Hey. Didja see my booktube yet? 😏 (If you haven’t, find me over here and subscribe!)
While I’m absolutely and totally enamored with my new YouTube channel, those who don’t exactly enjoy videos needn’t worry – this space is still my panganay (a Tagalog word meaning ‘eldest child’) and I will love and cherish it forever! While I do have some new content planned for YouTube, I also have a lot in store for the blog. So never fear that the OG will fall by the wayside! I am now, as Shealea and Zia have said, a multi-platform blogging kween.
*more off-key kazoo playing in the background*
Anyhoo, welcome to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly theme created The Broke and The Bookish in 2010 and moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. This week’s topic is actually one that I’m pretty excited to write about: top ten characters that remind me of myself!
So, with advance apologies for the significant amount of self-aggrandizing in this post, let’s get started!
Hesina from Descendant of the Crane
I may not be Queen of Yan or descended from generations of noble, powerful rulers, but there was a lot about Hesina’s character that I felt I could relate to. She’s educated but sheltered, and then when she discovers what her kingdom is really like, she decides that she’s been naive, and that she needs to educate herself in order to better serve her people.
That’s something I can relate to. I grew up in a relatively wealthy environment, and that bubble was really only pierced after I graduated from university and started working. (Honestly, when I think of how ignorant I was of my privilege back then, I cringe hard.) I like to think that I’ve made great strides in opening my eyes, ears, and heart, learning to be better, and using my privilege for tangible action. In that regard, I feel like I’m very much like this particular queen!
Leia Organa Solo from Star Wars
Speaking of royalty, Princess Leia provided some incredible empowering female representation for me growing up. Both my parents are Star Wars nerds, and weekly viewing parties of the original trilogy were a normal occurrence in our household. I very quickly fell in love with her character, and even more so when she returned as the no-nonsense General Leia Organa in the new movies.
Leia for me has always represented two different but equally important aspects of being a strong female character. In the first movie, she’s the quintessential rebel: she’s lost literally everything – her home, her planet, her family and friends – and so the only thing she has left is the cause. However, in the second movies, you get to see the more nurturing and affectionate side of her, with Luke, Chewie, and especially Han. But does being kind and caring diminish her capacity for badassery? NOT AT ALL.
Here comes the General. Rise up.
Kaul Shae from Jade City
Okay, hear me out. Zia @ Accio Blog once said I could be Kaul Shae if she decided to complete her academic career instead of becoming the second-in-command of a rich and powerful gangster clan AND IT MADE ME REALLY HAPPY, OKAY.
For reals though, Kaul Shae has a good head on her shoulders, is absolutely loyal to those she cares about, knows how to manipulate and bend people to her will, is thorough and wily and cunning, and is ferocious in battle when those she loves are threatened. In short, Kaul Shae is the only damn legitimate Slytherin in this entire series.
Nico Tamayo from Keep the Faith
“Hang on, Tita,” you say. “Don’t you relate more to Faith rather than Nico?”
Ordinarily, I’d say yes. Faith’s dedication to her work in advocacy and delivery of social services is admirable, and something that I myself hold close to my heart. BUT! Nico’s unshakeable faith (😏) – in God, in his family and friends, in himself, and in human compassion and kindness prevailing in the face of disaster – is a quality that I value very much. And, as anyone who’s been following my #romanceclass rants on Twitter can attest to, Nico very quickly made a space for himself alongside Pio Alvez in my “fave #romanceclass soft men LIs” list!
Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones
Confession time: I’ve never actually read the ASOIAF books. I know, I know. Sacrilege, what the hell, blah, blah. Look, I’m sorry, but I really can’t be arsed to read SFF written by white men, okay? .
Another thing to confess. Honestly, I only watch Game of Thrones because a ton of people around me watch it. I watch it just so I can join in on the conversation, you know? But I’m not intensely invested in…well, any of it. (Also, the last time I was invested in a character on this thrice-damned show, it was Robb Stark – and, well, we know what happened.)
Here’s the thing. As the seasons went by, I absolutely fell in love with Sansa Stark. BITCH PLAYS A LONG GAME, Y’ALL. She’s the only one you can count to be as cunning, manipulative, and sneaky as the Starks’ enemies. Not to mention she’s single-handedly kept the people of Winterfell clothed, fed, and warm. In my opinion, she’s the only one who actually deserves to sit on the Iron Throne. I like to think that if I were a ruler, I would be similarly just as practical, strategic, and ruthless as Lady Sansa.
Naya Llamas from What Kind of Day
Man oh man.
When I first read What Kind of Day, I was still working for the Philippine government (the Department of Foreign Affairs, to be exact). All of Naya’s gripes about working for the government were exactly the same gripes I had. Just like Naya, I was deeply passionate about the work that I was doing, and I loved the thought of doing it to serve the Filipino people. But as time went by, just like Naya, I also began to be disillusioned with the machinery around me. No matter how much you love your work, it’s difficult to stay honest and inspired when so many higher-ups around you…well, to be perfectly frank, aren’t.
I like to think that, just like Naya, I’ve found the happy medium of doing work that helps me to learn and contribute to something bigger than myself, while also being fairly compensated and growing in a relatively healthy, honest environment.
Tony Stark from Captain America: Civil War
I feel like I’m gonna catch heat for this, but hear me out. Civil War for me was the climax of Iron Man’s character development. From Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 2, you see Tony struggling with the reality he’s discovered: that he’s not the only superpowered/enhanced person out there, and that some of those folks have real bad things planned for the world. That escalated even more in The Avengers and Age of Ultron, when Tony realizes that the bad guys aren’t just on Earth: they’re out there in space as well. It’s just like Tony said – Thanos has essentially been in his head for 6 years.
That all leads up to and contributes to Tony’s overarching characteristic: the need for accountability. It’s why he signs the Accords. It’s why he can’t bring himself to buy into Captain America’s frankly ridiculous and irresponsible, “The safest hands are our own,” rhetoric. Tony Stark has realized how dangerous and unchecked they’ve become, and that they need to be accountable to someone. And that to me is one of the traits that makes Iron Man a true hero.
As a Filipino, this notion that Tony develops of having his immense power accountable to the people he’s supposed to be saving is super important and relevant. We live in a time when police have become the private armies of wealthy politicians, summarily shooting innocent folk and children, accountable to no one. So you can imagine how hard the message Tony was trying to tell the Avengers resonated with me.
Portia from The Merchant of Venice
I only ever read The Merchant of Venice in high school, and I vividly remember two things from it: the first was Shylock’s speech; the second was Portia’s. At that moment, I knew I had found my literary role model. Portia embodies everything I desire to be as a woman: quick-witted, intelligent, compassionate, and incredibly eloquent.
I like to think that I’ve achieved some semblance of that! 😊
Irene Adler from Sherlock Holmes
The iterations of Irene Adler from both the BBC TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the movie with Robert Downey, Jr. are strong, powerful, elegant, sly women who manage to give our favorite consulting detective a run for his money.
The femme fatale archetype reaches new heights with these new adaptations of Irene Adler, and I am living for it. Rachel McAdams and Lara Pulver are the very embodiment of “she’s beauty, she’s grace, she’ll punch you in the face”, and I adore it.
Plus, those cheekbones are to die for.
Elias from Noli Me Tangere
Mainly because the #Elibarra tag on Tumblr gives me life. And also the thought of starting a revolution and helping to overthrow a colonial government because a cute twink batted his eyes at you is strangely appealing.
What did you think?
☕ Can you relate to any of these characters yourself?
☕ Any assessments of or of these characters that you disagree with?
☕ Did you do this TTT? Link me in the comments!