Top Ten Tuesday: One of My Favorite Romantic Tropes: The Bantering or Clashing Couple

Now, this is totally overdone I realize. I also feel sure I’ve done a similar post, maybe even for Top Ten Tuesday, I really don’t care though.

I’m also linking up to Cordy’s Lovely Blog party, I think this fits.

I’m not talking about the couples who amateur writes try to make bantering or fighting coupes, where they are just people who are petty fighting and have no chemistry and would probably bicker with a lot of people. I’m talking about a variety from guys who tease (I also just tend to like guys who tease) to equally witty banter to occasionally genuine clashing. But the key? The outrageous chemistry between the two. You can have fight couples without chemistry. In no particular order of favorites:

  1. Obviously, the originals Benedick and Beatrice.
  2. Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane in the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries.
  3. Mara and Sheftu in Mara, Daughter of the Nile.
  4. Ron and Hermione. I was thinking about how people have said Rowling later said it should have been Hermione and Harry or have themselves said why not Harry and Hermione. Ron and Hermione had a chemistry from the start, yeah the sparks were negative, but they were sparks, Harry just didn’t have the same reaction. He and Hermione had zero chemistry, absolutely sibling vibes, with Hermione as the elder sister. He was open and close with Hermione in a way that had no awkwardness or embarrassment because there was zero attraction, there was nothing there to hide, while Ron and Hermione kind of like circled around each other warily emotionally because there was an undercurrent of something they didn’t at first want to or know how to deal with. And also, I just love Harry and Ginny together (actually my favorite HP couples I think), and again, I think there was something there with them, yes Ginny’s crush, but when Harry finally woke up, they had amazing chemistry, their personalities were just so right for each other.
  5. Jo and Laurie, yes, I know they aren’t a couple, but their chemistry and closeness! And this is why I ship them!
  6. Perry and Ilse in the Emily books.
  7. For the same reason Jeffrey and Skye in the Penderwicks.
  8. Mr. Thornton and Margaret. Now, they don’t have the banter aspect, until a bit towards the end, but man, do they have the chemistry, and I’m talking about the book
  9. Now, lots of Georgette Heyer (most of them really) feature a bantering couple, but Charles and Sophy are a standout, they don’t fall into her hugely stereotype couples, and so I think The Grand Sophy is one of her better novels.
  10. Sophie and Howl in Howl’s Moving Castle.

Now, you could put Darcy and Elizabeth down as being one of these couples, but um, they aren’t at all in my favorites, and really, its hard to use the word “chemistry” in connection with a lot of Austen couples, except of course Captain Wentworth.


    • Rachel Olivia

      Evergreen choice, although I probably should give a rest to harping on them not getting together at some point in my life, lol.

  • Cordy

    You have a great line-up here! Although, I’m afraid I’m not one of those Hermione + Ron lovers. No, I didn’t want her with Harry either, but I just don’t like Ron.
    Mara and Sheftu, love them! I wish more people knew about them!
    And I forget about Harriet and Peter. 🙂

    • Rachel Olivia

      I think Ron got a bad hand, I feel like Rowling sort of started shaping him after the dumb movie Ron in the later books rather than giving him a chance to grow up.

      More people definitely need to learn about Mara and Sheftu and Harriet and Peter, they are great couples!

  • Lexlingua

    Oh, an amazing spin on this week’s TTT freebie. I love them, those bantering/ clashing couples. Sophie and Howl, Mara and Sheftu. Have you ever read Georgette Heyer’s mysteries — those have a lot of clashing/ snarky couples too. It really is so much fun. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Rachel Olivia

      Yes, I have! Heyer’s snarky couples make those books so much fun. I’ve run through all my library’s Heyer novels, so when I get my kindle I’ll have more to read.

  • Catherine@basedonthebook

    I love this vibe with couples in books too. Totally agree about Ron and Hermione, so much chemistry (on the page) and the way the romance aspect of it builds so gradually over the books is so well done! I feel like Jane Eyre and Rochester could fit into this too, it’s subtle banter but I love how they tease each other.

    • Rachel Olivia

      Yes, the books are great, except I felt once the movies came the stupid movie Ron started influencing Rowling’s book Ron too much.

      I guess Jane and Rochester banter a bit in the beginning, but overall its squelched by Rochester’s overpowering possessiveness. I’m not a Jane and Rochester fan. I actually have Rochester post coming up about my loathing, lol.

  • Skye H

    Howl and Sophie and Benedick and Beatrice are both so funny together and I love them. I think Ron and Hermione are cute together. I do like Darcy and Elizabeth as a couple too though.

  • Grace Avender

    AHHHH! I love the bantering couples trope!! Mara ad Sheftu are the best! I LOVE that book! Yay! Another Georgette Heyer book lover!! What is your favorite of her books? I haven’t read The Grand Sophy yet, but it’s on my ever growing list!

    • Rachel Olivia

      Well, I have The Grand Sophy and The Corinthian rate top on Goodreads of the 19 I’ve read so far, I feel like I need to reread the Talisman Ring, I think that might rank higher, I don’t know if I appreciated that one enough.

      Mara and Sheftu are awesome, I was just thinking about how that book could be such an amazing movie.

        • Rachel Olivia

          I enjoyed both of those.

          No, I don’t know very many/any Egyptian actors and actresses, and I don’t like when they cast people from the same continent but totally different countries (or even different continents, yes, I know we came from England but we aren’t English now), for a country specific book, sorry not the same, and let the people of that country have their book!

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