Kirsten Cashore's Fire by Lizzie Barrett
The Weeks that Were

Friday Five: 10 Best Fictional Drinking Buddies

Friday FiveAll those pies made us thirsty, so this week has us heading to the bar.

But who should we take with us?

Join us below as we pick our favorite drinking buddies from fantasy and science fiction - those ladies and gentlemen (and other creatures) that would make fine companions for a night on the town.


First up: Lord Peter Wimsey. He's the obvious answer: smart, funny, mischiveous, and likely to meet me someplace either interesting or posh. A swanky bar on the Strand would be fun, but, were I out with Lord Peter, I think we'd both be happiest somewhere filled with cigarette smoke and artistic types, like the Bolshevik Club. Overcooked kippers and intense conversation here we come.

As long as I'm hanging out with academics and artists, I'd better head over to Bas Lag and meet up with Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin. He's a defrocked academic who still pops by the ol' stomping grounds to pick up gossip and swipe the odd test-tube. He's intense, intelligent, interesting, and seems like a pretty good time, as long as he's not into some project or other. Also, ideally, we're friends before the whole slake-moth thing.

Y'know who'd have some stories? Lester Freamon. He'd have some stories. Of all the cops on The Wire, Det. Freamon would be the best to go out drinking with: Daniels is too intense, McNulty would drink too much and try to shag anything with breasts, and Bunk would get very sloppy very fast.

The Bennet Family, from Pride & Prejudice. Elizabeth is the funny one, Jane is the nice one, Mary is the tiresome one, and Kitty and Lydia are pretty cute, for being selfish little teenaged whirlwinds. But we can't forget Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, either - her nerves, for one, and his dry wit, for another, in addition to their own very good selves, would make any party with this family very, very memorable.

Forget The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien never got better than The Hobbit, and I'd hang out with Bilbo Baggins in a heartbeat. He's a cautious, adventuresome type trapped in the body of a tiny middle-aged English eccentric tweed-n-country-bags type. He also out-boasted a dragon once. Yeah, Bilbo and I would get along just fine.


While Anne is comparing pottery collections with in Bilbo Baggins, I’ll be getting hammered with Rome's Titus Pullo. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but if Octavian can find common ground with him, I bet I could too. The idea of tearing around some sort of scabrous bar in the Aventine with the hardest legionnaire in Rome? Bring it on. Plus, he’s a nice guy and I’m pretty sure that, after I pass out, Pullo would get me home before a Gaulish mobster uses me for a toothpick.

I will, however, concede that J.R.R. Tolkien snuck a quality bar-buddy into The Hobbit. Assuming I can negotiate some sort of two hour ‘don’t eat me’ amnesty, give me Smaug. Hear me out. Smaug is, if you’ll pardon the pun, the ultimate wing-man. If some bar bravely asks you to pay up, he’s rich (although good luck getting him to pick up the tab). He’s enormous, so it isn’t like anyone is going to mess with you. He flies, so transport is sorted. Plus, he’s a billion years old, and therefore loaded with good stories. The two of us could spend hours ranting about our shared dislike of Tolkien dwarves. We’ve got a lot in common, Smaug and me.

On the more conversational end of the spectrum, Bartimaeus would be about as good as it gets. He’s hilarious, bitter, and, like Smaug, packed to the gills with good stories. The magic thing would also have a few practical uses (chilled beer mugs, an inexhaustible supply of crisps), but mainly I think he’d be a great chatting companion.

Still, when it comes to good listeners, it is hard to top Harvey. It helps that Harvey’s also a practiced boozehound, having spent most of his imaginary life lurking around bars with a high-functioning alcoholic, Elwood P. Dowd. He’s a pooka that appreciates a good martini.

And, finally, the king of the late night bar crawl, John Constantine. The only downside is that Constantine's friends invariably wound up disemboweled by serial killers or half-digested by demons, but as long as we only hung out for an evening or two, I'm sure things would be fine. (Plus, he's pretty good at the whole 'avenge me' shtick.) And wouldn't it be worth it? Not just a night drinking in London, but a night drinking in LONDON - boozing it up in the batshit eldritch back alleys that only seem to exist in Hellblazer.