Sci-Fi & Fantasys 14 Greatest Romances

A romantic treat for Valentine’s Day

Compiled with the impromptu help of the users on our SFX Facebook page . And 14 because, well, it’s the 14th…

14 Buttercup & Westley

From: The Princess Bride

(opens in new tab)

Westley: “This is true love – you think this happens every day?”

You have to marvel at Buttercup’s character arc in The Princess Bride : she goes from bossing around the farm boy who seems incapable of saying anything except for “As you wish”, to preparing to stick a knife in her breast when she can’t spend the rest of her life with him (causing him to remark that there’s a shortage of perfect breasts in the world and it would be a shame). Now that’s love, right there.

When it comes down to it, Westley and Buttercup are the perfect fairytale couple: they barely speak, they don’t act on their feelings until it’s too late and they spend most of their time apart. Yet their love is so profound that Westley can forgive Buttercup for almost marrying another man (to be fair, she was forced into it) and she can forgive him for being a vicious pirate who never told her he wasn’t dead. They’re not bad at kissing, either, even if young Fred Savage isn’t that fond of hearing about their smooches.

13 Lady Ramkin

& Sam Vimes

From: Discworld

“Lady Ramkin’s bosom rose

and fell like an empire.”

He’s a working class hero, a man of the streets. She is titled and monied, from one of the oldest and most respected families in the cities. The only thing they had in common was that they were confirmed singletons… or so it seemed.

They met after Vimes, commander of the City of Ankh-Morpork’s City Watch, had a brush with a dragon (dragons are her hobby and she runs a dragon sanctuary). They were immediately attracted by each other’s resourcefulness and independence. Hell, he didn’t care that she wears a wig (singed hair being a side-effect of her hobby).

Despite his tendency to run off after passing crims at the slightest opportunity (even their wedding, which took place in Men At Arms , left) she was more than willing to put up with his lifestyle. The only thing more important to Vimes than keeping the streets clean is their child, Young Sam.

It’s been a long and successful relationship based on trust, and not worrying too much about what each other is up to.

12 Beauty & The Beast

From: Various

(opens in new tab)

Catherine: “He comes from a secret place, far below the city streets,

hiding his face from strangers, safe from hate and harm. He brought

me there to save my life… and now, wherever I go, he is with me, in

spirit. For we have a bond stronger than friendship or love. And

although we cannot be together, we will never, ever be apart.”

All versions of Beauty And The Beast count – collectively – as one of fantasy’s greatest love stories. It’s the tale of the girl who can see past the monstrous visage into the heart of the beast. Though, to be honest, in most versions (especially La Belle et la Bete and Disney’s), the design of the beast is so magnificent and adorably furry, it isn’t much of challenge for the “beauty” to fall in love with him. And when he does change back into a dull old human prince it’s something of a disappointment.

But a special mention of the brilliant 1980s TV version, which reimagined the Beast (played by Ron Perlman) as member of a set of subterranean, mutant outcasts living in the sewers of New York, and Beauty as Catherine (Linda Hamilton), the district attorney who has a psychic bond with him. A psychic bond that becomes a much stronger bond. (Hamilton actually left after two seasons, and Catherine was memorably killed off, to be replaced by a female cop, but the show was never quite the same.)

11 Heather & Connor

From: Highlander

(opens in new tab)

Heather: “You can do that to me forever if you like, my Lord.”

Connor MacLeod: “Aye! I will. ”

Who wants to live forever? Sniff.

10 Clare & Henry

From: The Time Traveler’s Wife

(opens in new tab)

Henry: “I never wanted to have anything in my life that I couldn’t

stand losing. But it’s too late for that. It’s not because you’re beautiful

and smart. I don’t feel alone any more. Will you marry me?”

There’s nothing more romantic than a doomed love affair, and the one in Audrey Niffenegger’s bestselling novel is as doomed as they come. Henry (played in the movie version by a soulful Eric Bana) is cursed to travel through time, appearing and disappearing without warning. He falls in love with Clare (Rachel McAdams), who first met him as a little girl, and their courtship, marriage and eventual parting is an exercise in yearning, loss and, ultimately, hope.

Which is a coded way of saying, “Don’t watch without a box of tissues, because you will cry like a bastard.”

9 Zoe & Wash

From: Firefly

(opens in new tab)

Wash: “We’ll be in our bunk.”

On the surface, Wash and Zoe seem to be the odd couple – indeed, as we learn in a flashback episode, Zoe hated her future husband at first sight. And yet somehow his self-effacing funnyman and her ass-kicking soldier fit together like Cinderella and her glass slipper, making theirs a true fairytale romance.

During the course of Firefly ’s sadly shortened run we got to see them fight, make up, deal with torture, save lives, lose lives (sniff) and, most of all, adore each other in a totally believable, down-to-earth manner. Their unlikely attraction also served to free up Mal Reynolds from fancying his second-in-command to pine over Inara instead – another romance that could have featured on this list, if only they’d had a chance to do anything about it. Shame.

8 Hermione & Ron

From: Harry Potter

(opens in new tab)

“There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of

Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck

and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and

broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm

that he lifted Hermione off her feet.”

While the Harry Potter films create a less convincing “will they?/won’t they?” romance between the young wizards, J K Rowling sparked a realistic, funny and painfully gradual love story fuelled with the teen angst of the average teenager in her novels. Made all the more interesting by the obstacles of the wizarding world, the romance strengthened under the pressure of trolls, giant spiders, death eaters and of course Lord Voldemort.

While Harry seems to be what holds their friendship together, it takes nearly four years for Ron and Hermione to realise that their feelings for each other are more than just a feisty friendship, when jealousy rears its ugly head at the Yule Ball. Another few years pass and still the pair remain well and truly in the friend zone, with further hints of jealousy when either character has a love interest. In fact, it’s not until the battle at Hogwarts is in full swing that the couple finally hook up, the grand finale of the whole saga. Then there’s the slightly creepy but very sweet scene from the future, when Ron and Hermione are married and sending their kids off in the Hogwarts Express.

No doubt if the world wasn’t under threat from an evil dark lord for such a long time, the romance would have moved a lot faster.

7 Sarah & Chuck

From: Chuck

(opens in new tab)

Sarah: “Chuck, you’re a gift. You’re a gift I never dreamed I could

want or need, and every day, I will show you that you’re a gift that I

deserve. You make me the best person I could ever hope to be, and

I want to spend and learn and love the rest of my life with you.”

Chuck was one of two TV shows in this list (the one at number one being the other) that broke one of the fundamental rules of television and managed to survive: after a couple of season of will-they?/won’t they?… they did. Yep the geek got together with the spy, and made lots of fan boys and fan girls very, very happy indeed.

The amazing thing was how convincingly Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski sold the relationship. It really should have been a hideous, unbelievable TV contrivance. There was no way the glamorous spy could fall for the comic- and videogame-loving Nerd Herder, surely? And yet, they made it seem so natural. So right. So sweet. There was a look of true love in Sarah’s eyes and you truly believed all she wanted was the kids, the house, the white picket fence and a husband who could tune the TV to the digibox.

About Fox

Check Also

Watch Dogs: Legion’s ability to play as anyone puts you in control more than ever

The basic pitch for Watch Dogs: Legion (opens in new tab) pretty much boils down …

Leave a Reply