There is something about platonic duos that really gets me. Often these types of relationships have the opportunity to have amazing emotional depth as we are able to explore whatever type of relationship they have. We are also able to see how the duo play off of each other’s personality and see them work as a team to overcome whatever obstacles come their way.
I want to clarify something before I start my list. These duos will only be from books I’ve read. If I don’t include a duo that you love it is most likely because I haven’t read that book or series yet. For example, Frodo and Sam will not be on here even though I loved them in the movies because I have only read The Fellowship of the Ring so far (I know, take away my fantasy fan card). I also kept myself to one duo per series.
Another thing I want to clarify is that these are my personal favorites. The ones I personally connected with the most or enjoyed their relationship a lot. Here are my top 10 favorite duos in no particular order (mostly).
Fitz and Nighteyes (Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb)
If you haven’t read this series you might be wondering how a man and a wolf could be such a good duo. Well, I’m here to tell you, Fitz and Nighteyes are incredible. Without getting too much into detail, Fitz has a magic called the Wit that enables him to form a two way bond with an animal. Fitz and Nighteyes have an emotional depth to their friendship that surpasses regular friendship. They are truly brothers who would do anything to keep the other safe. Fitz especially goes through some really really bad crap throughout this trilogy and Nighteyes is always there to support him.
Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy (The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher)
I have only read 4 of the Dresden Files books so far, but a huge thing that immediately caught my attention in the first book was the friendship between Murphy and Dresden. Murphy’s no nonsense, get it done attitude is the perfect counterpoint to Dresden’s sarcastic humor. As we continue throughout the series there are quite a few deeply emotional moments between the two that were beautiful to read. These two may argue and disagree like an old, married couple, but they always have each other’s backs when the going gets tough. As I continue to read this series I think I will love this duo more and more.
Girton and Marela (Wounded Kingdom by RJ Barker)
I have always been a fan of found family and Girton and Marela are a beautiful example of that trope. This assassin mentor/apprentice duo become like mother and son throughout the series and is one of the only duos whose interactions have caused me to tear up. In fact, this duo has one of the most emotional scenes that I have ever read in the last book of the trilogy. This incredible relationship was founded on the hardships they both had endured and continues to grow as they share a life together.
Lindon and Yerin (Cradle series by Will Wight)
Lindon and Yerin are a fantastic team. They share a common goal, to become the most powerful Sacred Artists they can be. Their relentless determination to overcome everything in their shared path and their individual character growth is really fun to see. They both push each other in productive ways and their personalities are very complimentary. I am so excited for the next book in the series so I can see where this duo goes next!
Kvothe and Bast (The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss)
Kvothe and Bast have a unique relationship in my opinion. Kvothe is a mentor and teacher to Bast. Bast cares deeply about his “Reshi” and is constantly trying to encourage Kvothe and orchestrates events in order to bring him back to being the confident man that he once was. Their relationship has a great dynamic and there is a tenderness and a vulnerability to it that is rarely seen in male platonic relationships.
Wax and Wayne (Mistborn Era 2 by Brandon Sanderson)
I’m realizing that the best duos are often those that have complimentary personalities. Wax and Wayne are one of these types of duos. Wax’s stoic and serious nature is in perfect contrast to Wayne’s laid back, jokester personality. Wax and Wayne’s allomantic and feruchemical powers are great compliments to each other in battle as well. They work seemlessly with each other. They also have that relationship where Wax gets outwardly annoyed by Wayne’s hijinks, but secretly loves it. This is a duo worth reading.
Calvin and Hobbes (Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson)
I bet you didn’t expect this one! These two trouble makers hold a special place in my heart. This newspaper comic strip that has since been published into a collection of books is at once hilarious and entertaining with a dash of unexpected depth. In my opinion, Calvin and Hobbes is an exceptional comic and these two main characters make it what it is. Both characters dabble in philosophy while at the same time having an innocence (well, maybe not Calvin) about them. Their journey through Calvin’s young life features relatable life events such as dealing with bullies, daydreaming about being an intergalactic space hero, complaining about homework, and the wonder of discovering new things. They display their brotherly love for each other as they pull pranks on others and each other, wrestle, stay up later than they’re supposed to, and generally do life together. I love this crazy pair and they 100% deserve to be on this list.
Hadrian and Royce (Riyria Revelations by Michael J Sullivan)
Royce Melbourne is a taciturn, often pessimistic former assassin. Hadrian Blackwater is a generally happy and optimistic former mercenary. Together, they make up the thieving duo known as Riyria. Their back and forth banter, disagreements about trusting people, and incredible battle prowess make for an epic duo. As the series continues you get to know this duo and how much they care for each other, even if Royce would never admit it out loud. The starring MC’s of one of my favorite series are also one of my favorite duos!
Locke and Jean (Gentlemen Bastards Sequence by Scott Lynch)
This friendship that was introduced in The Lies of Locke Lamora has some incredible development in the following two books. Jean is a loyal and selfless friend to Locke, and vice versa. They go through some dark stuff together and there is no way either one of them would have survived, physically or mentally, without the other. Their friendship is inspiring as they encourage one another, but also aren’t afraid to call each other out in tough love. I love this friendship so much and it is one of the highlights of the entire Gentlemen Bastard series.
1) Darrow and Sevro (Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown)
When I started this list I wasn’t going to give these duos any type of ranking. However, as I was putting this list together I realized that for me, Darrow and Sevro’s friendship is a cut above the rest. Darrow and Sevro go through so much throughout the Red Rising series. The trust, loyalty, and brotherly love that is displayed throughout their friendship is the best I’ve ever seen. Sevro keeps Darrow grounded and Darrow makes sure that Sevro never loses hope and remains the good man that he chooses to be, not what their cruel world would make him be. There are also many hilarious moments between the two that just grew my affection for them even more. Also, they are both the elite of the elite warriors and how they play off of each other in battle is so amazing. I was immediately invested in their friendship at the start of this series and have continued to grow to care about these two as the story goes on.
What about you? What are some of your favorite duos? I would love to talk with you about them!