Lina and Zelgadis
(A debate written by Astra M.)
Make no mistake, I know how
popular this pairing is. And there are several factors that would
seem to support a successful union between Ms. Inverse and the dapper chimera:
1) They are the most intelligent,
capable characters in the whole Slayers pantheon
2) Cool, resourceful, confident,
and utterly competent people would naturally fit together with each other
than with silly, annoying only-there-for-comedy sidekicks
3) Similar dark natures with
underlying noble characteristics make for an interesting relationship chemistry
4) They like each other, look
good together, Lina's happy nature is good for Zelgadis' dreary one, are
close in age, are often on the road traveling, etc...
And there are lots more, which
I won't list since this isn't that kind of a shrine, anyway. And
I'll start off with this comment: if you look at it honestly, some of these
reasons are a little on the trivial side (but I won't go into those because
I didn't write this document to be a general bashing of Zel-Lina shrines,
believe it or not, though it's true I don't support them.) I also
don't think it would be productive for me to debate these reasons because
1) good or bad, we really do use a lot of 'em in real life to make relationship
judgements, and 2) they're really subjective. No, my real disagreement
with the pro Zel-Lina supporters is that many of the arguments used to
promote a potential relationship between the two don't take into account
their underlying natures at all.
So instead, I offer these observations
based on what I've seen of Zelgadis and Lina's interactions:
1) Zelgadis and Lina
have natures (and wills) that don't automatically lend themselves to supporting
the other's. Zelgadis and Lina have preference styles that, instead
of being potentially mutually beneficial, often just end up grating on
each other's nerves.
Zelgadis is too demanding and
driven - it's just his nature. He expects a lot out of his prospective
significant other, as he does to himself, and will continue to put
a lot of demands on both his lover and himself throughout life. Lina,
on the other hand, is too laid back and self-willed to put up with this
kind of unwanted pressure before telling Zelgadis to chill out or get lost
- she will not be pushed by anyone, and she doesn't see the need
for such endless "self-improvement." Zelgadis wants to get things
done *right away* and hates wasting time or being sidetracked whereas Lina
likes to take things easy and won't hesitate to take a swim or a side trip
to an inn should the urge overcome her - and she doesn't understand what
the big deal is when Zelgadis complains, who can't understand why Lina
can be so casual. Lina is very impulsive and direct - she lives for
the moment, after all. Zelgadis is ever cautious and meticulous;
charging in is not his style, until he knows exactly what's going on.
So Zel gets annoyed with Lina's impulsive behavior while Lina thinks Zel's
complaints are just silly. Some of these qualities could potentially
be a good balance for each other - provided Lina doesn't fireball Zelgadis
first or Zelgadis doesn't chew out Lina every time she does something rash...or
just walk off on his own, which is more likely.
2) Zelgadis and Lina
have completely different outlooks on life and how they relate to it.
They do not by any means share the same goals.
Lina is a free-spirit; she's
a generally positive person who enjoys life, and she wanders the world
to have fun and take it as it comes. She won't be pinned down to
any particular place if she can help it, and if she is (by necessity) she
will be very restless and eager to move on, should the opportunity come.
Zelgadis is driven and controlling (to an extent; don't take that the wrong
way). He's out in the world for a reason: to find that damn cure,
if it exists, not to stop and smell the roses. Otherwise he could
easily put down roots in some place and stay there (it's generally a more
efficient way of pursuing his other intellectual interests). His
objectives in life are about personal control and furthering his own causes.
He intellectualizes his life, rather than experiences it; he doesn't view
the world as a wonderful place waiting to be discovered. Adventure
is a by-product of searching for a cure, not an objective in itself like
it is with Lina - and she must have it.
3) Neither Lina nor Zelgadis
have the skills or ability to provide the emotional support the other needs
Here is something they have
in common, but not in a good way - they're both emotionally stunted when
it comes to relating to and caring for another person, Zelgadis far more
than Lina. They aren't the type to naturally provide warmth, understanding,
and love to another person - they need it to be given to them first,
then they will open up and start reciprocating. It's just a part
of their self-centered natures - insensitive to other's feelings, more
focused on their own, and bad at making sense of their own confused emotions
and interpreting (or accepting) another's attentions. Like I said,
Lina and Zelgadis have their own respective hang ups in this area; they
have a hard enough time handling their own issues, much less someone else's.
And for a final illustrative point on this matter: whenever Lina tells
Zelgadis to cheer up, she's not doing it out of empathy for his situation.
That is, she's not saying "Smile, because it will make you feel better"
but "Smile, because it bothers me to see people frowning."
4) Zelgadis and Lina
have completely different personal tastes in lifestyles and interests/pursuits
Lina and Zel may both be equally
intelligent and capable of conducting a lengthy discourse on some topic...if
they had a topic that Lina didn't find boring. Basically, Lina isn't
interesting in getting into arguments like Zelgadis is; she likes her facts
straight and unembellished - and relevant to her needs. Zelgadis,
however, thrives on the give-and-take of argumentative reasoning; he likes
to learn about different things and as it happens, he knows an awful lot
in a wide variety of areas, which is not quite so true of Lina. Zelgadis
has artistic leanings and seems to have more cultured tastes, whereas Lina...
um ... seems to have ...(is it getting hot in here?) ... unassuming
tastes. Like for vacuum-sucking her body mass, stealing treasure
and terrorizing bandit gangs. Beyond their ability to strategize
and appreciate each other's level-headedness and strength, they really
any of the same pursuits or interests.
In short: this is the
kind of relationship where the two involved, once having gotten together,
soon realize they have nothing in common and wonder why they ruined a perfectly
good friendship. True, Zelgadis and Lina respect each other very
much - how couldn't they, when the other is the only person they can generally
rely on to have a coherent thought amongst all the other crazies?
It's natural to feel an attraction for someone in this situation.
But regardless of how much you may admire someone, that alone won't provide
the necessary support to build a lasting relationship. The basic
problem with Lina and Zel is that they both have very low tolerance for
handling other people's needs, so they both need partners who are more
compliant. Neither Lina or Zel are good at doing this for each other
- and that lack of compromise/support is ultimately fatal. I'm sorry,
but from what I've seen, Zelgadis and Lina...just don't have what it takes
to deal with each other for very long.
Well, that's all I have to say about this subject for the time being.
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