Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day: Top Ten Couples in Literature

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope this is a day filled with love.  It doesn't have to be romantic love as portrayed in the following couples.  Love from a friend or family member counts.

This Valentine's Day I am honoring ten of my favorite romantic couples from literature.  Here we go!

10. Romeo and Juliet from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
      How can one guy go from being deeply in love with a girl to falling head over heels for another in a matter of minutes?  Ask Romeo Montague.  One moment he's pining for Rosaline and the next he's wanting to run away with Juliet Capulet.  He's willing to kill himself for her.  He just met her.  The funny thing is, she's the same way.  We don't see her pining over anyone before she meets Romeo, but when she meets him she's a goner.
      Readers like to call this a beautiful display of love.  Take a look.  How long have the two known each other before they get married and die for each other.  Who knows if they really were meant to be, if their acts were acts of deep love or that feeling one gets when they first fall in love.

9. Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    I'm only halfway through Mockingjay, so I don't know if these two end up together.  I am Team Gale, even though I know that's not going to happen.  Peeta claims he's been in love with Katniss ever since she came begging to his house years ago after her father died.  Katniss never knew he even noticed her, but he did.  His family owns a bakery and he burned bread just for her.  The burnt bread was to be given to the pigs, but Peeta gave it to Katniss for her family instead.
    Peeta admits to being in love with Katniss at the interview for their first Hunger Games.  Katniss is stunned and during the entire games she plays up the romance angle.  It helps get them food and survive.  It's also what puts them in tremendous danger.  Having to play up the romance, Katniss falls in love with Peeta.  She still harbors feelings for her best friend, Gale.  What kind of feelings, she doesn't know.
    Katniss has feelings for both Gale and Peeta.  She doesn't know what kind, but she's shared something special with Peeta.  She's shared something with him that not many people can relate to.  Right now in the book, they've just rescued him from the capitol and he's strangling Katniss.  I do wonder what will happen next!

8. Finnick and Annie from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    I'm not really sure what kind of romantic relationship there is between these two but there's definitely something.  We meet Finnick in book 2, Catching Fire.  He is a winner that is chosen to participate in the Quarter Quell.  He's all about his looks and the many women he gets.
    What Finnick is really about is Annie, another past winner.  She's been affected so much by the games and the capitol that I believe she's gone mad.  I'm only at the part in Mockingjay where they rescue the tributes from the capitol.  All we've seen of Annie is her meeting Finnick again.  They run to each other, embracing.  They love each other.  The reader can tell how much Annie means to Finnick.  One of the ways the game makers torture the tributes in the Quarter Quell is to have mockingjays mimic the voices of their loved ones in pain.  For Finnick it was Annie's voice.  It drove him mad.  He curled up and couldn't do anything.  He really cares for this girl and the way she's been treated has deeply affected him.

7.  Molly and Arthur from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
     The perfect husband and wife team.  Mother and father to seven children.  Pseudo wizarding parents to Harry and Hermione.  They are beautiful together.
     We first see the two together in Chamber of Secrets when Molly is telling Arthur of her three middle boys' adventure to rescue Harry at night in their flying Ford Anglia.  Arthur is genuinely pleased at hearing the story of his flying car, but quickly realizes he can't do that in front of Molly.  Bad parenting and all that.
     One of the most endearing moments is when Harry has been delivered to the Burrow early in the morning  in Half-Blood Prince. Before Molly can let Arthur in he has to answer a question to prove he is the real Arthur Weasley.  He does so by admitting his pet name for his wife is "Mollywobbles."  He obviously doesn't know Harry is on the other side of the door.  Harry feels like any kid would intruding on a private moment, like he's not supposed to know of this.  As a reader, I see the love Molly and Arthur have always had for each other and continue to have.
     In one of the books, sorry I do not remember which, Molly recalls in the first war that couples were drawn to get together faster than normal.  I believe this is a hint that Molly and Arthur got married at a young age because of the war.  Molly and Arthur were not part of the Order of the Phoenix back then for they were raising children.  Bill, their oldest child, was born in 1970, the start of the rise of Voldemort.

