Is There More than A Love Triangle In Wicked?

It is very obvious in Wicked that a love triangle is in it, which is very ironic and complicated, but is there more in Wicked than just a love triangle? This musical focuses so much on Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda.

Possible Spoilers:

You first know there is romance in Wicked during Dancing Through Life. Boq asks Glinda to the school dance. We learn that Boq actually loves Glinda, but Glinda asks Boq to take Nessa to the dance since Glinda wants to ask Fiyero. So right now Boq loves Glinda and Glinda supposedly is starting to love Fiyero. But at the dance things get even more challenging. We now learn that Nessa loves Boq. So now Nessa loves Boq, Boq loves Glinda, and Glinda loves Fiyero. So right now we have a bit of a love quadrangle.

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Elphaba starts getting involved in the picture starting with the lion cub incident. In class, a professor is starting to do an experiment on a scared lion cub and out of anger, Elphaba casts a spell on the class and it doesn’t affect Fiyero. The two run off to free the lion cub. In this scene, Elphaba realizes she loves Fiyero for the first time. It would be easy at this point to see the musical is only home to a love triangle. Elphaba feels like she isn’t good enough for Fiyero because she is green and she knows that her best friend loves him. There are hints in the lion cub scene and after “I’m Not That Girl” that maybe Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba, but not realizing it.

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Things get even more complicated in act II. During “Thank Goodness”, Fiyero hears rumors about Elphaba and in this moment, he realizes that he loves Elphaba. So he ends up breaking up with Glinda and searches for Elphaba. Now the unrequited love has shifted from Elphaba to Glinda, which really challenges things.

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The whole love situation in Wicked is way more than a love triangle. Even though it is more than a love triangle, a love triangle still exists. That is due to both Glinda and Elphaba being in love with Fiyero. So the whole situation is that Nessa loves Boq, Boq loves Glinda, and Glinda and Elphaba love Fiyero. So four characters in Wicked go through unrequited love, but isn’t well noticed by Boq or Nessa. The unrequited love seems mainly focused on Elphaba in act I and she is able to move on from Fiyero and later Fiyero and Elphaba end up a couple. Elphaba’s story revolves around friendship and not unrequited love.

This whole love pentagon thing in Wicked only adds to the complexity. The only unrequited love song is “I’m Not That Girl”, which why it is easy to overlook the love pentagon and only see a love triangle. That song is sung twice: The first being the full song and sung by Elphaba and the second time it is sung by Glinda and as a reprise. Due to Nessa and Boq only being secondary characters, you might not understand their importance to the story and you might easily overlook them. After all, the story is truly about the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda.

So do you feel like Wicked’s romance is more than love triangle?

 

Favorite Male Characters: Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote a list of my favorite male characters. Today, I will explain why I love them.

Possible Spoilers:

First up is Jean Valjean. He is the protagonist of Les Misérables. I love him because of his transformation. He is an ex-convict who has been imprisoned unjustly. He was sentenced for five years because he stole a loaf of bread to save his sister’s son. Because of trying to escape, he was imprisoned for nineteen years. When he was released, he was a hateful, harsh, and angry man. He realized that society was treat him poorly because he was an ex-convict. Through an act of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness by the bishop, Valjean was able to start his life fresh.

Years laters, he started to live by the example by the example. He was no longer angry, harsh, and hateful. He began to show compassion towards the poor. He decided to help the prostitute, Fantine, after he intervened to prevent her from being arrested. On her deathbed, Valjean promised to raise her daughter, Cosette, as his own. Valjean has this strong spirituality and is one of the reasons why Les Mis is inspirational.

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Another set of Les Mis male characters I love are Gavroche, Enjolras and the students. They are a group of revolutionaries who are planning to start a rebellion. They stand up for what they believe and they continue to stay passionate and hopeful. Even when they know they are going to lose, they still are passionate towards their cause. Of all the students, Enjolras is their leader and the most passionate about the cause.

