Cliff diving or being swallowed by the earth is preferable to romantic rejection. Mad props to guys for going out in the trenches and being blown to smithereens by the ill-timed grenades of amor. Love is a battlefield, and an Iron Man suit would be a heck of a lot more appropriate than just armor for mere mortals.
In fantasy depictions, the rejections are even harder. Suddenly it’s not just “I don’t like you.” It’s “I don’t like you and I’m going to light your entire village on fire and massacre your family.” The little added extra, the oomph, is needed like pepper in some home cooked meals. Sometimes you don’t know it’s missing, but you know something is missing.
In this modern age where women are expected to do their part, it goes both ways. For these rejections, the first cut wasn’t deep enough because it took twenty more slashes for it to finally set in. It makes fantastic film and television, but someone needed to tone it down with that pepper.
1. Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers: Eowyn and Aragorn
Rejection Type: We could have been something
I guess you can’t really fault Aragorn for this one. He thought his one true elf love was sailing off past the sunset somewhere and a beautiful alternative dropped in his path, armed to the teeth. For a minute, there were possibilities, but there was also the age factor. Aragorn knew that and decided not to jump on the pedophile bandwagon with Eowyn. Then his future father-in-law completely put the kibosh on that when he told Aragorn that Arwen hadn’t gone anywhere, meaning Eowyn’s heart was destined to be broken. It was never going to work out because of external circumstances. Call it bad timing, wrong pairing, duty calls, but ultimately, nothing will ever happen.
Solution: Eowyn went on to become a complete boss. She killed the Witch-king of Angmar in battle, married Faramir (she moved on…sort of), and had a son. Rejection of this type might last a long time. Shake it off, have several nights on the town, and do what makes you feel happy. It’s easy to get into the “what ifs?” but occupy yourself and focus on being epic.
2. Pushing Daisies-Olive and Ned
Rejection Type: OBLIVIOUS
The one-sided affection that can sometimes seem like you’re in stalkerville because the other person is (blissfully) unaware. Olive loved Ned–really loved Ned. I completely got it, though it was painful to watch–especially when your primary way of getting affection is by way of the man’s dog. Working with a person for a long period of time sucks you in and makes you feel ALL the feels. You get to know them, admire their work ethic, then you’re accidentally friends…and that person is just NOT attracted to you in any way, shape, or universe. Unrequited love, THE most painful.
Solution: Olive’s pain took a couple of years to subside. She went through a painful jealous phase with Ned’s true love Chuck then reluctant acceptance, she pulled a Maria from The Sound of Music when she ran away to a convent, and she eventually opened a restaurant called The Intrepid Cow while having a successful relationship with a guy named Randy Mann. Olive’s willingness to finally move on when she realized it wasn’t going to work is admirable and shows her strength.
That person is never going to change. You need to be harsh with yourself in these situations, pull out the bad cop routine. You may end up feeling like one of Gollum’s monologues, but that tough love is completely necessary. Think of the Ciara song “Never Ever” and replay that through your head 1000x or until you get the point. We can only change ourselves and ultimately it’s for the better because feelings wax and wane. It’s going to be ok. Plus it helps if you have a killer singing voice.
3. Doctor Who-Martha and the Doctor
Rejection Type: Still Not Over Someone Else
This one gets me every time. I freaking love Martha. I can’t even talk about this one because it would probably take three pages, so instead, I’m going to let the videos do the talking. I do wish that the Doctor could have treated her better and that he realized he was breaking her heart before it was too late. Three things: Martha unfairly had to live in Rose’s shadow and is strong for staying (and putting up) with the Doctor. However, she also knew when to make a dignified exit to pursue her dreams and goals. Martha is a complete boss who got the short end of the sonic screwdriver all the time. The End.
Solution: Get out. It’s easier said than physically walking away or giving an Oscar-worthy exit speech because there is so much emotion and history there, but as soon as possible GET OUT. Shine and take names. You deserve it.
4. Robin Hood-Marian and Guy
Rejection Type: I’m just not into you….at all
This is actually better than oblivious because it forces you to move on right away. At least for this one there is absolutely no fantasy at all allowed about whether the other person is attracted to you. The cremated remains of your affections have been scattered in the deepest darkest part of human nature.
Solution: The fish in the sea example is so yesterday. Particularly because when people say it, they expect you to literally go fishing and find anyone to fit your life. Someone described it to me in terms of locks once. There are many combinations that won’t open a lock and one that will. You shouldn’t try all the combinations that you know don’t work just because. The best tool you have for the right combination is yourself. It’s there, it will just take a little patience and effort to turn the dial to the right numbers.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean, Elizabeth and Capt. Jack Sparrow
Rejection Type: Not even on Your Best Day
Everyone knew Capt. Jack Sparrow had an almost thing for Elizabeth Swann, but that she was in passionate love with Will Turner. When this was captured on-screen in perhaps the sauciest kiss ever, it came with a price. Typically, the captain was a black-hearted, fun-loving, rum daddy kind of guy, but when he actually tries to sacrifice the Black Pearl to save the crew, they all think it’s a good sacrifice. But that’s not good enough for Elizabeth Swann, who takes the opportunity to seduce him into taking a vacation with his ship–permanently at the bottom of the ocean. Interesting because it’s one of the few moments we see Capt. Jack at his best and Elizabeth perhaps at her worst.
Solution: Why is the rum gone? Just kidding. This rejection is a snake move like number four, so keep calm and start twirling your combination lock.
Honorable mention (because it’s not actually fantasy): Pride and Prejudice, Jane and Darcy
Rejection Type: Not even if you were the last man on earth
Sorry for not being the least bit sorry that this is epic.
I know I’m missing a couple out there. Do you have any fantasy movies/shows you’d add to the list?