Top 10 Reasons Why Side Characters in the Grisha Trilogy Are Better Than Main Characters

Tags: #Grishaverse ,   #GrishaTrilogy ,   #BookLover ,   #bookaddict ,   #bookreader

Peony Hill

Peony Hill

Last updated:  2023-05-13 18:00:07

Every book has characters that are captivating to some people while boring to others. While some prefer the main characters, others focus on those in their shadows. However, a popular opinion among the Grishaverse fans is that side characters in the first trilogy are more interesting than the main lineup. Here, we provide the main reasons why, with major spoilers for The Grisha Trilogy. However, there'll be no spoilers for the Nikolai Duology.

10. Alina Is an Idiot, And That's Okay

Poor book!Alina, she just needs some brain cells

As much as we love Alina, we must admit that she isn't intelligent. She has a collective of three brain cells: one is pining over Mal, the other is confused about The Darkling, and the third is in constant panic mode. She spends the whole book panicking and chewing her Bad Decisions Bagel. She does have some witty comebacks, but we can't name many of her non-questionable choices.

In her defense, though, she is only seventeen. None of us can say we made that many intelligent choices at that age. And to spice puberty up, she also needs to play the role of a living saint. Hence, peer pressure doesn't sound that bad compared to that. It's not as if she can think that well in the first place, and now she needs to consider the whole country. Poor girl, she has our pity.

9. Mal Is a Bigger Idiot, Which Is Also Okay

Book!Mal, please get it together, bestie

As the Grisha novel trilogy books are from Alina's point of view, it's easiest to get mad at her. However, some might argue against that point of view. After all, we get to see how Alina rationalizes her decisions, and we're left in the dark when it comes to Mal. Although, whatever your viewpoint is, both sides can agree on one thing. Both Mal and Alina are infuriatingly stupid.

Mal's bad decisions list is about as long as Alina's. He gets into fights for profit, tries to make Alina suppress her powers, and is jealous and possessive of her. Most of his transgressions are against Alina, so it's doubly easy to get mad at him. However, he is also a teenager with an undeveloped frontal cortex. It's hard to expect much of him.

8. The Darkling Is an Idiot, Which Is Concerning

Pure disappointment, please be more impressive

It's one thing to be stupid as a teenager. After all, idiocy in the teenage years is expected. Yet, to be a stupid immortal with hundreds of years of lived experience is more concerning. How does a person live for several centuries and still retain zero emotional intelligence? He kills people left and right and dares to be offended when someone calls him a monster.

Besides, you would think that being the most hated man in the country would give him some insight into how public perception works. However, he retained no PR skills, and it's evident that he has no team behind him because they wouldn't let it fly. How does your plan to get to the throne include mass genocide but exclude the possibility of people's rebellion? That's downright embarrassing.

7. Nikolai Lantsov Exists

We are yet to meet a person who isn't in love with Nikolai

Leigh Bardugo really just wrote in a prince and gave him the nickname "Too-clever fox" and expects us not to fall in love? Nikolai Lanstov is the It Girl of literature. For starters, he is a prince who wants to bring more power to people. He lived several years as a privateer with a ruthless reputation and helped Grisha. To top it all off, he is a genius inventor.

How can people focus on the insecure girl serving as a glorified glowstick when Nikolai is there? On the one hand, we have a brilliant strategist who comes up with plans on the fly. On the other hand, we have a girl judging him for that ability. Alina, sweetheart, we know you're under a lot of stress, but what he's doing is called thinking. It's no wonder that Leigh wrote two novels focused on him.

6. Zoya Nazyalensky, The Storm Witch, Is There

She was already a queen

Hands down, Zoya is definitely the person who had the best character arc in the Grisha novel trilogy. She started out as a simple mean girl trope, and her only function was to intimidate Alina. And she really put her back into the intimidation by breaking Alina's ribs! If you look at her in the first book, you might think she'd turn out to be a serial killer. She managed to establish herself as a serious threat to Alina's safety.

