My 12 favorite male book characters of all time

So who wants to talk about favorite book characters?

Narrowing down a list of favorite characters is not easy, let me tell you. There are SO MANY more who could be on this list, but I’ve limited myself to one character per book/series. There are a lot of amazing characters out there, okay??

Now, in no particular order, let’s get into my twelve favorite male book characters OF ALL TIME. This list is ever changing, but this is how it stands right now.

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Aled Last

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

“Either way, we are going to bring beautiful things into the universe.”

art by Alice Oseman

The first time I read Radio Silence, I obviously loved Aled. Brilliant, anxious, and closed-off, he wiggled his way into my heart with his Universe City podcast and his lime green shoes and his “if nobody is listening to my voice, am I making any sound at all?”

The second time I read Radio Silence, I really felt like I understood Aled. He was already a favorite character, but now I can’t even think about him without wanting to clutch my chest and cry. He deserves so much!!! I would protect Aled Last with my life.

(Also, this piece of art is currently the background on my phone, if that gives you any indication of my love for this boy.)

Alex Claremont-Diaz

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

“I am, and always have been – first, last, and always – a child of America.”

Image
art by sarahcatstreet

Allow me to introduce you to my ADHD Mexican-American disaster son, Alex Claremont-Diaz. It was a tough choice between Alex and Henry to decide who would make this list, but Alex just barely won out.

What I love about Alex is how deeply he cares. As the First Son of the US, he has no real obligation to do political work for his mom’s administration, but he does it because he wants to make the world better. That’s not even to mention how much he cares about his loved ones. His love is fierce and deep and protective, and that just makes me love him even more.

Remus Lupin

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

“Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.”

art by atalienart

Let me tell you, it was hard to narrow down to one Harry Potter character, since I love SO MANY. I could have easily gone with Harry, Ron, or Neville, but I had to choose my ultimate fave, Remus Lupin.

I could write an entire post about why Lupin is the best HP character (and I may or may not have one in my drafts), but I’ll boil it down to this: Lupin goes through so much during his life, and he’s still the most empathetic and kind person in the series. In addition to being turned into a werewolf as a child and forced to endure prejudice and alienation, he loses all of the people that mean the most to him. But he takes all of that pain and turns it around to care for other people. I love him. So much.

Elliot Schafer

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

“He did not want to be loved enough. He wanted to be loved overwhelmingly.”

art by greenkiwiart

You give me a snarky, judgmental, emotionally distant character and I will have a new favorite. It’s as simple as that. Elliot is the narrator of In Other Lands, also known as one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Even though he’s an obnoxious know-it-all who pushes away everyone close to him because he believes he’s unloveable, it’s hard not to gain a soft spot for him.

Elliot is kind of a mess and I love him anyway. His little found family with Luke and Serene is one of my absolute favorites as well, and I would happily read many, many books about the three of them.

Nikolai Lantsov

Shadow and Bone Trilogy and King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

“I hope you weren’t looking to me to be the voice of reason. I keep to a strict diet of ill-advised enthusiasm and heartfelt regret.”

image
art by moonlit-sketches

I honestly don’t think it’s possible to read the Grisha Trilogy/King of Scars and dislike Nikolai. I didn’t even like the Grisha Trilogy – I basically only read it for him. He lit up every scene he entered, and I was always delighted by his wit and clever schemes.

In King of Scars, we get to see a darker side of him, and while I already adored him, that book cemented him as a favorite character as we see him struggle with the burden of leadership. All at once hilarious, vain, self-sacrificing, damaged, and constantly well dressed, King Nikolai Lantsov has all of my heart.

Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan

“Don’t feel bad, I’m usually about to die.”

My boyfriend and I are going to see the Percy Jackson musical tonight and I’m so excited!!!!
art by doodlekiidd

I think Percy’s sense of humor throughout this series was formative to me as a child, because it can still make me laugh like almost nothing else. I mean, those chapter titles alone? ICONIC.

