Monday, April 16, 2012

Face Off: Worst Idea Ever.

'Jester' photo (c) 2006, Michael Neel - license:
So, one of the most common things we’ve complained about from Urban Fantasy protagonists is that they don’t always act in an entirely sensible fashion. In fact, sometimes we have run the risk of damaging our e-readers throwing them at the wall in sheer disgust.

After much debate we just can’t decide which protagonist has had the worst possible idea - so we have to face off some of the finalists! Honestly we looked at a list of many many many Spunky protagonists but they just didn’t compare with these 4 - these are the Elite Spunkies

Elena from CW The Vampire Diaries

Elena spent most of the summer searching for Stefan her vampire boyfriend who had gone rogue.  After much hand twisting she learns that he is on top of a mountain where the werewolves have gathered to shift and hunt as a group during full moon. Elena could have waited until after the full moon to go but no. That would have involved far too much common sense and so she dragged Alaric, and Damon up the mountain. Would you believe that they were actually attacked by werewolves? I'm shocked, really.

Of course, a particularly bad element of this foolishness is that it drags others along with her - they can’t abandon her and are forced to follow her silly self into ridiculous peril.

Rose from The Vampire Academy Series

Rose is absolutely destroyed after the man that she loves Dimitri  is turned into a strigoi.  She is desperate to free him from his fate and decides to travel to Russia to find him.  She knows that he is from a very small town somewhere in Siberia. She takes off for Russia and somehow despite the size of the country she not only manages to find his family, but Dimitiri himself.  She must have stopped by the Palin house for directions, because with being able to see Russia from her house she must have intimate knowledge of Russian geography.

In fact, this whole situation can be summed up with this wonderful drawing from Chai Latte

Claire from Morganville Vampires.

Claire lives in the town of Morganville in Texas. This is a town with a secret - it is ruled by vampires. While no-one outside of the town is aware of the fact, the human residents most certainly know and a large amount of the first book is spent with Claire learning about the vampires and the rules one needs to follow to survive them. Like not going out at night, finding a protector etc etc

So, one day she goes to the university and, while desperately worrying how to survive the vampires, she finds out that one storey of the library has no windows! Why why why would a town full of vampires have a floor in the library - a locked, hidden floor at that - that is light proof? I wonder why. Of course Claire steals some liquid nitrogen and breaks into the secure floor (why? Well I still don’t know) and finds, to her shock, that there are angry vampires inside! WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED?

Clary from the Mortal Instruments

I was tempted to give this award to her straight away - there’s a reason we name the trope after her after all. It also makes it very hard to just pick one incident, which of Clary’s many many bad decisions should we choose? She has run off all alone without telling anyone to face various demons on an almost weekly basis

But the prize has to go to her portal jumping. Ignoring everyone’s advice, including people who know far more than her, she decides to open a portal to Idris, jump through it without knowing where it leads (or, for that matter, not knowing the slightest thing about Idris). she intends to travel completely alone - and she lands in a lake that could poison her. Then is grumpy at the man who jumps in after her to save her sorry life. I think this takes a prize because not only is it foolish, but it inherently drags others into her foolishness as well.

Bella Swan from Twilight

Yes, Bella. We just had to include her because she had 2 instances that we will forever remember. We don’t know if her extreme reckless behaviour (remember this is from a woman who is so clumsy that even climbing a flight of stairs must count as extreme sports) in order to hallucinate about her former boyfriend would qualify her - or whether slicing her arms to spill blood and provide a distraction during a vampire fight should be the entry. Oh Bella, so spunky we can’t even decide on your most spunky moment.

So readers, who is the most foolish of them all? And is there someone we missed who definitely should be included?