Disclaimer: Spoilers for Star Wars Episodes 4, 5 and 6 and minor spoilers for You’ve Got Mail and the Harry Potter series.
In fiction—well, usually romcoms, there are different ways for two people to fall in love. There’s the “Meet Cute”, in which two random people bump into each other on the street and drop everything they are holding (usually spilling a drink on each other), which leads them to touching hands while trying to pick up the things they just dropped, and both of them would end up blushing as they do so. A great example of this would be the great movie Notting Hill. Hey, what can you expect? It's Julia Roberts for crying out loud. The other trope is “best-friends-to-lovers”, and a great example of this would be 13 Going On 30. Another classic! I saw this for the first time a couple of months ago and enjoyed it! However, today I am going to be talking about the trope “enemies-to-lovers”. I feel like a lot of people dislike this trope for completely fair points. However, I’m going to come to it’s defense, and I hope by the end of this, you’ll agree with me that “enemies-to-lovers” is a great trope.
It’s Spicier 🌶
I think it’s spicier since it's really just them throwing insults at each until eventually, they realize they like each other. Take Star Wars episodes 4, 5, and 6. In A New Hope, Han and Leia basically despise each other. Leia especially thinks he’s arrogant and selfish. This bickering continues in the first half of The Empire Strikes Back until they end up having a near-death experience together in the belly of a space worm. They actually start to like each other at this point in the movie, sharing a short, but passionate kiss (interrupted by C-3P0). They then finally admit their love to each other at the end of the movie with the famous line, “I love you. I know.” However, the bickering doesn’t end there! In the first part of The Return of The Jedi, Leia saves Han from being frozen. All seems well! Although when they reach Endor, they start arguing again. Han starts accusing Leia that she likes Luke over him. This argument ends with Leia storming off. However all is resolved in the end with another popular line where Leia says to Han, “He’s my brother.”
My point is, look at their relationship! There’s highs and lows, arguments over petty things, insults, and of course love! All of this makes the relationship more interesting and fun to watch.
Need More Convincing?
Well, okay then. Here is one movie and one book series. The movie that I chose as an example is You’ve Got Mail. This is another personal favorite of mine. Here, two bookstore owners– Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly pursue an online relationship without them knowing that they are actually the owners of each others’ competing bookstores. While they bicker in real life, they are actually starting to fall for each other online. This movie also has one of my favorite lines: “I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly." I’m not gonna spoil it for you guys, however I highly encourage you to give it a watch if you haven’t already. (The movie is available to rent on iTunes and Google Play).
My last example today is Ronmione from the Harry Potter series. HOLD UP, hold up! Before you Potterheads go raising your pitchforks at me, hear me out. Let’s go back to our childhood. In The Sorcerer's Stone, Hermione and Ron have a pretty shaky relationship in the beginning. Hermione makes fun of the spell Ron tried on Scabbers (by the way, if you’re a Potterhead like me, you would know that the rat is Peter Pettigrew *High-Five*) and Ron thinks she’s a know-it-all. Skipping ahead, in the iconic scene, Ron and Hermione are partnered up in charms class. Hermione corrects Ron’s unfortunate pronunciation of the Levitating Spell. “It's leviOsa, not levioSA!” Hermione tells Ron. This leads Ron to being very bitter towards her, and so he talks to Harry about the conversation. Ron tells him, “[mimicking Hermione] ‘It's Levi-OOOOH-sa not LevioSAR.’ She's a nightmare, honestly. It's no wonder she hasn't got any friends!” However, Hermione hears this and decides to stay in the girl’s bathroom all day and cry. This is all fixed however with an encounter with a troll. “But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. Because there are some things you can't go through in life and become friends, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
However, the arguing didn’t end there. There was so much bickering, that I’d take an hour telling you about all of the times that they had arguments. Although to explain my point, here are a couple more examples. In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Ron and Hermione have an argument over Scabbers and Crookshanks (Hermione’s cat):
“I'm warning you Hermione! Keep that bloody beast of yours away from Scabbers or I'll turn it into a tea cozy!"
"It's a cat, Ronald! What do you expect? It's in his nature."
"A cat? Is that what they told you? It looks more like a pig with hair if you ask me."
"That's rich! Coming from the owner of that smelly old shoe brush. Too right, Crookshanks, just ignore the mean little boy.”
The bickering continues on into the school year until it is resolved for reasons I will not tell you because I don’t want to spoil the books/movies for you. However, I do have one more example for you. Under the influence of the Horcrux, Ron leaves Harry and Hermione in the seventh book and movie. Hermione ends up miserable, but when Ron returns a couple of chapters later, Hermione is far from pleased. She was really mad at Ron and wouldn’t talk to him. Skipping ahead in the book, Ron and Hermione finally put away their differences and admit the feelings that they’ve had since book four with a passionate kiss.
Their story may not convince you at first. HOWEVER, go and read or watch the series and you’ll see for yourself how Rowling really developed their relationship throughout the series. That is why I’m daring you to go to the nearest National Bookstore (#notsponsored) and grab yourself a copy and see why I love this pair.
Wow! That was a rollercoaster. That’s exactly the beauty of the “enemies-to-lovers” trope though. There’s more drama, tension, and frustration. No hate to those who still like “best-friends-to-lovers” over this though! I’m just asking you to consider my points and maybe one day, you’ll change your mind.
"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."