The “Likability” of the Main Character
Harry Potter – Harry was easy to like. He was courageous and always stuck up for his friends. He wasn’t super cool and he wasn’t cocky. He wasn’t amazing at everything, and because of that, many readers bonded with him as the unlikely hero, one who had been thrust into his position. He represented everything that was good straight from the start, from the goodness of his parents to their great love.
Hunger Games – Katniss was likable at first. Everybody respected her for her courage to volunteer for Prim and the wonderful description of her certainly helped – her brown hair and her olive skin, etc. etc. People liked the strong female protagonist concept and the fact that she could fend for herself. However, going through the books, she became less and less likable and Peeta more and more. And if you don’t like the main character, the books are less satisfying. Because the main character has this great obstacle to overcome, the readers must be invested in the protagonist to overcome and win. By the end of the series, however, readers were getting annoyed with Katniss and due to this, they stopped caring about what happened. She became incredibly paranoid about who to trust and who not to trust. She did not trust Peeta or anyone else in her life that tried to help her. She pushed everyone away. She was selfish and would put everyone else’s life on the line. For example, the ending of Hunger Games. When it was told that there would only be one winner, she automatically wanted to kill Peeta. Peeta, on the other hand, had something entirely different planned. That is a powerful insight into her character.
There is a huge emphasis on the likability of the main character. Even if the main character is evil and awful, the author has to try and spin it so that the reader always sides with them. It’s difficult to enjoy a book in which most of the time is spent in exasperation over the faults of the main character. That is my first reason as to why I like Harry Potter better!