Bookish Musings: 10 Types of Characters Who Would Come in Handy If You Were Stranded On an Island


I was looking through old TTT topics on The Broke and the Bookish for inspiration one day, and I came across one about the top ten characters you’d want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island. First I started thinking things like, “Oh, I want people who could hunt and start fires and survive, maybe people who are knowledgeable enough to make some sort of communication device from the wreckage, etc.”

But here’s the thing: I don’t want to have to survive on the island—I want to get off of it. So my mind wandered even further into the paranormal since fantasy is what I mostly read, and well, this post was born. So here are my “cheating” answers of ten different types of characters who would come in really handy if you were ever to end up stranded on an island.

1. A character who can teleport

Any similar kinda power would work too, as long as they can bring other people with them. Even if they can’t bring other people, they can teleport away and go get help!

2. A mermaid/merman or any type of fast-swimming water shifter

They would have the next best chance of actually being able to get to land since it’s not like they’d drown. Of course they could get eaten by a shark or something, but it’s a chance we’ll have to take.

3. A wizard from the Harry Potter world

As long as they still had their wand, they could just accio boat and voila! Now you’ve got a boat and can leave! Same for food or communication devices or anything that you needed. Or they use apparition. Lots of options when you have magic!

4. A character who can freely travel to another realm

The fae realm, the demon realm, Heaven, Hell, doesn’t matter, as long as they can then pop back into our realm from there—but somewhere off the island.

5. A character who can fly

This isn’t the most helpful thing on the list since they probably wouldn’t be able to fly all the way to land, but they might be able to fly far enough to see where land is in the distance or to flag down a ship and let them know you’re stranded.

6. A character with long-range telepathy

You wouldn’t even need a radio, they could just mentally call someone for help!

7. A character with telekinesis

If worst came to worst and you had to build a raft, at least a character with strong and well-honed telekinesis could get the things you need and put it all together without either of you having to climb trees or build tools or do all the backbreaking physical labor. And then they could probably propel the raft in the water so that you wouldn’t have to try and row.

8. A character with power over water

On the off chance that you managed to build some sort of raft without the use of any powers or had a lifeboat or something, they could control the water to propel the boat and maybe even keep dangerous sea creatures away by creating water tornadoes to chase them off or something.

Ok I may have overshot a bit when I made the graphic and said I’d have ten types of characters since I can only think of eight. You all will just have to help me come up with two more in the comments!


Talk to me!

Which type of character would be your number one choice if you were stranded on an island?
Can you think of any other types of characters or creatures who would come in handy?


Your Thoughts


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  1. Greg

    Teleporting would solve the problem! For the teleporter, at least. And if they can’t teleport w/ other people at least they can get help, like you said. Flying would be super useful too. Power over water as well, cause you just KNOW the minute you build a raft and sail the crap away from there there will be a STORM. Or no wind and you’ll float in the middle of nowhere. Maybe a character who can conjure up some food, for when you’re on the raft or even on the island, because who wants to live on pineapples and bugs forever?

    Ooh I know- a time traveler! Just go back in time and prevent the stranding, somehow.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Teleporting would definitely be the best! And yes, of course a storm would start as soon as you were out on the water lol. It’d prob be more likely there’s be coconuts than pineapples, and I don’t like coconuts, so food would be good. And ooh a time traveler is a good one!

  2. Jackie Briere

    A bird or an animal, like a Thestral lol, who can carry you on its back or in his talons like the Eagles did in The Hobbit. That would be essential to have. I. Love. Your. Blog πŸ™‚

  3. Fanna

    That’s such a smart way to twist around the topic, haha πŸ˜€ I loved this list! Totally agree on telekinesis, I think that’s one ability that can be helpful at any place and in any situation. A shifter would be good, too, but only if they get wings after shifting. Or maybe a really smart and intelligent person who can probably make a tech-y flying robot out of wood…yup, not possible but isn’t that’s what fiction is for XD

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks XD Seriously, telekinesis would just be helpful anywhere lol. Got hungry while lying in bed? Just bring the food to you! Lol. Any sort of winged shifter would prob be helpful. Even others could maybe be helpful for getting food or something? Maybe there’s some sort of creature that can turn wood into things?? Exactly, anything is possible in fiction!

