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The best (unconfirmed) same sex couples in Sci-fi and Fantasy


W_L

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Science fiction and fantasy has inspired a lot of fan speculation about relationships, most of them are just fanfiction or otherwise proven or disproved when one character reveals their feelings or gets into an heterosexual relationship. However, beyond fanfiction hopes and absolutely proof or disavowal, there are great couples with chemistry that just go unconfirmed.

For me, I think the best same sex couple to subtly hit mainstream audiences without anyone actually realizing was R2-D2 and C3PO from Star Wars, technically they are droids, but machines can have gender identities, too in the Star Wars universe. I was born a decade after the original movie, but I've re-watched their interactions in the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy, it feels like they are a couple. Since they are both male by their gender identity, it makes them one of the first mainstream unconfirmed gay couples in science fiction. Also, C3PO's actor, over all the films, Anthony Daniels, is openly gay.

That got me to think, despite the obvious though unconfirmed relationship between these male droids of Star Wars, what other unconfirmed same sex couples are there in fiction?

I do think Legolas and Gimli are an unconfirmed couple, but it might be my head canon due to short story after the war, saying they spent years traveling together after the war.

 

 

Edited by W_L
Fixed Reference, the short story I was thinking of actually did not occur in Simarilion, but rather supplemental material from Tolkien
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Tolkien would have probably denied it, but you are definitely on to something.  And of course, Frodo and Samwise are as much of a couple as David and Jonathan, and likely intentionally.  I'd also have loved Faramir and Eomer to have had more of a relationship.

As for mainstream sf, there are two potential couples I can think of:  Asimov's Daneel Olivaw and Lije Baley, and Fletcher Neihardt and his cousin Jeremy (or possibly his other cousin J.R.), in Cherryh's novel, Finity's End.  I had hopes, for a time, that something might develop between Bren Cameron and Jase Graham in Cherryh's Foreigner series, but alas, it was not to be.

I also had hopes that several of the guys in Weber's Honorverse would get together, but I don't think Weber would ever be comfortable writing a gay male couple.

P.S.—Bujold never wrote a sequel to Ethan of Athos, so we can still hold out hope for Ethan and Terrence C, I guess.

Edited by BigBen
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Tolkien might have objected more to the ide of an Elf and a Dwarf being a couple, than them being males. :lol: Although Gimli did admire Galadriel, and it's said that he sailed West with Legolas in order to see her again. But I don't think The Simarillion has info about them, it's from the Appendices of LotR. The Simarillion is about the First Age.

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1 hour ago, Timothy M. said:

Tolkien might have objected more to the ide of an Elf and a Dwarf being a couple, than them being males. :lol: Although Gimli did admire Galadriel, and it's said that he sailed West with Legolas in order to see her again. But I don't think The Simarillion has info about them, it's from the Appendices of LotR. The Simarillion is about the First Age.

I think you are right, it's been a while since I read the books. I know their post-war travels weren't in the main books, I thought it was in the Simarilion probably due to it being the supplemental short stories Tolkien wrote, but were not published during his lifetime.

------

Confirmed from wiki: It's in the Appendix to Return of the King, when Legolas and Gimli sailed west together. Legolas had the ship built and invited Gimli to come along as his "closest friend", (Boyfriend, maybe :P :o )

https://lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Legolas#After_the_war

https://lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Gimli#Life_after_the_War

I am not sure if it was Galadriel that really prompted Gimli. Like you alluded, Tolkien, through the elvish Lords of the West could have denied him entry as he's a Dwarf, there was no precedent for affection and Galadriel didn't show any indication she'd be open to his advances, and honestly if Legolas didn't build the ship and invite him, he'd just be running his little dwarf realm. However, he never returned, so I assume they accepted him. Unless Galadriel had a radical turn falling for Gimli in his advanced age, my feeling was they just accepted Gimli and Legolas' relationship.

This is where head canon comes into play, after a long while of not reading an old book, you start creating stories with the characters and lining things up. That's one of the things about re-reading books or re-watching old movies/shows, somethings really are just imagined hopes by fans and other things are open to speculation like this.

