Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to celebrate some of the best love stories in science fiction and fantasy.
Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak (“Arrow”)
Felicity, quite literally, came out of nowhere. What was supposed to be a guest stint for actress Emily Bett Rickards turned into one of the most popular love stories on television today. Before Felicity Smoak graced our television screens, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was stuck in a lackluster love triangle and “Arrow” itself lacked a spark.
But throughout the last few seasons, watching the growing admiration-turned-friendship-turned-romance between Oliver and Felicity has been an absolute joy. “Olicity” is the heart and soul of “Arrow,” and their chemistry hasn’t diminished in the slightest as their relationship has grown and developed.
Felicity makes the show fun to watch, and we are allowed to see how much happier Oliver is with her around. His feelings for her very much mimic the audiences: She makes what can be, at times, a very dark show a blast.
Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (“Harry Potter”)
Sorry, J.K. Rowling, but you’ll never convince this writer that Hermione and Ron’s love story was absolutely, well, magical.
Was it perfect? No, of course not. Ron was an absolute idiot when they were younger (remember the disastrous Yule Ball?) and Hermione seemed unattainable at times. Ron and Hermione are very different people. But perhaps that’s what makes them so endearing.
Their relationship wasn’t a fairytale, despite their world being one of fantasy. And I’m sure that their marriage won’t be perfect, but what marriage is? Love isn’t easy or simple, it requires hard work and compromise.
Sure, Rupert Grint speculated that the two will probably divorce (which is incredibly depressing), but I have faith. I’ve seen imperfect relationships make it. Perfection is pretty boring, anyways.
The Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler (“Doctor Who”)
The Doctor has had many romances over the course of “Doctor Who,” but the cornerstone of all of them is, without a doubt, his relationship with companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) during his tenth incarnation. And yes, it was totally a relationship. David Tennant himself said at a convention that, “Rose was a girlfriend, even if they didn’t say it.”
The Doctor allowed Rose to discover the universe, to become a version of herself she couldn’t have otherwise. And it wasn’t just one-sided; Rose kept the Doctor grounded, reminded him of his own humanity. Together, they were the “stuff of legend.”
A lot of this, in part, is due to the once-in-a-lifetime chemistry between David Tennant and Billie Piper. Despite having no real direct lines of romance, every interaction between the two felt loaded with unspoken emotion and deep connection.
The ending to their story is equal parts heartbreaking and beautiful, just as every story in “Doctor Who” should be. And despite the passage of ten years, their story is still as raw and beautiful as it was then. In true “Doctor Who” fashion, it is timeless.
Han Solo and Leia Organa (“Star Wars”)
This, right here, is the couple to end them all.
Ever since that oh-so-charming wink at the end of “A New Hope,” Han Solo and Leia Organa have been the quintessential love story for all of science fiction.
Princess Leia is iconic: a powerful woman comfortable in her leadership role who somehow manages to go on despite losing her entire planet to the evil of the Empire. And Han Solo, well, he’s Han Solo. The scoundrel with a heart of gold who went from a selfish pirate to a war hero.
Perhaps what makes their romance so enchanting is the absolute awe with which Han looks at Leia. He knows how incredible she is, and despite all his bravado we know that he’s unsure about deserving to be with her. We see his fear all the way through the saga until Leia finally assures him that he’s the one for her.
I won’t spoil where their relationship goes in “The Force Awakens,” just in case some of you still haven’t seen it, but I’ll say this much: some things never change.
I’ll admit it: Valentine’s Day can be really stressful, whether you’re in a relationship or not. But lucky for us, there are always couples like these who have their emotions together far more than we do. Thanks, science fiction, for giving us far-flung stories of love and romance that still somehow feel completely real.