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February 14, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER, Lauren Gardner, on Falling for FICTIONAL HUNKS

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet
To celebrate Valentine's Day, we're reposting one of our most popular Gab Bag topics! Enjoy!

Guest Blogger, Lauren Gardner

Not everyone has experienced love at first sight, but plenty of ladies have experienced love at first read. It may sound crazy because it is a lot like having an imaginary friend, but girls everywhere seem to develop a profound love toward fictional characters. So, who are the sweetest and most desired fictional characters? In my opinion, there are just too many to name, but I can think of a few that are worth mentioning.

One of my first literary crushes was Oliver Wood in J.K Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." He was not even that prominent a character, but the moment his character made an appearance, he seemed like a charmer. What made Wood so attractive was his passion for the ultimate sport, Quidditch. How many guys can handle flying on a broomstick while two heavy balls are sporadically trying to knock you out of the air? Sure, Harry Potter is supposedly the best player Hogwarts has ever seen, but come on, Oliver Wood has a better name.

Ron Weasley is another male character who has caught my attention. (I have a thing for redheads.) He is Harry's best friend. Sure, he has his moments of jealousy, but he is there for Harry through thick and thin. He is the comic relief, and we can all relate to him. One example is in the movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." The famous trio is sent into the Forbidden Forrest where they were told to follow the spiders. "Follow the spiders," Ron whines. "Why couldn't it be follow the butterflies?" Ah yes, why couldn't it have been butterflies? Well, the answer is simple, Ron. Butterflies are just not as entertaining as spiders.

Also, if I had to choose one character from "Lord of the Rings" (No, I would NOT choose Gollum!), I would choose the beautiful blonde elf, Legolas. Why, you ask? Well, why not?! He can see far, hear the softest sound, and sense when someone is coming. He's also very fast and light-footed. His archery skills are second to none. And he is an ELF - need I say more?

I have always been a Jane Austen fan, and "Pride and Prejudice" is my favorite because Austen is so skilled at capturing the desires of the female heart. At first, Mr. Darcy might seem like the haughty and pompous jerk who doesn't care a wit about others, but in reality, he is just misunderstood. Mr. Darcy is a classic gentleman. He has the perfect combination of subdued arrogance and aloofness mixed with pride and loyalty, and has the capacity for deep and meaningful love. Another thing that makes him appealing is his flaws. Because of those flaws, girls can relate to him. He is human. On the flipside, there are characters who aren't human at all who hold an enormous sway over young ladies.

After Mr. Darcy, a certain fictional vampire caught my complete attention and still holds a special place in my heart. What is it about Edward Cullen, as opposed to Wood or Darcy or any of the other hunks who have captivated almost every girl from Atlanta to Anchorage? Could it be his smoldering topaz eyes or his superhuman strength? Is it his cold marble skin or his ability to read minds? I have heard oodles of guys asking the question, "What is it about Edward Cullen that makes girls fall head over heels?"Gentlemen, the answer is simple: all of the above. Bella, like most girls, sees herself as average and has little self-confidence. Readers find it easy to relate to her and identify themselves with aspects of her character. So, when Edward falls madly in love with her, it is understandable for girls reading the book to feel a connection with the romance. She is not the popular girl or anything special, so when there is a story of a common girl finding true love, it gives us hope.

Typically, girls are always searching for love and looking for the person they believe will complete them. Every girl who has read any of these books yearns for that same feeling. I am not saying that good men don't exist because they most definitely do. Even so, we yearn for some sort of fairytale ending at some point in time, and these characters fit the image for our own perceived happily ever afters.

So . . . Readers of Bookshop Talk, let's TALK! Which fictional hunks have won your heart?

Let us know by leaving a comment . . .


Unknown said...

My all time favorite literary crush just might have to be Benedict from Much Ado About Nothing. Perhaps it is because I feel like I can relate with the saucy, sarcastic Beatrice. With classic lines like, "I love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?" or "Suffer love! a good epithet! I do suffer love indeed, for I love thee against my will." I adore the idea of two people being drawn together, almost despite themselves.

Anonymous said...

Great topic! I agree with Mr. Darcy, Ron, Oliver, Edward and Legolas (although I think I would pick Aragorn over Legolas).

