Unfortunately, literary romances aren’t always touching. These odd pairings are either full of deceitfulness, sabotage and unnecessary drama or they exhibit a total lack of moral principles. Whether they originate from classical or contemporary eras, these bookish couples all show just how screwed up some relationships can get. BEWARE: spoilers will follow!
The Morally Repugnant Group
- Cersei and Jaime Lannister – Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
These infamous twins are responsible for the misery of countless readers, not to mention fictional characters like poor Bran Stark, pushed out of a window after walking in on the two. Besides the obvious problems associated with twincest, Cersei is also married to the King. To make matters worse, supposed children of Cersei and Robert Baratheon should actually be calling Jaime Daddy, because they ain’t got no genes from the King.
- Humbert Humbert and Charlotte Haze – Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
In a nutshell, the story of Lolita concerns a middle-aged professor who marries a single mother to become the step-father of a 12-year-old girl just so that his pedophilic fantasies can be satisfied. The language of this book may be beautiful, but the concept is so overwhelming that readers will have to take a step back from time to time and consider what they have just read.
The Crazy Lot
3. Amy and Nick Dunne – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Amy is mentally deranged and Nick is a jerk, yet the pair of them make all the drama in this novel worthwhile and truly unforgettable. Amy comes at the top of the psychopath list, because pretending to be dead just so that your husband will take the blame is probably as far as crazy can go. Oh, and she brutalized herself so that a random man could take the blame, saving her image and allowing her to return to the arms of Nick.
4. Edward and Antoinette Rochester – Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
As the prequel to Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Edward Rochester and Antoinette (Bertha) Mason in the Caribbean. More famously known as the ‘madwoman in the attic’, Bertha was originally referred to as Antoinette before Rochester renamed her. The two of them never even had a chance to properly meet each other before both of them said ‘I do’ in front of the altar. It’s no wonder that their marriage ended up with the wife locked up in the attic!
5. Ophelia and Hamlet – Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Starting off as a naive girl awaiting a possible union with the Hamlet, Ophelia is completely blinded by love and full of sweet innocence. Head over heels for Hamlet, she fails to truly acknowledge her father’s warnings against her romantic pursue despite agreeing to stay away from him. As the plot unravels, demands from her family strongly conflicts with her romantic aspirations. After several failed attempts at reconciling the contradictions, Ophelia gradually loses her mind. While all this is happening, Hamlet is too caught up with his vengeful desires to even realize the trauma Ophelia has been forced to endure.
6. Rachel, Anna and Tom Watson – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Another psychological thriller with unreliable narrators, this story is often referred to as the ‘the next Gone Girl’. We won’t give away the details, but you should know that the relationships in this story are all deeply dysfunctional in their own way. Be it Rachel and Tom or Anna and Tom, the seemingly idyllic romance exhibited at the beginning of the story quickly dissolves into tragedy.
The Mismatched Couples
7. Tom and Daisy Buchanan – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tom’s infidelities and Daisy’s superficiality make them perfect for each other. While Tom enjoys the idea of having a gorgeous wife to keep up social appearance, Daisy needs a wealthy husband to support her lavish lifestyle. Hell, they’re “perfect” for each other! They even commit adultery at the same time, and if that’s not love we don’t know what is.
8. George Wickham and Lydia Bennet – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
As the youngest sister of the Bennet family, Lydia is not only impulsive but promiscuous. She often throws herself into situations without considering the consequences. Deceived by Wickham’s handsome appearance, Lydia cannot see that Wickham is simply using her to get money. Since there’s no love between them at all, their marriage will end up in flames. Much like Charlotte and Mr. Collins, these odd unions will only result in years of solitude despite each other’s company.
9. Anna and Karenin – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
While Karenin is a cold-hearted machine, Anna is too passionate and headstrong. This novel is essentially about Anna’s public affair with Vronsky because she feels no love or obligation towards her hypocritical husband. Anna is eager to follow her romantic sentiments to the point that she is willing to break her social etiquette, a dangerous step that Karenin would have never imagined she’d take. Even after Anna confesses to her adulterous affair, Karenin doesn’t yell, doesn’t demand Anna’s return or challenge Vronsky to a duel. He does nothing. Ouch.
Via The Silver Petticoat Review
This compilation is by no means a comprehensive list, for further readings of couples, check our list on 9 Couples That Were Meant To Be But Never Were.
Feature Image Via Bustle