A lot of their songs are passionate and hopeful, but in “Drink With Me”, they feel quite hopeless because they know are going to lose, but they always stay passionate. I love how they decide to take in Gavroche, a heroic boy. Gavroche is a Thenardier and the parents become his family.

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A group of characters that is similar to the students in Les Mis are the Newsies. Just like the students, they stand up for what they believe in. The Newsies are like this big one family with Jack Kelly as their leader. Of all the Newsies, my favorites are Jack and Crutchie. I love the bond they have for each other, which is clearly shown during “Santa Fe (Prologue). You discover Jack is quite protective of Crutchie. Jack is a well rounded character because he has a hobby of drawing and he eventually goes through inner conflict after seeing Crutchie being arrested after this big fight breaks out.

In Wicked, I love the character of Fiyero. But the problem is I cannot exactly pinpoint why I love him. I don’t know if has something to do with his songs or his costumes of something completely different. He starts out the story with no really caring much about anything. He is involved in a very complicated and ironic love triangle with Elphaba and Glinda. I honestly wish I know why I love this character.

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Another male character I love is the Beast. I love how complex of a character he is. I love how he eventually learned to love. At the beginning, the Beast started out as angry. I don’t blame especially after he had to live his life as beast the enchantress put a spell on him. He had to live his life as a beast and would stay that way if he didn’t learn to love. But when he met Belle, everything changed. Belle taught him the importance of love and she learned to see that is more to the Beast than the temper he always seems to have.

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What are some your favorite male musical characters?

Letter to Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda

Dear Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda

You three are my favorite characters in Wicked. Elphaba: I know exactly why I love you. But Glinda and Fiyero, that reason is so hard to pinpoint. Elphaba, I feel like I relate to you so much, but of course I don’t relate to everything. Elphaba, like you I am smart, determined, talkative, unique, and believe in equality, and staying true you yourself. Glinda, I have some reasons why I love you. A huge part of it is your friendship with Elphaba and I love your comic side a lot. But Fiyero, I honestly cannot pinpoint the exact reason why I love you. Fiyero, I feel like it has something to do with the love triangle, but there has to be other reasons.

You three, I decided to talk about you three today due to the love triangle. I love the love triangle in this musical. You three create the most complex and fascinating one. That is due to what happens in act two. Glinda, you started out being in a relationship with Fiyero. But Elphaba, you started out with feeling unrequited love for Fiyero. But in act two, the tables are turned. Now Glinda, Fiyero broke up with you and began a relationship with Elphaba. Fiyero, I feel like you had a crush on Elphaba in act one without even realizing it.

To be honest, it took a less complex love triangle to understand this one better. I honestly am not joking about that. In Les Mis, there is a love triangle and there is no unrequited love shift and the unrequited love is felt even stronger and even more heartbreaking. “I’m Not That Girl” started out as being sad and eventually became heartbreaking. For the longest time ever, “I’m Not That Girl” stayed sad. That was due to not knowing about heartbreak growing up. Les Mis introduced me to that emotion. At first, I also didn’t realized “On My Own” was heartbreaking and that song is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius and at first, I didn’t see the heartbreak either, but as I got to know that character more and more, I realized that song was heartbreaking.

I know you three may not be familiar with Les Mis. But it helped me better understand your love triangle. Due to the parallel between “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl”, your love triangle strengthened and made me love it even more. That realization made me feel even more vulnerable to the story. Due to the unrequited love shift, it is fascinating to watch. Besides, you were the first love triangle I was fully aware of.

What are your thoughts on the Wicked love triangle?

Letter to Fiyero

Dear Fiyero,

You are one of my favorite characters in Wicked. I honestly have no idea why I love you as a character. I don’t know if it is song-related, costume-related or is something about you that really stands out. I feel like it partially has something to do with the love triangle. You are the one that makes the love triangle really confusing. You start out by going out with Glinda and then you eventually break up with her and start a relationship with Elphaba. That unrequited love shift is so confusing, but I don’t even know if you were aware that you are part of a love triangle in the first place. I feel like in act I, you had a crush on Elphaba, but didn’t even realize it at the time. It can be so frustrating  loving a character without knowing the exact reason. I hope I eventually find the reason why I love you as a character.