Percy is the absolute best type of childhood hero – brave, loyal to his friends, smart under pressure, with a healthy level of snark toward authority. I’ve loved being able to watch him grow up, through the Percy Jackson series as well as the rest of the demigod universe. (But please, Rick Riordan, let the boy rest.) I doubt my love for Perseus Jackson will ever dim!

Fitzwilliam Darcy

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

“I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

art by atalienart

Is Mr. Darcy my favorite character from classic literature? Absolutely. Does that make me basic? Most likely. Do I care? Not even a bit.

Part of what I love about Darcy is how painfully relatable he is, because I too am extremely awkward and don’t know how to flirt and definitely am in love with Elizabeth Bennet. It bothers me when people characterize Darcy as the ultimate “bad boy” of literature, because that’s not who he is at all. He’s a shy nerd who always says the wrong thing and then listens when he makes a mistake and changes from it. The ULTIMATE.

Simon Spier

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

“Really, though, there are only two kinds of weather: hoodie weather and weather where you wear a hoodie anyway.”

Simon Spier
art by cherryandsisters

As much as I adore Love, Simon, movie!Simon simply can’t compare to book!Simon, who is incredibly nerdy and sweet and adorable in all the right ways. Every time he appears in one of Becky Albertalli’s books – overusing the word “freaking” or making Harry Potter references or being utterly clueless about everything – I feel like my heart grows ten sizes.

Not only is Simon the purest cinnamon roll to ever cinnamon, but he’s genuinely hilarious in his narration and cares about his friends deeply. What’s not to love?? He’s basically everything that I love about a character wrapped up in one.

Henry Montague, aka Monty

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

“We’re not courting trouble. Flirting with it, at most.”

art by r-i-v-e-r

Ah, Monty. You make me alternately make me want to shake my head in exasperation, burst into giggles, and give you the biggest hug. Why are you like this, but also never change.

Even though Monty is a clueless idiot half the time and often thinks of himself before others, I have to love him. When it counts, he’s there for his loved ones and he’ll give up anything for them. Plus, watching him learn that he’s worthy of love after being abused is gorgeous. Not to mention that he’s an absolutely hilarious narrator and everything that he says makes me laugh!

Prince Po

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

“It’s quite boring really, the way you beat me to death with your hands and feet, Katsa. It’ll be refreshing to have you come at me with a knife.”

art by shebsart

Every time I read Graceling, my head is basically just a constant stream of “wow I love Po. wow I love Po. wow I love Po. wow–”

He’s just so *clenches fist* respectful of his love interest’s boundaries while loving her unconditionally and supporting her as she works through her trauma. Graceling has one of my favorite romantic subplots of all time, and that’s largely thanks to Po being the Absolute Greatest. His dynamic with Katsa is unbeatable; they’re both fascinating and well-developed characters who fit together perfectly and I love them a lot.

Kaz Brekker

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

“Greed bows to me. It is my servant and my lever.”

blvnk-art:“ Just finished reading Six of Crows and felt like trying my take on Kaz Brekker. Be patience with me, I’ve just got to know (1% of) him. NO SPOILER, thanks :D ”
art by blvnk-art

I ask myself every day why I love this amoral, self-centered trash boy, and I wish I had a proper answer for you. I don’t know why I love Kaz so much – he has little conscience and cares more about money than people most of the time – but here we are. He’s found his way onto my list of all time favorites. (Probably bribed his way on.)

Honestly, the moments that we see him acting against his selfish nature are the ones that endear me to him, especially since he gets so annoyed with himself during those moments. Watching him reluctantly learn to care about the people in his crew is one of my favorite things.

Richard Campbell Gansey III, aka Gansey

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

“That’s all there is.”

art by kuchelbeker

Yes, every single character on this list is one of my all-time favorites. But if you forced me to choose only one favorite from this list, it would be Gansey. It would be Gansey every time.

