Discussion: Characters To Remember

My mom and I were watching one of the new Sherlock Holmes movies recently.  After the movie, we started discussing the longevity of certain literary characters.  The character of Sherlock Holmes is now 125 years old and since his conception in 1887, has been featured in countless adaptions (not including its own original novels and stories).

He's not the only one though!  
We all know who Mr. Darcy, Heathcliff, Scrooge, Frankenstein and Robin Hood are. We all know about Alice's famous adventures in Wonderland and that Romeo & Juliet died for love.  These are just a few of the characters that we grew up with, that our parents and even grandparents grew up with.

What makes them so special and so timeless? 
What gives them such enduring longevity?

My opinion is that they were created with so much depth and complexity.  More importantly, their stories tap into basic human nature and necessities such as love, hate, curiosity, fear, greed and generosity.  Is that what truly makes their stories, any story great though?  The idea that a character's life and actions in some way mirror our own thoughts...in more exaggerated or adventurous terms.

This discussion with my mom led to my next question: 
Which characters from OUR lifetime have at chance a standing the test of time?  Will OUR great-great-great-grandchildren one day read and study and learn about Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen?

Image via Brain Foggles
So I ask you guys, what makes a character so timeless?  Which modern character(s) from the last 20 years (whether you love or hate them) can you see future generations reading?  Which stories do you think or hope people will still be reading and studying 100 years from now?


  1. Oooo good question *scratches head* reliability and admirable traits. Two I think of immediately: Nancy Drew and Emma

  2. I agree with Juju - Nancy Drew most definitely. Harry Potter I think will be come one of those books series that will always attract readers. Another I think might be the Game of Thrones or the Hobbit.

  3. Harry Potter and Katniss, for certain! Charlotte and Wilbur from Charlotte's Web. I think Percy Jackson may stand a chance, and Eragon. Maybe the cast from the Seven Kingdoms trilogy. Tris & Four possibly, as well as Clary & Jace. Most of these only due to movies being made from the books, but also because of their staying power with the readers...

  4. I believe that the lord of the rings will last since I see many references to that book in other books as well. Same for harry potter who got kids interested in reading again. Some one needs to invent a time machine so we can go into the future to find out. LOL

  5. I think Harry Potter definitely has some staying power but while a lot of other characters/titles are really popular now they probably won't remain at the top a century from now. There were a lot of books way back when that were insanely popular in the moment and don't even exist to us now.

  6. Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, Lord of the Rings!! I think that they have staying power. Harry Potter is just so huge, that even if it dies down, it will still be too big to not know about. Besides, it has such great strong friendships and values in it. Nancy Drew I think because who doesn't love good a good mystery and a super smart detective, especially a girl who it really brave like her. Lord of the Rings is another that is just huge and I don't see it being forgotten about any time soon.

  7. Harry Potter for sure! I'm not sure that any of the other characters will remain as such. It really has to do with which books become classics and I don't see many other books from Harry Potter becoming a classic.

    My favorite classic characters would have to be from Narnia, Winnie the Pooh, and Robin Hood. I do love me some Sherlock though!

  8. Harry Potter. Also Lestat (though he may be older than 20 years).

  9. Along with other books/series, I'd say Harry Potter is a definite. I think great characters are not just ones we love, but also the ones we hate, love/hate. Those characters you'll always remember. Severus Snape is my favourite Harry Potter character, dark, brooding, miserible and yet deep down so, so ahhhhhh.... and Alan FREAKING Rickman!!!! ;-)

  10. I totally agree with you about the longevity of Sherlock Holmes. He is such a complex and a great character... In addition, the Victorian settings, the mysteries all have ensured his everlasting appeal and popularity.



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