The 32 Most Iconic and Inspiring Fictional Characters of All Time!

16 minute read
Fictional characters

From Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger to Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennet, there is an array of most popular fictional characters that truly leave us inspired whenever we think of them. Do you also think about Shuri from The Black Panther or Keanu Reeves’ John Wick when someone asks you about the most badass fictional characters? Who is the smartest fictional character in history: Sherlock Holmes or Hermione? Well, there are many inspiring fictional characters that fall under the category of smartest, saddest, strongest and popular! Here we bring you 20 of the most inspiring fictional characters of all time!

List 20 Most Iconic and Inspiring Fictional Characters of All Time!

  1. Hermione Granger
  2. Elizabeth Bennet
  3. Matilda Wormwood
  4. Atticus Finch
  5. Katniss Everdeen
  6. Jane Eyre 
  7. Gandalf
  8. Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings
  9. Forrest Gump
  10. Batman
  11. Nairobi
  12. Eudora Holmes
  13. Raymond Holt
  14. Hazel Grace
  15. Athena
  16. Ella
  17. Captain America
  18. Scarlett O’Hara
  19. Iron Man
  20. Charlie Brown

Hermione Granger

Emma Watson as Hermione
Courtesy: Gfycat

“Books! And cleverness! There are more important things! — Friendship! And Bravery!”

An all-time favourite amongst the top inspiration fictional characters, Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is also one of the strongest female characters in the world of fiction. She is a motivated and ambitious young girl with her own opinion on everything and doesn’t allow herself to be suppressed by others. Even in the face of discrimination based on her background, she fights back with dignity. Another inspiring trait about her that she doesn’t attempt to change herself only to make people like her but she chooses to be herself! An avid reader and a great friend, she uses her intelligence and quick thinking abilities to help her friends throughout the series.

From Hermione to Little Women: Emma Watson, a True Role Model for Millennials!

Elizabeth Bennet

Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet
Courtesy: Rebloggy

“What are men to rocks and mountains?” 

The central protagonist of the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Elizabeth Bennet is another very inspirational fictional character to learn from. Considered to be among the most beloved characters in British literature and among the most endearing characters sketched by the author, Elizabeth is a lively, playful and intelligent young woman who takes pride in her ability to accurately judge other people and their intentions. A strong and modern woman with perspectives ahead of her time, she refuses to bow down to societal norms and one can also see traits of feminism within her character. She is thus, rightly regarded as one of the most inspirational fictional characters for modern women.

Watch Pride and Prejudice on Netflix

Matilda Wormwood

fictional characters
Mara Wilson as Matilda Wormwood
Courtesy: Pinterest

“Sometimes Matilda longed for a friend, someone like the kind, courageous people in her books.”

The protagonist of one of the most popular children books, Matilda Wormwood is a fictional character created by Roald Dahl and is also regarded as the most inspiring heroine by the author. Often taken as a role model by young book lovers, Matilda believes that you can always a great refuge in every situation, no matter how bad your life gets. This refuge can be found in different things – books, friendship and love being some of them. She doesn’t cower or allow people to put her down but fights back against the unjust system, in the process becoming an unexpected hero, who uses her imagination to fight against force. She teaches us that our fate lies in our own hands.

Watch Matilda on Netflix

Atticus Finch

fictional characters
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch
Courtesy: Gfycat

“You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change.”

Atticus Finch from the famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is another significant mention in our list of most iconic and inspiring fictional characters. An honest, compassionate and courageous man, Finch chooses to remain true to his beliefs, values and conscience, even if they are different from the society he lives in. A believer in racial equality, he strives to pass these lessons to his children. He is an inspiration to all and teaches us that we should always fo what’s right, which is more important than doing what is easy.

Watch To kill a Mockingbird on Amazon Prime

Katniss Everdeen

fictional characters
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Courtesy: Giphy

“Yeah, but I’m not very good at making friends.”

Katniss Everdeen is the protagonist and narrator of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. She is a fierce and strong fictional character who is more mature than her age. Responsible for her family, she is fiercely protective of them. She is rebellious and disregards many rules to take care of her family which is her whole world. A very inspiring fictional character, she encourages readers to break all barriers to achieve what they want to.

Watch Hunger Games on Amazon Prime

Jane Eyre 

fictional characters
Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre
Courtesy: The Home of the Twisted Red Ladybugs

“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

The main protagonist of the novel Jane Eyre, the great classic by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre is another revered female fictional character that you must know about! Tracing her life, Jane Eyre explores the growth of the protagonist Jane’s character grows from a 10-year-old girl to a young independent woman. In spite of being put into difficult situations, she doesn’t succumb to pressure but instead follows what her heart says is right. Throughout the novel, she relies on herself to get back up on her feet and to keep going forward.

