Over the many years of my life that I’ve spent experiencing the media, I’ve seen a few great friendships between characters. Some aren’t worth mentioning, but some are. These are those that I believe are worth mentioning.
10 – Ross and Chandler
Ross Geller and Chandler Bing, of Friends fame, start off this list in our number ten position. Why them? Because, let’s face it, they are the ultimate lads. Sure, people hark on about Joey, and how he makes this dynamic duo into a tremendous trio, but think about it – who are the two that were practically brothers BEFORE they became brothers in law.
I don’t recall them ever having a serious argument and they always had a laugh. I mean, look at them! There they are, fitting into the 80’s like a glam-rock concert, what with the moustache, the hairstyle and the outfits. They were always who I wanted to be – a happy mixture of Ross’ intellect and Chandler’s humour, at least, before he lost his nubbin…
9 – Shrek and Donkey
Shrek and Donkey taught me that friends don’t always have to start off as friends, but can start off as a needy donkey and a lonely ogre. Think about it. What made these two so compatible? They weren’t, were they? Donkey was an annoying little shit and Shrek liked his privacy, yet, by the time they’d reached the dragon’s keep, they were close enough pals that Shrek would help Donkey cross the rickety bridge over a lake of hot boiling lava, AND ‘save his life’ from the dragon, at great personal risk to himself.
So, this pair taught me a lot about how friends don’t have to match perfectly, but can, sometimes, be as odd as friendships themselves. Look at me and Ted. By all accounts, we shouldn’t be friends, but look at us. We are. I like to think so. We haven’t spoken properly for a while. I should say hi…
8 – Han Solo and Chewbacca
I haven’t read that much into the friendship of Han and Chewie, but I know, vaguely, what happened. Han hated the idea of Wookiee slaves existing, so tried to save some and managed to get away with Chewie, who, in turn, offered himself in the sense of a life debt and they became friends. How Han learnt Wookie, I’ll never know, but I like to think they had lessons sat away in The Millennium Falcon…
What more can be said about this pair? They’re always together, or trying to get to each other. Han gets taken by Boba Fett, Chewie breaks out with Lando’s help and tries to save him, offering himself up to Jabba the Hutt, in an elaborate ruse which might have failed and had him killed by the Sarlacc. That’s friendship. THAT. IS. FRIENDSHIP. Just sayin’.
7 – Scooby Doo and Norville ‘Shaggy’ Rogers
Scooby and Shaggy only really seemed like close friends to me, when I saw the live-action movie starring Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Freddie Prince Jnr, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rowan Atkinson, which, might I add, is a great film. There’s this bit in it, where Scooby falls down a hole and, despite Shaggy’s intense fear at any situation which doesn’t involve eating, his immediate reaction is ignore the fear and jump down to save him, instead saving everyone else and helping to motivate everyone to save the day, all because Scoob, his ol’ buddy, ol’ friend, ol’ pal, is in danger. I don’t know how many of my friends would do that. It’s not many…
6 – Ash and Pikachu
I grew up watching Ash and Pikachu grow closer and closer and closer, until Ash “died” and all the tears brought him back to life. I admit it – I cried when I saw that. Why? Ash is, like, a kid, who loves an electric mouse. Simple as that. I want one, by the way. I’d name it Jeffrey and it shall be my favourite pet EVER. No offense Mouzer (my pet cat that I love almost too much). So, the two of them have a super-strong relationship and even when Team Rocket insisted upon doing whatever they did to get Pikachu, Ash never gave up trying to save him. You’ve got to love that.
5 – The Doctor and Rose
Now, you may wonder why I put a great couple, on my great friendships list. Well, because although the David Tennant’s Doctor was great with Rose, I thought that the friendship between Christopher Ecclestone’s Doctor was a better show of a friendship. I mean, he saves her, she saves him, they both run a lot and, by God, do they both have fun. He risks everything to make sure she goes home safely, and then she throws it right back at him by summoning the power of the TaRDiS itself to save him and destroy the Daleks. But that wasn’t the clincher. Oh no. The clincher was when we saw Rose on her journey back to her home, in that very episode.
The Doctor set up a hologram to play and explain what was going on. It would take her home and she was to leave the TaRDiS alone and let it be just that item that existed somewhere. She walks a bit, showing us it’s only a hologram and then, right when the message ends, it turns to look at her. The fact that he knew EXACTLY where she would be, after a message like that, shows the connection between the two of them. Here’s the clip… Sorry about the lip-synch being out. That’s Youtube for you…
So, that was great, I thought.
4 – Harry, Ron, Hermione and Hagrid
So, erm… What can I say? Harry, Ron, Hermione and Hagrid were always the ones I wanted to be, or be friends with. In terms of the Wizard world, I’d be lucky to be Neville, but I still always wanted in. What kid my age didn’t?
Why though? Was it the magic? Was it the fact that three of them had frequent access to Hermione, which a younger version of myself envied (and secretly, still does) or was it that they were great friends and, without each other, shit would have gone DOWN. Probably all three. Hagrid, the first magical person we meet, was always someone I looked up to, in more than just the physical way, and the famous trio were always the coolest people who the people I knew could think of. I mean, sure, when Harry Potter started to get popular, I was on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer high, but as I got older and Buffy got less popular with my generation, I moved over to the bandwagon and what was my first thought? “Hermione’s going to be a looker…” Yes. It was. I don’t know how old I was, but she was definitely older than me at the time, so it’s okay. My second thought? “I want to be a wizard like them.” True story.
