Static Character: Definition, Examples, Importance
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 4 min read


  1. What is a static character?
  2. Examples of static characters in literature
  3. Why static characters matter in storytelling

When you dive into the captivating world of literature and storytelling, you stumble upon a variety of characters. Some change dramatically, while others remain pretty much the same. Today, we'll focus on the ones that stay consistent throughout the story — the static characters. By understanding the definition of static character, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for storytelling and its nuances.

What is a static character?

Let's start by demystifying the term "static character." In simple terms, a static character is one who remains largely unchanged throughout the story. Their environments, circumstances, or experiences might shift, but their core personality, values, and outlooks stay constant. Now, let's break this down a bit more.

Personality Traits

When we talk about a static character, their personality traits are a key element. No matter what happens in the story, these characters retain their unique attributes. For instance, if a static character is brave at the beginning of the story, they'll likely remain brave until the end. This consistency in personality traits is a significant part of the definition of static character.

Reactions to the Environment

Another key feature of static characters is their consistent reactions to changing environments or situations. For example, if a static character tends to panic in stressful situations at the start of the story, they'll probably continue to do the same as the narrative progresses, regardless of their experiences.

Retaining Core Values and Beliefs

Static characters also hold steadfast to their core values and beliefs. Be it loyalty, honesty, or a commitment to justice — whatever their core values may be, static characters don't waiver. These unwavering convictions and beliefs further emphasize the definition of static character.

Now that you understand what a static character is, you might be wondering about their role in literature. Why do authors include characters who don't undergo significant changes? Well, stay tuned. In the next sections, we'll explore examples of static characters and their importance in storytelling.

Examples of static characters in literature

Now that we've defined what a static character is, let's see some examples from popular literature. These characters bring their own charm to the story, making it engaging and memorable.

Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Atticus Finch, the moral compass in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," is a perfect example of a static character. Throughout the story, his commitment to justice and fairness never wavers, even when he's faced with extreme social pressure. His firm belief in treating everyone equally and standing up for what's right remains constant, helping us understand the definition of static character better.

Hermione Granger from the "Harry Potter" Series

Hermione Granger, one of the central figures in J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series, is another classic example. She's characterized as intelligent, diligent, and rule-abiding from the beginning, and these traits persist throughout the series. Despite the numerous adventures and challenges she faces, Hermione's core personality remains the same, further illustrating the definition of a static character.

Scar from "The Lion King"

Scar, the villain in Disney's "The Lion King," is a static character too. His jealousy, manipulation, and hunger for power stay constant throughout the film. Even when faced with consequences, Scar doesn't change, reinforcing our understanding of what a static character is.

These examples demonstrate how static characters maintain their core personality traits, values, and beliefs, regardless of the situations they encounter. As we move to the next section, we'll discover why these unchanging characters are important in storytelling.

Why static characters matter in storytelling

After exploring the definition of a static character and seeing them in action, you might be wondering, why are these characters significant in storytelling? Here's why:


Static characters offer a sense of stability and consistency in a story. Their unchanging nature can be a comforting aspect for readers or viewers, who know what to expect from them. This consistency also serves as a solid foundation upon which the plot can unfold, making the story more engaging.

Highlighting Change

Static characters can play a crucial role in highlighting the changes in other characters or the plot. By remaining the same, they provide a stark contrast to dynamic characters, making the latter's growth or transformation more noticeable and dramatic.

Driving the Plot

While they may not undergo personal growth or development, static characters are often key drivers of the plot. Their unyielding beliefs or actions can set events in motion, create conflicts, or resolve them, thus keeping the story moving.

Echoing Themes

Finally, static characters often embody the underlying themes or messages of a story. Their unwavering traits or values can serve to reinforce these themes, making the story more impactful.

So, while they may not change, static characters have a significant role in storytelling. They add depth, drive the plot, and reinforce the themes, making the story more engaging and memorable. Hence, understanding the definition of static character can give us a new perspective on their importance in the narrative.

If you're intrigued by the concept of static characters and want to learn more about creating well-rounded characters in your stories, check out the workshop 'Creating Characters: The Design Process' by Kit Buss. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and techniques to develop memorable characters and enrich your storytelling.