If you’ve been around my blog for more than a few seconds, the chances are you’ve heard me scream about fictional siblings. (I suppose I sometimes scream about real siblings–namely my own–but we’re here to talk about stories today.) Sibling stories are my jam. But do you know what else is my jam?
When siblings find spouses and start families of their own. Because THAT, my dear friends, is where the COUSINS come in.
I grew up very close to my cousins (both geographically and emotionally), and I was very confused when I realized not everyone is best friends with their cousins? Not everyone even has cousins??
I adore a good story about cousins, and there are far too few of them, in my humble opinion. (I say this, but I still haven’t read Eight Cousins, which literally has cousins in the title, so what am I even doing with my life.) If you’re like me and always on the lookout for a good story featuring cousin relationships, observe! Here I have compiled a handy-dandy list of 10 sets of cousins you should all acquaint yourselves with posthaste.
(I was about to say the list is in no particular order, and then I remembered I put them in order of the art form they belong to [books, movies, etc.] But beyond THAT, they’re in no particular order)
Cousins from Books
1. Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings
The absolute quintessential cousin relationship. Inseparable, excel at getting each other into and out of trouble, just the best. I don’t even know what else to say about them. I’m pretty sure most if not all of you already know and love Merry and Pippin, so I don’t feel like I need to convince you of anything. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how excellent they are.
2. [ ] and [ ] from The Queen’s Thief series
Yes, those brackets are empty. Why, you ask?
Because this series is like milk in that it spoils easily. The identity of the cousins is a spoiler for the first book. But if you’ve read the series, you know who I’m talking about, and aren’t they wonderful? [Because yes, I’m talking about the wonderful cousins, not the ones who are always lowkey trying to kill each other.] There is so much loyalty and concern and banter–not to mention the scene where they’re both under the same cloak in ACoK. If that’s not accurate cousin representation, I don’t know what is.
3. Sophie and Cody and Brian from The Wanderer
Unlike previous cousins on this list (or my own cousins), these three did not grow up together. They hardly know each other when they set off on a voyage across the Atlantic with their uncles. Over the course of the book, they sometimes clash but ultimately become friends and I APPROVE.
4. Edmund/Lucy and Eustace from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Talk about cousins clashing. Eustace is an obnoxious know-it-all jerk. Lucy is the sweetest and tries to be nice while Edmund is like, “ehhhhhh”. But WE LOVE EUSTACE DEARLY. His character arc is beautiful and he is one of my favorite children in the whole Narnia series. (You thought I was going to talk about cousin relationships, and now I’m just squawking about Eustace.)
5. Daniel and Beatriz and Joaquin from All the Crooked Saints
In a nutshell? WHOLESOME. These three are so close and care about each other so much. Something Bad is happening to Daniel, and no one is supposed to try to help for Reasons, to which Beatriz and Joaquin say NOPE. They absolutely will not abandon their cousin. Cue radio broadcasts, forays across the desert, and my HEART SCREAMING.
Cousins from Movies
6. Mirabel/Luisa/Isabella and Dolores/Camilo/Antonio from Encanto
This one gets bonus points for being the biggest group of cousins on the list (but it’s still only six? my cousins beat that EASILY). While the cousin relationships aren’t the main point of the movie, the cousin vibes are present and they are strong. And Mirabel’s relationship with Antonio reminds me of my relationship with my dear first-cousin-once-removed, which made me quite happy (anything that makes me think of my first-cousin-once-removed makes me happy, because he is a DEAR [I mean, he’s three so he’s not a sweet, perfect angel or anything, but I love him dearly]).
7. Ash and Kristofferson from Fantastic Mr. Fox
….How is this one so good.
Kristofferson has come to stay with his aunt, uncle, and cousin because his father has double pneumonia. He is slightly younger than Ash, but much taller and more athletic and basically better at everything, and Ash HATES HIM. Did I mention that Kristofferson is the sweetest child ever and says things like, “Beg pardon?” Did I further mention that Ash is terribly insecure and just wants his father to be proud of him instead of Kristofferson?
Ash is a complete jerk to Kristofferson, but you feel for both of them, and rejoice as they eventually become friends.
Did I mention it’s hilarious?
Cousins from Broadway
8. Usnavi and Sonny from In the Heights
Usnavi is such an endearing dork. His lil cousin Sonny works at his store and they are cousin bros. They don’t really have any other family besides Abuela (who isn’t really their abuela, but she practically raised them, this corner is her esquela–) and the way they look out for each other…I have feelings. And the part in “Carnaval del Barrio” when Sonny’s like, “WHAT you’re LEaVInG?????” And in “Champagne” when Vanessa says, “And it’s not like Sonny’s got role models”??? MY HEART.
Cousins from…the realm of storytelling via the internet?
9. Caroline/Ada and Jude from The Comic Space Opera
I just recently got back into reading The Comic Space Opera. I read season 1 a while back, and now I’ve finally started on season 2, and HOW I HAVE MISSED THE COUSIN INTERACTION. Jude is grumpiness incarnate (I love him dearly), and Caroline is full of exuberance and sass and song. She is an expert at reducing him to “a bundle of writhing misery”, and it’s great fun. (Over the long months between finishing season 1 and starting season 2, I could frequently be found singing “I don’t wa-ant, a purple sweater…”)
And speaking of grumpiness incarnate…
10. Noah/Idony and Avidan from The Silver Eye
Avidan is the prince of Gallitan. Both his parents died when he was a baby, and his adopted dad is…not great. He is SIXTEEN, poor child. He needs love and support
and MORE PAGES, please.
The Good news: He has older cousins!
The Bad news:
So he has Idony and she is great and supportive and 100% a great influence on his life. We love her.
…And then he has Noah (aka grumpiness incarnate part 2). Noah cares a lot about his cousin. He wants to help and support him and be the family he so desperately needs, but…sometimes he’s really not what Avidan needs. Like REALLY not.
I can’t say much more without spoiling anything, but I love all three of them SO MUCH and I have FEELINGS, okay?? Go read it. (And then support Laura on Patreon so you can see the AVIDAN PAGE IN NOAH’S SKETCH BOOK BECAUSE IT BREAKS MY HEART)
There are many wonderful fictional cousins, but the world still needs more. Go forth and write cousin-oriented stories everyone.
Do you love cousin stories? Which ones do you love that aren’t on my list (give me all the recommendations, please)? Are you acquainted with any of these cousins? Do you prefer cousin banter or cousin angst? Or both?? Do tell!