Once again I’m diving into the Wyrd & Wonder Challenge this week! I have to say, I love tropes about the friend/enemy dynamic. I just have a thing for frenemies! I think my favorite is when an enemy suddenly becomes an ally because of the whole ‘the enemy of my enemy’ thing. But can you ever really trust them? Ehhhh….well, that’s part of the fun, right?
I think my absolute favorite friend/enemy is Loki from the MCU. (In fact, I love Loki so much that I named my cat after him!) Loki can be a great ally in certain situations but, let’s face it, Loki is ultimately always going to be looking out for Loki first and foremost. Despite that, when Loki does decide to team up with the gang it’s always a good time. Love the chaotic energy he brings to the game. 😉 A book that I read recently that had a character like this was The Mask of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick–can’t recommend that one enough. Soooooo many frenemies in that one!
Of course I’m also enjoy friends who bicker a lot. Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter are good example of this–they’re always arguing. While I don’t think this makes for the healthiest of relationships, I do like that it allowed their team to really look at different ways to approach a problem since both Ron and Hermione would almost always look at things from different perspectives. And a little bit of sniping can be fun.
The other friend/enemy dynamic is when a character is a friend but then suddenly becomes an enemy, usually through some sort of betrayal but there can be other things that lead up to this change. Or maybe someone was just pretending to be a friend all along? Oooh. Well I won’t give any specific examples for this because most of the time this is where I’m yelling ‘oh snap, plot twist!’ when I’m reading.
Since I’m such a fan of character driven stories, these kinds of dynamics really bring a lot to a story for me. I kind of loved in Buffy when Spike joined the Scooby gang! I also love when you’re led to think that someone is the enemy but they actually turn out to be just wildly misunderstood (Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat is good for this!). Actually, having just binge read books 2 and 3 of the Crave series by Tracy Wolff—I can say that this is a story where characters switch allegiances now and then. Someone is now an enemy but wait now they’re a friend, or maybe they’re an enemy again. I love a story that can keep me on my toes (which is also why I love the Red Rising books so much!).
What are some of your favorite frenemies or books featuring an interesting friends to enemy or enemy to friends type of situation? Leave a note in the comments, I’d love to chat!