desert island characters

Desert Island Characters

desert island characters

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is Ten Characters I Would Want With Me on a Deserted Island. I’m aiming for a mix of sensible and pure selfishness here. I’m also hoping this desert island is more tropical resort than Survivor or I won’t be lasting too long.

Teenage Theo and Boris from The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I’m going to need some entertainment on this island and pulling Theo and Boris straight out of Vegas will provide just that. Boris will roll up with a flak and I’ll just sit and ask him to say things in his weird accent. Later, when Theo and Boris are alone, I’ll giggle over their bromance with the other island characters. It’s perfection.

Karana from The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

If I’m going to have someone save me from dying on an island, I think it needs to be this amazing, animal-loving, weapon-making wonder of a girl from a book I read to pieces as a kid.

Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Uh, who wouldn’t want Arya Stark on their desert island? She’s feisty and funny and we know she can survive a hard scrabble life. Plus, if things get dire, I can have her sit and tell me stories of Robb and Jon Snow.

Jeanne Anne McCullough from The Son by Philipp Meyer

She’s one of my favorite characters ever, so I just need her to be there. Maybe she can shape-shift between her different ages in the book so I can experience her whole life while we’re on the island…because that wouldn’t be weird.

Henry David Thoreau from Walden

Are you ready for me to cheat? I’m going to cheat. So Thoreau isn’t a character, but he’s pretty vital to Walden. He could do double island duty of teaching me how to be okay with solitude and planting a mean bean field.

Cheryl Strayed from Tiny Beautiful Things

Yeah, whatever, I’m cheating again. Thoreau is pretty fantastic on the page, but I’m sure after a few hours I’ll be desperate for a good curse word. Not only did Cheryl Strayed survive a pretty serious trek in Wild, but she knows how to hand out some seriously amazing advice. For this century.

Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Someone is going to have to lay down the law when all of these characters want to kill each other and I can’t think of anyone better than Atticus Finch.


Yeah, it’s only eight. I’m stingy about my food.

What characters would you want to spend time with on a desert island?


  • First Karana I’ve seen. Good call! I think I would want to take along Bird from The Orenda.

  • Wesley

    Good call on Atticus. Someone needs to be the law so it doesn’t go all Lord of the Flies.

  • Vasilly

    I totally forgot about Karana. Yes!

  • AnnabelSmith

    Yep, I could handle a few fireside tales about Jon Snow and Robb Stark. Definitely. Definitely.

  • I was thinking Jon Snow personally, but I’d take Arya too.

  • Ti Reed

    Boris would be fun to have on an island. What about Popchik? You would need him too.

  • I actually considered Atticus, since he’s such a crack shot with a gun, but then I thought maybe he was too old and wouldn’t appreciate having to shoot things. I like your reason better!

  • There are many Game of Thrones characters I would NOT want on a desert island with me, but Arya is definitely not one of them — she would be a fabulous companion I think :)

  • Boris from The Goldfinch – what a great one! Haha! He will certainly be able to get your drunk…

  • hahahaha I love your reasoning for choosing Atticus. And for only choosing 8. Great list!

  • Hahah I also chose Atticus! I thought I was the only one – that makes me so happy. Fantastic list! :)

  • Sarah Says Read

    I thought of The Island of the Blue Dolphins!!! But I was too lazy to look up the girl’s name because I couldn’t remember it, but I really liked that book when I was younger. Good pick ;-)

  • I knew Boris was going to be on this list :P Good call on Cheryl Strayed!

  • I totally agree about Cheryl Strayed!! I should’ve put her on my list!

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  • Stephanie

    I just finished reading The Son and as soon as I saw the picture of the cover at the top of this post I was immediately wondering who from that book? I thought maybe Eli because of his survival skills but I can see Jeanne being decent company. Arya Stark would also be very fun to have around.

    • Eli would be pretty great for survival, but I don’t know how much I could handle of him as a person. I totally fell in love with Jeanne as a character as I was reading that book, there was just something about her!

  • Words for Worms

    BORIS!!!! His weird accent is amazing. I still can’t quite imagine it, but he’s plucky and a survivor that’s for sure. Also, Arya, man. She’ll poke holes in anything that bothers you!

    • I think I just want to hear Boris’ accent to know what it would sound like – I still don’t have it nailed down in my head!

  • I think I want the protagonist from The Martian. Dude is resourceful. Also, cheerful! He could keep our spirits up, and when we were frustrated with his endless jokes, we could send him off to collect water or build a shelter or whatever.

  • Atticus is a great idea! You’ll definitely need someone to keep law and order and he’d be great. I love that you’re bringing Boris and Theo just for entertainment!