Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.


I started a top 10 post last week (the theme was settings I want to see more of), but I couldn’t really think of any good answers, because mostly what it boils down to is setting is not a particular thing I look for in a book. I don’t really choose books based on setting, ever, so I couldn’t really think of any place in particular I want to read more of. (I lie. I sometimes choose NOT to read a book because the setting is not interesting to me.)

What it boiled down to was the topic was TOO HARD. And now this week? Seems even harder, but I’m not going to weasel out of this one, especially since it’s been two full weeks since I’ve blogged. How did that happen?

Oh wait. My life happened.

Moving on:

Most Frustrating Characters Ever

This is never going to end up being an actual list of 10 actual characters, because I’ll never remember all of them, and I suspect that characters I found annoying 10 years ago or even 1 year ago would read differently to me now. Instead, I’m going to go for more of a “this type of character is frustrating” list, and if I think of anyone specific, I’ll throw them in.

  1. Characters who do stupid things that are out of character purely because the author apparently couldn’t think of any other way to advance the plot.
  2. Characters who don’t just freaking talk to each other. Don’t rely on stolen glances or what someone’s second cousin twice removed told you in the bathroom at their other cousin’s wedding. (OK fine, some amount of I can’t talk to her/him is OK to build tension, especially if it’s appropriate for the time period, but good lord, if the whole plot could be fixed with a two minute conversation, you have probably frustrated the dickens out of me).

In which Suzanne realizes she was making this too hard

So, I read the original topic and equated “frustrating” with “annoying,” but it now occurs to me, after I’ve spent more time than I care to admit agonizing over what to write, that it could also be read as “frustrating, because they make choices that bring them pain, but I love them anyway, which is the whole point of why I read books.”

With that in mind, the list-making gets a little easier…

Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy (Did you know it was the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice on Monday?)

Miles Vorkosigan (Vorkosigan Saga)

Inspector Lynley (and Barbara Havers, and…come to think of it… pretty much everyone in the Inspector Lynley series of books)

Ramses and Nefret and Amelia and Emerson (from the Amelia Peabody series)

I have been perusing my Goodreads list again, with this “frustrating, but that’s why I like them” mindset, and now I feel like I could add every character ever, so I think I’d better quit while I’m ahead.

Especially because what I most want to do after making this list is go back and reread all of those series, and that’s like…54 books right there.







  1. Quinn says:

    Gosh, I love Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. I was never annoyed with them, but sometimes I want to be like “Lizzy, don’t believe evil Mr. Wickham.” and Darcy “don’t separate Bingley and Jane, and for heavens sake, don’t be an ass when you ask Lizzy to marry you.”

  2. Alice in Readerland says:

    “Characters who do stupid things that are out of character purely because the author apparently couldn’t think of any other way to advance the plot.” YES! This annoys me so much, it’s so frustrating and seems like lazy writing.

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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