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Former American President, Woodrow T. Wilson, once said that: “Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” This quote does well in successfully capturing and highlighting the importance of friendship as a concept. which exists both in reality and in the fictional worlds which are created.
Within the world of fiction, the theme of friendship is perhaps just as crucial as the plot of the story is in the telling of the tales which we are told. The characters who we are introduced to in the stories we read, face not only the trials of the journey ahead but the joys and difficulties that come with interacting with other characters who they are introduced to, as well as the impact which these interactions have upon the evolution of their characters in turn.
Just as they do in reality, friendships in fiction spark and evolve in a variety of ways and this makes for an intriguing sight to bear witness to whether it’s on page or on screen. Some friendships are already or easily established between characters, whilst others take some time for the bond between the characters to form. No matter how the friendship came about, the trials which the friends face over the course of their journey acts not only as an obstacle to the individual(s), but to the friendships made between them. These challenges which the friends face are much like the challenges faced by friends in real life in that they – no matter how fantastical they are – help to either strengthen the bonds between them or, unfortunately, succeed in driving or tearing them apart… And so, from the undying loyalty shown by Samwise Gamgee to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series to the deterioration of the friendship between Guinevere and Morgana in the BBC TV show Merlin, this exploration of a few popular fictional friendships sets to highlight just why they are in fact the most memorable.
Much like Frodo and Sam’s friendship, another dynamic duo which exists in fiction is none other than Scott McCall and Stiles Stilinski from MTV’s Teen Wolf, these two partners-in-crime are inseparable for the most part of the six seasons of the show.
Throughout the show, Scott and Stiles experience various trials and tribulations which lead to disputes of varied consequences. However, these two may not be brothers in blood but they have a connection that is impossible to miss throughout the show as they continuously resolve their differences and manage to come together again to prove that the power which the bond of friendship holds is strong enough to overcome the deadliest of obstacles.
Indeed one of the most memorable friendships from fiction known for their undying loyalty to one another during times of hardship is the friendship which exists between three iconic characters: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley.
Known as the ‘Golden Trio’, what makes this friendship work – oddly enough – is not the similarities between these three friends, but the differences. They balance one another perfectly and are the ‘ultimate friendship goals’ both for readers of the series and even the characters, as shown in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child when Draco Malfoy, Harry’s very own school nemesis, recalls how he felt about the trio’s friendship:
Of course, when it comes to friendship, if you think three is a crowd then what about the groups who share that friendly bond in fiction? Whilst it is often portrayed on page and screen, one would think that the clash of so many personalities coming together to form a group of friends may make the strength of the bond between them weaker… how wrong that belief would be.
Take for example the Losers Club – the given name which this band of misfits adopted as their own in Stephen King’s novel IT.
If you’ve read Stephen King’s IT then you’ll know that whilst it is a horror novel telling the events surrounding the killer supernatural being known as IT, it is also a tale of friendship and strength, which bonds the characters and allows for them to overcome the most deadly of adversaries. The seven of them create a force to be reckoned with and even in adulthood, it is their friendship which shines through most of all as they return to their childhood town to battle their foe once more together.
And it’s not just the Losers Club who recognise the power which their friendship holds…
From the duo friendship of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes to the unbreakable bonds formed between each of the Avengers’, Marvel is a fandom which explores a variety of friendships in many forms! The comic books and movies alike explore the individual characters flaws and strengths and how this in turn reflects on their interaction with those around them – particularly how friendships are formed, challenged, and even broken… One thing that Marvel does well at is also showing how those broken friendships can also be mended.
After all, friendships are no fragile thing and more often than not the people who come into the lives of the characters we read about in books and watch on screen often do for a reason and are most likely there to stay, much like the friendships formed in our reality.