10 Types Of Book Characters~Including Cardboard-Cut-Outs And Food Metaphors

Hello, friends!

How are you all surviving this new and perilous year? Assuming that you are in fact surviving, and if not I am deeply sorry for your death.

Today I am going to talk about the glue that holds stories together, the very fibers from which stories are woven: the CHARACTERS. Without characters we would have no scarves or sweaters or woolen stockings because characters are basically yarn. But also glue.

If that didn’t make sense you might want to stop reading now because it’s only going to get worse from here, folks.

As any reader has gathered, there are many different types of protagonists throughout the vast array of books that exist. This makes perfect sense, as there are many different types of people, and books should be for everyone and about everyone. Wow, I just got really deep there accidentally.

Here I have summarized a list of Ten Types of Book Characters that I have come across in my reading. These are all extremely accurate descriptions that have been approved by myself, but I must admit that some of my categorizations are slightly biased. Also these are just ten of the many. I am writing a blog post here, not an encyclopedia.

Let us begin, shall we?

1. Mysterious, rugged, and secretly sensitive

Epic Aragorn gif.---"that is a rare gif!" :D <--- read that in his voice, i did

This character is usually male and reasonably attractive. Sometimes a reformed criminal or a runaway king. May come with excessive moodiness and/or tragic backstory. Can be annoying or heartbreaking depending on how well it’s done.

Examples: Four from Divergent, Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities,
Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, Daniel from The Bronze Bow

2. Spunky and sparkly

Tangled Rapunzel and her frying pan Disney

A bucketful of optimism and a lot of confidence pretty much sums up this character. They are often quirky as well, and prone to getting themselves into varying levels of trouble.

Examples: Ramona Quimby from the Ramona books, Tom Sawyer from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, Dave from Dave at Night, Kit from The Witch of Blackbird Pond

3. Awkward lemon

Charlie Brown...story of my life...

This character is never quite sure what they should be doing or how they should be speaking or even what species they are. This can be comical or totally heartbreaking depending on the circumstances.

Examples: Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Milo from The Phantom Tollbooth, Aron from The Book of Aron, Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

4. Hot-headed hero with a heart of gold


This is basically classic hero. Will punch you in the face if you even think about hurting their friends or family. Usually starts from nothing but rises from insignificance to fame, fortune, or just feeling confident in their own skin.

Examples: Nicholas Nickleby from Nicholas Nickleby, Harry Potter from Harry Potter, Ella from Ella Enchanted, Meg Murray from A Wrinkle in Time

5. Snarky and sweet

Cisco 3

Always prepared with a sharp wit and a shoulder to cry on. Has the uncanny ability to save the day whilst making clever remarks.

Examples: Leo Valdez from The Heroes of Olympus, Percy Jackson, The Lightning Thief, Westley from The Princess Bride

6. Often mistaken for cardboard due to excessive perfection and passivenesshttps://i.pinimg.com/736x/8f/22/66/8f22664e7dcfae537c7f64bbfd28ceac--great-love-love-love-love.jpg

This character always does the right thing and doesn’t seem to struggle with anything (unless maybe someone is trying to kill them) and therefore does not equal human. It’s cardboard, I tell you.

Examples: Oliver from Oliver Twist, Basically every Janette Oke character that ever existed


7. Mild-mannered but with a heart the size of a watermelon

Klaus and SUNNY

This character sometimes gets confused with its blander cousin who is mentioned above, but this mistake ought not to be made. They are kind and tender and usually exceedingly brave. They may seem calm and quiet or even weak, but when faced with danger they are stouthearted and will do anything to protect their loved ones.

Examples: The Baudelaires from A Series of Unfortunate Events, Despereaux from The Tale of Despereaux, Reynie Muldoon from The Mysterious Benedict Society,
Muggles from The Gammage Cup, Jonas from The Giver

8. Actually not afraid of anything and probably at least partially invincible

tumblr_olf4kvn0J61riftaxo1_250.gif (245×318)

This character is basically superhero and the opposite of what I want to read. Very confident and equally capable. Essentially Type #6 but with muscles and/or super abilities.

Examples: Tris, Divergent, Matthias from Redwall, Michael from Michael Vey

9. So busy not dying they forgot to bring their personality along

ben affleck imagine | Tumblr

This character is trying to save the world. (Or possibly just save themselves) so they don’t have time to be interesting. Would make a pathetic scarf, but probably looks good wearing one.

Examples: Thomas from The Maze Runner, Eragon from Eragon, Kellen from Epitaph Road, David from Kidnapped

10. Deadly but also broken

30. Lawrence went deaf in one ear for a week during filming for Catching Fire. She had to dive into stagnant water for a stunt and got a double ear infection, then caught a water jet in the same ear during filming. | 39 Facts About "The Hunger Games" You Probably Never Knew

This character is a coconut. They are tough and maybe nasty on the outside and will probably hurt you but on the inside they are a puddle. Able to take care of themselves and others while carrying excessive emotional baggage. Probably needs a hug but doesn’t know it.

