Characters who are almost absent from a work named after them

I’m more than halfway through Melville’s Moby Dick, and quipped to my wife that “…and he hasn’t even shown up yet!”

It made me think about all the other characters who barely appear, or even don’t appear, in a work named after them. Moby Dick only shows up at the end of Melville’s book.

The classic case is probably Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, where – damn the spoilers, full speed ahead! – Godot never appears.

Dracula is mostly offstage in Bram Stoker’s book about him. He’s in the Transylvania section, of course, but once the scene shifts to England we concentrate mostly on the other characters.

We similarly track the effects of the monster in Frankenstein through his effects and Victor’s efforts to deal with him, but a.) The novel is named after Victor Frankenstein, not the creature. and b.) We still get a lot more of the Creature in his book than we do of Dracula in Stoker’s work.

I know there are lots of other examples, but I can’t think of them right now. But I have no doubt that Dopers have lots of other suggestions.

The Lord of the Rings - Sauron never actually appears in the book series.

Likewise Lefty in Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty.

Harry Lime appears onscreen for about ten minutes in The Third Man.

The Invisible Man. He only was seen at the very beginning and at the end.

Rebecca in the movie Rebecca (1940), who never appears.

The Big Lebowski has a sorta minor role.

Horus doesn’t appear all that much in the Horus Heresy.

In the last set of books (The Siege of Terra) he spends all of his time communing with daemons and psychically harassing the Emperor (who himself is absent from most of the series and in the 40K follow up).

The old movie The Fly hardly shows the fly at all.

In the Cronenberg remake from 1986 he has even less screen time

At least in the 1957 version he got a line. Pretty famous one, too.

There’s also Waiting for Guffman.

“Laura” doesn’t show up for a while…

The action never makes it to Fargo in Fargo.

They never find Bigfoot in “Hunting Bigfoot” or other similar shows

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

From the title of Walter Scott’s novel Rob Roy, you would be unlikely to guess that the main character is… Francis Osbaldistone, an Englishman.

The first half of the novel takes place entirely in England. Rob Roy does appear, but he’s a fairly minor character.

That’s sort of a special case. The play was never supposed to have anything to do with Virginia Woolf, and Albee was going to call it Walpurgisnacht, but reportedly saw “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”?" as a piece of grafitti, and liked it so much he changed the title. It’s a play, of course, on “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” , the song in the Disney “Silly Symphony” cartoon The Three Little Pigs that was surprisingly popular when released in 1933 (according to Wikipedia, it’s considered the most successful cartoon short ever made).

“The Call of Cthulhu”

Henry IV, Part 2. The king shows up for the first time in Act 3, and dies in Act 4. He appears in two or maybe three scenes, depending on where a given editor puts the scene breaks, and for a good chunk of one of them he’s asleep.

Honorable mention: Julius Caesar, in which the title character gets to do a little more stuff, but still gets stabbed a little less than halfway through the play.

Would Harry in “The Trouble with Harry” qualify?

Birdman.