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Top Ten Sci-Fi and Fantasy Sidekicks

Companions, friends, sidekicks, call them what you will, these guys and gals stand beside their heroes with almost, and in some cases, actual, fanaticism. Here’s a top ten list of some of my favourites.
Steve Dean on Fantasy Sidekicks
Fantasy Sidekicks

Companions, friends, sidekicks, call them what you will, these guys and gals stand beside their heroes with almost, and in some cases, actual, fanaticism. Their reasons for doing so aren’t always clear, sometimes it’s love, sometimes habit, sometimes cheesecake, but you can bet your life they’ll be there through thick and thin. (Except when the plot needs them to be somewhere else, of course.)

10. Zula

Grace Jones as Zula in “Conan the Destroyer”

Zula is a bandit warrior, who needs rescuing by Conan in the film Conan the Destroyer. She fights with a huge staff or spear and doesn’t actually say a great deal throughout the film. I personally prefer my sidekicks to come out with some sarcastic one-liners, but it seems Conan prefers the strong, silent type. She does act as something of a mentor for the young princess and gets a job out of it all, at the end, which is nice.

9. Alfrid

Alfrid Lickspittle in the Hobbit trilogy

Even bad guys need sidekicks, and Alfrid Lickspittle, assistant to the master of Laketown in the Hobbit films, is one such. He’s ruthless, power-hungry and quite disgusting, but he’s loyal, mostly, and only has his master’s interests, and gold, at heart. He is a racist, a misogynist and all-round unpleasant fellow, probably more so than his master. He’s the perfect underling, a born follower, not cut out to lead. You’ll need to watch the extended edition to see his final fate.

8. Igor

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein meets Igor.

You say Igor, I say Ygor, whichever it is, there’s more to this young man than meets the eye. Someone tried to hang him for grave-robbing and murder, which explains the twisted neck and speech impediment. Despite this, he’s loyal to his master, the almost equally mad Doctor Frankenstein, who’s probably the only one crazy enough to give him a job in the medical profession. He also shows a lot of empathy for the monster, although this might not be a positive thing.

7. Little John

Robin Hood and Little John

Someone from my neck of the woods, Nottingham, can’t compile such a list and forget about Little John. He was, allegedly, called Little John because he was tall. (In the same way, short people are called lofty, it’s a British thing, we’re so hilarious!) Some people have another theory, which I won’t repeat here. Anyway, he was Robin Hood’s right-hand man, strong as an ox, and just about as smart. Loyal, faithful and stuck with Robin through thick and thin and many different versions of the Robin Hood Legend. (Which is all true, by the way.)

6. Short-round

Short-round in the movie

Despite his small stature, Short-round is all action. Although he should probably be in school, Short-round, shorty for short, saves Indiana Jones’s ass several times, with his excellent driving, language skills and even by burning him with a flaming torch. He is wise beyond his years, probably because of his bad start in life. Short he may be, but never round.

5. Witch-king of Angmar

Witch-king of Angmar

If anyone needs a sidekick, it’s Sauron. He’s nothing more than a flaming eye stuck to the top of a tower, so desperately needs someone to do all his dirty work and scratch his nose, wherever that is. The Witch-king of Angmar, name unknown but call him Witchy for short, steps up and fills the pointy metal shoes of a sidekick admirably. Ok, so his loyalty is assured by a magic ring, and technically he’s dead, and what’s with the freaky voice? but he’s always there to ride a dragon-beast-thing and break a wizard’s staff when called upon.

4. Hermione Granger

Hermione, Harry and Ron. Photo: ©WARNER BROS/COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION

I know what you’re going to say, how can I favour Hermione over Ron? Let’s face it, Ron is something of a wet weekend, and definitely the comedy relief in this triple-act. She certainly earns her place on the list for being smart, resourceful, determined and for stoically putting up with dim boys and terrible hair. Her loyalty to Harry is unquestioned, and I knew from the start she didn’t fancy him.

3. Spock

Mr. Spock and Captain James T. Kirk in a Star Trek episode. Image: CBS Photo Archive

In another reality, Spock would have been the hero and not relegated to sidekick status. But in this universe, he’s merely second fiddle to Captain Kirk just because he’s part Vulcan and doesn’t have any emotions. In the early episodes, Kirk only had one emotion, which he kept in his pants, but it seems that one was better than Spock’s none. Spock knows everything and is always ready with an answer every time Kirk needs one, which makes Kirk look good and gets him promoted to admiral. Does Spock complain? Never, that would be too human.

2. Chewbacca

Chewbacca

The archetypal sidekick if ever there was one. Strong, loyal, dependable, a crack shot with a strange crossbow-shaped laser blaster, and most importantly, never steals Han Solo’s thunder. In the earlier films, only Solo could understand what the wookie was saying, which was probably a good thing, for Solo at least. In the new film, there seem to be far more speakers of Wookie around. Maybe Chewbacca got bored of not being able to tell people about Han’s disgusting habits and gave them lessons.

1. Samwise Gamgee

Samwise Gamgee in the Lord Of The Rings TV adaptation

Controversial sure, but this little guy beats Chewbacca in my book. Small he might be, but he has a big heart. He’s more loyal and faithful even than Chewbacca. He gets rejected by Frodo, but still comes back, recovers the ring when all looks lost, and even returns the ring to Frodo, and we all know how tricky that is once that strange voice starts whispering in your head. And at the end, he literally carries Frodo up the crack, which isn’t something every sidekick is required to do. And all he asks for in return are a few sensible half-pints of ale, two breakfasts, a good sing-song and nights of hobbity passion with Rosie Cotton. What a guy!

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