6. Mary-Anne and Logan from The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
    Who can believe it?  Shy Mary-Anne is the first of the baby-sitters to get a boyfriend.  She gets one before sophisticated Stacey and all the rest.  Shy Mary-Anne!  Unbelievable.
     Logan arrives in Stoneybrooke, CT from Louisville, KY in book #10 Logan Likes Mary-Anne!  He loves her shy ways.  She loves his sweetness and how he looks like her favorite movie star, Cam Geary.  She meets him at lunch when Kristy talks of having too much business.  Logan speaks up that he's done a bit of baby-sitting in Kentucky and for his younger brother and sister.  The club tries him out with a new client.  Mary-Anne goes with him to take note.  They're baby-sitting the Walking Disaster, so unlucky things happen, but they bring Logan and Mary-Anne closer.  However, Logan did not become a full-fledged member.  He felt awkward at club meetings because he was a guy and the rest were girls wanting to talk about girl things.  Instead he becomes an associate member, someone the club calls when they have too much business.  He doesn't attend meetings, which makes things easier on everyone.  They are only thirteen.
      The two have gone through a lot: Cokie Mason trying to trick Logan into thinking Mary-Anne and her friends are a bunch of babies, Logan hanging out with the Bad Boyz, a short break up because Mary-Anne hated being smothered by Logan, and all the other mishaps the club itself has gone through.  I haven't read the book but in one of the final books, the couple breaks up for good.  Heartbreaking.  I know in real life couples don't always stay together, but this is fiction.  We can have what we want.  I want Mary-Anne and Logan Forever! According to the book they break up due to incompatibility and if they are incompatible it is best they not be together no matter how much the fans want it.

5. James and Lily from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
    Harry's parents.  We only see them alive in the series through flashbacks or pensieve moments.  The two met at Hogwarts.  It took them til seventh year to fall in love.  Well, James thought he was in love with her much earlier, but it took Lily until James's maturing in seventh year to reciprocate.
    James was a Marauder.  He was a prankster.  He also picked on people, well, mostly, Lily's best friend, Severus Snape.  Lily was not fond of James.  He asked her out and she said no.  It is not known whether this was a one time thing or a continuous thing.  I don't think James is the kind of person who would bug someone with the same question knowing the answer, but it is not said in the books, so we cannot know for sure.
    Seventh year Dumbledore announces James and Lily as Head Boy and Head Girl.  James was not previously a Prefect, but he was Quidditch Captain.  This forces James and Lily to work together.  One may wonder why Dumbledore gave the position to a prankster.  There have been a few ideas.  Perhaps he believes someone like James will be able to keep the rest of the students in line.  Maybe he sees something in James that he has matured.  Maybe being in the "spotlight" like this will keep him in line.  Whatever his reasons, it works.  James matures and Lily finally falls for him.
    The two get married shortly after leaving Hogwarts.  They join the Order and fight for Dumbledore's side of good against Voldemort's side of evil.  Being born in 1960, they are about 20 years old when their son, Harry, is born.  They are forced into hiding due to the prophecy Voldemort believes.  They spend their last days together, hidden in a house, protecting their son.

4. Tibby and Brian from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Anne Brashares
    Bailey brought them together.
    Tibby was a filmmaker.  Brian was a video game player.  The two would have never met otherwise.  Bailey, a young girl Tibby met while working at her part-time job, introduced the two for Tibby's film.  Brian spent all of his summer days playing an arcade game at a convenience store.  Tibby filmed him.
    I don't recall how long it took for the two to start dating.  I do know by the time Tibby's in college they are together.  He visits her.  They have sex.  It is protected but I do believe the condom broke.  Tibby thinks she could pregnant.  She is so worried.  She breaks up with Brian.  Long story short she's not pregnant and the two do get back together.
     Brian's a nerd, but in his senior year he becomes hot and everything.  He's something that Effie, Lena's sister, wants to date.  She actually does in the small time Brian and Tibby break up, but all that it does is help get Brian and Tibby back together.  It helps Tibby understand her feelings for him.  I do not believe that was Effie's intentions.
     The final book in the series shows just how much they love each other.  They moved to Australia and had a daughter.  Bridget says she is Tibby all over again.  I don't want to spoil that book, so I won't mention much else, but Brian is really motivated by his love for Tibby.  It's all over his emotions and his actions.  They had something few people ever have.

