Opinionated Sundays: The truth is...I love a good love triangle, but why root for the underdog?
It has been discussed time and time again that certain genres are filled with love triangles. Filled to the point where it is getting annoying and a lot of us are done with love triangles.
I have a confession to make. I like love triangles. Sometimes, as in the case of Delena/Stelena on the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” it’s been going on for way too many years, it can be annoying. I admit that. But a good love triangle, the type that has us rooting for someone, joining teams and engaging in heated debates, are thrilling. I love them.
Love triangles are broken up into three categories for me. There is the “true conflict” love triangle, where it is anyone’s game. Then there is the “wish it was you, but it’s him” triangle, where the heroine decides to go after one guy when it is obvious where her heart belongs. Then there is the most popular one, “the underdog” love triangle. The underdog triangle is one where it’s obvious how it’s going to end, but one of the love interests tries to win their love anyway.
The issue is that I can always see the writing on the wall. I never understood how anyone can be on team Jacob, when it was pretty obvious that Bella was all about Edward Cullen. I also could never understand why everyone was obsessed with Adrian ending up with Rose when she was destined for Dimitri.
While compiling the relationships and books I wanted to use for this post, I decided not to be a hypocrite. Yes, I absolutely preferred Ren to Shay in Andrea Cremer’s “Nightshade” series and yes I absolutely rooted for Jace even though Faythe and Marc were obvious from the first page in book one of Rachel Vincent’s “Shifter”series
Why do we do that?! It’s so obvious. What makes us root for the underdog and open ourselves up to the possibility of getting our hearts broken? Is it a special hope that the author will surprise us with a twist where, for example Katniss and Gale would get a HEA?
The other issue with love triangles is that they are barely ever resolved to my satisfaction. And I don’t mean if my guy isn’t picked. I just think that authors are afraid of pissing people off so they give us a b.s resolution. Like Jacob imprinting on Bella’s vampire baby, the explosive ending with Gale in Hunger Games or the old cop out of killing one of the guys. It’s like really? The only way to do this is kill the guy, because you don’t want your heroine to make the choice? If you don’t want your character to make the risky choice of breaking someones heart then don’t put them in a love triangle.
Below is a list of books with triangles I really enjoyed broken up by category.