Fictional Characters I Wanted to be When I Grew Up

Back when you were 10-13 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? If you’re anything like me, you were heavily influenced by a series of fictional characters. So I got to wondering: Did I grew up to be like any of my fictional role models? 

Here are the Top 5 Fictional Characters I wanted to be when I grew up, listed in chronological order of influence.

Jupiter Jones – Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators Series, created by Robert Arthur

Jupiter Jones is the self-proclaimed leader of the Three Investigators. He’s invariably the one to solve the mystery, although the Pete and Bob often bring him clues. Jupe is a supreme logician, and uses Occam’s Razor to solve mysteries: the simplest and most rational explanation should be preferred to an explanation which requires additional assumptions. He’s a prolific reader, an inventor, and an occasional practical joker. He also delights in using big words to annoy his friends and bamboozle adults.

Neil Perry – Dead Poet’s Society

Neil Perry, for those of you who don’t remember (I’m assuming at this point that there’s nobody in the developed world who hasn’t seen this movie) is the sensitive, poetry-loving, would-be-actor who first decides to reconvene the Dead Poet’s Society, and then auditions for (and gets) the role of Puck in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He’s passionate in a way that I could barely even imagine at age 13. I wanted to feel that passion and love-of-life so desperately. I wanted to break free of the expectations placed on me by my parents, and live the life I chose, if only for an evening. But preferably without the suicide.

Ford Prefect – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Ford Prefect is the one who saves Arthur Dent from Earth before it’s destroyed. He’s the one who provides Arthur with all the relevant information through the story. He’s mostly there to serve a purpose. But I just love him. Why? Because his personal mission in life is to find a good party and get incredibly drunk. He is, at heart, selfish, self-centred, and narcissistic. And when he’s bored, he delights in annoying the people around him. And getting drunk. Because of this, he keeps himself largely obligation-free, and deals with new and unusual situations with all the ease of a well-travelled hoopy frood.

Inigo Montoya – The Princess Bride

“Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

If you just read that in a bad spanish accent (even in your head), then you know the strong appeal of Inigo Montoya. He’s trained his entire life to avenge his father’s death. He’s focused, dedicated, passionate, and completely obsessed with fulfilling his life’s work — finding and killing Count Rugen — and nothing else can side-track him for long. Plus, he’s a legend with a sword.

Silk (Prince Kheldar) – The Belgariad by David Eddings

Silk is open and honest about what he is — a thief, a liar, and a sometime con-man. But whatever you do, don’t call him a “sneak”. He usually comes across as sardonic, quick-witted, self-confidant and cynical, and can turn almost any situation to his advantage. But every now and then (especially when he’s been drinking), his mask slips and he reveals himself to be a deeply troubled and often insecure man. He was the first to teach Garion the thieves cant, and willingly took up a role as the boy’s teacher. But he also has a habit of making sarcastic and outrageous comments just to irritate the asker. He’s an old-school ‘thief with a heart of gold’.

(As a note, I specifically tried to remember female characters that I’d aspired to be like, but I couldn’t come up with a single one. Perhaps that’s a commentary on my personality, or perhaps it’s just a commentary of the types of female characters that were around in the late 80s.)

Well, I can assure you that I’m not the leader of a PI firm, a potentially suicidal actor, a “really together” party animal, a swordswoman, or a good-hearted thief. On the other hand, I am:

  • prone to believing that the proper application of logic can solve any problem.
  • passionate about my writing and willing to fight for my right to do it, regardless of the expectations of others.
  • likely to resort to annoying people when I’m bored.
  • goal-oriented, focused and dedicated to achieving anything I set my mind to.
  • alternately described as being cynical and sarcastic, or a great teacher and leader.

So maybe I learned something from them after all.

Who did you want to grow up to be like when you were that age?


Filed under Reading, The Inner Geek

4 responses to “Fictional Characters I Wanted to be When I Grew Up

  1. Yes I used the spanish accent. I actually just watched The Princess Bride yesterday (for the 3000th time) The good news is my kids love it too! As a side note have you watched the newest version of Jack and the Beanstalk? (came out last year I think). Wallace Shawn plays the giver of the beans and offers Iocaine powder as a trade… love it!

    • I haven’t seen it, but will have to put it on my list of things to see. “Because iocaine comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely populated with criminals.”

  2. Jupiter Jones! If I’m thinking of the right stories, they had a headuarters in a junkyard, in some sort of vehicle that was so completely buried in junk that they could only get to it through some sort of tunnel or something. And they actually met Hitchcock at one point, and I remember the description of him was hilarious.

    If I’m thinking of the right thing.

    • Yes, you’re absolutely right. 🙂 The introduction of each book was from Hitchcock, and in the conclusion the boys would meet with him and Jupiter would explain how everything worked out. They had a trailer in the junkyard as their secret hideout, and had to climb through specially designed tunnels to get to it, because it was completely covered. What kid wouldn’t want such an awesome place to hang out??

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