I have read a lot of books, and have strong feelings on a lot of characters. However, there are 5 characters, one from each of the top 5 most popular series that I have read (‘Harry Potter’, ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Twilight’, ‘Divergent’ and ‘The Shadowhunter Chronicles’) that I just purely hate. These characters, on the whole, are well loved by most people, but I find them the most condescending, arrogant or generally unpleasant characters I have ever encountered, and if I met any of them in real life, I would find them the most detestable people I had ever encountered. I will admit that morals are very important to me, and I do judge actions harshly, but all of these characters have passed the point of salvation for me, and are truly my most hated characters of all time. Let’s start from number 5, and you can read while I effectively slag off a bunch of fictional characters, and explain why I hate them so much. *SPOILERS* (although I’d be truly shocked if you haven’t read these series already).
5. Katniss Everdeen, ‘The Hunger Games’
I know that so many people think Katniss is the best strong female heroine to emerge from recent books, but I honestly have to say that I find her to be a whiny, selfish cow by the end of the series. It may be due to the whole sorry situation being seen through her eyes, but I find I have little sympathy with her. She seemed brave in the beginning by volunteering for Prim, but I always feel that afterwards, it starts becoming less an act of bravery and more a hellish situation that she had no choice in. She whines about how awful her life is, and then she spends the entire time moping when things go wrong. I feel I am let down by the promise of a strong female lead (as I do not usually like female main characters), when we instead get someone who is not grateful for any pros, of which there are some (for example two guys in her life [another sore point on the whining front] and her survival in two Games), and instead dwells on how terrible her life is, and never even considers that things could get better.
4. Jacob Black, ‘Twilight’
This one is purely down to his involvement in the infamous ‘Bella-Edward-Jacob’ love triangle. It was obvious throughout the entire series to absolutely everyone that Bella was going to choose Edward. There was no doubt. I feel that Jacob’s role in the entire story was completely useless. He was never going to be the love of Bella’s life, and so decides that he will spend the duration of the series overcome with jealousy, moaning about Bella’s relationship with Edward to anyone who will listen. If he truly cared about her, he would at least be able to see that she was happier with Edward (even if that side of the love triangle is equally debatable). Instead, we have to witness him pining and insulting Edward, like a child having a tantrum when things don’t go his way (to be perfectly honest, I think that is less of a simile and more of an accurate description). As a consequence, if I ever by some miracle decide to read ‘Breaking Dawn’ (which is unlikely as I no longer own it), I always skip Jacob’s point of view, as I find it unbearable to read.
3. Peter Pettigrew, ‘Harry Potter’
This one is a character who barely anyone likes, although I have to say that I hate Wormtail more than I hate the usual ‘Harry Potter‘ suspects of Voldemort and Dolores Umbridge. This is purely down to his disloyalty and cowardice. He is so concerned about saving himself, that he would join Voldemort and sell his best friends down the river, despite the fact that he is perfectly aware that it is the wrong thing to do. His self-saving actions are the cause of James and Lily’s deaths, and his subsequent stand-off with Sirius not only leads to Sirius taking the blame for his actions, but shows that Wormtail has no remorse, as he is still alive and well. Hiding as a rat for years is pure cowardice, as he worries that he will be exposed, and when he eventually returns to human form to face Sirius and Remus, he has no pity for his actions, instead begging them to understand him. the sheer nerve of it is ridiculous – he caused their best friends’ deaths solely as he was scared for himself, and they should understand his point of view? He followed Voldemort for years, not because it was right, but because it was easy, and this has put Wormtail at the top of my hated character list since I was very young, only to be ousted over the past year.
2. Tris Prior, ‘Divergent’
I truly find Tris to be the most condescending, biased and self-pitying character I have ever encountered. I truly struggle to find a kind thing to say about her after finishing the series, which is a shame as I didn’t overly mind her until the end of ‘Divergent’. My first point is her stupidity when she shot Will. She could’ve shot his hand to make him drop the gun, but no. Straight through the head. Killing one of her best friends, who had no idea what was happening at the time. At least she felt bad about it, although come the end of ‘Insurgent’, this guilt has faded pretty damn quickly. She holds no guilt to the fact that she kills many people to get her way (unless, like Will, she knows them), which in a way is incredibly masochistic. The thing I hate most about her is the way she treats Caleb. Caleb makes a genuine mistake, and actually shows some remorse for it, but it was the only way that he could stay alive and safe. Of course, that is a bit selfish, yes, but considering that Tris openly admits that she is selfish, and is in fact the most self-centred character in the book, always worrying about her own safety and no one else’s, her reaction to Caleb when he acts as he does is hypocritical and just wrong. Loads of people die as a consequence of her actions and she doesn’t turn a blind eye, but when his actions endanger her, she blows her top, even though she isn’t actually harmed. Because she was known to Caleb, does that instantly make his actions worse than hers, despite the fact that her behaviour has more severe results to more people? She has no regard for human life if she is not acquainted to the person, and it infuriates me. She then turns almost every character against Caleb, as if her turning against him wasn’t painful enough for him, and by the end, there is a ‘Hate Caleb’ army going on. She hides information about their mother from him, because she says that their mother would be ashamed by his actions. Considering that their parents are dead, this notion disgusts me. It is not her place to say, and it is truly evil to use this as weight against him. Even when sacrificing herself for him, it is not a truly selfish act, as she is going on about how she can probably survive it, using her inflated ego of her status to make herself look like a better candidate than him; she does it, ultimately, as she selfishly believes that it is her place to. She believes that she is the most important person in the war, and should therefore be the one to save the day. Her habit of self-sacrifice was not to save others, but as she felt she was important enough to act as a martyr. I didn’t care at all when she faltered. She had it coming to her the whole time.