How do I encapsulate my love for Gansey in a few short sentences? Here are a few things: He unapologetically wears aquamarine polo shirts and boat shoes. He’s desperate for answers, but terrified of what he might find. He talks like a tenured professor. He’s a mess of unacknowledged PTSD and anxiety that he carefully hides away from others. He tries to unlearn the privilege he grew up in and realize the power of his words. He loves his friends so much that he often does the wrong thing while trying to help; he loves them enough to die for them, though he never believes they would do the same for him. He is a king.

Yeah, I love Gansey a little bit, I guess.

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Who are your favorite male book characters? Do we have any of the same favorites?

x Margaret

goodreads | twitter | indiebound

42 thoughts on “My 12 favorite male book characters of all time

  1. Ahh, I love this post, and so many of these characters are also my favorites! I love Raven Cycle, and Gansey is THE HIGHLIGHT of that series. Lupin is an incredible character – I was HEARTBROKEN by his death. *sighs* He deserved better. Kaz, Darcy and Simon are all excellent, and I also love Po, although it’s been years since I read Graceling, so I don’t remember much. I guess I should reread it.. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Percy Jackson is pretty cool. Mr.Darcy is okay. I think I’m one of the few people who isn’t crazy about him. He was just so rude at the start of the book. “Not handsome enough to temp me.” I never liked much because of that. I know the point of his character arc was that he started out with all that snobby pride and looking down on people. I guess his redemption arc just wasn’t steep enough for me. Saving Elizabeth’s sister from ruin was cool of him, but for whatever reason, it wasn’t enough to get me on the Mr.Darcy train.

    I’d say my all-time favorite male characters are Severus Snape, Neville Longbottom.
    Gregor from Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. All that guy wanted to do was pay for his sister’s education! His arc is so tragic 😦
    Rand from the Wheel of Time series. I’m not sure why. He just comes across so doofy and inept. He has such a great underdog vibe and I like how awkward he is with women. But I’m only on book two so that probably changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand that perspective on Darcy! For me, what I love about his development isn’t necessarily that he saved Lizzy’s sister, but more the fact that he was willing to listen to her, recognize how he was wrong, and change how he behaved. But not every character is for everyone!
      Ahhh Neville is another character that was SO close to making this list 🙂 And Darlington from Ninth House is amazing!

      Like

  3. ahhh yes yes love this list! yes to Nikolai (my baby) YES to Kaz (my love) and yesss to Darcy (who’s awkward flirting I will never tire of) This is such a great list! I am also very curious about reading Graceling because PO! Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah what a wonderful, wonderful post and I love the characters you selected so much! Aled is one of my favorite characters ever, for sure and I just miss him, I need to re read this book soonish! I also love love love Alex from Red, White and Royal Blue so much ❤ and wow. you make me want to read the Graceling book SO badly, I feel like I need to meet Po now??!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 😀 Aled is just the best – I constantly want to reread Radio Silence haha 🙂 And yesss I’m glad I made you want to read Graceling, because it’s amazing – I hope you enjoy it (and Po!) if you end up picking it up! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok, I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice 😅, but I so agree with Mr. Darcy being the ultimate shy boy ❤️️! That’s why I loved him, and I /didn’t/ get any bad boy vibe from him at all hahaha. Also, I laughed at Kaz brbing his way onto your list 😂. But yes! Everytime he stuck his neck out for the crew (or Inej 🥺️), I swooned 😍😂. This post was so much fun, Margaret 😄!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just bought all of Alice Oseman’s books (not including Heartstopper, that’s how I found her) for my birthday, and I am SO EXCITED to finally be part of the hype.

    Also, what the heck, share that Lupin dissertation with us, come onnnnnnn.

