Emma Asks…What Supporting Characters Deserve a Spin-off?

We’re all well aware of the heavyweight characters of the literary world: Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver Twist, Romeo and Juliet, and Sherlock Holmes to name but a handful. But where would Holmes be without his lynchpin Watson? Would he be as interesting if he didn’t have the contemptible Moriarty to pitch himself against?

Harry Potter wouldn’t have lasted five minutes without the brains of Hermione and the wit of Ron, and often we become enamoured with the quirky characters that may not get as much page-time but are memorable never-the-less. We all have a fondness for the bumbling Hagrid and can’t help but love to hate Professor Snape. Supporting characters happily lounge in the shadows, allowing the stars of the book to shine bright. Perhaps it’s time they emerged into the limelight and took a bow themselves? Here are some of the supporting characters I think deserve a spin-off of their very own. Warning: there are a few spoilers here!

Dolphus Raymond

Who is he?

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There are plenty of interesting supporting characters embellishing the storyline in Harper Lee’s renowned book, To Kill a Mockingbird. One character that stands out as deserving of his own novel, though, is Dolphus Raymond. Throughout the story we are led to believe that Raymond is a raving alcoholic, with a penchant for swigging from a bottle concealed in a paper bag. Raymond eventually reveals that the bottle we all believe to be hard liquor is, in fact, nothing more than Cola and that he his drunkenness is an act put on to fool the racist white folks he shares the town with.

Raymond is white, but his wife and children are black – a choice that his white neighbours cannot understand or accept. Raymond pretends to be a drunk so that he can be left in peace and doesn’t have to keep trying to rationalise his life choices to senseless bigots.

Why does he deserve a spin-off?

We would love to learn more about the man who undertakes such an extreme act just so he can live his life as he sees fit, and get to know his precious family better too.

Hermione Grainger

Who is she?

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From JK Rowling‘s Harry Potter series, she is the tough cookie who uses her brains and quick intelligence to help Harry out of some sticky situations. We like Ron Weasley too: he’s the witty one who saves the day while generating belly laughs. Let’s face it, without Ron and Hermione, Harry Potter would not be half the wizard he is reputed to be, but I think it’s Hermione who deserves the to take the leading spot in her very own book.

Why does she deserve a spin-off?

Fiercely bold and with an intellect that has carried her male counterparts through endless scrapes, Hermione is the true heroine of the piece. We know that Ron and Hermione get together and that their children go onto attend Hogwarts. But we want more! We would love to see Hermione pit her wits against her own enemies as she grows into a fully-fledged wizard. Does family life work out for her? We want to learn about her past, labelled a Mug-Blood by the nasty Malfoy, what were her parents like? Does she have an evil sister lurking in the background? Hermione deserves her own series, care to oblige Ms Rowling?

Gertrude, the Queen of Denmark

Who is she?

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From Shakespeare’s Hamlet, we never really get to know Gertrude that well, but we do know that she provokes Hamlet by marrying Claudius (the King’s brother) following the death of the king.

Why does she deserve a spin-off?

We would love to understand the reasons behind her logic and get to know her better. Her death is a product of the feud between Hamlet and Claudius and there’s a lot we would have liked to have established before her untimely demise. Were her actions based on love or greed? Was she the overbearing character some believed or simply misunderstood? Did she play the males in her life, using them to meet her own needs, or has she been the victim of the selfish men around her? Queen Gertrude could make a great leading character if given the chance.

The Cheshire Cat

Who is he?

Why, he’s the cat from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, of course!

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“We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

The Cheshire Cat is one of the best supporting characters in Alice in Wonderland, all of which deserve their very own spin-off book to showcase their own unique personalities. Coupled with the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, and Red Queen, the Cheshire Cat brings the magical ingredient of madness to the story.

Why does he deserve a spin-off?

We can’t begin to imagine the chaos he could cause, but with his love of logic (“If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there,”) and an ability to disappear at will (and of course the infamous grin), we have a feeling that any book featuring him would be well worth a read.

Which supporting characters would you like to see have a book of their very own?


Emma Challoner-Miles is a busy wife, mum, teaching assistant and freelance writer. When she isn’t cooking tea, making phonics fun, or glued to the laptop she can be found walking Roy – her adorable, but slightly crazy Border Collie, reading (anything and everything, dreaming of a life in the sun, and drinking wine (anything and everything).

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