Speaking of vampires, I nominate Bill of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. Bill the vampire is tall, dark and handsome; wealthy; a Southern gentleman; and would lay down his life... er, death... er, undeath... for Sookie.

Kim said...

Oh, my, what a wonderful topic! Is it okay to have lots of literary crushes? Because I've got a bunch (and I'm always adding to my list!)! Some that jump immediately to mind are:

Eugenides, from Megan Whalen Turner's "Thief" series;
Hans Peter from Jessica Day George's SUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW;
Finn from Shannon Hale's "Bayern" series (especially ENNA BURNING);
Sirius Black from J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series (okay, I just gave away my age!!!);
Wizard Howl from Diana Wynne Jones's HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE;
Mau, from Terry Pratchett's NATION;
Mr. Nobley in Shannon Hale's AUSTENLAND;
Sir Percy Blakeney from Baroness Orczy's THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL;
and Dawsey from Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows's THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY.

Kim said...

How dare I forget L.M. Montgomery's Gilbert Blythe, from the "Anne" books?! And Mr. Knightley from Jane Austen's EMMA?! This topic really is too fun!

Lauren Gardner said...

I keep thinking of more to add myself and I actually put alot of thought into this article. Thinking back, I too would say Aragorn from LOTR and I would say Fin from Enna Burning...hmmm who ELSE?!

Anonymous said...

Gilbert Blythe, Paul Landower (Victoria Holt), Mr. Knightley, Eomer from LOTR, Sirius Black, Valek (Maria V. Snyder), Norman (from the Hannah Swensen books), Henry in Austenland, Kyp Durron (from Star Wars), and so many others I probably should stop here...

I'm a big believer in fictional crushes.

Joelle said...

I'm with you on Gilbert Blythe. Also, Joe Willard and Tony Markham from the Betsy-Tacy series, Mr. Darcy, 'cause I'd be lying by omission if I left him out, and my latest crush, Joe from THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE. I maybe kinda have a crush on my own love interest in my book too... Spill. He's kind of how I imagine my husband being if my husband were in his shoes, so yeah, I crush on my own characters!

Charlie Pulsipher said...

As a guy, I have to admit that while I read Harry Potter, I thought to myself, "I so would have dated Ginny in high school."
Funny Stuff I Write

Amy Finnegan {} said...

Awesome fictional crushes, everyone!!

And I have to give a shout out to Charlie, only the second or third guy to post on this site, even though I know quite a few men follow it! THANK YOU! Please let us know you're here more often. Better yet, send us some reviews. Guys often like different books than women, and we need some variety!

As for my crushes, I could pretty much copy your list, Kim. Seriously! I LOVE Eugenides from THE QUEEN'S THIEF series. I'm not usually one to like broody characters, but Gen's moody behavior is often faked to fool others, and he's probably the most clever character I've met in a book.

Mr. Knightly from EMMA. Love, love, love Knightly! He's so level headed, caring, and patient, while at the same time, he doesn't put up with any crap. And he isn't moody or tortured! How often do you even see that in a love interest (especially these days)? Crazy but true.

Mr. Darcy is my close second favorite of Jane Austen's male characters, followed by Edward Ferras (Nope, sorry! Not that OTHER Edward) from SENSE AND SENSIBILITY.

Speaking of other Edwards, I lurrrve Edward Rochester from JANE EYRE.

Percy Blakeney from THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL is so awesome, he needs his own guest blog article.

And, oh, I love myself some Horatio Hornblower!

John Thornton from NORTH AND SOUTH (an English classic by Elizabeth Gaskell, not to be confused by the American TV mini-series). Lovvvvee. As in, take me away, and I'll happily slave in his cotton factory . . .

Arthur from LITTLE DORRIT, by Charles Dickens.

As for Shannon Hale's books, Tegus from BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS is a fantastic, charming hero who has actually stuck with me for more than 1000 days after I met him.

Luka from the DRAGON SLIPPERS series, a guy who was born a prince, and plays the leadership role just as one should, while never making you feel like he's above you. And Galen from PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL is another one of my favorite hunks that our dear Jessica Day George lined me up with.

ROMEO, Romeo! Wherefore art thou, Romeo? 'Nuff said.

Simon, Neil, AND Stephen from I CAPTURE THE CASTLE.