And my most hated character (which may cause a few over-attached fangirls to have a breakdown)…
1. Will Herondale, ‘The Infernal Devices’
I truly find Will Herondale to be the most despicable character I have ever read about. I do not enjoy ‘The Infernal Devices’ at all, mainly as I feel that it could have been so brilliant like ‘The Mortal Instruments‘, yet the characters and love triangle are so weak, and the writing is a lot worse than ‘T.M.I’, with many glaring errors and gaps. Because of this, it will not be a surprise that the Cassandra Clare character on this list is from ‘The Infernal Devices‘, however I’m sure it’ll shock a few fangirls that it is Mr Herondale. The truth is, I find his personality repulsive. Yes, he is ‘good-looking’ and funny, but that is not the only aspect to a good person. Will is also incredibly self-centred, shows no respect for those around him, and pities himself so much it is laughable. If I met a person with a personality like Will’s, I would truly find myself wanting to hit them (which, for the record, I have never done before, so that is a large feat). I had a bad first impression of him. We first see him bragging about killing a demon, and the line ‘it was much less fun showing off without Jem to show off to’ succeeds in giving us a glimpse of his unbelievable arrogance and inflated ego. Throughout the series, we see him believe that he is a better fighter than just about anything, and if there’s one thing I truly detest, it is belief that you are the best at something, when in fact you are no better or more important than anyone else around you. Will never proves himself as stronger or better than any other Shadowhunter, so I wish he would stop acting superior. He then proceeds to call Jem, the only person who can truly stand the sight of him, a ‘disloyal bastard’. This may well be a joke, but I just find shouting this into the street unbelievable. If he had made this as a dig whilst speaking to him, I wouldn’t have minded, but it is so brash that I found myself hating him two pages in. Will treats the people close to him despicably. He may be under the impression that he is under some kind of ‘curse’ that’d harm people, but that is no excuse for the manner in which he treats those around him, especially Charlotte, who was lovely to him for years and treated him like her own son, and yet he so often treated her and the others at the Institute like scum. If he were truly concerned about doing harm to those around him through his care, then he should have tried harder to keep his distance, and be thankful but detached when they offered help, instead of pushing them so far to the verge of tears and hatred. He also wallows in self-pity of the situation for an eternity, feeling as if his life is a disaster because of this bogus spell, and lets it define him for far too long, which does nothing positive for my feelings towards him. I felt that his behaviour to everyone was far to disgusting for me to even sympathise with the curse situation. Even after the spell is proven to be false, Will barely changes his attitude. He is still more concerned about himself than anyone else; when they face Benedict after he contracted demonpox, Will doesn’t care whether Gabriel or Gideon get hurt. He may not like them, but the fact that he shows no interest in their wellbeing angers me. Also, I feel so sorry for Jem under the circumstances. Will allowed himself to get close to Jem as Jem was dying anyway. That is incredibly warped, and insinuates that their friendship was created out of Will’s convenience, not out of a care on his behalf. It may have ended with them being incredibly close, but I found that suggestion so hard to swallow. It just isn’t right.However, my main reason for hating Will is his reaction to Tessa, despite Jem’s love for her. Even after establishing that Jem and Tessa are engaged, Will lingers at the edge of their relationship like a lovesick puppy. I find it so unbelievable that he would even attempt to be that close to Tessa when he knows the pain it’d do Jem. And when Jem ‘dies’, he tells Will to find Tessa and save her, as Jem believes that Will’s love for her would make him guaranteed to do all he can to help. Jem, whilst acknowledging that Will loves Tessa, never once touched on the subject that Will might want to be with her, and never once clarifies that he is O.K. with it. Despite this, Will promptly finds Tessa and, believing that Jem is dead, has sex with her. Yes, both characters repulse me at this point, but especially Will. He has just turned up, told her that her fiancé (and his best friend) has died, and, while she is still likely to be in a state from this news, he sleeps with her before Jem’s body has turned cold (or would have done if he were actually dead). This angers me more than anything else I have read over the past 18 months, purely down to the characters’ lack of respect for someone who was supposedly so important to the pair of them. It is almost as if Will decided that, as Jem died knowing of Will’s love for her, it’d be O.K. to start up a relationship within such a short time of Jem’s passing, almost as if he wouldn’t have minded. Overall, I find Will Herondale to be the personification of every characteristic I detest in a person; selfishness, arrogance, thoughtlessness and self-pitying.
So there is an (admittedly very negative) analysis of my least favourite characters to come from the large five series. It is purely coincidental, but very convenient, that my five most disliked characters came from different series, however that turns out pretty well for my enjoyment of most of the stories; some of them, such as Peter Pettigrew, Jacob Black or Katniss Everdeen, do not completely ruin my enjoyment of a series (although in Katniss’s case, it clearly does hinder it a significant amount). However, Tris Prior and Will Herondale do make my experience of their series a lot more negative, hence why they came out on top. Either way, these five characters symbolise the characteristics I least like to read about in a book, and unfortunately made my overall experience of certain ‘big series’ a bit more negative than I would have liked.