Friendship is arguably the most important relationship portrayed in fiction. Friendship is a relationship that must be forged and worked on. However, when established the bond of a friendship can be at times stronger than bonds of family. A real friend can often transcend the technical restrictions of blood and circumstance and become part of one’s family. For that reason, portraying Friendship effectively in fiction is a big deal. A friendship can run the gamut from extreme bond, someone willing to give their life for another, to someone who will change their allegiance should it no longer convenience them. Despite many glorious works which both focus and highlight on the relationship of friends, friendships are still often overlooked.
Let’s be honest, this may be largely influenced by the pieces that I encounter, but I don’t see many stories where the friendship is so critical and important to the story it drives the character. Yes, I see many stories that feature friends on the periphery, but the evolution of that relationship often isn’t critical. Instead the story focuses on the plot or worse the focus is on a romantic relationship. Even Ready Player One which initially seemed to focus on the friendship between Parzival and Aech. Then the trajectory changed to focus on Parzival and Art3mis while Aech fell to the background is can happen in real life. The friendship felt real, even if we didn’t get to spend as much time with it as I hoped.
Romance over friendship
Even I admit to sometimes putting romance first. Some pairings just make you swoon as you see the build of the romance and how they work through various obstacles. That said, it is a shame when a romantic pairing hinders a friendship. Everyone can relate to friendship. There isn’t a person in life that hasn’t had at least one friend and can somewhat relate to that bond. Thus friendships make great bonds to watch. A friendship blossoming can be just as beautiful as a romantic relationship as characters realize that there is an innate bond between the characters. A friendship can change a life and stories that can emulate friendships are just as moving as a budding romance. And one thing that many people forget is that really great romantic relationships have a strong hold on a solid friendship. Being able to play up that friendship is great.
What fictional friendships do you love most?