Ah, yes. ‘Tis the season of love. For those like myself who are perpetually single because our lives aren’t epic romances rooted in space operas or fantasy adventures, it’s fun to live vicariously though the relationships developed on the screen. If there is the potential love in a story, you know writers will go for it. However, when it comes to some of the best known couples in fandom, I think the writers “shipped” the wrong pair. Here are three examples:
Padmé Should Have Chosen Obi-Wan Over Anakin
I think Weird Al put it best when he sang, “He’s just nine and she’s fourteen.”
Here’s Padmé Amidala, a smart, mature ruler by the time she’s 14. Between Episodes I and II, she continues her leadership career in the Senate. She’s doing just fine. Then Anakin comes back into her life and for some stupid reason, she falls for him. I call this reason “Because It’s Necessary For The Plot” because there is little logic behind why a successful 24 year-old woman would fall in love with a 19 year-old headstrong show-off. I have nothing against older women taking interest in younger men, but the difference between 24 and 19 developmentally is huge compared to 34 and 29. Being a strapping young Jedi could be attractive to many women. Anakin is talented and capable, but if he wasn’t a Jedi, would Padmé be attracted to this guy whom she last saw as a small child? I’m not so sure.
Which brings me to my point: Padmé would have been better off with Obi-Wan. Padmé is profoundly mature and wise beyond her years. It makes more sense that a personality type like hers would be more attracted to an older man. Watching Obi-Wan’s internal struggle between love and duty would’ve been far more compelling than Anakin’s. Although, a love triangle certainly would have been entertaining as well as add complexity to the situation. Of course, Padmé living happily ever after with Obi-Wan would have broken the lore. And any writer will tell you that good stories stem from characters making bad decisions… like falling for Anakin.
Katniss Should Have Chosen Gale Over Peeta… or Better Yet, No One at All
Image credit: Lionsgate
Katniss went through multiple ordeals throughout The Hunger Games series. This girl has some serious PTSD, and for good reason. Throughout the games, Katniss has to pretend to be in love with Peeta to convince sponsors to send her survival tools. Then later, she has to continue the charade to protect herself from the Capitol. Katniss and Peeta have gone through a lot together, which is completely fair to say. However, throughout the books/movies, Katniss cared about Peeta’s well being, but she never loved him romantically. It was all fake. It’s not until the end when she suddenly loves him in that way. Did she love him this whole time but now she’s just realizing it? Or does she love him at the end because it’s expected of the heroine?
After the revolutionaries bring down the Capitol, Katniss and Peeta get married and have kids because Peeta is like a “dandelion” and Gale is a “fire.” Gale is too passionate for her even though he’s loved her and been loyal to her long before the Games. Peeta represents peace to her, somehow, even though he would be a constant reminder of the nightmare that was the Hunger Games.
I never agreed with Katniss choosing Peeta. Peeta understands her, yes, but he understands her because they are both horribly traumatized and broken. Oh well, nobody understands me, so I’ll just marry the one dude who “gets it” and I’ll have his babies even though I swore to myself that I would never bring children into this awful world.
This can’t possibly lead to a healthy relationship. What these two need is therapy, not each other.
Gale could have provided that stability to Katniss. He’s known her long enough and well enough to be a true support. Or better yet, Katniss could have found it on her own. After the Games, what Katniss needed was to heal herself. Being in a relationship with a fellow tribute meant that she had to care for someone else before herself. The Hunger Games are about self-preservation, but Katniss has to take responsibility for Peeta, other tributes, and eventually all the other districts. Hasn’t she earned some time for self-healing? Nope! Too bad. Go permanently attach yourself the troubled dude you’re shipped with and have his babies that you never wanted.
Hermione and Ron Should Have Dated, Then Moved On
Image credit: Warner Bros.
Just because Ron and Hermione survived Voldemort (and puberty) together doesn’t mean that they have to be romantically involved forever. Ron possesses a lot of loyalty and heart. He’s a great catch, but not necessarily Mr. Right for Hermione. We don’t always know why we develop crushes on people who seem wrong for us. It just happens. It makes sense for the pair to take interest as teens.
I think after some time dating, Ron and Hermione would eventually break up. Even at the end of the book series, Ron still searches for direction in life, whereas Hermione would want to blaze forward. Both characters would continue to grow, but most likely in different directions. They would always remain very good friends, even after a breakup, but I think they’d eventually come to realize that they’re better off as friends than lovers. J.K. Rowling even stated that she regretted not putting Hermione with Harry mid-series, but frankly I don’t think Hermione/Harry would have worked out long term either. Sure, he’s the “chosen one” and she’s pretty darn amazing, but that creates a hot fire that can burn out very quickly. Shipping them would have taken the focus off the plot and put it on the romantic angle.
Harry, Hermione, Ron, and even Ginny share an indestructible bond, but that doesn’t mean that they have to automatically be “shipped” forever just because the big adventure has come to an end. All of them have the capacity to grow, learn about themselves and their needs, and then make the decision for marriage later in life.
What are your thoughts on these iconic relationship? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Featured image credit: Lucasfilm