From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sidekicks do it better

I typically find that side characters are more interesting to me than the main heroes. I'm just intrigued by their motivation, and if I try to dig into it they become more and more admirable. I mean, really, what do sidekicks get out of the gig? Not the glory, that's for certain. Maybe Batman protects Robin in some ways, but Robin would probably be much safer just not hanging around Batman in the first place. 

So that leaves basically noble motivation. They want to do what good they can. They are loyal to their hero. Loyal enough with a strong enough friendship to be content with second tier and to be honest, that seems like the harder job.

One of my favorite examples of this is Samwise Gamgee. Totally the best character in LOTR. I took a class on Tolkien, and he thought so too. Sam doesn't get the glory, the hero status, he doesn't even have to go in the first place. He goes because of his friendship with Frodo and his love of the Shire. Simple, honest, true. And really, Ron and Hermione are just so much more engaging and less annoying than Harry.

I love imaging the back story of these side characters, and this is sort of my creative writing challenge for you all today. They don't have to be "side-kicks" in the comic book sense by any means, but just a side character from a story that you think might be interesting to look into. Here are some of my favorites:

Captain Hook. 
Fairy Godmother.
Woodcutter in Red Riding Hood
Hunter in Snow White
Gepetto ( I love what Once Upon a Time has been doing with this character)

Anyway, what side character do you find interesting? If you were to write a story with that character as the protagonist, how would it go?

Sarah Allen


  1. Sidekicks help give MC strength. Where one is weak the other is strong.
    Good post

  2. Sam is one of the best sidekicks out there, but all stories would definitely be lacking without their sidekicks and side characters. Sidekicks strengthen the MC and make the story.

    If I were going to choose from your list, I think I would go with the Hunter in Snow White. I would give him a troubled past, a lost daughter, bitterness that barely covers sweetness, and then I would send him back to take out the Queen . . .but that might change Snow White too much.

  3. I completely agree with you - there is something really intriguing about a sidekick.

  4. Hermione and Ron are some of my faves, and I did adore Sam from LOTR. I also adore the quirky best friends in a lot of books and movies.

  5. Sam was definitely cool and had the best line in all three books, fearing that Gandalf would turn him into something "unnatural".

    Enjoyed the post!

  6. Favorite sidekicks:
    Watson to Holmes
    Wilson to House (same thing)
    Xander and Willow to Buffy
    Radar O'Reilly to Hawkeye

  7. One: I LOVE Samwise :D

    Two: Sidekicks are great because usually their strengths and talents are what the hero lacks. Gotta love them :)

  8. Sam, Sam, Sam! ""I can't carry the ring, but I can carry you". One of my favorite moments in the book and even more so in the film. Brilliant.

    I've actually been having this discussion about secondary characters on several forums. How do you feel about chapters written in secondary characters' POVs?

  9. I agree on Sam and I thought Sean Astin did a great job making him real in the movie. My favorite is Detective Peabody, sidekick to Lt. Dallas in JD Robb's In Death series.

  10. Come on, how can you miss Han Solo?


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