Monday, February 13, 2012

Celebrating Lady Friends on Galentine's Day

by Megan S.

Today, we celebrate Galentine's Day.  What is Galentine's Day, you ask?  Well, I'll let the holiday inventor and everyone's favorite Pawnee Parks and Recreation administrator explain.

"February 14, Valentine's Day, is about romance but February 13, Galentine's Day, is about celebrating lady friends.  It's wonderful and should be a national holiday. It should be a national holiday!" Leslie pauses briefly as she whips out her smart phone and begins to text, 'Dear Congress, It's Leslie again...'"
Great idea, right?  Lady friends you can be open with and rely on are the absolute best.  They're with you through good times and bad and will begrudgingly help bury the bodies if need be.  Unfortunately, there are far too few gal pals in science fiction and fantasy.  Most heroines are the "Let me suffer in silence as I categorically reject all external offers to help and why don't I also keep huge secrets to my own detriment again and again" type.  People, let me tell you, even dark and twisty characters need best friends

So, without further ado, let's commemorate those awesome genre besties that help make life better and feel free to add your unmentioned favorite BFFs to the list in the comments.

Buffy and Willow - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy and Willow have been through so much together.  Evil boyfriends, high school, dead girlfriends, college, too many apocalypses to count, death (twice), going pure evil, even bad haircuts, the slayer and the witch are always there for each other in the end.  They're the perfect example of best friends.

Myfanwy and Shantay - The Rook

You might not be familiar with Myfanwy and Shantay yet, but you will be.  These two ladies kick some serious supernatural and political ass in what's been hailed as one of the best books of 2012.   The British Rook Myfanwy and the American Bishop Shantay work for secret governmental institutions tasked with protecting their countries from preternatural threats.  The two become fast friends going out their way to have each other's backs in the field and being there for one another in more personal matters.

Kate and Andrea - Kate Daniels

Andrea and Kate have a lot in common.  The two both had difficult childhoods, have personal secrets that would mean their lives if it were public, and risk their lives every day in post-magic Atlanta to protect the innocent.  The former members of the Order of Merciful Aid may not always have an easy time relying on others but the two will do just about anything for one another.

Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Catwoman - DC Comics

Even bad girls get by with a little help from their friends.  Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Catwoman team up in Gotham City Sirens. While criminal alliances never seem to work out and the three actively keep secrets from one another, Gotham's bad girls do protect each other even when it looks as if one has betrayed the group.

Elena and Bonnie - The Vampire Diaries

You know how the old saying goes.  A witch is a doppleganger's best friend.  Wait?  That's not a saying?  Well, it should be.  Despite a vampire-sized wedge between the childhood friends, Elena and Bonnie continue to be there for each other in the blood sucker-ridden town of Mystic Falls.

Rachel and Ivy - The Hollows
Rachel and Ivy have had their ups and downs over the years and even flirted with a sexual relationship.  While the two spend an inordinate amount of time saving each other while working as detectives, if we're going to be brutally honest, it's almost always Ivy saving the witch.  Rachel usually leaps before she looks.

Bernadette, Amy and Penny - The Big Bang Theory

For years, would-be actress and Cheesecake Factory waitress Penny didn't have any female friends, she just had her geeky neighbors Leonard and Sheldon and their friends Raj and Howard.  Now, Penny has a nerd gang of her own with microbiologist Bernadette and neurobiologist Amy.  The ragtag group often leave the guys behind to socialize and support one another.

Maria and Liz - Roswell

Maria and Liz are pretty typical teens.  They work in a diner, gripe about school, and date... oh, right, they date alien royalty.  So, maybe they're not that typical but the two girls are best friends who get through life by being their for each other.

Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax - Discworld

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are definitely my favorite pair of the bunch.  The Discworld witches' talents and personalities compliment each other making them a formidable team.  Granny's use of headology and Nanny's tendency to play the boozy fool allow them to cunningly foil plots without the use of magic.  While most members of the Discworld find Granny abrasive and unyielding, Nanny can usually manipulate guide her best friend into making a better choice when needed.
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    Angela Montenegro and Temperance Brennan

    1. I love how Angela always calls her "sweetie." It seems like such an authentic friend thing to do.

  2. Oh, good call, Arch! I can't believe I forgot Angela and Bones!

  3. I love that Kate & Andrea and Granny Weatherwax & Nanny Ogg are on the list! I agree with your others too, of course, but those 2 nods made me grin.

    I would add Kara and Jill from Diana Rowland's Demon Summoner series.

  4. Caroline! She's the third part of the Elena/Bonnie/Caroline BFF trio! This is an outrage. AN OUTRAGE! (But it's also fitting because Elena and Bonnie often exclude Caroline in ways they ought not to and give her second class BFF status which chaps my ass.)

    I'd also include Samantha Carter and Janet Fraiser from Stargate SG-1.

    1. "But it's also fitting because Elena and Bonnie often exclude Caroline in ways they ought not to and give her second class BFF status which chaps my ass."

      SEE?!? That's why I left Caroline out even though she's my favorite character of the bunch.

  5. I would say that my least favorite part of the last two seasons of Buffy was the coolness in the relationship between Buffy and Willow. You didn't have the BFF-ey joy of seasons 1-5 in the last two seasons.

    OK, ONE of my least favorite parts. I had lots of problems with the final seasons of Buffy.

  6. Now I'm going to have to move Rook up further on my to read list because now it sounds even better.

    How about Claire and Eve from Glass Houses or Jane and Molly from the Jane Yellowrock series and my favorite, Nynaeve and Egwene from WoT.

  7. Thank you for bringing The Rook to my attention! Have ordered it from the library.

    I really like the girl friendships portrayed in the comic Bad Machinery (, a good mix of silly & sincere. Also, not really genre, but Daria & Jane (from Daria, of course), are another favourite pairing.