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Yes, this letter sounds crazy. I enjoy writing letters to characters on this blog. But I decided to go with a character that I don’t even know how to analyze that well and someone I don’t know why I love them.

“I’m Not That Girl” Analysis

When I mean “I’m Not That Girl”, I am only referring to when Elphaba sings it. This song is very parallel to “On My Own”, which is why I decided to analyze it today.

Just like “On My Own”, “I’m Not That Girl”, is an unrequited love song. “On My Own” is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius and “I’m Not That Girl” is about Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero. As a matter of fact, “I’m Not That Girl” was my first exposure to unrequited love. I knew it was a song about a girl who loves a boy who doesn’t love her back, but I didn’t know it was called unrequited love. Well, in middle school and high school, I interpreted the song as sad. I didn’t see it beyond sad and couldn’t see anything else about it.  That was how much I understood the song and eventually I found the heartbreak in that song.

Even in 2013 when I saw the show for the third time, this song stayed sad. I was aware of the emotion of heartbreak by then, but still couldn’t find in “I’m Not That Girl”. I don’t remember when it was but I soon made the connection to “On My Own”. When I realized it was about the same thing as “On My Own”, I picked up on the fact that the song is heartbreaking. But it wasn’t until I memorized the lyrics where I realized the song has a lot of insight built into it.

In my opinion, “I’m Not That Girl” is not quite as heartbreaking as “On My Own”. The melody of “I’m Not That Girl” even sells that opinion. The melody stays very consistent throughout. The song still has some innocence built into it with the right amount of vulnerability, fragility, and insight. The melody doesn’t sell as much strength and power as “On My Own”. I feel like my understanding of sad in musicals really shows its journey through “I’m Not That Girl”. I feel like “I’m Not That Girl” is moderately heartbreaking. The song once started out as being sad and eventually became heartbreaking over time.

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I don’t exactly know how to analyze this song. By understanding that “I’m Not That Girl” is heartbreaking, but not quite as heartbreaking as “On My Own” shows that even heartbreak is layered. Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero is not as important as Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius.

I love the scene leading up to “I’m Not That Girl”. Elphaba and Fiyero are in the woods about to free a lion cub. Previously a new professor was about to an experiment on the lion cub and out of anger, Elphaba cast a spell on the class and it didn’t affect Fiyero. Well they run into the woods and through their conversation, Elphaba realized she loves Fiyero, but her best friend, Glinda, loves him as well. In that entire scene, I feel like Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba, but didn’t’ realize it. Because Elphaba realized she loves Fiyero literally just moments before she sings that unrequited love song, the song doesn’t even have room to be fully heartbreaking.

Just like “On My Own”, there are lyrics that are quite similar. One such place is where Elphaba sings “every so soften we long to steal to the land that what might have been” and that is a place of fantasy, but right after that she sings “but doesn’t soften the ache we feel when reality sets back in”, Elphaba realizes that her best friend loves Fiyero. That is just like the instances in “On My Own” when Eponine realizes that the reality is that is only in fantasy that she can be with Marius.

Just like “On My Own”, I feel like “I’m Not That Girl” goes beyond the unrequited love. There is a lyric in there that goes “I wasn’t born for the rose or pearl” and I interpreted the lyric as Elphaba doesn’t think she’s good enough for Fiyero because she’s green. For me, it is a bit ironic feeling heartbroken in “I’m Not That Girl” due to the fact that she will eventually get Fiyero in the end, but I have to feel heartbroken because Elphaba doesn’t know it yet.

