Welcome to Day Six of the A to Z Challenge. For this year’s challenge, I’ll be examining different types of characters that can be found in international fiction. Today I’m looking at forlorn friends.
Forlorn friends live in a world of unrequited love. Theses characters have a friendship or business relationship with the object of their affections, but these objects are oblivious to the romantic desires of this forlorn friend. Characteristics common to this character type are an immense sense of loyalty, and an inability to win the heart of the one they love.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Twilight Saga, Switched (宇宙を駆けるよか), and 27 Dresses.
Forlorn friends are often fools for love. They will change their schedule at the drop of a hat, like Jane Nichols in 27 Dresses, risk their social standing to stand up for their romantic interest, like Kaga in Switched (宇宙を駆けるよか), and even break the law to spend time with their uninterested friend, like Syl in “Items Awaiting Protective Enclosure.”
Interestingly enough, the forlorn friend very rarely ends up with the object of his/her affection. These characters tend discover a new love, like Jane Nichols and Syl, or end up (sometimes contently) alone, like Kaga.
Forlorn friends can often be found in romantic comedies, but also appear across a wide range of genres including historical and speculative fiction. Other examples of forlorn friends are Jacob Black from Twilight, Éponine in Les Miserable, and Julianne Potter in My Best Friend’s Wedding.