Watch Jane Eyre on Amazon Prime


fictional characters
Ian Mckellen as Gandalf
Courtesy: Rebloggy

“For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

Who hasn’t heard of Gandalf the Grey, the wonderfully inspiring and profound protagonist of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? A befriender of the hobbits and wise wizards, Gandalf deserves an essential mention in our list of inspirational fictional characters as he possesses a god-like knowledge of everyone and everything while also ensures that his powers and motives are closely guarded! His intelligence finds its source from the patience he learned in Valinor and is also a beloved character ready to teach you many lessons about humans and the world!

Watch Hobbit and the Lord of The Rings on Amazon Prime

Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings

Credits –

Very few people have the courage to challenge life and strive for something they truly want. Eowyn is one such inspiring fictional character. A true rebel, Eowyn is willing to go after what she wants and aspires to be. She proves with her fearless attitude that her gender does not define her and she breaks barriers the society sets for all of us, especially girls. 

Watch Lord of the Rings on Amazon Prime

Forrest Gump


“Stupid is as stupid does”

One of the greatest fictional characters of all time, Forrest Gump shows how pure love can fight against all odds. He is successful in putting across the message that having genuine and good intentions for everyone as well as standing up for what is right is a quality only a few have. He may be portrayed as someone with low IQ but Forrest Gump proves that having fast brains is not the only thing you need to succeed in life. Dedication and hard work can get you where you want to in life. Whether it is ping pong, running a business or saving a friends life, Forrest Gump does it all and does it very well! 

Watch Forrest Grump on Netflix


fictional characters

“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

A superhero like Batman wins the hearts of everyone he comes in contact with. His willingness to take responsibility for his city and fight the evils in society, especially those who wish to cause harm to the residents of his city is truly inspiring. A fictional character like Batman is rare and hard to find. He is a superhero with no real superpower, however, his brave nature and readiness to take on against the villains is a superpower in itself!

Watch Batman on Netflix


Image result for nairobi gifs let the matriarchy begin

“Family members help each other, no questions asked.”

Nairobi is a character from Money Heist Series and is played by Alba Flores. Nairobi possesses the trait of a born leader. She even treats her hostages with love and joy, so much that many hostages end up joining her. In the middle of the ruckus caused by other characters, Nairobi stays sharp and focused towards her work. Time and again, Nairobi fights the patriarchal settings in the team. Her famous line ‘Let the Matriarchy begin’ has many of us in the loop. Even before her death, she proves to be a fighter, be it a surgery or the torture by Gandia. She becomes one of the most celebrated characters of Money Heist with her will, strength and empathy.

Watch Money Heist on Netflix

Eudoria Holmes

Image result for eudoria holmes gifs
 Played by Helena Bonham Carter

“Paint Your Own Picture, Enola”

Eudoria Holmes is a character in Enola Holmes. Mother of the three geniuses Mycroft, Sherlock, and Enola, she is the perfect example of a rebellious woman in the world of men. While her sons have already settled and reached the top of their fields, Eudoria is focused on uplifting her daughter. She names her daughter ‘Enola’, which when spelled backwards is ‘alone’. She teaches her daughter to fight her battles alone, prepares her for them. Instead of keeping her in the shell of society, she teaches her martial arts, puzzle solving, etc. Later, we also find out that she is a part of a group of women fighting for reform bills. All the while she was fighting for her daughter’s future.

Watch Enola Holmes on Netflix

Raymond Holt

Image result for raymond holt gifs
Played by Andre Braugher
Credits: Imgur

Raymond Holt is a character in a famous comedy series Brooklyn 99. The Caption of the 99 and one of the quirkiest characters, he is extremely hardworking, devoted, professional, and empathetic. But most of all, Raymond Holt’s character is inspiring because of his back story. A black gay cop who tackled both racism and homophobia in the 90s and still managed to reach his goals. Infamous as robot captain, he becomes a viable part of his squad, and a father figure to many.

Watch Brooklyn 99 on Netflix

Hazel Grace

fictional characters
Courtesy: Pinterest

As one of the most inspiring fictional characters written by John Green, Hazel Grace from ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ is truly a brave protagonist who is earlier shown as someone who stays away from people because she feels that when she will be gone, they will be hurt. But, as Augustus comes in her life, she gets out of her shell and we see someone who falls in love with life and encounters love, loss and every other emotion there is!

Buy The Fault in Our Stars on Amazon!


Courtesy: Pinterest

Revered as the Greek Goddess of War and Wisdom, Athena is a true warrior possessing the cleverness, smartness and genius of fighting wars. As an inspiring fictional character, Athena is featured in Homer’s The Odyssey and plays a quintessential role in helping Odysseus in the war. A must-mention in our list of most inspiring fictional characters, she is hailed as the wisest, the courageous as well as the most resourceful of all the Greek characters.