3. Lena and Kostos from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Anne Brashares
    Upon their introduction I wanted the two to be together.  Lena and Kostos.  I loved them.
    The stories had a different idea.
     Lena and Kostos fell in love, but they never stuck together.  Lena is from America and Kostos lives in Greece.  Lena meets him while visiting her grandparents in Greece.  Well, I think she'd met him years ago, but didn't remember it.  They had fun together swimming in the lake, Kostos watching Lena draw.  They had a real summer romance.  But, then it was time for Lena to go home.  She had to leave Kostos behind.
     Lena never gave up on Kostos, but the next year he sent her a tragic letter that he had to marry a girl who was pregnant with his child.  This broke Lena's heart.  She didn't want to love, she didn't want to dream, for nothing turned out the way one wanted.  One day Kostos comes to America to find Lena and tell her the truth.  The girl played him.  She was never pregnant.  That was a lie.  They were no longer married.  Lena had been dating another boy she met in an art class and didn't want to face Kostos anymore.
     In the final book some incidents happen that bring Lena and Kostos together.  More obstacles appear, but they run over them.  Lena and Kostos are meant to be together.

2. Harry and Ginny from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
    When Ginny was little she claimed one day she would marry Harry Potter.  Back then it was just a crush on a famous boy, but it turned into something real.
     Harry's always seen her as Ron's little sister, the girl he rescued in the Chamber of Secrets, but his sixth year she becomes something more.
     Harry's first crush is on a Ravenclaw named Cho.  He has to get over before he can feel and understand his feelings for Ginny.  When Harry's feelings develop Ginny is dating Harry's dorm mate, Dean Thomas.
     The two get together over Quidditch.  Harry is the captain and seeker for Gryffindor, but has detention with Snape so he's not able to play in the final match.  He names Ginny his fill-in captain and replacement seeker.  After detention he rushes back to his house to find a party, a celebration for winning the Quidditch Cup.  He grabs Ginny in a kiss and steals her away for a private moment (don't worry, she's already broken up with Dean by this time).  Before he goes Ron gives him a look that simply says "I'm not happy, but if it has to be anyone..."
     The two do date, but after Dumbledore's death Harry breaks it off with her for her protection.  He doesn't want Voldemort going after her. However, on his 17th birthday her gift to him is a very meaningful and very special kiss.
      The epilogue has the two married with children.  They've formed a happy, loving family.  Harry gets his wish of a family and Ginny gets her wish of marrying Harry Potter.  Now, it's not because he's this famous boy who defeated Voldemort. It's because he is her one true love.

1. The one you've all been waiting for:
    Ron and Hermione from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
    The wait.  The anticipation.  It was killer.  But, we knew it was coming.
    "Hang on a moment!" said Ron sharply.  "We've forgotten someone!"
    "Who?" asked Hermione.
    "The house-elves, they'll all be down in the kitchen, won't they?"
    "You mean we ought to get them fighting?" asked Harry.
    "No," said Ron seriously, "I mean we should tell them to get out.  We don't want anymore Dobbies, do we?  We can't order them to die for us--"
     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 broomsticks he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm 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?"
       "Never mind that, what about the Horcrux?"  Harry shouted.  "D'you think you could just--just hold it in until we've got the diadem?"
       "Yeah--right--sorry--" said Ron, and he and Hermione set about gathering up fangs, both pink in the face. 

p. 625 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Edition
   The two were made for each other.  They complement each other so well.  They fill each other out, make each other whole.  Hermione's the brains and Ron's the fun.  He's sports.  She's books.  She's studying.  He's relaxing.  They give each other what the other lacks.
    Yes, they fight all the time.  But, they do it because they're crazy for each other.  If they didn't love each other as much as they did what bothers them wouldn't and they wouldn't fight.
     It's just a shame it took so long for them to get together so we can't see their relationship develop in the actual series.  We just know they get married, have children, and Ron is still doing things that bug Hermione.

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