Peeta and Katniss – The Hunger Games series
One of the most interesting aspects of Peeta and Katniss’ relationship is the evolution of it; they start as virtual strangers before entering into an uncertain friendship that turns into love. A strange connection develops at the Arena; they are supposed to be enemies, but their friendship somehow survives. They go through so much together that their relationship is largely built on their shared experiences, and over the course of the series, their bond grows ever stronger. There are many external factors up against them, but once they are removed, there’s every chance our favourite young dystopian duo might work out after all.
Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy – Pride and Prejudice
Arguably literature’s most memorable duo since Romeo and Juliet, we just knew that from their first encounter, their fate was to end up together – despite Darcy’s rudeness the first time they meet. At the beginning of the novel, he walks into the room before declaring that none of the ladies within it are worth a second glance – including Elizabeth. Stating that she isn’t pretty enough (within earshot of Elizabeth) she tells him off, he realises she is a feisty one, and so their back-and-forth romance begins. The book culminates with the duo changing completely; giving up both prejudices and pride.
Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley – Harry Potter
Although JK Rowling herself has questioned whether she made the right decision with the Hermione/Ron relationship, we think the duo is a prime example of “opposites attract”. The earliest signs of romance cropped up in Chamber of Secrets when Ron didn’t like how Hermione would swoon over Gilderoy, followed by even more jealousy hints in Goblet of Fire. The bickering between the couple is like that of an old married couple at times, but their lovesick anguish is the undercurrent of much of the storyline from around book four onwards. The ultimate high school sweethearts.
Eowyn and Faramir – Lord of the Rings
Eowyn is a sharp and capable woman with a rather dark side to her. Faramir is good-natured with a light-hearted side. One of the defining moments for the pair is when he disarms Eowyn with a joke; something Aragorn (whom she thought she was in love with) could never have done. They bring out the best in each other and their relationship is one of the few times when Tolkien decides to inject some romance into his novels. The connection between the pair is made all the more clear and genuine after her previous “love” (schoolgirl crush/hero-worship) for Aragorn.
Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan – The Great Gatsby
This is one of the many doomed couples we have fallen for in literature. To describe the relationship between the pair as “love” is somewhat inaccurate; perhaps “unrequited love” (on Gatsby’s part) is better. His feelings towards her could be seen as very unhealthy; they had a short relationship when they were younger which he never gets over. His obsession with her, and winning her back, takes over his life. Gatsby’s devotion to Daisy never wavers, but when he is finally reunited with her he admits that achieving his goal isn’t as satisfying as he had anticipated!
Ennis and Jack – Brokeback Mountain
Annie Prolux’s heartbreaking short story, first published in 1997, is a tale of both love and loneliness. The story follows two young, male Wyoming ranch hands who unexpectedly fall for each other on Brokeback Mountain and continue their ill-fated affair for the next two decades. They are unable to articulate their feelings, or even admit to themselves that they are homosexual, but find that they can’t forget each other, or the memory of what it’s like to be truly happy. The pair’s relationship has been compared by some to that of star-crossed lovers; their story in one of two rugged men living in a homophobic society.
Sherlock and Irene – Sherlock Holmes
Despite only appearing in one of Arthur Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Irene Adler makes a huge impact. Holmes makes it clear that he is only impressed by her resourcefulness, but he is clearly bowled over by her intelligence, and she gains his unbounded admiration. The beginning of A Scandal in Bohemia describes how Holmes regards her: “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman… In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex.” Although he is indifferent to sex, he is totally infatuated with Irene – to the point that he can barely function around her. And Irene realises that there’s someone else in the world as damaged as she is. A match made in heaven, we think.
Henry and Clare – The Time Traveler’s Wife
This 2003 novel has been classified as both science fiction and romance, telling the story of Henry – a librarian with a rare genetic disorder that causes him to involuntarily travel through time – and his wife, Clare. Henry’s disappearances are unpredictable and spontaneous, which lend a remarkable urgency to the couple’s unconventional love story. They try to live normally when they can – Henry goes for jogs to try and keep him level-headed, knowing that stress is a trigger for time travel – but there is always the threat that he will vanish at any time. The love between the pair is both intensely moving and unforgettable.
Hazel and Augustus – The Fault in our Stars
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.” Narrated by a 16-year-old cancer patient named Hazel, she meets and falls in love with ex-basketball player and amputee Augustus at a support group. Their relationship gives the reader a whole new perspective on both cancer and love, and the delicate subject of the book – along with the often unpleasant details – do nothing to diminish the romance between the pair; they only make it more raw and more moving. It’s a tragic but enthralling insight into what it’s like to be alive and in love.
Benedick and Beatrice – Much Ado About Nothing
The cat and mouse game this duo plays gives Tom and Jerry a run for their money. The original “I hate you, I love you” pair, their relationship is somewhat unusual in that deception plays a major role in bringing the couple together. The play begins with a witty assault from Beatrice, and this “merry war” of insults continues throughout. They deceive themselves into believing they feel nothing for one another, before being tricked into thinking that the other is enamoured of them, ultimately resulting in a positive outcome of their relationship: a declaration of true love. They are finally sincere and open with each other – all of this, rather ironically, down to deception.
Who is your favourite fictional couple of all time? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
Don’t forget to take a look at our Romance and Erotica page for more great couples of literature.