Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Literary Couples

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl since January of 2018. Jana writes, ‘it was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” In that spirit, link up with your list at That Artsy Reader Girl and comment with your list, link, or thoughts below.

Top 10 Favorite Literary Couples:

I had so much fun composing this list, especially contemplating all of the different reasons why characters can become favorites.

10. Henry & Clare [The Time Traveler’s Wife]

Boundless, unpredictable, filled with longing and dead sexy, but also problematic, disturbing, filled with sacrifice, and tragic: such is the love story of Henry and Clare. I’ve found myself thinking of this mind-bending, time-hopping romance over the years since my only read through a decade ago. If read today, I wonder if I’d still swoon at the thought of Henry returning through time to his love, would I brush-off Clare’s sacrifice of a normal life as easily, as if it were nothing compared to perilous passion? Would my love of this story withstand time’s test? I don’t know, perhaps I’m due for a re-read.

9. Golem & Jinni [The Golem and the Jinni]

When the restless, searching soul of the ancient Jinni and the stoic, lost soul of the newly-formed Golem find each other on a stroll during Manhattan’s turn-of-the-century nocturne, the real magic of The Golem and the Jinni begins. As each others’ lifelines, their relationship grows memorably deeper than many purely ‘human’ couples I can think of depicted in novels.

8. Norman & Jessie [A River Runs Through It and Other Stories]

I know. They’re not burning the world down consumed by their own passion, but as appealing as that may be to read–it’s not what captures a literary favorite to me. Norman and Jessie’s love story begins in late 1920s Montana; it’s supportive, sweet, intellectual and enduring, with it’s fair share of grief. A true love I relate to most in my personal life. Plus, that memorable final line in the short story-ugh, the best. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)

7. Bridget Jones and her diary [Bridget Jones’s Diary]

Photo credit

I realize at one point, Bridget had 2 men literally fighting over her in the streets, but I honestly don’t remember their names. What I do remember about this clever novel (loooosely based on Pride & Prejudice) are the hilarious, relatable entries Bridge vigorously scribbled in her diary. The journal is always there for her, to commiserate, inspire, track pounds, cigarettes and flubs at work, reflect on changes, and cause near disastrous embarrassment when it’s contents are revealed. Ultimately, the diary becomes a symbol of self-acceptance, illustrating that if all else fails, a girl can always depend on herself.

6. Holmes & Watson [Sherlock Holmes canon]

Sure, Sherlock had dalliances with Irene Adler and Watson’s wife Mary had endless patience, but they will always be the original bromance. Unemotional Sherlock Holmes and awestruck Dr. Watson share decades of companionship filled with mystery, daring, trust, pipe-smoke, good-natured exasperation and the warmest regard for each other’s lives and friendship. Most couples would be so lucky.

5.Glenn & Mags [The Walking Dead, issues 10-100.]

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A bit of a cheat because I never got past the first volume of the graphic novel, way too violent and traumatizing. All my fave Glenn and Mags moments derived from the show. But as couples with limited options go, these two brought a rare hope and lightness to the endless slog of dark and evil circumstances encountered in a zombified existence. When their human story ended, so did my viewership, no longer wanting to explore the blackness and bleakness of a world without them. (Tbh, the show was becoming unwatchably lame anyway)

4. Charlotte & Wilbur [Charlotte’s Web]

A couple’s love for each other manifests in many ways, but none more stirring than self-sacrifice. The light of each other’s lives, Wilbur and Charlotte’s tale is one of radiant friendship and humble devotion. I challenge anyone to come up with a more touching literary pair.

3. Cecelia & Marco [The Night Circus]

Trained as competing pawns in someone else’s game, the wistful romance experienced by Cecelia and Marco was the slow-burn variety. An ardent desire to fulfill each other’s dreams led to a love so powerful, it manifested in a circus. Not just any Barnum & Bailey, but the most beautiful, original and dreamiest circus ever conceived, the magical Le Cirque des Reves. One can’t help but fall in love with their love and get swept away.