Click here to buy The Odyssey here!


Courtesy: Gifer

Our feed is flooding with strong empowering female fictional characters and we are truly proud of it! So, next in our list of inspiring fictional characters is the simply courageous Ella from Cinderella. This childhood tale that we have grown up listening to, has such a strong and simple message conveyed through Ella’s character. “Have courage and be kind,” is the theme of the story and Ella beautifully portrays this idea through the strength of her character and her belief in the goodness of the world.

Watch Disney’s Cinderella here!

Captain America

Courtesy: Gifer

A marvel favorite, Captain America is Steve Rogers who is injected with the Super Soldier serum and becomes the mightiest heroes and later, a part of Avengers too. What’s inspiring about Steve Rogers’ character is his origins as a slim but courageous young man, with a kind heart as well as a smart brain that impresses Zola, the scientist leading to their decision of selecting him from an army of soldiers for the Super Soldier serum. As someone who has been bullied in the past, he puts up a strong fight for the weak and truly emerges as an inspiring fictional character of all time!

Watch Captain America, The First Avenger here on Disney+

Scarlett O’Hara

Courtesy: Tenor

The protagonist of Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara, is another strong and inspiring fictional character who struggles through the trysts of the Civil War and it’s aftereffects. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a whoop”, is one of the classic lines delivered by Scarlett and was portrayed by Vivian Leigh for the silver screen in 1939 adaptation. The character portrays many multiple stigmas about women in that time and her character development has been studied for years exploring her journey from a spoiled girl to a matured woman!

Buy Gone with the Wind on Amazon here!

Iron Man

fictional characters
Courtesy: Imgur

Another Marvel addition in our list of inspiring fictional characters, Iron Man or Tony Stark’s journey from a spoiled brat leading the weapon empire to a superhero will leave you in splits! Tony Stark is a billionaire industrialist who is brash and spoiled but his character arc is so magnificent as he evolves into a strong superhero who founds the Avengers, builds the Iron Man suit, saves many and further mentors Marvel’s Spiderman!

Watch Iron Man on Disney+ here!

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown

Concluding our list of most inspiring fictional characters with the hapless Charlie Brown, referred to as the lovable loser, this character’s anxious and neurotic aspects actually resonate with our own contemporary lives! He is one of the main characters of Peanuts, the comic strip by Charles Schulz and is believed to have suffered with neuroticism as he is prone to depression and anxiety but even then, he tries his best to take what life throws at him! Through this comic strip, Schulz has addressed many taboos around mental health, as the relatable character of Charlie tries to accept his flaws and to understanding the meaning of life!

Watch Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie here on Disney+!

11 Inspiring Fictional Female Characters

Looking for the badass female characters in books and movies? Well, many literary and cinematic classics are filled with iconic and inspiring female characters that are the epitome of women empowerment! Here are our top picks of the most inspiring fictional female characters:

  1. Eowyn, The Lord of the Rings Series
  2. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter Series
  3. Elizabeth Bennett, Pride and Prejudice
  4. Jane Eyre
  5. Shuri, The Black Panther
  6. Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games
  7. Hazel Grace, The Fault in Our Stars
  8. Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind
  9. Belle, Beauty and the Beast
  10. Rose, Titanic
  11. Jo March, Little Women

Eowyn from the Lord of the Rings Series

Courtesy: Cougar Board

As one of the badass female fictional characters of all time, Eowyn is truly an inspiration as she taps into her inner bosswoman to fight the most dangerous villain in the Middle Earth! Always believing in her instincts, she does what she feels right and even after the love of her life leaves, she stays strong and fierce to fight the ultimate battle and win!

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter Series

Courtesy: Giphy

A sassy and intellectual character, Hermione always knows all the magic tricks and is the coolest bookworm you would love to hang out with! She is also an inspiring character for being the best friend to Harry and Ron, guiding them through the most toughest situation and amidst it all, staying true to herself!

Rose from Titanic

fictional characters
Courtesy: We heart it

Another badass cinematic character you’ll be inspired from is Rose from Titanic! Rose comes from the upper class where women are not valued for how intelligent or curious they are but for their beauty and whether they can marry a rich man! She still stays true to her intellect as she curiously inquires about the building of titanic to taking interests in arts and respecting the servant class!

Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice

Courtesy: We heart it

Elizabeth Bennett is a uniquely woven character created by Jane Austen in her remarkable novel, Pride and Prejudice. Lizzy, as she is called, never takes interest in parties but instead spends her time reading or in her own happy solitude. This inspiring female character teaches us about the importance of being different and embracing your quirks which can help you shine through!

