Picture it: your local coffee shop, that one time you don’t like talking about. You and your pals are gathered around some hot cups of joe, discussing what you’ve been reading lately. Slowly, the conversation intensifies. Three hours later, you’re passionately, vehemently, bizarrely debating, with a person who was once your friend, who would have been the better Hogwarts headmaster: Albus Dumbledore or Gandalf. Even later, you’ve staked your claim that Amy Dunne could more efficiently scheme with Varys than Cersei Lannister. You drop the mic. You flip over the table. You are never allowed back at that establishment.
The possibilities for fictional cross-pollination are endless, and the temptation to ponder how some of our favorite characters would fare in book worlds not their own is overwhelming. So let’s not fight it. Attention fan-ficcers: here’s a handful of characters we’d like to see stumble into a different book.
A Quest for Shells: Yertle the Turtle in Westeros
It’s hard to sit the Iron Throne, sure, but the challenge is nothing compared with maintaining a firm buttocked–grip on the live-turtle pyramid. One vindictive Proletariat belch robbed Yertle of his power and knocked him down to the King of Mud. His hubris was just too sprawling for Seussland, but where, oh where, oh where could Yertle possibly fit in? Why, that Machiavellian tilt-a-whirl of betrayal known as King’s Landing, of course. Yertle won’t even have to look at the lower classes as he steamrolls them on his quest for supremacy, which is a good thing, because the Westerosi commoners are about as fickle as the population of Bikini Bottom.
The Mystery of the Ebon Clock: Sherlock Holmes at the Night Circus
Besides the delectable mental image of Dr. Watson, donning a bright red rêveur’s scarf and horking down popcorn, tottering behind the keen-eyed bloodhound of a detective, Sherlock Holmes visiting Le Cirque des Rêves combines logic with beauty, reality, and surrealism. It’s the curious incident of the tents in the Victorian nighttime. If there was ever an outsider who could understand the high enchanted stakes under the big top, it’s Holmes, who would despise Prospero and Mr. A.H-. Charlatans, Watson, but nevertheless, the game is afoot.
The Hobbit‘s Guide to the Galaxy: Bilbo Baggins in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Bilbo Baggins and Arthur Dent are essentially the same person, and that person is Adorably English Man (played by Martin Freeman in perpetuity). Though he loves his Hobbit hole, Bilbo never lost his lust for adventure after the Smaug business. And with Bilbo along for the ride with The One Ring, this ragtag team of space travelers might have had to endure less Vogon poetry. (Certainly a step down from Elrond’s house parties.) Though if Mr. Baggins thought Gandalf could be a mercurial traveling partner, Zaphod’s going to throw him for a loop. In a related desire: Marvin the depressed robot would’ve been a hoot on the journey to The Lonely Mountain.
A Gringotts Carol: Ebenezer Scrooge on Diagon Alley
Pre-transformation Scrooge is not unlike a goblin, and upon spying the extensive security measures (and dragon) in Gringotts’ vaults, ye olde flint-hearted miser would be gobsmacked. Mr. “Are there no prisons?” would fit in smashingly with this lot of treasure-lusting knut-counters. Plus, I’d like to think his hauntings and epiphany would have a distinctly Harry Potter vibe: Moaning Myrtle as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Hagrid as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Unnamed Dementor as the Ghost of Christmas Future. “Yer a bad person, Ebby.”
The Witch of Oz: Granny Weatherwax down the Yellow Brick Road
While it would be satisfying to watch Discworld‘s She Who Must Be Avoided hobnob with her soul sister, Minerva McGonagall, and scare the robe off of He Who Must Not Be Named, I think Dorothy could have used her more in Oz. She would have dressed down with homespun severity the disgraceful Wicked Witch of the West because she can’t be having that kind of thing. And Golden Cap or no, the Winged Monkeys would have fled in fear of Granny’s temperamental, rocketlike broom. As for the Wizard of Oz himself, um, he’d slink out of Emerald City and off to his peers at Unseen University if he were smart, before Granny unleashed her headology on him.
The Pirates in the Rye: Holden Caulfield in Treasure Island
A couple of reasons here: Holden, as disillusioned and foul-mouthed as he is, is still a sensitive boy at heart. You know what can expel the Pencey Prep cynicism from his gentle soul? Swashbuckling. Getting to play pirate. Finding loads of booty. The second positive of plucking the teen from The Catcher in the Rye and plunking him in the high seas: Holy Hispaniola, would Holden’s “phony” detector have been exploding at the first sight of Long John Silver. Maybe capable, world-weary Jim Hawkins is the friend Eeyore Caulfield has needed all along. If nothing else, he can help with the cabin fever.
A Hunger Game of Thrones: Joffrey Baratheon in the arena
You didn’t think I’d forgotten about good King Joffrey, did you? Muahahahahahaha.
What character would you like to transport into what book?