Updated: Dec 4, 2021
Professional book editor in the UK discloses the best fictional characters on page and screen!
Everyone who loves reading and streaming the best books, films and TV shows will definitely have their favourite fictional characters. Some you love, some you hate, and others who stick with you forever.
When I come across a character who makes an impression, my obsessive streak kicks in, which may sound strange to some people who can read or watch something and move on, but for me, some fictional characters stay with me and I never want to let them go.
I’ll re-read certain lines from books years after my first read-through; re-watch their films and shows over and over again; replay various fan made tribute videos on YouTube that show the best, or most vulnerable parts of the character; repeat official soundtracks or songs that remind me of them, and sometimes, I like to paint them or admire other people’s fan art on Pinterest!
Some characters can occupy my mind for months or even years, sometimes and embarrassingly bringing me to tears because they’re not real. I’d like to think that I’ve got better with this as I’ve got older, but nah, I still weep when a character dies or a show ends.
I understand that this may sound ridiculous or creep obsessive, but I’ve come to learn that my obsessions with certain characters actually helps my anxiety and stress. If I revisit something with one of my favourite characters in, it comforts me and makes me feel at home. Plus, by re-reading or re-watching something I’ve already read or seen a thousand times, I don’t need to worry about what’s going to happen, who’s going to leave or which character is going to die. I can just escape for a little while and let my worries fade away.
So, before I ramble anymore, here are my top 5 favourite fictional characters in no particular order.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decide to make a purchase through the products and services I recommend. I only recommend things that I truly love and use, so I hope I can recommend something to you that you can love too! :)
1. The Doctor from Doctor Who
Doctor Who is something I have loved since the age of about 10, and even though my opinion of the show has significantly changed since Jodie Whittaker took over as the 13th Doctor, I still love the other incarnations of the Time Lord, especially David Tennant and Peter Capaldi.
Being whisked away on different adventures with the Doctor and his companions has always helped me to escape from reality, and the Doctor has always made me feel safe. There's no better way to describe the Doctor than like this: “He’s like fire and ice and rage; he’s like the night and the storm at the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever, he burns at the centre of time and he can see the turn of the universe. And...he's wonderful."
If you'd like to watch Doctor Who, it's currently available on BBC iPlayer here.
2. Percy Jackson in the Book Series
The Percy Jackson BOOK series is one of the best stories I’ve read. I know a lot of us feel like we need to stick to adult books, but there’s something magical and engrossing about MG and YA novels. Plus, Percy Jackson is one of those characters who will always stay in my heart.
As the book series is written from the first person perspective, it gives the impression that Percy is actually talking to the reader, and he really does treat you like a friend.
He’s got dyslexia and ADHD, which instantly makes him relatable to me, but he’s also a kid who doesn’t quite fit into the real world, does what is morally right and has a heart of gold…despite blowing up the school bus and nearly drowned his entire class on a school trip. Percy can be a bit of a dope, but it certainly makes his character more interesting.
If you would like to buy the Percy Jackson book series, you can get them at Waterstones here!
3. King Arthur in BBC Merlin
I never watched BBC Merlin as a kid, it’s only in the last three years that I finally got into it…and the final season tore me apart and broke me. Even now when I think about Merlin in utter distress over Arthur’s inevitable death, it hits me, so I’ll probably never watch that series again. But I still like to binge the earlier episodes before everything went wrong.
At the beginning of the show, it’s impossible to like Arthur – he’s a young prince who’s arrogant, rude and entitled. His manners are awful, he can’t stand to be saved by a girl and he treats everyone bar his knights like shit. BUT…as his character develops, he grows to respect his people, even if they’re of a lower class and he’ll do literally anything for anyone, no matter who they are. He grows to love and respect Merlin, who’s actually his servant, and he ends up developing feelings for Guinevere, who’s also a maid to the Lady Morgana.
Due to his redemption, Arthur becomes one of the best characters in the show, making his fate heart-breaking.
4. Villanelle in Killing Eve
Oh, Villanelle. Where. Do. I. Start?
Well, she’s the reason I’ve made this post – she’s the character I’m currently fixed on even though I finished watching the show months ago!
Every time I watch an episode of Killing Eve or repeat a fan video of Villanelle on YouTube, there’s something new, especially as her psychology is so complex, contradictory and fascinating. If she were real, I’d probably want to get as far away from her as possible to keep myself safe, but because she’s a fictional character, I want to know EVERYTHING about her.
Even though she’s a psychopathic (sociopath in the books) assassin who often displays zero emotion, she’s clearly severely damaged from childhood trauma. In the show, her mother never cared about her, so she seeks out older women for comfort…but at the same time, she wants to own, control and manipulate them. Sometimes you think she genuinely loves Eve, but she’ll then say or do something that will completely blow up that idea. I love it!
There’s so much more I could say about Villanelle, but my fifth and final character needs some screen time too!
If you want to watch Killing Eve, you can currently do so on BBC iPlayer!
5. Clara Oswald
Clara Oswald is my favourite companion in Doctor Who – she’s inspiring, relatable, and empowering for female viewers. She doesn’t take any shit from the Doctor, always putting him in his place or reminding him what’s morally right, and her character development is brilliant.
When we first properly meet Clara as a companion in series 7, she’s quite playful, flirty and naïve, which is fun to watch, but in series 8, she matures a heck of a lot. She becomes an English teacher at the Coal Hill, she gets into a serious relationship with Danny Pink, and she’s more of an experienced woman than a young adult.
However, when she loses Danny Pink, her character changes again in her final season, so much so that she gets reckless. As there’s nothing left for her after Danny’s death, she no longer cares about the dangers around her and she jumps into everything even if it could kill her. I found this part of her character development really intriguing, but her death in Face the Raven is one I’d struggle to watch again.
If you're a Doctor Who fan, you can currently watch the show on BBC iPlayer!
Let me know if you share the same love for these characters, and if not, feel free to share your favourite fictional characters in the comments below! :)
- Chelsea x
Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm the book editor at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent editorial business in the UK. If you would like to have your manuscript thoroughly edited by myself, please get in touch!
With my book editing and proofreading services, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!