The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint – Characters create lasting bonds with viewers

By Katelyn Needham/ managing editor

Maybe it stems from the early childhood Disney days when we parked in front of the TV with a handful of gummy worms and a heart full of dread watching Mufasa plummet into the on-coming stampede. 

Or maybe it doesn’t happen till we’re older and clutching the novel we’re reading so hard there’s paper cuts because we’re dying to find out what happens to our favorite character next.

But one way or another, it’s almost certain that most people have come across a fictional character with which they bond so intensely that when something ultimately causes them pain, we feel it too.

Maybe we feel this way because somewhere deep down we feel we can relate to whatever the character is going through. While the specific situations might not be exactly realistic, the emotions the characters use to process the events are similar to ours. Everyone can sympathize with emotions like grief, happiness and hope, which makes the bond to a fictional character that much more real.

But either way after investing several seasons, multiple books or even just a couple hours to watch the movie, it’s heartbreaking to watch a character we’ve bonded with get hurt or worse.

Movies and book series have managed to capture millions of people. For example, one of the ways J.K. Rowling captured the hearts of the Harry Potter fan base was through her strong characters. As the series went on and her fan base grew up, so did the writing of the novels and the darkness of the movies.

Generations literally grew up with the actors who played the characters and matured with them. This more than anything helped build the emotional bond so tightly so that when Dumbledore was killed by Snape, real tears were shed at the loss.

But this is one of the best parts about the entertainment industry — the ability to capture an audience and make them feel real emotions and sympathize with the characters. It has fostered the binge-watching addictions and brought people together from all walks of life in support of a book or series.

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