Where real life fails, fiction delivers. And, in my case of ridiculously high standards that are impossible to meet even in a fictional world, delivers five fabulous fictional boyfriends.
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
1. The Very Knightly Mr. George Knightley (Emma)
He is what one would call a “perfect English gentleman.” Mr Knightley is straightforward, practical, logical and steady. Unlike Mr. Darcy, you can take Mr. Knightley to a party. Mr. Darcy is a bore, Mr. Knightley is the one to score. Okay, I am done with the rhymes and obvious displeasure of Darcy. George Knightley is not one to talk nonsense or make claims to superiority and despite this simplicity in manner, he is deeply considerate of other’s feelings and has a great regard for fulfilling his duties as a value-conscious member of society.
Emma, our love interest, believes herself to be superior in emotional intelligence (as Austen heroines tend to do) and this trait lends her to believe that there is credence in her ability to matchmake effectively, but Mr. Knightley is practical and able to see that Emma’s current matchmaking endeavour will bear no fruit. While Highbury rejoices in the wit of Emma, Mr. Knightley is more truthful and honest about the extent of Emma’s accomplishments without any meanness. Despite Emma’s many flaws he loves her for her flaws which, in great fairness to Emma, are redeemable.
When Harriet is not asked to dance at a ball and is left sitting by herself, George Knightley perceiving her upset, asks her to dance. When Emma openly mocks the talkative Miss Bates causing her public humiliation, he rightly expresses his disappointment which leads to Emma apologising. When Emma believes Jane Fairfax to be cold and reserved, he promptly comes to Jane’s defence. When Frank attempts to hear Jane play the piano to the point of exhaustion on Jane’s part, Mr. Knightley intervenes on her behalf.
In short, Mr. Knightley is very knightly indeed and takes an active part in righting the wrongs he encounters in everyday life. Thank you, Mr. Knightley, for setting the bar so high that I will no longer settle for anything less than you, a fictional character. Boyfriend level: epic.
2. Fantasy’s Equivalent to Mr. Knightley – Matthias Helvar (Six of Crows)
The Druskelle from Fjerda is a simple, straightforward, and duty-bound man. In our band of outcasts, Matthias is the moral centre and voice of reason. He is strong, rational and emanates a steady and grounding presence. He readily renounced his much valued and revered traditions once he realised the full extent to how prejudiced, harmful and dangerous they were. And it also helps that the love he shares for Nina Zinek, our resident heartrender, is adorable, sincere and full of many quirks that one cannot help but recall Jon Snow and Ygritte with fondness. Boyfriend level: one to take home to your mama.
3. Life is Never Dull With Rhett Butler Around (Gone With the Wind)
Three words to describe Rhett Butler? Fun, fun, fun. Unconventional, rational, snarky and always ready to encourage our already bold heroine Scarlett O’Hara to venture into the realms of total and absolute fearlessness. Rhett condemns the South’s outdated chivalry that will no longer be considered a value in the new US to the outrage of the South’s ladies and gentlemen, yet turns out to be correct and still yet, joins the army at the last-minute under a wave of sudden romanticism of the past.
Rhett easily and consciously offends southern society, in what one would consider an attempt to augment his outcast status, in a number of different ways: asking the widowed Scarlett to dance at a charity gala, owning a brothel and frequenting it too, encouraging Scarlett to go full beast-mode if she wants to succeed in a post-Civil War South where it was only deemed appropriate if women earned a passive income as opposed to running a fully fledged business… to name a few. Rhett is just good fun, he is adventurous, embraces life in its entirety, is more insightful than everyone in Gone With the Wind combined and funny to boot.
My only disappointment? Rhett expecting Scarlett to know his true feelings when it is abundantly clear that Scarlett does not excel in this area. Rhett, I love you, but you have to make your feelings clear like our Scarlett who is not afraid to pursue the one she loves as soon as she finally realises what her true feelings are. Boyfriend level: pending until revelation of feelings are achieved.
4. Bad Boy Gone Good Jaime Lannister (Game of Thrones)
Put your hands up if you felt personally victimised by Jaime Lannister in seasons one and two? Bitterness and sarcasm personified, Jaime was a remorseless character, but, despite this, one could not help but notice the occasional glimpses we saw of who Jaime really wanted to be when he interacted with Barristan Selmy. It took Brienne, the unwavering, resolute knight to awaken Jaime’s desire to be a true knight of the realm despite what people say, despite people misconstruing his heroic actions because it is remains his duty to protect. A lovely turn of events, it is Brienne who is the knight in shining armour. Jaime showed he was capable of redemption and began his redemption arc by fighting the bear in a pit with one-hand to save Brienne.
And now, he has left the wicked
witch of the West Cersei Lannister and I cannot be the only one who is excited to see what is in store for Jaime Lannister. Boyfriend level: brb, gotta defeat some White Walkers first.
5. A Case of Another Bad Boy Gone Good, I Present: Landon Carter (A Walk to Remember)
Before I begin, I would like to add that I was in school when I discovered Landon Carter, so there is no funny business here. Now, continuing, Landon is your textbook too-school-for-school, ‘I’m not blaming my father but I am blaming my father,’ no craps given about the rules but I care what people think about me kinda guy. But, again, just like Jaime Lannister, you know the seeming scoundrel has a heart of gold underneath (they always do in fiction, don’t they?).
Once Jamie (not Lannister) and Landon grow closer, his whole world is exposed to a different way of living, the possibility of living with a purpose and making a difference in the world. As they become more than friends, Landon proves to be the sweetest and most romantic boyfriend helping Jamie achieve a list of goals Jamie had set out to do but never dreamed of completing. By the end, he transforms into a newer, better Landon and this book, in general, taught me that this is how love should be. Boyfriend level: dreamy sigh.
What do you think of my choices? Who would you pick as your fictional boyfriend and why? Let me know in the comments!
Connect with me: