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Top 10 Literary Friendships of All Time

Top 10 literary friendships of all time

10. Gene and Finny, A Separate Peace by John Knowles

The classical scenario: one is outgoing and sporty, the other is introverted and has a tendency to bottle up emotions. The combination of close friendship and emerging jealous rivalry between the school boys leads to some unpredictable consequences and long-lasting effects.

9. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O’Brian

Boisterous, outgoing captain and academic, socially awkward ship medic bond through endless misadventures and naval strategies. Even more so than in previous cases, this is the friendship of polar opposites: a wonderful example of the “Red Oni, Blue Oni” trope. The impressive length of the series – over 20 books – helps to cement the importance of the relationship even more.

8. Anne Shirley-Cuthbert and Diana Barry, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The sweet, pseudo-romantic, overtly affectionate and beautifully childish friendship between famous “Anne with an E” and her somewhat more sophisticated companion can make you believe for a moment that, perhaps, all the best friendships are found and forged in childhood times. Two bright young girls swear to each other to be best friends forever: what more can one want to be heartwarmed?

7. The Golden Trio, “Harry Potter” series by You-Know-Who

The iconic combination of the hero, the lancer and the smart girl dearly beloved by current and grown-up children alike. Due to the structure of the series (one book = one year for the span of seven years) the reader has the opportunity to watch the friendship grow and go through growing pains. Additionally, after a romance starts emerging within the trio in the later books, it has some interesting effects on their organic friendship.

6. Aziraphale and Crowley, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Cosy angel with a weakness for sushi and old books and dramatic demon addicted to “Queen” songs and unsafe driving: these two have been around for a long time, over 6000 years. Although on paper they’re mortal enemies destined to undo each other’s doings, nobody in the story seems to care up until the very last act. Two ethereal (or occult?) beings trying to prevent the Apocalypse that they both are supposed to be interested in? Give me two.

5. Jo and Laurie, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The unicorn of male/female platonic dynamic in the sea of books. Seriously, why those are SO hard to find? Although shaken by misinterpreted feelings at the middle of the story, Laurie and Jo figure stuff out and remain tight in the end. After all, they are the union of free spirits with a certain degree androgyny that many of us, unfortunately, are allowed only in our childhood years.

4. Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Jeeves stories by P. G. Wodehouse

Although based on the subversion of the power dynamic in the employment scenario (moron-like good natured manchild and overtly competent butler), the bond between the two Englishmen develops under the remarkably comedic circumstances of the humour-based narrative. The escapades of the duo are mostly related to avoiding a marriage, setting up together a couple of friends or being involved in some sort of ridiculous upper-class scheme. Sometimes there are also legal troubles involved.

3. Countess Violet and Mrs Crawley, Downtown Abbey

Yes, we cheated to include this one in the list, but the screenplay contains words and is, therefore, literature. Technically. It is joyful to see nonetheless, how over the course of years a friendship emerges between old-fashioned, aristocratic Violet and modern, progress-oriented Isobel. It is additionally funny, because the two bicker frequently, as both are very stubborn. Who doesn’t like English ladies being vitriolic best buds?

2. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

Nothing strengthens a friendship quite the way a good murder does, especially if solved together. The analytical powers of the world’s greatest detective are accompanied by both the compassion and the war experience of his dear friend, which makes them the iconic unstoppable duo of which every criminal of London is afraid.

1.Frodo and Sam, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

An easy leader, honestly. Quite literally, the friendship that saved the world.