Tag Archives: characters
If I could switch places with any book character, it’d be Bailey Clarke from Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.
People read books to escape, to imagine themselves in another world or just to tune out the real one for a while. While some people wish that fictional characters were real, I wish that I could go into their worlds, to witness the imagery that I only see in my head with my own eyes, to meet these heroes and misunderstood characters in person.
Bailey Clarke is one of the main heroes of Morgenstern’s book. The timeline of his narrative crosses over the other heroes’ until they meet together in the climax. Bailey isn’t one of the main magicians or performers of the circus — instead, he’s a young man who just falls in love with the circus itself. Just like the readers, he becomes entranced with the magic and becomes pivotal in helping to rescue the circus. His journey to save the circus also saves himself, as he finds where he truly belongs in the world and what he is meant to do.
There are, of course, plenty of other literary characters that I would love to switch places with — Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, Aech from Ready Player One, Bilbo Baggins or Éowyn from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings — but I believe Bailey Clarke fits me best. To see the wonder of the Night Circus, to figure out the purpose of my life, to find and keep a beloved ring of family and friends…
I wouldn’t mind being Bailey Clarke in Morgenstern’s world.
What about you? Any certain characters that you wouldn’t mind trading places with?
The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling is easily one of my favorite series. The series gifts sheer magic, both literal and metaphorical, to the readers no matter what page we’re on. While there are few characters I actively dislike (well, there is Umbridge, but while she was made for us to dislike, I can appreciate her as a character), my absolute favorites were the Weasley twins, Fred and George.
The Weasley family were one of the first magical characters that we meet, and Fred and George immediately introduce themselves to the readers with humorous quips, teasing their mother about mixing them up and promising their sister a Hogwarts toilet seat. Their humor and strong family bonds were what initially drew me to them as characters, and I always got excited whenever they passed by on the pages of the books.
Their loyalty and ambition soon bumped them up my list of favorite characters. They’ve always believed in and supported Harry throughout the series, welcoming him into their home along with the rest of their family, joining Dumbledore’s Army, and even taking off in a flying car with their younger brother to rescue Harry from his aunt and uncle in the second book. Their penchant for pranking came from genuinely wanting to make others laugh and be happy, even during the wizarding world’s darkest times. They never entertained the thought of purebloods being above the rest of the wizarding world and stuck by their friends for who they were.
Even if there were characters who weren’t thrilled with their pranks, the inventions these guys came up with were genius, testifying to their intelligence. I was definitely impressed with their development leading to the pair of them opening up their own business. Their personalities lead me to believe that they could have easily fit into any of the other houses if they weren’t in Gryffindor. Can you imagine Slytherin having these goofballs?
Perhaps my favorite aspect of these two characters is their inability to give a crap what anyone else thought of their dreams. They whole-heartedly pursued opening their own business, despite others around them trying to convince the pair that it was risky, that they should stay in school, that they should get a more traditional job. As someone who has been in a similar situation, I definitely appreciate it more now than I did when I first read the books.
It’s always enjoyable to return to the Harry Potter series and see the Weasley twins gracing the pages with their wit, humor, and inspiration.
“Your dragon Toasted—”
“Toasty,” the tower man, who had introduced himself as Fraden, corrected Brom as he poured tea for the four of us.
“Whatever.” Brom waved his free hand dismissively. His other hand was holding the ice-encased rock that Luella had spelled up against a nasty bump that he had gotten while chasing down Toasty. The dragon itself was perched back up on the roof, but its snout was nearly poking through the window as it watched us lounge around the small dining table its master had set up in the tower.
Brom continued with, “Your dragon has been terrorizing the nearby village. We were commissioned to slay it and rescue any of its victims that happened to still be alive here in the tower.”
“You’re mistaken,” Fraden said, settling down next to Simon. Simon raised an eyebrow at me from across the table, either at the man’s blunt and confident statement or at me smuggling the tea saucer under my coat.
I figured the fancy plate could earn us a few gold coins since it didn’t seem like we were going to be rewarded for rescuing anyone.
Fraden didn’t notice, as he kept a steady gaze on Brom. “Toasty has never gone near the village, and he certainly hasn’t taken any so-called victims.”
“We smelled burned corpses,” Luella said.
“Toasty likes his food cooked,” Fraden said, “but he doesn’t eat humans. Too sinewy and stringy with muscles.” I clamped my mouth shut, not wanting to ask how Fraden would know that particular detail. He added, “Toasty mainly hunts deer and bear from the forests. Once in a while he’ll head toward the sea to snatch a shark if he feels like seafood.”
“Pretty sure we can tell the difference between cooked bear meat and humans,” Brom said. “That, and the village people have seen maidens getting kidnapped by a large, flying reptile. What’s your answer for that?”
“Have you tried the wyvern caves to the north?” Fraden sipped at his tea, his smallest finger sticky out as he held up his cup.
“Were we tracking down the wrong creature?” Simon deadpanned.
Luella groaned and stood up, her chair scrapping against the floor. “Well, let’s go, then! There’s no telling how many people may be in trouble with these wyverns!”
“Wait.” I stopped her from moving and looked at Fraden. “Why are you here alone in a tower with a dragon?”
“I enjoy Toasty’s company more so than people’s,” he said with a slight shrug. “Besides, there’s not many who wish to get too close to me once they find out how large my guard dog is, you know?”
“Huh. Fair enough.” I got up, my curiosity satisfied for the time being.
“If you four are not frightened off by Toasty,” Fraden said as we straightened out our belongings, “then you are welcome to visit anytime. As long as, of course, you don’t try to steal any more of my belongings. Please return the saucer to the table.”
Simon snorted as I sighed and took out the small dish from my pocket, returning it as requested.
“We apologize for that,” Luella said, and I ignored her narrowed gaze while heading to the door. “Perhaps we will take up on your offer to visit again, Fraden. Thank you for the information and take care.”
“Sorry about, uh, attacking, I guess,” Brom added as we finally left. When we were further down the road, Brom turned to me. “You must be losing your touch if he noticed a little tea cup plate missing.”
I smirked and merely opened my pack while we walked to wordlessly reveal the tea kettle nestled among my other treasures.