So overall, I find “I’m Not That Girl” less heartbreaking than “On My Own”. I feel more innocence in “I’m Not That Girl” and even less strength and power. My understanding of “I’m Not That Girl”  was strengthened thanks to the help of another song from another musical. That shows that musicals rely on each other. I feel like “On My Own” helped me understand “I’m Not That Girl” because “On My Own” is a more intense and strong form of unrequited love. I feel like it is easier for me to analyze “On My Own” than “I’m Not That Girl”. A big reason for that is that Eponine’s story revolves around unrequited love while Elphaba’s story revolves around her friendship with Glinda.

Parallels in Musicals

Yesterday, I talked about why musicals rely on each other. This post is kind of similar, but this post I am going to be talking about parallels that you can find in musicals.

One parallel is “Memory” and “I Dreamed A Dream”. These two songs are from Les Mis and Cats. “Memory” is sung by Grizabella in Cats and “I Dreamed A Dream” is sung by Fantine in Les Mis. Both songs are heartbreaking songs and reflect on the past. Both Grizabella and Fantine do not have very good lives at all so in both of these songs, they think about the past and realize just how worse their lives have gotten. In my opinion, “I Dreamed A Dream” is a stronger song and part of that is due to the fact that I have a stronger emotional connection to Les Mis

Without “I Dreamed A Dream”, I never would have realized “Memory” is a heartbreaking song. I did see Cats when I was in elementary school, but have no recollection of seeing. However, I do remember I always loved the song “Memory”.

Another parallel is between “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl”, two unrequited love songs from Les Mis and Wicked. They are both heartbreaking songs and without “On My Own”, I never would have realized “I’m Not That Girl” is heartbreaking, but at least I knew the song was sad.”On My Own” is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius and “I’m Not That Girl” is about Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero.

In my personal opinion, “On My Own” from Les Mis is stronger and more heartbreaking than “I’m Not That Girl” from Wicked. The thing with Elphaba is that literally just moments before she sings “I’m Not That Girl”, she realizes that she loves Fiyero and as a result, the song does not have room to be fully heartbreaking and her story doesn’t revolve around unrequited love, but instead her friendship with Glinda. In my opinion, this song goes beyond the unrequited love. One of her lines is “I wasn’t born for the rose or pearl” and through those lines, you realize that Elphaba doesn’t think that she is good enough for Fiyero because she is green  and outside of that line, she realizes that her best friend, Glinda, also loves Fiyero and that line is part of why “I’m Not That Girl” is an insightful song. In this song, you need to be quite vulnerable, but at the same time you need to keep some innocence alive due to who Elphaba is at this point in the story.

“On My Own” is stronger and more powerful than “I’m Not That Girl” and as a result you feel even more heartbroken. Unlike Elphaba’s story, Eponine’s story revolves around her unrequited love for Marius. There is a big reason why she loves him so much. Outside of Marius, Eponine’s life is extremely tragic and heartbreaking. Her parents are the Thenardiers, who don’t even love her and horribly abuse her. She was raised to be a criminal and all she saw was darkness growing up. She was completely left to fend for herself on the streets. So in this burst of light, Marius entered her life and for the first time someone treated her with kindness. Because Marius is literally all she has in life, it explains why she loves him so much. She literally will do anything for the one she loves.

In “On My Own”, Eponine accepts the fact that Marius will never be hers, but she still decides to stick by his side no matter what. In my opinion, this song goes beyond the unrequited love. One of Eponine’s lines is “without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to” and you do realize just how empty her life is and another line is “a world full of happiness that I never known” and this shows just how unhappy she is and how her life has gotten even worse over the years. Those two lines shows just how insightful the song is.

Besides the “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl” parallel and the “Memory” and “I Dreamed a Dream”, there are other parallels in the world of musicals. Musicals vary so much in storyline, character, melodies, and emotion. It is crazy how one musical song can help you understand another musical song.

Ironies of “I’m Not That Girl” and “As Long As Your’e Mine”

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 midway in 2013 or sometime during 2014, 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.

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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”.

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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.