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Our Favorite Things: Non-Canon Couples

Our Favorite Things: Non-Canon Couples

It’s Love Story Week here at Girls in Capes, which concludes this Valentine’s Day. To celebrate in the geekiest way possible, our wonderful staff has composed its list of very favorite non-canon couples in geekdom. Check out what we thought should’ve made the cut, then head to the bottom to tell us about YOUR favorite non-canon couple and a fun giveaway.

Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye (Fullmetal Alchemist)

photoAlthough Riza and Roy are probably the favorite pairing in the FMA fandom, in the canon they were never shown as anything beyond two coworkers that implicitly and unconditionally trusted each other. Riza was Roy’s biggest and steadfast support throughout the series. She understood him in a level that very few could, which is shown beautifully in the scene at Hugh’s funeral where under a sunny, cloudless sky, she comments on nonexistent rain so that Roy’s tears can go verbally unacknowledged. Although hidden behind a flippant demeanor, Roy proved he also knew Riza as well as she knew him when he easily saw through Envy’s flawless imitation of Riza’s face. Their synchronicity when fighting, their deep understanding of each other’s moves and motives, and their intellectual connection saved them from many bad situations, like when the homunculus Pride was stalking Riza’s every move and she still managed to convey to Roy much needed information. A misplaced sense of obligation might’ve been what brought Riza to Roy’s doorstep, but the sacrifices they made along the way, their commitment to each other and the unbreakable bond between them created an intimacy between the two that cannot possibly be matched by even the actual canon couples in the series.

– Lorraine Acevedo Franqui, Staff Writer

Zuko and Katara (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

A romantic relationship between Prince Zuko and Katara in the original Avatar series (a pairing often shortened to Zutara) is pretty explicitly nonexistent at the end of ATLA, when both are shown with other people. But their sometimes parallel, sometimes inverted developments – both having lost a beloved mother, their drastically different relationships with their older siblings, and their compassionate traits – make Zuko and Katara a mature and caring relationship. Take the final scene from the series finale:

It’s hard to believe someone would forego their own bending and freaking ability to redirect lightning to very bodily throw himself in front of a person he didn’t have particularly strong feelings for. Had the creators decided to take that route, a mature development between the two could have been incredibly well-done.

– Feliza Casano, Editor


Lara Croft and Samantha Nishimura (Tomb Raider 2013)

Lara and SamReal talk: try playing Tomb Raider under the assumption that Sam and Lara are, in fact, a couple, and you’ll find that it plays out almost exactly like a Disney movie, just a little gorier and much more sapphic than its predecessors. Its protagonist, Lara Croft, sets out on an expedition to find a fabled island–one that she’s been fixated with ever since her best friend, Sam, told her was connected to her ancestry–and Sam joins her on the journey, filming the whole thing, including a couple shots of Lara from behind, and talking about how great Lara looks on camera. Their ship crashes on the island, and Sam is quickly kidnapped, catalyzing one of the game’s primary objectives: get Sam back. Much of the game is spent finding and then rescuing Sam, intercut with moments of togetherness in which the two are constantly holding hands. The game concludes with Lara saving Sam’s life after Sam is almost consumed by Queen Himiko, holding her while Sam manages a “you saved me, I knew you would,” and a single ray of light hits them both, and, finally, carrying her down the side of a mountain. One can only assume that after that, they lived happily ever after.

– Hannah Pingelton, LGBTQ Writer

Kel and Dom (Protector of the Small)

Though implied at the end of Lady Knight, it’s never explicitly stated that Kel and Dom are canon.  What’s so great about this couple is that they’re never together in the course of the books, but they connect throughout her years as a squire and knight.  He’s a good match for her in her character development; he’s the right person for her as she comes into her own as a woman and as a knight.  Where she had her first love in Neal and her first foray into exploring sexuality with Cleon, Dom is a man that can keep up with her.  He’s not a knight or a lord, which is better for Kel who has experienced opposition from the hands of men who have seen their patriarchal structure under fire from Alanna and now Kel’s shield.

– Christina Casano, TV & Film Writer

Madoka and Homura (Mahou Shoujo Madoka*Magica)

Like Kel and Dom, the anime Mahou Shoujo Madoka*Magica (Eng. Puella Magi Madoka*Magica) never explicitly states that Madoka and Homura are canon. On the other hand, Homura’s motivation to prevent Madoka from becoming a magical girl and Madoka’s gift to Homura at the end of the series are enough evidence to see how beautiful and devoted their love would have been in any world but their own. Regardless of personal pairing preferences, it’s more than a little obvious that the two would do whatever it takes to save the other.

