Everybody knows the feeling. You begin to read a book and there they are – two characters who you just know belong together. Most of the time, they get together and we get our happy ending, but sometimes the characters don’t see what we see, or the writers just snatch it away from underneath them. Here is my list of ten fictional couples that should have been, or would have been had external forces not separated them. (All pictures are from movie or TV adaptations.)
- Pip and Biddy (Great Expectations)
Pip is possibly one of the most frustrating characters in all of literature. He fails to see what is right beneath his nose and completely misses the fact that his childhood friend Biddy is in love with him because he’s too busy chasing after Estella. Admittedly, Pip did not deserve Biddy, but she was definitely the best person for him – scrap that – the best person for anyone! Biddy is a wonderful character; she teaches Pip everything she knows so that he can be a gentleman for Estella, and helps take care of his family when he completely forgets about them. Now, the fact that they did not end up together is upsetting enough, but what makes it even worse is that Biddy moves on without him! Pip not only misses his chance at love with Biddy, but he loses out to his own much-loved uncle, so there is absolutely no hope of him ‘winning her back’ considering that the bond between them is so strong.
- Jo and Laurie (Little Women)
If Jo March had accepted the advances of her childhood friend Theodore Laurence (or Laurie), they would have had a passionate, explosive love story. Although Jo insists that they are not made for each other, I must object. Yes, they would have argued for a large part of their lives together but they would have found a balance and I believe they would have been genuinely happy together! Although Jo’s refusal turned out to be one of her best decisions at the time, spurring her on to move to New York, where she wrote her book and eventually met Professor Bhaer, I always wondered why she could not have returned, a more mature Jo, and meet a more mature Laurie, and settle down. I don’t deny that Professor Bhaer was a great match for Jo, but SO WAS LAURIE and the romantic part of myself would have much preferred them to reunite than him to chase after her younger sister (creepy) and her to find love elsewhere.
- Marius and Eponine (Les Miserables)
We all know that Eponine was a far better character than Cosette. Not only did she go against the wishes of her family to help Marius (and even helped him find with Cosette), but she was educated, fiery, and had more personality and wit than Cosette probably had in her little finger. She was the every-girl, and we love her for it; struggling with unrequited love and trying to prove that she was more than what people thought of her. Not to mention, she had more than her fair share of misfortune, even when compared to the other characters, and came to a heroic end, fighting and dying alongside the Friends of the ABC, all for Marius. Just like Pip (number 1) Marius is blind and, as is the way with classic literature, the pretty orphan girl must get the prince regardless of how boring she is. Who cares about the poor, spunky gamine? I do, but apparently, Victor Hugo did not, and Eponine died the most unappreciated character of the story.
- Harry and Luna (Harry Potter)
I appear to be the only person in the entire world that maintains that Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood would have been the perfect match. What are my reasons? Well, first of all, these two were kindred spirits from the moment they met. They had both suffered great losses in their lives and they met at a time when both were incredibly lonely. Luna had always been an outsider, and Harry was feeling more isolated than ever. Not only did Luna help Harry to see that his friends were important and that he wasn’t alone, but she was extremely brave and loyal. She exceeded everyone’s expectations of her and never doubted Harry. Although, yes, Harry probably would have found Luna’s ‘looney’ habits a little frustrating, I believe that they would have complemented each other, and I will remain in my corner of the Harry Potter fandom, imagining what Harry and Luna would have achieved together.
- Cecilia and Robbie (Atonement)
Anybody who has read Atonement or seen the movie will understand that there can be no dispute regarding this couple. Cecilia Tallis and Robbie Turner were made for each other and, were it not for Cecilia’s younger sister Bryony’s meddling, and the war, they would not have been separated – and kept apart. Bryony’s ‘atonement’ through her book shows one of the many possible happy futures they could have shared, and makes the fact that they didn’t get it even worse.
- Cassandra and Stephen (I Capture the Castle)
Poor Cassandra. She lost out on two perfectly acceptable suitors to the same person, her sister. Both Neal and Simon prefer Rose to her, but she has ‘Pip Syndrome’ (see above – number 1) and fails to see that Stephen dedicates all of his time to her family, particularly to her. He tries so hard to be exactly what she wants and does everything he can to please her, but never seems to match up to Simon. Thankfully for him, he decides to move on with his life and becomes a model so good for him! Unfortunately, the book ends with Cassandra having no suitors, but on a positive, she does know that she deserves more than Simon’s rebound girl.
- Kathy and Tommy (Never Let Me Go)
So, they got together in the end for a brief amount of time, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they deserved so much more. Kathy watched Tommy slowly die, cared for him and fought for them to get a deferral and if that isn’t a sign of true love then I don’t know what is.
- Jess and Leslie (Bridge to Terabithia)
Leslie’s death was completely uncalled for. I’m glad we got that clear. Yes, Jess and Leslie they were only about ten and so probably weren’t even thinking about things like love, but they could have had a chance and, having grown up together, could have had the most beautiful childhood sweetheart love story of all.
- Arya and Gendry (ASOIAF)
Even though several books have passed since Arya and Gendry even crossed paths, I hold out hope of these two meeting again. When they were together, they were the perfect pair and bounced off each other fantastically (as they also do in the TV series). Now, it is difficult to see Arya falling in love with anybody sometimes, but if she was going to fall in love with anyone, it would be Gendry – low-born, strong, and kind, with none of the airs and graces of princes or lords, just a nice, honest and loyal man.
- Robb Stark and the Frey Girl (ASOIAF)