August 7th marks Friendship day, a time to cherish those who have made your life better and who will always be by your side. In honor of this special day, I have compiled a list of amazing and famous literary besties. These famous literary friendships from classic books show us what it looks like to be a true friend in our own real-world relationships. Here you’ll find strong female friendships in literature, unlikely duos, and famous literary trios. Why not read these books about friendship with your own bestie?
Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings
There are many excellent examples of friendship in The Lord of the Rings, but I find Merry and Pippin’s relationship especially interesting.
Unlike the other characters in Tolkien’s series, Merry and Pippin are already friends when the story starts. While other characters develop surprising bonds of friendships during their journey — Legolas and Gimli, Frodo and Sam, etc. — Merry and Pippin are likely friends who share an unlikely story. Out of all the members of the Fellowship, Merry and Pippin have the least idea of what the journey will entail. They’re basically there simply for the fun and because the other went. And, of course, they stumble into heroism by virtue of their loyalty and friendship to each other, to Frodo, and to many others they meet along their journey.
They are the perfect example of platonic soulmates.
Calvin and Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes
This friendship might be imaginary, but it encapsulates the ideal childhood friendship — someone who’s always there, a constant companion and pal, someone you can spend long, lazy summer days with or grumble over school and bad weather.
Calvin and Hobbes center around a six-year-old boy and his imaginary best friend. While seemingly simple, the comic often depicts and explains complex topics. From existentialism to ethics, the comic delves into deeper conversations than many expect from a children’s comic. The comic questions American society and values; Watterson critiques the consumerism and consumption promoted by American culture. Calvin and Hobbes argue that everyone, even children, asks questions and attempts to find meaning in life. Only an iconic duo like them would be able to push the boundaries of philosophy and child psychology.
Ronald Weasley, Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter Series
What list of platonic soulmates would be complete without the golden trio? Yes, Ron and Hermione fall in love, but the relationship between the three of them is platonic and equal.
It’s not often that we get seven long novels to watch a friendship develop! And this trio’s friendship gets some serious development, not only because it’s solidified during such formative years but because the stakes the kids are up against are so high. Although there are a bajillion themes in Harry Potter, friendship seems to be one that the books are particularly interested in. At the series’ climax, it’s Harry’s love for his friends and their love for him that enables them to face Lord Voldemort.
Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley from Emma
Although they eventually fall in love, Emma and Knightley’s relationship is rooted in a lifelong friendship.
Their families have been friends and neighbours for years, and Emma and Knightley know each other better than anyone else. They know each other’s strengths and shortcomings, enjoy each other’s companionship, and already have a friendship that’s stood the test of time when Knightley proposes. You could argue that Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram also share friendship and childhood memories, but I believe Emma and Knightley’s friendship has a better give and take. Plus, Fanny is in love with Edmund for years before he’s ready to move out of the friend zone, so it’s obviously a trope that Austen loves.
Sherlock and Watson from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes in 1887, he also gave us a peek into a friendship like no other — that of Holmes and Watson.
What starts as a formal and somewhat forced relationship between roommates grows over the years into a strong bond. Holmes and Watson are people with completely opposite views on life and crime, yet they complement each other in the best way. Holmes is an incredible detective with a sharp eye for detail. He trusts Watson to help him drive his theories and consults him for social norms that he doesn’t care for. Watson is intelligent, witty, and sarcastic. He keeps Holmes grounded while learning so much from him. Their friendship is one with an equal balance of the head and the heart.
Darcy and Bingley from Pride and Prejudice
Some people think that the best friendships from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice would be between Elizabeth and Charlotte or Lydia and Kitty. But considering how toxic these relationships get, the best platonic besties from the book have to be Darcy and Bingley.
As is evident from the friendly banter between these gentlemen, Darcy and Bingley are strong personalities who share a unique bond. But it’s definitely a strange friendship, as Darcy and Bingley couldn’t be more different. Darcy is arrogant and proud, while Bingley has more pleasing manners and is popular with everyone he meets. And yet, despite this, Bingley relies on Darcy’s advice for everything, including his decision on marriage. Darcy also tries his hardest to never steer his friend wrong and admits and corrects his mistakes when they’re made. Definite besties!
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