Lastly, I like Sebastian from NICOLA AND THE VISCOUNT (by Meg Cabot). A lot.

Oh yes, I crush :)

Anonymous said...

I need to revise my list after reading Amy's! How could I have forgotten Edward Rochester? Edward Ferrars?! Luka?! Galen!?

Kate L. said...

SUCH a fun topic!

I agree with several already listed, including Gilbert Blythe (it does not hurt that in the movie he is soooooo dreamy) and Benedick. I've never read Pride and Prejudice so I don't have a crush on Mr. Darcy, but I *have* read Bridget Jones's Diary and I have a crush on that Mr. Darcy, if it counts!

I am kind of ashamed to admit this one, but there is something about Ragnar Danneskjold from Atlas Shrugged that gets to me. Is it because he's a pirate? I think so.

Atticus Finch is attractive in a southern-gentleman-who-sticks-up-for-human-rights kind of way. Also, he kills rabid dogs. HOT. And what about Nancy Drew's Ned? He is SO loyal and always lets her have all the excitement!

Finally, if I had to choose one character from the Twilight series, it would totally be Carlisle.

Anyway, great topic and fun site! Yay!! :-)

Charlie Pulsipher said...

Thanks Amy for the shout out. I have decided to follow after your gracious hospitality. I am not the usual guy and am unafraid to post when most men would run for cover. Ü My wife is so proud.

I am in the middle of writing my own novel, working 50+ hours a week, starting my own business, and recreating my blog. So...I have not been able to do much reading lately, but I would be happy to send some reviews your way once I find some more time. I usually have to break from writing and read a few books every couple months or I go extra crispy crazy...instead of my regular original recipe kind of crazy. I hope you like scifi and fantasy. Ü
Funny Stuff I Write

Anonymous said...

1- Peter Blood from Captain Blood

2- John Thornton from North and South (And if the character in the book doesn't do it for you, the one in the BBC movie just might)

3- Andre Louis from Scaramouche

4- Percy Blakeney - The Scarlet Pimpernel

5 - Mr. Knightley

6- Hawkeye from the Deerslayer & Last of the Mohicans fame

7 - George from A Room with a View

8 - Percy Jackson - He's a little young for me at this stage, but what's not to love about someone who turned down immortality and power for love?

Kim said...

I'm loving these lists!!! I keep reading everyone else's and seeing people I missed on my own list.

@Charlie: Can I have a crush on Ginny, too? Because she pretty much rocks. And my husband says he would've dated Ginny in high school too. And he married ME! DOES THAT MEAN I'M GINNYish? I'm hoping so.

@Amy: Horatio Hornblower! John Thornton! Arthur Clennam! Tegas! Galen! Simon! Long live luscious literary men!

@Katie: I never thought of Atticus Finch as hot...but now I'm totally with you. He's RADICAL (and I'm an 80's child).

@Charlie (again): Write some reviews! And GOOD LUCK on your novel!

Charlie Pulsipher said...

@Kim. Crush all you want. I'm sure you've got some Ginny in you. She really does rock, never ending patience, fierce in battle, sweet when Harry needs her to be, pretty much my hero.

Thanks for the luck. I will need it. I'll work on some reading for you and maybe point my wife this way. She reads as much or more than me and she writes little summaries in a journal afterward. She has some Ginny and some Hermione in her.

...and now I'm hogging the posts...sorry.
Funny Stuff I Write

Katie L. said...

I didn't know literary same-sex crushes were allowed!!! I have a couple of those...

Anne Shirley. I just adore her. If she were a real person I have no doubt that we would be BFFs -- bosom friends and kindred spirits, as she would say.

And to complement the Benedick reference above, how about Beatrice? She is smart, she is funny, and she just has a little somethin'-somethin' about her.

Literary women I do NOT have a crush on include Desdemona, Ophelia, and Bella Swan. Honestly, ladies. Get some self-respect.

Alix said...

Fabulous post and great comments too! I see so many of my literary crushes here.

But I'll add.

The entire Radlett Family from The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford.

Will from Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Poe from Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund

Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen sa-woon!

Alan from The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Ress Brennan

Jamie from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Eitenne from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Captain Wentworth from Persuasion by Jane Austen

I do not love Edward Cullen though, Team Jacob ;)

Amy Finnegan {} said...

