Siblings are one of the most underused types of relationships in fiction. Oh, sure, it’s not uncommon to have a pair of siblings in a story, but their relationships are rarely fleshed out to their full potential. Here’s some of my favorite fictional sibling sets and what makes them so great.
1. Fred, George, and Ginny Weasley- Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Although they don’t have a ton of page time, there’s a clear dynamic between these three that the other Weasleys don’t have. I really like that because it shows that siblings don’t all have the same relationship with each other. The larger the family, the truer this is.
Don’t be afraid to give siblings varying dynamics within the same family. People are different, and some personalities don’t click as well as others. The Weasley family is a great example of this.
2. Simon and River Tam- Firefly
Simon would do anything for River, and he proves it again and again. Even after he befriends the others on Serenity, it’s clear his loyalty is first and foremost River. On her part, she clearly cares for Simon, but she doesn’t worry about him as much as he does her. It doesn’t mean she loves him less or would do less for him, but it’s different. He’s not her responsibility the way she is his.
Simon and River are great because they so clearly show the differences between an older and a younger sibling.
3. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire- A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
These three go through a succession of unlucky happenstances together, but they always have each other’s backs. They each have their specialty- inventing, reading, and biting/cooking, and trust each other to take care of that area.
I love the faith they have in each other. Although they occasionally argue, it’s great to see siblings who stick together no matter what.
4. Bellamy and Octavia Blake- The 100 (Season 1)
I’m only a season into The 100, but I love the relationship between these two. Just like Simon Tam, Bellamy is a very protective older brother. However, Bellamy and Octavia’s relationship is much more strained. Octavia often feels smothered by Bellamy’s protectiveness, and Bellamy is stifled by the responsibility he feels for her.
As much as I love watching a bond form between siblings in stressful circumstances, it’s sometimes good to see that connection strained. Because of the mutual tension between Bellamy and Octavia, they have one of the most realistic relationship I’ve seen.
5. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie- The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Each of these four has a very distinct personality. This often creates conflict, especially between Lucy’s faith and her oldest siblings’ skepticism. Also, their dynamics change over the series. At first, Edmund and Lucy don’t get along at all, but after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund is Lucy’s biggest supporter.
This mix of personalities and dynamics, especially as the characters grow (in both age and maturity), keeps their relationships fresh and interesting.
Who are some of your favorite siblings in fiction?