Favourite Fantasy Fiction Characters: Logen Ninefingers (aka the Bloody Nine)

This is the start of a regular series of posts about favourite characters from fiction. First up one of the vividly realised characters at the centre of Joe Abercrombie‘s First Law Trilogy.

Logen Ninefingers (aka the Bloody Nine) is a mercenary and ex Northmen military leader. He’s a berserker with a brain, and as his name suggests is missing one of pinkies. Abercrombie seems to have a thing for physical impairment (see the next instalment in this series – answers on a postcard if you can guess who it might be!). Perhaps it’s a symbol of his characters being damaged goods psychologically as well as physically. Logen starts the trilogy as an outcast from the North and also from the mercenary band that he used to lead, but he ends up a hero and reunited with his old comrades that he used to lead. For me there are three classic Logen moments – one at the beginning of The Blade Itself, where he looks like he’s a gonner – disappearing down a muddy slope if memory serves me right, the second is a Helms Deep style affair where he and his old comrades and a small makeshift army defend a wall at the end of a mountain valley against superior numbers – very Gemmell this I think? Then lastly he fights the demonic champion of the new king of the north, and goes into a berserk killing frenzy as he does so.

I like him because he’s a classic hero – brave and strong and good at what he does. But he’s not cheesy and predictable – he is hated by his former comrades and he is very much an unwilling hero as well at the beginning of the trilogy.

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5 thoughts on “Favourite Fantasy Fiction Characters: Logen Ninefingers (aka the Bloody Nine)”

  1. Possibly the worst and most inaccurate write up ive ever seen.
    Logan is missing his ring finger (not pinkie), hes not a berserker hes a very tactical fighter (with a twist *spoiler* so ill leave it at that).And he is not a hero (although he changes the course of the story), he is the most feared and hated person in the north because of his past, very bloody, acts.

    Logen is still probably my second favorite character in the series with San Dan Glokta being number one.

    For Anyone who has not read The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie I would highly recommend it. although its not for the kids =’)

    1. Thanks for your kind words. Sorry for the laxity on my part about which finger – I should have checked that, but otherwise I think he is definitely a berserker – there’s no denying that is there? Also he is a hero in the sense of being a warrior of renown who performs illustrious deeds. The OED defines a hero as:

      1. Antiq. A name given (as in Homer) to men of superhuman strength, courage, or ability, favoured by the gods; at a later time regarded as intermediate between gods and men, and immortal.
      2. A man distinguished by extraordinary valour and martial achievements; one who does brave or noble deeds; an illustrious warrior.
      3. A man who exhibits extraordinary bravery, firmness, fortitude, or greatness of soul, in any course of action, or in connexion with any pursuit, work, or enterprise; a man admired and venerated for his achievements and noble qualities.
      4. The man who forms the subject of an epic; the chief male personage in a poem, play, or story; he in whom the interest of the story or plot is centred.

      Apart from the Homerian demigod definition I think that Logen definitely has a lot of the above characteristics. OK he’s not consistently a good guy, and as I mentioned he is hated by his former comrades, but he’s a hero in the end.

  2. He has a damn demon/devil inside him.

    Nuff said.

    He isn’t he when he comes out.

    I want to see more of The Bloody Nine.

    Epic, creation.

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