All too often, the "sidekick" in a story is simply there as set dressing, or as a sounding board for the main character, or worst still, as mere victims and plot devices. But that's not always the case. Sometimes, we're lucky enough to have a character that enriches the story they are in ways that make them essential. We're talking about those "secondary" characters that actually bring something awesome to the table. Below are all the love interests, mentors, team mates, and supporting characters that make some of our favorite stories great!
Here's our criteria:
1. Be a supporting character in a story.
2. Bring something amazing to the table, both in the fiction and in our real world.
And our surviving challengers are... THE TEAMMATES, THE PARTNERS, THE MENTORS, and THE FOILS
THE TEAMMATES: Region A
These contestants are part of an ensemble or group of support characters that help a hero out.
Chewbacca from Star Wars
Dobby from The Harry Potter Series
Ok, this fight is plain hilarious to picture and would easily launch a thousands fanfics, but it is a battle between two hotly ranked players in our contest. Will Dobby's sacrifice be seen as sappy or significant? Is Chewy's cool enough to make him matter?
Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy
Felicity Smoak from Arrow
Yes, Groot is insanely popular, but Felicity has been a fan-favorite for years now. Both characters tug at the heartstrings, but which character actually mattered more? Which will get your vote?
Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series
Willow from Buffy
THE BATTLE OF THE TEENAGED WITCHES HAS BEGUN! Wow, this is an exciting competition in Round 2. In many ways, Willow is the prototype Hermione; despite both characters having a lot of their own agency, each aids a "chosen one" hero in their tasks.
Samwell Tarley from Game of Thrones
Fezzik from The Princess Bride
We warned Samwell that Giants were real! Let's see if Andre can overcome the rabid popularity of Game of Thrones to prove that sometimes fairy tales do come true.
THE PARTNERS: Region B
Closely aligned with a hero, these contestants help define the main character.
Dick Grayson aka Robin from Batman
Tails from Sonic
Both characters are capable of rescuing their heroes using death-defying stunts, but on one high-flyer is making it to Round 3!
Dr. Watson from Sherlock Holmes
Arthur from The Tick
Both Watson and Arthur are often baffled by their heroic counterparts, but it is clear that only one man (or bunny, or moth) is making it out alive!
Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings
War Machine from Iron Man
Rhodey "War Machine" Rhodes may not have any respect for Samwise "Gardner" Gamgee, but all of Middle Earth bowed down to everyone's favorite po-ta-toe eater.
Kato from The Green Hornet
Kate Bishop from Hawkeye
Can the popularity of Bruce Lee's karate compete with the one woman that makes being Hawkeye look good? Kato turned us onto martial arts in what China came to call, "The Kato Show" while Hawkeye defied comic book stereotypes and gave us a new way of looking at so-called "Lady" superheroes.
THE MENTORS: Region C
These contestants act as guides and confidants to the main characters, helping them take their journey.
Alfred Pennyworth from Batman
Phil Coulson from MCU
Alfred raised Bruce, and became his right hand man before anyone else. Phil rose through the ranks of "walk on role" to "inspiration" to "leader" over his career in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Penny from Inspector Gadget
Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars
Penny was the real master detective, but without Obi-Wan, would Luke have ever found his way to the Force?
Peggy Carter from Captain America
Bullock from Gotham
Peggy and Bullock both pulled off upsets in the last round and are now head-to-head! Peggy shows Steve that there is something great inside him, while Bullock is a warning to Gordon to on what to avoid becoming.
Hit Girl from Kick Ass
Gandalf from The Hobbit
Hit Girl is one of the few actually competent "heroes" in her world, but Gandalf is the archetypal wizard, sending any number of brave (and not so brave) heroes on their epic quests.
THE FOILS: Region D
These characters vex, tease, one-up, or challenge our heroes into becoming who they are.
Pinky from Pinky and the Brain
Gonzo from The Muppets
Pinky is the tall skinny idiot to Brain short fat genius, why no one is quite sure what Gonzo is (other than constantly spoiling for a spot in the ever hectically mismanaged show).
Harley Quinn from Batman
Bucky Barnes from Captain America
Harley went from love-lorn lunatic to fan favorite because she gave a voice to those that craved the frantic yet charming madness of her character, why Bucky didn't find his footing until his death, rebirth, rivalry with, and eventual championing of the heroic Captain America.
River Song from Doctor Who
Jane from Firefly
Jane is a cur, a bastard, and a good man to have on your side in a fight, but River is the Doctor's enemy, ally, wife, murderer, and eventually - even a friend.
Captain Jack from Doctor Who
Donna Noble from Doctor Who
Donna never put up with any of the Doctor's crap, and the Doctor never quite accepted any of Captain Harkness's.