Archives: Marriage

Connubial Characters

I’ve been thinking about weddings and marriage recently. And, since I’m me, about fiction. Specifically speculative fiction, i.e., fantasy and science fiction.

Now dramatic narrative, even in speculative fiction, often leads to a wedding between characters. But it seems that characters — main characters, at least — seldom begin a story in a state of matrimony. Singles dominate the rosters of main characters. Why is that?


Romance and marriage are atypical subjects of speculative fiction, usually either consigned to the B-plot or give short-shrift if included at all.  That’s fine: not every book must contain every possible element.  Absence of a wooing, dalliance, or long-term relationship should not be grounds for legitimate criticism of a work.

Tolkien wrote a romance without a great deal of romance.  What romance did reach the page was chaste, the courtly romance of the troubadours.  This is perhaps better exemplified by Gimli’s love for Galadriel than the decades long trials and courtship of Aragorn and Arwen.  That is the story the Good Professor was writing and it worked.