Sunday, November 26, 2017

Character Types: The Socially Awkward Cinnamon Roll

I admire characters who can spew forth witty dialogue, characters who are dashing and brave, but I’m still drawn to those who don’t know how to handle social interaction. As an introvert with a touch of social anxiety, I can totally relate. Seriously, I’d rather deal with a 2,000-pound horse, a dragon, or a bookshelf, than a 140-pound human being.

When it comes to a lot of socially awkward characters, I want to shout, “My people!” Then go stand by them awkwardly, pull out a book, and read in silence until I can work up the courage to make eye contact.

Why cinnamon roll, you might ask? For those unfamiliar with this term, such characters are precious and fun and must be protected at all cost.

Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit

Bilbo: *as four dwarves start rearranging his kitchen, his doorbell rings again* Oh no. No. There’s nobody home! Go away, and bother somebody else! There’re far too many dwarves in my dining room as it is. If this is some cluthead’s idea of a joke, I can only say, it is in VERY poor taste!
*He opens the door, and eight dwarves fall in a heap in front of him*
(The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)

Bilbo Baggins is a homebody. He likes the comforts of a good book, his armchair, and his garden. But he’s also an adventurer who relishes the excitement of the road, which he gets from the Tookish side of his family. In many ways, I can relate. Like Bilbo, I enjoy a good cup of tea with some peace and quiet, and often it takes another person, not necessarily a party of dwarves, to drag me out of the house.

Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon

Gobber: See, now this right here is what I'm talkin’ about!
Hiccup: It, it... mild calibration issue, I...
Gobber: Don’t you... no, Hiccup! If you ever want to get out there to fight dragons, you need to stop all... this. *gestures to all of Hiccup*
Hiccup: But you just pointed to all of me!
Gobber: Yes! That’s it! Stop being all of you!
(How to Train Your Dragon

Hiccup is awkward when it comes to conversations and handling himself. Yet he’s brilliant at engineering, having been an apprentice to a blacksmith. That and he’s empathetic, willing to take the time to understand dragons while everybody else just wants to kill them. He’s both relatable and admirable.

My sister and I recently re-watched the first movie, and I realized how resilient Hiccup is. How many characters could take such a slew of insults from friends and family and still want to save them? Then again, he is a Viking. They have stubbornness issues.

Auri from The Kingkiller Chronicles

“She felt the panic rising in her then. She knew. She knew how quickly things could break. You did the things you could. You tended to the world for the world’s sake. You hoped you would be safe. But still she knew. It would come crashing down and there was nothing you could do right. And yes. She knew she wasn’t right. She knew her everything canted wrong. She knew her head was all unkilter. She knew she wasn’t true inside. She knew.” 
(The Slow Regard of Silent Things)

Auri isn’t quite like the other characters in The Kingkiller Chronicles, as she lives underground and isolated from most of humanity. The protagonist of the main books, Kvothe, theorizes that she was a former student at the University and the stress drove her to madness, but her backstory isn’t definite. She’s a little eccentric but rather sweet, believing that many objects have their own personalities, thoughts, and place in the world.

Gil from Pandora Hearts

Now I’m really getting obscure! But I can’t help but mention one of my favorite characters from a graphic novel series I’ve gotten into lately. Gil likes his personal space, but he’s incredibly devoted to protecting his friends and his master, ensuring their safety and happiness. Unlike Hiccup, he knows how to carry himself, but he doesn’t know how to handle a bunch of girls fawning over him at a social event. It’s kind of adorable.

Other notable Socially Awkward Cinnamon Rolls include Newt Scamandar from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Barry Allen (The Flash) from Justice League, Caitlin from Mockingbird, Peter Parker from the Spider Man movies, and Finn from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Let’s chat! Who’s your favorite Socially Awkward Cinnamon Roll? Did I leave any of their attributes out?


Similar posts: Character Types: The Bookworm, Christ Figures, and The Best-Friend-Turned-Evil-Villain

Film references: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, How to Train Your Dragon, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Justice League, the Spider Man movies, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Literary references: J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles, and Jun Mochizuki’s Pandora Hearts

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