The Greatest Literary Broships of All Time

Posted by Julia McCarthy

Dudes and dudettes, let us be real for a moment: life can be pretty gnarly at times. Doubly so if you happen to be a character in some nerd’s novel (what’s the deal with a bildungsroman, anyway?). When the proverbial shizzle hits the fan, you’re gonna need one righteous support system to safely lead you past the core conflict into a groovy dénouement. In the most trying of times, that is when you truly require a great bro.

Bros can come in all shapes and sizes. The important thing is that you find yourself a homie that will stick by your side through thick and thin. Sure, you may get all up in each other’s grills from time to time, but—at the end of the day—your bro will unfailingly come through for you, every time. So, without further ado, let’s celebrate some of the most epic literary broships of all time.

Merry and Pippin (Lord of the Rings): I’d sit down to elevenses with these two righteous hobbits any day of the week. As the youngest members of the Fellowship, Merry and Pip have been through their fair share of trials together: getting snagged by some nasty Uruk-hai, tree-hugging groovy old Ents, and dealing with lame-o’s like Denethor and the Witch-king of Angmar. Despite all these distractions from the more noble and chillaxing pursuit of smoking some good pipe-weed, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took maintain the true spirit of Broship through thick and thin.

(Pssst, check out Gingerhaze’s infamous Broship of the Ring to see more Tolkien-inspired broships.)

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza (Don Quixote): What says “utter broship devotion” more explicitly than acting as squire to a dude determined to get all primeval on some windmills? Sure, you can argue that this is a classic case of delusion on both sides, but—be real—wouldn’t you appreciate a sidekick that had your back despite all your flaws?

Everybody needs an ever-faithful pal who is willing to put up with the occasional chivalrous lapse in judgement, am I right?

Frog and Toad (Frog and Toad are Friends): Frog and Toad are friends: it even says so on the cover! Theirs is a broship of everyday support and everlasting patience: When Frog is feeling a bit green around the gills (metaphorically speaking), Toad is there to distract him with a story.

When Toad is rocking a particularly gnarly bathing suit, Frog is committed to keeping a straight face. And are not these little acts of love perhaps the greatest way to show a bro how “hoppy” they make you?


Gilgamesh and Enkidu (Epic of Gilgamesh): Can you picture having a bro tailor-made by the gods to keep you from losing your cool and harshing the Universal mellow? Talk about a necessary companion for every frat party! After duking it out at first encounter, Gilgamesh and Enkidu find a mutual respect for one another that will take them across at least twelve tablets of varying misadventures.

Considering that their story is one of the earliest surviving works of literature, it seems only fitting that this broship is classified as an “Epic” (natch!).

Holmes and Watson (Sherlock Holmes): If you have a pulse, you’ve seen this duo of dynamic dudes in countless iterations: big-screen heartthrobs, animated mice, gender-bent TV stars, comic book Muppets—the list goes on. At the heart of it all, though, is a bromance to end all bromances. For where is a brainy geek without his down-to-Earth doc?

How can one accurately sleuth without a trusted companion? Who else will keep you from looking like a total spaz in front of that hot Adler chick?

Parzival and Aech (Ready Player One): The broship between Parzival and Aech spans the physical limitations of the Universe. No, seriously: they’re BFFs in the virtual landscape of OASIS: a massive, multiplayer online simulation. Despite spending most of their gametime as rivals in an epic quest for glory, guts, and gaming, these two nerds have always got each other’s pixelated backs.

Spoiler: It gets even better when you realize that the brains behind Aech is one of the coolest ladies in the world—virtual and real.

Ron, Harry, Hermione (Harry Potter): Well, it doesn’t get more brotastic than this trio. Whether they’re dealing with the simple things in life—like trolls in the girl’s bathroom—or some of the heavier issues of adolescence—like a murderous, corrupt wizard back from near-death, hellbent on destroying everything that the world holds dear—these three navigate the ups and downs of the wizarding world with utter devotion.

And, yeah, maybe they get on each other’s nerves once in a while, but they always come through in the end: destroying shards of souls trapped in creepy lockets, or employing spells to keep one another from plummeting to their death on a possessed broom. You know, the things any bro would do for their bestie.