– Feliza Casano, Editor

Erza Scarlet and Jellal Fernandez (Fairy Tail)

Erza and Jellal have the most complex and well-developed relationship in all of Fairy Tail, and while their attraction could be considered canon, Jerza itself is technically not, because of a kiss that almost was, but wasn’t. They bonded as children through the sorrow of slavery and their hope against all reason of having a better life and freedom with magic, which came to happen in a horribly twisted way, since both grew up to be two of the most powerful wizards, but their different alliances made them mortal enemies for the first few arcs of the series. Later in the series, Erza and Jellal had the opportunity to become allies once more, and the tension that had always dominated the space between them began to change into something that one could tempted to call love – and sexual tension – but Jellal’s decision to pay for his crimes gets in the way of what could’ve been once more.

Erza Scarlett Jallal Fernandez


The thing about Erza and Jellal’s connection is that, the more they deny it and the more the world tries to keep them apart, the stronger it gets. At one point, Erza is almost killed by an opponent, and all the way in his prison across the world, Jellal feels there is something really wrong with Erza and begs her to be strong and survive, which Erza somehow feels through the distance and which gives her the push she needed to defeat her most terrifying enemy yet. When they finally have the opportunity to come together unhindered by the world for once, Erza and Jellal find that they cannot be because Jellal believes he is not worthy of Erza and her love after all he’s done, and thus they decide to part ways and remain friends without even giving themselves the chance to finish a kiss. The tension and the affinity between Erza and Jellal remains in the series, but the atmosphere of their stories sends a clear message of how unlikely they are of ever being together, which for the characters, the story, and, yes, the fans, it really is a tragedy.

– Lorraine Acevedo Franqui, Staff Writer

Johanna Mason and Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

Katniss and JohannaNeither woman’s happiness–or as close to it as either of them can get in a post-Hunger Games Panem–or fulfilledness relies on anyone else, and that’s why I think Katniss and Johanna work. They don’t want to be an accessory to anyone; they’re survivors, and they know what it means–and how dangerous it is–to care deeply for anyone. They understand each other, and act on that understanding. Before she leaves District 13, for instance, Katniss dedicates her final moments to collecting pine needles to give to Johanna in a bundle, a reminder of home, so that Johanna is comforted, and in giving it to her, invokes the day they first met. Johanna even asks Katniss to dance at Finnnick’s wedding (“…a bony hand pinches me above the elbow. Johanna scowls at me. ‘Are you going to miss the chance to let Snow see you dancing?'”), though Katniss is too dense to pick up on it.

– Hannah Pingelton, LGBTQ Writer

Makoto and Haru (Free!)

Haru obviously doesn’t talk much, but Makoto is always there to communicate for him. Despite saying very little and showing more interest in swimming, Haru showed hints that he cared for Makoto, like making Makoto’s favorite snack and showing concern for him when the swim team went on a trip to practice in the ocean. Then everything changed when episodes 6 and 9 attacked.  The way Makoto told Haru that he wanted to swim with him almost looked like a love confession and Haru’s confession to Makoto in episode 9 seemed very similar to a person reciprocating their feelings back.  By the end of the series, they would exchange looks similar to that of an old married couple.  With the announcement of a season 2, I really hope they explore their relationship and it develops into something more.

– Janelle Smith, TV & Film Writer

Arya and Gendry (A Song of Ice and Fire)

In the books Arya is very young, but they do cover a lot of time so that she’s almost a woman by the time we see her in the fourth book.  I firmly believe that Arya and Gendry’s relationship would have developed romantically had she decided to stay with him.  Her own pride and need for vengeance leads her down a path that is a lot darker than a life she would have had otherwise.  Gendry took care of her even when he didn’t want to and I think he grew to have feelings for her.  They could have had beautiful dark-haired children that grew up to take over the world.

– Christina Casano, TV & Film Writer

Aqua and Terra (Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep)

Although there are countless pairings in the KH fandom, the game series itself has never actually made canon any romance between the original characters, mostly because the central idea of the series is unconditional friendship and not romance. Some are insinuated, like Sora and Kairi, but the rest are left to the fans to make up based on a few lines and plot points, like Aqua and Terra from the KH prequel Birth By Sleep. Aqua and Terra, the first young adults to lead a KH game, grew up and trained together in the Land of Departure to become Keyblade Masters, which only Aqua achieves because Terra has too much darkness in his heart when the test is given out. Aqua is sent out to protect Terra across worlds, a mission she undertakes wholeheartedly because she is constantly worrying about losing Terra to the darkness, but still she believes in the light of his heart and his inherent goodness. Terra, for his part, also worries and cares deeply about his friends, but because he is so stoic and seemingly aloof, that is seen through gestures, like his outrage when Stitch robs the Wayfinder that Aqua made for him.

