In honour of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do something special that incorporated books and love. Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could relive their favourite literary couples and moments?” So I began a hashtag: #literarycouples , and encouraged people to tweet their favourites. I loved reading all the answers because it brought back memories of some which I had forgotten and sprouted interest in others I hadn’t heard of before. I decided to pick five couples to feature based on a certain similarity they all had, as well as my personal affinity for them. Keep reading to see what I mean!
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy
In vain have I struggled, it will not do. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
Pride and Prejudice~ Jane Austen
Can anyone write a post about the best literary couples and not include Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy? I’m going to go ahead and say no. When I first began asking people to tweet their favourite #literarycouples, the only response I received was Bennet/Darcy. I had to beg for different submissions! Their characters suffered from pride and prejudice, among a number of other things. It was a matter of overcoming these innate and society-imposed flaws before they could understand how very right for each other the two of them were. Putting aside your personal pride, everything that’s been expected of you, and humbling yourself to admit that you want and need another soul in your life is no easy task. Mr. Darcy learned that the hard way. On the other hand, Elizabeth Bennet too had to learn to put aside prejudices and first impressions to look deeper. That and a few wet shirts.
Ron and Hermione
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.“Is this the moment?” Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. “Oi! There’s a war going on here!” Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other.
“I know, mate,” said Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a Bludger, “so it’s now or never, isn’t it?”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows~ J.K. Rowling
For those of you who know me, you know I cannot say enough about this couple. Considering the fact that Ron Weasley has been my longest and most devoted literary crush, it’s even more amazing that I rooted for them from day one and fell in love with their story. They somehow manage to be your average teenage couple without being average. J.K. Rowling didn’t make it easy on the Ron-Hermione fans. We all saw it coming (except for the strange ones who were convinced Harry and Hermione were meant to be) but it was worth the wait. To watch them grow up together and (agonizingly) slowly fall in love was frustrating and thrilling all at once. It started off as a strong friendship, albeit one that had it’s share of ups and downs. Then they grew to love one another. Of course, being teenagers and Ron being Ron, it was hard for them to come to terms with their feelings. Neither of them were perfectly in sync until the end of the sixth book. From then on it was only a matter of time before it was openly declared. There was something sweet and exciting about watching them love each other without actually saying it, much like the beginning weeks of a new relationship when couples dance around the “I like you but I won’t say it” tango.
Henry and Clare
There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.
The Time Traveler’s Wife~ Audrey Niffenegger
I must admit — I’ve never read this book before OR seen the movie. I really don’t deal well with romance stories that make me cry. Sometimes I even have a hard time swallowing RomComs! However, while I was searching for a fitting quote for this couple, I got completely swept away in the beauty of some of those words. So now maybe I’ll have to break down and read it after all. I’ll be sure to keep a box of tissues at the ready. I chose this quote because it is one of the most important things a person can realize in their lives. Being in love isn’t always magical — it’s hard and terrifying. To be able to go through the experience and at the last page say that you’ve done it and will continue to do so is one of the strongest things you can do.
Odysseus and Penelope
The royal pair mingled in love again and afterward lay revelling in stories: hers of the siege her beauty stood at home from arrogant suitors, crowding on her sight,and how they fed their courtships on his cattle oxen and fat sheep, and drank up rivers of wine out of the vats. Odysseus told of what hard blows he had dealt to others and of what blows he had taken–all that story.
The Odyssey~ Homer
This is the love that legends are made of right? Odysseus left his home and his wife Penelope to fight in a war he didn’t want to be a part of. They were apart for twenty years; talk about your long distance relationship. Despite the hardships, the temptations (she had 108 suitors and he was pursued by a sorceress!), and the feelings of despondency and hopelessness, they remained very much in love. Theirs was a love that was tried, tested, and true. A long distance story to always keep in mind — every relationship has “hard blows”. Think of Odysseus and Penelope. Overcome them.
Katniss and Peeta
“You love me. Real or not real?”
I tell him, “Real.”
The Hunger Games~ Suzanne Collins
This couple wasn’t an easy one. Suzanne Collins gave us a hard time by interjecting Gale, another very appealing male protagonist, at all the wrong moments. Another hardship was that she placed us so well in Katniss’ own personal inner-struggles. Deep down though, we all loved the baker’s son. We were all rooting for the baker’s son, even when all that *insert spoiler alert stuff* happened in Mockingjay. Here was a boy who had loved a girl from afar so quietly for so long. They were then thrust together under the deadliest of circumstances and all the while he thought of her, not himself. She brought him solace, peace, and determination. Katniss, on the other hand, didn’t know what to make of Peeta and his feelings. There were times where I sympathized with her and times where I wanted to shake her till she came to her senses. To have them finally come together after everything they’ve been through was not only romantic but strenuously emotional. After all that, at least they have each other. Real.
There you have it — the five #literarycouples that I chose. They’re in no particular order because frankly I couldn’t begin to quantify their qualities.
In case you haven’t seen it coming, there’s more to this blog post than just a list and brief explanation of these five couples. This particular post is one that’s rather personal to me and will, I hope, be of equal value to my other half…my boyfriend.
Relationships are never easy. The best of relationships are often the ones that are most tested. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down by the difficulties and forget what a blessing the relationship truly is. It’s thanks to these couples on this Valentine’s Day that I have been inspired to show my own courage in the matters of the heart. Courage because it’s never easy to say these things when the future is so uncertain, but it’s worth it anyway.
To my boyfriend,
We met a long time ago, never dreaming that we would ever mean more to each other than fair acquaintances. But as life — or luck — had it, we were drawn together in the most unexpected circumstances. You became one of the best friends I ever had and I began to realize just how much you meant to me. Granted, it was a little on the late end, but better late than never! We’ve shared some of the happiest experiences and some low ones, but so far we’ve withstood it all. Now we have yet another challenge to overcome: the dreaded Long Distance Relationship.
It hasn’t been easy and I’m hardly a fan of the concept. There have been some difficult days with more to come, I’m sure. But through it all, I’ve realized that I must keep a few things in mind:
1.It’s not an easy hill to climb and I may fall down along the way, but I can shelve my pride enough to admit it and let you pick me up.
2. The greatest loves come from the strongest friendships. You’re not just my boyfriend, you’re my best friend.
3. Should this fail, I know I can turn to my ‘last page’ and say “I love. I have loved. I will love” and it will be because of you.
4. If Penelope and Odysseus can do it without Skype, Email, and iMessage … we can do it now.
5. You’ve never read The Hunger Games and you laugh at sappy lines. But when I texted you out of the blue one evening saying, “You love me, real or not real?” you responded with “Real”.
When I read about these five couples, I always swooned and wished I had an equivalent. I know now that I can stop looking, because you’re the equivalent and more. Your patience and dedication inspires me to be strong when I have no faith left. I know that if we can make it through, it will be the most rewarding gift of all for years to come. If not, we were blessed to have loved and learned from each other (but I really hope we make it). Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you…enough to create a hashtag on Twitter 😉
Forever yours, Faithfully.
To all my readers, Happy Valentine’s Day! Remember… one of the greatest things you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. Whether it’s with friends, family, pets, or a significant other…share the love today.