10 Fictional Characters Who Are Total Inspirations

Sometimes there comes a moment in a book where the character we’ve been following does something that hits us right in the gut.

These moments elevate these characters to real-life inspirations. There have been a number of these characters over the years, and here are ten of our favorites.

Charlie Kelmeckis from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

By Stephen Chbosky

It’s rare to find a character as raw and genuine as Charlie. Throughout this coming-of-age novel, this high schooler is put through the wringer and still comes out the other side just as hopeful. There are quite a few lessons to be learned from Charlie, and he definitely deserves a spot on our list.

Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale (Movie Tie-in)

The Handmaid's Tale (Movie Tie-in)

By Margaret Atwood

It takes a special kind of strong-willed person to survive and hold on to hope in the dystopian society depicted in Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel. Forced to bear children for a higher-up in the Republic of Gilead, Offred refuses to let her situation lock her down. She continues to fight for her freedom, and that’s an important lesson.

Tyrion Lannister from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones 5-Book Boxed Set (Song of Ice and Fire  Series)

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones 5-Book Boxed Set (Song of Ice and Fire Series)

By George R. R. Martin

As is said in the series, “ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” Tyrion epitomizes not letting the hand dealt to you in life drag you down. A dwarf born to the Lannister family, he relies on his wits and has built a reputation while staying true to himself. As he so brilliantly puts it, “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

Matilda Wormwood from Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda

Matilda

By Quentin Blake

When we are first introduced to this pint-sized genius, Matilda is living with her sleazy, self-absorbed parents who barely pay any attention to her. Still, she finds her inner courage through her love of books and uses her knowledge and telekinetic abilities to help people. Her selflessness and hope for a better life make her easy to root for.

Auggie Pullman from Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Wonder Movie Tie-In Edition

Wonder Movie Tie-In Edition

By R. J. Palacio

Wonder tells the story of Auggie Pullman, a ten-year-old boy living with a facial difference. Attending school, he faces bullies and further adversities, but he never allows what happens dampen his optimism. As a result, Auggie is a perfect role model for young children.

Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

By J.K. Rowling

While the Harry Potter series is full of traditional heroes, when we first meet Neville, he stands out for being pretty much anything but: he’s timid, easily frightened, and always forgets the password to the Gryffindor tower. However, as the books progress, he grows into a truly remarkable character. By the time the final book comes around, his courage knows no bounds, and he proves that anyone can be special.

Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

This list would be incomplete without Mr. Finch. A main character in Harper Lee’s classic, Atticus stands up for what he thinks is right, no matter what other people may say about him. His perseverance, strength, and courage, all while maintaining his dignity and stiff upper-lip, make him a role model everyone can aspire to be like.

Lyra Belacqua from The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (HBO Tie-In Edition)

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (HBO Tie-In Edition)

By Philip Pullman

Lyra is a strong-willed young girl who finds herself traveling north to solve the mysterious disappearances of children from her hometown of Oxford. Lyra inspires a sense of adventure and wonder in readers, and is someone all children can look up to.

Starr Carter from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give follows Starr, a sixteen-year-old African American girl who decides to stand up and make her voice heard after witnessing the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. The story is emotional and thought-provoking, but it’s Starr who hits readers hardest. Her determination to fight for what is right make her an inspiration.

Justyce from Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

By Nic Stone

In Dear Martin, which boldly tackles American race relations, Justyce grapples with identity and belonging, and forces readers to really think about how we view and treat each other. He stands up for the people he cares about, and is definitely fit to be looked up to by readers.

Which literary character are you most inspired by? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. unikyky25

    What about Jesus, from the Bible? (I guess that’s not fictional, though…)
    I love Sophie from the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, and Ruby from the Ruby Redfort series…

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  2. LilyRavenclaw

    Can I just say I think Deuce from Enclave should have been in there. It’s not a very well known series but after I read it, Deuce was literally my role model.

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  3. MeaningfulMee

    When I was younger I honestly thought of Hetty feather as some sort of god. She was my biggest inspiration for many years

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    1. imaan_k

      omg same lol
      i still kinda do but they messed up the plot in the tv series and its terrible now 🙁

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