One of the possible blog topics I found online presented the following question: If you could have dinner with 5 literary characters, who would they be and why? Tough question to answer because what should my criteria be? How do I pick just five? Do I do it based on my favorite books? Could I cheat a little by picking a real historical person who has had loads of fictional books written about them? Do I go by genre? Am I limited to a strict definition of person? Do I pick based on who would get along personality wise?
After a few moments of consideration, I just decided to pick my 5 favorite characters regardless of any criteria other than because I like them. So there. In no particular order they are:
Ailena from The Pillars of the Earth: Follett writes wonderful female characters and this is one of his best. When bad things happen to her, she just picks herself up, using her intelligence and determination, and goes on. She puts aside her own wants and desires to make sure her brother still has the life he was meant to have based on their social standing. Eventually, thankfully, she does get the love and happiness she has more than earned.
I think she’d be a good fit because of her intelligence and strength something I highly admire.
Frankenstein’s Creature from Frankenstein: While the creature (or monster) in Frankenstein is violent, it is not by design. The intense ostracism he faced in the book, as well as the complete abandonment by his creator, is something I can empathize with. He has tried to become part of society and upon realizing he won’t ever be accepted, hunts down Frankenstein and begs for a mate, a friend, someone just like him to be created so as to end his loneliness.
I’d invite Frankenstein’s Creature to dinner because I hope the other guests, most anyway, wouldn’t judge him so harshly and see him for the intelligent creature he is. That, and I want to give him a hug.
August Pilaster from A Dangerous Fortune: The only villain on my list. Another one of Follett’s well-thought out female characters, she’s my favorite villain. She doesn’t think she’s bad as her motives are to watch out for her family, in particular her incompetent son. For her, the family name and image is what’s most important and anyone who threatens that must suffer the consequences.
She’d be the wildcard, in my opinion, more so than Frankenstein’s Creature. I’d love to see how she deals with some of my other guests. Actually, I think she’d probably leave the dinner early but hopefully not before I get a chance to let her know what I think of her.
Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire: This dinner needs some wit so I’d invite one of my favorite characters from the series. Ailena would match his intelligence and I think he’d appreciate the pretty face. His spot on observations about life would play well with Frankenstein’s Creature. Hell, it might give the Creature hope and direction in his life. I also think if Augusta Pilaster doesn’t leave the dinner too early, he and her could have a fascinating conversation about family. After all, both are all about family. I imagine he’d find Mrs. Pilaster has a lot in common with his father.
Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire: Better hid the silverware from this one. Definitely don’t want to put her anywhere near Tyrion Lannister (their families don’t quite get along). I think she would do well with Ailena as both have lost nearly their entire family. Who knows, perhaps Arya could find the older sister in Ailena that her own really can’t be. Maybe some of the rage and bitterness within Arya could be eased by talking with her.
Looking over this list, I’m not sure the dinner party wouldn’t break out into complete chaos. Depends upon how much wine some of my guests get into I suppose. In my head I’d like to think everyone would behave himself or herself and not resort to violence. Yelling I can very much see happening. But this group of distinct and intelligent characters could make for interesting conversation.