This topic and list is written for the fantasy month Wyrd and Wonder.
Sometimes we can focus a lot on our human main characters. There are however other categories that are deserving of more attention. I’m talking about sidekicks. Side characters Characters that help shape the story and our main characters to be who they are meant to be. But even when we focus on these characters there is a sub group of them that we tend to pass over.
I’m talking about non-human sidekicks. And I am not talking about elves or trolls or any of the sort here. But animals, demons and so on. In a lot of cases they can’t even talk and have to deal with the clear stupidity of their human partners. Sometimes you can really feel the eye roll coming at you from the page. And so they deserve some more attention.
Here are a few that spring to mind immediately.
⌘ ⌘ ⌘
Discworld by Terry Pratchett // In case you were thinking this creature is just weirdly named, no it is not. It is an actual piece of luggage, well chest really. And it is brilliant and terrifying. It can walk and follows its current owner around.
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh // Lysander is a bear and is attached to the beast master Meredy in the book. I think one of the things that I loved is that he grew such an attachment to his beast master but also the people that she surrounded herself with. And yet clearly had his own bond with those like Odessa. It was great to see. Also Lysander kicked an enormous amount of ass.
Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud // While before death for sure human, currently the skull is a ghost attached to a skull and therefore certainly counts for this list. He starts talking to our main character Lucy and I love their interactions and how their bond grows without Lucy really realizing it. Never mind how much he gripes, snarks and threatens, in the end he does always say something helpful one way or the other.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones // One that I thought of straight away was of course Calcifer who is a fire demon in the hearth of Howl’s castle. He is like a small child, craving attention, entertainment and postive reinforcement.
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams // One of the stand out characters of this series so far to me is for sure Qantaga. She is a large wolf that the troll Binnabik travels around on but they have a close partnership going on, don’t worry. She is fierce, protective and clearly has a mind of her own.
⌘ ⌘ ⌘
What is your favorite non-human sidekick character in a novel?