3 – Legolas and Gimli
Legolas and Gimli. These were the second people I thought of when I started this list, but, sadly, they only get the number 3 slot. They were originally complete enemies. They HATED each other. Don’t deny it. You know it to be true. What happened? They fell in love. No. I jest. The Fellowship happened. Or, more accurately, Moria happened. That’s when it switched. Gimli sought happiness in Moria, and they all found sorrow, but Legolas sorrow was less than the others, due mostly to his surprise at the beauty of the structure, whilst Gimli was more upset because of Balin’s death. Or something like that.
After Gandalf died, Aragorn took charge and, naturally, sought for the two to help him, because everyone knew Boromir was a back-stabbing cunt. True story. The two of them got pushed together and, rather than fight, got on well. It was when they both realised that their companion’s race was so great at creating, or harnessing, beauty, that their friendship bloomed. Galadriel definitely gave Gimli a hard-on. Just saying. Personally, Cate Blanchett doesn’t do it for me, but whatever floats your gravy boat, right?
By the time of the Two Towers, the two of them have already started their own little bromance and decided they can’t live without each other. The fact that they maintain the facade of a mocking hatred for one another makes it even more evident that they are pretty much in love. They even plan to visit Helms Deep and Moria and a few forests again, if I recall correctly. I might be wrong.
You know what sums it up – these few lines…
“I never thought I’d die fighting side by side with an Elf.”
“How about side by side with a friend?”
“Aye… I could do that.”
2 – Julian Bashir and Miles O’Brien
Julian and Miles were a pairing that not only caught me off guard, but got me a little emotional at times. They were together a lot, yet apart far too often for their own liking. They always had fun, or saved each other and when they had to finally be parted, who could watch and say that it just HAD to happen. No-one should have wanted to see it, but it happened. They had their parting, after so many years of holodeck dogfights and skirmishes, so many battles fought together against the Dominion, so many years of each other’s company. It saw me completely devastated to see them part, but it taught me something important. Every friendship will go through its tough points and, even if there is an apparent end, it may not be so.
SO! We reach my favourite relationship in the HISTORY of film or TV. You might have guessed this. If not, well… Shame on you. It was, in fact, this friendship which got me starting this list.
1 – Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin
Yes. It’s another Lord of the Rings friendship. Tough. These guys need a mention. I should probably say about Fatty Bolger, but he wasn’t in the film, so fuck him, right?
Why these? Well, let’s break it up. Frodo and Sam shall start us off. Right from the start, we knew they were going to stick it out together. Sam said he would. He really did. “Don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee, and I don’t plan to”, or something like that. They were going to stay together – they had to. Even when they were squabbling over Gollum’s antics, Sam still went back to save Frodo, even when he’d been sent away by a misguided Frodo, Sam went and decided to carry on the quest. Then, when he found out Frodo was still alive, instead of abandoning him and ensuring the quest was finished, this lowly hobbit and his cooking equipment decided it was smart to go and duel-wield until he’d killed everything in Cirith Ungol. He kicked ass to save Frodo. Then, when they have the short climb up Mount Doom and they have no food, or water and can’t carry on, what does Sam do? He picks Frodo up and carries him, one step at a time, until they get ninja’d by Gollum. Sam refuses to let Frodo die and half-drags him out of a lava-filling room, to safety. They wake up in Rivendell and what does Sam do? The little ‘sup nod and smile. That’s bad-ass.
But that’s all Sam, right? No. Frodo did stuff too. The reach-around for one… No, seriously, Frodo did do stuff. Frodo saved Sam from drowning at the end of Fellowship, whilst he also gives Sam the greatest present that can be given. A dance with Rosie Cotton and the book that reminds him of all the adventuring they did. What a gift!
Merry and Pippin now. These two do their best to stick it out together, but, eventually, get separated by Gandalf, the bastard. Until then, though, they fight orcs together, escape orcs in battle, convince trees to save the world and, most importantly, take down Saruman as a team. What do they do when they have? Sit there and smoke pipe-weed all day. That’s skill that is. A nonchalant way of chilling with your homies after a great battle. When Merry nearly gets killed in battle outside of Minas Tirith, the only worthwhile sight we see, is of Pippin searching the battlefield for his friend, telling him that he will look after him and that everything will be okay. They are like brothers and yet, they’re like lovers at the same time. I can only dream of a friendship like that with someone.
Also, right in the last battle against the orcs at the Black Gate, in Return of the King, who charges right after Aragorn? Merry and Pippin. Find the clip – watch it. And this is after, in the extended version, they think that Frodo is dead and the quest failed.
Okay. So why are the two pairings together? For one reason, well… Four. First, Merry and Pippin realise EXACTLY what Frodo intends to do at the end of Fellowship (nick a boat and fuck off to Mordor), but instead of persuading him to stay, they do something much better and more productive. They distract the orcs chasing him and get them all to follow them. Sure, it costs Boromir his life, but he’s a back-stabbing cunt anyway. They willingly sacrifice themselves to let Frodo complete the quest. That’s friendship and dedication to the cause.
Then there’s their insistence that whatever happens they will absolutely definitely go top Mordor with Frodo, when the Fellowship is made. They force their way into that meeting and refuse to leave unless they get added to the group. Then when the think Frodo and Sam have died, they burst out into surprise and tears at the same time. Then when they found out Frodo’s alive, what do they do? Jump up and down on his bed and do the slightly homo-erotic excitement thing that hobbits do. Just saying.
All in all, the four hobbits are, quite simply, the greatest friends in existence. At least, that’s what I think…