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Twenty Shades of Grey: Quick Survey on Fantasy Characters

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If there’s one thing that intrigues me about the reviews of my books, it’s how readers react to my characters. In my debut, When the Heavens Fall, the most popular character is probably a priestess called Romany, but I’ve seen her described as everything from immensely likeable to outright evil. Though some would say there’s no reason you can’t be both. ;)

It made me wonder to what extent people view differently some of the most famous (or infamous) characters in the genre. So for a bit of fun, I thought I’d do a survey. Below, I’ve listed ten well-known fantasy characters who (to me, at least) are different shades of grey. If you are game, I’d like you to rate each one of them on a scale of one to twenty, where twenty is flawless paragon and one is evil overlord. (Obviously, this may not be the same as how much you like or dislike them!) Leave your answers in the comments section below, or alternatively at the following Reddit fantasy board:

Clearly some of the characters change greatly during the course of the book(s) that they feature in, so I’m looking for a score based on the character as they appear at the end of that book or books. Where the series is ongoing, judge the character on their most recent portrayal. If you don’t know a particular character (or feel that you can’t rate them for whatever reason) just move on to the next one.

I’m going to ask the same questions to a Facebook group or two, as well as to the Reddit fantasy board. Then, in a week or so, I’ll collate the responses and let you know my findings. I’ll work out an average score for each character, and comment on anything else noteworthy, such as which character most divides opinion.


1. Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones, Martin)

2. Boromir (The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien)

3. Severus Snape (Harry Potter, Rowling)

4. Thomas Covenant (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Donaldson)

5. Monza Murcatto (Best Served Cold, Abercrombie)

6. Fitz (Farseer Trilogy etc., Hobb)

7. Locke Lamora (Gentlemen Bastards, Lynch)

8. Felisin Paran (Malazan Book of the Fallen, Erikson)

9. Jorg Ancrath (Broken Empire Trilogy, Lawrence)

10. Raistlin (Dragonlance, Weis/Hickman)


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