What Makes a Character Noble?

Noble Characters in YA Fiction

Few things are as gratifying as reading about a truly noble character. So who are some of the most noble characters in modern YA fiction? Before we take a look at the list, let’s define “noble.”

A noble character is someone who:

  1. Sacrifices desires and emotional or physical safety for the greater good.
  2. Doesn’t pretend to be anyone other than who she is. (Probably my favorite quality of a noble character.)
  3. Doesn’t (necessarily) seek recognition for doing the right thing, in fact, prefers anonymity.
  4. May, in fact, lead a generally ignoble life, but when the time comes to stand up for what’s right, she does.
  5. Has a strong moral compass and sticks to it, even when ridiculed, pressured to conform, or ostracized.
  6. Can take the easy way out but doesn’t.
  7. Never abandons her friends.

Top 9 Noble Characters in YA

Inej Ghafa, the Wraith – Six of Crows
An expert assassin, Inej can kill a person in seconds with her bare hands, but she never veers from her personal code of ethics. She would die before letting down her friends.
23437156Todd Hewitt – The Knife of Never Letting Go 
Sure, Todd could have kept running when all hell broke loose in Prentisstown, but he had to stop and help Viola because that is how a noble character rolls.
2118745

Celia Bowen – The Night Circus 
Celia Bowen could well be the most powerful magician in the world, but because of her strong moral compass she treats people with dignity and does what she thinks is right.
9361589

Brimstone- Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Without giving away spoilers, let’s just say Brimstone meets the qualifications of being a noble character. Fellow readers of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, would you agree?
8490112

Queenie – Code Name Verity
I finished reading Code Name Verity several days ago and am still in a daze over what a noble character Queenie is.

Thea – The Diviners
Thea is one of those enticing characters who never pretends to be anyone other than who she is. She follows her passions and is kind toward those who deserve it.

Kell – Shades of Magic series Kell could practically run the world with all the powers he has as a Traveler and, though he is treated as a second-rate son by the Maresh family, he remains loyal to crown, especially to his brother, Prince Rhy.
22055262

Katniss Everdeen – Hunger Games
It would have been so easy for Katniss to leave District 12 behind and live the good life at the Capitol but, no, she has to fight for what is right.
2767052

Day – Legend  Day’s defining characteristic is his unwavering loyalty toward family, close friends, and his oppressed community.
9275658

What do you think? Are there other characters who deserve to be on this list?

–Eve Messenger

 

 

Advertisements

25 comments

  1. I’m not a YA fan, so I can’t add to your list. I wonder which characters from realistic fiction would qualify under those rules. None comes to mind right now, because such characters usually waver from their own concept of doing the right thing–that’s part of their internal conflict. Hmm…something worth pondering.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The concept of noble behavior is definitely food for thought. Yes, there are characters who waver from their own concept of doing the right thing, but I think the conflict is usually external, as in the characters knows what’s right, but outside forces are forcing them to act otherwise. Just a thought.

      Like

  2. “I volunteer as tribute.” = One of the most noble sacrifices ever uttered in YA. I would add my fictional boyfriend, Jem Carstairs from The Infernal Devices. I don’t really want to explain why in case you haven’t read the trilogy yet. Nice post, Eve!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! That is the ultimate noble character quote. 🙂 Oh, I can’t wait to find out what happens with Jem and the others in the The Infernal Devices series. I’ve only read the first book so far and was enraptured by Jem.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, I still can’t think of Code Name Verity without feeling all the feels. There’s many heroic and selfless character in this genre, which makes me adore it all the more. I also LOVED Todd, and also Viola of The Chaos Walking series – one of my favourite trilogies of all time.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s