Fiction Focus Week 7- Sidekicks
A little late this week- I almost forgot! I’m sorry!
But that’s just the way of it, isn’t it? I always come back, I always deliver, if somewhat haphazardly, perhaps in a fashion you yourself wouldn’t like. I’m basically your sidekick.
So guess what this week’s theme is.
The sidekick is often the person that makes the hero. Sometimes they’re actually the better of the two, but personality-wise, they don’t fulfil the role of hero. And they’re happy to sit back. Sidekicks are everywhere, Gromit to Wallace, Robin to Batman, Donkey to Shrek. They’re often a favourite- in fact, the sequel to Finding Nemo is all about the sidekick, because people (like me) loved her so much. Like the sidecar to the motorbike, they’re often a defining part of the hero. Maybe they’re the person the hero will go back for. Or maybe they’re the person who makes sure that the hero goes on.
My favourite character in The Lord of the Rings is Samwise Gamgee, and the interesting thing about Sam is that he only ever sees himself as a sidekick. He only ever wants to help Frodo complete his journey. Sam is loyal, Sam doesn’t really believe in himself. Sam sticks by his master until the very end. He sees himself in a servile capacity, and it’s kind of amazing that that persists the whole way, that he never gets a big ego, he never gets frustrated. He just keeps going. He’s a beautiful hobbit.
In Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, our heroine Kami is really pretty desperate to be a heroine. She wants to investigate, she wants to explore, she’s always waiting for something exciting to come along. Her best friend Angela is the exact opposite, she’s the laziest person in the world. And she’s gorgeous. By rights in any book set in a school, Kami should be Angela’s sidekick. But it’s the other way around, because Angela lets all that sit in the backseat while their friendship takes priority. She goes along with Kami’s schemes and they’re friends, but it’s not an equal friendship, not in literary terms. Kami is our heroine, and while by temperament she is sweet and unassuming and Angela’s snarky, Angela lets Kami shine. Because that’s what friends do.
So questions: who is your favourite sidekick? Have you ever written a sidekick? Do you think they serve a purpose in fiction?