Thursday, 4 July 2013

Top Five Fictional Sidekicks

To tie in to my upcoming mini-blogathon concerning favourite fictional characters, I thought I would follow on from my previous post, Top Five Fictional Characters With No Name, with a list of the best sidekicks from fiction. A hero is nothing without a loyal trusty sidekick who will never leave their side - as I, a humble blogger, am nothing without readers. So do read on and discover a few of the most loyal and trustiest sidekicks of them all.

Appeared in: the Blackadder series, played by Tony Robinson

It's a staple of comedy that the main character will have a bumbling idiotic sidekick and the fiendish Edmund Blackadder's servant through the ages, Baldrick, is the epitome of the stereotype. As with the best double acts, Baldrick is a perfect foil for his wily master; with a brain not big enough to be spread over a small water biscuit, he often tries to aid Blackadder in his schemes with a 'cunning plan' that always fails to live up to the promise. On a side note, if you're not familiar with the Blackadder series it's the Shakespeare of television comedy and is a clever as a fox that's been made professor of clever at Oxford University.

Ron and Hermione
Appeared in: the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling and film series, played by Rupert Grint and Emma Watson

We're all familiar with these two. That boy wizard in the glasses would surely have never made it through all the magical mayhem if it were not for his infallible friends. Both are likeable characters; while Hermione is the intelligent one, Ron is generally seen as the comedy sidekick thanks to the character's presentation in the films (though Rupert Grint does a great job, particularly in The Deathly Hallows: Part One) but he is more fleshed-out in the books. As with everything in Rowling's stories, Ron and Hermione come from familiar moulds but the moulds work well, hence why they are moulds in the first place. Moulds.

Nick Carraway
Appeared in: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

When thinking of classic sidekicks one's mind doesn't necessarily jump to the narrator of F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. However, I'm fond of Carraway (not neccesarily Tobey Macguire's film version, although I didn't dislike him as others did) and find his friendship with Gatsby rather Holmesian/Watsonian. Like many other classic sidekicks, we see the hero of the story through Nick's eyes; while Gatsby is the star of the novel, Carraway, his closest friend, is an equally well-fleshed out character who contrasts and compliments the protagonist. Definitely a sidekick. A great sidekick.

Sarah Jane Smith
Appeared in: Doctor Who, the Sarah Jane Adventures and K-9 and Company, played by Elisabeth Sladen

In its illustrious fifty-year history, Doctor Who has featured many beloved sidekicks, or companions as we fans call them, for everyone's favourite eccentrically-dressed, Sonic Screwdriver-using alien. But of them all, Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane Smith is the most treasured; a character that every companion created since is measured up to. An intelligent, adventurous journalist, Sarah was the star of her own popular spin-off show (that was only cancelled upon the event of Sladen's untimely passing) and, like the Brigadier, has worked with multiple Doctors. Sarah Jane is simply the Doctor's greatest friend.

Dr Watson
Appeared in: the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and numerous film and TV adaptations and literary pastiches

In a list of the greatest fictional sidekicks, who else could take the top spot over Baker Street's finest doctor, chronicler and moustache-spotter, Sherlock Holmes' right-hand man, Dr John (sometimes James, but let's not get into that now) Watson? He is everything the hero's best friend should be; an everyman to contrast with the hero's extraordinary nature but also with a streak of brilliance to be of aid to the hero. Together with Holmes he is known for being one half of the greatest friendship in literature but even by himself Dr Watson is one of the most popular and enduring characters fiction has ever produced.


  1. I thought you might be including Watson! :) Great choice - I'm not familiar with the Great Gatsby, but heartily agree with all the others.

    1. How could I not! :) Thanks, ah well I would definitely recommend giving it a read. As I said, Carraway isn't a typcial sidekick character per se but he's up there with Watson as one of my favourite point-of-view characters in literature.


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