Books, Theater

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Current favorite pairings

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is a “love freebie” in honor of Valentine’s Day. Woohoo!

I love taking time to gush about my favorite ships.

Here are some ships I’ve come across recently in my reading and streaming.

Cassian x Nesta (A Court of Thorns and Roses series)

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas

No, I haven’t read A Court of Silver Flames yet.

However, these are my two favorite characters from the original trilogy.

I love a mean girl and an aggressive himbo.

Together, their dynamic is magic.

It’s possible I have searched for officially licensed art prints of this couple on Etsy. We’ll never know. (Don’t check my search history.)

Bryce x Hunt (Crescent City)

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

I would like Sarah J. Maas to stop targeting me personally.

Bryce is a curvy redhead with a bad attitude and intense trauma.

Hunt is her brusque bodyguard/roommate/frenemy.

The slowburn between them is intense.

[Minor spoilers ahead]

It’s possible there’s a betrayal, followed by a Was It All A Lie?, which is my catnip.

[End of spoilers]

I love this dynamic so much.

August x Jane (One Last Stop)

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

I have fallen in love with a stranger on the subway at least once.

It charms me that August and Jane FOUND LASTING LOVE THIS WAY.

For a couple that met via time travel, they want the most mundane things: to wake up together, to make each other breakfast, to sleep in a BED for once.

August and Jane provide Couple Goals I feel I could actually achieve.

Their relationship has the pleasance of cottagecore and the excitement of city life. I adore them.

Anastasia x Gleb (Anastasia)

Anastasia: The New Broadway Musical

It just hit me that I ship Anastasia and Gleb so hard PARTLY because of a 2014 romance I read where Alexei Romanov’s surviving girlfriend ends up with a Bolshevik.

Tsarina by J Nelle Patrick

A few caveats before I defend this ship: yes, I know Gleb is the villain.

Also I’m not going to spend too much time talking up Anastasia.

Anya’s awesome and iconic. She needs no description.

On to the ship:

I understand that Gleb only doubts his convictions because he thinks Anya is pretty. I like to think that the idea of murdering an innocent (even if said innocent was once a royal) influenced his change of heart.

Gleb’s first interaction with Anya shows him comforting her during a PTSD flashback. Depending on the production, this moment can be played tenderly. (The production I saw had Gleb essentially go, “Comrade, it’s FINE, those gun days are over now!” which made Gleb come across as naive.)

I like the choice of making both characters idealists who are clearly informed by their respective traumas.

Also, as I have mentioned MANY times, I LOVE a swoony, conflicted villain. Gleb wants to protect Anya, yet recognizes the threat she poses to the cause.

Anya should have ended up with the Communist. Everyone on Broadway is a coward.

(I guess leading ladies are contractually obligated to end up with the tenor instead of the baritone. It’s fine.)

Anastasia x Dmitri (Anastasia)

Anastasia: The New Broadway Musical

Anastasia underwent a number of story changes before it became a stage musical. While I like most of the changes, I hate what the creators did with Dimitri’s character.

Compared to movie Dimitri, stage Dimitri acts like a Newsie. He goofs around in his striped pants and newsboy cap and I hate it.

Stage Dimitri is part of the reason why I ship Gleb and Anastasia – THIS Dimitri is NOTHING like my beloved cartoon Dimitri. Given the choice between a Byronic hero and comic relief, I go for the former almost every time.

That said, the Anya x Dimitri romance in the show still managed to win me over.

Dimitri is the only person in Anya’s life who willingly contradicts her. (This becomes significant later when Anya is recognized as royalty.) He admires her strength and comforts her when she has a nightmare.

Also, and I should HATE this, he and Anya locked eyes during a parade when they were both kids.

Dimitri tells Anya this story without knowing she’s the girl he saw that day. Then he says, “Wouldn’t it be great if I was a part of your story?”

That line got me. Having the characters interact as kids gives their relationship a sense of destiny and that’s MY FAVORITE.

Dimitri’s reaction to Anya’s opera dress and his duet with Gleb during the ballet number sold it for me.

I love Anya and she seems really happy with Dimitri.

I didn’t want to buy this ship, but I do.

Aziraphale x Crowley (Good Omens)

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

These characters work really well as friends and/or platonic life partners.

In my eyes, they’re clearly in love.

I like that they’re EXTREME opposites who love spending time together.

Even if they’re intended to be platonic, their relationship still makes me emotional.

I want an Queen-singing, beer-drinking, book-loving adventure buddy!

Lysande Prior x Luca Fontaine (The Councillor)

The Councillor by E. J. Beaton

How did fans of this novel convince me to read it? None of your business.

…it was with the Lysande/Luca ship.

The slow burn in this book is EXTRA slow. In the final pages, I STILL wasn’t sure where Luca’s loyalties lay.

The man walks around with a snake on his arm. He’s WILD. I love it!

Yes, he’s a dark-haired sassy boy with a chip on his shoulder (next to the snake, obviously.) Let me have this.

All the buildup was well worth it. I am now invested.

This is me calmly requesting a sequel.

Jale x Dante (The Councillor)

The Councillor by E. J. Beaton

Yeah yeah yeah, Luca and Lysande are great. Have you heard about JALE AND DANTE??

They’re star-crossed lovers conducting an obvious affair that annoys everyone in their vicinity.

Every time one man enters the room, the other glows with absolute joy.

The YEARNING.

The culmination of their arc was both incredibly violent and WEIRDLY ROMANTIC? I was SCREAMING.

I would die for these characters. I would.

Aloy x Erend (Horizon Zero Dawn)

Aloy and Erend of Horizon Zero Dawn

You know how I said I prefer byronic heroes to comic relief?

That’s not always true.

It would be impossible to overstate my fondness for Erend, an ultraloyal Good Times Guy with an obvious crush on Aloy.

This man bends over backwards to support the women in his life. He hypes up his accomplished older sister and happily plays sidekick to the hypercompetent Aloy.

When his guy friends start acting creepy toward women, he DITCHES THEM.

(Sure, this is bar-on-the-floor behavior. The fact that I’m so stoked about it partly hints at how rare it is.)

Meanwhile, Aloy changes the world and later ends up saving it.

She triumphs despite lifelong rejection, solves a millennias-old mystery, and fights off a [redacted], all while slinging sick one-liners.

The contrast of a powerful, capable woman and the man who worships her is something I have come to love.

Here’s to this ship becoming canon.

At the very least, I’d like them to be DRINKING BUDDIES.

Doyle x Crow (The Angel of the Crows)

The Angel of the rows by Katherine Addison

I couldn’t quite get a read on this relationship.

Doyle and Crow are based on John Watson and Sherlock Holmes, two characters who are often shipped romantically. (As an added bonus, this version of Sherlock isn’t a blistering asshole!)

I was hoping the book would go the romance route, especially since-

(Okay BIG SPOILER incoming)

– said relationship would have been T4T!

(End of spoilers)

I WAS VERY INVESTED IN THIS OUTCOME.

IT DID NOT HAPPEN.

Now I’m wondering if I have to write fanfic about this fanfic.

I want Doyle and Crow to get a happy ending!!

Is this book up for a sequel?? Because I wanted more!

This took me forever to write. I have a lot of feelings about these pairings!

Happy early Valentine’s Day, I suppose.

Tell me about your favorite ships! I am nosy and I could talk about this forever.

8 thoughts on “TOP TEN TUESDAY: Current favorite pairings”

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