There are quite a few yearly occurrences that serve as painful and annoying reminders of the fact that, yes, you are still single. Weddings and New Year’s Eve are pretty bad, but nothing is worse than Valentine’s Day (aptly renamed Singles Awareness Day). This year is different though. This year, we at Bookish have you covered with literary plus ones: 10 men and women who would be happy to spend their February 14th with you, if you’ll have them.
Dean Thomas, Harry Potter
If you aren’t already in love with the highly underrated Dean Thomas, then prepare yourself. First, there’s his unwavering loyalty. In the midst of smear campaigns against Harry, Dean continued to support and stand by his friend—from the Triwizard Tournament through Voldemort’s return. Speaking of, when Voldemort came back Dean had to go on the run because he was believed to be muggle-born. Who did he run away with? Griphook! Talk about a baller traveling companion. Dean and Griphook were unfortunately captured and brought back to Malfoy Manor, and in the struggle Dean lost his wand. Even though he was completely unarmed, Dean returned to Hogwarts to stand by his friends and fight Voldemort. Dean literally went into battle wandless against Death Eaters! He certainly lived up to the Gryffindor name. A true sports fanatic, any date with Dean likely would revolve around watching a match (muggle or magical) and drinking Firewhiskey.
Margo Dunne, Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn’s wild thriller Gone Girl is packed with characters whose motives shift as they struggle to keep in place the lies that hold their lives together. But while Nick’s wife Amy famously bemoaned the concept of a “Cool Girl,” Margo sat back and just… was a cool girl. Margo, or “Go” for short (talk about an adorable pet name), owns a bar named The Bar. She tells dirty jokes and isn’t afraid of saying exactly what is on her mind, even if the opinion is unpopular. In a novel of deception, her moral compass points straight and she repeatedly shows loyalty to her brother (though isn’t so blind as to not question his story). A Valentine’s Day date with her would likely involve tossing back whiskey and playing some of the classic board games she keeps at The Bar.
Owen Dunne, The Art of Fielding
“My name’s Owen Dunne. I’ll be your gay mulatto roommate.” This is how Dunne introduces himself to his college roommate and teammate Henry Skrimshander. But Dunne is, as the reader learns very quickly, so much more than that. He’s a quietly brilliant young man with a penchant for doing some very heavy reading in his baseball team’s dugout. His relationship with the president of his college, Guert Affenlight, demonstrates his emotional maturity and wisdom beyond his years. If you want to spend your Valentine’s Day cuddling and curled up with some Kierkegaard, Owen Dunne is the man for you.
Clare Abshire, The Time Traveler’s Wife
Lovers of art, philosophy, and literature will fall head over heels for Clare—especially if they can handle the occasional debate concerning the existence of free will in a predetermined world. After meeting a time traveler, Clare’s view of the world was shaken up and she learned that some things are written in stone. This can work in your favor, though, because if she believes you’re meant to be in her life then she’ll never let you go. A Valentine’s Day with Clare would likely involve a trip to an art museum where she can tell you all about the pieces there, some quiet time spent reading together, and a picnic in a meadow (though, we recommend you bring the food—she isn’t much of a cook).
Clarissa Vaughn, The Hours
Clarissa Vaughn, known to some as Mrs. Dalloway because she shares a first name (and sometimes a disposition) with Virginia Woolf’s most famous protagonist, is a confident, very smart, and compassionate woman who, over the course of one day, can plan one hell of a party. Clarissa is a loving mother and a devoted caretaker. Even as her former lover Richard is dying of AIDS, she’s committed to making sure his literary accomplishments are celebrated. She is deeply insightful, and she loves with abandon. And back to that party… you’ve been warned: Even if she’s agreed to be your Valentine, she’ll want to get the flowers herself.
Eunice Park, Super Sad True Love Story
There is something about Eunice, that’s for sure. Lenny Abramov has the misfortune to fall in love with her just as the world is ending, but it certainly is an understandable impulse. Eunice may bear some of the materialistic impulses of her generation, but she is beautiful, very social media-savvy,and, once she can be convinced to open up, a worthy partner. She runs pretty hot and cold, but for readers who want a love that keeps them on their toes, she may be just perfect.
Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
Wesley gets a lot of credit for storming the castle and saving the princess, but it all would’ve been impossible without the help of Spanish fencer Inigo Montoya. After avenging his father, he’s going to need a new obsession and it might as well be you. Even though he’s spent most of his life in the revenge business, Inigo is polite (allowing the Man in Black to rest before their fight), freely gives praise to those he loves (he compliments Fezzik on his rhymes and strength), and has an extensive vocabulary which he would use to shower you with words of affection. Your Valentine’s Day would likely involve some type of romantic scavenger hunt followed by a duel (that means exactly what you think it means). Think his love for you would ever end? Inconceivable.
Khal Drogo, Game of Thrones
If man buns have your heart in a tizzy, then Khal Drogo may cause you to faint. Not just a fashion statement, the Dothraki people only cut their hair after they are defeated in battle, and Drogo’s hair shows plainly that he has never been defeated in battle (in case his bulging muscles didn’t make that clear already). Though the Dothraki live by a harsh code of honor, Drogo is far from heartless. Once you earn his respect you will become the moon of his life and he will be your sun and stars.
Allegra, Sandman Slim
Allegra goes through quite the transformation throughout the Sandman Slim series. When we first meet her, she’s a video store clerk and while her shaved head shows her inner badass, she rarely has reason to prove just how tough she is. Enter hell-raiser James Stark. He pulls Allegra into a world of demons, vampires, zombies, and angels. Along the way Allegra becomes the apprentice to a 200-year-old immortal alchemist and helps to save the world more than once. One thing is for sure, any date with her is going to be far from normal.
Ansel Guillaume, Sweet Filthy Boy
What could possibly be more romantic than a summer in Paris with a hunky, hunky Frenchman? Not much, except maybe Valentine’s Day with a hunky, hunky Frenchman. It doesn’t hurt if he’s a lawyer, too. Enter Ansel Guillaume, just the man you’ve been waiting for. If you want a Valentine’s Day evening full of steamy sex and maybe even some role-playing, then get comfortable and get acquainted with Ansel Guillaume. Better start brushing up on your French now… although, on second thought, you probably won’t do much talking.