10 Sets of First-rate Fictional Cousins

Hello, friends!

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.

*appreciates intensely*

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!

26 responses to “10 Sets of First-rate Fictional Cousins”

  1. Wonderful post!! I was so excited when it popped up in my feed. 🙂 I think we’ve talked about our mutual love of cousin stories before! I grew up close (geographically and emotionally) to some of my cousins, too, so I can absolutely relate to the confusion of not everyone having that. Like, who do you hang out with, then??? XD

    Oh, Merry and Pippin. *joins intense appreciation*. I always forget they’re cousins–the dynamic should remind me, lol!

    [] and [] from TQT are the best, and I shall scream about them forever! HOW DID MWT GET THEM SO PERFECT??? (Although honestly, the ones who are lowkey trying to kill each other aren’t bad cousin representations either, lol.)

    Eustace. ❤ I always forget about him and the Pevensies being cousins, too! They're so lovely together.

    YAS the Encanto fam! (But my cousins + my family beat them in number easily, too. WE NEED HUGER GROUPS OF COUSINS.) The cousin vibes are beautiful, especially between Mirabel and Antonio, but also Mirabel and Camilo, honestly? And her and Dolores? That part where she sets Dolores up makes me smile. 🙂 (Her sisters don't get in on the cousin action as much…)

    You really should read Eight Cousins! The cousins vibes are real and highly enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Who indeed do people hang out with if not cousins? I am still confused??
      I know! I forget that they’re cousins sometimes too, but whenever I remember I’m like, “Ah, makes sense” XD
      I KNOW, AREN’T THEY GREAT. (It’s too true though. Sometimes cousins just want to kill each other XD)
      Oh, I FORGOT about the part at the end with Dolores XD I love the way Mirabel sets her up. So good.
      I’m gonna read Eight Cousins! I promise! *frantically searching the bookshelves, because I KNOW I’ve seen it around here somewhere…*

      Like

  2. I love this! I grew up fairly close to my cousins–though not geographically–and I always find it peculiar how often cousins are neglected in fiction. We need more cousin reps, okay.
    MERRY AND PIPPIN. *intensely appreciates*
    I sadly am not super familiar with most of the others? I mean, I’ve heard of all of the books/movies/thingummys, just haven’t read/watched/ummmm them all. I do love Eustace though. I know in general the Voyage movie is considered to be non-canon and dreadful, but I will give it this: Eustace was awesome. I was quite sad that they did not make a Silver Chair starring him and like…I dinna ken, young Saoirse Ronan as Jill or something. XD But I digress.
    Let’s see, what other ones do I know? Hmm. I’m decently familiar with Encanto and its family dynamics, despite never having seen it, just because it’s all the rage on the internet, or was, and I do very much like the cousin dynamics. And I just like the fact that there are cousin dynamics. Can you believe, for all Disney movies are supposed to be focused on family, this is…*thinks*…maybe the first? Disney movie to have large cousin groups? I mean, what are cousins, chopped liver?!
    Also, Jude and Caroline are delightful. Caroline is a chaotic happy mess and Jude is hilariously Done With Life and I love it. XD
    You really should read Eight Cousins, if you like cousin groups, and you don’t mind most of the cousins being boys. It is highly entertaining, and you have both wholesome and angsty and adorable-mentor-y cousin vibes. Plus, it’s larger than any of the cousin groups on this list. (As…the title might indicate lol.)
    Y’know. *scratches head again* come to think of it, I’m slowly realizing that two out of my three current WIP story franchises have cousins in them…? Of course, I haven’t actually started the one project, and on the other (my collab with Belle Anne) the cousins spend most of the book separate, but there are cousins nonetheless. There need to be more though. *considers frenetically adding cousins to her stories*

