There have been many literary characters I have loved. Some because I relate to them, some because they make me laugh, some just because they make me feel. I have a whole host of favourite characters that I will probably eventually blog about but no character has ever captured my heart (and my imagination) in the way that The Fool from Robin Hobb‘s Realm of the Elderlings series has.
The Fool (or Beloved, which we later discover is his true name) is my favourite all-time literary character. It is hard to explain why as he (for the sake of this post I am going to continue to refer to the Fool as a ‘he’) is so mysterious. I do not feel as if I truly know very much about him, despite the fact that he has played a huge part in one of my all-time fantasy series. There is the gender ambiguity of course, but that is just a small part of what makes him such a fascinating character. From his very first introduction as King Shrewd’s Fool (where he got his monicker) in Assassin’s Apprentice the first book in the Farseer Trilogy, I was intrigued and only became more curious and fascinated as the series progressed and his character began to play a bigger role. As much as I love Fitz (and I do – even though he makes me want to tear out my hair at the roots sometimes!), The Fool has always been the biggest draw for me.
Everything about him is shrouded in mystery. He often talks in riddles and his prescience plays a huge part in the story. The Fool and Fitz’s lives are intertwined (as White Prophet and Catalyst respectively) but their bond goes even deeper than that. They truly love each other (even if Fitz has a bit of a problem admitting his love for another man – and no I am not suggesting that Fitz is secretly gay and in love with The Fool – even though a big part of me wishes it were so!). Their very close friendship drives a lot of the narrative and they come to rely on each other more often than not.
The Fool is a wonderful character and the fact that so much of him remains unknown only makes me love him more. I was left feeling quite bereft by the ending of Fool’s Fate so I am incredibly happy that there will be a new series about Fitz and The Fool (out this year). I cannot wait to get embroiled in their lives once again and to see my beloved Fool again!