Fantastical Relationships of Genre Media

Lately I find myself thinking about what makes for a good relationship. Is it openness and trust? Is it a connection that cannot be denied even when you try? As I so often do when I start down the path of open ended and philosophical questions, I turn to the stories that I have loved over the years, both on the page and the screen. So in no particular order, here are some of the relationships from Scifi and Fantasy I find myself thinking about.

Aeryn Sun and John Crichton – Farscape

Here we have the quintessential pair that literally come from two different worlds, but still find themselves drawn together from the first moment they meet. While they travel a rocky path towards being together, due in no small part to the emotional walls one of them puts up, as well as the very dangerous circumstances they found themselves in on a weekly basis. Part of why I liked this couple was because for a change it was not the man that was emotionally unavailable and unwilling to be open with the other. At the time Farscape aired, I did not see many male characters that were as open with their emotions and desire for love.

Lito, Hernando, and Daniela – Sense8

As you may have read in my Sense8 pieces last quarter, I love this show. I love the relationship between Lito, Hernando, and Daniela though. While Lito and Hernando had a seemingly strong relationship prior to Daniela injecting herself into their lives, her arrival (problematic as it was) both showed where the cracks in their foundation were. Together they have pushed themselves to be better than they thought they could be, finding the strength to face the world together as their truest selves. While the trio coming together forced Lito to come out publicly as a gay man, which had been one of his biggest fears, together they realized both that their happiness was more important than what others thought, and that living openly was not the end of the world, but the way to a better one.

Aang and Kitara – Avatar: The Last Airbender

To me Aang and Kitara are a great example that sometimes things are meant to be. Had Aang not been frozen for a century, he and Kitara would most likely never have met. At least not in those incarnations, given the background theme of reincarnation present in the show. Also, I just think it great that with them, we have an example of a childhood crush that grew into lifelong love, with no angst or drama shown on the screen. Their series ends with them kissing, and in the next we find that they eventually married and had enough children to start repopulating the largely extinct Airbender Nomads.

Legolas and Gimli – The Lord of the Rings

I admit that I have not read the books as much as I’m told I should, but the relationship between Legolas and Gimli on the screen gives me a warm feeling inside. It is not a romantic relationship, but a “bromance” as it were. Travelling and facing danger together let them set aside not only their personal differences, but also the prejudices of their peoples. As they said at Helm’s Deep, “Never thought I’d die fighting side by side with an Elf.” “What about side by side with a friend?” “Aye. I could do that.”

Han and Leia – Star Wars

What hasn’t been said about Han and Leia? From drastically different social backgrounds, butting heads as they slowly admit to the connection between themselves, and still working together to further the Rebellion. If nothing else, Han and Leia provided geekdom everywhere with some of the greatest and most quotable lines there are.

Princess Leia:  Why, you stuck up… half-witted… scruffy-looking… Nerf-herder!

Han Solo: Who’s scruffy-looking?

Princess Leia: I love you.

Han Solo: I know.

Tavi and Kitai – Codex Alera

Coming from the pages of Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, this pairing makes my list because they are perfect partners for one another. Despite coming from two very different peoples that had nothing but a history of bloodshed between them, together they managed to forge not just a truce, but a working alliance between them. That was their first meeting and adventure. Even leaving aside the mystical bond between them, it is a rare thing to see a pairing that complement each other so well. In the moments where they disagree or feel taken for granted, the communication between them is usually immediate.

I could go on with wonderful pairings, the relationships from Sense8 and Codex Alera alone could make up their own list to my mind. As always though, I want to hear from you, the reader. Who do you think should have made the list? Why?

Daniel Holl
Daniel is a student in his junior year who splits his time between campus and his home in Swarthmore with his wife and children. When he somehow manages to get caught up on his school work, Daniel likes to relax with a fantasy novel or take his dog Mac for a run in the woods.

One thought on “Fantastical Relationships of Genre Media

  1. I love that you used Aang and Kitara from The Last Airbender. Growing up, it was one of my favorite shows on Nick! I think you present a valid question, one that everyone seeks. We’re social beings that crave for that type of emotion and feeling. I also appreciate your inclusion of different types of relationship, from childhood crushes to an LGBT relationship. Good job! I enjoyed reading!

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