I am so very excited to introduce Suey from It's All About Books today. When I first thought of scheduling fun romance-type discussions this month, Suey was the first person to come to mind. In particularly, Suey on Swooning! She really needs no more introduction than that, so I leave you with her. Enjoy!
I don’t know why Tif thought of me when she wanted an article on swooning. I mean, I’m like.. old! I don’t swoon any more! Not at characters, not at actors, not at oh, particular authors. Wait what? You mean to say that you HAVE seen me swooning all over the place? Even drooling a little perhaps?
Okay, fine. I suppose that for the most part, I act like I’m 17 still, especially when it comes to swoon-worthy scenes in our favorite books, movies and TV shows. And okay fine, maybe I talk about swooning a little too much! But hey. I figure that these sorts of things are what makes life interesting. Am I right? Or am I right?
So, let's get this out of the way first thing What does it mean, this thing we are calling The Swoon?
To Swoon: the act which follows the reading or viewing of a particular moving scene or moment which causes you to clutch a book (or not, in case of the movie or TV show) to your chest and fall back onto the couch (or bed or floor… literally or figuratively) with a happy and blissful sigh. This particular feeling is accompanied by warm butterfly sensations in the stomach and a maybe even a rise in your heartbeat. And then, almost always, is followed immediately by a strong and powerful need to TELL someone. “Hey did you see….? Hey, I just read… and oh my gosh! Hey, can you believe what just happened on….”
According to the dictionary, to swoon literally means, to faint. Or to be overwhelmed by ecstatic joy… a state of ecstasy or rapture.
Yes. I agree. It’s all that too.
Also, I’m wondering, is this tendency to swoon solely a girl thing? I think that yes, it probably is for the most part. But at the same time, I’m almost positive that there’s some other word we can call it when guys are emotionally moved, or feel the need to flail around about a certain scene. What should we call that?
But anyway, so what, exactly causes us (or or most of us) to swoon? I’ve come up with a list (with help from a few friends, but most especially my sister who I swoon with often) and some examples:
** SMILES! This is the main and most important aspect I feel is needed for something to be swoon-worthy. Smiles, especially when the giver of said smile is a bit stingy with them and suddenly, they let loose with one and bam… swoon. And especially, as my sister says, the smile is paired with some “fine eyes” and then the swooniness is even more powerful.
Like, for example, Mr. Thornton’s smile at the end of North and South. Or Loki and his smile that happens all the time during the most inappropriate times. Or Valek who is so guarded and unapproachable during most of the book (Poison Study), but then out pops the crooked smile.
** KISSES, of course. Especially the ones that either come out of nowhere, or the ones that you anticipate happening forever and then they finally, finally, they do.
Like, for example, Mr. Thornton at the end of North and South. (Yes, you might see this character and book/movie come up a few times!) Or Perry and Aria in the middle of knife training, or Jack and Rose on the bow of the Titanic, or Indiana Jones all beat up asking for kisses from Marion to make it better, or Jim Craig and Jessica on the back of the horse in the middle of a thunderstorm, or Jim and Pam at the office, or that kiss that came out of nowhere on Sherlock the other day!
** SWAGGER… for me there's something swoony about swagger, if it’s done right. Not in a pompous I’m-the-coolest way, but in a just sort of inherent attitude of confidence.
Robin Hood does this well, in pretty much any version you’ll watch or read of him. Other characters full of swagger, Will Thatcher in A Knight’s Tale, Day from the Legend series, Roar in Under the Never Sky, Arthur in the Merlin TV show also has an abundance of swagger.
** BROODING… the mysterious raw emotions worn on your sleeve thing. The character that is full of all sorts of turmoil about how to express his emotions, which usually leaves them wearing a perpetual scowl. But once his broodiness is thawed, you are left with pure and simple love.
Richard Armitage does brooding well in both his Mr. Thornton and Guy of Gisborne characters. The emotional tension is tangible with them both!
Another brooding character is Heathcliff. Now, you may argue with me on his swoon-worthiness, but I maintain that he is swoon worthy at first. But regardless, he is brooding and volatility emotional!
Michael Scofield in Prison Break is another broody character, one you just ache to console and make things all better.
** DECLARATIONS OF LOVE… which often happens in the stories where the characters have been in denial through the whole book/movie and finally at the end, or at some point, one of them breaks down in a declaration. SA-WOON!
My favorite example of this is when at the end of Anne of... I think ...Avonlea, Gilbert and Anne are walking across the bridge and he stops and just comes out with it. I love that scene so much.
Also, Darcy’s proposals. The first one is awkward and full of all sorts of problems, but no less swoon-worthy for me, but the second one with “my feelings have not changed” pretty much kills it.
Or Dr. Who and Rose, that final episode. You know the one.
Or The Empire Strikes Back… “I love you.” “I know.” And then the look. The LOOK!
** BANTERING…. the witty, snappy dialogue between two characters, be they of opposite genders or not.
For instance, the bantering between Sherlock and Watson, between Merlin and Arthur, between Dean and Sam, etc.
Or between Rory and Jess (and Luke and Lorelai for that matter) and Philip and Marianne (in Edenbrooke), Bones and Booth, Castle and Beckett, Jo and Laurie, Elizabeth and Darcy, I could go on and on.
** TENSION… I think in the end, all the above things I’ve already listed create this tension. The bantering, the withholding of smiles, the waiting for a kiss and the brooding. All of that mixed together creates this tension that can cause a person to swoon when these characters enteract. It’s a crazy thing, this tension. I don’t know how people get it right! Some are experts and it’s amazing!
** And finally, there’s the all round SWEETNESS, ADORABLENESS, and GENTLEMANLINESS found in certain characters. That part of their personality just makes you want to think they are real and you’d like to keep them around forever.
Characters that for me embody this sweetness are, Peeta, Captain Wentworth, Xander in Matched, Gilbert even if he was sort of mean-like at first, Matthew in Downton Abbey, etc.
Actually, I could go on and on listing the nice guys, the brooding guys, the swaggering guys. I really could. The characters that are out there are awesome, and it’s truly one of my most favorite things about reading (or watching) stories, falling in love with characters and yes, swooning over them...over and over and over again.
Now tell me, do you agree with my list of what makes something swoon-worthy? What would you add (or take away) from the list? What scenes or characters do you think I’ve especially neglected? Let’s talk swoon!