[If you have not watched the revisioned Battlestar Galactic yet, but would like to without spoilers, do not read any further.]
As promised in yesterday’s post about writing romance, here is my ultimate couple: Commander (later Admiral) William Adama and President Laura Roslin. They pretty much nail every single bullet point in what I like to see when it comes to romance, and I can hands down say they are my favorite couple–and there are tons of fantastic couples in fantasy and science fiction.
So why this couple as my ultimate couple? First and foremost, Adama and Roslin are strong characters in their own right, each with their own goals and position in the overall story. But really what makes them my ultimate couple is this: They are a mature couple whose relationship evolves over the course of four seasons–even after years, I still reflect fondly on this couple. (And yes, I usually have a few tears in my eyes while doing so.) Not only does it also have big moments, but it also has plenty of small ones, making their relationship nature and more real: They are a couple you root for and applaud.
The writers behind the series truly did a fantastic job of crafting this romance, and it is worth picking up the series to learn from these writers, even when they stumble in other aspects (not the AdamaxRoslin coupling, they never stumbled with that in my eyes). And while novelists have to write differently for their medium, there are plenty of nuggets to be gleaned–but I digress.
The writers take these two characters from not really liking each–she was the teacher parading as president and he was the technologically impair, domineering, military tight-ass–to that tear-jerking final scene between the two at the end of season four. The dynamic nature of this relationship and the history that develops between Adama and Roslin are what make this coupling so great–and the writers nail it. How did they do? They first created believable characters whose goals were to live and safeguard what remained of the human race.
The pair grudgingly worked together during the first season, until the blinking contest where Adama ordered Roslin’s presidential vessel boarded and her arrested, all because she involved herself in military business. For most this would pretty much sink any pairing; however, being mature adults, they were able to rebuild their relationship.
“Laura, I forgive you.” “Thank you, Bill . . . But I didn’t ask for your forgiveness.” “But you have it anyway.”
The plot continued to bring these two characters together and developed their relationship to one of mutual respect and friendship, where they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. They became each other’s greatest allies and relied heavily on each other. This progression all made sense: both are leaders, a very lonely position to be in. Both had also experience several hardships in their lives, which allowed them to further connect.
And while there were tons of major events that plunged their working and personal relationship to different levels, the Battlestar Galactica writers also gave Adama and Roslin plenty of small, everyday moments: smiles, sitting and talking after a long day, sharing books, reading to each other, etc. Gradually small romantic gestures–sharing a dance, hugging, and of course, that kiss–begin to surface as their relationship slowly progressed.
Roslin’s battle with cancer also brought depths to their relationship, with Adama providing her with much-needed support, physically and emotionally. Adama’s struggle to accept her returned cancer, from which there would be no magical cure, is extremely relateable–plus he sticks with her to the end.
Nothing pulls at my heartstrings when Roslin, who had been jogging, runs into Adama and states that she had the right to live a little bit before she died before telling him that he’d earned the right, too. All their last moments, leading up to that final ride over Earth, further seal them as my ultimate couple as they choose to live, really live with the time that they have been given together: never giving up on the dream of that cabin they’d share together.
Adama and Roslin are not the young couple with unobtainable looks often seen in romance. No, they are more real, and that is why I loved them together and why I cried buckets of tears during that last episode.
As a bonus, they also have one of the best shared theme songs; Bear McCreary really outdid himself with it, making me wildly weep, particularly when its played as Adama and Roslin fly over Earth.