Because They Smell Good: Why We Fall in Love with Fictional Characters

October 18, 2009 at 4:18 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 43 Comments

Having just finished re-reading The Hunger Games, I’m currently in love with Gale.

This got me thinking about all the characters I’ve fallen in love with over the years – specifically the male ones. Living in Hicksville as I do, there’s a serious lack of tolerable boys around here. Fictional boys have become my saviours until university.

But it’s gotten to the point that I’m beginning to think real-life boys will never be able to compete with the likes of Gale, Edward, Jacob, and Mr. Darcy – not to mention my own characters and all those delightful Love Interests I’ve seen in the twifties’ snippets.

Just think about it. There are some serious upsides to fictional boys.

1)   They never smell bad, even after trekking through forests and battling evil creatures for several weeks without bathing. They might smell like sweat, but that is a pleasantly masculine smell, not the acrid reek of BO.

2)   Contrarily, they don’t try to drown themselves and everybody in the near vicinity with Axe.

3)   They always look nice. Even if they’re supposedly average looking, or, as in point 1, have been doing things like slogging through sewers and surviving sand storms, they still look perfectly gorgeous in your mind’s eye. They never need to pluck their eyebrows, trim their nose hair, or wax their backs.

4)   They never seem to take an inordinate amount of pleasure in bodily functions. In fact, they may not even have bodily functions. If they do, they must be very discreet about it, because no one ever seems to notice.

5)   On that note, they never ask you to pull their finger.

6)   They don’t scratch themselves in public.

7)   And they don’t burp and ask you to guess what they ate for lunch.

8)   They can carry on intelligent, witty conversations and don’t consistently reply with monosyllabic words.

9)   Their skills are not limited to opening pickle jars and playing WoW for sixteen hours straight.

10)  Some of them sparkle.

Of course, the downside is, being fictional and all, they’re rather intangible and are typically already smitten with someone else anyway. But up here in Hicksville that’s a minor detail, even if we all know I wouldn’t stand a chance against Katniss should the opportunity arise. ;)

And so I ask you, what fictional character(s) have you fallen in love with? Who contradicts something on this list? And what have I forgotten to add?

Off to start reading Catching Fire, now! *excited squeal* Tootaloo!

– Becca Cooper (AKA Elusive)



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  1. Gale? Gale?!

    Actually, thats fine. It means I can have Peeta all to myself :)

    Great post!

    I love: ALL the male characters in Wicked Lovely, Ron Wesley, Chuck Bass, Jacob Black…We could be here all day.

  2. LOL! This was hilarious. But oh-so-true. Unfortunately, guys don’t live up to their fictional counterparts.

  3. Fab post!! I definitley agree – if I was in relationships with all the fictional characters I love I would be a serial adulterer. Seriously, my fictional love life is going great! And agreed about real-life boys…fictional ones are my saviours until Uni :D I’m actually in love Zach from my own novel, and the guys from many AW beta reads I’ve done. Also, since romance is a genre I read a lot, I genrally find a guy in most books I read to love!


    I love this post. Great job! (And that’s not just my Gale prejudice talking.)

  5. I love Gale. I don’t even know why – deep down inside I know Peeta is a fabulous guy who deserves love and happiness and all that good stuff. But I love Gale. I personally think he’s got a way tougher life than Peeta – imagine watching the person you love on live tv, not knowing if she’s going to live or die. Not knowing if she’s ACTUALLY in love with this other guy. And in the meantime you’re taking care of this girl’s family and plotting how to rebel against the Capitol. Intense.

    • I know!! *swoons*
      I really have to give Suzanne Collins massive kudos for pulling it off. I mean, Gale was only IN the first what? 20 pages of Hunger Games? And yet she still made me fall in love with him. :D

    • I totally agree with you. BUT HE’S MINE, ALL MINE

  6. My heart, now and forever, belongs to Mr. Darcy. :D

  7. ^Great point about the Axe there. I find myself wondering if guys buy it because they honestly think it’s “girl approved” like the commercials say *gag*

    I love Ron from Harry Potter, Jacob Black, and Dexter from “This Lullaby.” Great post!

  8. I read so much that it’s hard to keep up with all of them, but definitely on the top of my list right now are Edward Cullen, Henry Schoonmaker from The Luxe Series,and Peeta from Hunger Games series

  9. Absolutely hilarious Elu :D But oh-so-true :p

    Jace from COB is nice and snarky. And Patch from Hush, Hush is so creepy, but in a good way (yeah, doesn’t really make sense, lol).
    Love Gale and Peeta too!

  10. hmm
    Mr Darcy
    Draco Malfoy
    Jasper Hale
    Rosto the piper ~ Beka Cooper series
    King Jonathon ~ Alanna series
    Adrian ~ Vampire Academy
    Gilbert Blythe ~ Anne of Green gables

  11. Hilarious! Great post, well written. I think one of my favorites would have to be Mo from Graceling – the way he looks at Katsa when they’re alone in the woods the night she realizes she’s in love with him: that look always make my breath snag. Here’s another one for your list – real boys don’t look at you deeply and intensely, their voices choking, reaching involuntarily to stroke your face, etc, etc.


