No Leg to Stand On: An Idiosyncratic Lit List

January 22, 2015 Idiosyncratic Lit List 21

Greetings Bookworms!

It’s been about a year since I launched the Idiosyncratic Lit List feature, and I’m still endlessly entertained by it. My first list had to do with characters who were missing their arms, so OBVIOUSLY I’m going to celebrate this unofficial anniversary by making a list of characters who have lost their legs. Fictional appendages for everyone!


1. Ian Murray from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon: Poor Ian lost his leg thanks to some nasty grapeshot he encountered while fighting as a mercenary in France. Luckily, he had Jenny Fraser waiting for him back in Scotland, which I think he’d agree was a pretty good consolation prize.

2. Gus from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: One of the most articulate teenagers ever, Gus lost his leg to a bout with osteosarcoma. Cancer is complete crap, but it can’t stop teenage luuuurve. There’s a venn diagram involved, but suffice it to say Gus is all about making the best of a hard situation. Yes. I went there. I think I just lost my “grown up” card.

3. Captain Ahab from Moby Dick by Herman Melville: This list would be incomplete without a sailor with a peg leg! I actually hated this book, but I wouldn’t resist including crazy old Ahab on this list. I really can’t blame the guy for wanting revenge on the jerk of a whale who bit off his leg. (Seriously though, since when do whales bite off legs? Orcas are penguin eating bastards, but your typical whale? Ahab must have REALLY pissed him off.)


4. Mad Eye Moody from The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling: Mad Eye’s auror duties landed him in a lot of battles with dark witches and wizards and he came out rather worse for the wear as a result. In addition to half his nose and his left eye, the poor dude lost half a leg as well. He still fought the good fight, though!

5. Cormoran Strike from The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith: It’s everyone’s favorite curmudgeonly detective! Cormoran lost his leg in Afghanistan, which totally sucks, but he’s still a total badass. (Interesting that Rowling has written two distinct characters missing legs… I wonder if there’s some kind of connection there. Maybe she’s got a pal rocking a prosthesis?)

I’m sure I’ve left someone out, Bookworms. Got a favorite character who just happens to have lost a leg? 

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21 Responses to “No Leg to Stand On: An Idiosyncratic Lit List”

  1. Darlene @ Lost in Literature 108

    Hey, what about Peeta from the Hunger Games? He lost a leg, though he kept it for the movie.:)

  2. Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    I don’t know how you come up with all of these! I don’t think I would have been able to come up with a single character who’s missing a leg, even though I obsessively read everything JK Rowling writes!

    • Words For Worms

      Actually, I think it came into my head because I’m re-reading the Outlander series and I’ve been going through some sections on field hospitals and 18th century amputation techniques, so… Yeah. This happened.

  3. Andi

    Ian! Love that inclusion. If you’ve never read “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor, you need to read that story. Pretty sure it’s online, and it’s so screwy. Involves a fake leg.

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