Joelle - of course you crush on your own characters?! :)

Isn't that what writing is all about? You write the kind of book you'd like to read . . . and while you're at it, create the kind of guy you'd fall in love with. I'm there with you 100%!

I love all these comments - you're all making me want to read new books, and revisit old books that I haven't read in a while.

We want REVIEWS of these books, people!! Submit a review before Feb 2, and you'll be entered into the contest to win a free book (your choice of any book that's been reviewed on this site.)

Keep the crushes . . . I mean, comments coming. This is fun!

Anonymous said...

Crispin from The Sarantine Mosiac by Guy Gavriel Kay! And Sean, Lord Derry, from Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books. They're my BOYS!

Amoniel said...

Aragorn and Legolas from LOTR, Norman from Keeping the Moon, Pointer from Crash, my short story :), and Percy Jackson from Percy Jackson and the Olympians. There're probably a couple more, but I've read so many books that I can't think of them at the moment :)

Meredith said...

My first literary crush was definitely Dickon from The Secret Garden. Call me, Dickon!

Who else? Only about a billion more. Eudenides from the Queen's Thief. Matt Cruse from the Airborn trilogy. Definitely Luka from Dragon Slippers. Peder from Princess Academy. Captain Wentworth from Persuasion. Etc.

c'est moi said...

Crispin, Crispin, Crispin (from Guy Kay's Sarantine Mosaic) - oh, swoon! My first literary crush was actually Frodo from LOTR (I also loved Aragorn, but I have a thing for the sacrificial hero). Then it was Yossarian from Catch-22; Hamlet, from, well, you know; Eugene from Dickins' Our Mutual Friend, Lestat from Anne Rice's first few vampire novels, and Sirius Black. And just to blur the lines of "literary characters" I have a serious thing for Gambit from the X-men :). Actually, I regularly crush on characters!

Cardinal said...

Being male, I find myself choosing my crushes from the distaff side of the ledger.

Krystal and Ayrlyn from L.E. Modesitt's The Saga of Recluce series,

Eowyn from Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings",

Emma from Jane Austen's "Emma",

Callista from Barbara Hambly's "Children of the Jedi,"

Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice",

Aviendha and Elayne from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series,

Catelyn Stark from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series,

and many more I can't recollect at this moment.

Natalie Gorna said...

Hmmm...that's a tough one, but my earliest fictional crush was, believe it or not, Indiana Jones. :P

E. C. said...

Oh! Eugenides is loved! This makes me very, very happy. He is one of my longest-standing literary crushes.
Sophos is another. He reads too much! He's shy! He's a sweetheart, basically.
Terence from The Squire's Tales is another long-standing literary crush. He is pretty much the most amazing squire ever.
And Corran Horn, and Mendanbar, and Taran, and . . . I have many, many literary crushes. They are all awesome.

Anonymous said...

Ryecik: Thank you for stopping by! You'll be happy to know that someone just sent in a review of The Squire's Tales series--it'll be posted sometime in the next month. There are other Terence lovers out there! :)

E. C. said...

. . . Actually, that was me. Because I love Terence! He needs to be known. He is amazingly awesome. So is Gawain. But my friends love Terence too!

Mara said...

Geth, from the Leven Thumps series.
I love Eugenides too!
Fred from Harry Potter.
I'm sure there's more, but those are the only ones I can think of right now.

Kelley's penmarks said...

I need to answer this one because I'm all about literary crushes... From HP: Neville Longbottom, Charlie Weasley, Sirius Black. From Anne of Green Gables: Gilbert, of course. From Secret Garden: Dicken. Then we go to Jane Austen: Mr. Darcy, Colonel Brandon, Frederick Wentworth. Others? Horatio Hornblower, Aragorn, Hamlet, Barney Snaith(worst name for a hero ever, but he's wonderful--read LM Montgomery's The Blue Castle)

Jojo said...

I've only really had one literary crush worth noting, and that is Horatio. You know, the one from Hamlet. I think he's so underestimated as a character! He's loyal to the bone, clever, sensible... And his very first line is sarcasm. That should tell you a lot.
Yes... I plan to get a cat, and name him Horatio as a tribute.

Laina Van Wingerden said...

