Characters changing over time

I posted the following on Compuserve yesterday, in response to a number of people who'd been asking for a "serious topic" to discuss while we wait for "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies" and SCOTTISH PRISONER. It's generated some very interesting discussion on Compuserve already, so I thought I'd put it out here on my blog as well, and see what the rest of you think.

Characters Changing Over Time

Anyone who has been reading Diana Gabaldon's books for long will surely notice that the major characters (and many of the minor ones) change over time. Diana made a comment about this on Compuserve back in 2007, and it's stuck with me:

Anyway, part of the challenge of doing what I do _is_ the problem of reimagining Jamie and Claire with each new book--because while certainly the core of their characters remains the same, they do change, both within themselves and in their relationships--not only with each other, but with other people. But that's what makes it fun. <g>

For me personally, seeing how the characters change over time, grow older, learn from their mistakes, etc., is one of the most interesting aspects of the series as a whole. But I'd like to hear what the rest of you think. So here are a few questions, just to get the discussion going:

  • Which character do you think has changed the most during the course of the series? The least?
  • Are there any characters whose changes have surprised you, or caused you to change your opinion of the character (whether positive or negative)?
  • Can you think of any exceptions to this general concept of characters changing over time?

Feel free to expand on this, add your own ideas, etc.

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