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One True Pairing: 12 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Couples We Ship

These 12 couples are the definition of #RelationshipGoals.


Ah, Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air—even if we’re only interested in the love consuming our favorite science fiction and fantasy novels' characters. No matter if the Hallmark holiday gives you good or bad vibes, we couldn't resist the chance to celebrate our favorite swoon-worthy romances. 

We ship these OTPs hard. And for those of you not familiar with what it means to ship, essentially, we believe they’re destined to be together. Which sci-fi and fantasy book characters do you ship? Tell us in the comments!   

Tess Soerensen & Ilya  

The Novels of the Jaran

The Novels of the Jaran

By Kate Elliott

Amidst an intergalactic adventure that follows a young woman named Tess as she investigates a smuggling ring, a relationship blooms between Tess and Ilya—who leads a nomadic group of people called the Jaran. 

Tess slowly falls in love with both the Jaran people and with Ilya – despite their opposition to her brother Charles, who’s part of the empire ruling over them all.    

RELATED: 17 Sci-Fi Romance Books That Will Make You Swoon 

Beauty & Beast 



By Robin McKinley

McKinley’s retelling is far closer to the plot of the original fairy tale than many other adaptations, with a major difference: The heroine of McKinley’s version is plain and doesn’t stand out at all. Yet, she and Beast still fall in love. 

Readers may fall in love themselves…but with McKinley’s writing and world building. We know that this pairing has been controversial in the past for its Stockholm syndrome-like nature. But we believe that there's a sweeter side to this romance: A young girl and beast who fall in love despite their countless unfortunate circumstances and misunderstandings. 

RELATED: Petrus Gonsalvus: The Real-Life Beauty and the Beast

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  • Belle and the Beast. Still of "Beauty and the Beast" via Walt Disney Pictures

Tom Renfield & Laura Bolte  

The Thread That Binds the Bones

The Thread That Binds the Bones

By Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Tom is a janitor/taxi driver with an inconvenient ability to see the supernatural, and Laura is a model from the city on her way to visit her extended family of witches in a small town. To further inconvenience Tom, he falls instantly in love. 

While the road ahead of them may be full of upcoming bumps, Tom and Laura face their romance and their future with no illusions, despite the magic involved.  

Related: Stellar Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Sales This Month

Axane the Dreamer & Gyalo  

The Burning Land

The Burning Land

By Victoria Strauss

The land of Arsace has toppled a godless government, allowing its people to worship their deity again. Devout priest Gyalo is sent out to the desert to rescue those who escaped religious persecution, including the doubtful Dreamer, Axane. 

Despite the deep differences in their faiths, Gyalo and Axane fall in love over the course of a swoony desert adventure story.  

RELATED: 14 Fantasy Romance Books That Are Sure to Satisfy 

Princess Buttercup & Westley  


The Princess Bride

By William Goldman

These two manage to overcome countless obstacles that come between them, and have an exciting adventure on their way to true love’s kiss. 

The Princess Bride is the sort of epic fantasy romance that satisfies almost any itch a reader might have, leaving you with the warm and cozy feeling that can come from reading about absolute true love. 

RELATED: Inconceivably Great The Princess Bride Quotes 

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  • Westley and Buttercup. Still of The Princess Bride via Act III Communications

June Iparis & Day Wing 


The Legend Trilogy

By Marie Lu

The prodigy and the legend: June and Day come from different worlds in the same city, a brilliant military trainee and a genius born in the slums. Their love is eye opening for both of them, and revolutionary—in more than one sense. 

Amidst the events unfolding around them, both June and Day make decisions that they know will be best for their respective causes, even when those decisions may pull them apart. Day and June’s adventure is heartbreaking and hopeful.  

Related: 28 Must-Read Fantasy Book Series

Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger  


The Harry Potter Series

By J.K. Rowling

Opposites may attract, but one thing's for sure: It's just so satisfying to see two people grow because of one another. Ron and Hermione's growth from 11-year-olds to a young man and woman fighting for the greater good is a perfect example. 

With seven books to showcase the evolution of their relationship, Ron and Hermione are one of the loveliest fantasy examples of childhood-friendship-turned-romance.  

Related: 8 Books Like Harry Potter

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  • Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Still of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 via Warner Bros.

Moon & Jade  


The Cloud Roads: The Books of the Raksura Series

By Martha Wells

When Moon is brought to the Indigo Cloud court, he’s elated to finally find other shapeshifters who are like him…until he realizes he’s there to become mate to Indigo Cloud’s next queen, Jade, and father her children. 

He’s resistant at first, but as Moon learns more about the ways of the Raksura, his people, the love he shares with Jade begins to bloom.   

RELATED: Genre TV Love Triangles Fans Will Never Get Over 

Sissix & Rosemary

one true pairing sci fi and fantasy couples the Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

By Becky Chambers

When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the wormhole-building ship The Wayfarer as a clerk, she's just relieved to be leaving her difficult past behind on Mars. She never expected to become so close to The Wayfarer's crew, particularly to the ship's pilot, Sissix, an Aandrisk female. 

Rosemary and Sissix try to keep their relationship casual — after all, they're part of the same crew, and Aandrisk attitudes towards sex and family are very different from humans' — but that doesn't mean we can't fall totally in love with them both. 

RELATED: Author Becky Chambers Shares Her Sci-Fi Writing Secrets 

Leia Organa & Han Solo  

one true pairing sci fi and fantasy couples han and leia

The Thrawn Trilogy

By Timothy Zahn

Though they've had their ups and downs, Han and Leia are a couple we'll always have a soft spot for. If you also ship the general and her space cowboy, there are plenty of Star Wars books that feature their relationship. 

Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy (also known as the Heir to the Empire trilogy) depicts Han and Leia starting a family and continuing to inspire and stand by each other in the face of new foes, and is considered by many to be one of the finest chapters in the Star Wars expanded universe. 

RELATED: 13 Timothy Zahn Books for Your Sci-Fi Collection 

Dave Wolverton's The Courtship of Princess Leia, set after Return of the Jedi's Battle of Endor, puts their relationship at the forefront, covering the events leading up to their marriage. It also features Han kidnapping Leia in order to win her heart, a plot development that hasn't aged particularly well. 

Both the Thrawn trilogy and The Courtship of Princess Leia are no longer strictly canon —if you're looking for a literary depiction of Han and Leia's romance that's still in-canon, Claudia Gray's Bloodline, set before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has a bittersweet depiction of what the pair's relationship looked like soon before the rise of the First Order.    

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  • Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo. Still of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back via Lucasfilm

Hoban & Zoe Washburn  


Serenity: Those Left Behind

By Joss Whedon

No one in Firefly has a love like Wash and Zoe, the Serenity’s pilot and second-in-command, respectively. 

Those Left Behind explores what happens after the TV series Firefly, which means that readers can know more about what happened with the franchise’s greatest married couple before the events of the concluding movie Serenity occur.  

Related: Free Science Fiction & Fantasy Ebooks to Download This Month

Jace & Clary  

The Mortal Instruments Series

The Mortal Instruments Series

By Cassandra Clare

Clary and Jace are almost as star-crossed as they come: The two start falling for one another after Clary first enters the world of the Shadowhunters, only for a villainous revelation to threaten a love that’s barely begun. 

Filled with action and angst, the Mortal Instruments series follows Jace and Clary over a rocky road to a satisfying conclusion.    

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  • Jace and Clary. Still of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones via Constantin Film Produktion

This post is sponsored by Open Road Media. Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for The Portalist to celebrate the sci-fi and fantasy stories you love.  

Featured still of "Firefly" via 20th Century Fox Television