There was a time where I did not even know about love triangles in musicals. It was only couples- there was not a third wing. One musical would make me pick up on love triangles, and that musical was Wicked. It is between Elphaba x Fiyero x Glinda. It actually adds an incredible texture to the musical and actually , in my opinion, strengthens the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda.
As with love triangles, there is always a couple and the third person has to put up with unrequited love. That is what tends to happen. In Wicked, Fiyero arrives and Elphaba can’t stand him. So it kinda of seems as if it will just be Fiyero x Glinda as a couple: we think they will stay together for the rest of the musical. A few months later- I think- something changes in him. He begins to soften up a bit and in class after a new teacher arrives with a scared lion cub in a cage, Elphaba is furious and accidentally casts a spell on the entire class, which for some strange reason does NOT affect Fiyero.
The Lion Cub Scene is very important on BOTH Elphaba and Fiyero. You actually realize that Elphaba has started to fall in love with Fiyero: now we officially have a love triangle. But there’s more- look closely at the way the two are interacting with each other: there is a strong connection and they are playfully sort of teasing each other- not as in being friends-as in a little bit more. It almost seems as if Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba. At this point, he still deep down doesn’t seem to be aware; Elphaba can’t pick up on this either. Ever since- he still can’t stop thinking about the Lion Cub incident- could Fiyero be falling in love with Elphaba?
Back to the Lion Cub Scene itself at the end- when Fiyero asks her, why the spell did not affect him, she was not able to answer. I actually do not think she was going to anyways because of Glinda’s relationship to Fiyero. She was trying to not steal him away from Glinda- she would not let a boy get in way. So- that is a strong trait in a friendship- loyalty. You really have gotten convinced that it will stay Glinda x Fiyero and that Elphaba will have the unrequited love from start to finish. Elphaba did get the entire unrequited love song, “I’m Not That Girl”- during that song, she found out just a few moments earlier that she had feelings for him and she still had innocence so that song can’t be vulnerable to the point of that innocence being lost- knowing the result of the love triangle can make feeling the emotions of unrequited love a bit harder to feel.
Well- so act II. Will things stay the same? Do we still have the same couple or will there we some switch? Fiyero listened to all of the rumors spread about Elphaba. While listening, he realized something: he actually loves Elphaba, not Glinda. So—–now we have an unrequited love shift going on. He is going to leave Glinda for Elphaba. Here is why you had to pay close attention to scenes such as the Lion Cub Scene- there were hints that maybe something was going on. Of course, Glinda was hurt, but like Elphaba—-she was NOT going to take Fiyero away: so these two best friends would never let a boy get in way of their friendship: it shows through how they both respond to the unrequited love. It is kinda of more difficult to feel the emotions for Glinda because she gets the shortened reprise of “I’m Not That Girl”.
Elphaba and Fiyero is a strong and wonderful couple. Their song, “As Long as Your’e Mine” is mystical and mature. These two showed their love for each other after the song. They ended up protecting one another- Fiyero literally told the guards to “Let the Green Girl Go”, which could possibly cause him to be tortured and Elphaba was constantly trying spell after spell to save him. They are probably my favorite couple- they are what I would call the unexpected couple. Saying they are a couple is literally a spoiler in itself.
It constantly can make you ask yourself questions. You think you have it all figured out, then you realize you still can find more. It has the dreaded WHY question- the WHY as in why the switch happened- at least, it is more clear now. I am glad that “I’m Not That Girl” became the song it became- it used to be just a sad song, but later reached heartbreaking: as a a matter of fact, that song was one of the first songs I realized was sad to begin with.
The love triangle in Wicked is my favorite because it is 1)the first one I emotionally bonded with and 2) the level of complexity it has- the complexity comes from three complex characters, the development of the love triangle, and how it connects to the main storyline.