10 Characters Who Ended Up With The Wrong People

Little Women

Very often we turn to books for the satisfaction of a love story well told. If it’s done right, we get all swoony, clutch the tomes to our winsome bosoms (or winsome pectorals, as the case may be), and sigh over the perfection and delicious unreality of a fictional love affair. I may really dig a dude in a real life, but him spontaneously being all Edward Fairfax Rochester and telling me about an invisible cord connecting our ribs is, I can almost guarantee, never going to happen.

To that end, I’ve always had a soft spot for books where the “perfect love story” doesn’t turn out to be so perfect after all. I know I’m not alone in this. Every reader gets a wonderful shiver of schadenfreude each time a pairing between characters goes south and goes south HARD. Here are 10 characters who ended up with absolutely the wrong people:

1. Jo March and Professor Bhaer (Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott)
Okay, I can feel the masses ready to string me up on high for this one, but I’m standing by it. Oh sure, Jo and the Professor are a sweet, modern couple and I kind of dig them, and everybody knows accents are sexy, but none of this matters because LAURIE. He loved Jo most of his life, and you know the feeling was mutual. That said, while I always wanted to be a Jo, I am probably closer to being an Amy, so I guess I should be grateful.

2. Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins (Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen)
A girl’s gotta eat, BUT AT WHAT COST? Marriage to a pompous, socially climbing, sniveling parson = not worth it. I want an alternative version of P&P where Charlotte takes up a life walking the streets of London solving crimes while deep undercover as a prostitute. It would be all about female empowerment and also Jack the Ripper.

3. Cassandra Mortmain (I Capture The Castle, by Dodie Smith)
To be fair, there’s something admirable and noble and sweet and real about our narrator Cassandra ending up on her own and learning that a broken heart doesn’t mean the end of love altogether. Still, when a good chunk of a novel has been dedicated to Cassandra falling for her sister’s then-fiance, you can’t help but feel slightly cheated by the ending.

4. Harry, Hermione, and Ron (The Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling) 
I tend to be a Hermione and Ron apologist, but if even J. K. Rowling admits that it should have been Harry and Hermione, then who are we mere plebes to argue with her wisdom?

5. Frank and April Wheeler (Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates)
Frank and April Wheeler’s totally borked dynamic eventually leads to disasters we won’t discuss here, because spoilers. Frank and April clearly weren’t meant to be together, or if they were, the timing was off and the repressive culture of the age shot their union in the foot before it even had a chance to trot. One could argue that without their cataclysmic pairing the book wouldn’t exist, to which I respond: DON’T CARE TOO DEPRESSING.

6. Romeo and Juliet (Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare)
They literally die because they are mad at their parents. Are they smitten with each other? Totally. But are they also infants with poor impulse control? Oh very much so.

7. George and Martha: (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, by Edward Albee)
Just a word of wisdom for the collected masses reading this post—if you and your partner both have significant drinking problems and a shared semi-delusion of a child, it’s best to get out before one of you starts breaking the furniture, you dig?

8. Charles and Camilla (The Secret History, by Donna Tartt)
Fraternal twins Charles and Camilla take a beyond warped page from George R.R. Martin’s books when it comes to how twins feel about each other. In their pants. No, just…no.

9. Lolita and Humbert: (Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov)
I have one word for you, and it rhymes with shmedophilia. Also, everybody dies. *Drops mic, walks away, sassy and triumphant*

10. Wanda and Ian: (The Host, by Stephenie Meyer)
Look, I get that love is about more than just the physical body, but the body is a big part of it—especially at first. So forgive me if I give Wanda and Ian the side-eye. We get it Wanda, your love for Ian surpasses the physical. Doesn’t erase the fact that you are making out with him using basically a corpse’s mouth. Barf.

What fictional characters do you think ended up with the wrong people?

  • leelee

    Marianne and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility. BORRRINNGGG!! But maybe I’m just swayed by the actor who played Willoughby in the Kate Winslet version!!

    • eandh99

      well, Emma Thompson was certainly swayed. Viewer, I married him!

    • SharonCville

      Alan Rickman could never be boring. His Colonel Brandon made a LOT more sense than that wet Willoughby!

  • Leah

    For the last time, Jk Rowling never said that Harry and Hermione should have been together. That was misconstrued from an interview between her and Emma Watson where she admitted that Ron and Hermione would have fought a lot. And that was it. The media just blew it up Rita Skeeter-style.

  • Marci Yesowitch Hopkins

    Arwyn and Aragorn. So wrong. She’s such a nothing who does nothing but look pretty. Éowyn is a way better match for him. I think so every time I read the book. I’m always angry that they don’t end up together.