  12. I can relate to this post, it is very true.
    I could go on forever talking about my fictional loves, but I won’t.
    – Peeta from the Hunger Games, *spoiler* I love when he gives Katniss the locket, he is so sweet, just perfect.
    – Gale, there is something about him that just draws me in… I haven’t pinned it yet.
    – Poe from Graceling
    – Peter from the Declaration
    – Jace from City of Bones

    …It’s true, once you have fallen for a fictional character, there is no competition for those in reality.

  13. Oh, my god I am so glad I read this post. I was reading Keeping The Moon (by Sarah Dessen) the other night and for some reason fell head-over-heels for Norman.


  14. I fall in love with many characters I read, and create. It’s quite sad, actually, because then I’m dissapointed with the current choices of men in my life. I actually feel a little bad for the males of our age that can’t meet our crazy expectations. Standing there, dumbfounded because you’re wondering where all the boys of your dreams are hiding, isn’t much fun. I find myself fantasising my own love that would, like others in recent stories, pop out of nowhere and sweep me off my feet. When I’m not daydreaming and tumbling into a spiral of feeling for someone who doesn’t exisit, I curse the novels I read that make me a hopeless romantic and set me up for failure. On the goodside, this helps me create scenereos for romance and love when I myself have never been in love. So here I am, a pessimist who still wishes for that one guy that will come out of those hiding spots and find me.

  15. Awesomness post it is sooo true. Why can’t real life guys be fictional guys and the fictional guys could come on over to real life. Right now my favorite fictional guy is Nate from eyes like stars. But then again I really like Ariel in that odd sort of way.

  16. OMG! I LOVE Gale!!I’ve read the whole trilogy twice! Gosh…Gale!! But in case you haven’t read Mockingjay yet… all I can say is WHY GALE?!?! He broke my heart! And OMG the twist between Peeta ang Katniss on the Mockingjay!!! After reading the 3rd instalment, I sort of decided to go for Peeta instead… sorry Gale. :))

    Totally agree why we girls fall in love with fictional characters… I don’t remember a time that I haven’t fallen in love with a character (or more) after reading a book. There’s always some hottie looming around the pages! haha!! How old are you anyway, ‘coz my friend lend me this book entitled “Double Standards” by Judith McNaught and the guy there was sizzling (at least for me) but too bad the book is sort of racy… Oh, and I love Michael Mozcovits from Princess Diaries (he’s HOT and geeky at the same time!) Damon and Stefan Salvatore… and there’s just too many to mention! haha:)

  17. i think for me it has to be Fergus (the main character of my book) and, as a huuuuge fan of 1950s-70s pony books/YA books:
    Henry Thornton from The Radney Riding Club (if he was a real person, by now he’d be about 76!)
    Jonathan Meredith from Prove Yourself a Hero (amazing book) (again, he’d be about 50)
    and James Sidwell, Marquis of Riverdale, from How to Marry a Marquis (he would definitely be dead by now – it’s set in 1815!)
    Amy x

  18. I understand that this might be a dead post now, since so much time has passed, but its still here, therefore I conclude that I still have the right to reply.

    And I think I have no choice but to do so as no one has mentioned Kartik from Libba Bray’s trilogy. If you want to talk about a sexy beast theres one right there. Aside from his dark, mysterious and masculine looks he is also devoted, emotional / romantic, a man of few words and he comes upon his tragic end by sacrificing himself for his beloved. What more can you ask for from a man?

    Kartik is my one and only literature love. I know, its pathetic for someone who reads like theres no tomarrow, but I just can look at characters with lovers as possible lovers for myself. Except when they are as desirable as Kartik.

    ….. If I had to say… possible lit. crushes of mine that come close to fictional boyfriend material would be:

    ~ Nawat from Trickster’s Choice
    ~ Christian from Vampire Academy
    ~ Tok from Raven Quest
    ~ Nick from Kelly Armstrong’s Otherworld Series

    • Tehee! Its sort of obvious that I have a thing for tall, dark and feathery.

  19. I think the reason i become so in love with fictional characters is because i know how messed up real men are. I have total guy issues. My dad had an affair with this lady at his office and has gotten me to never date or get married. So, i tend to stick with my hot story guys :)

    My guys: Tom Riddle, Draco Malfoy, Jasper Hale, Damon Salvatore, the vampire Lestat… i think you can say i have a thing for bad boys…

  20. <3 Ike… I don't know why I love him ^_^

  21. Draco Malfoy, Sirius Black , Aragorn and Legolas from LOTR.
    Real boys are disappointing

  22. I fell in love with Peeta Mellark after I finished reading the Hunger Games. Other than that, I have a lot of crushes on animated movie characters, including japanese animes. I don’t know why, but most of them are the quiet, awkward ones (like Hiccup from HTTYD). I would probably not go to that kind of guys in real life. But it might not be true, I have no idea, because you know, since I prefer to fall in love with imaginary people instead of real ones and all.

