Your BLF (best literary friend)
Sunday 7th August is International Friendship Day, so this post honours great friends in books.
I started by asking around the office: if you had to pick a character in a book to be friends with, who would you pick?
This was considered a much tougher question than I’d anticipated.
Bertie Wooster was denounced as being too much of a liability, whilst Gandalf wouldn’t be there when you needed him and you’d have to always rely on the eagles for back up.
So who made the cut?
Hercule Poirot for one.
“You’d get to travel the world and solve mysteries!”
I do see the reasoning here, but I think that’s more wanting to be Poirot’s assistant, or maybe be Poirot? All the same, it’s Claire’s choice, and it’s a fair choice, so it stands.
Next up we had Jo’s choice – Albus Dumbledore. I’ll hand this over to her:
“Dumbledore seems like he would be an excellent friend, as well as teacher, life-coach and all-round inspirational person to have in your life! He’s clever, funny and who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who’s forever spouting inspirational advice such as ‘It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live’. What a guy! And he can do magic…”
And he can do magic. Well said. Maybe not the sort of friend you’d go to when you just wanted to wallow in self-pity for a while – ‘seriously Dumbledore, enough of the inspirational quotes already!’ – but once you’d put down the tub of Ben & Jerry’s and picked yourself up off the floor, Albus would be the guy to get you back on track. Oh, and he can do magic. Did we mention that?
That Claire and Jo made a decision at all deserves applause. The rest of the office were stumped. Hypothetical literary friends were being picked up and dropped faster than your whippy melts on a hot day.
This got me thinking, are most characters in books bad friend material? And if so, who can we find to offer some literary friend redemption?
And thus, here are…
My top 5 literary friendships
1. Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings)
This is a beautiful friendship, if a little one sided at times. *cough* Most of the time *cough*. Samwise is always there for Frodo – he’s got his back.
2. Harry, Ron and Hermione (The Harry Potter series)
A friendship born out of coincidence on a train when they were 11 years old that stood the test of time. Through arguments, teenage angst and battling the dark lord, they came out the other end stronger than ever.
3. Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas (Pride and Prejudice)
These two might be ten years apart in age and striving for different things in love and life, but they show that opposites can attract in friendship too.
4. Dickon and Mary (The Secret Garden)
Quite frankly, Dickon is a saint. Mary learns to be a good friend too, eventually. And together with Colin, they all find friendships that their lives had been lacking (though how someone as compassionate as Dickon could be lacking in friends to begin with is beyond me. Even the birds love him!).
5. Winnie the Pooh and Piglet (Winnie the Pooh)
This is a classic friendship. They praise each other, look out for each other, and there’s never an awkward silence when two friends are this comfortable with each other. And if ever there was a silence that needed filling, Pooh would come out with a brilliant hum or song and make everything better.
So there you have it! There is some friend-material to be found in literature.
Who would you pick from a book to be your friend?
This post was written by Holly Newson
If you liked this post, why not check out our favourite literary characters?
Picture credit: Squelle