March birthstone: aquamarine – ‘washed out’. Name a wishy-washy character, someone who is not strong, a follower not a leader.
Andy – Luna Lovegood *subversion*
She’s dotty, she wears a necklace of butterbeer corks, she first meets Harry on the Hogwarts express whilst reading a magazine upside down. And she carries her wand behind her ear. Her nickname is Loony Lovegood. From this quick description of her, you’d be forgiven for thinking she the weak, wishy-washy character described above. Well, wishy-washy she may be, but she’s by no means weak or a simple follower character.
Luna is insightful, kind, and loyal. But she subverts the wishy-washy archetype with her bravery and determination. She joins the resistance, Dumbledore’s Army, and gives out counter-propaganda – for which she is tortured by Umbridge with the Inquisitorial Squad. She’s captured and imprisoned by death eaters and, after her escape, takes part in the Battle of Hogwarts, fighting death eaters alongside her comrades.
And she always believes in Harry.
See also Sarah Gailey’s amazing article on Tor.com!
TLDR: Luna is more BAMF than you ever knew and you should NEVER dismiss someone for their fluffy blondeness, dreamy demeanor, or wacked-out dress sense. Because those people can also be pretty dangerous.
Luna – Bella Swan *twat*
Bella Swan is…not really a character that is well liked. Most people read the Twilight series for the boys and the wish fulfillment. Bella is really more of an afterthought. Yeah, she’s the main character but she’s a not a heroine by any means.
I’ll refrain from most of my thoughts on Bella Swan as we’re here for a character trait in particular. ‘Wishy washy’ by definition means ‘feeble or insipid in quality or character.’ Bella definitely can be called feeble, especially as a synonym for feeble is ‘cowardly or spineless.’
I actually don’t mind the Twilight movies, awful as they may be, as they give Bella more of a backbone. She calls out Edward for his actions, participates in the planning and battle preparations and is actually instrumental in the final fight.
Now let’s talk about book Bella who is definitely…not.
There’s one moment in particular I’m going to use for this, otherwise I could be here bitching all day.
Do you guys remember this scene? Bella and Edward are hiding away from the main battle when Victoria and Riley find them. A battle ensues and even with Seth there to help, it’s obvious that Edward is losing. This is where Bella, a normal human girl, actually takes action and helps turn the fight. She grabs a rock and cuts into her arm. The blood makes both the blood-drinking vampires lose focus and Seth and Edward are quickly able to overpower and kill them both.
This is why I love Eclipse more than the other movies. It’s not saying a lot as I still think they’re shit movies but there are so many improvements and genuinely likeable things about Eclipse. And that right there, with Bella having a spine and doing something is my favourite part.
But book Bella. Ah, book Bella. The Bella written by Stephanie Meyer with no outside influence whatsoever.
Early on in the story we hear the tale of the Third Wife. In order to save her werewolf husband from a vampire she drives a knife into her side. The blood is enough to distract the vampire for her to be destroyed, and even though it cost the wife her life, she saved her people. We have all this build up that would have worked had she actually followed through. Consistently, we get parallels between Bella and the third wife. We get told and told that Bella will lay down her life for the people she loves. And then we get this.
A second kick of adrenaline hit like an electric shock, and everything was suddenly very clear. Both fights were too close. Seth was about to lose his, and I had no idea if Edward was winning or losing. They needed help. A distraction. Something to give them an edge.
My hand gripped the stone spike so tightly that a support in the brace snapped.
Was I strong enough? Was I brave enough? How hard could I shove the rough stone into my body? Would this buy Seth enough time to get back on his feet? Would he heal fast enough for my sacrifice to do him any good?
And…that’s it. She sees the rock and picks it up and then proceeds to sit and THINK about it. The fight is won without any input whatsoever from Bella. Edward has to push to win the fight and while Seth takes care of Riley, he is free to dispatch Victoria. AND BELLA SITS THERE, BEING USELESS.
This is why I prefer the movie. She doesn’t dither about whether her useless little human self can do it. She gets up her nerve and does it without any hesitation whatsoever. Human Bella is perfectly capable and clever all by herself and this does not get shown when written by an amateur writer. Book!Bella gets so caught up in thinking humans are powerless that she never even tries. This Bella does not let any mortality or limitations she has stop her and actually saves the day.
TLDR: Book Bella is a spineless cow, who ends up with everything she wants with no effort from her whatsoever, despite the fact that if Edward hadn’t managed to win the fight she’d be nummy vampire food now.
Alright, so I ranted. I’m done now, I swear.