Today I’m sharing some hot takes – characters in fiction I LOVE that get a lot of hate! This is a prompt I gleaned from “60 Blog Post Ideas for Book Bloggers” by Jo Linsdell.
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5. Sansa Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire
Sansa is just not a popular character despite her absolutely *chef’s kiss* character development. Both within the books/show (I admit to not having read past the first book, though I’m making my way through the graphic novels) and the fandom, she’s criticized from being an average preteen/teenage girl. She likes dresses and pretty things and dreams of marrying the prince. A lot of the hate Sansa gets is based on misogyny. While life is not kind to her and she grows out of her naivety, she doesn’t deserve the hate. There is nothing wrong with being trusting and loving “girly” things.
4. Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice
Lydia is another character who is just a regular teenage girl. She’s inexperienced, likes pretty things, and wants to flirt with cute guys. Jane Austen may have written her as a cautionary tale, but it’s been over two centuries since Lydia debuted as a character in fiction. While perhaps one shouldn’t strive to be Lydia, many times young girls are Lydia, and there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. Her character doesn’t “get what she deserves” by marrying the loathsome Mr. Wickham (though she seems quite happy with the match). She is sadly taken advantage of. (Side note, featuring a gif of Lydia from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Truly an awesome rendition of this character.)
3. Joe Goldberg from You
Joe is a CREEP but I can’t help but rooting for him. Yes, he’s a horrible person who deserves to be caught and punished for his various crimes, but I keep wanting him to get away with them. Are his obsessions disgusting and disturbing? Yes. But every time I read these books (or watch the show) I find myself really seeing things from his point of view and wondering what he’ll get up to next. Read my review of book three in the series, You Love Me.
2. Nesta Archeron from A Court of Thorns and Roses
I get it! Nesta is a bitch. But even before A Court of Silver Flames, I always liked her. I could feel the self-sabotage vibes, and ohhhh boy did I relate. Nesta redeems herself quite a bit in the latest book in the series, largely from her point of view. She’ll remain a memorable favorite of mine for years to come. Read my review of A Court of Silver Flames here.
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1. Severus Snape from Harry Potter
Lastly, there’s no way around it: Severus Snape is not a good guy. He bullies children, aligns himself with a wizard supremacist movement, and can’t stop creepily crushing on his childhood friend. However, he’s a complex character who will always have a special place in my heart. Snape does some terrible things, but also some amazing things, showing the duality of individuals. Now, if this were real life, I don’t think I could extend the same forgiveness to Snape, and I totally understand why he has so many haters. I just can’t count myself among them. (Note: I do not like to books by JKR in my posts. I do not feel comfortable earning affiliate income on the profit of a known transphobe. If you’re interested in reading or watching Harry Potter or purchasing related merchandise, I encourage you to do so through secondhand means, by using your local library, or by buying fan-made products.)
What are your feelings on these characters? Any you love? Any you despise? Let me know in the comments!