I have read several books that offered a host of minor characters to support and enliven the main characters and the plot. Sometimes those minor characters, or part time heroes or villains are more dear to me than the main characters I am supposed to focus on. Not that I want them to take over the lead, mind you, I just look forward to hearing from them. I love their quirks, their wisdom, and their view on things.
In Lord of the Rings, for example, I really like Samweis a lot more than Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, or Saint Frodo. Sam knows what he likes, he knows how to survive, and he is a true friend. He also doesn’t mind telling when someone or something really gets on his nerves. I also like Eowyn for obvious reasons. She is a girl who stands up for herself in a throughly male dominated world. There was such a dearth of women in LOTR, that I sometimes asked myself: Where did the kids come from? So Eowyn’s appearance was like a breath of fresh air.
In Harry Potter, I was instantly a fan of Minerva McGonagall. The strict teacher who was an all out Quiddicht fan and didn’t see anything wrong with interrupting another teacher’s class to support her hobby. She has a wit and a grasp of any situation, that makes her very likable. She also doesn’t take any BS and it surely helps that she can turn into a cat.
The other character I liked more, the more I saw of her, was Molly Weasley. She is a good soul with both feet firmly on the ground. She had seven kids and is still in love with her husband. And she is one fierce mom to reckon with. So kudos to those ladies.
In The Ice and Fire saga (or Game of Thrones, if you only saw the TV series) my most favorite character is Tyrion Lannister. I don’t know if he can be defined as minor character, because George R.R. Martin shifts the point of view around among many of his characters and we get to experience several events in Tyrion’s view. He is also instrumental in many respects as brother of the queen and as the king’s hand. Nevertheless, he is not expected to be holding the throne in question at any point, because he is a dwarf. This makes him a very wise person and his view on things, combined with his love of books and his intelligence endears him to me.
I am sure you have similar experiences with books where the main hero or villain is worth your time, but you are really more interested in the guy or gal standing beside them. Let me know who those are.