  • Aubrey Pedersen Sorenson

    Okay, no. First of all, Harry and Hermione would not only have been predictable but they had zero chemistry. Also, we as readers are entitled to make up our own minds. Just because the writer said it doesn’t make them right. Secondly, Jo and Laurie would have been *awful*. Laurie was far to immature for Jo. Far far too immature. He was a child. She was a woman. Would never work.

    • http://www.goodreads.com/joeleoj Joel Cunningham

      If Laurie was too immature for Jo he sure picked the right sister as a consolation prize. “BRING ME SOME LIMES LAURIE RIGHT NOW.”

  • Neal Kenneth

    Hermione and Ron were a very believable match. Harry and Ginny…not so much! Harry should have ended up with Luna. He’s very comfortable around her and she treats him like a human instead of a hero. What about Ginny, you ask? I think she would have been more interested in Neville after undermining the Death Eaters at Hogwarts for a year than she was at the Yule Ball…

    • Rebecca Daniells

      Yes to this! I always thought Harry and Luna should have ended up together. Luna was such a lovely well drawn character, she had so much compassion and depth. Unlike Ginny, she was always was just a 2D girl power nothing to me. I never had any sense of who she was as a person other than that she was totally in love with Harry and really good at “boy stuff”.

    • eandh99

      I was unconvinced by Harry and Ginny especially in the movies where they got very little time together and didn’t seem to have any spark, Harry wanted to belong to a family, and marrying Ginny let him be a Weasley. I can believe that Hermione fell in love with Ron, but I don’t see it lasting -who lives happily ever after with the boy they liked at 14? They’re so different in tastes and ambitions and he got jealous easily. At least Krum liked her intelligence rather than seeing it as a way to skip doing his own homework the way Ron did.

      • Someone

        I agree with with your being unconvinced with regards to Ginny and Harry in the movies! They had no chemistry! It was horribly awkward! Gah!

        I thought that maybe the movies would get the relationship right after the dull, vapid way it was portrayed in the books, but nuh-uh.

    • platypus

      Yes to everything. I love Ron and Hermione together. And I could dig the Luna and Harry pairing. But I would prefer Luna and Neville.

  • Linda Brattain

    if you read Little Men and Joes Boys you understand why Joe married the professor

    • Alex2552xelA

      yes but he was so PREACHY all the time. Sigh.

  • Lady Clare

    Interesting theory about Charlotte Lucas solving the mystery of Jack the Ripper, seeing as she would have been over 100 years old at that point (Pride and Prejudice could have been set no later than 1813, when it was published, and Charlotte Lucas, being 27 in the novel, could have been born no later than 1786, and Jack the Ripper terrorized London in 1888…). Good try, though.

  • Heather Scott-Penselin

    Harry and Hermione had no chemistry, so they would not have been a good match. Hermione and Ron on the other hand had lots of chemistry.

  • Alexandrìa Marie Davis

    you people are totally ripping on another reader’s beliefs. If there’s one thing I never want to do, it’s tell people their interpretation of a book is incorrect (unless, it’s factually inaccurate) because how would I know if my version of the story is the right one? I’m not the author, I was not in the author’s head when the story was written. BTW J.K Did say she wanted Harry and Hermione together originally, but she saw more potential with Hermione and Ron. I don’t know how I would have rather had it. I almost think it’d be interesting if Harry didn’t marry anyone at all. Maybe he would have an unsuccessful marriage due to his lack of a real family during crucial years of his childhood. But I am glad he ended up with Ginny. Book Ginny. Movie Ginny was so lifeless and I don’t think that’s because of the acting. I think so much of her character was edited out of the movies, Bonnie had almost nothing to work with besides this nervous girl in love with her brother’s best friend. When it comes to the subject of a character ending up with the wrong person, I can’t think of one because I reason with myself if I disagree with it at first. Because there’s a reason these couples end up together, arguing it is pointless. Unless you want to write a fanfiction where the events play out in your favor. But what fun is that? Sorry for the ramble!

    • SuperBlueAnon

      She actually said it should have been Harry and Hermione after the book series was over.

      • Alexandrìa Marie Davis

        Yes I am aware. I didn’t say when she said it, I just stated that’s what she thought.

        • SuperBlueAnon

          The timing is important though, because she wouldn’t have seen more potential with Hermione and Ron at the same time as feeling Hermione belonged with Harry.

          • Alexandrìa Marie Davis

            I didn’t say it wasn’t important. I just said that I didn’t say when she said it, just that she did say it. I didn’t see it as a hugely important fact to include as everyone knows she stated that she really wanted Harry and Hermione together I’d say about 5 years after the last book was out. It’s an important fact, but it’s a fact that almost every fan of HP knows so I didn’t think I would have to say “Jo stated years after finishing with writing the series that she would have prefered Harry and hermione.”

