Everyone needs a sidekick, right?
I like to tell my best friends they’re my Diana in keeping with my Anne life parallels. When I was kid, Diana was the ultimate friend. I’d ask potential friends if they’d be my best friends and then apologize for not calling them bosom bodies. The term just felt a little weird. Now, I’ve realized there are alot of great friends in the literary world. Some offer emotional support, some keep you sane, some are the battlefield sidekick and others are your guardian angels for literally everything. Here’s my top picks for best friends.
My Seven Favorite Literary Sidekicks and Best Friends
Fight for you when you can’t carry on
I just finished reading the Two Towers, and I’m head over heels in love with Sam. He’s the best of best friends a person could ask for. He’s more than a sidekick, because without Sam you’ll probably be eaten by a gigantic spider.
Sam never gives us dreaming, and even if you lose sight of the dream, he picks the banner right up. And he doesn’t just applaud your dream, he chases the dreams down.
Fiercely loyal, watchful, defiant, funny, encouraging. Sam is the definition of a friend in hobbit form.
If you’re planning on going on a dangerous quest, find a friend like Samwise Gamgee.
The friend who reminds you what other people think
As much as Anne talks, Diana listens. And when Anne needs interrupted, Diana interrupts. Diana’s not afraid to tell Anne she’s thinking of doing something absolutely crazy or mentioning that Anne really needs to forgive Gilbert.
And when Anne does do crazy things and takes forever to forgive Gilbert, Diana sticks by her. Anne is nearly the opposite – a redhead, an orphan, an aspiring teacher and writer. But Diana’s down to earth, quiet personality steadies Anne. Not only does it steady Anne, but without Diana, Anne isn’t exactly Anne.
If you’re planning on hitting people with slates, you’d better invest in a friendship with Diana Barry.
The Friend willing to push to the absolute limits for your friendship
Some like Peeta, some like Gale, and then I adore Finnick. Maybe it’s the humor that hides his pain, his resilience in constant adversity, and his empathy when his friends suffer .
Finnick pushes his friends. He understands what breaks your heart and the need to keep living. Even when life is darkest, Finnick encourages you to keep pressing forward.
And if helping you risks his safety, Finnick is willing to give his life.
If you’re planning on rebelling against the government, find a Finnick Odair.
The friend who helps create your dreams
I loved Cinna the moment I first met him. His first words to Katniss, “I’m sorry this happened to you,” spoke of his character. He refused to view life through his Capitol citizenship, but see the world as it should be seen.
And Cinna carried this sight into his relationship with his friends. He was sensitive towards pain, the comfort his friends needed. He didn’t bring his own feelings into consideration, but was 100% supportive. In fact, he knew in advance what his friends needed.
But Cinna didn’t just see his friends pain – he saw a way to stop the pain. He didn’t let intimidation or fear curb his dreams for justice. While most ignored injustice, Cinna found a way to encourage his friends to stand for right. When his friends were discouraged, Cinna found a way to ignite their courage.
Helping his friends stand risked own his life. But Cinna wasn’t concerned with his life. He was fully wrapped up in a vision of a better world for his friends. He didn’t expect credit for his work. He didn’t even expect to live to see the world made right. He quietly sketched plans for a better world, while his friends took center stage in the fight for right.
If the world is unjust, build a relationship with a friend like Cinna.
Dr John Watson
The friend who makes up for your social ineptitudes
If you’re even slightly socially awkward, this friend is your lifesaver. And if we’re honest, all of us make social missteps. Maybe not Sherlock level rude, but enough to burn bridges.
That’s when John Watson steps in. Maybe it’s an excuse, sorry, she’s on her sixth cup of coffee today. Or a social reprimand that jars you back to reality. Sorry friend, but you aren’t behaving normally. Whatever it takes, Watson saves your social life.
And this sort of sidekick puts up with a lot. And not just from you. Random strangers may ask – Why are you friends with her again? In your heart, you may not even know why this friend sticks around. But, you are eternally grateful for their friendship.
Accidentally insult strangers on a normal day? Have Watson tag along & save you from yourself.
The friend who questions your hasty decisions & reminds you to be a better person.
Are you quick to turn down marriage proposals?
Then you need a friend like Jane. Jane may understand the romantic ideals of your thinking, but she also knows that your romanticism can spoil your outlook on life.
A sidekick like Jane knows the right kind of questions to ask to undermine your false sense of security. Jane doesn’t push too hard, but she doesn’t let you rest in silly thinking. Also, Jane Bennett practically always thinks the best of others. If you’re lucky, her generosity may rub off on you.
If you start attending required social events, you better take a Jane Bennet with you.
The friend who stays alive, when everyone else (& you) are dead
Admittedly, this is the friend you don’t think you need. But Horatio is the sort of friend that you desperately need when you start seeing ghosts. This friend also sympathetically listens to your ravings, hears your darkest fears, sees the love of your life go insane, and still stands by you as your friend.
If you’re accidentally poisoned and the rest of your family dies, this friend stays alive to set the world right.
Horatio is willing to die with his friend. But Hamlet encourages him to stay alive saying, “If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, Absent thee from felicity a while, And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain To tell my story.”
If you’re the heir of Denmark, find a friend like Horatio.
Did I miss your literary best friend? Tell me in the comments who I might have skipped. 🙂