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Day 4: Love-Triangles. The ones that worked for you. The ones that didn’t.
The ones that worked for me:
Rose Hathaway ~ Dimitri Belikov ~ Adrian Ivashkov Richelle Mead is a master of the complicated romance. She displays this talent in all it’s glory via the Vampire Academy series. We go from Mason to Rose to Dmitri, then to Dimitri and Rose to Adrian and back again. But, the one that had me all torn to pieces was Adrian and Dimitri. When the final decision came in, I knew who Rose had to choose, but it didn’t make me feel any better. The reason this love-triangle works for me is because it is done without “cheats.” Rose as a character made a tough decision and one of the characters suffered because of her choice. Like in life. Her triangle between her much older instructor and the sexy out-of-her-league royal, never really got out of hand. The question came up when you saw how much Adrian would do for Rose in her struggle to right the wrongs that occurred with Dimitri. The fact that this man would sit idly by as the girl that he had strong emotions for tracked down her ex, made Adrian into a character you wanted to root for, to get the girl. Even though, you wanted Dimitri and Rose to get their HEA – even as impossible as it seemed. It was a great story and the ending was tragically apropos.
Meghan Chase ~ Puck ~ Ash
While this love-triangle had an obvious ending, it worked because Kagawa didn’t take any easy ways out. There was always anxiety over Meghan not ending up with her assumed HEA, but in the end, she made the tough decision and ended the third relationship with honesty instead of an author trick. This love-triangle was a more common one, that of friend who wants more and love-of-her-life but a bit off-limits. You figure in the end the girl will get the love of her life, instead of settling for the friend…but you have hopes that maybe she will open her eyes and notice the friend.
Eugenie Markham ~ Dorian ~ Kiyo Marquez
Again with Richelle Mead. I told you she is the queen of complications. In her less appreciated Urban Fantasy series, Mead has a very complicated relationship formed between Eugenie, the main character and her boy bitches, Dorian and Kiyo. While the series didn’t end like most fans would have hoped, Mead didn’t do anything crazy with her triangle. This one was unexpected and the turn-out, while dramatic and heart-breaking, surprised, but didn’t surprise because it was in the characters nature from the beginning. Have you sensed a theme? Love-triangles work when the author doesn’t play games. The relationship with Dorian and Kiyo was very intense. Dorian, full fae – wanted Eugenie to embrace her fae side and her magic, while Kiyo was part human and wanted Eugenie to be more “normal.” They were not only relationships, they were about Eugenie and accepting who she was. Which way she would go. So, the ending and the final culmination to an HEA was always up in the air.
The ones that are still in progress…
This list might actually change depending on these series enders, but these are love-triangles in the works that I’m really enjoying:
Ciel Halligan ~ Billy ~ Mark
This love-triangle really works for me, because Ciel is torn – which in turn makes me as a reader torn. It also is working because while Ciel is interested in both men, you are unsure about Mark’s interest. So, while she knows Billy is interested, she is unsure if he is just in it for a fling – and then she is in love with Mark, who she doesn’t know if he returns any sort of feelings.
Celaena Sardothien ~ Chaol Westfall ~ Prince Dorian
This is a triangle that I don’t know which direction Calaena should go. Both boys are so wonderful and personally I think neither one deserve Calaena, because she does whatever she wants. But, she does deserve an HEA. Right now I’m rooting for Chaol, hopefully Prince Dorian will get a good girl also. This one works because Celaena feels for both men and as a reader you experience it also.
Drusilla Jaco ~ Jean Lafitte ~ Alex Warin
While I am strongly in Alex’s dugout, there is something about sexy pirate Jean Lafitte. This love-triangle is really working because Alex and Drusilla are a tragic couple that you think will never hook-up. Johnson also like to throw in new men every now and again to shake things up. But, the basic triangle, which expands to a square every now and again, seems real.
Cassia Reyes ~ Ky Markham ~ Xander Carrow
This triangle didn’t work, well because the whole point of this series was about a love-triangle. It was deliberate and written to cause the anxiety that a love-triangle creates. Whereas triangles that work are done with a little more subtlety.
Clary Fray ~ Simon Lewis ~ Jace Wayland
This love-triangle lines up with “author tricks.” With the reason for keeping two of the parties apart: a plot twist that is later to be revealed. This twist is the fact that Clary and Jace are brother and sister. Simon is the bestie that wants to be more, that might just win Clary over with persistence – except for the fact that Clary is hot for brother. Seriously I was thinking that maybe they would go all “Flowers in the Attic” and say screw it and get it on. But, frankly, I knew at some point they brother/sister relationship would be disproved, because there was no way that Clary and Jace could be kept a part. Hence the trick and the reason this love-triangle didn’t work. I never thought there was any hope for Simon.
Katnis ~ Peeta ~ Gale
While you guys might be glaring at me right now, I don’t think the love-triangle worked at all in The Hunger Games. Again, this baby falls into “author trick.” Katniss never had to make that tough decision because it was made for her. Collins through plot maneuvering forced Katniss’ hands in all maters, including her love choice. Her final choice of Peeta was not done because she loved him madly, but for the fact that she couldn’t live with the guilt of “without him.” And Gale, through his vengeful tactics, could easily be dismissed and he would be able to recover. While this made for a complicated plot, it didn’t make for a romantic happily-ever-after. I didn’t think Gale or Peeta should bother with Katniss and find a girl that would treat them both much better.
Anita ~ Richard ~ Jean-Claude
There is many reasons this love-triangle failed, the main one being at a certain point it ceased being a love-triangle and turned into a love-icosahedron. But in the beginning part of the series there was the typical UF triangle between a girl, a wolf and a vampire. The vampire was bad, the wolf was good, the girl was innocent. To some extent. The reason it failed was because at some point the author got really mad at the wolf and turned him into a raving lunatic and then to gain vengeance on that wolf, she made the innocent girl have sex with everyone around her. All the while, forcing the wolf to hang around in his desperation. It also didn’t work because the vampire was rather creepy and you knew he was no good for Anita – but she kept going back to him. It didn’t match up with the character’s usual behavior and marked the decline of the whole series. But, hey it works for a lot of people still…btw anyone still reading this? Did she actually kill Richard yet??
Bella ~ Edward ~ Jacob
This one has stupid author trick written all over it. The moment Meyers introduced us to a term called IMPRINTING, Team Jacob fans had high hopes of Jacob imprinting on Bella and then making Edward go up in a sparkly powdery mess. But, no, Meyers had to have Jacob imprint on the daughter of Bella and Edward, which had all sorts of creepy, this is really F’d up reactions from fans. I mean, we knew that poor Jacob would be left high and dry, because Bella and Edward were fated…but this was one of the cheapest, creepiest ways out of a love-triangle that I have ever read.
America Singer ~ Aspen Leger ~ Prince Maxon
This love-triangle doesn’t work because you don’t want America to hook up with either of these asshats. Aspen gets the title of “too little, too late” and Prince Maxon is just clueless. But, then America is kind of clueless, so maybe they are meant for each other. But really, this one goes up there with Matched as the “engineered” love-triangle. Considering the whole point of this series is based on the principal of the reality television show The Bachelor, which promotes triangle type relationships.
Which Love-Triangles worked or didn’t work for you?