I thought I hated love triangles. Now I wonder if I don’t love them.
One of the most powerful driving forces in Forever Knight, a vampire cop show I became madly obsessed with during the early 1990s was the conflict between the vampire who made the protagonist immortal and a doctor who was trying to be make him mortal. Both were driven by devotion to the protagonist. Some of my favorite moments was when he was caught between them.
I saw a parallel to this on Xena. How Xena was often caught between the woman she loved and those intent on drawing out her darker side. One of my favorite quotes came from Ares about this duality in the warrior princess he adored: “When you sacrificed yourself for others, you were hers, but when you kicked ass, you were mine.”
I remember seeing another curious emotional triangle in the movie, The Two Towers, one which was in the book as well. How Gollum found himself drawn to Frodo, bonding with his rival for the Ring, due to the power the Ring had over both of them. How Frodo responded to this, in spite of his fears. How much Sam hated this reaction and Gollum, seeing in Gollum what his beloved Mr. Frodo could become. All the while doing everything he could to pull Frodo back from the Ring and that fateful connection.
Much of what I’ve become obsessed with has a triangle of some sort. One of the reasons I found the TV series Hannibal so compelling was the way Will Graham was pulled in conflicting directions by his two mentors. Toward martyrdom and saving lives by Jack Crawford. Toward embracing his inner monster by Hannibal Lecter. Both Jack and Hannibal were deeply invested in Will Graham’s emotional journey. This drew them closer to each other, even as they vied for Will’s love and loyalty.
Each of these triangles invoked both emotional attachments which drove the plot. It’s something I’m trying to channel into my own work. Dyvian and the twins vie for Leiwell’s love and loyalty in Tales of the Navel, but its’s going to bring them closer. My sympathies were with the twins, but I’m emphasizing a lot with Dyvian. There’s another triangle with Leiwell and Christopher over Damian which is truly strange, paralleling one between them over the twins. I find myself feeling for both of them while I discover theirs.
Do you have a triangle you remember with especial fondness, dear reader? Ever craft one of your own?