Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I started thinking about how difficult it can be to communicate love. Of course we love our family and friends, but do we talk a lot about how much they mean to us?
We know a casual “I love you” tossed out while leaving for work isn’t enough. And yet we often hesitate to put our love into meaningful words, taking refuge in silent hugs. (Not that there’s anything wrong with hugs, mind you. I wouldn’t want to live without those!)
Maybe this is why I enjoy how love is portrayed in fiction. All the best aspects of love come out in a good story. (And I don’t just mean romantic love, although I admit to watching the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice more times than is probably healthy.)
Heroes in fantasy and sci-fi stories are expected to show courage in the face of evil. So it’s not surprising that they are also brave enough to express their true feelings. There are so many places in my favourite films where this happens.
There are the characters who demonstrate their selflessness:
As you wish.
– Westley to his true love Buttercup, The Princess Bride
And there are the characters who don’t hesitate to tell others how much they love them:
I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.
– Frodo Baggins to his companion Samwise Gamgee at Mount Doom, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best of all, there are the characters who recognize that love is a partnership, and that we need to support each other:
You take care of me, Simon. You’ve always taken care of me. My turn.
– River Tam to her injured brother Simon Tam in the face of overwhelming odds, Serenity
This Valentine’s Day, I want to let all my loved ones know how glad I am that they are in my life. It’s definitely time to say it out loud.
And to all my dear readers, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your own loved ones.
I leave you with one of my favourite expressions of love from xkcd:
Happy Valentine’s Day! What’s your favourite moment of love in fiction? What expressions of love do you think are wonderful?