Lessons On Love From 5 Of The Geekiest Couples In Literature
1. Wade Owen Watts/Parzival and Art3mis (Ready Player One by Ernest Cline)
I could rant and rave about Ready Player One forever. Easily one of my favorite recent reads, I adored every single page. A thrilling adventure set that spans a Second-Life-esque world, it’s a brilliant piece of science fiction dystopia, written with so much heart and geekery. And it’s impossible not to root for Parzival and Art3mis.
The key takeaway from that relationship? Art3mis makes it abundantly clear that she isn’t anything like her real-world persona, and Wade/Parzival tells her he doesn’t care. He becomes smitten with her because of who she is, not because of what she might possibly look like.
2. Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers (Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Hands down one of the greatest geek love stories of all time, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series is all about fighting for the one you love… quite literally. The protagonist, Scott Pilgrim, has to battle his love interest’s evil exes, each of whom is more dangerous than the last.
Key takeaway? Well, there are a few in this case.
One is that honesty is important. If Scott was upfront about everything with Ramona and Knives, some unnecessary drama could have clearly been avoided.
The second? Don’t give up on the person you love, no matter the adversity. Because hey, all good things are worth fighting for.
3. Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus “Gus” Waters (The Fault In Our Stars by John Green)
Their relationship doesn’t start with a video game or involve Super Street Fighter II style fights with former flames, but Hazel and Augustus’ beautiful, heartbreaking tale is absolutely a story about two geeks in love. How so? Well, let’s break it down real quick.
• They bond over a book (I really wish I could read An Imperial Affliction).
• They play video games together with Gus’ best friend Isaac, and Hazel agrees to read the novelization of that game.
• They write love letters using flowcharts to one another.
So, what can you learn from these two? There’s a lesson here in the importance of being open to trying new things. Hazel with the video game and the novelization, Gus with reading the book that means so much to her. By being open to what each other cares about, they form a deeper relationship. I’ll avoid giving out any spoilers, but that book Hazel loves? Sure is important.
4. Eleanor and Park (Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell)
Rainbow Rowell really understands the geek community. She had two amazing books hit this year (also, two books in one year?! You go, Rainbow!). Her recent book, Fangirl, focuses on the joys of writing fan fiction and cosplaying, while her earlier book Eleanor & Park explores a topic near and dear to all of us…
So what can you learn from these two star crossed loves, who bond over comic books, mixtapes, and profess their love to one another using Star Wars references (“You can be Han Solo, and I’ll be Boba Fett. I’ll cross the sky for you”)?
Rainbow’s characters are bright. They know this relationship, this bond that’s forming… that it might not last. But that doesn’t stop them from trying, from exploring it. Yes, you might get hurt jumping into something, but hey, that’s love. Don’t skip out on something because you might get hurt. You might miss out on something truly extraordinary.
5. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
It takes years before everyone’s favorite bookish geek finally gets involved with Ron, but let’s be honest. We all saw it coming. All the bickering, the jealous spats over the other people they were dating, all while driving us readers crazy because omg-you-should-just-be-dating-each-other-what-is-taking-so-long!
But, that being said, there’s a lesson in here. And it’s a simple one. Good things come to those who wait. While Rainbow’s characters teach us to jump right in, Rowling’s talk about the importance of waiting. Because sometimes you’re not quite ready for that person that’s perfect for you. You need to go out there, experience new things, grow a little, and maybe, just maybe, defeat a few dark wizards.
BONUS: Zoe Washburne and Hoban Washburn (Serenity comic series by Joss Whedon)
Because opposites attract, and because this drawing of them is so very perfect.
Eric Smith is the author of The Geek’s Guide to Dating (Quirk Books) and co-founder of Geekadelphia.