Today’s post is inspired by this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, which is a character freebie. We decided to go with “characters we hate that we love” but Aila also included some characters that she loves to hate as a bonus!
Jenna’s characters she hates that she loves
Carden from The Folk of the Air trilogy
Gosh, Carden gives me such whiplash. I want to hate him so badly because of how mean he is to Jude but Holly Black also makes me constantly question his motives… and then I start seeing him as a good guy, but nope, he’s not. It’s honestly just annoying how much I like him.
Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series
Okay so I am firmly in the camp that Snape is an absolute douchebag who tormented Harry for years and years because he was snubbed by Lily and bullied by James when he was younger. I think the way he acted throughout the series was pretty inexcusable but it’s hard not to also like him because of how complex his character was. I don’t think Snape is a hero like many others think but I also have a soft spot for him.
Julian Blackthorn from The Dark Artifices trilogy
It’s pretty rare that I don’t like a main male protagonist from Cassie’s Shadowhunter books but I didn’t love Julian’s manipulative ways. At the same time, I really did admire the lengths he would go to to protect his family and Emma so I can’t help but also love him. Not everyone can be a Will Herondale so I guess Julian Blackthorn is okay.
Arin from The Winner’s Trilogy
Man, I really freaking love Arin. The romance between Arin and Kestrel in this series is A+++ but I hate that I love him so much because of everything that went down in The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss! I won’t spoil it for anyone (because I love this series and would recommend it until the day I die) but he was honestly infuriating.
Mayor Prentiss from the Chaos Walking trilogy
This is a controversial one because Mayor Prentiss is the most villainous of villains. Maybe this is a testament to Patrick Ness’s amazing writing but Mayor Prentiss was such a well fleshed out and complex character that I found myself also loving his character. Or perhaps I hate him so much that I’m now confused about whether I hate him or love him. It’s a fine line, they say!
Jeann’s characters she hates that she loves
Lila Bard from the Shades of Magic trilogy
When I first read A Darker Shade of Magic a few years ago, one thing I noticed about the infamous Lila Bard is that she unapologetically likes to say she’s “not like other girls”. But after re-reading the series, that’s something that drew me to her – her cockiness, confidence and bravado sets her apart.
Kaz Brekker from the Six of Crows duology
But Jeann, isn’t Kaz like your fave? Yes that may be the case, but he’s ruthless, he’s cold, calculating and he’s actually kind of an asshole that will never admit that he cares. I like how he knows he doesn’t have to please everyone and his aim isn’t to be liked – it’s to be a leader and he does it flawlessly.
A.I.D.A.N from the Illuminae Files trilogy
In the same vein, AIDAN is such an interesting character because he IS flawed and I kind of love that about him. He’s an A.I. that observes and copies human behaviour in order to manipulate them. But then you realise that somewhere in that amount of code and wiring, there’s actually a part of him that cares. And that’s actually kind of scary, when you think about it.
Victor Vale from Vicious
Ahhh, good old Victor. He’ll never do anything that isn’t for his own personal gain and the only reason why he keeps people around is because they’re useful to him. Ruthless and selfish is probably the best way to describe Victor, but that’s what we love about him.
Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series
Forever hating how Ron robbed us of our OTP Harry x Hermione. Ron is undoubtedly annoying, but he’s also one third of Harry Potter’s friendship squad. Without Ron, Harry Potter wouldn’t be the same.
Aila’s characters she loves to hate
Carden from the Folk of the Air trilogy
So I’m technically not caught up with Book 2 yet, but The Cruel Prince left me underwhelmed. Y’all out here be romanticizing Carden when he is a Bully with a capital B. A book can have dark elements and an anti-hero, fine, whatever, but you need a REASON for this character to behave the way he does. Carden acts like my guy friends from college: childish. For a well-written anti-hero who is well-deserved of a romanticization of his character, see: Hugh from Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews.
Rhys from A Court of Mist and Fury
HAHA to be quite honest, I don’t even remember his character when I read A Court of Thorns and Roses (is that the name of book 1? I can’t even be bothered to search it up) but I know how problematic his and Feyre’s relationship can be. I see readers over-analyzing Feyre’s relationships between him and the other dude and I’m like… y’all it’s not that deep. Maas just needed some dark, brooding, not-white-passing, tall, buff dude to fulfill her smut fantasies. So. Both Feyre and him are on the list.
Any character that a white author tries to pass as POC but really is just an afterthought
See: that horse main character from Red Queen
(Omg, I remembered her name – it’s Mare, because female horses are mares. Aight I’m done.)
Note: I acknowledge that a lot of my reasoning comes from ignorance of the series bc lbr, I forgot a lot of what I read since it’s been years, but I still stand with my reasoning because these are the main parts of why I actively avoid each series.
Did any of our character picks make your list?