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is truly shameful how neglected cousins often are in fiction.
      YES. I sort of despise the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie and would like to forget it exists EXCEPT that EUSTACE WAS PERFECT. Which makes it all the more frustrating. You cast the perfect Eustace and still managed to make the surrounding movie terrible? Eustace deserves better!
      I honestly can’t think of a single other Disney movie with cousins in it. And maybe there’s one I’m not thinking of, but this is a crime? Encanto is the SIXTIETH Walt Disney Animation Studios feature film. Did it really take them SIXTY MOVIES to give us some COUSINS??
      Caroline and Jude are absolute GOLD. I will never not want to read about them
      I do plan to read Eight Cousins! (Particularly after that description XD) I am all for large cousin groups, and I can’t actually believe I’ve gone this long without reading a book whose title is literally synonymous with “a large group of cousins”
      Cousins separated are STILL COUSINS. You have written cousins. I commend you, Grim. *shakes your hand solemnly*

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The cousins, Oh ALL THE COUSINS. This post makes me so happy. I love them all so intensely. 🙂 MERRY AND PIPPIN ARE THE SWEETEST. And how are Ash and Kristoferson so darn lovable? And of course Noah/Idony and Avidan are never far from my mind currently…

    I thought of another one! (Though it’s spoilery) You know the cousins from Nicholas Nickleby??

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MERRY AND PIPPIN. [] and []. I can’t. I just can’t. They are so LOVELY and FUNNY and give me FEELINGS.

    I shall add my voice to the chorus telling you to read Eight Cousins, heh. It’s a very good cousin book. I literally lost count of how many times I reread it as a kid; it was my favorite Louisa May Alcott book besides Under the Lilacs which was my OFFICIAL favorite but which I didn’t reread nearly as many times as Eight Cousins so did I actually know what I was saying??… Also it’s more cousins than any of the ones on your list. It IS weird how few cousins there tend to be, that’s true. Like I have at least a dozen? (Not gonna bother counting right now, lol) And that’s JUST on my dad’s side? Because my mom only has one (unmarried) sister. So. Where are the big cousin families, hmm, literature???

    Well, I already wanted to read The Wanderer because of SAILING and your sister’s review, but there are also COUSINS?? What riches. This book has no choice but to be good.

    HOW ARE DANIEL AND BEATRIZ AND JOAQUIN SO PURE THOUGH. I really love how they aren’t gonna abandon Daniel. Because, idk, they’re kids and it’s scary and how DO they even help him? But they love him too much to not find a way. Like it’s one thing to refuse not to help someone when there’s a clear way to help them. It’s another entirely when you don’t even know HOW to help them. I just love it so much.

    Caroline and Jude, though. The perfection. Why is grumpiness incarnate the recipe for a perfect character? Because it IS, don’t tell me it isn’t.

    You are making me so sad for Avidan and Noah. (Not that it takes much to do that. You just have to mention them, pretty much, especially together.) Their relationship is so wonderful but so awful. Noah could be exactly what Avidan needs, but he’s definitely exactly the opposite as well…*screams because FEELINGS* It’s really hard to talk about TSE without screaming.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, I always forget Mary and Pippin are cousins?? (Chaos cousins. The best kind.)

    I got Avidan on the TSE personality quiz but also that might just be because I like him so much, poor neglected grump, so I definitely agree with you that he needs more love (and pages). Idony is lovely and we won’t hear anything said against her, buuuut… she kind of has been shown to choose Enel over Avidan, which – Enel needs support too, the baby candy cane stick, but if just one person could take Avidan under their wing that would be great. XD

    And so many people have recommended The Queen’s Thief (with much screaming, obviously)… I need to up my dedication to the Quest to get my hands on it!

    What an excellent post, Erik! I think part of the appeal of cousins may be that you can have big families and combine to get twice the size overall? I dont know. But I don’t think about cousin characters nearly enough, so thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yess, we love Chaos Cousins.
      Avidan needs so much love/pages/hugs, the grumpy dear. And yes, you’re absolutely right about Idony. Enel needs the love and support (I love him dearly, the small ‘trauma?-what-trauma?-I’m-fine-HAHAHAHAHA’ child), but also AVIDAN. (Honestly, I just really want Enel and Avidan to be able to be friends again someday. PLEASE.)
      The Queen’s Thief IS quite good. (I mean, come on, there are cousins in it)
      This is SO TRUE. Cousins mean combining families. I love to read about a group of siblings, but what’s even better is TWO groups of siblings. (Actually THREE groups if you count the parents–which we really should because aunts and uncles are also excellent)

      Like

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