If you had asked me if I had a type of guy I liked, in life or in literature, I would’ve told you no on both counts (though I do have a soft spot for idealists). A recent discussion with a few friends forced me to realize I do indeed have a type. The discussion consisted of making top fives. My top five men were Timothy Olyphant, Henry Cavill, Matthew Goode, Ben Whishaw, and Edward Norton. Apparently I am nothing if not consistent in my preferences – at a glance those five are practically identical. Oddly enough, the most attractive guy I’ve ever met was a redhead. What does any of this mean? Nothing really (although, as far as I’m concerned, those men are fictional – it’s criminal to be that attractive), but this week’s top ten list (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish) is ‘top ten characters I would crush on if I were also a fictional character – also known as book boyfriends’. It’s also quite possible I picture Henry Cavill as James Bond.
Now I will endeavor to make an interesting, varied list of fictional men I would date.
We all know Captain Wentworth and Edward Fairfax Rochester will be on here, right? So let’s begin with the obvious, though the rest are in no particular order. You might be interested to know that I am not the only one who likes some of these characters. Captain Wentworth, Mr. Rochester, James Bond, and George Emerson made the list 111 Male Characters of British Literature, In Order of Bangability coming in at 53, NUMBER ONE, 23, and 42 respectively. However, I question the validity of the list as it includes only one Shakespeare character – King Lear – see number one on my list to understand why I take issue.
10. Captain Wentworth in Persuasion by Jane Austen. It all comes down to that letter and the pining. Who doesn’t want to be pined for? I do. Is that too much to ask?
9. Edward Fairfax Rochester in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I can forgive the attempted bigamy for a lifetime of adoration, love, and respect.
8. Mike Noonan in Bag of Bones by Stephen King. More than anything, his devotion to his wife during their marriage is inspiring, even when he realizes he didn’t know her as well as he thought. This is one of the rare books that makes me cry, which speaks volumes considering I cry about once a decade. Of course, I am purposefully avoiding The Book Thief to preserve this fact.
The things nobody knows make us who we are.
7. James Bond in Moonraker or From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming. And it’s not just because I wanted to be Gala Brand (okay, maybe a little…). If you’ve not read the novels (and only seen the movies), disregard this entry. If you have, then you’ll understand why that black haired, blue eyed spy with a
badass singular scar appeals to this black haired, blue eyed non-spy with a singular scar. Commonality is important in relationships.
‘There is only one way of checking if a woman really loves you, and even that way can only be read by an expert.’
6. George Emerson in A Room With a View by E. M. Forster. Persistence and patience. I happen to agree with the sentiment below.
She stopped and leant her elbows against the parapet of the embankment. He did likewise. There is at times a magic in identity of position; it is one of the things that have suggested to us eternal comradeship.
5. Raylan Givens in Pronto by Elmore Leonard. Intuitive, righteous, but not saintly. If any of you watch the show, you know that I am totally justified in my character love. (we all love a bad pun, right? RIGHT?!?)
4. John Thornton in North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. You’ll be happy to know that I’ve started on this. In the meantime, I’m using Richard Armitage’s portrayal as the placeholder. That scene at the train station melts my heart every time.
3. Tyrion Lannister in A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. The following sealed my love for Tyrion in book one:
Well, my legs may be too small for my body, but my head is too large, although I prefer to think it is just large enough for my mind. I have a realistic grasp of my own strengths and weaknesses. My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
2. Ben Hanscomb in IT by Stephen King. Handsome, intelligent, and writes poetry. Consider Beverley and Rory interchangeable.
I love you, Beverley…just let me have that. You can have Bill, or the world, or whatever you need. Just let me have that, let me go on loving you, and I guess it’ll be enough.
1. Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. While I do love Benedick, this also has everything to do with me wanting to be Beatrice. It would be a wonderful marriage – assuming we didn’t kill each other first.
There’s a skirmish of wit between them.
So…ten fictional men worth dating. This list was quite a stretch of my imagination (given the type of literature I read), except for the first two, whom I’ve adored for longer than I care to admit. And there’s not an Cullen, Black, Grey, Fraser, or Brandon among them…
Who’s on your list? Do men have book girlfriends? Is Henry Cavill Daniel Craig’s successor? Most importantly, Moonraker has had not one, but two fabulous covers (here and here) – which one’s better? I own the former and want to own the latter. These are the things I wonder about (not really, but for the purposes of this post…).
Image found here, original source unknown.