Sunday, July 17, 2011

Characterization and Those Potter Kids...

Like most of America, I spent this weekend with the Harry Potter characters. These films have been amazing – not surprising as they’re based on amazing books.


While the Potter books have an intricate plot that astounds me (how did she think to plant all those clues along the way?), it is the characters that make me care about what’s happening. Because its happening TO THEM. They are what keeps me coming back for more.

And it wasn’t just the heroes that intrigued me. I even found myself engaged in the pain of Draco Malfoy in the last few movies, despite his previous bullying ways.

The longevity of interest in a group of characters throughout a movie series is rarely seen, though we do get attached to our television characters. I also have characters from books that I’ve enjoyed over a series, besides the Potter brood. I don’t really care for long running romance series that feature the same couple in every book, but I love return appearances of previous heroes and heroines that grace me with ongoing glimpses of their lives.

The biggest that comes to mind is the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. This author doesn’t promote the traditional Happily Ever After. Instead she continues to publish glimpses of the couples’ ongoing struggles and how they work through them to preserve their love for each other.

Each glimpse also deepens the characterizations and makes the characters appear even more three-dimensional and real. I get to “visit” with them again and catch up on their lives like old friends. That investment keeps me coming back for more – to the point that this is one of the few authors I’ll spring for when the books come out in hardback first. I simply can’t wait an additional 6 months for the paperback.

So tell me, what series characters have you fallen in love with and why?



Playground Monitor said...

I will slink out of the room after I tell you I've only seen the 1st HP movie and never read any of the books.

But before I slink, I really enjoyed Roxanne St. Claire's Bullet Catcher series. The BC agency was headed by a woman you knew would eventually get her book. There was such a build-up to it. And WOWZA, she didn't end up with the guy you always thought she would. But his book was next and his heroine was just right for him.

PM's Mother said...

I enjoyed reading all eight of Jan Karon's Father Tim series featuring Father Tim, his wife Cynthia and numerous susidiary characters -- never tired of them! On the other hand, after reading the third or fourth in the series of Emma Harte (A Woman of Substance -- which was a wonderful book) I became confused trying to keep up with her extended family.

Lea Ann said...

Both Christine Feehan's Game series and her Carpathian series share some scenes containing earlier characters, as well as having a continuing support cast throughout that everyone comes to know and love. Although I don't think anyone does this as well or as in-depth as J.R. Ward without having the same couple as the lead in each book.

Jean Hovey said...

SEP's Chicago Stars. I read them over and over again. Also, Julia Quinn's Bridgertons.

PC's Mom said...

I loved Jamie and Claire in "Outlander." When the second book in the series came out, it was like catching up with old friends I'd lost contact with. I pre-ordered the third book, paid full price for it and...never read it. I'd just lost interest. It was the same way with Skye O'Malley.

However, I have never tired of Johanna Lindsey's Mallory family.

During the early days of Harry Potter, I would read a book right before its' movie came out. That, too, became too labor intensive, so now I just watch the movies. I've enjoyed watching the actors grow up, but I'm putting off watching the last movie because it is the last movie. But, I will see it on the big screen in a theater with a bucket of popcorn.

Angel said...

PM's Mom -- I've known a lot of people who loved Karon's series. Isn't it set in a small town?

I've also had the same problem about casts getting too big. I started reading a particular author's paranormal series, which was really interesting, but by the third book I couldn't keep the cast members straight. I'm not sure why -- if she just introduced too many too soon, or if there wasn't enough depth behind just a name to keep them all straight in my head. Hmmm... must think on this.


Angel said...

Love the CF game series, LeaAnn! They are all really strong characters. Also, Kerrelyn Sparks's Love at First Bite series. Those characters make reoccuring appearances too.

Though none are quite the same, or as in depth, as the Warden's.


Angel said...

Ooohhh, Jean, I loved the Chicago Stars series! But then again, I love all of the SEP I've read. And that's a great non-paranormal example.

Ah, the Outlander books. I've heard so much about them, but simply can't make myself start them, because I know there is so much to catch up on. Sigh. Maybe one day.


Cheryl said...

Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter novels! I love Acheron! I too started out reading the Harry Potter books but couldn't make it through the last one. I gave up. Too much angst. I haven't seen the latest move but will try!

PM's Mother said...

Jan Karen's books are set in Mitford -- which is patterned after the village of Blowing Rock in the North Carolina mountains. I think this is one of the reasons I liked the books. Also, her characters were interesting and their relationship was not too convoluted.

Angel said...

Cheryl -- too much angst?!?! Is there such a thing? :)

Dark Hunters! I loved Acheron, but I haven't read all of the books because there were so many to catch up on by the time I found the series. But I've read quite a few and enjoyed the repeat appearances of previous characters in them.