2. Westley and Buttercup [The Princess Bride]

Image found on Pinterest

“He had written to her just before he sailed for America. The Queen’s Pride was his ship, and he loved her. (That was the way his sentences always went: It is raining today and I love you. My cold is better and I love you. Say hello to Horse and I love you. Like that.)”
The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Proving that a love sparked by adoration and treated with humor and devotion is the stuff, even greater than a fairy tale.

1. Katniss & Peeta [The Hunger Games series]

(AP Photo/Lionsgate, Murray Close)

Say what? An iconic YA couple makes an appearance. Lukewarm love triangle aside (she and Gale were too alike, it would never have worked) when fake love turns real for her, readers get a long-awaited payoff, but we knew the boy with the bread loved her all along.

Who are your favorite swoony couples from literature? Any hate-to-love or love-to-hate twosomes you need to declare? Please share below.

P.S. Wishing you a lovely Valentine’s and Galentine’s Day this week, friends.

17 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Literary Couples

    1. Thank you for the kind comment, sincerely. I need to learn to be more concise w/these lists, but for this one I think an explanation is enlightening for the amount of variety that’s bound to occur. I like that you provide explanations for your choices, too. Heading over to check yours out in a bit:)


    1. Thank you for commenting Kyla, I was hoping I wasn’t too far off with G & M, such an easy couple to root for, have any other post-apocalyptic couples ever come close to their hopeful/tragic story?
      And, I sometimes think it’s really only Peeta whom I love, but Katniss’s independent hard edges are extra compelling when combined with his caring devotion. A classic opposites attract, sacrificial love-one of the best!


    1. Total agreement w/The Night Circus, I love that Morgenstern used classic themes of star-crossed love in such an original way and created a singular memorable world.
      The Golem and the Jinni’s story still haunts me, so dark and deep. Thank you for sharing your link, is Anne Bennett your blog name, or is that a truly happy book blogging coincidence?


    1. The movie’s great, but the book is well worth a read. Bridget was never smarter or more honest than when writing in her diary.

      Total goals, I wonder how their relationship would be portrayed if written today? Regardless, their fondness for each other comes through in the writing, checking out your ship-worthy list:)


    1. You do! If I may be so bold, read it:) It’s rich in detail and atmosphere while being simply linear in plot like an adult fairytale. And it’s so clever and funny.


    1. Good choices, both richly plotted with wonderful imagined worlds. G & J is dark but enchanting and haunting, of course, TPB is lighter, but possesses timeless characters and situations. If you do read them, let me know your thoughts:)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so sorry, I all but ignored this while I was away, partly because I was probably waiting in line for some ride and out of wifi service, but also because – gasp! – I do not actually have a favourite literary couple. Lots of buddies that I think work well together, but romantic pairings? Not so much. Not even Cecelia and Marco, or R and Julie from Warm Bodies or Bridge and Mark and Daniel (though I adore the scene from the second book where Bridget somehow lands an in-person interview with Colin Firth, and she can’t stop asking him questions about what it was like to play Mr. Darcy, and then she starts just flat out confusing him with Mr. Darcy, and the whole thing culminates with her maybe physically attacking him, and her article is so bad, because she wrote it while deeply intoxicated, the paper decides to publish it just as a verbatim transcript and she also might have a restraining order from Colin Firth. Anyhow, I like the movie pairing of Bridge and Mark (and Bridge and Daniel, for that matter) but not the books, weirdly.)


  2. I love your choices of Jinni and Golem, Sherlock and Watson and Katniss and Peeta. I would add Claire and Jamie to mine, Eleanor and Park, Legolas and Gimli (bromance), Frodo and Samwise (bromance), Katie and Curran (Magic Bites series), Ronan and Adam and Todd and Viola from the Knife of Never Letting Go.


    1. Ah! Frodo and Samwise are a great choice, they truly have each other’s backs. And I may have only watch the filmed version but Jamie and Claire are dead sexy.
      Hmm, I guess I need to finish the Raven Boys series to see where this Ronan and Adam thing goes, I’ve heard a few tidbits and that was not expected:p


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