Rogue Element #115: The Beauty of Bromance
By Avril Brown
There’s something about two guys together that makes my heart thump an extra beat. They way they look at one another, the way they fiercely clutch each other when the passion overtakes them, the way they love and die for one another…
Now that your mind is firmly entrenched in the gutter, let me clarify. I heart me a good bromance. Two men who stand and fight together, who have each other’s backs no matter what, really gets me right here. I cannot tell you exactly what it is that draws me in, but when it comes to a true, unbreakable bromance, I just can’t resist.
There are many an addictive bromance relationship in the world of fiction, some more famous than others, but the ones I gravitate towards are (naturally) surrounded by some form of animosity. Either some force is trying to tear them apart, or the personalities are so different you wonder how the hell they got together in the first place.
X-Men: Nightcrawler and Wolverine
The circus performer and the cur. The priest and the pariah. The man of God and the man who would cut God if he pissed him off. Kurt Wagner and James Howlett (aka Logan) are buddies no one saw coming. Despite the Wolverine’s gruff demeanor and body count rivaling a World War, Kurt saw a goodness in Logan which in turn helped Logan see it for himself. The purity of Kurt’s soul calmed the savagery in Logan’s and gave him hope. When Nightcrawler died at the hands (literally) of Bastion (don’t worry, he’s kind of alive again; yay comics!) it was one of the most heartbreaking scenes in an X-Men comic, made more poignant by Wolverine’s reaction when he learns the news. The devastation on his face alone makes my soul ache, and when he popped his claws on one hand and uttered his nickname for his friend, ‘Elf,’ I cried. Some of the most human, emotion-packed moments in X-Men comics are thanks to this duo, tossing back beers and just enjoying life the way only best friends can.
Boondock Saints: Connor, Murphy and Rocco
Who doesn’t love this film? There are oodles of reasons why this is one of the best movies ever made, from the soundtrack to the way it was shot to Willem “Freaking Awesome” Dafoe, and one of those reasons is the overwhelming bromance. Connor and Murphy are twin brothers so it goes without saying they have a bond that cannot be breached, but they let another into their world. Rocco is a bit of a fuck up, but he’s their fuck up, and they take care of their own. Each brother has a different relationship with the Italian mobster package boy, and while Murphy appears to be closer to Rocco they both love him dearly, and both are devastated by his death. After a string of vendetta killings the trio is finally caught by Rocco’s former boss, and when it’s clear the Irish twins are hard as nails and have no intention of giving up any intel mafia don Yakavetta puts a bullet in Rocco’s chest. Connor cries to the god he believes in so intensely, begging him not to let Rocco die, while Murphy manages to throw himself next to his friend so he could look in his face as he breathed his last. After Rocco manages to utter his last words, telling his brothers to get out and keep ridding the world of evil, Murphy breaks down in a tragically beautiful display of love and loss. The brothers manage to fulfill Rocco’s request: they get out and transform their rage into one of the most stunning displays of revenge ever delivered.
Vampire Diaries: Damon and Alaric
I know, I never shut up about this (now) shitty show, but the sarcastic, badass vampire and the honest, badass vampire hunter duo deserve a shout out. Like most relationships filled with ardor, Damon and Alaric hated one another quite thoroughly. Alaric’s wife Isobel was a scholar with a passion for vampire lore, and the last time he saw her she was in Damon’s arms serving as a late night snack. He spent years trying to track down his wife’s murderer and when he finally found him and confronted him, Damon snapped his neck. Thankfully for their future friendship Isobel was not one hundred percent heartless bitch (only ninety-five) and she’d gifted her husband with a ring that resurrects the wearer from a supernatural death. Learning that Isobel wasn’t dead and simply in fact an evil vampire who asked Damon to turn her was the first step on the long road to forming a relationship (whiskey certainly helped), but it was worth it, bumps (like Damon snapping Ric’s neck again just ‘cause he was pissing him off) and all. Naturally their bromance ended in complex and asinine tragedy, but fans got a couple more glimpses of good buddy moments when Alaric was a ghost in season four, the best being at his grave. Damon takes a bottle of whiskey and his frustrations to his friend’s final resting place and proceeds to bitch about how he’s stuck “taking care of the kids” now that Alaric’s gone. He leaves him the rest of the bottle and ghost-Ric, who’d been watching the rant, sighs after his friend and says, “I miss you too, buddy.” Tear.
Blissful Reality: Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen
Unless you’ve been living under a sad, lonely rock the last few years, you HAVE to know about these boys. Clearly the most famous, and adorable, bromance in the entire world, these two Brits are just too cool for school. From my understanding they met, and fell in brotherly love, on the set of ‘X-Men’ back in 2000 and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Their practically perfect friendship is a joy to witness, and witness you can as they are all over Twitter, Instagram and Buzzfeed. It is impossible to ignore how much they care for one another, and how much damn fun they have together. They’ve done films and plays together, they travel and take totally awesome pictures together, and Sir Ian officiated Sir Pat’s wedding. They recently did one of those ‘how well do you know your spouse?’ gigs and got the answers almost completely wrong, and it was hilariously charming. Seriously, they just cannot not be cute. The exception to the rule, there is no animosity surrounding these besties, proving that reality can often be better than fiction.
Relationships are simply amazing. There are so many variations, so many complex and colorful emotions packed into these ties that bind. One could wonder how we can put so much faith and effort into something invisible, but love is far from invisible. In fact, it is blindingly bright and glaringly obvious, whether or not you know to look for it. A blind man can hear it, a deaf man can see it, and even with minimal senses one can feel it. Helen Keller said that the most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or touched, but must be felt with the heart. Go out and feel the love, people, and bring on the bromance.