Jane Eyre

Courtesy: Gifer

Another strongest and fierce female character that will leave a long-lasting impression on you is Jane Eyre. Living a life full of struggles, Jane still believes in the goodness of people and is always kind, compassionate as well as fearlessly ready to raise her voice if needed!

Shuri from Black Panther

fictional characters
Courtesy: Wattpad

The Princess of Wakanda, Shuri is an innovator building many incredible tech gadgets on her own for her brother, T’Challa, the Black Panther! Often considered the female prodigy of Iron Man, Shuri is always ready to take a challenge, make fun of her brother and revolutionizing Wakanda with her tech innovations!

Belle from The Beauty and The Beast

fictional characters
Courtesy: Giphy

Another inspiring fictional character played by the amazing Emma Watson, Belle from the Beauty and the Beast loves to live in the world of books, dreams of a house with a big library and is one of the kindest characters who see the true beauty in the beast!

5 Inspirational Fictional Characters from Books

  1. Holden Caulfield 
  2. Albus Dumbledore
  3. Shylock
  4. Scout Finch
  5. Violet Baudelaire

Holden Caulfield 

“I’m just going through a phase right now. Everybody goes through phases and all, don’t they?”

The lazy, angsty and slouching character from the famous book The Catcher in the Eye is truly an inspiring fictional character for the coming generation. Catcher in the Eye through this multifaceted fictional character deals with some of the pressing issues in the contemporary world, it talks about alienation, depression, PTSD, situational anxiety and the impact of social environment on our upbringing. Holden Caulfield’s character is an icon for American literature and a true piece of art.   

Albus Dumbledore

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it”

Dumbledore is a book character that needs no introduction. The wise, old headmaster of Hogswarts who taught us all to believe in ourselves and stand by our convictions is an unforgettable fictional figure. Dumbledore’s twinkling blue eyes, hilarious one-liners and amazing mentorship won the hearts of millions of readers. Even after 20 years since the character was introduced for the first time, Dumbledore remains the greatest work of fiction in the 21st century. 


“He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what’s his reason? I am a Jew.”

The cunning, greedy and unpopular fictional character from the famous play Merchant of Venice is one of the most powerful characters in literature. The so-called villain in the book, Shylock, is a paragon of complexities. Shylock’s character is memorable because of his humanity. His need for revenge stems from the rampant discrimination and abuse he faces because of his religion and occupation. Shylock’s character is a truly tragic figure, an underdog and a victim because of systemic discrimination. Reading about this character and tragedy can inspire us all to do good and be fair in life. 

Scout Finch

“Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.”

Scout Finch from the book To Kill a Mockingbird is a lovable, young kid whose positivity and maturity continues to inspire readers across the world. Her innocence and love for her family and amazing level of confidence set her apart from those. Scout throughout the book challenges the social conventions whether it’s related to gender or race and refuses to be boxed in because of her gender or class. She inspires us all to think for yourselves and be empathetic towards others.

Violet Baudelaire

 ‘If everyone fought fire with fire, the whole world would go up in smoke.’

Violet Baudelaire from the book series A Series of Unfortunate Events is a polite, resourceful and intelligent character and an inspiration for millions. Violet and her siblings, despite the various hardships, rally on and protect each other throughout the series. The budding scientist with her innovative experiments always manages to get herself and her siblings out of trouble. Her experiments, personality and charisma are awe-spiring. Reading about Violet’s quick wit and scientific curiosity will surely make you reach for an encyclopedia!

Following are the Top 10 most popular anime characters

  1. Goku (Dragon Ball Z)
  2. Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto)
  3. Itachi Uchiha (Naruto)
  4. Kakashi Hatake (Naruto)
  5. Saitama (One Punch Man)
  6. Isaac Netero (Hunter X Hunter)
  7. Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)
  8. Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul)
  9. Meliodas (The Seven Deadly Sins)
  10. Rokurouta Sakuragi (Rainbow)


Who is a famous fictional character?

Mickey Mouse (1928) was Created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks for Steamboat Willie. James Bond (1953) was Created by Ian Fleming for the novel Casino Royale. Bugs Bunny (1940) was Created by Warner Bros and originally voiced by Mel Blanc. Batman (1939) was Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane for Detective Comics #27 (DC Comics).

What are fictional characters?

A fictional character is an invented person or entity in a narrative, such as a book or a movie.

What is the oldest fictional character?

Lazarus Long is a fictional character featured in a number of science fiction novels by Robert A. Heinlein.

Hence, we hope that you found this blog on inspirational fictional characters interesting and informative. Want to pursue a course in creative writing to start your career as a novelist? Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who can help you in choosing the perfect course and university as per your preferences. Sign up for a free session today!

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