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January 28, 2013

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Fantasy Circle of Five

by Michael Langlois

Jim Rohn once famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

If that’s true, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could choose those five people?  Wouldn’t you be amazing?  And what if they didn’t even have to be real?

In that spirit, I’ve been tagged by Paige Addams to participate in the Circle of Five challenge.  The rules are that you must list five fantasy (I’m going to assume fictional, rather than the genre) characters that you’d like to spend time with, and that you must pass the challenge on when you’re done.

Here are my five:

1) Nicholaï Hel

The protagonist from the novel Shibumi by Trevanian.  Nicholaï embodies the idea of affecting the world through mastery of oneself.  He survives in a world of violence by seeking tranquility, without confusing peace with being passive.  He is able to spend years on a garden whose full expression will not come in his lifetime and at the same time is a master of the ephemeral arts of romance.  If the Most Interesting Man in the World was a retired spy who could kill you with a plastic comb while contemplating ancient Japanese poetry, he would be Nicholaï.

2) Emile Khadaji

The protagonist from the novel The Man Who Never Missed by Steve Perry.  Over the course of our lives, in small ways and large, we each face choices between our principles and the way we live.  And more often than not, we choose comfort or convenience when we know we should do better.  When we should be better.  Emile does not.  When someone tells you that one person can’t change the world, remember that Emile would ask you why that should make any difference.  The act itself is enough.

3) Death

One of the Endless and the sister of Dream from the comic series The Sandman by Neil Gaiman.  If you’ve read the comics, you already know why Death is listed here.  If you haven’t, imagine for a moment that the embodiment of Death is a woman filled with joy, wit, and compassion, and that by spending time with her you can come to realize that every life is important enough to warrant the attention of the universe itself.

4) Carl

An intelligent automaton from Penny Arcade’s Automata.  More here.  And here.  Though hated, Carl does not hate.  He works to protect a society that largely would see him destroyed and he does it without thanks or reward.  Why?  Because Carl can see the worth of the individual despite the actions of the group and he can separate right and wrong from retaliation and self-interest.  Also, I can’t imagine not wanting to hang out with a robot private detective.  If you can, then we’re veeeery different people.

5) Annie

Annie bears the message that the secret to the universe is gratitude, from the movie happythankyoumoreplease.  More than that, she also knows that accepting the love of others is the same as accepting yourself, and that you can’t truly do one without the other.  Of everyone on this list, Annie is the one that I think the world needs most.

Those are my five.  What are yours?

Consider yourself tagged.

Read more from Blog Posts, Essays
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 29 2013

    Awesome picks! 🙂 These are all new to me – I’ll definitely have to check them out. And I love Neil Gaiman, but I haven’t read Sandman yet. That’ll be first on my list. 🙂

    Reply
    • Michael Langlois
      Jan 29 2013

      I have to say, I’m pretty jealous that you get to read Sandman for the first time 🙂

      Reply

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