my top five messy characters


Hello, friends!

So, recently, I saw a post from Ngọc @ Read With Ngọc and I was in love with the concept. Basically, they also shared five characters who are a mess but that we love anyway, and I couldn’t stop thinking about all the several characters I could fit under this topic too. So, thanks a lot Ngọc for the amazing idea (& go check out their blog already!)

There were quite a lot of characters I wanted to include, so I’ll be considering making a part 2 for this list, because apparently I just love all the messy people.


Clara was probably one of the biggest surprises I’ve had this year, because I never imagined I’d relate so much to her.

The book pitches our protagonist as this class-clown, troublemaker, which is very much true, but also very much non-relatable for me, since I’m the biggest introvert ever. The entire plot revolves around this prank that went too far and as a punishment, Clara is forced to work in her dad’s food truck for the whole summer, alongside with her nemesis, Rose.

And, truly, that’s not even the worst part about Clara’s personality, if I’m honest.

She’s really short-tempered and constantly pushing Rose’s buttons to get her angry. She’s also really bad at flirting.

But I think the one trait that puts her on this list – and also the one I relate so much – is the fact she keeps every relationship surface-level and everyone at arms’ length. There’s definitely a reason for that, and the exploration of it is what made me love this book so much, but Clara is definitely scared of real commitments because she’s scared of being vulnerable and getting hurt.

Using humor to escape your true, dark thoughts is a real, real big mood, but also a really short way for complications.


art by natello

Recently, I saw this Twitter post about how James Potter kinda sucked and, while that’s absolute true, I also really, really love him?

And I’m truly not here to write an essay about how, despise everything, he’s still much better and much more of a hero than Severus Snape ever will, but I think it’s really awesome to analyze James’ character deeply.

When I first read the passages of Harry finding out about James’ past, I remember feeling really torn, because I’ve always had the same idea of James that his son had: that he was a hero and he was perfect. And, in a lot of ways, I felt betrayed that he could also be a bully and a true asshole.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? Showing that every hero has its flaws and imperfections. Harry was far from perfect, and yet he’ll always be known in history for defeating Voldemort. This doesn’t mean that he didn’t make mistakes; it just means that he was human. (Okay, and a wizard, but still human as in a general term).

Characters like this are there to show that you don’t have to be perfect to be a hero. It is expected, and I know Captain America makes it feel like it’s possible, but truly, most people who are known in history were just regular-ass folks, trying their bests. And James grows a hell lot, so I think he deserves a break.

Still, he’s kinda messsy AF, so he deserves a spot here too.


Find any top 5 in which I’m not talking about either Helene or The Maze Runner. I challenge you.

But I just love her character a lot, okay? And she’s so far from perfect; in fact, she’s incredibly flawed and quite problematic, and I still adore her.

The thing about the world in which these characters live in is that it is not merciful at all. Most of the time, it’s about killing in order to survive, and there’s also a ton of hatred and prejudice being thrown around. Therefore, I think it’s extremely understandable how Helene sees the world and the people around her.

And I also don’t believe it’s fair to compare her to Elias, because Elias is literally a Hufflepuff. It’s in his nature to be good and kind to ever single leaving creature. Not all of us are gifted like that.

She’s still trying her best to both be a decent being and also protect the people that she loves, in a world where it’s pretty damn hard to do both. And I appreciate her efforts a whole lot.


Oh, Lord, the walking-mess that is Monty Montague, though!

I love this guy a lot, okay? Re-reading The Gentleman’s Guide just made me realize how much Monty is a work in progress and I love that so much about him.

Monty is loud and hilarious, which are already remarkable traits that would make me love him even if he was an even bigger asshole. Because he can also be incredibly selfish, and it’s hard to get his head out of his own ass sometimes. I do really appreciate the side characters for calling him out on his privilege and teaching him about stuff, though, because his growth becomes obvious.

Despite that, Monty clearly struggles with a lot of self-esteem issues and uses humor to cover his insecurities, which is relatable AF, but also incredibly sad, and I feel like I’ve spent most of this book trying to either hug him, laugh with him or punch him on the face, which represents the messiness of his character pretty well in my opinion.


