I thought of a series of posts I’d like to put up as being my favourite fantasy characters that I’ve read.
There have been several favourite characters over the years and I have to find one character I like in every novel I read that I like or else that novel will end up in the corner unread. I don’t think I’m alone and it’s one of the most important things in writing: to get characters your readers are going to identify with and like. You can write about an antihero but there was must be something likeable about the antihero otherwise people aren’t going to want to read the novel. It would be like Star Wars being about Emperor Palpatine.
Anyway, the first of my favourite fantasy characters is Sturm Brightblade from Dragonlance. He first made his appearance his Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. This was not the first novel I read about him. There was also a series called Meetings or something like that which detailed the heroes early lives and I encountered Sturm in a book called The Oath and The Measure. I immediately liked him and identified with him. In the novel he was a young man who was trying to get into the Solamnic Knights, an order to which his father had belonged. I read the book around the time I was writing entrance exams and interviews, etc. to get into the high school which my father, my uncle and my cousin had all attended, so it was something of a family tradition. If I’d been living one block over or something ridiculous I would’ve been in the school’s zone and walked in. But because I lived outside of the radius I had to go through all the extras to get in. So while I didn’t have to head off to meet with Lord Wilderness I understood Sturm’s need to want to get in.
I read Dragonlance in a really backward fashion and could get Legends before I could get my hands on Chronicles. Obviously, reading Legends first I found out that Sturm had not survived Chronicles before and it made me question whether I even wanted to read Chronicles. But I couldn’t stop myself and as soon as I could get my hands on it, I devoured the novels. I think I read them about a dozen times.
I was shocked when Sturm died, even though I had expected it and there was a sadness over the whole novel because of it. The funny thing is that I don’t remember reading any of the foreshadowing of his death in the first novel. Reading it again, a few years ago I was surprised by how much foreshadowing there was and I had to admit that Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman had known right from the beginning what was going to happen with Sturm.
Sturm died a hero and revived the order he had been hoping to enter. I know that it sounds really corny but as a teenage boy there are difficult times which everyone goes through and I would often find myself hoping I could be as brave as Sturm.
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have a knack of creating characters I can identify and like and I suspect there will be at least one more of my favourite fantasy characters who will come from their writing. He/She might not be in Dragonlance though.