The Best Fictional Siblings

866282_brother_and_sister_walk_in_woods_1Since today is my little sister’s birthday, I thought I’d tackle (well, broach) the topic of siblings in fiction today. A fun list of some of my favorite fictional siblings follows, but before I get there (feel free to skip ahead), I have some thoughts about the topic from a writer’s perspective.

I’ve written about a number of groups of siblings in my fantasy novels, and reflecting on that, the first thing that jumps to my mind is the richness of the sibling relationship. It is so, so versatile (as well as volatile). G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “The supreme adventure is being born,” for the simple reason that being born such a gamble. We can choose our friends. We can choose what to do with our lives, and where to live once we’re grown. But we cannot choose our families or the situation in which we pass our childhoods. And that simple truth has so much potential in fiction. It has the potential to tap our greatest longings, joys, sorrows, and fears. That is a beautiful, and a powerful, thing. Writers shouldn’t underestimate the emotional tug a sibling relationship can have on a reader (or on the sibling characters interacting).

Sibling relationships, in life as well as fiction, can run the gamut from genuine, nurturing friendships; to almost a parent-child relationship; to vicious rivalry, hatred, and competition; to everything in between. Oftentimes, they’re a combination of multiple dynamics in constant flux. And it’s wonderful. I’m blessed to be the middle child, born between two wonderful sisters, so I say I got the best of best worlds. I got to be pampered by (and learn from some teasing by) my older sister, as well as know the joy of spoiling my little sister.

So, here are my favorite fictional siblings, in no particular order. These families have entered my heart never, ever to leave it.

THE MARCH SISTERS, “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott. I love how Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy have such different relationships with one another. I love how writer and tomboy Jo is so different from her sisters, because that’s the case with me. And oh my gosh, who didn’t lose it reading that chapter when Beth…. you must read this book if you haven’t.

ALRIC AND ARISTA ESSENDON, “Theft of Swords,” Michael J. Sullivan. From the moment Arista hires a pair of rogues to kidnap her younger brother, heir to the throne of Melengar, you know these two have a unique relationship. Is she having him kidnapped for his own good, as she claims?

ELIZABETH AND JANE BENNETT, “Pride and Prejudice,” by Jane Austen. The perfect and quintessential example of sisterly love. Jane and Lizzy’s selfless companionship and love for the other endear the reader to each. A beautiful picture of the kind of sister I aspire to be (and fail miserably to imitate each day).

NILES AND FRASIER CRANE, “Frasier.” Sure they’re on tv, not in a book. But Niles and Frasier’s competition and love-hate relationship makes for some wonderful laughs! A great example of the ebb and flow nature of sibling relationships…. Some episodes they get along great, others they are at each other’s throats.

THE WEASLEY TWINS,  “Harry Potter,” J.K. Rowling. I love to laugh. Fred and George made me laugh with their daring, their courage, and their mischievous streak. Some of my favorite moments in the HP series involve the twins: who can forget their epic departure from Hogwarts and Dolores Umbridge?


8 responses to “The Best Fictional Siblings

  1. I’m an only child, so my sibling understanding has been through observation and my own kids. I LOVE Niles and Frasier, and Little Women. Also Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in The Chronicles of Narnia. I have siblings in my YA; I never thought about it, but I think they get along like my own kids do for the most part. 🙂

    • that’s cool, that your characters get along like you kids. Haha!!! I totally forgot Narnia because I couldn’t remember their names. But you’re right, I love them. They’re great!!! Especially Lucy. I’ve always loved Lucy.

  2. Little Women has got to be my favorite sibling dynamic…EVER.

  3. Caramon and Raistlin Majere in the DragonLance books – my all time favorite brothers!

  4. Oh, oh the March sisters!! you’re making me want to read Little Women/Little Men etc again! Also, it’s been a really long while, but I remember loving the siblings in E. Nesbit’s Enchanted Castle, the ones in Susan Cooper’s Over Sea, Under Stone, and also the twins in Madeleine L’Engle’s Many Waters (in addition to Meg/CW of course!).

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