This was a lot of fun, but harder than I thought it would be. It's not about characters we hate - sometimes really great, likeable characters can be so frustrating too, and I felt a bit guilty about putting some of them on the list! I'll be interested to see how everyone's lists compare.
So, here are ten characters who really frustrate me:
1) Harry Potter, from the Harry Potter series. I love the books, and I like the character too, but wow Harry can be frustrating. He has a tendency to not see what's obvious, and to do really silly things that are Definitely A Bad Idea! He also carries around far too much angst for one person, especially in the later books.
2) Dumbledore, from the Harry Potter series. Gah, he's so frustrating! He's one of the those typical elderly wizard characters who seems to waffle on about a lot without actually saying anything useful. He knows exactly what's going on at most points but never seems to feel the need to tell anyone, particularly poor Harry, who takes the brunt of most of the trouble.
3) Gandalf, from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Similar deal to Dumbledore. Knows a lot, speaks in riddles, deliberately keeps people in the dark, gives off a demeanor of being all-wise and powerful but is actually about as helpful as a hedgehog in a balloon factory. Cast some spells! Explain what's going on! Tell the Eagles to help earlier!
4) Emma Woodhouse, from Emma. Emma is actually a great character, and it's a brilliant book, but she definitely deserves her place on a list of frustrating characters. Stop meddling Emma! Did you not learn from the umpteen times it backfired horribly? At least Emma does eventually learn from her mistakes... kinda.
5) Cathy and Heathcliffe and... everyone, from Wuthering Heights. I know this is a much-loved classic, but was there ever a book with such unlikeable people in it? When I read this I spent the whole time in varying states of frustration and despair with every character involved.
6) Bella Swan, from Twilight. Everything about this girl is frustrating. Everything. Although I actually don't blame her for wanting to be a vampire - I know people don't like that she's so ready to give up her life, but seriously... what's actually bad about being a vampire in Twilight? Super strength, super speed, live forever, good looks, about 80% chance of getting a superpower, don't even have to feed on humans to survive if you don't want to, you don't have to forsake sunlight for eternity, and you'd save a lot of money on body glitter. In fact, it's kinda frustrating that Edward doesn't want her to become a vampire. But then, I guess he likes her weak.
7) Everyone in Twilight. Does anyone act normally in this book? Overreactions, stupid decisions, stalking, whining, spending pages wondering what someone sees in you while they spend pages telling you how they're not good enough for you... arghlblarglbgl.
8) Meghan Chase, from The Iron King. I've only read the first one in this series so far, and I loved it, but at the same time... Meghan, oh Meghan. *shakes head in despair* I think Meghan must be part-human, part-faerie, part-deer, because when anything happens, she just stands there blinking at the metaphorical headlights. Her companions are busy shouting 'RUN' or 'HIDE' or 'something's coming!' and diving into convenient bushes, while she stands gawping at whatever nasty is about to eat her this time. Try not to facepalm every time this happens or you'll end up with concussion.
9) Odysseus, from the Odyssey. I studied this book for GCSE classics, then A Level classics, then degree level classics. Odysseus never gets any less frustrating. Pro Hero Tip: don't shout out your name and address to the monster you just blinded, especially if his father happens to be the sea-god and your only way home is by boat.
Also, don't wave about your mysterious bag of treasure, being all mysterious about its mysterious contents, and then fall asleep, leaving said bag tantalizingly close to the men who want to know what's in it. REALLY don't do this if the bag actually contains all the winds of the world, which will blow your ship years off course just when home was in sight. I could go on. Odysseus basically spends the entire story running around like a toddler, gurgling and poking at stuff. (It's a fantastic story, by the way. Honestly, you should read it.)
10) Lucy Steele, from Sense and Sensibility. She makes a beeline for the one person who really doesn't want to hear about her secret relationship with Edward. Then goes on and on about it. And on.
Ha! That was fun! What about you? Any characters you find really frustrating? Do you agree with my list?