Favourite side character.
One of my favourite side characters is Mogget from the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Throughout the series Mogget acts as a guide usually appearing to the main character at their lowest moment. However he always appears to know more than he is letting on. And it is only when you look into the history of the Old Kingdom that you find out Mogget is a massively important character.
In the beginning there were Nine Bright Shiners, they were incredibly powerful Free Magic beings who were the first to develop conscious thought. This sentience gave them dominion over other free magic beings. The first Seven Bright Shiners are represented in the Abhorsen’s bells: Ranna, Mosrael, Kibeth, Dyrim, Belgaer, Saraneth and Astarel.
The Ninth Bright Shiner is Orannis the Destroyer, who wants to destroy all life in all worlds leaving only the dead. When Lirael sees how the original binding was performed it appears that the Seven fought on many planets before finally defeating him on the planet of the Old Kingdom and Ancelstierre.
The Eighth Bright Shiner was Yrael. Yrael chose not to take a stance against Orannis and went into hiding. But the Seven found Yrael and bound him into the form of Mogget making him a servant of the Abhorsen. Mogget usually takes the form of a small white cat. He is bound by a red collar with a miniature Saraneth bell attached. Occasionally Mogget will attempt to persuade other characters to remove his collar which would set him free. When released he assumes his true form of Yrael and is bent on destroying the Abhorsen and their ancestors as an act of revenge for his enslavement.
In the final book Sam releases Yrael to let him decide if he will help bind Orannis again. This leads into one of my all time favourite quotes.
“Why, Yrael?” it said, as the last of the dark gave way to silver, and the shining sphere of metal sank slowly to the ground. “Why?”
“Life,” said Yrael, who was more Mogget than it ever knew. “Fish and fowl, warm sun and shady trees, the field mice in the wheat, under the cool light of the moon.”
And this is why I love Mogget so much, after many hundreds of years bound as a servant of the Abhorsen, Yrael decides to stand against Orannis to bind him anew. Not because he wants to save the world. But because after all this time he enjoys being a cat.