My Favorite Characters Part 4: Stoic Type

>> Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oh, you thought I was done? No such luck. Turns out I have MANY favorite characters. Now, although many of incarnations of MFC 1-3 tend to be "heroes" or male characters, the stoic type can be either gender. I can think of half a dozen favorite novel characters like this (such as Val Con Yos'Phelium and Jela--as well as Jela's tree--from the Liaden series - although it was applicable to many of the Liaden characters), heroines and heroes from Georgette Heyer novels, my heroine (Layla) from Curse of the Jenri, and my hero, Xander from Beast Within. Even Horton hatching his egg fits. Actually, you can make an argument that Edward from the Twilight series is more a stoic than a cool and cutting. In the movies, they're everywhere. Van Helsing, McConnell from the Mummy series, Spok...I literally could be here forever.

Clearly, I'm not alone in finding this kind of quiet, patient individual appealing. Being quiet isn't enough, though, for him/her to be a favorite. They must be smart enough and knowledgeable enough to understand the trials they choose to face or their stoicism doesn't have the same cache. Often a side character (though I've noted many who aren't), they are often the right hand man/woman to a charismatic or volatile main character. Sometimes straight men, sometimes the characters that take the "dreams" of the main character and make them reality (as it were in fiction), they are completely dependable and 100% trustworthy.

In many ways, they are like the MFC#1 (stupid but pure) only minus the potential for stupid. Whereas you may not be sure if MFC#1 really knows what they're getting into, with the stoic, you know they understand the risks, the implecations, the challenges and even the pain and choose to do so anyway.

They are devoted, selfless, not overtly passionate but quietly and implacably so nonetheless. Ironically, they are also usually very logical, organized, and practical, often, again, in contrast with those around them. They are not swayed by dogma or beliefs as a general rule, but either led by people they admire absolutely or stoic because they are intactable when it comes to "what's right."

Do I love 'em? You bet. I'm not sure but I think everyone does.


  • Jeff King

    Yes i love them, and feel they are very important to the development of the main char’s persona...

    and i find that char the hardest to write about or make them be the type of char you are describing here... i hope one day i will learn to let that char come to life, and live like he should.
    The struggle continues.

  • The Mother

    Why is logical, organized and practical ironic with quietly and implacably passionate? Stoics are generally the type who use their brains (even the original stoic philosophers valued reason above all else). Us reasoning types are the least likely to let the world rattle us. Seems not ironic to me.

  • Stephanie B

    It was the juxtaposition of "passionate" and logical. I don't actually find a conflict in it either, The Mother, but many think logical people can't be passionate.

  • Shakespeare

    I especially like it when the depth of such a quiet character is revealed, especially when the character has been trying for chapters to hide his/her true feelings.

    Desperately romantic, if you ask me (even if the feelings don't involve romantic love at all).

  • Stephanie B

    Me too, Shakespeare.

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