been rereading some of the later watch books, and it just strikes me, sometimes, how real the relationship between sam and sybil is, and how much i appreciate that?
like, they’re good for each other, but neither of them are perfect – they do things that irritate one another and that the other just does not understand or wishes they would do differently, and they talk about the things that they actually think they can discuss and come to an agreement on, but just sort of set aside the rest because, well, it’s not a big deal and it’s sort of what you sign up for when you marry a dedicated watchman/a wealthy aristocrat.
and she does things like darn his socks, because she thinks that’s what a wife is supposed to do, and she’s terrible at it but he wears them everyday all the same because she did it for him and nobody in his life ever did anything just because they wanted to do something nice for him.
(and also i kind of really appreciate that all the Traditionally Female things that women do in history and in fantasy stories – follow the soldiers into battle, cook for them, care for them, etc – are portrayed as strengths. like, you don’t have to carry a sword into battle in order to be strong and necessary. it’s explicitly stated that women like that, who would give birth on the back of a camel and tend to “the pieces of her husbands and sons” that came back from war, are a breed that, when called upon, turns into solid steel.
because it takes extraordinary strength to care. sybil certainly has her badass moments, from taking a sword down from the wall and charging the guards who came to arrest her, to siccing her dragons on an assassin and literally vaporizing him – but she also has her badass moments in singing a dwarf opera and the simple fact that her faith in the night watch is what gave them strength and courage when they felt “several letters of the alphabet away” from bucked-up. sybil cares, and that is what makes her strong.)
and the relationship between her and sam isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be, in order to be happy and loving. i just think it’s a lot more beautiful, and realistic, to have a couple who do get irritated with each other and exasperated and who both swear that only the other one snores – and have that portrayed as happy. because the butterflies and “oh they’re just perfect for me in every way!” fades with time and leaves you with whoever the two of you simply are. and sometimes there are edges that don’t quite fit but you shouldn’t file them down, you just… find ways to make it work, because you want to.
because love is a choice, at the end of the day. and love isn’t perfect and sometimes it’s messy and sometimes you argue, but it’s still good and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be happy and worth having.