  4. Angela

    Great list! I would definitely want some sort of superhero that could fly! And if I had to stay on the island, I’d want someone like Katniss; she’d be really good at all that survival stuff!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah if someone could just fly you to civilization again, that’d be great! But yeah, if were stuck, it’d def be good to have someone with survival skills!

  5. Lilyn G

    A character like Joe Ledger. A McGuyver type who can build a boat from a few palm fronds and snot if it’s absolutely necessary. Lol

  6. Fran

    Rather than characters with magical powers, I think it would come handy to have someone who knows their way outdoors. Someone who can build a fire, make weapons out of stuff, and things like that. Probably also a fighter in case of animal attacks.

  7. Sam@WLABB

    This is very interesting. I never thought about characters who would be useful if I was trapped on an island. I like that you focused on one, who could help you escape. The first thing I thought about was I needed someone who could amuse me. My priorities need some realigning.

  8. L

    These are so good! What an interesting question!

    I’m thinking a mermaid/merman that also has power over water, like Poseidon. Oh! A Greek god would be beneficial if you were stranded on an island. They can do a myriad of things!

    A wizard from Harry Potter just because it would be amazing. I would finally get to go to Hogwarts! ?

    Another option–Mutants! Like from X-Men! Superheroes would work, too. Teleporting, flying, freezing–you could totally freeze your way to another island, lol. Or if you had an X-Men team… unlimited options!

    Do You Dog-ear?

    1. Kristen Burns


      Ooh, that’s true, a Greek God would prob have lots of powers, especially Poseidon for the ocean!

      HP wizard would def be useful. Not sure if it would automatically get you into Hogwarts though XD

      Oh! If someone could freeze the water then yeah, you could totally make a path and walk somewhere! I had not thought of that!

  9. Stephanie Jane

    To be honest, I quite like the desert island idea. Though someone who could regularly teleport themselves there with food and drink and Books for me would be perfect. As long as they brought Good Books and knew then to Go Away!

  10. Chauncey Rogers

    Haha, totally cheating answers!
    But honestly, that’s exactly the kinds of answers I thought of, too.
    I was like, “Hermione, duh! Then we could just get out of there in about 5 seconds flat and go enjoy some butterbeer and laugh the whole thing off.”
    But if I wasn’t allowed to just escape? I think I’d try and bring a couple of useful people, and then a lot of entertaining people. The useful people could teach the entertaining ones to be useful, but I don’t know if the entertaining ones could teach the useful ones to be entertaining. πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Glad it wasn’t just me! And I love that you were planning how to celebrate too lol.

      That sounds like a good plan, it would definitely help to have some entertainment!

  11. Tina

    I absolutely love how you twisted this topic! I definitely think a teleport would solve all the problems and having the power over water because we all know a storm would hit the moment you try to escape.

  12. Danya @ Fine Print

    Such a fun idea for a post, Kristen! And good point — I’d definitely rather get off an island than be stranded on one. The one type of character that I’d add to your list is one who has a Horn of Plenty (to conjure food from thin air rather than summoning it from different parts of the island like accio would) in their possession, because knowing me, hanger would get to me before anything else would.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I didn’t even know what a Horn of Plenty was, so I learned something new today! I agree, that would be super useful to have! Especially since I don’t like coconuts lol.

  13. Olivia Roach

    I think you’ve kind of perfected it when it comes to this post. Any character who can fly or teleport or control water would really be helpful. If I could really choose just one to have with me I would want someone who could teleport because they could probably bring me with them. Otherwise it would be a mermaid. I’ve got a thing for mermaids.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha thanks, I tried XD Teleportation would definitely be most useful, I think! I have a thing for mermaids too. Well, I just always wanted to BE a mermaid when I was little.