The Dream Pack | Skov | Swan | Jiang | Prokopenko | Kavinskycredits to @sixth-name, all these headcanons are hers •  his dreamplace looks like an abandoned and haunted east-european town •  has long, thin, permanently twitching fingers •   drives...
art by xla-hainex

When it comes to Kavinsky, there’s no nice way to put it. He’s an asshole, simply.

Kavinsky is an incredibly manipulative and abusive character. He’s the villain in our second book, The Dream Thieves, and has a really intense hate-but-also-not-really relationship with Ronan. And, also, he’s a jackass.

Like, literally.

And, yet, I love him so damn much.

I don’t love him in spite of his bad traits, but very much because of them. He’s just a fascinating character to me. He’s mean and snarky and incredibly mysterious too. There’s so little that we know of his backstory, and even when he shares something, it’s impossible to know whether or not he’s telling the truth, because coming from Kavinsky, it’s more likely to be a lie.

He is still a human being, though, which shows in his feelings towards Ronan, and seeing beneath it all is also such a marvelous ride.

Overall, Kavinsky is the messiest in this list, but also my most favorite especially because of everything.

Alright! I’ve rambled for about 1k words about how much I adore messy and morally-grey characters, so it’s your turn now. Let me know in the comments if you agree with my choices and which ones you’d add for your list. (And, once again, thanks Ngọc for inspiring me for this post!)


29 comentários sobre “my top five messy characters

  1. I would add literally anyone from the Game of Thrones series to this list lol! I have a deep appreciation for morally grey characters. I think they make a story more interesting and the plot more complicated. Not sure if you watch Stranger Things but I think that’s what the show does really well.

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    • Ohhh, that’s right, Game of Thrones. To be honest, I’ve never watched the show or read the books, but it’s just one of those series that you know everything about because the fandom is VERY loud. Pretty much everyone I know is a GOT fan, so I can definitely see why they’d fit into this trope.
      I am actually currently watching Stranger Things, and oh boy, yes. Hopper is definitely one character I can see making into this list, because even though I know he has a big heart deeply, I disagree with most of his decisions, hahah.
      And, yes, I totally agree – sometimes messy characters just turn any story into a much more complex and interesting one.
      Thank you so much for the comment, Emily! 💛


  2. aahhh!! i love your take on this prompt!!! i completely agree with what you said about James Potter. also, he was an asshole in high school, but he grew up to be a good guy and that’s what really matters! teenagers can be terrible but that doesn’t excuse Snape joining the literal wizard nazi organization 😒

    i can’t wait to see part 2! 💖💖

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    • Ahhh, thank you so much, Ngoc! I loved your post a lot, and I’m happy that you’ve appreciated my take on it.
      I totally agree, because I know I definitely have my fair share of regrets of the person I was in high school and I truly think everyone deserves a chance to grow and become a better one.
      Thank you so much for stopping by! 💛

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  3. I do love messy characters– they are the most relatable 😂😂
    I like the idea that heroes don’t have to be perfect as well and James shows this so well!! Also shows the self improvement is so important and you shouldn’t always hate people for a part of their past but judge them on what they have done with it to become the person they are now.
    I love Helene as well– she does try really hard and I find her such a great character. I still need to read The third one in this series and I’m excited to see more from her!!
    Kavinsky is a really good character and definitely messy so well placed on this list!! I find him interesting and I would have loved to have spent more time with him.
    Great post– I loved reading it!! 💛

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    • Ugh, you put it so well, Sophie! That’s exactly how I feel about James and it almost makes me feel bad sometimes to think people can be so judgemental about someone else’s past. We all should have the opportunity to grow and be recognized for it!
      I still have to read the third one yet, and I’m really excited. She went through a loooot in the 2nd one, so I’m looking forward to see what will happen as the outcome for it.
      Thank you so much, Sophie! 😊

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  4. I love the idea of messy characters (they deserve all the love <3<3<3) I really love how you explain james potter, because I remember when I first read that bit in the book, I was *kinda* betrayed. the person harry had looked up to all his life wasn't as perfect as he thought, but that makes him all the more loveable. don't hate on james!
    nice post :-)

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  5. Oh I love this post, & I love Helene too despite the fact that she has haters haha! Also, I’ve only read the first book of TRC and I don’t think I’m gonna continue, which Is sad because Kavinsky seems like a character who’d be right up my alley!

