Every superhero needs his/her own sidekick. More often than not, these sidekicks have their role cut out for them, being funny, helpful and just be a sidekick when the leads have everything going on for them. But once in a while, we have all come across quite a few of these subplots that steal our hearts away. Sometimes, more than the lead even.
Here are few of my best literary sidekicks, in no particular order, that made us fall for them time and again.
1) Bess Marvin, Nancy Drew series
As someone who spent most of her lunch breaks in the school library, I can vouch for Nancy Drew’s sleuth skills. Be it chasing a phantom in an opera or finding out how drugged her friend’s racehorse, sure Nancy will be able to crack the case. But I am sure none of us can forget that her best friends Bess Marvin and her cousin George Fayne are always there for her, even when Nancy wants them to be safer elsewhere.
What makes Bess a great friend is that she is not as athletic as the other two, she is not tomboyish or looking for adventures like George or Nancy. She is often described as a girlie-girl, pretty and maybe on the heavier side. But she is always there for them, even when she doesn’t want or have to be there. She has always put her friends’ interests first and is definitely an underrated, loyal sidekick.
2) Ford Prefect, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series
Ford Prefect is far from perfect and him choosing a car’s name to blend in on Earth shows how much of a screw up he really is. He planned to stay on the Earth for a week but ends up stranded for 15 years. He is not heroic, he does not jump in front of a bullet to protect his human, Arthur. He, in fact, gets ready to die calmly when they are shot out of the airlock. He is not good at his role of being a guide as well. While Arthur might be the least heroic person, Prefect actively shies away from danger and even hums getting ready to float dead in the space.
But what makes him the coolest sidekick is that he is always ready to party, constantly searching for alcoholic drinks and can be extremely intelligent and resourceful, once in a while. He is the one goof up we all want to hang out with and will be the life of the party wherever he is.
3) Dr. Watson, The Complete Sherlock Holmes
One cannot imagine Sherlock Holmes without Dr. Watson. He is probably the most patient sidekick ever, as he has to put up with Sherlock’s eccentricities and arrogance. He is the quintessential British gentleman, who is intelligent of his own accord, he is a doctor and a war veteran after all. Yet he is constantly overshadowed by Sherlock and gets to be the butt of his jokes and ridicules.
What makes Dr. Watson a great sidekick is that he complements Sherlock’s intellectual prowess with his normalcy and adds a humane touch to his life. He is dependable and more than once has assisted physically. Dr. Watson was the best of Sherlock’s fan and is one of the best uncomplaining sidekicks.
4) Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings series
LOTR is as much Sam’s story as much as it is Frodo’s. Frodo’s sidekick Samwise literally follows him everywhere, what more can you expect out of him. He is loyal, humble and brave as any sidekick should be, and more than even Frodo himself. I have lost count of times he has saved Frodo when he gets hold of the Ring.
I rest my case.
5) Ron Weasley, Harry Potter Series
Any list of sidekicks would be incomplete without our dear Ron Weasley. The ginger-haired goofy friend who supports Harry at every step. He explains things that Harry failed to understand. He is the normal friend to the heroic one and the know-it-all, Hermione. He may not be the sharpest, not even the strongest but he is courageous and loyal. His awesome family makes him all the more special.
6) Rudy Steiner, The Book Thief
If the book thief is my favorite of books, I owe it to Rudy Steiner, the sweetest of lemon haired boys. He is a loyal companion to the book thief, he goes to dive into the river to retrieve a book for her. He is the one who named her the book thief. They call each other names and they are generally always together as friends right from childhood. He is cheeky and is always asking for a kiss from Liesel.
The best part of Rudy as a sidekick is that he has own role in the story, just not as a sidekick to Liesel. Even when he was seven years old he had a clear sense of right and wrong. He admired Jesse Owens, and his athleticism (much to the Fuhrer’s irk) so much that he painted himself black, despite the growing Nazi propaganda.He shows his stance against the Nazi movement and gets himself kicked out of the Nazi training programme. He offers bread to Jewish prisoners during one of those long marches. He saves Liesel and her Jewish fugitive, Max, by diverting the Nazi guards’ attention. Okay, call this personal bias, Rudy Steiner is the best.
7) Hobbes, Calvin and Hobbes
Hobbes might be just a stuffed tiger in everyone else’s eyes, but he is Calvin’s best friend and is a mighty tiger for him. Hobbes takes part in all Calvin’s adventure and crazy schemes, without judgment. He used to hate girls as much Calvin did but then started to like Susie’s tea parties. He can explain serious philosophies, fight zombies and even do homework for Calvin.
There are times when Hobbes has crazier schemes than Calvin and we forget who is the sidekick. Hobbes has made me wish that we could be stuck at the age of 6 forever.
Do you think these sidekicks are cooler than the leads? Do you ever wonder how are they even called sidekicks? Give them a shout out. Did I include your favorite fictional sidekick? Let me know if I had missed anyone.