There’s no denying that we’re influenced by the media. We all like to know what celebrities are up to, follow trends and aspire to be like our role models. But there are many lessons to be learned from between the pages of a book in particular – the characters we find truth in tend to be the ones we learn most from. Here are some of the best fictional role models and what we can learn from them.

1. Hermione Granger

Hermione often feels like on obvious choice when it comes to heroes, particularly for women. She’s not perfect – she can be bossy, strong-minded and judgemental. But it’s all part of what makes her human, and she has plenty of good traits to aspire to. She’s smart, and a loyal friend, and ultimately, good at heart. She is a well-rounded character, and the perfect role model for anyone pursuing book smarts and strong friendships.

2. Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones became popular because so many people saw themselves in her. She’s a little kooky, generally a mess and often makes poor decisions. But the thing everyone likes about her is that she always wins in the end, and comes bouncing back. It’s a fact of life that there will be ups and downs, and Bridget takes it all in her stride.

3. Katniss Everdeen

We’re fortunate not to live in a world where Presidents would happily throw children in an arena to kill one another – at least not yet. But Katniss is more than a piece in the Games. She’s strong willed, feisty, opinionated and utterly devoted to her family. She knows what’s important in life, and though the Hunger Games has romantic elements, Katniss doesn’t feel that she needs a man to succeed – she’s an entity on her own.

4. Ron Weasley

I don’t care how the films depict Ron – he’s a good egg. He’s a loyal friend, a talented chess player, and though dubbed an underdog, he really comes into his own when he’s given the chance. We can all learn from Ron that though we may doubt ourselves, others may see our true potential.

5. Elizabeth Bennet

She was a controversial character in her time – she didn’t play by the rules, and she didn’t marry her first offer. While that might not be such an issue in modern day, Elizabeth teaches us to push the limits of our world and see outside the box, even if it’s not the most advisable option at the time.

6. Cath Avery

Cath is every introvert’s dream. She’s shy, withdrawn and unwilling to be sociable, but she pushes past it all to become a good friend, a good partner and, most importantly in her case, a good dream catcher as she chases her goal to be a writer. Her ambition is an inspiration to us all.

7. Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion has a tough time in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. His entire family turn on him. His lover betrays him. He’s married off to someone he doesn’t love. But the heart of Tyrion is how pure he remains. While he might not be considered fully ‘good’ he sticks to his morals, and chases down what he believes to be right. He doesn’t allow his disability slow him down, and uses it to his advantage, as well as his incredible smarts.

8. Bilbo Baggins

Poor Bilbo. He just wanted a quiet life as a hobbit. But his adventures prove his strength of character. He’s often underestimated as a mere hobbit, but he proves everyone wrong with his constant courage, pluckiness and his ability to always surprise. He keeps anyone watching him on their toes, and takes on the call to adventure even when it takes him miles away from his comfort zone. He teaches us that we should push ourselves to our limits, even though it feels difficult.