The contents of this list are, as with all lists I make, completely subjective and based on my rather unfortunate memory. These are the characters who irritated me so much, I still remember them. I have delivered rants about them to unfortunate friends. Interestingly, most of them are characters you are supposed to like.
So without further ado, let the countdown begin!
10. Alaska/Margo from Looking for Alaska/Paper Towns
Technically, this is cheating. I know. Those are two separate characters from two different books by John Green. However, I combine them, because they sure felt like the same character. Both Alaska and Margo are interestingly named, gorgeous, mysterious girls, who are wanted by pretty much every guy in school. You hate them already right? I have read Looking for Alaska twice and Paper Towns once, and hated both characters all the way through. They're great books, but would be even better if I could sympathize with the main character for his obsession with these self destructive girls.
9. Mary from The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves
I disliked Mary from the start of the first book, but what really cemented her on the list of characters most deserving a beat-down was book two. *Spoiler Alert* In the first book, you have to sit through all of her whining about how much she wants the younger brother; then, she gets him and you have to sit through all of her whining about how she's bored of him. Realistic? Perhaps. Fun reading? Not in the least. Along comes book two, which stars Mary's daughter (who is just as frustrating as Mary). In this one, Mary is now back with the older brother. What the hell? I am so glad I sat through all of the earlier whining.
8. Cho Chang from the Harry Potter Series.
I love Harry Potter and adore many of the characters (especially the ginger twins!). Cho, however, I have wanted to toss into the branches of the Whomping Willow ever since her first appearance. Why does she make me so angry? Mostly because she really does not seem like she is worth all the drama she causes. Harry is obsessed with her for a long time, but in the scenes in which they interact, she really does not seem to have all that much character. What personality she does have seems like a sham. I never felt like she really liked Harry; she liked his fame. In my book, Cho needs to go!
7. Hamlet from...well, you know
Shakespeare wrote some pretty rocking plays, pretty much all of which I enjoy reading. His characters, however, can be pretty darn obnoxious. Like Hamlet. An idiotic professor in undergrad liked to call him 'a Renaissance man.' Not so much. He's not really good for anything, except for moping. He does a grade A mope. All he has to do is kill Claudius, and considering he doesn't really care about what happens to him afterward, that ought to be pretty damn simple. And yet, it's not. Someone get that procrastinator some Nikes.
6. Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre
Some crazy people want to argue that Rochester is a better hero than anyone Jane Austen devised. This is, of course, one hundred percent false. Rochester is a major creeper and an ass. His best quality is that he is not above dressing in drag to mess with people. His worst quality would be that he is a control freak truth-omitter, who likes to keep crazy wives in his attic. Also, he wants to be a bigamist. And he can only accept help from a woman, even one he purportedly loves, if he is blind. Now, that's true romance.
5. Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia
Yeah, I know, this is one of the most-loved characters from one of the most-loved children's series. I also know that this is allegorical Jesus (I wish I didn't). What drives me crazy about Aslan is that he never gives the kids a chance to solve their own problems. How will they stop being obnoxious themselves (particularly Lucy), if he never lets them learn from their mistakes? I, for one, am not a fan of deus ex lion.
4. Petruchio from The Taming of the Shrew
Shakespeare again. Although I prefer the comedies to the tragedies and histories, I really hate The Taming of the Shrew. I have read it several times, hoping to find some hint, some clue to indicate that its not a play about a misogynist who breaks a woman's spirit the way people do to horses. Yeah, Katherine's not much fun either, but no one deserves Petruchio. The play can be done well, changing his character a bit (see John Cleese as Petruchio...), but the text itself does not indicate anything besides a whipped woman. Petruchio is a big, ugly jerk who deserves to hang out with the cast of Titus Andronicus for a while.
3. Almost Everyone from Wuthering Heights
Here are some characters you aren't supposed to like. The hardest thing to decide is which character to punch first. Whiny Linton? Violent Heathcliff? Creepy, codependent Catherine? Annoying and largely unnecessary Mr. Lockwood? Pretty much everyone in this novel is entirely awful. Props to Emily Brontë for still managing to make it a book worth reading.
They may deserve to get punched, but they don't deserve this...
Also, "love never dies?" I don't think they read this book.
2. Everyone from Jude the Obscure
Even worse than the characters from Wuthering Heights is everyone from Jude the Obscure. Most of the book is a blur now, because I promptly began trying to forget it even as I read it. From what I recall, it starts with an abusive farmer and ends with children who kill themselves for their parents. First up for punching is Jude himself, who makes awful decisions and, like the old school version of John Green's character's, can't get over Sue, a girl who is incredibly bad for him. And yet, I'm pretty sure he married someone he didn't really like, while still in love with Sue. Gah!
1. Fanny Price from Mansfield Park
Jane Austen is perhaps my favorite author of all time. Mansfield Park is one of the books I have read that enjoyed the least. Why? Fanny Price. Unlike Austen's other heroines, Fanny lacks spirit of any kind. She simply wants to be a good Christian girl and marry her cousin. Sure that was common back in the day, but at least be sassy while you're being incestuous. Is that too much to ask? All through the book, Fanny gets treated like crap and does absolutely nothing about it. Because she is a good girl. Screw that. I like my heroines with backbone. For what Mansfield Park should have been, see the movie version, in which Fanny is spunky.