I have a hopeless crush on Percy Jackson... I also like Jason Grace from the new series by the same author. Dustfingers from the Ink books always strikes me as unique. Aragorn,Legolas,Faramir all have the ruggid, warrior appeal.

Julie said...

Atticus Finch. Because moral integrity is sexy.

Sarah said...

I love this topic, too! I have so many, but two off the top of my head from my long list of YA boyfriends:
Peeta from The Hunger Games
Astley from the Need series by Carrie Jones.
As if we're talking classics, the Misters Rodchester and Darcy, obviously.

bookwyrm96 said...

AHHHHH!!!!! this is too good of a topic!!!!! ok I'm only 15 so cut me some slack with my crushes.
my favorite male characters: {LOTR} Legolas, Aragorn. {Twilight} Emmett, Jasper, Jacob Black. Percy Jackson. Eragon. Murtagh. westley from the princess bride. peter pan. rhett butler. peeta. and a bajillion others I can't think of at the moment, and it bugs the heck out of me. :D

Anonymous said...

Ohh I love this topic!
Aragorn is my first and longest standing literary crush. I mean, the guy's a RANGER! He fights to keep the North free and doesn't demand credit for doing so. He can lead you almost anywhere in Middle-earth, speak most of their languages,and tell you the history of most of the important places. And have you seen him FIGHT?! I still sigh every time I watch the movies, even though I first fell for him in the books. He's mysterious, a born leader and GOOD. Does it get much better than that?
Along similar lines is Sir Percy Blakeney, who acts like an airhead but is actually - no, I don't want to spoil it for anyone. But he's still AWESOME!
Also recently added to my list is Tarzan from E.R. Burroughs' original stories. He can be a bit over-the-top heroic, but a guy who can swing through the jungle, kill lions with his bare hands AND has a high moral standard is, well, AWESOME!
I also have soft-spots for several literary guys including: Gilbert Blythe, Percy Jackson, Prince Luka, Gareth from the Squire's Tales and Taran from the Chronicles of Prydain

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant Sir Gaheris from S.T.

Debi said...

Ah...I'm crazy about Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. He's a rough & rugged warrior and a perfect gentleman to the woman he loves.

Kelly said...

Peeta from the Hunger Games is Number 1 at the moment. Oh how I adore his pure heart and loyalty. Which is why the 3rd book took me a long time to love... but I digress.

George from the Song of the Lioness trilogy. I love a bad boy with a heart of gold.

Calvin from a Wrinkle in Time. I re-read his scenes with Meg over and over again. I love him so very much!!

Ian from The Host. The scene near the end of the book where he is begging her not to leave gets me every time. Oh. I want my future boyfriend to cry over me- not sure if I'm cry worthy or not, but I want it!

I love literary boys! They can't break your heart (unless there's a sequel) and they are never changing. :) Thanks for re-posting this! It's one of my favorite posts!

Anonymous said...

There are so many! The one that comes to mind right now is Sydney Carton from "A Tale of Two Cities".

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Oh man, Where do I start??
Definitely Aragorn from LOTR, although Sam is my hero.
Ender Wiggins in Speaker for the Dead. Yep, Eugenides from the Thief series. Kelsier from the first Mistborn novel. Definitely Peeta from HG. Matt Cruise as well (yes, I'm aware I could be his grandma). Okay, and add Taran from Prydain. Recently, Sean from Scorpio Races (be still my heart), and finally, Prince Po from Graceling. Almost forgot, Gabriel from The Secret Sacrament.

Anonymous said...

Lord Maccon from SOULLESS by Gail Carriger. Sure, he's cranky and a werewolf, but he's also got golden eyes and a Scottish accent :)

Anonymous said...

i have so many, but the one i stand with no matter what anyone sys is Dylan, from the maximum rid series by james patterson

Valette M. said...

Ooo, Chaol from S. J. Maas' Throne of Glass, hands down.
"I want to win a book."

Julie said...

What an amazing topic! :) Do we have a few more hours to think about them all? My top three:

-Prince Charmont from ELLA ENCHANTED
-Atticus Finch from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
-Augustus Waters from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

I want to win a book.

Emma A. said...

Oh, gosh, so many! I feel as though I add a new one to my list every month! My top few include: Adrian from VA/Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, Maxon from The Selection by Kiera Cass, and Kai/Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

I want to win a book!