Every Thursday, Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn hosts a weekly party where blogs get to follow along with Diana Wynne Jones’ hilarious book The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel listing their favorite books with a particular fantasy trope. So sit back and enjoy the fun.
12th February, 2015 – TO BLATHE
Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT, a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that. But that’s not what he said! He distinctly said “to blave.” (Thanks to Wendy again. Let’s find those examples of True Love!)
First off, I have to admit that I’d never heard of “blathe” until this week. Guess, I’ve been living under a rock or something. So the first thing I did was go run a search on the meaning of this word, finally finding Urban Dictionary, which stated that “blathe” meant “To have really good sex and then eat ice cream and smoke a cigarette afterwards.”
Well, I guess lots of true love starts off that way — though not all — but that definition of blathe didn’t encompass all the different types of love for me. So, with that in mind, I’ve tried to classify my picks by the TYPES of LOVE that I’ve encountered in many of my favorite fantasy series.
Hope you enjoy. And please post some that I’ve overlooked.
BELGARION and CE’NEDRA (THE BELGARIAD by DAVID EDDINGS)
These two are the perfect old school example of infatuation at work. Ce’Nedra is the spoiled, rich teenager who runs away from her royal father to prove to everyone that she can do exactly as she pleases only to find herself stuck in the band of adventures led by Belgarath. In this group is another teenager named Garion, who immediately finds his small town, farm boy sensibilities at odds with the cute girl who treats him as if he is beneath her. But even as the two bicker, fight and insult one another, you gradually see through it all to the teenage infatuation that they feel for the other. And while the story eventually leads to a more serious relationship, these two initially began their love as pure teenage infatuation.
TAROD and CYLLAN (TIME MASTER by LOUISE COOPER)
Tarod is the dark-haired youth who is brooding, powerful, and confused about life and his place in it. Cyllan is a girl who has her own issues but has been gifted with a core of strength and resolve that leads her to fight for what she loves and believes in. Eventually, these two outcasts from society find one another, fall in love, and desperately hold on to one another no matter all the obstacles that the world — and the otherworld — throws at them. Yeah, this love is all about angst, us against the world, and all those things that make teenage infatuation so damn addictive.
ROLAND and SUSAN (THE DARK TOWER by STEPHEN KING)
Yeah, you guessed it. He will probably find a nice, young girl to keep him company.
And this is exactly what occurs when Roland Deschain meets Susan Delgado on the road one night in Wizard and Glass. The two youths find themselves overwhelmed by passion for one another, begin to meet clandestinely wherever they can as they care on a torrid affair which might or might not have developed into true love. But like all things in The Dark Tower, we will never know because before Roland and Susan’s love can grow fate intervenes in a most unforgettable way!
Dragon-Eyed Indris is a broken man, who has lost all that mattered to him: his wife, his chosen life, his trust in his order, and his faith in humanity as a whole.
When these two find one another in a night of passion, they also discover that they are soon set to be enemies — Mari’s father the antithesis of all that Indris holds dear. So what are these lovers to do when everything they found might be ripped out from under them, you ask? Why hold on even tighter, because they both are too broken for anyone else to love.
KELLIN and GINEVRA (A TAPESTRY OF LIONS by JENNIFER ROBERSON)
For seven books and a century of Cheysuli time, the Prophecy of the Firstborn ( A generational quest to recreate the magical race which once held sway in the lands ruled by Homana’s Mujar.) is nearing completion. All that is required is for Kellin, the Cheysuli heir, to sire a child with an Ihlini sorceress. Just one problem: Kellin wants nothing to do with the prophecy, nor does he wish to do anything to an Ilhini except to gut them for their murder of his mother and the abandonment of his father.
But prophecies sometimes have a way of working themselves out in the most peculiar ways, and when fate brings Kellin and Ginevra together, it is an attraction that somehow transcends their personal racism.
III. SOUL MATES
CATT-BRIE AND DRIZZT DO’URDEN (THE LEGEND OF DRIZZT)
These two children from different worlds might not be the first couple anyone would think of when they picture soul mates, but even though R.A. Salvatore leaves most romantic antics of the pair to a reader’s imagination, the deep devotion and smoldering passion of these two is always there to be seen. I mean, Catt-brie put off an eternity in paradise so that she could be reborn and return to Drizzt side, never knowing if he had moved on and found another true love during her time in the grave. And Drizzt for his part, never seems to have recovered from Catt-brie’s untimely death even though others have tried to replace her. Yeah, I’d say these two qualify as soul mates!
ARAGORN AND ARWEN (LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. TOLKIEN)
Arwen Undómiel, often called Arwen Evenstar, was the daughter of Elrond and Celebrían. During her long life, her people considered her to be the fairest of the Children of Ilúvatar, resembling Lúthien of the First Age.
When a foster-son of Elrond, Aragorn, falls in love at first sight with Arwen he is told by Elrond that only the King of both Gondor and Arnor could hope to wed her. And so the young Heir of Isildur set out on many long years of toil and labor to prove himself worth of Arwen’s love.
After the victory over Sauron and his crowning as King of the Reunited Kingdom, Aragorn finally weds Arwen. A triumph of love over all obstacles. The only negative was that Arwen gave up her immortality in order to wed her beloved Aragorn. Something she never renounced even after his death.
These two are the ultimate examples of soul mates and true love in fantasy for me.