Love triangles are as a common as mud when it comes to fiction. Is your story lacking tension? Throw in a love triangle! Do you want to hook in a teenage audience? Throw in a love triangle? Want some audience titillation?! … You get the idea. But love triangles can be done well, at least, that’s what Lucy, Charlotte, and I argue over the course of our latest episode.
While these tropes may have become a staple of YA fiction, love triangles have been around for a long time. Take the Arthurian legend, for instance! The one woman, two men triangle is the most common, but there are many faces of the love triangle. We discuss multiple different versions of the standard love triangle along with the storytelling problems surrounding resolving a love triangle. Are love triangles inherently sexist or is this a reflection of our biological way of approaching reproduction? How does social programming impact the way we interpret love triangles? Most importantly, we also discuss Lucy’s nature as a perverse human being!
If you are interested in further reading, we found a number of articles that might be of interest, covering love triangles in YA fiction, love triangle sexism, tips on how to write a good love triangle, and the problem with love triangles on popular television shows.
We’d like to make a special shout-out to writer Malinda Lo, whose blog post on this subject struck a chord with us and is mentioned several times throughout the episode.
Texts mentioned in the episode are as follows:
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
- Harry Potter by JK Rowling
- The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwall
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Starborn by Lucy Hounsom
- The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris
- The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Merlin (BBC and Hallmark)
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
- Working Girl
- The Legend of Korra
- The Little Mermaid