photo (1)

Aqua and Terra, along with Ventus, are always thinking about each other and taking each step with the sole intention of protecting each other no matter what, but Aqua’s commitment to Terra, in spite of how much he tries to keep her away and protect her as Xehanort’s darkness begins to take over his heart and body, is nowhere more evident than on the final battle of the game when she sacrifices herself to the darkness of Kingdom Hearts with the hope of liberating Terra from Xehanort. Birth By Sleep is probably the saddest of all KH games, for each of its protagonist faces a destiny of darkness and pain, but the way Terra and Aqua cared and never gave up on each other, willing to risk it all for the sake of the other, is probably one of the most touching and loving parts in the entire series, and although the game never claims that it is more than friendship, facing for a decade the darkness of Kingdom Hearts cannot possibly be anything but love.

– Lorraine Acevedo Franqui, Staff Writer

Japan and Greece (Hetalia)

The main reason that I love Japan and Greece so much is because they’re two birds of a feather.  Both are on the quiet side and tend to do things on their own.  It’s especially nice seeing Japan find a connection with someone since he was in isolation for around 200 years.  What makes these two together sweeter is them hanging out with a bunch of Greece’s cats.  Japan putting cat ears on Greece after Greece confessed on wanting to be a cat in the afterlife just sums up their relationship: sweet moments and cats.

– Janelle Smith, TV & Film Writer

Cordelia Foxx and Misty Day (American Horror Story: Coven)

For me, the most enduring and simultaneously tragic couple of this season of AHS wasn’t a canon one: instead, it was Sarah Paulson’s Cordelia Foxx, Supreme and teacher, and Lily Rabe’s Misty Day, outcast and, with the power of resurgence, witch of considerable power. One of the first things we learn about Misty is that she believes “you can’t be your best self until you find your tribe”: an outcast in the world she lives in, Misty is determined to find a place she feels she belongs, and she she belongs with. Living in the bayous outside New Orleans, Misty utilizes native flora to perpetuate healing, while Cordelia, in her greenhouse, uses homegrown flora to concoct potions and other medicines. When Misty comes to Miss Robichaux’s, Cordelia is quick to welcome her, taking Misty’s hands in hers and telling her she has a home there, and shortly thereafter, the we see the two in the greenhouse, where Cordelia is teaching Misty to rejuvenate dead plants. Misty is able to bring one back, and the two celebrate, high fiving and leaning into each other, and when Cordelia’s estranged husband comes in, Cordelia urges misty to not go, staying with her instead. Later, when Misty goes missing after another witch buries her alive, Cordelia moves heaven and earth to find her, gouging out her own eyes in order to be able to divine Misty’s location; then, as Misty begins to attempt a set of magical challenges called the Seven Wonders, she is only able to complete the first challenge after Cordelia’s encouragement. Ultimately, however, Misty is unable to complete the Seven Wonders, dying in the process–other members of the Coven have perished as well, with a sad, but minimal response from Cordelia–and, sobbing, Cordelia begs Misty to “follow the sound of my voice” and “come back to us,” while cradling her in her arms, and weeping.

– Hannah Pingelton, LGBTQ Writer

Jo and Laurie (Little Women)

Before I knew what shipping was, I was deeply in love with the idea of Jo and Laurie being together.  My dreams were crushed when she rejected him and he ended up running away to France (and marrying Amy, the worst character of all time).  I was heartbroken because they were so good together.  They had chemistry and they clearly cared about each other, and they were meant to be together.  They both definitely had some growing up to do since they were only 16, but they didn’t even give it a chance.

– Christina Casano, TV & Film Writer

Now that you’ve checked that out, enter to win a copy of Eric Smith’s The Geek’s Guide to Dating!

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Girls in Capes
Girls in Capes magazine showcases women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community in geek culture and pop culture.
Girls in Capes
Written by Girls in Capes

Girls in Capes magazine showcases women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community in geek culture and pop culture.

  • Amber M

    Mine is Luna/Neville!

    • That one’s so cute, too!

  • Alyssa L.

    JO AND LAURIE!!!!! Yes!! I agree with everything about that! And I loved the hints of Arya/Gendry that appeared in ASOIAF before they parted ways. I still have hope…

    In wake of Rowlinggate, Susan and I were discussing how maybe the real couple opportunity that was missed was Hermione/Neville.

    • Ron and Hermione are the canon of my heart, Alyssa.

      There are so many wonderful non-canon ASoIaF ships, but Arya x Gendry is really high up the list.

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    Arya and Gendry! (for non cannon of course)
    Royai is the OTP to rule them all! (plus it has been confirmed cannon!)