In case you haven’t heard yet, Cassandra Clare released her final installment in the Mortal Instruments series last week – City of Heavenly Fire. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m not sure you’ll quite understand the majority of this post, but feel free to keep reading if you are interested in my opinions on the stupid term “love triangle”. I should say right now that there are minor spoilers about various teen fiction novels in this post, but nothing that would change your experience of any of the stories – for example, NEWS FLASH! Edward loves Bella. Jacob also loves Bella. Bella loves both of them. See – you knew that already, didn’t you?
Reading City of Heavenly Fire this week brought me back to this rant about love triangles that I’ve had time and time again. Though this wasn’t a plot point in this particular novel, my mind wandered back to the early days of Clary and Jace, when it kind-of sort-of almost seemed like Clary might end up with Simon. Almost every teen fiction novel nowadays has what everyone refers to as a “love triangle”, but I always maintain that in reality it is a Love V.
The reasoning behind this is simple. One person having connections with two different people does not equal a triangle, it equals a V. Very literal. Still don’t believe me? I’ve got some examples to show you.
As I already mentioned, Edward loves Bella. Bella loves Edward. Bella also loves Jacob, and Jacob loves Bella. Edward and Jacob hate each other for the majority of the novels, and learn to barely tolerate each other later on. That does not equal a side of a triangle! Like I said, Love V.
Another example I already alluded to – the Mortal Instruments. Simon loves Clary. Clary loves Simon, but not in the same way as she loves Jace (you know, the heart-pounding, once in a lifetime, willing to be with them despite being siblings, hopeless type of love), who also loves her. Jace and Simon are barely friends for a long time, but eventually learn to like, respect, and trust one another. This still does not equal a triangle! Total V status.
Another excellent teen fiction example is the Hunger Games. Katniss loves Gale and Peeta. They both love her – but they hate each other! I guess they do learn to tolerate one another later on as well, but at no point do they ever have actual love triangle status.
If you haven’t read Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices, you should. This is one of my favourite teen fiction sagas. In this series, Tessa loves Will. Will loves Tessa. Tessa loves Jem. Jem loves Tessa. Lastly, WILL AND JEM LOVE EACH OTHER AS MUCH AS THEY EACH LOVE TESSA!! Will would give Tessa up if it meant that Jem and Tessa would be happy together. Jem would do the same. Tessa would give both of them up if it meant that they could both be happy. Any one of them would sacrifice their own happiness for the other two. I still to this day cannot figure out who loves who most! Though I do know who I love most – Will. Definitely Will. Herondales are my favourites.
This, my friends, is actually a Love Triangle. As you can see, they are rare – but not totally non-existent. In fact, I’m hard pressed to come up with another example as true as this one. I’m sure they are out there. Do you have a good one? Post it in the comments below!
Update: If you want to read more nerdy blog posts like this one, I’ve moved over to do my geek blogging at My Fangirl Life. Click the logo below to head over there for more fandom fun!