When it comes to the relationships in the books we read I think romantic relationships tend to get the most focus, which often means that other relationships - whether they're platonic or familial - are forgotten. This is a real shame, because there are so many amazing friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and grandparents in fiction that deserve to be celebrated.
This is the first in a small series of blog posts celebrating the underappreciated relationships in fiction. So, without further ado, here are my personal top 5 favourite fictional siblings!
Bellatrix, Andromeda and Narcissa, from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
At number 5 we have a set of characters who are rather different from the other siblings on this list, because we don't know an awful lot about them. The majority of the siblings I've chosen for this list I've chosen because I love the way they interact with one another, but in the entire Harry Potter series we never see all three of the Black sisters together. We meet each of them individually - and indeed Narcissa and Bellatrix are still on speaking terms - but we have no idea how the three of them acted around one another when they were younger.
These three are some of my favourite characters in the series, and while I would love to have known more about them I can understand why we don't learn everything. Their relationship is not integral to Harry's journey.
What I love most about these three is that everything they do, they do for love. Bellatrix's unhealthy obsession with Voldemort drives her crazier than she already was, and she does things for him no sane person would ever do. Andromeda defied her family and ran away so that she could spend her life with a muggleborn, distancing her from the sisters who, at some point in her life, she must have loved. And then we have the fantastic Narcissa, who lies to Voldemort's face to save the life of a young boy because she's a mother, and she knows that if the tables were turned she'd hope Lily would do the same for Draco.
I just love these three a lot.
Boromir and Faramir, from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
At number 4 we have the only brothers on this list! While I was compiling this little list I began to notice how few books I actually own that include brothers. I had plenty of sisters to choose from, but I really had to look hard to find any brothers on my shelves who I felt strongly about.
Technically I'm cheating a bit here, because while I adore The Lord of the Rings I haven't actually read the books yet, but as I mentioned in my 2014 Booket List I'm hoping to cross The Lord of the Rings off my TBR list this year!
I am a huge fan of the films though, and I love the relationship between Boromir and Faramir. What I love about these two is that they so easily could have been a pair of siblings who hated each other; Denethor's favouritism could have distanced the two of them so much, but instead Boromir takes good care of his little brother. In fact Boromir acts like more of a father to him than Denethor does, and Faramir in return loves his brother unconditionally.
These two make me wish I had a brother.
Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
At number 3 we have a set of sisters I couldn't possibly leave out of a list like this. This book and its characters are on many of my favourites lists; it's one of my favourite classics, includes one of my favourite heroines and one of my favourite fictional friendships. While I love Jo's friendship with Laurie and her relationship with Professor Bhaer, it's her relationship with her sisters that I love the most.
What's lovely about these four is that they're all so different, so each of their relationships with each other is different, and yet they all compliment each other beautifully. There's a sister for every kind of person; in fact for a 19th century author Alcott does a pretty wonderful job of portraying women who are desperate for independence and women who are desperate to be married, and treating all of these women with equal respect.
Georgia and Shaun, from the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant
At number 2 we have a fairly recent discovery of mine. I read Feed, the first book in the Newsflesh trilogy, just last week and I absolutely adored it, even though it broke my heart.
I'm glad I came across this book when I did because I've been wanting to compile this list for a while, and yet I noticed I had a distinct lack of important brother and sister relationships in the books I read. Then I read Feed, and fell completely in love with Georgia and Shaun.
What I love about them is not only are they funny - so funny, I love their banter - but they're also not at all ashamed that they're close. They love each other absolutely and they will defend each other until the ends of the earth.
Katniss and Prim, from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
At number 1, it really just had to be the Everdeen sisters.
When it comes to The Hunger Games I find a lot of people tend to argue as to whether or not they're on Team Peeta or Team Gale, but for me the real love story in The Hunger Games is between Katniss and Prim. In fact nothing that happens in these stories would have happened if Katniss hadn't had a little sister that she loved more than anything else in the world. Katniss enters the Games to save Prim, and she ultimately ends up becoming the Mockingjay to avenge Rue, who reminds her of Prim.
For such a popular trilogy the relationship between these two is incredibly underrated, and personally I feel as though Peeta gets a lot of the credit that really belongs to Prim. Katniss wasn't a closed, cold young woman until Peeta came along; Prim is proof that everything Katniss does comes from a place of fierce love.
Who are some of your favourite siblings in fiction?