Is there a story about platonic relationships

Words on a journey

Love at first sight, kinship, first love, great feelings, love triangles - romantic relationships are omnipresent, especially in books for young people and teen series. Because of them, not only does an exciting construction of the world often take a back seat, but also friendships. There is little room for friendships or parent-child relationships when it comes to fluttering butterflies. At the same time, they offer space for interesting side scenes and beautiful moments. For example, what would be Harry Potter without the friendship of the trio or Lord of the rings without Frodo and Sam? Then Harry would have been killed by Voldemort in the first part and Frodo would have fallen for the ring.

For this reason dear Nicole from the blog Smalltownadventure and I have decided to dedicate ourselves more closely to the topic of friendship in series, as there is a lot of space for platonic relationships, be it between friends, parents and, among other things, due to the length of the seasons Siblings. For this we have thought of a day that will go online in two parts, once on Sunday, September 8th and once on Wednesday, September 11th. As a first step today, I will deal with the question of what friendship means for me personally. Then I take a thematic detour to literature and series: Why are friendships important for a story and what partly bothers me about their presentation?

What exactly is friendship?

If you look up the Duden, it says: “Relationship between people based on mutual affection” (source). This is very general, but it is a good place to start. Mutual affection says that it is not a one-way street and that it affects both parties. Experience shows that a break in friendship lies in both people, sometimes you develop in different directions and just because you got along really well as a child doesn't have to be the case ten years later.

For me, friendship means sticking around despite difficulties, accepting the other person's quirks and knowing what is wrong with the other person. It is true that you sometimes shake your head at the person and get upset about them, but you stay friends because you have a lot of things that you appreciate about the other person. There is no such thing as one friendship, because as different as people are, as different as friendships are. Some are more reserved, talk less about personal matters, while others send you a 20-minute voice message about their love life. It doesn't have to be that person A likes you less, they just have a different personality. Similar interests are nice, a plus. However, it is more important to agree on the essentials. I've noticed this over time.

Personally, I take the term friendship narrowly and only include a few people. For me, most of them are good friends with whom I get along, meet every now and then, but who do not know all the facets about me. Over time you can see whether this will turn into a friendship.

Shared memories and experiences weld together. Over time, anecdotes and insiders emerge that a third person will not understand without further explanation. At least in my circle of friends it is also part of teasing each other and especially with a friend I do this sport at Olympia level. With friends you can take your own quirks with humor.

Why friendships?

Friendships are of great value. The relationship with the peer group is particularly important in teenage years, as there processes of separation from parents occur and recognition is sought from peers. If this is not found, there can be difficulties in development. Sure, this can happen to the wrong people, but isolation is just as bad (if not worse as studies say). At best, friendships provide support and the opportunity to talk to others. If I hadn't had a best friend at home during the bullying, I wouldn't have known how I would have survived the time, because I had no one at school and if there was no one outside of it either? Then one would withdraw even more than ever. As already mentioned, there are also toxic friendships, friendships that actually aren't. It took me a long time to break away from it and when I did it, it was a relief, I finally had the feeling that I could be myself.

Friendship in stories

Friendship shows itself in different facets, no friendship is like another and that is why its portrayal in books, films and series is so beautiful and interesting. Friends, family and siblings can help the main character on their journey, not only in the sense of a classic hero's journey in a fantasy novel, but also in young adult books. They play a role in the development of the character, especially in Coming of Age stories. Which is why I find it here in particular that this is often excluded and focused on the love relationship. This was the case in Traumdancerin, for example, where after the love story was established, a previously important friend became a minor character.
At the same time, they offer potential for conflict. A relationship is never completely free of interference (I would say) and this can be used for the plot. Friends who stand up against each other, siblings who find each other again - there are so many different possibilities.

Things that bother me

When there is a friendship between a man and a woman, in a large part of the cases one party falls in love with the other, the other does not first and then they do get together. It seems that it is very easy to make more out of friendships. In addition, it is directly suggested that a platonic friendship between the sexes is not possible. What about queer, bisexual, pansexual people? No friendship is safe from us, is it?

Here I can mention Scorpius and Albus again, if either of them were a woman they would be at the end of The Cursed Child came together, or at least it would have gone in that direction. But enough about that before it degenerates again: triangular relationships in teen fantasy novels, simply no. It's enough.
Friends who do not have a personality of their own and exist only for the protagonist - here too: no thanks. I don't need boring stereotypes.
The portrayal of parents: Either totally lovely and super or the exact opposite: selfish nasty beings. How about something in between?

Positive examples:

In Lord of the rings is Sam, the real star of the series. He stays with Frodo until the end, he supports him, helps him and drives him forward. InHarry Potter the friendship between the trio is in the foreground. This shows the different aspects of friendships wonderfully. They quarrel, are annoyed with each other, know what they get from each other, have fun together, stand up for each other (which is why the portrayal of Ron in the film sometimes bothers me) and stick together. Especially in the fifth volume Hermione and Ron have to take a lot, because Harry does not treat them kindly in his grief and anger after Cedric's death and lets his mood out on them, but they are there for him. Earned when it comes to friendshipVampire Academya mention. There two best friends share a bond and it's a lot about their relationship with each other.

There are many more examples, but I would like to leave it with the three, because on Sunday the 8th there will be many beautiful friendships in series. I hope that you will be there again then. Here you come to Nicole's contribution.

What does friendship mean to you and what other examples can you think of? Do you also think that Coming of Age stories focus too much on the love story or not?

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