Favorite Friendships of Musicals/Literatures

I have talked about my favorite friendships in musicals and my favorite friendships in literature. I thought about doing a post where I combined all of those different friendships. Musicals in so many ways are like literature- they have character, plot, and setting: they just add dance and song to all of that to make something more powerful and emotional. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.

Frodo and Sam

  • Would Frodo have made it without Sam? Frodo wanted to do the quest alone after the end of Fellowship, but Sam wouldn’t allow it. He stayed loyal to Frodo to the end. He was always there- whether that meant rescuing Frodo or carrying him. He was that loyal companion. The Ring easily corrupts and weakens the ring bearer, which gets heavier as you get closer to Mordor- that is why Frodo wouldn’t have made it without Sam.

Merry and Pippin

  • They are best friends, and at the same time troublemakers. You might be thinking what on earth are they doing on this quest? Why are they there if they always are causing the group trouble? You eventually find out- they have a reason. Of everyone in the books, it is the four hobbits- Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin that I am attached to the most.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione

  • Would Harry have defeated Voldemort without his two best friends, and would the series be the same if the trio never existed? Just like Sam, Ron and Hermione are loyal to Harry. In the last book, Harry wanted to look for those Horcouxes alone, but his two best friends wouldn’t allow it. In all of the books- they ended up having to go on some mission, which meant breaking a lot of school rules. He needed the two of them to defeat Voldemort. Those Horcoucxes are a lot like that one ring- the difference is there is no way of knowing where they are and they would be anything. Harry couldn’t have found them alone- it would be impossible.

Nicholas and Smike

  • One of the things I about the most about Nicholas Nickleby is all of the compassion he has. He especially showed it towards Smike. Smike is someone who wasn’t shown much compassion. At the school he was working, he did defend Smike, which later caused Smike to follow Nicholas after Nicholas quit that awful school. For the rest of the book, the two of them stayed together- Nicholas was there even at Smike’s death. These two are my favorite characters from Nicholas Nickleby.

Friends of the ABC

  • This is an overlapping literature and musical theatre friendship I love. That means it is in both versions of Les Misérables- the book and the musical. The difference between both versions is that in the book you get to know them as individuals, and in the musical, you only get to Enjolras as an individual and the rest as a group. The other difference is that in the musical, Marius is close to the students (which doesn’t exist in the book).
  • This group is a political group led by Enjolras, the most passionate member. They are like a group of brothers, and in so many ways a family. They are planning an uprising due to the weak government. They have high hopes for the cause they believe in. I do love how they take in Gavroche, who is Eponine’s brother.

Eponine and Marius

  • This friendship in Les Mis in only in the musical, not the book. Eponine is in love with Marius, the only person who showed her kindness and the only good thing in her life. However, Marius is unaware that she loves him. They are close friends and Marius is aware that her life isn’t easy. He does treat her fairly. I love that he is in her life- she needed that.
  • In “A Little Fall of Rain”, you can see how much he valued her friendship. Marius was worried about Eponine- that was why at the beginning of act II, he sent her away from the barricade because he was hoping it would protect her from getting hurt or worse killed from the uprising. However, she did return and got shot, which would turn out to be fatal. There was a reason why he asked: why she came back: he was worried about her safety, and when she collapsed, he released she was shot, and that she was dying. He was devastated, but despite how he felt, he decided to be there for her by holding and comforting during that moment. This scene in particular says a lot: it shows how compassionate Marius is, that he did value their friendship (after all, he was devastated), and he did realize that she did love him. It is a bittersweet scene: all that mattered to her was that he was there: more than the physical pain she was in: she was happy for once. The words he said after she died were “her name was Eponine, her life was cold and dark, yet she was unafraid”- those words were how I knew that Marius knew that she lived a tough life, but at least he was part of it.

The Newsies

  • The Newsies remind me so much of Enjolras and the students in Les Mis. They have a brotherly love for each other, and they are like family. They have a cause (the strike) they truly believe in, and never give up no matter what. Jack Kelly is their leader.
  • On a side note: I love the beautiful bond found between Jack and Crutchie. Cruthcie is the most vulnerable Newsie due to his bum leg, and Jack is his best friend. There is something amazing about their bond.

Lumiere and Cogsworth

  • Is it weird that I love a friendship between a talking candle and talking clock? There is just something about them that I find appealing in terms of their friendship.

Elphaba and Glinda

  • The ultimate friendship, as in my favorite friendship in musical theatre, is the one found between Elphaba and Glinda. It is a beautiful, powerful, and special bond found between two complex and strong young women- they did start out as enemies and later became best friends. They don’t let a boy get in the way of their friendship- they do both fall in love with Fiyero. Both of them do end up with unrequited love for him at some point: but they end up not stealing him away from each other. The song, “For Good”, is the most emotional song in Wicked and talks about how they have changed each others lives for the better and how they have made each other better people.