Seeing her actually become friends with Alina throughout the books is incredible. She transforms from a terrifying rival to an intimidating friend. All the while, she never loses her bite along the journey and is never described as sweet. But, she is a reliable friend who you can count on to tell the truth. Moreover, she is further explored in the Nikolai duology, making her even more awe-worthy.

5. Harshaw and Oncat Duo

A red-headed arsonist with an orange cat is a fantastic combo

Sadly, Harshaw didn't even get the last name, even though he was iconic among Grisha trilogy characters. His presence was always a great and creepy addition. After all, what's creepier than a slightly insane person who can control fire? Moreover, not only could he control fire, but he also seemed to enjoy it. It's a shame that a crazy arsonist with a love for cats was only present in one book.

At least Oncat got a longer lifespan. It's always great to have animals as recurring characters and not kill them off. The skinny orange tabby was always interesting to read about. However, when you pair her up with Harshaw, you get a duo like no other. Harshaw's claim that Oncat told him to shave the sides of his head is an unforgettable part of the books.

4. David Kostyk, The Best Materialki There Is

David, we're in love with you

If there's a David Kostyk fan club, we're a part of it. There isn't a thing that you couldn't fall in love with when it comes to him. He is a shy genius working on inventions in his workshop. He is aware that technological advances can lead to disasters, and he tries his best to stop them from happening. Even though he is a man of few words, he can give a speech or two when passionate about the subject.

And though he loves working in the labs, he is most emotional about Genya. Even though the two are complete opposites, he tries his best to get close to her. He even keeps a list of things he can compliment her on because it doesn't come to him naturally. He's always honest, no matter what, and his talent knows no bounds.

3. Genya “I Am Ruination” Safin

Genya deserved better

Genya is one of the strongest characters, not just in the trilogy but also in literature. The amount of things she braved, from sexual assault to physical torture, is staggering. Therefore, she deserves nothing but respect coming from us. She was always a warrior, even when she had to serve as a maid. Throughout everything, she has kept her wit and her joyfulness.

She starts off as a strong girl who uses her beauty as a shield against the world. How could she not, when she can make her hair beautiful with just a wave of her hand. She is chipper and upbeat even though she suffers almost daily from SA. When her good looks are stripped away, and she is scarred in an effort to diminish her, she only gets stronger. Genya uses her reputation and people's fearful glances to propel herself further. She deserves the world.

2. Yul-Bataar My Beloved

Tolya… need we say more?

Imagine, if you will, an enormous, bulky man working as a mercenary. Then, on top of his proficiency in martial arts, imagine he can stop a man's heart from a mile away. That description sounds terrifying, right? He is the best bodyguard since people would be too afraid to approach him, let alone attack him.

The only thing is, he is a huge softie. He has a passion for poetry, reciting on every occasion. While he won't hesitate to rip his enemies to shreds, he is a philosopher at heart. A person could spend an eternity lost in conversations with him. He doesn't only serve looks but also gives advice when needed. It's no wonder that everyone who's read the books is at least a little bit in love with him.

1. Tamar Kir-Bataar, the Dual-Wielding Axe Lesbian 

The title says it all

One thing is better than a scary mercenary that's not afraid to get in a fight. And that's scary mercenary twins who aren't afraid to get in a fight. Even though Tolya and Tamar are twins, there are significant physical differences between them. While Tolya is big and bulky, Tamar is short and agile. Both of them are highly religious, though, since their late father was a priest, and they wear sun tattoos on their hands to showcase it.

When it comes to their personalities, though, Tamar is his exact opposite. While Tolya is solemn and quiet, Tamar is fierce and outgoing. She is often seen with a wicked grin and has a passion for all sorts of combat. Although she is generally proficient with weaponry, her favorites are the twin axes she always carries on her hips. Moreover, while her romance with Nadia is mainly pushed to the side, it's one of the sweetest plot points.

Undoubtedly, the side characters in this book series get a lot more love than is typical in other fandoms. However, the debate over the best character would be long and pointless, as everyone has their favorite. We won't deny the vast love for the main characters, though. Everyone in this book has their own type of appeal.

What are some of your favorite Grisha Trilogy characters? Why do you love them?

Sources: Youtube, Netflix, Instagram/Ben Barnes



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