I know I already wrote at least two posts dealing with the Wicked love triangle. But now I want to talk just how ironic these two songs actually are. The ironies of these songs is what makes the Wicked love triangle my favorite.
“I’m Not That Girl” happens in the very first act, which is sung by Elphaba. It is a heartbreaking and insightful song about unrequited love and it took me quite a while to know the song is heartbreaking. I first saw Wicked in 2006 and I always knew that “I’m Not That Girl” was a sad song. Even the third viewing, which was in 2013 during the month of February, I still didn’t pick up on it. By that point, I already knew heartbreak was part of the musical world thanks to seeing the Les Mis movie the year before in December. But I didn’t actually accept or even grasp the emotion until March of 2013.
Sometime around 2014 and 2015, I made a connection between “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl”. I knew that “On My Own” was a very strong and heartbreaking unrequited love song and realized that “I’m Not That Girl” is also about unrequited love and knew that Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero was not quite as strong as Eponine’s love for Marius. But either way the two songs are unrequited love songs, which makes both heartbreaking songs.
This is the irony of “I’m Not That Girl”. In the scene previously, Elphaba just found out that she loves Fiyero. She noticed a scared lion cub in a cage during class and cast a spell on the class, which didn’t affect Fiyero. They both ran into the woods to free the cub and in that moment, she realized she loves him. It appears as if Elphaba will always have unrequited love for Fiyero and the song is moderately heartbreaking. There is actually no way of knowing how long Elphaba has been in love with Fiyero. The last time I saw Wicked, I began to wonder if Fiyero had a crush on Elphaba without even realizing it. The big fat irony comes from a plot twist in the second act.
In the second act, the unrequited love shifts gears on you. Fiyero hears all of the rude comments about Elphaba and cannot believe Glinda is supporting all of this. He realizes that he loves Elphaba and there is no way of knowing when he fell in love with Elphaba even when there are clues in act one. So because the unrequited love shifted to Glinda, it is a bit ironic to feel heartbroken during “I’m Not That Girl”.
So after all of this mess, Fiyero goes out with Elphaba. So in “As Long As Your’e Mine”, they are officially a couple. This is something you just wouldn’t see coming. All of these plot twists make the love triangle in Wicked so difficult to interpret. Even though “I’m Not That Girl” will always make me feel heartbroken, there is still the irony in the fact that Elphaba will eventually end up with Fiyero, which leads to the irony of “As Long As Your’e Mine”.
This love triangle adds an incredible texture and emotional value to Wicked. This is the only love triangle in the world of musicals that has major plot twists. It does seem like Elphaba will always have unrequited love for Fiyero, but that never has been the case. Her story doesn’t revolve around unrequited love at all. Due to “For Good” being more emotional than the heartbreaking and insightful “I’m Not That Girl”, it shows how much more important the friendship is in Wicked compared to the love triangle.