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    • i was at first so shocked that helene had so many haters, because i legit feel like she’s the best character in the series, hahah. but i can also understand where these people are coming from, especially since reading the second book.
      kavinsky is a really interesting character and truly the one that made the 2nd book worth-reading for me!
      thank you so much for stopping by, caitlin! 😊

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      • haha same! idk, I think I’m just tired of romances, since laia and elias are so in lurveee and I’m kinda tired of it. but yes, I do understand people’s feelings!

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    Okay but I would actually read and adore your essay on James Potter?? I really do feel like he gets way too much hate. Yes, he was a bully and a show-off and immature~ but also…he was a teenage boy? His friends attest to the fact that he cleaned up his act and ended up being an upstanding husband and father. I also saw this tumblr post one time that pointed out the reader only sees James from Snape’s perspective, which is interesting, since Snape clearly only thinks badly of him.
    At the end of the day, I don’t think James’s actions should be excused just because he was a teenage boy, but also, I think people don’t give him enough credit for growing up a little and getting a hold on reality and what was important to him, which was marrying Lily, the love of his life, and being there for her, their son, and his best friends. Not to throw shade at Snape, but I don’t think anyone can say the same about him.
    Wow, sorry for me going off on my rant there?? This just really got me thinking about how much people hate on James and made me realize just how much I love him and will defend his honor🙈(Maybe we should collab on a Harry Potter post sometime and include an essay ((or at least a paragraph)) in James’s defense?!?!)
    I also agree with Clara and Kavinsky! I can’t say I’m as passionate about either of them, but I really do agree with them being messy characters that were super amazing to read about.
    Great post, and sorry for my uber long comment! <3

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    • i LOVED your uber long comment, olivia! thank you so much for taking the time to read my post!
      that’s a really interesting point! it is true – we only see how james acted through snape’s eyes, so it’s not even like all of that will be accurate.
      hahah, i totally get where you’re coming from with your hate, though! i think james doesn’t have to be considered a hero by everyone, but i do think he deserves more recognition for growing up and becoming a much better person than he used to be.
      AND OMG I’D TOTALLY DO IT. i’d gladly write an entire essay on it, hahahah.
      thank you so much for the lovely comment, olivia! ❤️

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  7. Ah I enjoyed reading this so much!! I totally agree about James- even though I’m one of those (crazy, I know 😂) people who sympathizes with Snape, I gotta agree that James proved himself in the end. You can’t judge a person by how they were in their teens, right? *omg I’m such a hypocrite* He was a complete a**hole in Hogwarts but I think he really grew up. Snape’s death was just asdfghkl and the truth about him was ASDFGHJKL which made him a super well-written character, but he was kinda a child abuser and manipulative and too obsessed with Lily. (I’m an expert after reading way too many Insta posts on this 😂)
    Awesome post, Lais!
    – Aditi :)

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    • Thank you so much, Aditi!
      I don’t think it’s too bad sympathizing with Snape at all; I totally understand and I feel like he did have a decent redemption arc after all. But it just rubs me the wrong way sometimes how people can be really picky towards James’ past mistakes, but not really glance twice at Snape’s. I completely agree they’re both super well-written characters. To think that people still discuss these characters even after years since this series ended just proves that JK Rowling definitely did a great job at creating very complex characters.
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Aditi! 💞

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      • Yes, exactly my point! I’m not at all a Snily shipper (eww such a bad ship name 😂) but Snape’s character is layered, flawed, and absolutely brilliant. Jily isn’t my favorite ship by along shot, but it’s definitely noy bad and Snily would have been toxic and manipulative.
        No problem! I enjoyed reading it! 💙

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