Saturday, December 16, 2017

What makes a character memorable?

I think both public reactions and personal reactions determine this quality. Memorable characters appeal on a gamut of many different levels. Some are memorable because they are so good or loyal, some because they are a mixed bag of good and bad qualities, and some because they are just evil. Often the current social climate endears one character to that society. If the character fulfills the social needs for a certain type of person of any age, it creates a memorable character. The character can be strangely different or resemble a familiar person everyone seems to know.

Those publically well remembered usually come from mass media such as TV or movies, because the character comes alive in these media. I think sometimes this can depend and reflect more on the actor playing the part, bestowing the character’s personality and actions on the actor even if that isn’t what the actor’s personality embraces at all. Other memorable characters come from acclaimed books or lore.

These characters’ haunting presence may last only while a particular society needs that character's example, but sometimes something engrains the character in society for a much longer time. The ancient gods of mythology are memorable characters entrenched in society. So is Sherlock Holmes. Usually, the character shows traits the public admires, most often some form of extreme courage or perseverance. Sometimes they just exemplify what everyone would like to be like.

On a personal level, the character usually appeals to the mind’s psyche. Those characters speak on a personal level so are remembered. Because I like fantasy, science fiction, romance, history, mystery, and suspense, I remember fantastical characters, Darth Vader, Scarlet O’Hara, Angelique, . . . and the list goes on. 

Please visit these blogs and get the author's take on this topic:


  1. Then we have Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the villains that go along with them. I particularly loved Isis. When I see clips of the show now, I cringe, but I love it as a child and spent many an hour pretending I was Isis. LOL Or the Bionic Woman.

    I also love Jo March and Aragorn as well as Galadriel, Arwen, Frodo, and Gandalf. So many wonderful characters to capture our imaginations. :)

    Thanks for organizing this once again, Robin.


  2. I agree... those characters, too! Your welcome, Marci, thanks for participating.

  3. My favorite in this cast of memorable characters was Superman. I devoured the comics long before he appeared on TV and he was definitely memorable.

  4. My favorite in that list was Wonder Woman. And I agree, but hadn't thought of it that way, a character fulfills the needs for a certain type of person of any age to be memorable.

  5. Hi Rhobin, I like your point about character's filling societal needs at the time they are created. It brings to mind all those upright 'chaps' doing the right thing in the late forties. Much needed by a society which had been so devastated. Anne

  6. It makes me think of The Breakfast Club of the 80s. That was such an iconic of film of the time.

  7. It's amusing to me that so many people are pointing to Darth Vader as a memorable character since my mind has always been stuck on Luke. Yeah, he was a little whiny at first, but he grew and in the middle of that growth he gave hope that anyone can be better.

  8. Hi Rhobin, appealing on a personal reader. I realized this is true of me. Angelique. . . she was always one of my favorites. I miss everyone in the Round Rhobin Group. I haven't received a notice to post in months. I miss everyone.

    1. I'm sorry, I did not exclude you for any reason, and I've missed you too. Has your email changed? The email I had was an address.