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The confidant (// or //; feminine: confidante, same pronunciation) is a character in a story that the lead character (protagonist) confides in and trusts. Typically, these consist of the best friend, relative, doctor or boss.
The confidant provides the writer of the story with a plausible device for communicating to the audience the mind and intention of their principal character (protagonist). The protagonist may reveal their secrets, personal problems and character flaws to the audience through their conversations and interactions with the confidant character, often entrusting them with important information about themselves (as well as information critical to the plot) that they would not entrust to other characters. The type of character used as a confidant is most commonly the protagonist's closest friend, but may also be a family member such as a spouse, sibling or parental figure, co-worker, trainer or a health professional such as their psychiatrist.
Confidants may not only be used for conveying information about the plot to the audience, but may also be used to share information about the protagonist (such as their feelings about certain subjects or personal fears). In this way, the audience can get to know the protagonist and their goals, as well as their personality and role in the story. Therefore, the confidant is likely to be the only character in the story to know the protagonist's secrets or hidden agendas (and even if they are not the only ones to know, they would at least be the very first ones to know other than the protagonist themselves).
Examples of confidant characters
Plays and literature
- Sam Gamgee to Frodo Baggins in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
- Maria Temple to Jane Eyre in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre
- Iago to Othello in Shakespeare's Othello
- Hermione Granger to Harry Potter in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
- Grover Underwood to Percy Jackson in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
- George Milton to Lennie Small in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
- Jack Starbright to Alex Rider in Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series
- Gale Hawthorne to Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games trilogy
- Horatio to Hamlet in Hamlet
- Stan to Ben Jordan in The Story of Us
- Huey to Gene Watson in Nick of Time
- Luther Stickell to Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible
- Tigress to Po in Kung Fu Panda 2
- Tom Hagen to Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II
- Doctor James Wilson to Doctor Gregory House in House, M.D.
- Sharona Fleming to Adrian Monk in Monk
- Insectosaurus to The Missing Link in the animated series Monsters vs Aliens
- Whitney Russell to Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald in the soap opera Passions
- Doctor Watson to Sherlock Holmes in the Sherlock Holmes series
- Will Truman to Grace Adler in the sitcom Will & Grace
- Conky to Bubbles in the mockumentary television series Trailer Park Boys
- Jeff Garlin to Larry David in Curb your Enthusiasm
- Mark Corrigan and Jeremy Usborne in Peep Show
- Garry Sparrow and Ron Wheatcroft in Goodnight Sweetheart
- Krillin to Gohan in Dragon Ball Z
- Kenny to Tyson Granger in Beyblade
- Pyrus Dragonoid (Drago) to Dan Kuso in Bakugan Battle Brawlers
- Téa Gardner to Yugi Mutou in Yu-Gi-Oh!
- Keiko to Yusuke in Yu Yu Hakusho
- Pikachu to Ash Ketchum in Pokémon