Those of us who are avid readers or film-lovers meet fictional figures on an almost daily basis. Some characters cross our screen or mind’s eye for a fleeting moment only, others sit around in there for a while. There are those that leave a lasting impression, whilst others are as easy to forget as yesterday’s meal. Those that do make the mark tend to outlast the end of a chapter, book or closing credits.

Everyone has their own absolute faves, but some gain universal acceptance as characters we can’t help but love. Here are only a few that have left their fictitious mark. Please note there might be spoilers ahead.

Finnick Odair
Female fans of The Hunger Games trilogy can’t help but love this bronzed specimen who appears from the second book/film onwards to turn heads and gain followers. A Hunger Games victor from District 4, Finnick is the perfectly flawed hero and the wronged party, as well as an appealing one for appearing to be always true to his sweetheart Annie. Unfortunately his history is much less clear in the film version, where he’s been turned into a mere pretty boy.

Bridget Jones
She was brought back to everyone’s attention two years ago with the release of the Bridget Jones’s Baby film, which is very different from the book by the same name (read book review here). However, she is endearing enough as a blundering mother-to-be in both versions – and still as likeable as her counterpart from the nineties, when she tackled being a singleton with the hilarious reality of many thirty-something-year-olds.

Harry Potter

The boy lived not only in his bizarre world, but also in many muggles’ minds forever. For who makes a better inspirational protagonist than a young orphan who fights evil and outdoes even death itself? He gained fame for his creator and made it through seven books and eight films alive, despite continual battles against the wizarding world’s worst villains.

Lady Mary Crawley
She’ll be remembered by Downton Abbey fans as the heroine of the tale. Despite her selfish streak and many mistakes, she is nonetheless the princess of the story. Like all modern leading ladies, she can hold her own and is only complimented by, rather than made complete by, her romances and the marriages to first Matthew Crawley and later Henry Talbot.

Louisa Clark
A classic modern heroine, Louisa is a clumsy twenty-something-year-old stuck in a relationship that is going nowhere and eventually falls in love with the unlikeliest of men. Her determination and loyalty, as well as clear love for Will Traynor make her an unforgettable girl. So much so that author Jojo Moyes said the sequel to Me Before You, aptly titled After You, was her answer to all the fan-mail asking ‘What happened afterwards to Louisa Clark?’

James Bond

Suave and sophisticated is what most men want to be and most women dream of dating. No wonder Ian Fleming’s Bond, James Bond, is known for his way with the girls as much as for his spy skills. This explains why everyone knows what a Bond Girl is. He fights crime in his own way whilst exuding an aura of masculine charm and charisma, confidence and calm, that is simply what heroes are made of.

Mickey Mouse
He’s a funny mouse that stands on two legs, wears gloves and has a pet dog as well as a long-time girlfriend. This last character is a personality my eight-year-old son suggested to add, and yet it makes a lot of sense. This year is Mickey’s ninetieth birthday, and no character would be in storyboards for so long unless he appealed to the audience. Walt Disney certainly knew how to create a captivating character.

It is all very well to be good but what about the baddies? No story would be complete without a great villain, so keep tuned for my upcoming article: Villains We Love To Hate.