Powerful Protagonists Who Should Be Best Friends

Have you ever wondered if your favorite characters from separate books would be best friends in real life? So have we! Read on to see our pairings!

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Soft feminine coloring with vintage book pages on two opposing corners. Three images across are displayed in circle frames. A woman scientist, a puppy, and a mother are in the frames.

When you’re reading through your favorite books it’s sometimes easy to imagine the characters you love existing in another story you may have read or watched or heard. It leads you to wonder, what if Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter met in real life? Would they have a cup of tea and share their adventures? Would Anne of Green Gables and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm find a sisterhood not of blood but of shared similarities and ideas? Here are five examples of powerful protagonists who, if they were ever to share a story, would make the best of friends. 

Kya Clark (Where The Crawdads Sing) + Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

These two female book characters know what it means to fight for their lives while simultaneously needing little support. Where The Crawdads Sing follows Kya, a teenager who has grown up abandoned by all who were meant to care for her. She is unloved and unwanted by her community and is only able to go on because of the kindness of a select few strangers, her best friend, and her own will to survive. 

Two pictures shown side by side. Both of women standing in a green, wooded space. On the left is Katniss Everdeen with a bow and arrow. On the right is Kya Clarke with a bucket.

Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games grows up in similarly dire circumstances. Though she is not willfully abandoned by her parents, her father’s death and mother’s breakdown lead her to be the sole provider for herself and her sister, Prim. It is up to Katniss to find the strength to not only survive when she volunteers in her sister’s stead to participate in the Hunger Games, but to survive life before. It is because of Katniss’ skill with a bow and arrow, her best friend Gale, and her love for her sister that she and her family ever escaped starvation.

Because of their similar childhood backgrounds, their ability to bask in the calm of nature, and their fortitude, Kya and Katniss would likely make the best of friends. 

Molly Weasley (Harry Potter) + Marmee (Little Women)

Easily two of the most distinguishable mother figures in literature, Molly Weasley and Marmee March would also be two of the most evenly matched figures. Marmee, though married to an exceedingly kind man, has suffered through poverty, eager to marry off her daughters and find what is best for them in life.

Two pictures side by side show Molly Weasley, with red hair and handmade clothing on the left and Marmee March smiling on the right.

Similarly, Molly Weasley has found a humble life in her marriage to Arthur Weasley, birthing masses of children and eagerly sending them into the world to find a better life. It is easy to imagine these two characters sharing birthing stories and family recipes while talking lovingly about their children. Though Marmee is the calmer of the two mothers, she admits to her daughter Jo that she used to have a temper. Perhaps, with each other’s friendship and influence, Molly and Marmee would have a neutralizing effect, with Molly becoming calmer and Marmee reclaiming some of her spunk. 

Marcellus (Remarkably Bright Creatures) + Enzo (The Art of Racing in the Rain)

Not only do these two animals share a home in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, but they are the narrators of their own stories, and they make their humans look direly insignificant in comparison. In Remarkably Bright Creatures, Marcellus is a Giant Pacific octopus held in captivity at a zoo in Seattle when he develops a unique bond with a janitor there named Tova. Marcellus is many times more intelligent than any human, and despite his general lack of respect for most people, he is empathetic to the pain Tova feels for the loss of her son many years before. 

On the left is a cartoon drawing of a giant octopus. On the right is a golden retriever puppy, paws up in a pen.

Similarly, in The Art of Racing in the Rain, Enzo has an intuition that goes beyond human intelligence. Though he is eternally loyal to his owner, something that Marcellus would likely never be, Enzo is also frustrated by his animal form. Were the two characters ever to meet on the murky shores of Puget Sound, they would find camaraderie in their innate intelligence and desire for a life that is just a little bit more. 

Elizabeth Zott (Lessons in Chemistry) + Elizabeth Bennet (Pride & Prejudice)

Both of these outspoken heroines were ahead of their time, and it is impossible to imagine a world where they wouldn’t bond over the societal pressures placed on women like them to conform. Elizabeth Zott is a scientist who suffers massive trauma, whereas Elizabeth Bennet is a humble socialite more eager to be a spinster than marry for anything but love.

On the left is Elizabeth Bennet looking contemplative with her head pressed between two ropes. On the right is Elizabeth Zott in a lab coat and glasses looking determined.

Despite their differences, both women stumble into loving relationships, finding for themselves that they can be independent and loved by another person. Elizabeth and Elizabeth might have found camaraderie with one another that they seldom had in their own stories if they could have only met. If they had given each other a chance, they might have been the best of friends. 

Ailey Pearl Garfield (The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois) + Marjorie (Homegoing)

Both Ailey Pearl and Marjorie are the descendants of long lines of powerful African and African American people who have fought for their place in the world with every atom of their being. In The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois, Ailey Pearl is a moderately privileged black girl growing up in the 1980s and 90s in Chicago who spends her summers with her family and her beloved uncle in her maternal home of Alabama. Ailey Pearl dedicates her life to history and the pursuit of knowledge, particularly the knowledge of her ancestry and the understanding of what it took her ancestors to survive a world that was constantly cruel to them.

On the left is the cover of the book, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois, showing a woman's facial outline and a tree. On the right is the cover of Homegoing, showing two women's profiles back to back.

Marjorie is also a Black American girl raised in the latter half of the twentieth century whose experiences are shaped not only by who she is but who her ancestors were. She spends her summers visiting her grandmother, Akua, in Ghana, learning to speak Twi. To these strong, independent, and intelligent women, heritage is a large part of who they choose to be in life. It is easy to imagine them coming together in friendship over their shared belief that life is influenced not only by your actions but by the actions of centuries of people who came before you.

Interested in more powerful book characters? Check out this Bookstr article!

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