The Best Literary Characters to Decimate A Zombie Horde

Posted by Kristina Pino

See, books can keep you safe from zombies. (image via flickr)

You're in a situation where a zombie apocalypse is imminent, and we have the technology to band together a literary A-team to fight them off. But putting together a ragtag band of badasses isn't going to cut it, because as tempers rise, so does danger to the group. It needs to be a crew that can work together while kicking some zombie butt. 

I've selected a team of nine heroes who, together, can put an end to every zombie that strays in their path. They won't stand a chance.

Hwæssup, y'all!

Beowulf: The Muscle. Every team needs its key brute. I went with Beowulf because he's a Grade-A fighter who finishes every battle, even the one that ended him. You should have seen the other guy, though. (Well, actually, it was a dragon. A. dragon. So there). Zombies should be a cake walk for the dude who hewed his way through every monster and his mother (and I mean that literally).

Lion ex machina! Rawr!

Aslan: The Fear Machine. In times of war, fear tactics are essential. And who better than an enormous, ferocious lion with a messiah complex to strike some fear in to the cold, dead hearts of the zombies, who only really know how to prey on humans? Just think of the possibilities.   

More like KICK Butt-ler, amirite?

Butler: The Weapons Specialist.  The same way every zombie-fighting team needs a brute, they also need someone, at least one someone, who can use any weapon known to man like Butler (of Artemis Fowl fame) can. He needs to be fierce and loyal, and have plenty of knowledge of his teammates as well: the better to know who he needs to cover more often, or who would benefit from some one-on-one martial arts lessons.   

It is le-vi-oh-SAH, in her defense.

Hermione Granger: The Strategist. You probably sensed that at least one Harry Potter character would make it into this list, you just didn't know who or why. I'm telling you now, Hermione is your gal, and the fact that she can defend herself in battle is a bonus. As the team's strategist, Hermione's vast knowledge, bottomless side pouch, and quick thinking in times of crisis make her an indispensable member of the team. Hermione leaves no one behind and works well with others, playing to their strengths and weaknesses, which would make her ideal for this role.  

Don't let his gentle demeanor fool you.

Tarzan: The Stealthy. There will be times when stealth is a better option than brute force. Though I was tempted to recruit a Jedi, or even Sherlock Holmes for this role, Tarzan eventually won out for a few reasons. For one thing, he's super agile, able to climb anywhere and manages to be nimble while boasting incredible strength. Second, he is always learning and forever curious and inquisitive, which makes him detail-oriented "to the extreme" (to borrow an oft-abused phrase by Mr. Burroughs).

And finally, though he can work well in a team, he's also fantastic all on his own and able to fend for himself. He's like the Batman of turn-of-the-century adventure story-telling, but in a loincloth. 

Abilities: +1 flight, +2 detachable shadow, +1 making a rooster sound for no reason

Peter Pan: The Decoy. This isn't Peter Pan's fight, but he gets a real kick out of confounding the zombies on Earth. Since Peter isn't Earthbound, he might not always be around, but when he is, the battles are spectacularly funny. In a pinch, Hermione makes for a great backup decoy, but mostly Peter comes back for the stories.

Yes, we went with Jude Law. Deal with it dot gif.

Dr. Watson: The Healer. There needs to be at least one person who is a specialist in medicine, and who better than one who trained to do so during times of war? And bonus: he can hold his own in a fight rather well if he's armed. Watson follows orders, has a sound moral compass, and wouldn't hesitate to help a friend in need should the situation present itself.


He might also double as the team's scribe and write all about their adventures in zombie mauling. Remember, Hermione has the pouch. He can write as much as his heart desires.   


Sookie Stackhouse: The Negotiator.  Sookie's ability to read the minds of the people around her is super handy. She could assist team members during stealth missions by relaying silent mind messages, stand with the group leader during negotiations with other survivors to make sure nobody's getting any funny ideas, and possibly alert the right people to a crisis before it presents itself in other ways besides silent panic or thought.

Though she doesn't like it, she is no stranger to supernatural carnage, and could probably fend off many a zombie on her own, to boot. I mean, she's taken out a few vampires. That has to count for something.  

Nothing snarky here. Sophie's the bomb.

Sophie Hatter: The Leader.An oddball choice? Yep. A bad one? Not a chance. If the Ghibli adaptation is your only exposure to Sophie, you don't know half of it.Out of all the people on this list, Sophie seems the least equipped to fight off a zombie horde, but I believe she's fantastic leadership material. Sophie is one of those people who doesn't take no for an answer. She's diplomatic, knows how to play to everyone's strengths, and can be matronly to the point of indulgence. But she's a no-nonsense gal.

She also has a bit of magic of her own: the ability to make things happen just by demanding it with words, which would make her a good ally in battle. She probably won't be in the middle of the fight unless she rides Aslan (which is an amazing image), but she would absolutely provide invaluable assistance nonetheless, and bark out orders as needed. When Sophie talks, you listen.

Of course, my initial list of candidates for this feature was way long, so here's a shout-out to my near-miss second place B-team: Frankenstein's monster, Tyrion Lannister, Achilles, Legolas, Neville Longbottom, Robin Hood, Dracula, and Princess Leia, to name a few. It was tough, but I think this is a good team that would mesh together well.

What would your literary A-Team be?