Enemies to Friends and Why it Works

Enemies to Friends and Why it Works: why we love to see opposing characters form unexpected relationships.

Everyone seems to love it when enemies are able to overcome their differences and form a friendship. They may bicker and beat each other up in the beginning, yet readers will confidently claim they’re destined for a happily ever after.

Today I’m highlighting a few reasons why Enemies to Friends keeps showing up in our favorite books.

1.  Friendship is Earned

Friendship is built upon mutual effort, willingness to understand another person’s perspective, and the ability to find common ground. It’s not behavior we’d expect to see opposing parties extend, so developments in this direction are always a surprise. Because moments of connection are hard-won and fraught with personal risk, it’s thrilling to watch the relationship progress. Even if it takes forever.

2. Friend Material

Enemies to Friends narratives can instill us with a stronger sense of humanity. If we can be made to see the admirable qualities in a villainous character, the real world suddenly feels chock-full of friendship-making opportunities. By exploring differing points of view and allowing ourselves to fall in love with characters we don’t necessarily agree with, we come away from these stories with a fresh, more well-rounded perspective.

3. Friends are Equals

Sometimes the “best friend” in works of fiction ends up being a bland and forgotten figure in the background–following after the protagonist like a lovable pet. Enemies to Friends offers us a story with two complex individuals at its core. Because we feel invested in both characters as individuals, we become naturally become more interested in seeing them working together on the same side.


Share your favorite Enemies to Friends stories in the comments, and why they work for you!

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