November 24, 2012 by Heidi
Like many avid Goodreads users, I have a Challenge Question that I use when people are requesting my friendship. This is how we weed out those people who are actually interested in talking books with us, and those that are just collecting people to spam their junk at. Basically if you take a minute to answer my question, we can be friends. If you don’t bother, I don’t usually accept. My challenge question is this: If you could live the life of any fictional character, who would it be?
This is one of those things I’ve daydreamed about since I was a little girl. Getting to live the lives of certain favorite characters is honestly kind of my idea of heaven–something I’d love to get a chance at. It’s also something that takes a bit more thought than just picking your favorite character. I mean, I could go on and on about how I love Sorcha from Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest, but I would not want to step into her shoes for anything because she has to go through so many trying and terrible experiences that I know would break me.
I probably posted this question about a year ago. I really wish that I had thought to start keeping track of the responses I get (I still haven’t), because they are truly wonderful. I will admit I was initially surprised that the majority of responses went something like this:
Oh! Oh! I know! Hermione Granger!
I would venture to guess that at least 90% of responses on Goodreads have stated that the character whose life they would most like to live is Hermione Granger from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
Maybe you’re not surprised, but I’ll admit, I’ve been taken aback at how nearly unanimous this choice has been. After a year of 9/10 of answers state the same thing, it’s kind of started to feel like this:
I crave any response other than Hermione, but the fact of the matter is, I would totally step into the life of Hermione as well! I mean, let’s look at her:
She lives a completely normal (aka mundane) muggle life, completely devoid of magic until at the age of 11 she discovers this whole new world. I think that all of us bookish people can see throwing ourselves enthusiastically into the wizarding world of Harry Potter. I mean, come on, finding out that you are a witch is about 10x cooler than finding out you’re a princess. I think that many of us can identify with Hermione who was a studious goody two shoes who is all too often pulled into breaking the rules by her two best friends.
Hermione gets to have adventures–a lot of them are hard, and scary, and incredibly painful. There are few things more horrible than having to erase your existence from the mind of your own parents, but honestly? She doesn’t have to go through anything completely unbearable. I’d say of the three of them (Hermione, Ron, and Harry), Hermione really has it best. In fact, she has it better than other friends like Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood as well. Because Hermione grew up in the muggle world, her and her family weren’t touched by Voldemort’s first reign of terror, she doesn’t have that backlog of horror to feed off of. She’s incredibly brave, loyal, intelligent, downright clever, and I’m not gonna lie–I’d love to bag a Weasley.
So what about you? Would you want to be Hermione Granger, or would you rather be someone else? Let me know here or on Goodreads–if we’re not friends there–we should be! I love seeing all variety of answers to my question–even when I see Hermione Granger.
Recently, Margot Wood provided what may be my favorite response yet–Willie Wonka! Um…yes, please!