Love is in the air here at Geek Pride Headquarters (that or someone forgot to change the cat litter again) and so we thought we’d take a moment to celebrate some of the great loves of geek culture. From the tragic and unrequited to the platonic and bromantic, geek movies, games, TV and literature have provided us with love stories to rival even the greatest of the romantic poets, tales of affection to make hearts sing and the very stars weep.
We have below collected those romances which have stirred even our cold dead souls but, if you feel we have missed any out, please let us know in the comments.
Buffy & Angel
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Once upon a time there was a young girl named Buffy who fell in love with a tall, dark, and mysterious man named Angel. The end. Oh, how nice that would have been had it been true. As a vampire slayer and her vampire, theirs was a romance doomed from the start. It didn’t help of course that he had been cursed to lose his soul and try to kill her the first time they were intimate. That kind of shit is hard to come back from.
As it was, theirs was a love forever denied (except for those few times…), too dangerous to burn, yet never extinguished.
Adama & Roslin
As a couple, the commander of the Battlestar Galactica and the President of what remained of humanity were prone to perhaps more weighty arguments that who gets to choose the next show to Netflix binge. Both unready for the responsibilities placed on them by circumstance and unable to show any weakness in front of those who needed them to remain steady, they found solace with each other, first as confidantes and then as more. A long-matured companionship borne of friendship and the particular stripe of loneliness known only to those at the top.
Apollo & Midnighter
What started out as a fairly broad swipe at DC’s “Big Two”, the relationship between these unashamed Superman and Batman rip-offs develops quickly from “Ha ha, what if they were gay!” to telling the story of two outsiders finding love among the wreckage of their mutually broken lives. Also, kicking people in the face so hard their eyes pop out.
River & The Doctor
Loved and loathed in equal measure, the Doctor’s relationship with archaeology professor-cum-intergalactic criminal River Song is exactly as convoluted as you would expect from a show famous for making shit up on the fly and explaining any confusion off with the words “timey” and “wimey”. In this case, River was the daughter of one of the Doctors companions, stolen by an evil religion to be molded into the perfect assassin to kill the ubiquitous Time Lord and then sent back in time to become her mum’s best mate for a while before joining her on a time-travelling adventure, getting killed, regenerating (because reasons), trying to kill The Doctor, snapping out of the brainwashing, marrying The Doctor, and then dying the first time they meet. Yay, sci-fi!
All of this nonsense is saved of course by the genuine chemistry between the pair(s) and, because of the way their relationship laughs in the face of linearity (freakin’ time-travellers) it’s always a surprise where on each others time-line they’ll meet. The ultimate long-distance couple who have learnt the value of finding love in the moment.
Aragon & Arwen
The Lord of the Rings
Geekdom’s own star-crossed lovers, JRR Tolkein told the story of a mortal man who fell in love with an immortal elf, much to the disapproval of her father, Elrond, Lord of Rivendell.
After thirty years apart, circumstance forces them back together and, finding their love undimmed, they pledge themselves to each other on Cerin Amroth.
With the elves leaving Middle Earth, Arwen is forced to give up her immortality to stay with Aragorn, abandoning everything she knows and an eternal life for a few short years with the man she loves.
Peter & Gwen
Forget Mary-Jane Watson, Spider-Man’s first true love was a young girl named Gwen Stacey. The daughter of a police chief, Gwen was attracted to Peter by a feeling of intellectual kinship and he to her by a depth of character not found in the other girls he knew. A young infatuation blossoming into something more, their relationship was cut short when the Green Goblin threw the girl from the George Washington Bridge and she died in the rescue attempt.
Years later, the death of Gwen Stacey is still a defining moment in Peter Parker’s life and has informed every relationship he has had since, for better or worse.
Jadzia & Worf
One could be tempted to dismiss this pair’s romance as a contrived way to generate character development by simply throwing two B-listers together randomly. And you’d be right. Jadzia and Worf”s relationship and subsequent marriage was as believable as that drunk your parents paid to dress as Santa and look after that one Christmas while they brought your sister to Disneyland. But then Jadzia died and, as is her people’s tradition, a part of her was transferred into a different person, a person who retained all Jadzia’s memories and even some of her personality.
The pain felt by Worf, a man only just getting over the death of his wife, upon meeting the new Dax was palpable and heartbreaking; seeing something of a lost love in someone else and knowing that, although it survives, it can never again be yours.
Swamp Thing & Abby
In the relationship between Abby Holland and the Thing that was her husband Alec, writer Alan Moore explores the ways in which a love can change when the ability to connect on a human level is removed and what remains when that is taken away. From their early attempts to find some kind of common ground to later employing the use of John Constantine’s penis, Swamp Thing is tragic study in the lengths we will go to to hold onto love when circumstances are against us.
Han & Leia
It’s still hard to write about this so soon after having lost him. Han and Leia’s was a wartime romance borne out of constant adventure and nail-baiting escapades. It could not last and, as we now know, it didn’t.
The story of two people from different worlds, flung together in the white hot crucible of revolution and finding love from the often fertile ground of mutual dislike, is at the very heart of Star Wars and, seeing them together again in Episode VII, it is clear that, despite everything, some loves will never die.
Lois & Clark
Although their relationship has undergone many,Lord many revisions, Lois Lane and Clark Kent have proven to be as unbreakable as Superman’s bullet-proof skin to the point that even death cannot keep them apart.
In recent years writers have attempted to mix up their status quo, finally letting Lois be angry for the tall building full of lies Clark has dropped on her over the years in trying to cover up his identity, but it won’t last. In the 853rd century, when he emerges from his Fortress of Solitude in the heart of the Sun, she will be there, faster than a speeding bullet.
Buttercup & Westley
The Princess Bride
In his abridgment of S. Morgenstern’s classic tale of true love and high adventure, William Goldman tells the tale of the beautiful Buttercup and her doting farm hand, Westley. Their relationship takes a strange path to love, Buttercup delighting in verbally abusing the poor boy and demanding he perform more and more menial chores as her whim dictates, to which she receives nothing more from him that a heartfelt “As you wish.”
That Westley used this phrase to mean “I love you!” has, along with action, adventure and spot-on comedy, made both the book and the film geek classics, twisting the old cliche of dashing hero saving the damsel-in-distress, into something far more modern and relate-able. At its heart the story of how imagined slights and silly arguments can only hold back true love so long.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!