          • SuperBlueAnon

            You don’t seem to understand me.

            “BTW J.K Did say she wanted Harry and Hermione together originally, but she saw more potential with Hermione and Ron.”

            The way that you phrased this makes it seem as though she wanted it to be Harry, then changed her mind and is now content with choosing Ron.

            It’s not a big deal, I’m just saying that that would be incorrect.

          • Alexandrìa Marie Davis

            No, I wasn’t. Because it didn’t seem like a huge thing to point out. But it is correct. I read the articles and that’s what she had originally intended. She wanted Harry and Hermione together, but saw more potential with Hermione and Ron. She didn’t voice that until after the franchise. But the whole point of my whole spiel in the first place was that the author of this article has no place telling readers what’s right and what’s wrong in accordance to what their opinion of a book was. She should have worded it differently. Instead of saying “Characters who ended up with the wrong people” could have been, “Characters who could have ended up with someone else” But #2, makes absolutely no sense as to why she would point that out, like Charlotte needs the limelight or something. No, Charlotte got married to prove a point in the book that Lizzie was going against the current by not getting married with the first man to ask. Charlotte knew suitors weren’t lining up around the corner for her, she also knew that she was 27. I can’t imagine how common this problem was then. Courting was different then. The whole thing was out of order from how it is now. Back then, it was go to a ball, dance with the prettiest girl. Dance with her on several other occasions, ask for her father’s permission to marry her and THEN they get to know each other. Whereas now, meet someone, get to know them, date them for a while, move in together, get a cat, Then ask to marry her. I’m just saying that 2 should be omitted. This whole list is kind of ridiculous, actually.

          • SuperBlueAnon

            You still don’t seem to get it. I’m not commenting on your whole post, so there was no need to rewrite it.

            I’m saying the way you worded it sounded like in the end, she was content with Ron being with Hermione.

            That’s all, so calm down.

          • Alexandrìa Marie Davis

            I’m not getting worked up over anything, I’m just making sure I respond fully. I just don’t understand why you would comment on such a minute detail from the original post, which was why i brought in the original point so that maybe we could have conversed about that.

          • SuperBlueAnon

            Sure the detail seems minute, but I didn’t expect to be talking about it this long, either. Besides, before you responded it seemed like YOU didn’t know the full story, so my post was just to inform you of it since you’re a fan.

          • Alexandrìa Marie Davis

            I appreciate it. I just didn’t think it was a huge thing. But apparently it is, so I’ll remember that. i do appreciate the conversation as it’s hard to find good conversation these days. So thank you, have a wonderful night/day wherever you may be. Blessed be.

  • Shawntaye Hopkins

    Cassandra Mortmain was young and learned a lesson we all have to learn. The ending was perfect.

    • Paula Freeman-Bown

      I was pleasantly surprised by the ending of ‘I Capture the Castle’. It was far more realistic that Cassandra didn’t end up with Simon as a tidy happy chick-lit style ending. (Especially as I was so gutted she wouldn’t get together with lovely hunky Stephen!)

      • Shawntaye Hopkins

        Agree 100 percent! And I felt like I could relate to Cassandra’s story, even though I’m much older than her. Way better than a happily ever after, unrealistic ending. Also, earlier in the book, when she was lovesick, trying to contain tears and using walls to hold herself up … OH! My heart felt for her so much! Such a good story.

  • AIC

    Katara and Zuko! So much storyline, so much chemistry, so MFEO.

    Ditto to Jo and Laurie. But this whole ‘Hermione and Ron shouldn’t have been together’ thing is driving me a little crazy. Hermione and Ron actually may fight and be passionate, but at least they have chemistry together. Whereas I never felt speck of sexual chemistry between Hermione and Harry at all.

  • Rebecca Daniells

    Can I say Bella and Edward just to bring down the tone of the conversation?. Edward is the WORST. And anytime you have to change who you are to be with a man it is a HUGE MISTAKE. Twilight is like the worst guide to relationships ever.

  • Cynthia Washburn

    Ugh… or neither Ron or Harry for Hermione. I always saw her ending up with someone older and SMART – if we want her to end up with someone who would help her lighten up, then someone like one of the Weasley twins or Charlie would have been better. Or she could have ended up with Neville, who was her first friend and who NEVER turned his back on her. Or, let’s face it, our Hermione has a bit of a vindictive streak in her, so she could have ended up with a Slytherin.

  • Cat Maddix

    Dolores and Humbert don’t ‘end up together.’ He sexually abuses her for two years, then she runs away from him and (eventually) gets married. To someone else. Did you even read the damn book?