Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Character Tropes

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly topic created by gingerreadslainey over on Youtube. There's a Goodreads group here, where you can sign up and take part each week.

This week, the topic is our favourite character tropes. Again, I found this topic to be quite tricky, mainly due to the fact that I don't actively pay attention to tropes when I read, but I searched around and came up with my top five.

This was a bit of a no-brainer for me, seeing as how the majority of my favourite characters can be seen as morally questionable or just lacking a moral compass entirely. I love reading from the perspective of someone who's out for themselves, especially when they do so in a complex manner where they aren't being inherently evil, ergo being an anti-hero. As much as I do love a good superhero - the emphasis on super - I feel that they can be too samey, and I get fed up with the goody-goody act. But in the same breath, I get frustrated with straight up villains. Give me that grey area in between good and evil and we're good.

I may have just invented this one myself, but let's roll with it. Think of the insta-love that nine out of ten people can't stand, and replace the swooning as soon as they lay eyes on each other with disgust, lips curled back in snarls as insults are flung about. Tie it together with one party not understand what they've done to inspire such rage, a lot of misunderstandings, and then an apology that is most likely too little too late and you have my perfect recipe for drama. While I don't go in for romance, I do go in for complicated relationships, the more dramatic the better.

The McGuffin
This one may be a cheat as it's not technically a character trope, but it is certainly a trope that I love. The McGuffin in a story is something that is used to motivate the plot and the characters, whilst basically being entirely useless. Usually, the entire cast of characters is after the McGuffin, and it's a race between heroes and villains as to who can get to it first. I love seeing two opposing sides chase after the same thing, tripping each other up at every possible chance. I love it even more if it's neck and neck and they both reach it at the same time, only to discover that whatever they were chasing was a lie. Think of a hero and a villain on their separate quests for 'valuable treasure', only to get to the cave it's kept in to find an ancient proverb. It lends to a great action sequence, but also manages to keep the humor. 

The Caligula
Or in a lot of young adult literature, I guess it's 'the evil dictator who runs the dystopian government'. Either way, I really enjoy books with a leader that needs to be taken down. Think President Snow in The Hunger Games, or Joffrey in A Song of Ice and Fire. The Caligula doesn't necessarily have to be evil, they can be deluded, thinking what they're doing is right and the best for their people, or they can think themselves a god with almighty power. Whatever they are, they are almost always interesting to read about, even if you can't always understand why they do the things they do.

Warrior Women
Perhaps my favourite trope in existence, the warrior woman never fails to make a good story even better. I love it when the main female character can do everything the male characters can do - especially when they do it better, faster, and in a more logical way. I love it when authors write interesting, well rounded female characters with more than one side to them. I like seeing a girl in pretty dresses have the mind of a tactical genius. I like seeing a girl who everyone brushes off as being too weak and feminine beat the villain single-handedly. I like seeing princesses who want a husband and a family rescue themselves from a situation, with no need for a knight in shining armour. Think Katniss from The Hunger Games, Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass, Arya, Sansa, Cersei, Daenerys, Margaery, Ygritte, and Brienne from A Song of Ice and Fire. There is nothing better than seeing a woman look after herself.


  1. Great list! I love anti-heroes , they're so much more interesting than normal heroes . You can check out my post if you like X

    1. The moral greyness of them lends itself to a lot more dimension in stories. It's fun to see both sides of them, and all their options in a situation.

  2. I included anti-heroes, too. They're so much more relatable. Great list!

    1. And they're so much fun to read about! I like how they can be to different degrees as well. There's always going to be one who's more a villain, and one who ends up more like a 'true' hero.

  3. I really wish I'd thought of anti-heroes, I was struggling with my list but I really do love how complex and interesting their characters are. However, I'm completely the opposite with the Caligula - that's something that really annoys me and I'm not sure why...

    1. As soon as I saw the topic I knew anti-heroes would be somewhere on my list. I've always been a fan of them, so it was a no brainer. I find the Caligula to be so fascinating. I try to work out what made them the way they are and why they think it's okay to keep being that way. But I think that might be my love of psychology worming it's way in. :P


Got a thought or an opinion? I'd love to hear it.

design by amanda inez