Orphans are kind of awesome, y'all, at least according to some books. What's better than a plucky, confident, self-sufficient orphan who knows how to survive in the face of adversity? Honestly, when you think about it, the orphans you often read about in books have the kind of qualities many of us look for in relationships. In real life, it's not nearly so glamorous, but in our favorite books and fairy tales, you always know the orphan's going to come out on top somehow. So, take a look at some seriously awesome orphans from the literary world and see what you think!
1 Huck Finn
Huckleberry Finn is unquestionably my favorite literary orphan of all time. I love this kid. He's wily, wicked, and wonderful. He's troublesome and charming, brave but vulnerable, and I'm sorry, but I think he could kick Tom Sawyer's butt any day.
Remember Mowgli, from The Jungle Book? He's a totally bad-ass little orphan. He also proved that being raised by assorted wild animals is no bad thing. So the next time someone accuses you of being raised by wolves, don't be afraid to let them know how awesome that makes you.
3 Snow White
All right, technically speaking, Snow White wasn't an actual orphan, although any father who doesn't stop his new trophy wife from sending his daughter away to be killed is pretty much a deadbeat. She's left to her own devices out in the woods however you look at it. Disney's version had it way easier than the literary version, who actually got stuck cooking and cleaning for seven guys – not to mention sewing, knitting, and who knows what else. But it gave her great practice for keeping house for her prince.
4 Little Orphan Annie
Okay, I'll admit that a comic strip isn't exactly literature, but it's close enough for kissing. Besides, Annie had to go through so many hardships, she deserves some props. Not even Daddy Warbucks can make up for the fact that she didn't really have any eyes. You've got to be plucky to get through life like that!
5 Oliver Twist
Oliver is the quintessential awesome orphan, don't you think? I mean yeah, he's dirty and he dresses all in rags, but let me tell you something. I'd wear rags if it meant being friends with the Artful Dodger. I'm serious.
Let's stick with Dickens for a minute, want to? Because Pip was awesome, too. He got through adversity without ever losing his romantic spirit. So Pip also counts as a hot orphan.
7 Jane Eyre
Oh, dear Jane. Her parents die, which is unquestionably tragic – and then her uncle dies as well. What would completely break most people just serves to strengthen her character. She easily proves that if you work hard through adversity, you're sure to be rewarded. Preferably with lots of money.
8 Harry Potter
Let's move onto J.K. Rowling's world of witchcraft and wizardry. Harry Potter is a quintessentially awesome orphan, too. I mean, he saves the wizard world, and likely the wider world as well. He loses his parents but still gains a loving family, he defeats the Dark Lord, and he gets the girl. Plus, he gets to go through life with a truly hardcore scar, he's a Quidditch star, he's totally popular, everyone either wants to save him or kill him...
9 Tom Riddle
What? Rowling's worth two! And who said that “awesome” has to mean “good,” anyway? Tom Riddle was a little psychopath, but he accomplished a lot, don't you think? It's also thanks to him that the world as a whole was gifted with seven of the best books ever, and eight of the most awesome movies you could ever hope to see. Not that … I'm obsessed or anything. And I don't think Tom Riddle was hot either, no matter how handsome J.K. described him. ..all right, maybe I'm lying.
10 Count Olaf
Speaking of being awesome and evil, you can't neglect Count Olaf. He's proof that you can be evil and charming … as long as you're just trying to charm one of your minions. Whatever, though. Minions are awesome. I wish I had some.
Cool orphans, who would have known? Seriously, all these characters are so resourceful. They got their happily ever afters in one way or another (even Tom Riddle was happy for a little while), emerged victorious, and fought adversity. They clawed, fought, and sometimes sang their way into our hearts and minds. At this point, I kind of want to date Huck Finn, you know? (Okay. I want to date the Elijah Wood version of Huck Finn from the '90s movie, but whatever.) This is just my list of awesome orphans from the literary world, though. Think about your favorite books and movies – who are some of the pluckiest orphans you've ever come across?