Examples: Ender Wiggin from Ender’s Game, Orual from Till We Have Faces,
Gilly from The Great Gilly Hopkins, Eoywn from The Lord of the Rings, Queenie from Code Name Verity


In Conclusion

There you have it. I submit these ramblings for your perusal and I hope that you can make some sense of them.

But now we come to the exciting bit: it is time for you to share your favorite character types with me!

Is your favorite character type one of the ones I listed here? Do you agree with my categorizations of these characters? Who are some of your favorite characters and how would you categorize them (in one of my categories or a different one)? Please tell me all the character tropes on your mind! I adore talking about characters and I would love to start a conversation about this!

39 thoughts on “10 Types Of Book Characters~Including Cardboard-Cut-Outs And Food Metaphors

  1. Never seem to think of character types it seems even though I have characters that I love. As I have favorite characters from books, I also have favorite characters from musicals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes sense. It is better to just think of them as people instead of trying to categorize them anyway, but sometimes doing stuff like this can be fun.
      Yes! Musicals have fantastic characters as well. I love Jean Valjean, Evan Hansen, Jane Eyre, Sydney Carton, Crutchie, and about five million others.


      1. I love a lot of musical characters. I love the blog series I am doing now: each post doing a musical character I love and why I love them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know! Sometimes I want to talk about a character I love but all I have to say is I LOVE THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE AMAZING over and over again, which honestly is not very riveting to read.


      3. It is crazy how that happens. Not knowing the reason why you love the character. Some characters would take almost an entire year until I knew the answer or some would take several years to figure that out

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many good book titles in this post: To Kill a Mockinbird! The Lightning Thief! The Princess Bride! Ella Enchanted! The Secret Benedict Society! They’re all so, so good.
    Okay, my thoughts on characters: for me, characters and writing are the most important parts of a book for me, but while I know what kind of writing I like, I really haven’t thought of what kind of characters I like- except that they have to be likeable. I can’t think of one character that I love to hate.
    Some of my favorite people: Atticus Finch, Albert and Keisha and Ally and Mr. Daniels and the goofy boy- almost everyone from Fish in a Tree (haha, I guess I can’t help bringing this book up?), Fyrian and Glerk. What characters do you love?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I am glad you have read The Mysterious Benedict Society! I don’t hear people talking about that one much and it is so good. It deserves more attention.
      I know what you mean! There are really wonderful characters of all types. I think that is because you can really do any type of character really well, and that is what makes them a good character. You can also do any type of character really badly. The real point of a character is to be a believable human being, no matter what their personality is.
      Ooh, don’t get me started on my favorite characters! That could go on for ages. But here are a few: Ender Wiggin, (Ender’s Game), Orual (Till We Have Faces), Marcus (When You Reach Me), Sam Gamgee, (LOTR), Neville Longbottom, (HP), Rob (The Tiger Rising), Pip (Great Expectations), Reynie (The Mysterious Benedict Society), Maks (City of Orphans), Shasta (The Horse and His Boy), and so many others. I don’t want to leave anyone out but otherwise this comment would become frightfully lengthy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What, that is outrageous. I don’t really get nostalgic over books, but if I did, it would be over The Mysterious Benedict Society.
        Yea, a trope or a cliche character can either be horrible or amazing! It can go both ways.
        Haha, frightfully lengthy comments are my favorite. Oh, Ender Wiggin! I’ve read Ender’s Game, but unfortunately, I don’t remember especially loving Ender. Have you watched the movie adaptation? I haven’t and I was wondering if it’s worth seeing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well… unfortunately, yes, I have seen the movie adaption of Ender’s Game. In my personal opinion it was a rather awful adaption, but then I do know of people who liked it better than the book, so I guess it depends.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh yikes. It’s disappointing when books get adapted poorly- like Percy Jackson! Agh, what a missed opportunity. A Wrinkle in TIme and Ready Player One are coming out this year as movies, and I really hope they’re good!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh dear, yes! The Percy Jackson movies were horrible. And it’s a shame because those books really lend themselves to being fantastic movies. I am not sure what happened with that, but whatever it was it wasn’t good.
        I am so apprehensive about A Wrinkle in Time! I am not sure what to think of the trailers. It looks like it could be good, but it also looks like they might have done it all wrong. I guess we will just have to wait and see!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I know right? If it had been done well, I think that the Percy Jackson movies could have been as big as the Harry Potter ones. I heard that the director didn’t even read the books.
        I haven’t watched the trailer yet, but I do know that there are some famous actors in it! Yep, I agree. We’ll just have to wait.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Really?!? Well, that explains a lot. READ THE BOOKS, PEOPLE. Yeah, I mean, the Harry Potter movies have their flaws, but the Percy Jackson movies just failed all the way around. They could have been so much better! I hope that someone decides to remake them soon since the first try was so bad.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I know! I’m pretty sure Kronos died in the movie of Sea of Monsters. That’s a good three books before he’s actually killed! It’s simply outrageous. Oh my goodness, me too. I can totally see remakes happening when all the Percy Jackson fans are adults and a huge revival happening.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love 4 and 5! True heroes that actually look for adventure are my loves because you don’t have to bonk them with a frying pan, screaming “YASSS YAASS GO PARTY!”
    You forgot The Wise one, like Gandalf and Dumbledore, who point the way yet never quite get in the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, those types of heroes tend to be on the lovable side.
      Ah, this is true, the wise one is an essential character staple. What would all the clueless heroes have done without their bearded mentor guiding them along on their adventures?
      Thanks for commenting!


