Before I start this post, I'd like to let you know that I've joined Goodreads and am semi-addicted. Here's my page.
Now, those of you who are familiar with me and my work know that I am a terrible, terrible romantic in basically every sense of the word, and tend to weave that in very tightly with my novels. I even won a gag title in a character contest some young writers were having, "Most Romantically Inclined." I already wrote a post about how to write romance. Now I'm going to tell you about some of my favorite romances, most of which you are probably familiar with.
Ron and Hermione, Harry Potter
It's natural for me to start here, not only because Harry Potter is my fandom, but because Ron and Hermione were the first couple I ever shipped. From the beginning of the series, I was positive they were going to end up together. Nothing says love like bickering and trolls.
I love Ron and Hermione (also known as Romione) firstly because of how much they fight. Some of the best couples in fiction fight all the time, and through all their differences, they're able to really communicate. Ron and Hermione balance each other out, as different as they are.
They also have so many commonalities, in the traits that made them both Gryffindors and friends with with Harry. Plus, they represent the male and female fighters of the overarching war against evil. Ron has a number of masculine traits, while Hermione shows many feminine traits. As the best friends of the central character, the hero, Harry, they become humanity's representatives within the story, elevating normal people to a direct standard. This makes it natural for their romance to bloom as it did.
Katniss and Peeta,The Hunger Games
I've always been quite fierce about this ship, which goes by the name Everlark. Basically as soon as I met Peeta, I was a goner. Probably half the reason I'm so fierce about this ship is that I want to marry Peeta myself. I mean, he's perfect. How can you not love him?
But in all honesty, Katniss and Peeta make a great couple.
Everlark plays a part in the deeper concepts in the series, which just makes it all even more awesome. At the end, Katniss even acknowledges this. The whole Gale/Peeta triangle represented her ultimate choice between revenge, war, and hatred and forgiveness, peace, and love. In choosing Peeta, she decided not to fight fire with fire, so to speak.
Additionally, like with Ron and Hermione, Peeta and Katniss are in many ways very different and therefore balance each other out. They don't bicker so much because that's not in Peeta's nature, but they are very different people.
Amy and Rory, Doctor Who
Doctor Who, which I've become very rapidly obsessed with, has a lot of different couples I ship. Amy and Rory is probably the easiest to explain. They grew up together, which always gains bonus points in my mind. They also balance each other out the same way the other ships do, being as different as they are.
Rory is a nurse, and he's generally very sweet. He's also the most loyal boyfriend (and eventually, husband) in all of history. Also, he's legit. He punched Hitler and then put him in a closet. He will do anything to protect Amy. Over and over again, in his time as the Doctor's companion, he proves how deeply he loves Amy, and that is a beautiful thing.
Amy is a lot more free-spirited. She's the one who runs off with the Doctor originally She can get a bit immature at times, which I think is very relatable. I really like Amy as a character. She's less settled than Rory and often in that appears to care less. But the truth is, she loves Rory just as deeply as he loves her. She just shows it differently. Their love is undeniable and beautiful, and they make a fantastic couple.
I also really really ship Rose and the Doctor. They both have that verve that keeps them going in all the adventures. Rose understands the Doctor in a way very few others do. She brings him back from the brink after his traumatic experiences in the Time War, and all of this as an ordinary, low-brow Londoner girl. When Rose got trapped in the parallel world, I cried more than I have ever cried watching Doctor Who. It shattered my heart.
Currently, I'm kind of into Clara and the Eleventh Doctor. I've struggled some with Eleven, personally. It's necessary for him to be the way he is, but I have a hard time with characters who shut down their emotions all the time. Clara, though, seems to reach him, with all her spunk. She's given him hope again, and I hope it will bring him back into, you know, being a bit more human. Even though he is, in fact, a Time Lord.
Anakin and Padme, Star Wars
I'm sure people will have some things to say about this one, but hear me out. I'm not saying they were a perfect couple. With the way they ended, it's pretty obvious they weren't. But their romance made for a darn good story.
Those of you who know Star Wars know that Anakin becomes Darth Vader, infamous villain and father of Luke and Leia. The prequels, featuring Anakin and Padme, came with this knowledge. We all knew it was going to end badly, that Anakin would turn to the Dark Side, but we watched anyway. Why? Because his love story and his subsequent fall was a good story.
There's childhood friendship, forbidden romance, and a tragic ending, and Padme is just phenomenal. Her legacy lives in the original trilogy through her children, who, like her, continue to believe in Anakin's ability to become good again. Which he does! Yay!
There are a lot of themes to take out of Star Wars, but I love how Anakin and Padme's story illustrates the love and family but also the danger in imbalanced emotions. It shows how easy it is to fall towards darkness.
Because Disney, that's why. They're very good at writing romances.
Beauty and the Beast: The story of a man who experiences a change of heart because of a girl who dares to be different and stands up to him. Love is the catalyst for change here. The story demonstrates a shift towards romantic balance in action, not Stockholm Syndrome (Rapunzel and Mother Gothel is a much better example of that). Also, it's a brilliant story.
The Little Mermaid: The story of a guy and a girl with a sea-crossed love who save each other's lives. Eric is dreamy, and I love Ariel's spunk. The fact that they both get a chance to save each other is a huge part of the appeal for me. It's also about love overcoming all kinds of challenges and really is just beautiful.
Those are just my top two, but I love many Disney movies, with their brilliant couples and their awesome magic and their pretty music.
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