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By Bhalachandra Sahaj

A couple of days ago, I was re-reading Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and caught myself thinking that Holmes is one of the best protagonists (not just detectives, but literary characters), at least for me. I would definitely call him one of my favorite characters. This made me wonder who else I could call my favorite literary character, and this is how this post originated.

So, here is my top 5 list of literary characters I believe are the best:

1. The guy from Haruki Murakami’s “The Trilogy of the Rat.” Not only does he remind me of myself in many ways, but he also manages to keep calm in difficult situations, and treat life philosophically.

2. The already mentioned Sherlock Holmes. Intelligent, calm, and possessing the sharpest mind in the world history of detectives.

3. Gandalf from “The Lord of the Rings.” Though much attention in the famous trilogy is paid to the hobbits, and Aragorn’s company, Gandalf stands behind all serious events described in the novel, and influences the story greatly with a wise and charming presence.

4. Harry Potter. My teenage years were exactly the years when J.K. Rowling had written her first book about Harry Potter. At first, I did not like it (I was into the much more “epic” Lord of the Rings), but when I read the first couple of pages, I could not stop unless I finished the entire book (special award for audience sympathy, so to say, goes to Luna Lovegood).

5. Miyamoto Musashi from the historic novel of the same name by Yoshikawa Eiji. Musashi was a legendary master of sword, whom Japanese people have been making legends about for centuries. Judging from the novel, he was a man of contradictions: naive but smart, rough but poetic, impulsive but a good tactician. Nevertheless, Musashi is a unique person both as a character and as a historical figure.

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