  14. Liz Scanlon

    I think I’d be happy to get starned on an island and just stay there, provided there was enough to help with a bit of agriculture and perhaps a companion… a pet, another person… I would not at all mind disconnecting from this modern day life at all and living in my own little paradise! πŸ˜€

  15. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Oooh this is fun and creative! So I think the teleportation person is clearly a good call. The thing is, would he just… stop popping back in when he got bored of your dire dilemma? I guess it wouldn’t matter if help came quickly. As long as he could also grab a case of water and some toilet paper or something on the return trip. The Harry magic would be good too, because they could make you what you needed. I mean, supplies would never be a problem. One person I’d add is someone funny or entertaining. Things could get boring FAST, and you need some good company! (And the merperson is TOTALLY expendable, I concur πŸ˜€ )

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Ah, well, I didn’t think about the fact that it might take days for help to actually come, and then you’d be all alone if the person teleported away and didn’t come back. And I also didn’t think about how he could pop back and bring supplies while you wait. Good job, Shannon, you’ve got the whole plan figured out even better than I did! ? A couple people said they’d bring someone to entertain them, apparently I missed an important priority lol. I totally forgot I said that about the merperson, haha.

  16. Bookworm Brandee

    Haha! This is an intriguing topic! Better than what 10 books… I like wanting a character with power over water. I’d think that would come in very handy. Teleporting as well. (wish I had that ability myself!) You have me thinking now, Kristen. I’ll have to see if I can come up with something else. πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I always wanted the ability to teleport too. Really, really wanted it. Especially during college when I spent, like, seven hours a week just driving. And it would definitely be useful for this!

  17. AngelErin

    I love this list! And what a fun way to twist the topic. I think teleportation would be the best, but in the paranormal world there’s a lot of cool ideas for getting off an island. I can’t think of any at the moment that you didn’t list though. Just watch I’ll think on it and at 2 am come up with some. ???

    1. Kristen Burns

      Teleportation would def be my first choice, but there really are a lot of possibilities! Lol yeah, that’s always how these things go. It’ll be something for you to think about if you can’t sleep πŸ˜‰

  18. Daniela Ark

    haha love this post! Yes to all the characters on your list but especially a wizard and a character who can fly! Definitely have more chance to get you out of there or at least make the stay more pleasant πŸ™‚
    Can I add one?? Pleeeeeaseee?? I think you’d like him πŸ˜€
    X!!! Like… if I’m there with X… I wouldn’t even care if we don’t get rescued ;-P
    OMG this crush I have is SO FUNNY! I can’t remember the last time I had a bookish crush LOL

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Hahaha I love your crush on X. I know how you feel cuz I have a crush like that on a character in another series even though I don’t normally have bookish crushes either πŸ˜›

  19. Karen Blue

    How about a really talented hot guy who can teach you to live off the land and live happily ever after with you? Lol! This is a fun list. I could use any of these characters to get through my daily life. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Live out the rest of my days on an island, away from the chaos of the world, with a hot guy who can take care of me? I like the way you think! πŸ˜‰

  20. Rosie Amber

    I like all your suggestions, I’d try to sneak in a survival guy, Ed Stafford has that sewn up for me, but he’s not quite a character from a book. Perhaps I would go with a magical person like Merlin and Moses so he could part the seas and let us head on our way.

  21. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Your cheater list is much more fun than a standard list would be. I can’t think of any others that are better than the ones you have, but one other idea would be someone who could control the weather. They might be handy because you guys could build a boat and they could make the wind carry you home quick!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ooh that’s a great one! They could make wind and they could also keep storms away! And while you’re on the island, maybe they could make rain so you have drinking water. Smart choice πŸ˜‰

  22. Lorna

    I’ll go with teleport as well, although I always say flying is my wished for super power. Actually either of those are good. I would want off the island fast as well since I don’t eat any kind of sea food. Bananas and coconuts won’t cut it!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Teleportation would be most useful, but flying would be so fun! And either would help you get off the island! Ugh, yeah, I don’t even like coconuts lol.