Some of my favorite Literary friendships

I did talk about about my favorite musical theatre friendships before, but I think it is time to talk about some of my favorite literary friendships.

Friends of the ABC:

  • This is an overlap between literary and musical theatre friendship. This friendship is in both. This friendship is found in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. Enjolras is the leader of this group. They not only are friends, but they are like brothers. They are passionate about the cause that they fight to the end. What I love about the book is that you get to know them individually unlike the musical where you get to know them together as a group. It is their passion and their friendship that I love about them.

Nicholas and Smike

  • These two characters are my favorite characters in Nicholas Nickleby. I love the compassion Nicholas shows to Smike. When Nicholas leaves that school, Smike follows and Nicholas allows Smike to stay with him throughout the rest of the book.

Frodo and Sam

  • Would Frodo have made it without Sam? It is Sam’s loyalty to Frodo that makes me love the two of them. At end of Fellowship, Frodo was going to do the rest of the quest alone, but Sam would not allow it. Sam was going to staying with Frodo. That first question is the biggest reason why I love the two of them as friends- Frodo never would made it without Sam.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione

  • This trio is one of my favorite things about the Harry Potter series. It is one of the biggest reasons why I love the series. Just like with Sam, would Harry have defeated Voldemort without his two best friends? He relied on the two of them as the books went by. All three of them went through some trials and tribulations as the books went by. Harry wanted to do some of these things alone like Frodo, but his two best friends would not allow it either. Harry and Ron quickly became friends, but it took a while until they befriended Hermione- they finally became friends with her at the troll incident- that trial was going through the trap door. Each book- they had to go through some trial- it seems- which used some rule-breaking.

What are some your favorite literary friendships?

Royal Shakespeare Company- Nicholas Nickleby

As people know, over the summer, I read the book, Nicholas Nickleby. One year, the Royal Shakespeare Company put together a 9 hour play of the book, which was filmed and consists of 4 disks. I have been watching that production. How were they going to put together a 900 page or so book into 9 hours. That seemed daunting. Nicholas Nickleby is a book I love.

It is a story of Nicholas Nickleby and trying to provide for his family after his father died- they had to rely on his cold-hearted uncle, Ralph Nickleby. He has a younger sister, Kate, who also suffers at hands of his uncle. Lots of conflict happens in the book. You meet many other characters like Smike, a mistreated and frail boy, that Nicholas befriends. Mr. Squeers, Madeline Bray, and Mr. Crummles are among the many other character you meet in Nicholas Nickleby.

I loved seeing how they put together this adaptation. Seeing this story on stage is way different than reading it. It made me have a bigger distaste towards Ralph now that I saw his actions performed on stage instead of reading about them- this story is filled of characters that are bad. Mr. Squeers is one of the worst- he runs a school for unwanted boys, and is abusive towards them, and that is where Nicholas meets Smike. The actors who played Ralph and Mr. Squeers are why I learned to have a bigger distaste for both of them especially for Mr. Squeers.

I love the goodness and compassion Nicholas has. He has a desire to stay loyal towards his family and to protect them. He is not without his flaws- he has a temper, but sometimes he loses it when he defends someone from being beaten or when someone says something disrespectful about his sister. He allows Smike, the boy he feels a deep compassion for, to go the journey with him- the two of them form an intimate and special bond.

The special thing about Smike is despite all of the mistreatment and abuse he faced, he has this incredible spirit. These two happen to be my top two favorite characters. The actor who played Nicholas showed the goodness, the protective quality, the impulsiveness, the emotions, and the compassion that Nicholas has. These characteristics make Nicholas a believable character.

I learned to love Kate Nickleby a bit more in this version. In the book, it is very hard to keep track of all the characters since there are just so many. In the play due to actually seeing them, you get to know them better. She, like Nicholas, has compassion for others. They both get thrown into conflict all because of their uncle.

The play has actors narrate actions as the story continues. After they narrate, it goes back to the action. This helps due to how long the book is, which sits at around 900 pages. Since it so long, at the beginning of acts, the actors narrate what has happened so far in the play so that way the audience has a recap of what has happened. This version is worth watching- yes, 9 hrs, but I watched one disc a day. Nicholas Nickleby has all the elements of Romanticism- characters with flaws and characters being driven by emotions. Romanticism celebrates imperfectionsim and the emotion- love, sad, heartbreak, anger are just four of the emotions found in Nicholas Nickleby.

What was fascinating is that some of the creatives behind this are the same people who brought the original production of Les Mis. Les Mis started with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Nicholas Nickleby was originally directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird- the same two directors who brought Les Mis. The stage design for Nicholas Nickleby was by John Naiper, and he designed the original Les Mis.