If Books Could Date: The Most Incompatible Literary Couples [Vol. 1]

We’ve all read about the romances of the ages—Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Rhett and Scarlett, Ron and Hermione. But what would happen if characters from different universes and genres were thrown together into the daunting world of dating? Trust us, not all bookish couples are a match made in literary heaven. Here are some of the most incompatible literary couples that you never knew you didn’t want.

People reading books at a coffee shop

1. Anna Karenina (Anna Karenina) and Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby)

Anna is a complicated Russian aristocrat mired in a stifling societal structure, and Gatsby is the embodiment of the American Dream gone awry. Put them together, and you’ll find Anna completely baffled by Gatsby’s relentless optimism and his fixation on green lights. Meanwhile, Gatsby would find Anna’s tragic disposition a downer at his high-energy jazz parties. The relationship would likely implode, leaving confetti and Tolstoyan angst in its wake.

2. Ellen Ripley (Alien) and Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Ellen Ripley is a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails survivor who has faced down xenomorphs in deep space. Willow Rosenberg is a geeky witch who eventually becomes quite powerful but starts off quite shy and introverted. While they both have a fighting spirit, their methods and settings are worlds apart. Ripley would have zero patience for Willow’s initial hesitations and youthful mistakes. Meanwhile, Willow would be horrified at the idea of jettisoning an entire ship’s cargo (or even the ship itself) to kill one monster, asking, “Can’t we just, you know, bind it magically or something?” When Willow suggests they solve problems with a protection spell or magical research, Ripley might cut her off with, “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

3. Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes series) and Anastasia Steele (Fifty Shades of Grey)

The idea of Sherlock Holmes, a man solely driven by logic and reason, dating Anastasia Steele, a character moved almost entirely by impulse and emotion, is too incompatible to even fathom. Sherlock would be dissecting the improbability of Anastasia’s relationship with Christian Grey, while Anastasia would likely be bored by Sherlock’s violin solos and tobacco experiments.

4. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) and Ignatius J. Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces)

Ignatius J. Reilly’s medieval worldview and slothful demeanor would be the complete antithesis of Katniss’ survivalist spirit. Imagine Ignatius complaining about the “degradation of society” while Katniss is busy shooting arrows and plotting rebellion. This match would be doomed before Ignatius could even pen one of his scathing letters.

5. Frodo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings) and Scarlett O’Hara (Gone with the Wind)

Scarlett’s main concern is maintaining her way of life and social standing in the tumultuous South, while Frodo’s task is to destroy the One Ring and save Middle-Earth. Scarlett would find the Shire completely lacking in any kind of luxury, and Frodo would be perplexed by Scarlett’s complex social maneuvers. And let’s face it, Scarlett would have zero patience for the long, perilous journey to Mordor.

The Final Chapter: Swipe Left or Right?

Sure, these literary lovebirds might be more mismatched than socks in a laundromat, but isn’t that the beauty of it? These characters hail from different postal codes of the imagination, each shaped by their unique narratives and the ink of their creators. They might not find their “happily ever after” together, but hey, at least they’re giving the term “it’s complicated” a whole new depth. Because let’s face it—in the grand tapestry of fiction, not every thread is destined to intertwine. So whether you’re Team “Make It Work” or Team “What Were They Thinking?”, remember: even the most incompatible couples can make for the most unforgettable stories.