  4. I truly enjoyed this post! 😀 I didn’t recognize all the characters you mentioned, but I certainly see the stereotype in some others. XD

    D.G. Snapper | silverphoenixwriter.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, there are definitely a lot of character stereotypes. Sometimes it can be really annoying, but sometimes I am surprised by how well a character can be crafted even when they fall into a stereotype.
      Thanks for stopping by!


  5. I’d probably be the awkward lemon to be perfectly honest. I AM AWKWARD okay?!?! and ahah i so agree with 9. So busy not dying they forgot to bring their personality along BECAUSE ITS TRUE?! THESE CHARACTERS NEED PERSONALITIES LIKE YESTERDAY. Adored this post, super original! AND I AM A GHOST AND NOT ALIVE. Rip me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, ha, yes, I think that I would classify myself as an awkward lemon as well. We can be awkward together- or is that just too awkward?
      I am glad that you agree with 9! Some characters have no personality and it is so aggravating! Characters give life to stories and if the character has no life of their own the story is basically pointless. That is just my opinion of course. But seriously, you could have a main character that was a ghost and if they were an interesting character the book would have infinitely more life than countless books that have living protagonists. There is something not right about that.
      Thank you so much for reading, I am glad that you enjoyed it!
      I am sorry for your death, I hope that you can recover.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Number10 can be an extraordinarily endearing character type. Good grief. When they are done right I just want to hug them and cry forever. I wouldn’t necessarily want to BE them though. Part of me already is, and I can hardly handle that.


  6. I love characters with big hearts who’ll protect others (maybe because that’s what I hope I’d be as a character?) – that would be #7? I also love characters that are aLWAYS BICKERING but actually would die for their companions. [Literally, in some unpleasant cases…] Please inform me as to where these ones fit in??

    Also, using Supergirl as the gif for superpowered cardboard was a very good idea. I haven’t seen the show, but how interesting can you be when your sole weakness is a rock from another planet?? (I mean, I think it’s part of her now-destroyed home planet, correct me if I’m wrong… but anyway.) Although I’m sure you could play with the trope and actually give characters like this another dimension or two by… I don’t know… giving them a guinea pig or something?

    Oh, and I tagged you for the Rising Author’s Tag here!
    Jem Jones

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are right about number seven. Hm, always bickering but soft at heart would probably fall somewhere in number five (snarky and sweet)? Though it is entirely likely that the characters you are describing do not fall into any of my categories, for as I stated these are but a few of the plethora of character types out there. The bickering but sacrificial character type might be something like Cranky but Caring- a pineapple who is somewhat spiky on the outside but golden within.
      Yes, I have not seen the show either, but the whole idea of her character (eerily similar to Superman, it seems) does not inspire me at all. Having a guinea pig might indeed help!
      Wow, thanks for the tag! Sounds interesting, I will check it out!
      Also many thanks for your long and wonderful comment!


  7. Ooh, this is a super cool post!!! I love delving into different types of characters. My favorite types of characters are the deadly yet broken ones, and the mysterious, rugged, and sensitive ones. XD I also like the rouges as well; such as Han Solo or Jack Sparrow. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, character delving is one of my favorite activities. Deadly yet broken characters can be so amazing! There is something so human about them, because we are all broken and often do everything we can to hide it. The most broken characters have the deadliest veneer. And it breaks my heart!
      Ah, rogues can indeed be splendid characters. Especially when underneath it all they are actually kindhearted.
      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, boy – a new system with which to categorize my characters! (Will limit myself to my Merry Men, for now, lest I be here all day and miss work and annoy every visitor to this post with my 20-page essay of a comment)

    Robin Hood = Hmm, tough to peg. Possibly the Hot-Headed Hero with a Heart of Gold? Not mysterious enough to pair with the Aragorn gif, alas, thou not for lack of rugged attractiveness

    Marion Hood = Snarky and Sweet, all day e’ryday

    Will Scarlet = Spunky and Sparkly to the nth (also has a heart of gold, and would hot-headedly punch threats to friends)

    Little John = Mild-Mannered But With a Heart the Size of a Watermelon, though replace “they may seem calm, quiet, or even weak” with “they may – in their still, quiet massiveness – be mistaken for a tree”

    Allyn-a-Dale = An Awkward Lemon striving valiantly to pass itself off as Deadly But Also Broken

    Thanks for the fun matching game, Sponge! ^o^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, ha, this is fantastic! “They may-in their still, quiet massiveness-be mistaken for a tree.” Your answers are so much fun! I am pleased that my categorizations fit for some of your characters. Thank you for the long, entertaining comment! The longer the better. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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