Famous fantasy duos

Frodo and SamAbbot and Costello. Woodward and Bernstein. Ben and Jerry. Siskel and Ebert (a moment of silence). Bert and Ernie. Thelma and Louise. Holmes and Watson.

The world is rife with famous duos (the Dynamic Duo). But what about the fantasy/science fiction worlds? Who are our famous duos? Our favorites? When you think of paired characters, whom do you think of? Frodo and Sam? Merry and Pippin? The City and the Stars? Rendezvous and Rama? Oh, wait…

Well, you get the idea. Tell us who your favorite SFF duo is and why we should all agree. Or at least, nod our heads and go “Oh, yeah. Them too . . .”

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BILL CAPOSSERE, who's been with us since June 2007, lives in Rochester NY, where he is an English adjunct by day and a writer by night. His essays and stories have appeared in Colorado Review, Rosebud, Alaska Quarterly, and other literary journals, along with a few anthologies, and been recognized in the "Notable Essays" section of Best American Essays. His children's work has appeared in several magazines, while his plays have been given stage readings at GEVA Theatre and Bristol Valley Playhouse. When he's not writing, reading, reviewing, or teaching, he can usually be found with his wife and son on the frisbee golf course or the ultimate frisbee field.

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  1. Seth /

    I’d go with Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser from the series by Fritz Leiber. They compliment and play off each so well. To anyone who is not familiar with the duo, read the Hugo and Nebula award winning novella “Ill Met in Lankhmar.” It’s short, hilarious, and action-packed. Word-for-word I’d say it’s the best buddy story in fantasy.

  2. Seth beat me to it. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are my favorite fantasy duo. And, yes, “Ill Met in Lankhmar” is my favorite F&GM story, but I suggest you first read the stories that come before that one which tell of Fafhrd and GM separately. Then it’s all the more exciting when they meet in “Ill Met.” You can find these in order in Swords and Deviltry. If you read audiobooks, you MUST read this in audio format. It’s read by Jonathan Davis (one of my favorites) with an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

  3. Just going off the top of my head . . .

    Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
    Elric and Moonglum
    Pug and Tomas
    Drizzt and Wulfgar
    Bugg and Tehol

    • April /

      After all the good ones have been taken..I’ll toss in the fabulous twins, Fred & George Weasley

  4. Melanie Goldmund /

    I see that many of my favourite characters walk alone, without someone to make them into a duo. Either that, or they are part of a much bigger crew, such as Darian Frey from Chris Wooding’s Ketty Jay series. But then I remembered Vin and Elend, from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series.

    Or a better fit might be Waxillium Ladrian and his friend Wayne, from Brandon Sanderson’s The Alloy of Law.

    I also want to make a dynamic duo out of the crew of the Liberator, from the original television series of Blake’s 7, which I just discovered a few months ago. But would it be Blake and Avon, or Avon and Orac? Hmmm. :-)

  5. RedEyedGhost /

    Locke and Jean from The Gentleman Bastards – they have such great interplay and complement each other so well.

  6. Tiger and Del from the Swordsinger books by Jennifer Roberson.
    Dhulyn and Parno by Violette Malan.
    The Crow Girls by Charles de Lint.
    Fili and Kili from The Hobbit.

  7. Trey /

    I see folks have beaten me to the punch on Jean and Locke from the Gentlemen Bastard series. But maybe I can expand – they do have great interplay – the dialogue is great. But the stinger is that they feel so very, very real in how they interact with each other. Their actions also are both real, and well, very heroic (end of Red Seas is what I’m thinking about). But they’re also a pair of slicker than snot con men that snark with the best of them and have wonderful one liners.

    I also have two more – Perkar and Hezhi from John Gregory Keyes Chosen of the Changeling series. First, if you haven’t read it go do so. But why do I like it? Well, it feels like two young people thrown together. And Perkar makes mistakes. Boy does he make mistakes. But he does eventually learn from them. It doesn’t have the crackling dialogue I love, but they come across as real and sincere.

  8. Franziska /

    I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for, but I guess my favorite duos would be:
    Tinkerbell and Peter Pan,
    Han and Chewy,
    Jenks and Rachel Morgan or
    Bob the Skull and Harry Dresden

  9. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser from way back in my reading days–loved those two!
    Tehol and Bugg from Malazan
    Shadowthrone and Cotillion from the same
    I want to say two from the Black Company but I’m blanking.
    Morgan and Duncan from Kurtz’ Deryni series.
    second on Locke and Jean
    Legolas and Gimli

    Baily and R. Olivaw from Asimov’s robot mysteries
    Mal and Zoe

    I know, the last two aren’t fantasy, but what the heck . . .

  10. Raistlin and Caramon was the first thing that popped into my head.

  11. Melanie Goldmund /

    I just thought of a really dynamic duo in the fantasy universe — the Minister and Kitty, from The Minister of Chance. This is what the producer calls a “sonic movie”, an audio production that you can listen to free on iTunes. Excellent sound effects, and above all, excellent voices!

    While you’re enjoying the turbulent relationship between the Minister and Kitty, you can also keep an ear out for Durian, played by the Eighth Doctor Paul McGann, and my favourite, General Rathen, played by Paul Darrow.

  12. April /

    How about Liam and Fanuilh? Do familiars count?

  13. Franziska, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

    • Franziska /

      Sorry, I don’t live in the US. Maybe you can send them to someone else. I’m sure they’d enjoy it :)

  14. Shawna /

    Jean & Locke, and my new absolute faces, Dante Galand & Blaze Buckler from Cycle of Arawn..so funny, so awesome..great read.

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