 

Edited by W_L
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While Gimli may have hoped to see Galadriel again, I have always seen Gimli's adoration for her as being like a courtly knight's devotion to his lady.  Galadriel was, from all accounts, devoted to Celeborn.  While, if memory serves, Galadriel interceded on Gimli's behalf with the Valar, it was for the sake of his friendship with Legolas, as I've always understood it.

It was also Sam's friendship with Frodo that earned him a journey into the West, albeit many years after Frodo's departure with Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf.  Of course, Sam also bore the Ring for a time, and that was another reason for his being permitted to leave Middle Earth.  (There may be an inconsistency here, however, since it was Arwen's place on the ship that Frodo is supposed to have taken.)

As far as couples go, I wonder sometimes about Gandalf and Saruman. . . .

Edited by BigBen
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28 minutes ago, BigBen said:

As far as couples go, I wonder sometimes about Gandalf and Saruman. . . .

Gandalf and Saruman would heighten the tension and drama of Saruman betrayal. Personally, I view Gandalf as an Asexual, he just doesn't care for women, men, or other folk in Middle Earth.

A lot of people ship Gandalf and Galandriel together, but they always seemed more BFF or gay/asexual guy and girlfriend in terms of how I view their relationship. However, like I did above with Gimli and Legolas, I guess we all have colored perspective based on how we view these characters.

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On 5/28/2021 at 12:26 AM, W_L said:

I am not sure if it was Galadriel that really prompted Gimli.

I don't think it was a romantic interest from Gimli. She showed him kindness and understanding, and he admired her, but in a platonic way, is the way I see it. Just as @BigBen describes it. So it does not prevent a bromance between Gimli and Legolas.

This quote is from the end of Appendix A III Durin's Folk, and it actually supports the idea of love between them (as well as being one of my favorite LotR quotes):

Quote

But when King Elessar gave up his life Legolas followed at last the desire of his heart and sailed over the Sea.

Here follows one of the last notes in the Red Book

We have heard tell that Legolas took Gimli Glóin's son with him because of their great friendship, greater than any that has been between Elf and Dwarf. It this is true, then it is strange indeed; that any Dwarf should be willing to leave Middle-earth for any love, or that the Eldar should receive him, or that the Lords of the West should permit it. But it is said that Gimli went also out of desire to see again the beauty of Galadriel; and it may be that she, being mighty among the Eldar, obtained this grace for him. More cannot be said of this matter.

So I have to say your idea has merit. :yes:

On 5/28/2021 at 1:31 AM, BigBen said:

While Gimli may have hoped to see Galadriel again, I have always seen Gimli's adoration for her as being like a courtly knight's devotion to his lady. 

YES ! Exactly.

I always liked the idea of Merry and Pippin together.

Edited by Timothy M.
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@Timothy M.Thanks for pulling the excerpt, it's really sweet :)

Legolas and Gimli may never leave the closet, but at least we get a closing shot of them traveling together and most likely staying together in the undying lands, I can't think of anything more poetic or romantic for High Fantasy's unconfirmed gay couple. Between those discussion and the ones on Roman literature, I'm re-reading a lot of older stories.

Pippin and Merry struck me less as a couple, though, more like best friends who fooled around (probably without sex) and tried to help out everyone. I recall Pippin becoming the Hobbit's leader after the events of the books and having kids, too.

They become solid heroes by the end of the Return of the King (too bad we never saw their fight to save the Shire at the end of Return of the King, but I guess Peter Jackson had already killed Saruman in the DVD cut of the movie, so it makes movie sense)

Edited by W_L
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51 minutes ago, W_L said:

Pippin and Merry struck me less as a couple, though, more like best friends who fooled around (probably without sex) and tried to help out everyone.

I suggested them as a couple, not Ben (sorry if I confused matters). But I think you're right about them just being good friends.

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24 minutes ago, Timothy M. said:

I suggested them as a couple, not Ben (sorry if I confused matters). But I think you're right about them just being good friends.

Just fixed the reference, Merry and Pippin are really a good fanfic pairing, especially based on the movies :) Still in-book and resources, they're really good friends, not sure if Merry ever had kids though.

Edited by W_L
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