1. Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter
Why: Luna’s the super eccentric and strangest wizard in her class. Over the entire series, her personality may seem more entertaining than Harry himself.
Proof: “I think I’ll just go down and have some pudding and wait for it all to turn up — it always does in the end.”
2. Lydia Vance, Women
Why: Lydia’s based on Bukowski’s real life girlfriend, Linda King. When Lydia moves away to Phoenix, you can’t help but wonder what happens to the eccentric sculptor, dancer, and poet.
Proof: “The door banged open and Lydia ran into the room. She stood there panting. The pint was on the coffee table. She saw it and grabbed it. I jumped up and grabbed her. When I was drunk and Lydia was insane we were nearly an equal match. She held the bottle high in the air, away from me, and tried to get out of the door with it…”
3. Lenina Crowne, Brave New World
Why: Everyone’s infatuated with Lenina throughout Aldous Huxley’s dystopia, and there’s tons of speculation with her part in the novel’s climax.
Proof: “And to tell the truth,” said Lenina, “I’m beginning to get just a tiny bit bored with nothing but Henry every day.” She pulled on her left stocking. “Do you know Bernard Marx?” she asked in a tone whose excessive casualness was evidently forced.”
4. Eowyn, The Lord of the Rings
Why: In Tolkien’s series, Eowyn did everything she could to get on the battlefield. She disguises herself to join the battle against the witch-king of Angmar.
Proof: “The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them. I fear neither death nor pain.”
5. Marian Bloom, Ulysses
Why: Leopold Bloom’s wife is anything but faithful, cheating on her husband throughout Ulysses. Why didn’t she leave Leopold, and did she ever stop cheating on the poor guy?
Proof: “Tom had always thought that any woman was better than none, while Molly never felt that one man was quite as good as two.”
6. Rue, The Hunger Games
Why: Kind, smart, and easier to sympathize with than Katniss, Rue’s an important part of what makes Katniss leap off the page as a compassionate protagonist.
Proof: “First they show a photo of the tribute, then flash their score below it. The Career Tributes naturally get in the eight-to-ten range. Most of the other players average a five. Surprisingly, little Rue comes up with a seven. I don’t know what she showed the judges, but she’s so tiny it must have been impressive.”
7. Marylou, On The Road
Why: Based on Luanne Henderson, Marylou was integral to Kerouac’s novel. Luanne married Neil Cassady at 15, and was dumped three years later. She was a large inspiration for both Beat writers.
Proof: “Marylou was a pretty blonde with immense ringlets of hair like a sea of golden tresses; she sat there on the edge of the couch with her hands hanging in her lap and her smoky blue country eyes fixed in a wide stare because she was in an evil gray New York pad that she’d heard about back West, and waiting like a longbodied emaciated Modigliani surrealist woman in a serious room.”
8. Jordan Baker, The Great Gatsby
Why: Chill, independent, and unsympathetic, the athlete and flapper would hold her own as the leading protagonist of her own spin-off.
Proof: “‘Nevertheless you did throw me over,’ said Jordan suddenly. ‘You threw me over on the telephone. I don’t give a damn about you now, but it was a new experience for me, and I felt a little dizzy for a while.’”
9. Phoebe Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye
Why: Holden Caulfield speaks of his younger sisters intelligence, talent and humor throughout J. D. Salinger’s masterpiece.
Proof: “You’d like her. I mean if you tell old Phoebe something, she knows exactly what the hell you’re talking about. I mean you can even take her anywhere with you. If you take her to a lousy movie, for instance, she knows it’s a lousy movie. If you take her to a pretty good movie, she knows it’s a pretty good movie.”
10. Mary Elizabeth, Perks of Being a Wallflower
Why: Mary has to deal with Charlie during the entire novel. He’s not a fan of reality, while she’s into zen and how “it makes you connected to everything in the world.”
Proof: “Mary Elizabeth is a nice person underneath the parts of her that hate everybody.”
11. Andromache, The Iliad
Why: Hector’s wife plays a small role in the epic poem, but she’s portrayed as the perfect wife, mother and daughter in law, and described as ‘smiling through her tears’.
Proof: “There while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry, ‘Behold the mighty Hector’s wife!’
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Imbitters all thy woes, by naming me.”
12. Cathy Ames, East of Eden
Why: Destructive, and seemingly downright evil, it would be mad interesting to see the antagonist’s crazy from her point of view. Does she feel any type of remorse while managing her brothel?
Proof: “Because he tried to hold me, he tried to tie me down! Nobody holds me!”
14. Marla Singer, Fight Club
Why: Marla might be the biggest mystery of Fight Club. One the novel’s only female characters, Marla hangs around sick people to boost her confidence, but forces Tyler to confront his own insecurities.
Proof: “Marla’s philosophy of life is that she might die at any moment. The tragedy, she said, was that she didn’t.”
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