I'm not really a Valentine's Day person. I don't hate it, exactly, I just simply don't care. It's just a day in February that precedes candy sales, which I also don't care that much about unless you're talking M&Ms (particularly peanut butter M&Ms) or Reese's peanut butter cups. But because it was Valentine's Day and romance is a Valentine's thing, I was reflecting on the romances I like. Mostly because I was wondering if you can count Thor as a romcom. I mean, it has romance and it's funny and it was the next movie in our Marvel marathon. And I realized something. My favorite romances come with a healthy dose of near-death.
Yes, if I'm in the mood, I like to watch Jane Austen, but honestly, I have to be in a very particular mood. Given the choice between Pride and Prejudice and Catching Fire, well, nine times out of ten I'm picking Catching Fire without a second thought. So thinking through my favorite stories that involve romance...
The Hunger Games trilogy. Thrown into an arena (twice!) where they're literally supposed to kill each other, as Katniss finally starts getting a little bit of a clue that she actually loves Peeta, he gets taken by the Capitol, hijacked, strangles her nearly to death, and then they go into the Capitol and lose almost every member of their team, including newlywed Finnick. Poor Annie.
Ilyon Chronicles. Where do I even start? Um, gladiator, ryrik attacks, soldier attacks, beaten within an inch of his life, almost executed (both Jace and Kyrin), battles, almost bleeding out, deadly illness, and we've still got one book to go.
Blades of Acktar. Leith really should be dead. Beaten, tortured, assassins, this stuff happening pretty much every day, he really should be dead. And you also had Martyn surviving being burned at the stake.
Ranger's Apprentice. Becoming slaves, multiple battles, poison, dangerous espionage situations, tigers, and then SPOILER Alyss really DOES die in a fire and I will NEVER forgive John Flanagan for that END SPOILER.
Frozen. Hans tries to kill Elsa, he tries to kill Anna, Elsa accidentally almost kills Anna, Anna turns to ice. But it's a Disney movie and she's not a Disney parent, so she's okay.
Tangled. This is the story of how I died. Eugene would have actually died if Rapunzel didn't have magic tears.
Beauty and the Beast. Kill the Beast! Gaston nearly kills the Beast, and he would have died if Belle hadn't broken the curse by admitting her love. Oh, and Belle was nearly killed by wolves too.
No Chance Meeting. Struggles with suicidal thoughts, Riley beaten up really bad.
Fierce Heart. Troll attacks, literal almost death only prevented because of a special magical thing that's probably a bit of a spoiler.
Star Wars. Han and Leia: space battles and torture by Vader and Jabba trying to execute Han and Kylo Ren actually killing Han and SPOILER Leia giving up her life to reach Kylo to turn him back END SPOILER. Anakin and Padmé (Anakin's a super creep in love, but it's still part of the story): space battles and execution attempts and war and Anakin burning in lava and Padmé actually dying and eventually Anakin actually dying too. Obi-Wan and Siri (Legends): realizing their love in a near death situation as padawans, deciding not to act on it because it's more important to be Jedi, going on lots of dangerous missions together, then she dies in a battle close to the beginning of the Clone Wars and he dies on the Death Star.
The Flash. Um, nearly dying is pretty much an everyday thing for Team Flash. Season 3 revolved around trying to prevent Iris's impending death.
Emily of New Moon. Emily realized Teddy was the only one for her after she saved him from going to his death on the Flavian.
Anne of Green Gables. Anne realized her love for Gilbert when he was dying of an illness.
Percy Jackson. Monsters are always trying to kill them. Like, constantly. And then there's that time Percy and Annabeth had to travel through Tartarus.
Little Dorrit. Arthur Clennam became very ill when he went to debtor's prison and Amy had to nurse him back to health.
A Series of Unfortunate Events. Yes, I ship Violet and Quigley. Count Olaf is always trying to kill Violet. And Quigley vanishes into the Great Unknown.
Blood of Kings. Battles and Achan being stupid and nearly getting killed and Vrell being stupid and nearly getting killed and Vrell being nearly lost to the Veil.
The Princess Bride. Westley was supposedly dead and then he was mostly dead and Buttercup almost killed herself.
And I feel like I could go on forever and ever and ever. So I guess the bottom line is, if you're writing me a romance, add a side of near-death. XD