What Makes An OTP? A Discussion

Hi y’all!

After last week’s discussion on why female villains make us angrier than male villains, I decided to do another discussion post, this one about one of my favorite aspects of YA: the ships. 

Ah, OTPs. One true pairings. I love them. And there are lots I support (and a few that I don’t). 

Some popular OTPs you most likely know, even if you’re new to YA:

1. Katniss and Peeta

2. Ron and Hermione (I don’t ship these two. Sorry y’all, but no.)

3. Percy and Annabeth

4. Cress and Thorne

So I want us to discuss exactly what it is that makes a good, strong romantic relationship worth rooting for. 

For me, there are the ships I’d be willing to separate, if the male side fell in love with me instead. *sighs dreamily* And then there are the ones that, no matter how much I might want to marry the male love interest, I would never ever ever separate them. Some characters just need each other so much that the thought of one without the other is just plain awful. 

I want to take a look at the OTPs I ship the hardest: Wolflet (The Lunar Chronicles) and Everlark (The Hunger Games). 

Let’s start with Wolf and Scarlet. 

While Cresswell is certainly the most popular ship from this series, Wolflet is the one I love the most. I want my future husband, whoever he may be, to love me the way Wolf loves Scarlet. They have this relationship that is indescribably beautiful. And I know that part of it could be attributed to Wolf’s genetic tampering and wolf instincts, but regardless, he loves Scarlet so much and he shows it constantly. I love how he calls her his alpha female. He protects her no matter the cost, and even when Princess Winter is there, he looks at Scarlet like she’s the only one who matters. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

*Spoilers for Cress, Winter, and Stars Above by Marissa Meyer*

Remember when Scarlet was kidnapped? Remember Cress seeing Wolf cradling a can of tomatoes and just laying on Scarlet’s bed because he missed her so much it nearly drove him insane? The times when he and Cinder sparred, and Cinder could sense his hollow, heartbroken, terrified bioelectricity? And when Wolf and Scarlet are finally reunited, it is nothing short of beautiful. 

And then the wedding in Stars Above. I cry at real weddings. But that one, fictional though it may be, remains the most beautiful wedding I have ever “witnessed”. I cried happy tears the entire time. 

*End of spoilers*

And then there’s Katniss and Peeta. I would not separate them if you offered me the universe. They need each other. They know what the other is going through. They went through so much, together, over the course of the Hunger Games series that they need each other so much, I believe that separating them would make them both go literally insane. 

*Spoilers for The Hunger Games series*

Mockingjay is a heart-wrenching book. Peeta is the Capitol’s prisoner; Katniss is in District 13 with no way of knowing if Peeta’s alive. She is going crazy not knowing. And who knows what was going on in Peeta’s head, because he didn’t know if Katniss was ok either. 

And the thing with these two is, Katniss loved Peeta long before she ever admitted it to herself. One of my favorite parts in Mockingjay is the scene with Finnick, when he tells Katniss that she loves Peeta, deeply, in some way. 

Katniss and Peeta just couldn’t ever be separated. Never again. It would destroy them both.

*End of Spoilers*

Don’t get me wrong, I believe relationships need independence. But at the same time, if you’re going to love someone, and especially if you’re going to marry someone, make sure you love them so much you need them. 

So, I want to hear your thoughts: what makes a romantic relationship truly work in a novel? What is it about certain ships that make them so beautiful? Let’s talk in the comments.

-Clara

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22 thoughts on “What Makes An OTP? A Discussion

  1. I love ships and OTPs. I think that to make a good OTP the people involved should fit well together, give you the feels, disagree on things, have conflicts, care a lot for each other despite everything, and be loyal to each other. And just to have chemistry. It’s hard to explain. Oh and btw I don’t ship Harry and Ginny, do you? Ron and Hermione are ok. But Percabeth, Cresswell, Magneo, Solangelo, Malec and many more are some of my OTPs. They are all so cute together and I love them. OTPs are so hard to explain!

  2. I would literally cry if those ships didn’t sail or something tragic happened. Especially to Wolflet, seeing as they went through so much together! But my biggest OTP out there has to be Cresswell. I cannot even fathom what that series would be like without them! Lovely post!

  3. What is the quote from the Lunar Chronicles? “It’s not love, we just have a mutual need for each other?” And then someone else says, “That is exactly what makes it love.” That for me sums up the best OTPS.

    1. “And it’s not that I /love/ him. It’s just… Wolf is all I have left,” Scarlet clarified. “I need him as much as he needs me. But that doesn’t make it love.”
      Winter lowered her lashes. “Actually, dear friend, I suspect that is /precisely/ what makes it love.”
      That about sums it up. Very good point.

  4. Love is not a feeling, or a mutual need for one another.
    Love is laying down your life for the sake of another, whether it may be just taking out the garbage, or dying, true love is never just a feeling. Love is sacrifice.
    If love is just a feeling, then it is a very shallow love, only driven by our instincts and attractions.
    Read “Mere Christianity” if you haven’t already, it explains this in one of the chapters I think.

    1. I think it’s that, too- sacrifice is always a part of true love. But the couples I referenced both sacrifice a lot to be together, they’re willing to die for each other, and they still need each other so much.

  5. What I mean to say is that need for each other doesn’t make it love, as that quote says.
    Love is constituted on sacrifice {as Jesus did}.
    Scarlet is right, “I need him as much as he needs me. But that doesn’t make it love.”

    1. The thing is, Jesus’s love for us isn’t romantic love- it’s agape, unconditonal, sacrificial love. And I’m not saying Wolf and Scarlet don’t have that, too- just look at all the times he saved her life or she took time out of her day to help him open a can of tomatoes- but their mutual need for each other is part of what makes their relationship mean so much. And it’s the same for my parents. They make sacrifices for each other every single day, and they still need each other. My mom without my dad would be a completely different person, and same goes for him. Yes, sacrifice is part of a romantic relationship that lasts, but eventually, a need for each other will come.

  6. Oh this is such an interesting post! It helps that you talk about Scarlet and Wolf and the Lunar Chronicles overall, LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH and I ship everyone so hard 😂 Also, Katniss and Peeta ❤ What makes a relationship work for me in books, what makes me ship it a lot, is when I can FEEL everything. When somehow, the characters just fit with each other, even if they don’t necessarily agree, there is something there, undeniable chemistry or something 🙂

  7. My daughter and I are reading Harry Potter. It’s so different reading it in a different language. I read it first in Spanish and now in English. Ron and Hermione already drive each other crazy. LOL. They would be that annoying couple breaking up and getting back together over and over…

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