Happy Monday readers, I hope you all had good weekends. In the spirit of the day of love and chocolate yesterday, I’ve decided to do a post about the greatest relationships not in fantasy books.
Or the greatest trainwrecks.
This idea originated from Hiu at The Fantasy Inn, because why have my own ideas when I can just wait for him to churn out ridiculous ideas he’ll never have time to do himself?
When I told him I’d steal this if he didn’t use it, his only response was:
So would Saruman and Mr Teatime be lovers or fighters?
My initial response (other than taking that as permission to use it was):
“I think they’d have a weird relationship where Teatime was using Saruman as a sugar daddy, and Saruman was like the Mayor with Faith from Buffy only with more sexual tension, but I dunno if it ends well or no.”
Having had time to think about it, I think it could end well. Obviously they’re both deeply selfish heartless people, but their desires seem mutually compatible. Teatime wants to kill unusual things; Saruman wants unusual things dead. I guess the story has a strong chance of Teatime getting fridged when going after Sauron or Gandalf, but until that point, they’d be happy as could be for them. Lovers.
That was fun. Let’s do some more.
So would Melisande Shahrizai and Princess Eldris be lovers or fighters?
Well this pairing of the villains from Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy and De Bodard’s Fireheart Tiger makes great sense on the surface. Authoritative, regal, beautiful ladies attracted to beautiful ladies; their strengths as Magnificent Bastard and Sword Princess would make them the ideal tag-team for conquering a country. But would they rule it peacefully afterwards? I’m inclined to think no. Sure, they’d have a great time when things are going right for them, but put them in on the back foot and I suspect their similarities would rub against each other. From there, it’s a short step to throwing the other under the bus to secure their own spoils, behaviour which is indeed canon for both. Killers.
So would The Night King and The Winter Witch be lovers or fighters?
You could just imagine the excitement the other would feel on seeing the personal. “Long lived sorcerous entity looking for similar for committed relationship. Must love ice, snow, and the screams of children. Not being able to remember humanity a plus. No resurrections”. They’re made for each other. I’m not sure love would be part of their relationship, as I’m not sure either can, but they’d absolutely share the load together. Lovers.
So would Cersei Lannister and Fire Lord Ozai by lovers or fighters?
Time to pick a pairing that screams disaster. Ozai is a megalomaniac and abusive spouse. Cersei is also an abusive spouse, and very unlikely to love anyone other than Jaime. They would tear each other apart.
Or would they?
No, they’d tear each other apart. The only question is who disappears mysteriously first, and just how monstrous their children would. Can you imagine a hybrid of Azula and Joffrey? It’s basically a new baseline for comparisons to pure evil. Killers.
So would Lord Horn and Mornelithe Falconsbane be lovers or fighters?
One’s the manipulative, arrogant, predatory nobleman who stinks life up in Swordspoint. The other is the manipulative, arrogant, predatory, psychotic catman-sorcerer who stinks up most of Lackey’s Valdemar series, all through a series of incarnations that get more and more abusive. It’s easy to see them drawn together; it’s also easy to see them moving away… except Mournelithe wouldn’t allow that. His name means ‘Ancient Evil Returning’ for crying out loud. What would happen next wouldn’t be pretty, although if that’s your thing to read, I ain’t kinkshaming. How happy would Lord Horn be at the end of it? I don’t know, but I don’t think he’s got to the backbone to rebel. Unless maybe a sexy hero intervenes? Well, until that point, Lovers if not quite couple goals.
So would Brandin of Ygrath and Lanfear be lovers or fighters?
Cultured. Beautiful. Intelligent. Capable of moments of great nobility and love – but is that possessiveness, or actual love? They’d form quite the power couple and could bond over their tragic(ish) backstories of embracing the dark side through their overstrong emotions for another. But would that be enough for these two ambitious, powerful figures to put up with each other possessiveness? Because they do both need serious therapy. But maybe that bond would cement them and they’d be one of those crazy couples. I really don’t know which way to land, so I’m putting them down as Undecided and seeing if anyone can sway me.
So would The Emerald Queen and Captain Seriuz be lovers or fighters?
One is a sorceress who chooses to be semi-possessed by an ancient demigod-ly entity in her quest for immortality, something that leads her to becoming a mighty warlord in Raymond E. Feist’s The Serpentwar Saga. The other is a Naval captain from Bryan Wigmore’s The Goddess Project, a man whose military discipline definitely leads him towards the dark side. This seems like a good one, right? Maybe a little inappropriate given the office dynamics, but they’ve got some things in common, backgrounds they can bond over, we know The Emerald Queen likes men because she sleeps and kills them in her quest for immortality, and-
Okay, let’s back up a second. Yup. Some proper sex vampirism stuff.
Well that puts a crimp on any Happy Ever After here, doesn’t it? Maybe they’ll be lovers for a night, but this definitely ends with Killers.
So would Raena and Serret be lovers or fighters?
Villains from Kerr’s Deverry Cycle and Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, I can see these two definitely having a long extended chit-chat. Oh, you got obsessed by their weird magical thing everybody else thought was too dangerous but you were sure would give you power? Me too! And then of course some dreary protagonist style guy refused to go along with it. You think they’d understand with their own tragic pasts, but noooo… would they take against each other in this fictional universe where that becomes a relationship? People on Team Villain are rarely the most stable people, but Raena at least seems capable of love, and I think they’d go the distance. Lovers.
So would Christian Huxley and Lilly Weatherwax be lovers or fighters?
You know, when I started pairing villains together, I didn’t realise how much I was building on common backgrounds as a foundation. But I really was. The villain of Holdstock’s Mythago Wood and Pratchett’s Witches Abroad are both dab hands at how imagination can shape the world in the right magical circumstances, building a story to suit themselves, and having really annoying siblings. Unfortunately, they really are both very self-centered, and would ask whether the story wouldn’t be better without someone else there. I really can’t see it ending well, but hell, that’s the joy of villain relationships, right? Killers.
Thank you for reading this, and I hope everybody enjoyed these reminders of what good relationships don’t look like. And if you didn’t?