The Best Friend and The Other Guy

I finished reading The Iron King by Julie Kagawa last night and found myself surprised at how I enjoyed reading a paranormal romance novel again. I’ve mentioned it many times already that I have started avoiding paranormal romances and some contemporary romances because they always seemed to have the same thing: girl meets guy with a secret, they fall for each other, but girl has a guy friend who is also in love with her and is always the safer choice. Or roles can be switched too — guy meets girl, guy and girl fall in love but there’s a girl best friend who knows the guy better. And yes, I understand, there are other variations, so I’ll let you guys fill that in.

Photo by iann7 – from deviantArt

A bit of a spoiler for The Iron King — the same kind of love triangle is also there, although it wasn’t that pronounced yet in this book. I have a feeling it will be expounded on the next book, though, and right now I already feel sad for one of the guys because I am sure who the heroine would end up with. I realized then as I was reading that for fictional love triangles, I always seem to side with the best friend. I never really declare my “teams”, but I always find myself more sympathetic to the plight of the best friend. Case in point (slight spoiler warning for the books listed):

  • Twilight – I liked Edward in the first book, but when Jacob Black made his presence known, I liked him more. In the end, though, I felt that Bella did not deserve Jacob, so I wasn’t really rooting for Jacob to win in the love triangle but to be able to move on. Still, on the overall love triangle arc, I liked Jacob more.
  • The Hunger Games – I have no problems with Peeta, but I liked Gale more. Sure, Peeta is the golden boy and I liked him as he was, but I honestly thought Katniss and Gale was the better pair. But as I always say whenever people asked me which team I was for in The Hunger Games, I never made a real choice, except that I am just partial to the best friend. Come to think of it, that just meant I’m Team Gale. :P
  • Song of the Lioness QuartetAngela asked me about who I wanted for Alanna while I was reading the books in the series, and I said I was for Jonathan, who ended up as Alanna’s best friend. I liked who she ended up in the end of the quartet, even if I liked Jon more than who she chose.
  • The Mortal Instruments – A bit of difference for this one, since I actually liked Jace for Clary. I did feel a bit triumphant for Simon when Clary paid more attention to him that is not platonic. Although I didn’t root for their love team as much, I don’t think I would have minded if Clary ended up with Simon.
  • Privileged (TV Show) -While my friends and I agree that Will (played by gorgeous Brian Hallisay) is extremely hot, I felt myself gravitating towards Charlie, Megan’s best friend, who has always been in love with her. And true enough, I was heartbroken when Megan told him that he’s just a friend. :( (Note: the book that the TV series based on has no love triangle, so I had to specify the TV show)

And finally, The Iron Fey. Like I said, I don’t know what’s going to happen in The Iron Daughter since I haven’t read it yet, but I have a feeling that the love triangle will be explored more here. And I already feel bad for the best friend.

I don’t really know why I favor the best friend in the fictional love triangles I read/watch, except maybe because I am kind of sympathetic to the best friend plight. I can’t say I have been in an almost similar situation before (maybe, but since I am a girl, I doubt it’s as painful as the ones I have read). Or maybe it’s just because I tend to gravitate to the underdog because I always hope they’d win somehow? Or maybe it’s just because I always thought that a boyfriend who is your also your best friend is a really good thing?

But then again, what do I know about that? I’ve never been in a relationship before. *shrug*

What about you? Do you “fall” for the other guy, or do you find yourself siding with the best friend?

Edited to add: I just realized there was one love triangle that defied my “best friend” example – Brigan, Fire and Archer in Kristin Cashore’s Fire! Although I thought Archer was a pretty sweet and charming guy, I was for Brigan and Fire all the way. :P

15 Thoughts on “The Best Friend and The Other Guy

  1. I don’t like love triangles. It speaks of complications and having a relationship has its complications already, I don’t want to aggravate it any further. Haha.
    And I don’t want to fall in love with a bestfriend. For me, it just seems so…incestuous, if I may call it that. I would rather fall in love first because I know that he will eventually become my bestfriend. ;)
    That’s why in stories like in your review, I always side with the “other guy”. I just finished Hunger Games #1, and I’m with Peeta, for now. I don’t know if my affectations will change after I read the other 2 books. :)

    • True, love triangles are complicated. I don’t really like reading about them, either that’s why I kind of stay away from these kinds of romances.

      And I don’t want to fall in love with a bestfriend. For me, it just seems so…incestuous, if I may call it that. I would rather fall in love first because I know that he will eventually become my bestfriend. ;)

      That’s a good point. I can’t really fall in love with my best friend because he’s gay. LOL.

      I really have a feeling that I like the best friend angle more because that’s what I have been fed all these years. Some people say that the best relationships come from friendships, so I still kind of hope for that. Of course, the worst complications come from friendships, too.

      THEN AGAIN…what do I know? :P Hahaha. This is me, thinking aloud again.

      I have a feeling you won’t be swayed in Catching Fire, but Mockingjay may change your mind a bit, depending how much you get invested in them. :P I’ve been a Gale person since the start I think…me and the underdog, haha. :P

      • I was rooting for Gale at the beginning, but Mockingjay totally changed that. Peeta is the better choice, I felt like Gale should’ve done more for Katniss, we wasn’t as invested and as caring and as in love as Peeta was with Katniss.

  2. Oooh I am a speshul mention! :D

    I generally root for the best friend as well, but not always. I did root for Edward Cullen, for example, although I really liked Jacob for his own sake. As for Song of the Lioness, I never really saw Jon as her best friend–I thought that while they were certainly close, there wasn’t enough of the “equality” I tend to associate with a best-friend relationship (likely because of Jon’s being the prince, then her knight, and then her king).

    Huh. My NaNo novel has this kind of triangle. Of sorts. Oy vey. *claws eyes out*

    • I think George and Alanna were best friends first until George confessed, then Alanna and Jon seemed more like best friends when she came back after the third book. They certainly felt like they were best friends when they were bantering at the last book. But maybe that’s just me. :P

      I kind of have a love triangle in my NaNo too. I suck at writing it of course, but I try. Hahaha.

  3. I used to love the idea of falling for the best friend, and gravitated toward that nga for most of my teens. But now, I just go with who’s hot. :)

  4. I always tend to hate(sort of) “the best friend”. They only realize their admiration for the girl when “the other guy” comes in. The “best friend” character in different novels also have the same personalities. They just change their name and appearance, but if you really analyze each one of them, you’ll see similarities – a lot of similarities, in fact.

    • Hm, I never thought about that. But then, I think most of the best friends remain that way because they don’t want to ruin the friendship. Of course, they ruin the friendship once they speak up when the other guy is already there. So it’s still the same.

      Poor best friend. :(

  5. “I can’t say I have been in an almost similar situation before” – Yeah!!!

  6. dementedchris on November 18, 2010 at 10:52 pm said:

    I totally understand you! I always gravitate towards best friend tropes though. What you felt for The Mortal Instruments was similar to how I reacted to it. :) I was on Team Archer though and felt… really bad. XP

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