  23. I am totally, head over heels in love with Leo Valdez from The Heroes of Olympus.

  24. real guys are sooo disappointing! i’m honestly a cheater when it comes to fictional characters. some of my more recent loves are:
    Augustus Waters (The Fault In Our Stars)
    Both Four & Caleb (The Divergent Series)
    Johnny, Dallas and Sodapop ( The Outsiders)
    Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter)
    Seth Clearwater (Twilight)
    Erik Night & Kalona (House Of Night Series)
    Gale & Finnick (Hunger Games)
    Rusty James (Rumble Fish)
    Tex (Tex)
    and so many more

  25. I know he might seem ugly to you, but i fell in love with a fake book character named Heathcliff Hodges/Simon/Screwball/Brainstorm(all the same person) but i really don’t know why! And I’ve recently started kissing him in the pages!! He’s from N.ELR.D.S. if you’re wondering;) (Ive even been naming myself after him!!)

    • Oops! That should say: N.E.R.D.S. ;)

  26. Currently, I only have 2 male, fictional characters that I’m absolutely in love with’

    1. Prince Maxon from The Selection series. There is something just so… amazing and special and…yummy! about him. And he’s sweet and a gentleman and… adorable!

    2. Jake from the TV Show Awkward. Okay, it’s not a book but I can’t leave him out. I absolutely adore Jake. He’s dorky and sweet and honourable and encouraging. The worst thing is that [SPOILER] after Jenna and Jake’s relationship, she doesn’t choose him. That breaks my heart because I miss seeing the Jake I fell in love with on the show. Now he’s with Tamara and I don’t see those loving stares and cute smiles of his as much anymore. But, to be fair, Jenna didn’t give the adoration that Jake deserves. NOTE: that leaves him open for me, right ;D

  27. Vampire academy is my main love. Dimitri is the perfect guy and I have been reading the books long before the movie is coming out! Peeta is my love from Jacob i need in my life from twilight. Cherub- gotta love Dante! I love dustfinger from ink heart, though he is older! It is pretty depressing when you don’t have these boys in real life. Legolas,sirius black!!! <3

  28. I’m currently in love with– Cloud Strife //w//
    I first saw him when I was like, six, while playing Kingdom Hearts. At first I was admiring him, but the feelings grew as I grew older.
    Now I can’t stop thinking about him and who knows how many times I have rewatched Final Fantasy VII Advent Children…

  29. Hahaha this is such an old post but I’m currently in a state of high disappoint, mostly at myself, for being such a hopeless case when it comes to fictional characters. I think I just have an extremely addictive personality and high levels of empathy – I just cannot seem to emotionally detach myself from these made up people! Legit, sometimes I just have to close the cover for a second, breathe, and say to myself – “they’re not real” “they’re not real”.

    Everyone is so right about the heightened expectations of real life boys! Literally, my friends are always telling me I have very unrealistic expectations of boys and romance… but what can ya do??! C’mon boys, pull it together! It sucks because often girls can actually behave a lot like their fictional counterparts (obv aside from the shooting at Careers and killing other children part of it). But boys – never. :(((

    It’s so strange how that works out actually. I wonder if guys fall in love with fictional women at all…

    Anyway, fictional guys I love? Here they are, in order (kinda) –
    1. Zachary Goode (Gallagher Academy series)
    2. Peeta Mellark (Do I really needa say? – HG!)
    3. Jace Wayland (Mortal Instruments)
    4. Adrian Ivashkov and Christian Ozera (Vampire Academy – the books not movie!)
    5. Patch (Hush Hush series)
    6. Joshua (Private Series)
    7. Lucas (Evernight Series)

    Ugh, I’m sure there are more. And when it comes to HP (all time fave series OF COURSE), they are all perfection but in terms of hotness I’d have to go with good old Draco. :’)


  30. I completely agree with you fictional boys are in our minda much more pleasant to be around and such as gale is your fictional crush from hunger games, mine is sideswipe and Sunstreaker from transformers. Them being a different species and being mechanical are only small things to me.


  32. I’m in love with Patch from Hush, Hush
    Help me
    Before it’s too late

  33. The feels. Currently, I’ve got my eyes on Fenris from the game Dragon age 2, but I’ve been through
    -Murtagh from eragon
    -Draco malfoy
    – loki (avengers) , and others I won’t mention.
    They’re just so easy to love.

  34. Oh i am in love with Harry P and Legolas

  35. Omg I have the biggest crush on Halmenrah from Night at the Museum. Like, is it just me?

    • *Ahkmemrah

      • *Ahkmenrah

        God this thing hates me.

  36. I’M IN LOVE WITH GALE TOO. YOU STAND NO CHANCE AGAINST A RED BELT IN TAEKWONDO. Lol. But he’s mine, I’m his, anything else is unthinkable.

  37. Sherlock Holmes. (Not the movies, although the old ones of Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett are pretty good impressions of him.)

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