    Gosh, Nikolai Lantsov. I could just swoon repeatedly over him. My favorite Grishaverse character is definitely Wylan Van Eck, which came as such a surprise the first time someone asked me, and I just blurted it out. But I totally feel you on Nikolai. Every time he’s in a chapter, I just want to alternate between weeping and shrieking with glee. But Kaz? Good LORD, that boy will be the end of me. I’ve been wanting to reread the Crows duology for literal years (why haven’t I? no one knows.) because I think I blacked out from sheer excitement due primarily to Kaz, so there’s that.

    AQUAMARINE POLO SHIRTS AND BOAT SHOES GET IT GANSEY BOY. I will die for Gansey. Follow him into battle. Scream into the void about my love for him. He’s a definite top 5 favorite characters of all time for me, and I think you should also write a dissertation for why Gansey is the best, I’m just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YESSS I can’t wait for you to be a part of the Alice Oseman hype!! Her books are amazing.

      Haha I definitely will share that Lupin post at some point! I just have too many Feelings about him, which makes it hard to express myself 😅

      Nikolai Lantsov indeed. ❤ OH MAN Wylan is also SO GOOD and it was SUCH a hard choice between him and Kaz for this list. It's also been too long since I last read the Crows duology, and I really want to revisit it just so I can have my Kaz fix lol

      WHOOP WHOOP GANSEY BOY ❤ Honestly, I completely agree with everything you said. I should absolutely make a dissertation about him too because I have a LOT to say!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s such an amazing list! 🥰 I also have a soft spot for Percy Jackson (soo much nostalgia) and of course Nikolai – he’s honestly full of fun and banter, it always cheers me up 😄 One of my favorite fictional male characters is Victor Vale from Vicious, he’s definitely a very problematic fave but also very intriguing 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amazing post! PERCYYYY is my current love haha I need to be his friend (well, I mean I’d like him to be my boyfriend but even I won’t do that to Annabeth). Also I love Kaz Brekker so much idk irl I would hate him because I’m a marshmallow scardy cat but reading about him in SOC is so compelling! Love Nikolai, Monty, Lupin, and Darcy too–you’re really making me want to reread these books now haha ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Emma @ AFCTL

    I love this post so much!
    I always love to read about empowered female characters, but I think male characters deserve attention too!
    Gansey is a personal favorite but I agree with all of these, too 🙂
    – Emma xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well now you’ve got me making my own list of favourite male characters in my head! This was such a fun post, I love finding out about other people’s fictional faves. Especially the bit about Kaz – he totally bribed his way onto this list but it’s impossible to be mad at him for it.

    I totally shared the conflicting feelings about Monty – he makes such bad decisions and I just want to shake him but it’s also impossible to not love his idiotic ways. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ahh… I love this post and I loved that it is all your favourite male characters!! And all the fanart is amazing!!
    YESSS Aled is ah-mazing, I loved him too and I just need more of him in my life. And the fact that the art is your background, your life choices are winning!!
    Lupin is amazing and I would love a marauders book and if I had to pick a narrator it would be Remus!!!!
    I just started reading the Percy Jackson for the first time and Percy is one of a kind for narration. WE STAN!!!
    I just read The Gentlemen’s Guide and this describes Monty so well “You make me alternately make me want to shake my head in exasperation, burst into giggles, and give you the biggest hug.” I did like him!!
    Kaz is an icon!!!!
    I love the quote you used for Gansey because I put that in my twitter bio (in some way) because that is the basic book nerd I am!! I love the raven cycle so much and Gansey is incredible!! He is amazing and as you know, Adam is one of my faves and I think my favourite relationship in the books is his and Gansey’s!! It is imperfect but I love it and the bit in The Raven King where they are on about the school bell (it is really small) but it is one of my favourites. I had no idea why. And another favourite Gansey moment is in The Dream Thieves when he learnt the pig was destroyed and he carries on talking to his mum’s friend about something small like everything is fine but inside he is falling apart. It describes Gansey so well. I love Gansey’s humour as well!!
    Sorry this is a bit too long but I loved this post!!! ❤ You've got great taste 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank, Sophie!! I had so much fun compiling this list and finding all the fanart 😀
      Aled is the best!! 😭 Having art of him as my phone background was the best decision I ever made.
      Omg the idea of a marauders book with Lupin as the narrator has me screaming!! I would love that so much!!
      I hope you enjoy reading Percy Jackson for the first time! Percy truly is the best narrator 😀
      Haha yep, Monty is so frustrating but lovable at the same time…what a disaster 😂 I love him.
      Yesss clearly you have great taste too since you appreciate that Gansey quote 😀 Choosing which of the Raven Boys to include on this list was so hard because I adore all of them. Gansey and Adam’s relationship is truly something special! That scene you described when Gansey learns about the pig truly does encapsulate him perfectly 😭 What a good character!!
      Never apologize for long comments! 😀 Thanks so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ahh, I love all of these characters too! Kaz Brekker is made of trash, but I LOVE HIM WITH MY WHOLE HEART ANYWAY 😭😭 he’s so smart, morally grey, and untouchable–I love it!! also Percy Jackson made me laugh out loud so much when I was a child reading PJO for the first time. and Prince Po!! I just recently finished Graceling, and he is superior,,, he’s so respectful of Katsa!! he must be the origin of the phrase “not all men” 😫😫

