Top Ten Tuesday: REWIND

Hey, hey, hey! It’s Tuesday, and I thought I’d give Top Ten Tuesday a go. This week is Top Ten Tuesday: REWIND, and the prompt is,

Pick a past topic that we’ve done that you missed or just want round 2 of!

I scrolled through The Broke and Bookish blog’s epic list and decided I liked the looks of August 14’s prompt,

(In honor of Jamie’s wedding this week on the 17th) — Top Ten Book Romances That You Think Would Make It In The Real World (outside the book)

Yep, that sounded interesting and a little thought provoking. In a possibly controversial move, I’ve also made a list of ten romances that I think would not survive in the real world.  (To use the lingo of fandom, I might sink a few ships).  That post will be available tomorrow.

Before we begin, however, I would like to explain the criteria I found myself using as I made these list. I was looking at whether or not the relationship was healthy. By that I mean,

  • Do the partners respect each other?
  • Do the partners remain faithful to each other?
  • Do the partners have a clear and accurate perception of each other?

I also decided that “real world” meant these couples had to be able to last in my world:

  • If their story took place in the 1800s, could romance make it in 2012?
  • Could Hogwarts students still fall in love with each other in an average high school?
  • If the dramatic and epic circumstances that brought the couple together were removed, would their romance still be possible?


Let’s begin.

Note: there is no significant order to these lists. None of these photos are mine.

Top Ten Book Romances That Would Make It In The Real World

Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe, the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery

Honestly, how could they not survive in the real world?

Benedick & Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Why yes, that is David Tennant and Catherine Tate.

They’re made for each other.

 Catherine Morland & Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

There’s a theme, I think, within most of my choices: I appreciate relationships in which there is respect and encouragement. I think Catherine and Henry do just that. They are friends first, and they support each other.

Honorary Mention: Emma Woodhouse & George Knightley, Emma

Tom Sawyer & Becky Thatcher, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Okay. I’m a sucker for the whole childhood-romance thing. And I seem to really love that mischievous hero. Plus, Becky Thatcher was a spitfire. She could totally hold her own against Tom in the real world.

Ron Weasely & Hermione Granger, the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Besides being utterly lovely and adorable, Ron and Hermione were also friends first. Watching their relationship grow throughout the seven books was great and realistic.

Honorary Mention: James & Lily Potter

Hey, this is a Top Ten post on realistic romances, not “what if” romances. As much as I love the fact that Lily was Severus Snape’s one true love, they would have never worked in the real world. Snape just has too many issues to be the man Lily deserves. James, while I’ve always thought of him as kind of a douche, was a bit more stable and more relationally secure.

Faramir & Eowyn, The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien

For a book series that is male-dominated, Eowyn is fascinating. I like the fact, too, that Faramir didn’t save Eowyn but helped her heal. I’m telling you, guys, respect and encouragement.

Honorary Mention: Aragorn & Arwen

I just can’t imagine them not being together.

John Thornton & Margaret Hale, North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell

I’ve seen Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice included on other bloggers’ Top Ten lists. I have to respectfully disagree on that one. I never felt satisfied with Darcy’s character. Yeah, he loved her, but I still don’t think he really knew her, and I never felt like I really knew him.

Which is why I loved North & South—it was like P&P, but Gaskell gave me more insight into Thornton’s character. I think Thornton discovers who Margaret really is, and vice versa, and develops tremendous respect for her.

Lizzie and Darcy? Maybe. Thornton and Margaret? You better believe it.

Gale Hawthorne & Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Guys, you know I love Peeta Mellark, but Gale is the logical choice for Katniss, and Katniss is a logical woman. Were Katniss, Gale, and Peeta living in our world today, I don’t think Peeta would have had a chance. Katniss and Gale had a strong friendship and interdependence on each other that I think would still be possible within the confines of our world.

The only thing that Katniss and Peeta really have in common is that they survived the Hunger Games together. In the trilogy, that trumps everything Gale could ever offer Katniss, but in the real world, Peeta is an infatuated wuss with Katniss on a pedestal. She’d never really give him a second glance.

Laura Ingalls & Almanzo Wilder, the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This is a cop out, I know. Whatever.

