HAPPY INTERNATIONAL LEFT-HANDER'S DAY!
13 August 2014
By Julia Davies
Researchers believe that 10% of all humans, and 50% of all cats are left-handed, or ‘Crooked-Handed’ as they are so flatteringly described in Norwegian.
Claimed skills and benefits to being a left-hander range from seeing better underwater, to excelling in fencing, to a 250% increased probability of becoming an astronaut. And if that wasn’t enough, they can type ‘sweater-dresses’ faster than 90% of the world.
Today is International Left-Hander’s Day and to celebrate, here are Ten of Fiction’s Greatest Sci-Fi and Fantasy Lefties:
1) Ayra Stark from George R. R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ is a left-hander, a spirited leader and cunning fighter. She is also the only character to have point of view chapters in every novel of the published series.
2) For Gerin the Fox, of Harry Turtledove’s ‘Elabon’ series, left-handedness gives him an advantage in battle. After a surprise left-handed axe plunge into an enemy barbarian’s skull, Gerin’s ally Van remarks: “What a rare and sneaky thing it must be to be left-handed!”
3) Caramon Majere from The Dragonlance Novels, by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis, always fought left handed. Given that he quite literally saved the world during the Legend’s Trilogy, he was probably pretty adept.
4) Lanen Kaelar, the protagonist of Elizabeth Kerner’s ‘Tales of Kolmar’ series is left-handed like her mother. When Lanen teaches her beloved Akhor to sword fight, it soon becomes evident from his difficulty mastering a sword left-handed, that they do not share this trait.
5) Major Perigord Habile Sinistra features in the tenth book of the Redwall series, ‘The Long Patrol.’ A seasoned fighter and noted for his prowess in battle, he is left-pawed when wielding his trusty sabre.
6) In J. R. R. Tolkein’s posthumously published work, ‘The Silmarillion,’ Maedhros has his right hand severed by his cousin during a daring rescue attempt. It is suggested that after this he becomes an even more deadly fighter, but open to debate as to whether this is down to physiological reasons or simple ‘Leftie-Power!’
7) Chapter 21 of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,’ infers that Hermione Granger may be left-handed. Whilst holding Harry’s hand with her right, she proceeds to cast two spells with her left. Although this could be taken as proof, especially since J. K. Rowling is left-handed herself, it could also be an example of Hermione’s superior ability, which enables her to use a wand with either hand.
8) Artemis II from Eoin Colfer’s series is ambidextrous. While his other personality, Orion, favours his right hand, Artemis is said to be steadier with his left. However, with the alleged ability to type ‘Paradise Lost in twenty minutes (meaning a minimum typing speed of 7525 words per minute), it could be considered that both hands are pretty effective!
9) We may never know it is it voluntary or a consequence of his injury, but J. M. Barrie’s Captain Hook was left-handed, right-hooked.
10) Hellboy, Mike Mignola’s superhero, possesses the Right Hand of Doom: though very handy for fighting evil, one must assume that Hellboy does most normal things with his left hand.