Sunday, January 6, 2013

Plight of Secondary Characters

Secondary characters. They are not always essential, and are usually only in a story to build the main protagonist into something believably “real,” but I find myself falling for them time and time again.

Once Upon a Time
When I enjoy a story, most likely it has a secondary character I've fallen in love with. Sometimes I might dislike the main protagonist, but like the secondary so I continue reading or watching. And for a series, I’m a big fan of lifting a character out of secondary status and dropping him into main protagonist status. I watch anime, and shows will have a cast of many, but still claim one as the main character. More than likely, I don’t care about the lead and only watch for another character(s). In short, I love me some secondary character action...but sometimes I feel not all writers agree with me.

07 Ghost
If a secondary character is equally important to the plot, but is not designated with the prestigious title of “lead” or “main,” he has the ability to be killed off and replaced. This is the trouble with liking a secondary character—they die! Death is always hanging over a secondary character's head. It’s happened to us all. We fall in love with a character, and seven episodes in or four chapters deep, he (or she) is killed off for added drama and tears.

I’m all for heartache and drama, but I tend to fall for the one character out of twenty who is destined to die. It happened so many times, I braved a sea of spoilers for a new video game by looking up my favorite guy online just to check whether or not he would bite the dust and leave me screaming at my TV screen, cursing the writers who would take him from me. (He lives, btw)
Do you fall for a secondary character(s), or do you focus on the main character(s)? Are you just as cut up over character death as I am?


  1. I'm absolutely with you on this. There are so many shows where I fall in love with secondary characters and I spend a good deal of my time with my fingers crossed hoping they don't kill them off. Take Supernatural. They added Benny, the vampire. An awesome secondary character. The last episode he was in almost gave me a heart attack because I thought, 'this is it, they're going to kill Benny. You bastards!' Luckily they didn't, but I'm still waiting for it. If they kill Cas, I am hunting them down. So yes, I get attached to secondary characters. I don't think I could ever kill off a secondary character in one of my own books. Also, a lot of secondary characters in my books end up being main characters in their own books later. I'm too much of a sap to kill these fellas off.

    1. If they kill off Cas, I think they'll lose half their fanbase (if not more). But they did kill him Deaths in Supernatural are never really deaths. I still expect them to find a way to bring back Bobby. LOL.
      I give a lot of love to my own secondary characters too, but if I ever needed to kill someone, I'd pick out of those instead of the leads (or planned leads). Not that I kill a lot of characters.

      I'm really happy you give lead roles to secondary characters, btw. :)

    2. I wish they would bring back Bobby! But i think that's highly unlikely now. I fear how they're going to end the show. It's funny because I was thinking for my Urban Fantasy, "someone's going to die". And then I was fretting over it and I don't even have all my characters yet. Lol. Aw, thanks! Most of the time it's intentional, but every once and a while I don't plan for a secondary character to end up with his own story and then he just blindsides me. I tell you, you give them an inch--or several, and they walk all over you.

    3. well, I think it's Sam's turn to die and come back for season 9. So maybe in 10, they'll die together and go live with Cas in heaven. (haha)
      I'm glad your secondary characters walk all over you and get their own stories lol. ;) I know what you mean, but it only happened once to me with Water Waltz characters.


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