Friendship and loyalty—two themes so recurrent in fantasy stories that you might think you’ve stumbled into a daycare rather than a realm fraught with peril, dragons, and morally ambiguous sorcerers.
In a genre that often pivots around quests, battles, and someone’s desperate need to stick a sword into a stone (or another person), the power of friendship is an oddly comforting constant.
Let’s explore, shall we?
The Inseparable Duo: Two Peas in a Deadly Pod
Every hero needs a sidekick, just as every fish needs a bicycle—no, wait, that’s not right. Scratch that.
Whether it’s a warrior and their comedic relief or two mages that complete each other’s spells, the dynamics are tried and tested.
They may bicker like an old married couple, but when push comes to shove (usually off a cliff), they’ve got each other’s backs.
The Unlikely Alliance: Frenemies till the End
Ah, nothing says ‘epic tale’ like an alliance forged out of sheer necessity rather than affection.
You know the type: the honour-bound knight and the rogue thief, the elf and the dwarf, the vegan and the carnivore.
Their loyalty is begrudging at first but give them a couple of near-death experiences, and voilà, best buds—or at least allies who won’t stab each other in the back.
The Brotherhood/Sisterhood: All for One and One for Death
Oh, the sweetness of voluntary kinship!
These groups go beyond the usual duos or trios and evolve into miniature armies of friendship.
Whether it’s a fellowship entrusted with a perilous quest or a band of rebels trying to overthrow a tyrant, their loyalty to the cause—and each other—is the glue that holds the narrative together.
It’s like a group project, but with more danger and fewer PowerPoint slides.
The Pet Companion: Because Who Needs Humans?
Why limit friendships to two-legged creatures?
In fantasy, loyalty often comes on four legs, or wings, or fins, or…you get the point.
These loyal pets and mythical creatures offer unconditional love and a convenient mode of transport.
Not to mention, they usually get the best action scenes.
A toast to the unsung heroes of fantasy lore!
Bonds Forged in Adversity: Trial by Fire, Literally
Nothing solidifies friendship like staring into the eyes of a fire-breathing dragon and deciding, collectively, that today is not a good day to die.
Shared life-threatening experiences have a funny way of deepening bonds.
In fantasy, loyalty is often earned through trials that range from combat to riddles to the always-popular test of eating something utterly disgusting.
Betrayal: The Dark Side of Loyalty
Because what is loyalty without the inevitable stab in the back for dramatic effect?
Betrayal serves as the crucible that tests friendships and, more often than not, makes them stronger.
Unless, of course, you’re the one being betrayed; then you’re probably dead.
But for those who survive, it’s a life lesson gift-wrapped in treachery.
The Best Friendships in Fantasy: A Hall of Fame for the Loyal and the Brave
No fantasy fan’s experience is complete without delving into these iconic partnerships.
They make us laugh, they make us cry, and sometimes, they make us wish for a magical pet. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Locke and Jean (The Gentlemen Bastard Series)
What do you get when you pair a silver-tongued conman with a hulking bruiser?
The answer is Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen, two inseparable thieves whose friendship survives heists, betrayal, and far too many life-threatening situations.
It’s a bromance for the ages, complete with witty banter, heartfelt moments, and the occasional punch in the face—for old time’s sake.
FitzChivalry and Nighteyes (The Farseer Trilogy)
No list would be complete without the mind-linked duo of FitzChivalry and Nighteyes.
A man and his wolf, sharing not just thoughts but an unbreakable bond that challenges our understanding of friendship itself.
Nighteyes offers a brutal, yet honest, perspective that often saves Fitz from himself.
It’s more than a pet and owner relationship; it’s a soul-deep connection.
Hadrian and Royce (The Riyria Revelations)
Swords and stealth come together in the formidable partnership of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn.
One’s an optimist with a strong moral code; the other’s a cynical rogue with a penchant for sarcasm.
Together, they form Riyria, a mercenary duo that could either save the world or rob it blind—depending on who hires them first.
Legolas and Gimli (The Lord of the Rings)
Elves and dwarves are supposed to be enemies, but Legolas and Gimli didn’t get that memo.
Their friendship evolves from mutual distrust to counting coup in battle.
They’re the quintessential example of an unlikely friendship that breaks all the racial stereotypes of Middle-earth.
Geralt and Dandelion (The Witcher Series)
A monster-hunter and a bard walk into a bar… and the result is an enduring friendship that survives monsters, political intrigue, and Dandelion’s incessant need to turn everything into a ballad.
A poignant reminder that even the most hardened warriors need a laugh sometimes.
Kvothe and Willem (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
The brilliant but impulsive Kvothe finds a steadying presence in his university friend Willem.
Despite the dangers and darkness that follow Kvothe like a shadow, Willem remains a beacon of loyalty.
Their friendship offers a respite from the chaos, even if it’s only momentary.
Jezal and Logen (The First Law Trilogy)
From disdain to a grudging respect, the friendship between Captain Jezal dan Luthar and Logen Ninefingers is as complex as they come.
They may come from different worlds—one a self-absorbed noble and the other a battle-scarred barbarian—but when their backs are against the wall, they find common ground.
TThese partnerships remind us that even in worlds filled with magic, mythical beasts, and malevolent forces, it’s the human (or wolfish, or elven, or dwarven) connections that truly make a story unforgettable.