So, I figured I'd kickstart a list of characters from literature, TV, movies, or even history you enjoyed and think of the possibilities or examples of those characters in the context of a fantasy novel.
Since I don't a lot of actual writing under my belt, I'll use an example from a D&D campaign I ran. In a Planescape campaign I lifted the character of Han Solo. I changed the character into a not-so-evil-but-still-a-scoundrel drow who owned a somewhat unreliable planes-traveling steampunk-styled ship powered by a trapped steam elemental. His loyal comrade was a tall hammer-wielding, shaggy quaggoth (a large, white-furred humanoid for those of you non-D&D people) who served as the helmsman of the flying ship. The characters were stuck in one of the lower planes and needed the help of this scoundrel to get out. Of course, the scoundrel himself had a lot of enemies from old debts and the characters, thinking they were merely booking passage on a flying boat, got caught up in the drow's troubles with his debtors and ended up fighting various flying attackers while trying to avoid puncturing the steam balloon or tumbling off the deck into the abyss below.
The drow ended up being a semi-regular character in the game and the characters started to grudgingly like the guy, especially when he went against his own nature and got the PCs out of hot water for a change.
So, what are some great non-fantasy characters or even figures from history you have been inspired by or think would be good inspiration in a fantasy context?