THE BLOG
09/19/2014 01:55 pm ET Updated Nov 19, 2014

5 Courageous Fictional Characters Who Teach Us How to Stay Brave

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Courage comes in many forms. Sometimes it is not as obvious as a knight riding his horse into battle to face the enemy. Below are different types of courage displayed by five fictional characters who endure so much, and yet always stay strong, never, ever giving up.

1. Bran -- A Game of Thrones (1st book of series) by George R.R. Martin

After being pushed off the high ledge by Jaime Lannister, Bran, the seven-year-old son of Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell, is left with both of his legs immobile. Having once been an adventurous boy climbing the highest of trees, he is now bedridden. However, he refuses to give up on life and finds other means to move forward. Further into the novel, he accepts to be placed on the back of the character Hodor in a wicker basket.

"Men will look at you," Maester Luwin had warned him the first time they had strapped the wicker basket around Hodor's chest. "They will look, they will talk, and some will mock you." Let them mock, Bran thought. No one mocked him in his bedchamber, but he would not live life in bed.

(A Game of Thrones, page 477-478)

Shortly after this thought, Bran overhears two boys talking of him.

"...sooner die than live like that," muttered one, his father's namesake Eddard, and his brother Torrhen said likely the boy was broken inside as well as out, too craven to take his own life. (A Game of Thrones, page 484)

Despite these unpleasant words, Bran finds the strength to focus on what really matters to him and redirect his energy. He may not have use of his legs, but he has use of his mind.

2. Katurian -- The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh

While this is a play and not a book, the courage Katurian displays is extremely prominent. When detectives hold the fictional writer Katurian in custody, the audience learns someone has taken his dark and disturbing stories and turned them into reality. Reality, in this case, means innocent children have been murdered in the exact format of Katurian's stories.

When they find the culprit -- Katurian's "slow" brother, Michal -- Katurian and Michal are held in cell while they wait for execution. Katurian says he is willing to die for everything as long as his stories are not destroyed. This kind of bravery shows how far an artist will go in order to reveal the truth through his work despite the consequences from the public.

3. Jane Eyre -- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre always has the odds against her throughout the novel. An orphan living with her tyrant aunt and terrible cousins, she is ridiculed daily. After being sent away to school, she becomes close friends to a girl named Helen. However, when Helen becomes terribly ill, Jane sleeps in the same crib, holding her before/as she dies. Staying strong, Jane takes up a position as a governess to the little Adele at Thornfield Hall. The novel twists as she falls in love with her employer Mr. Rochester, and throughout the novel, their relationship becomes intimate intellectually.

Only, in comes the stunning and snobby Miss. Ingram, and Jane must watch as Mr. Rochester and Miss. Ingram court one another. To cope with the pain and to keep calm, Jane sketches two portraits with crayons: one of them Miss. Ingram (drawn as a lovely woman) and one of herself with the words written underneath, "Portrait of a governess, disconnected, poor, and plain." (Jane Eyre, page 191) She keeps them as a reminder as how she views herself in the face of Mr. Rochester. With this fierceness to keep her love for Mr. Rochester at bay, she holds her head high and keeps her lips sealed tightly unless spoken too. When the word of Miss. Ingram's and Mr. Rochester's marriage reach Jane's ears, she remains composed.

4. Pat Peoples -- Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Pat Peoples has a mental illness, and this illness in combination with his wife leaving him gives him a certain type of bravery not noticed by ordinary men. It takes every ounce of strength for Pat to go through a day, which is accompanied with an episode, mood swings, a manic high or a stream of thoughts about his ex-wife. Yet, he continues to battle his brain and stay positive, be it on a delusional wish. He pulls through each day despite his brain fighting against him, and does not end his life when he finds out his ex-wife never wrote the letters sent to him.

5. Samantha Kingston -- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

A typical popular teenager laughing with her best friends who make nasty comments on other teenagers, Samantha has the luxurious life with a boyfriend, a tight group of best friends, and typical teenager problems. That is, until the car accident happens. For the next seven days, Samantha has to wake up to the same day she died and relive the day in order to figure out her death. There is another girl at her high school whose life is intertwined with Samantha's: Juliet Skyes. Everyone bullies Juliet. So extreme is the teasing, she seeks out suicide. Throughout the novel, Samantha tries to help Juliet; however, the damage has already been imposed. When Juliet yells to Samantha, "I can't be fixed, do you understand?" (Before I Fall, 467), Samantha takes matters into her own hands to prevent the suicide thus resulting in her own death, not Juliets'.