“Top Ten Tuesday” is a list-making meme currently hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and the topic for this week is “Love Freebie (Romances, swoons…) etc.
I’m not actually a fan of romances, and I’ve already shared my top “ten” romantic hits-and-misses and the top ten fictional guys I really admire (and would have crushes on if I did the “crush” thing), so to avoid just talking about the Master Chief again I want to share the Top Ten Relationships (friendships, platonic bonds, etc.) that I find most compelling.
1– Frodo and Sam (Lord of the Rings, Tolkien)
Frodo is the meta heroic protagonist who goes from quiet-living aristocrat in an ivory-tower corner of the world, to laying down his life to save all creation.
Sam is the down-home, unassuming, cleaning-the-toilets type who’s there to take care of his employer…and ends up helping to save the world.
Their relationship is all about mutual trust, respect, and care. They are more than master-servant, or hero-sidekick…they are friends.
If you don’t have a friend of the same gender that you can share your deepest spiritual struggles with, who always has your back, who you can trust with your very life – well, then, you’re missing out.
2– Zavala and Cayde-6 (Destiny and Destiny 2)
Zavala is the strong, by-the-book, black-and-white, service-focused, planning type. Cayde is an easy-going, flippant, up-beat, self-agrandizing jokester.
But Cayde does have skills, and Zavala knows it. When Zavala needs Cayde’s skills, and sends out the call, Cayde comes – because he values Zavala and wants to help him.
3– Fitz and Simmons (Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD)
What do you get when you have two genius science geeks who dress with adorable modesty, have adorable accents, talk over each other and complete each other’s sentences while geeking out about weird science stuff? A totally adorable pair.
Notice I didn’t say “couple”. While Fitz and Simmons are a boy and a girl, their relationship is based on companionship, mutual respect, shared interests, similar towering IQs, and the familiarity of long cooperation – not sexual/romantic attraction.
While their interactions don’t exclude a romantic connection, it isn’t dependent on that, which is very refreshing. They’re two very good friends who do their incredibly brainy work together – and are satisfied with that. Their sweetness is probably my favorite part of the show.
4– Lord Peter Wimsey and Bunter (Dorothy Sayers)
Lord Peter is the sleuth – brilliant, garrulous, adept at blending into different company and situations, and occasionally melancholy.
Bunter is his manservant – correct, unflappable, British-ly calm in the face of excitement, and impossibly competent (for instance, knowing every important train schedule by memory).
They are both highly intelligent in their fields; while Lord Peter can pretend to be a young expectant father, a journalist, or a bohemian artist-hanger-on, Bunter is the one running the behind-the-scenes, providing exactly the right socks and tie for each impression, doing the boring, odd jobs necessary to detective work, and having his employer’s back every step of the way to the conclusion.
Bunter even stands by Peter when he falls head-over-heels in love with a rather stubborn young lady. On every case, they work hand-in-glove together, as good friends always do.
5– Tintin and Milou (Hergé)
This Belgian comic book series stars a young reporter/detective and his faithful dog. Together, they face off against gangsters and revolutionaries, hunt for drug smugglers and sunken treasure, save each other’s lives and always manage to figure out the mystery – whether it takes them to Scotland, Africa, America, or the moon.
While they do gain other friends along the way, nothing can shake the essential bond between master and dog.
6– Sissel and Lynne (Ghost Trick)
Sissel is ghost trying to uncover his pre-death identity. Along the way, he uses his “powers of the dead” to turn back time and save the life of Lynne (a newly graduated detective prone to being killed by everything).
While they each have their own goals and priorities, they come to actually care about each other and work together to solve the mystery that killed them both (in the case of Lynne, killed her repeatedly!).
7– Pooh Bear and Piglet (A.A. Milne)
If your only exposure to these great characters are the Disney versions, you’re missing out! A.A. Milne’s delightful prose is part of what makes these fast friends a treasured part of my childhood.
8– Wanda and Pietro Maximoff (Age of Ultron)
Twins orphaned at a young age, Wanda and Pietro are very close. While Wanda seems more emotionally sensitive, and has a more big-picture, long-term view of things, Pietro is satisfied to let her do the planning while he focuses on his little picture – what they both lost, and that all they have is each other.
They would each die to save the other one – which is how sibling love is supposed to work.
9– Moomintroll and Snuffkin (Tove Jansson)
These Scandinavian children’s stories are full of fantastic little creatures and frolicking adventures. Whether the valley floods and the family floats away in a theater, or they’re playing with the Hobgoblin’s hat that turns eggshells into jungle plants, one thing is dependable: Moomintroll and Snuffkin are friends. Whatever strange happenings befall them and their valley, they can always depend on each other.
10–Tommy and Ben (White Mesa Chronicles)
I know it’s horribly self-referencial to mention my own characters. However, they fit the criteria of close friends who do a great job double-teaming 😉
From Soldier, where they’re both learning how to function in a new situation, to Zombie, where Ben rescues Tommy when he’s in over his head, to Gladiator, where Tommy has the chance to be the big hero and save Ben, to the book I’m editing now where they both get to work together to bust into an enemy compound, these two are inseparable.
That will make Book 7 all the more interesting, when they find themselves on opposite sides of an ideological conflict…
What are your favorite platonic friendships? What fictional relationships were amazing and fun, without resorting to the tired trope of romance?
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