I hope you don’t misconstrue my tone, here. This is no hardship. In fact, I feel a little bad that it’s taken me this long to pull my shizz together. I’m going to use the only tool I have in my arsenal for my defense: this genre. FANTASY. It may in fact be my favorite genre of all time. Fairy tales, epic adventure, urban, (and what this post focuses on) Young Adult. Doesn’t matter the category, if it’s a fantasy novel, I’m probably gonna dig it.
For our purposes, let’s define fantasy as: a genre of fiction that uses elements of magic, magical creatures and imaginary worlds but not necessarily supernatural, horror or paranormal themes. Why am I bothering with this definition? Because I don’t want any of you to ask me where Edward Cullen or Sam Roth or Gansey are; they’ll be in the Paranormal Edition (if I ever get around to it).
So, let’s return to the whole point of this post. As much as we all love our book boyfriends, it’s tough to hold them up against our real life relationships sometimes. After all, at the end of their stories, these heroes have Mighty Moused their way through three books of angst and unresolved sexual tension. They’ve peaked. It’s not like 17 years later they are going to get another chance to rid the world of ultimate evil, return the Duchess to her rightful throne amidst warring clans, and defeat a generational curse with the potency of their deflowering skills. That’s once in a lifetime stuff. And it’s why they are SO.INCREDIBLE in the books we love to read.
But what about a decade and half later, when hot YA fantasy guy has married our favorite heroine, popped out a couple of bairns, repaired relations with the neighboring duchy and enjoyed several years of boring ass … domesticity? Do our book boyfriends stay hot? Or do they start complaining about the lack of work ethic those college kids have while fighting with the lawn control company about the arc of their overspray? What will our YA Fantasy Book Boyfriends be like as husbands?
That’s Normal is Taking a Look at When Our Favorite Book Boyfriends Become Husbands: YA Fantasy Edition.
**NOTE: Beware the slight SPOILER ALERT for most of these books. I can’t really talk about a couple’s future without talking about what happened to them at the end of the series/book. Read at your own risk. Spoilers are LIGHT, but they are there.
I also have to apologize to almost every author on this list because you have all written far more than just one amazing hero in these books. And like any dutiful lover of fantasy men, I had them all on this list. Then the list got too long. So, it’s one character per book series. I’m so SORRY, Lucian, Brigan, Mal, Strumhound, Froi, Trevanion … oh balls. I LOVE THEM ALL.
For our purposes, we are judging these boys by Hotness Sustainability (will they still be hot at 35-40-55), and #HusbandProblems (the inevitable horribleness men bring to their domestic lives). We also take for granted that every single one of these bastards are drowning their wives in romance and sezzy times on the reg, because THAT IS WHAT FICTIONAL HUSBANDS ARE INTO OR SO I HEAR.
Original Boyfriend to: the complete and total badass assassin, Katsa in Kristin Cashore’s Graceling. When you’re the toughest girl in the seven kingdoms, it helps to be in love with the only person who can match you blow for blow.*
* that is NOT a euphemism. They fight a lot in this book. Like fisticuffs.
Hotness Sustainability: Po is dark, dark haired, tattooed, pierced and apparently heroically ripped. Even with one silver eye and one gold one, I feel like you aren’t going to get too tired of taking him in.*
*that’s what she said
#HusbandProblems: He can sense the physical world around him? AND hear your thoughts??? Awesome. That sounds like the recipe for domestic bliss. Good luck trying to diagnose why the garbage disposal won’t work. Po is fully aware that you were so drunk last night that you let the wine cork fall down there. UGH. Knowitall.
Bonus: He knows what you want before you know you want it. Aw, yeah.
Original Boyfriend to: Ana the New Soul in Jodi Meadows’ Incarnate. He’s the hotter, more sensitive, reincarnated version of Bach.
Hotness Sustainability: Oh, poor Sam. Never in the history of book boyfriends has a guy been plagued with worse hotness sustainability odds. Sure, Sam is immortal and has been around for 500 years, but the next time he’s reincarnated, he could come back as someone who looks not at all unlike my Aunt Nita. And that ain’t ok.
#HusbandProblems: Every single person you both know has known Sam longer than you have, and several of them were with him WITH HIM* in past lives. I mean, if you’re into that, then bully for you. But my jealousy trigger wouldn’t get past the gate of their city with that kind of baggage.
* that IS a euphemism
Bonus: His experience is not limited to making the most beautiful music ever written or played. Ifyouknowwhatimsayin.
Original Boyfriend to: one of my other favorite lady assassins, Ismae from Grave Mercy. He’s the sexy, honorable bastard with tons of money and clout, based on real medieval lords of Brittany.
Hotness Sustainability: Despite being described as someone with a stern grey-eyed stare, tall and with lithe muscles … it is the 15th century, and I’m going to put myself out on a limb and say that rough living and bad nutrition are not in Gavriel’s favor. Plus, IRL he probably looked like that guy.
#HusbandProblems: Talk about problems with your in-laws. Gavriel’s duty is sworn to his sister, the Duchess, so forget about going to your family’s house on holidays. And on the other side of things, being willing to deflower a Daughter of Death may speak to some bravery, but I seriously doubt you want to go into that on Thanksgiving. Yeesh.
Bonus: He’s willing to wait for you to come to him. Every time.
Original Boyfriend to: well, no one really because this mother trucker is THE DARKLING, but I guess you could say he had a Summoner With Benefits arrangement with Alina from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (fake interview here).
Hotness Sustainability: Dude has been around for EONS and he’s still described as too young, with a “sharp beautiful face.” Pretty sure all that resonant hotness isn’t going anywhere.
#HusbandProblems: He’s got a little “Tear Down the World” sociopathic thing going on. So, he’s probably not going to be ok with your new pro-biotic cookbook phase.
Bonus: For being (arguably) pretty evil, He still nuzzles your jawline with his nose and murmurs awesome stuff in your ear. And hoboy. This.
Finnikin of the Rock
Original boyfriend to: Isaboe. He’s the title character in what may be my favorite YA fantasy novel. So, obviously, I’m a little biased on his account.
Hotness Sustainability: Tall, lanky with a shock of messy auburn hair and gorgeous green eyes. That shit is irresistible. There is reason that descriptions of Edward Cullen became fanfic tropes that some of us never recovered from. It’s because he looked like Finn.
#HusbandProblems: Finnikin’s got a serious complex of inferiority. It’s infuriating. But, idk, maybe that makes him SUPER eager to please.
Bonus: He gives you BOTH hands when you need them.
I wish I could give each one of these guys the fictional, future wedded bliss they deserve. For a couple of them we at least get to see it in future novels. So, good news! If you haven’t met them yet, get reading. You won’t be disappointed.
Check out all our Book Boyfriends as Husband Editions: YA Romance, YA Dystopia and YA Angels.
So, can you think of worse #HusbandProblems for any of these guys? Who’s your favorite?