Following the success of ‘The Most Unconventional Pairings in Westeros,’ Her Ladyship digs into her own bookcase/DVD rack for some more hooking-up of odd couples.
Arthur Kipps (The Woman in Black) and Amy Dorrit (Little Dorrit)
Judging from the brief flashbacks to Arthur’s deceased wife in the film of The Woman in Black, Arthur has a very Victorian concept of what an ideal woman is: angelic, gentle, childlike. Bleh. One should also consider that after his experience at Eel Marsh House and the subsequent death of his wife and child (we’re talking about the book now), this may indeed be the kind of person that Arthur needs if his shattered nerves are to survive another day in this world. Amy Dorrit is just such a person: frequently called a ‘little mouse’, she is deeply devoted to the people she loves, particularly her rather selfish father. She’s gentleness and sweetness personified, and feels a need to save each person that she observes suffering, her mere presence often convincing the sufferer that they’ve experienced something spiritual. She’s not a walkover, though: having grown up in the Marshalsea Debtor’s Prison and spent her entire life in the poorest neighbourhoods of Dickensian London, she’s streetwise, outspoken when driven to anger and stubbornness incarnate. Thus, she’d be perfect for Arthur when he’s at his most miserable, but would also be indispensable in making him see that there is an entire world out there that can’t and won’t tiptoe around him; that he has lost everything, but that he can still find a way to live and not let his awful losses ruin him. Arthur would also be extremely good for Amy: when it comes to men, she’s attracted to people who have experience of life rather than those who don’t know much about it, but unlike her father, Arthur wouldn’t expect her to give up her entire life to look after him. In this way, Amy can live by her natural instincts to take care of people, but she wouldn’t be doing so with a person who takes advantage of it and who tries to prevent her from living.
George Emerson (A Room With A View) and Sansa Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire)
It has often been observed on this blog that Sansa would profit considerably from a relationship with somebody who blows her cutesy ideas regarding love and chivalry out of the water. George Emerson is just such a person. Quirky, unconventional and just a little bit weird, George likes climbing trees to yell things like ‘Beauty’ and ‘Liberté’ (he calls this his creed of the eternal Yes), arranging his food in the shape of a question mark and running for miles in the pouring rain. He’s also devoted and protective when he falls in love and is hectically into all that ‘all of you or none of you stuff’, even when it’s one-sided. So why would he fall for a prig like Sansa? Lucy Honeychurch behaved like nothing but a prig for almost all of their acquaintance, but he married her all the same when she came round: he could sense that there was someone else in her shut up behind all that poor-Charlotte-induced crap. Like Lucy, Sansa is also a person shut up behind a load of crap, half of it idiotic adolescent dreaming, the other half blinding fear of abuse and possible death. It’s only now that she’s been robbed of both of those things (well, sort of – she still believes in fairy tales) that she has a chance to be herself, something that’s probably not going to work out being shut up in the Vale with Littlefinger. It’s the real Lucy that George fell in love with despite her faults – the same thing could happen with the real Sansa, whoever she actually is. It’s also only a person entirely free from caring what other people think who could really fall in love with an oddball like George; becoming such a person in this kind of way would do Sansa the world of good.
Marian Halcombe (The Woman in White) and Athos (The Musketeer Novels)
Androgynous, highly intelligent, well-read, resourceful and driven into fits of frustration by the limitations imposed on her by her sex and by men in general, Marian would have a whale of a time with Athos. Effortlessly charismatic, noble, virtuous, loyal and gorgeous into the bargain, Athos is also an awfully narrow-minded aristocratic snob whose admittedly traumatic experience with his wife Milady has led him into a pathological distrust of the whole of womankind and a relationship with humanity in general that, on good days, only just borders on civil. Him and Marian would fight endlessly on issues of philosophy, metaphysics, literature, mercantilism and the thousands of things they would no doubt find lacking in each other’s personalities and views of the world before the age-old truth that great men are turned on by intelligent women (for evidence, see anything from Caesar and Cleopatra through Diderot and Sophie Volland ending with Tolstoy and Countess Sophia) would finally ring true, and the appeal of Marian’s glorious and witty mind would finally surpass the trauma of Milay’s fleur de lis brand. Marian would loosen Athos up, he would calm her down, she’d probably heal his poor tormented soul and they could spend the rest of their days having lots of sex and titanic intellectual arguments.
Lisbeth Salander (Millenium Trilogy) and Henry Winter (The Secret History)
This is the kind of match that could turn out surprisingly well, probably because Lisbeth and Henry seem very different at first glance, but aren’t actually so dissimilar. Both possess a somewhat warped moral compass, with Lisbeth not batting an eyelid at torturing or killing people who deserve it and Henry referring to murder as ‘redistribution of matter.’ They’re definitely on an intellectual par, though in different fields, and each is intelligent enough to quickly learn the work of the other if help is required. Most importantly, neither of them is fond of other people meddling in their lives. When he’s working, Henry doesn’t answer the door or the phone regardless of previous engagements or friends needing to talk to him. Lisbeth is fond of dropping off the radar for months at a time and isn’t great at treating people with much consideration for their feelings. Something tells me Lisbeth wouldn’t be at all averse to having no conversations for months while Henry translates Paradise Lost into Latin and that Henry wouldn’t mind getting quietly on with his Greek homework while Lisbeth’s on an extended tour of the Hacker Republic. Both of them would maintain the independence and solitude that is so important to them, while at the same time being assured of somebody being there for them when they want them to be, not when they don’t want them to be. The very idea is screwed up, but then so are they.