We here at Lady Geek Girl and Friends love to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day – and that means all kinds of love. While our post earlier today showcased our favorite canon and fanon romantic ships for the year, in this post we’re going to look at some of our favorite relationships between family members, as voted on by the whole LGG&F crew.
Hit the jump to find out who made the cut!
1. Abbie and Jenny Mills (Sleepy Hollow)
Luce: Whenever there’s some sort of crime-solving procedural show, we always, without fail, end up with a pair of white brothers (looking at you in particular, Sherlock and Supernatural). That’s why it’s so cool that Abbie and Jenny Mills, two Black sisters, are even allowed to exist on our TV screens. More than that, though, theirs is a complex relationship which got even more complicated when they encountered the demon Moloch while walking home as kids. Abbie, the older sister, denied everything and went on to a stellar career in law enforcement, while Jenny, the younger sister, told the truth and ended up wrongly institutionalized and more often than not, on the wrong side of the law. The two sisters have only recently repaired their relationship, but they’re already showing that they’re much stronger together than they are apart.
[TIE] 2. Nani and Lilo (Lilo & Stitch)
Lady Geek Girl: Nani and Lilo have a pretty unconventional family. First off, Nani is much older than her younger sister Lilo, and secondly, they’re orphans, as their parents died in a car accident. This event puts Nani in the position of having to raise her younger sister and deal with all the issues that come from that. They struggle to deal with their relationship now that Nani has essentially become a parent to Lilo, as well as with Lilo’s grief over what happened to their parents. The two siblings clearly love each other and look out for each other, but they also drive each other crazy; they fight and they torment each other the way that siblings do. These two are not only cute and funny, but also a very realistic portrayal of a sisterly relationship and an unconventional family.
[TIE] 2. Merida and Queen Elinor (Brave)
Lady Geek Girl: Merida and Elinor’s relationship starts out as a strained one, with Merida rejecting court life and an arranged marriage and her mother trying to teach her to be a lady. The two clearly love each from the get-go but they don’t see eye-to-eye and don’t communicate with each other very well. After a spell goes awry, Merida and her mother become closer and work together to not only build up their relationship but also to unite their people. This is a truly beautiful mother/daughter duo.
3. Zuko and Iroh (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Saika: Prince Zuko didn’t have a great childhood by a long shot. Through it all, however, one person was there for him: his Uncle Iroh. Iroh plays the goofy and inscrutable old man most of the time, and has a verging-on-addiction obsession with tea, but he’s always looking out for his nephew. All through Zuko’s development from an honor-obsessed villain to a redeemed protagonist and new Fire Lord, Iroh comforts, supports, and guides him. From the start, he was a better father figure to Zuko than his real father ever was.
4. Felix Dawkins and the Clone Sisters (Orphan Black)
Noodle: Felix may have started out as only Sarah’s brother, but he quickly became a brother to all the clone club members. He’s constantly supportive and is always ready to jump into the thick of things to help his sisters. And perhaps this relationship seems a little one-sided sometimes, with the clones constantly in danger and Felix mostly just along for the ride, but you know that they all care about him.
[TIE] 5. Kamala and Aamir Khan (Ms. Marvel)
Mikely: G. Willow Wilson is non-stop. Her Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, would be a perfect superhero even if she was just quietly embiggening her way in and out of Avengers Mansion. But rather than stopping there, she gives Kamala a complex but loving home life. Her parents are strict, but secular. Both Kamala and her older brother Aamir seek to define themselves apart from their parents, but while Kamala geeks out with video games and fanfiction, Aamir dedicates himself to his faith. This is 2016 in America; young devout Muslim men are not treated well on our pages and screens. But the love between the Khan sibs—whether cooperating or squabbling—provides a whisper of relief.
[TIE] 5. Buffy and Joyce Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Pisces: You guys, this is my very favorite parent/kid relationship on TV from my very favorite show ever. Joyce is the Mom of Moms, trying her best to navigate the world of her teenage daughter which she just doesn’t understand (isn’t that so like real life?). At turns goofy and heartwarming and strict, Joyce is above all a fiercely caring single mother who loves her daughter more than anything else. They may have had some rough patches, but all in all this is a family love story for the ages—one that was tragically cut far too short.
6. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader (Star Wars)
Lady Geek Girl: Sometimes you need to separate yourself from damaged relatives that bring problems into your life. Sometimes you need to reach out to them and hope that they can be better. Vader isn’t exactly a great dad to Luke, seeing as when we meet him in the movies he’s all dark side and evil, but Luke still recognizes the good in him and refuses to give up on his dad. Vader, for his part, does everything he can to help his son. He convinces the Emperor not to kill Luke and even holds back in his fight with Luke in Empire Strikes Back. And of course we all know that Luke eventually gets through to his father and Vader kills the Emperor to save him. Their relationship may not be the healthiest, but it is very clear how much this father and son care about each in the limited time they get to spend together.
7. Spock, Amanda, and Sarek (Star Trek)
Lady Geek Girl: I adore Spock’s family. My all-time favorite original series episode is “Journey to Babel”, which introduced us to Spock’s mother and father. Sarek and Amanda have a beautiful, somewhat taboo interspecies romance and against all odds are able to have a half-Vulcan half-human baby in the form of Spock. Spock and his parents don’t always get along, but despite what the logical Vulcans might say, it is very clear that this is a family that loves each other despite their differences.
8. Barry Allen and Joe West (The Flash)
Noodle: Even while grieving his mother’s death, Barry realizes that, because of Joe, he got to have a great life. Joe never pushes too much but is always there when Barry needs him. Among all the metahuman drama, it’s wonderful to see such a sweet and open father/son relationship which remains unaffected by anything that’s going on.
9. Steven and Greg Universe (Steven Universe)
Saika: When Steven was born, the different biology of Rose Quartz’s Gem body meant that she had to give up her corporeal form to give him life. A lesser man (lookin’ at you, Tywin Lannister) might resent his son for being the reason the love of his life wasn’t around anymore, but Greg is never anything but wonderful with Steven. While he’s not very good at being a grownup—it seems like he spends a lot more time sleeping at his car wash than he does Adulting—he’s very good at being a dad, especially considering that Steven’s half-Gem-ness means he doesn’t age like a human and that spooky magic stuff is always happening around him. Steven and Greg clearly love each other to pieces, and seeing their open and affectionate relationship is a delight among other media that suggests men shouldn’t behave that way.
10. Tenzin and co. (Legend of Korra)
Luce: One of the things we missed out on seeing in Avatar: The Last Airbender was exactly how the Gaang raised their kids, but fortunately, many of said kids were main characters in The Legend of Korra, and none more so than Tenzin, the only airbending son of Aang. Through Tenzin’s interactions with his siblings, we can see that Aang wasn’t a perfect parent—overly enthusiastic about finally having someone to teach airbending to, he’d valued Tenzin’s time over that of his waterbending daughter or his nonbender son. Although Tenzin started out as just Korra’s stuffy teacher, I really loved what his episodes taught us about family. Jinora, who proved to be a far more spiritual airbender than Tenzin, made Tenzin confront the realization that his children’s achievements could outclass his; Kya and Bumi showed that sibling rivalries could be worked out even in adulthood. Together they’re a well-rounded depiction of a family that has issues but is working on them—something I wish we’d see more often in media.
So that’s all for this year! Which of the family relationships we picked was your favorite? Do you think someone else should have made the list, or disagree with one of our choices? Was this the only Top 10 list you’ve read this year that actually had twelve things on it? Let us know in the comments, and have a happy Valentine’s Day!