I also had to agree with Colin's choice of Sam Gamgee in the LOTR books. That's what I call 'loyal sidekick'. :D

  3. Those sound like amazing sidekicks :D And I may have to pick up the Discword books at some point...My TBR list keeps on growing...

  4. There are such great picks! Neville is brilliant, and I loved how he became more confident as the series went along.

    I still haven't read the book version of The Princess Bride, I really need to.

  5. The Princess Bride is just as great as the film. Adds some extra background to the characters and the parody is a little more obvious. It's a really entertaining read. :)

    Colin, I love Nanny Ogg and Granny together too! It's their close friendship that I love despite contrasting personalities and their detective-like involvement in the storylines.