Hey guys! Welcome back to Top 5 Wednesday.
Before I begin, I must gush at you. Last night I got to meet my favorite author in the whole world, Victoria Schwab, for the second time. She was touring with Madeleine Roux, author of the Asylum series, and she was a total delight as well. Talking with Victoria never gets old, and I don’t think it ever will. She’s a writer after my own heart. They took some questions from a local bookstore, then from the audience, and as a fellow writer I loved listening to their perspectives on writing and publishing. And Victoria remembered me from last time! It probably helps that I have the same name as one of her main characters.
Maddie: Do you want [the book signing] personalized?
Me: Sure! My name’s Kell, with two Ls.
Victoria: Hell yeah it is!
Anyway, if their tour comes anywhere near you, I highly recommend you high-tail it to the bookstore or library or wherever they’re speaking and have a listen!
Enough with my fangirling. Here’s Top 5 Wednesday!
This week’s prompt is ‘Side Ships: Tell us your favorite relationships that don’t involve the protagonist!’
Now, I’m not entirely sure if this is supposed to be only canon ships, only non-canon, etc, so I’m gonna have a lil of both. You will notice a trend here, and that is the fact that I absolutely despise ‘will they or won’t they’ relationships. I usually either want them to be literally married and together forever, or never have a chance of getting together and have a ship composed entirely of fanon stuff (there is one, arguably two, notable exceptions here, but for the most part, this holds true). This is because I’m an immature little pissbaby and hate devoting myself to something that isn’t set in stone, at least in regards to fiction.
You will also note that most of these are het. In fact, all but one are het. This is because most, if not all, of my same-gender ships involve protagonists. Or are in shows and movies rather than books. Like, my Hunger Games OTP, Johanna and Katniss, is out, as is Rhy and Alucard from the Shades of Magic trilogy (Rhy being a POV character, I count him as a main character). As is Hannibal and Will from Red Dragon. And so on.
But let’s get started.
1. Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour (Harry Potter)
Oh gosh, where do I even get started with these two. Bill was my favorite Weasley since the moment we met him. Harry was not the only one completely mesmerized with his coolness. And Fleur, I was utterly smitten with as a child. Pretty, graceful, and a badass who could hold her own in the Triwizard Tournament? Sign me up. But when it was revealed that Bill and Fleur were together, I was a goner. I couldn’t care less about Hermione and Ron, or Harry and Ginny. These two were where it’s at. I love their dynamic, a true beauty and the beast story (I choose to forget the part where the movies made Bill’s horrible scars just a couple little scritches across his face). And the fact that Molly hated Fleur so much, as did Ginny and Hermione, and fully expected her to be so shallow she would dump Bill as soon as his face wasn’t quite as handsome, only to have Fleur utterly insulted by the idea she would be so flippant about his looks. That she proved them wrong. A part of me, the part of me that never quite left my werewolf days, does wish that Bill would have been bitten and gone full werewolf, like Remus, but I guess that’s a dick move to wish on poor Bill. Also, I may have once written a fic where Bill was mesmerized by Fleur’s beautiful veela pubes. Maybe.
2. Esme and Carlisle Cullen (Twilight)
I am unashamed to admit that I loved Twilight when it first came out. The first three books, that is. Once the weird baby stuff started happening, I was outie. But I have a bit soft spot for vampire lovers, and I mean romance between two vampires, not one vampire and one human, which gets old pretty fast. Another thing about me is that I love doctors. Medical doctors. So Carlisle was my favorite from the beginning, and that combined with my love of vampire couples meant I really wasn’t very enthused with Edward and Bella and wanted to spend all my reading time thinking about Carlisle and Esme. The fact that he sired her in order to save her life, after remembering her ever since he treated her such a long time before… I love it. And their decision to save many of their pseudo-children from near-death by siring them, continuing their tradition of sorts, it’s a type of familial camaraderie that I’m a sucker for in fiction. So yeah, Twilight sucks, but I liked it anyway. And I still have a soft spot for Carlisle and Esme.
3. Haymitch Abernathy and Effie Trinket (The Hunger Games)
My first non-canon ship, of sorts, although honestly it’s so widely accepted by fanon that they put a lil reference to it in the last movie, which was very very sweet. But I fell in love with them in the books first, their bickering and complete opposition, the way they clashed so incredibly and yet completed one another in Katniss and Peeta’s lives as sort of parental figures during the games. The addition of their little kiss before saying goodbye in the movie adaptation of Mockingjay is honestly something I was actually happy they didn’t stay true to the book for. I think it added something valuable instead of just needlessly fleshing out what needed nothing extra. Admittedly, my favorite way to imagine Haymitch and Effie are in some sort of modern AU, giving them a situation to get to know each other that isn’t as awful as the Hunger Games. Maybe things would have been different for them if not for the games hanging over their heads. Who knows.
4. Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand (Game of Thrones)
This, to me, counts as a queer ship because both of them are bi/pansexual. House Martell is my favorite by far (I have their sigil tattooed on my leg, after all) and one of my favorite things about them is that they don’t treat their bastards as less than. Oberyn isn’t looked down upon for having Ellaria as his paramour, and Ellaria isn’t looked down upon for having children with a man out of wedlock. Another thing I love about them is that they’re so secure in their relationship and sexuality that they have zero problem bringing other people into it, not quite polyamory, but plenty of sharing, even to the extent of choosing the participants of their threesomes and foursomes together, no less casually than a couple shopping for groceries. I love that Ellaria isn’t bitter toward the Sand Snakes for being Oberyn’s children with other women, and that she treats them as her own daughters. They’re just so comfortable and trusting with each other, and so undeniably in love.
5. Enjolras and Grantaire (Les Miserables)
Finally, you say, some gays! What’s that? Tragic gays? No way, I want my money back! Oh, but I love them so much. I will tell you, Les Miserables is the longest fucking book I’ve ever read, and I was bored to tears for a good 75% of it. Victor Hugo’s writing is just so heavy and wordy and pointlessly detailed that I can’t bring myself to like it. But I did like nearly all of the dialogue points, and once you get to Les Amis de l’ABC there gets to be quite a lot of it, so it was easier to pay attention to without nodding off. But that’s when I read the gayest quote I’ve ever read in my life, from Grantaire to Enjolras, and I’ve not forgotten it to this day. It wasn’t intended as romantic (as far as I know), and yet it’s still the most romantic thing I can ever remember reading.
Enjolras: You don’t believe in anything.
Grantaire: I believe in you.
That entire conversation was gay as shit, but I won’t list the entire thing. Go… well, I can’t in good conscience recommend you read that entire book, but go flip through it til you find that line of dialogue and read the whole page.
That’s it for Top 5 Wednesday this week! I should have another entry by the end of the week, about the Women in Refrigerators trope. If for some reason that doesn’t get up before next week, I’ll see you then!