who are the worst couples in the history of fiction (novels, TV, movies, etc)?


In the wake of J.K. Rowling’s revelation that it was a mistake to pair up Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley — the author has said that they would probably eventually need couples’ therapy — the Guardian’s Hannah Jane Parkinson has come up with her list of “the 10 worst couples in literature.” One of the “winners”:

Heathcliff and Catherine (Wuthering Heights)

They are one of the best-loved literary couples, and one of the worst. Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship can only be described as mutually destructive and abusive – and deserving of a session or two on a Relate sofa. You know a pairing is on the rocks when they spend most of their time trying to hurt the other in the most malevolent means possible (like ruining their offspring). It’s the kind of obsessive love that prioritises control over a person and loses sight of the individual’s happiness. They are basically a version of Sid and Nancy on the moors.

All of Parkinson’s examples are from novels (if novels that have also become movies, some more than once), but I see no reason to limit ourselves that way. So:

Who are the worst couples in the history of fiction (novels, TV, movies, etc)?

I think I must go with Mickey and Mallory Knox, as played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. Their relationship is based on murder and mayhem, which makes them a couple whose issues aren’t only bad for them, but for basically for everyone they come in contact with.

Please enjoy this anti-Valentine’s Day Question, and have fun.

(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)

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