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love so many of the characters in this list – especially Simon, Po and Lupin! Thinking about those three in particular give me overwhelming feelings, lol. Lupin just deserved so much more than he got and I feel like he’s underrated… I am very excited to hear you may have a draft post about why he is the best… I hope you really do!
    Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. I am physically refraining from smasssshing the exclamation point key because… YES to all the boys on this list (I don’t know Aled and Po, but I’m going to fix that real soon).

    And Kaz definitely bribed his way into the list.

    Honestly, all your posts are so funny. You could write about dust on the floor and I’m sure it’d be enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Depends on what you’re in the mood for! If a fantasy adventure romance sounds like something you want to read, then Po – if you’re in the mood for a bittersweet coming of age contemporary, then Aled. Can’t go wrong with either, in my opinion! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  16. i love a lot of male characters, so i can understand the struggle of narrowing it down. but i am so in love with your list!
    i related a bit more to frances than aled when i read radio silence, but i did really like him as a character too. it was particularly hard seeing his own pressure in being the “perfect college student” when he didn’t want any of that at all. he definitely broke my heart more than once when i read this book!
    the marauders are such amazing characters! james may be my favorite, but i agree with what you said about remus going through so much but still managing to be a great person nonetheless. i think i like james better just because i found so interesting to unpack certain layers of his and find out that he was not the “perfect hero” harry had dreamt about. i think it made him a very complex and nice character!
    i am shocked that people would picture darcy as a bad boy. like whaaaat. now, it is true that i’ve never read pride and prejudice and am more familiar with the retelling bridget jones’ diary than with the actual source (lol), but i could never picture him as a bad boy. he was just not the best at expressing himself and would sound kind of harsh, but he’s nice for the most part!
    monty is the best too. he’s so hilarious, i loved reading from his perspective the most.
    percy is my #1 fav, though. i don’t think anyone could top my love for that crackhead, hahah.
    amazing list, margaret!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hooray, I’m so glad you agree with these! 😀 There are SO many more who could be on this list because there are tons of amazing characters out there.

      Yep, I think I’m more similar to Frances than Aled, but he’s also such a well-crafted and relatable character. And seeing his struggles is so painful 😢

      Ahhh the Marauders! ❤ Honestly it would be hard narrowing down just my top 12 male Harry Potter characters, and I know that all of the Marauders would make it on that list. I love James so much, and the layers to his personality and Harry's understanding of him are so interesting.

      Mr. Darcy is such the opposite of a bad boy and it makes no sense to me that anyone would think he is!

      Hooray for Percy! 😀 I can definitely understand why he's your fave, because he deserves it ❤ Thanks so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

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