Landon Carter & Jamie Sullivan, A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Yeah, I totally think they could.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below.

Coming Up Next: Ten Literary Romances that Would Crash & Burn in the Real World

Oh joy.


11 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: REWIND

  1. “As much as I love the fact that Lily was Severus Snape’s one true love, they would have never worked in the real world. Snape just has too many issues to be the man Lily deserves. James, while I’ve always thought of him as kind of a douche, was a bit more stable and more relationally secure.” I agree with the caveat that I would like to punch James in the face, just to make myself feel better. 😉

    I have a more favorable impression of the P & P couple than you, perhaps. I can’t disagree about North and South, though. Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth would have made my list, though. Fidelity is huge for me, both in the real world and in my fiction.

  2. Oops. Posted before I was finished! Of the ones I know on your list, which is most of them, the only one I am not sure I agree with is Northanger Abbey. It has been a long while since I read it, though.

    • Most readers disagree with me over Northanger Abbey. I will admit that my opinion might be influenced by the BBC miniseries.
      As for Persuasion, I almost included it. But there’s something terribly stuffy about that book. Also, I question Anne’s commitment. I guess I’m just too cynical to trust her not to make the same mistake again. I guess, if I was in Wentworth’s place, I wouldn’t.

      • Ah, Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel. It is slow-paced, but so beautifully written! Perhaps it tells something about each of us, that you love the novel she wrote when she was young, and I love the last one published. You do strike me as a more lively and vivacious person than myself, to use Auten-lingo. 🙂

        Hmm… I tend to take her side of things, being disappointed that he either did not know her well enough, or else was too blinded by his own feelings, to realize that she loved him, and thought, when she ended the engagement, that she was doing the best for him, as well. And perhaps she did, in a way, because I have to wonder if he would have been so successful with a wife attached in those earlier years.
        I think too much of the strength of her character, and her complete lack of class prejudice (which could be her only reason for refusing him) to think she would ever break his heart, or her own, again. I’m more of a reason-over-passion girl, like Anne, so she makes sense to me, and Wentworth is a passion-over-reason sort of man. That is, I think, what causes the rift in understanding between them, but it’s also something that can make for a good marriage if the partners really come to know eachother.
        But as I said, it’s my favorite Austen, so I could talk on it for hours. I wish we were closer. Such things need discussing over tea and biscuits. 😉

      • “You do strike me as a more lively and vivacious person than myself.”
        I’m blushing. But seriously, thank you. I don’t really think of myself like that, but it’s nice to hear. Or read. Whatever. 🙂

        With novels (or any story), I tend to judge female characters harshly, especially those with whom I relate strongly with. (Anne has several attributes that I see in myself. Plus her actions prior to the novel terrify me. I have this fear that I would do the same, yet in the real world I doubt I’d be able to have a happy Persuasion-esque ending.) Because of that, I tend to like male characters more, and I take his side over Anne’s, even though I do think both are at fault.

        I wish we were closer, too. That would be fun. 🙂

  3. Communication solely through text is not very revealing of personality, to be sure, but I would still be surprised if it weren’t true, at least to some extent.

    I struggle with judging women more harshly as well, and from what I see, that is pretty pervasive, not only in our culture, but in many cultures worldwide. Even though I see that I do it, and feel that it is unfair, it is hard to fight. I worry about its impact on my own story, which has a female for a main protagonist. The other two protagonists are male, and more deeply flawed than she is, and yet the odds are in their favor. Do you struggle with this in your writing as well?
    That fear… yes, I can see how that would have a strong effect on the story. Still, her decision makes ten times more sense in the context of her time and culture than now. Both are at fault, though, and there’s not much difference between how much.

    It would, wouldn’t it? Tea! Still, we aren’t as distant as some of my internet friends, so maybe one of these days.

    • I do struggle with it. Because I know female characters and protagonists are judged so harshly, I find myself holding them to high standards because I want well-written characters. I feel like if we have more strong female characters, we can eventually change that. I’m a firm believer that the arts and entertainment truly do influence culture and society. Expose readers to better female characters, and hopefully they’ll be more demanding of them in the future.

      Or is that too idealistic?

      That is true.

      Maybe. 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Fandom Games Part 3 | FanFiction Fridays

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