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Fire and Ice Love Triangle

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"Girls flirt with the dangerous guy, they don't bring him home; they marry the good guy."
Jean Grey, X Men 2

It's common enough for a love triangle to be between two guys over one girl, instead of the other way around. These two fellows can be sorted into two general character types, one cold and aloof (the Ice), and the other one warm and passionate (the Fire).

Almost always a Type 7 Love Triangle that progresses to a Type 4 when the heroine chooses who she loves.


The ice of the love triangle will be the Blue Oni compared to the Fire, or in some cases, the heroine. He has an aloof demeanor, and is quiet, calculating, introverted, cultured, sensitive, and calm. He's that hot, mysterious bad boy your parents never wanted you to date, and the one you've always wanted to. Can be antagonistic to the heroine at first. Almost always cast as The Stoic, and can become a defrosting ice king with the help of the heroine's love.

Subtropes of the Ice include Love Redeems, All Girls Want Bad Boys, Ladykiller in Love (in some cases), Defrosting Ice King, The Snark Knight, Sugar-and-Ice Personality, and Troubled, but Cute.

The fire of the love triangle will be the Red Oni compared to the Ice. He's warm, passionate, reckless, and fun loving. He's also the childhood friend you've always thought of like a brother. But NOW... He is all grown up. Is the safer bet to the Ice, and will offer a more stable life.


Subtropes of the Fire include Just Friends, Dogged Nice Guy, Childhood Friend Romance, and Belligerent Sexual Tension.

Note that examples involving two girls to a guy do exist, albeit rarer.

Compare with Betty and Veronica and The Gentleman or the Scoundrel.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • Star Driver has Sawako pitted between Takuto (fire, being very spirited and innocent) and Sugata (ice, being calm and mature). Inverted that Sugata is the childhood mate turned arranged fiancee.
  • Shiemi from Blue Exorcist is liked by two guys, one is Rin, who is the Fire, and Yukio, the ice.
    • Except Yukio is actually the kind childhood friend, and Rin happens to be something of a delinquent and the son of Satan.
  • Samurai Champloo has Jin as Ice, Mugen as Fire (Red Oni, Blue Oni, yes, very much), and as the story advances, their bodyguardee Fuu is shown to grow fond of both (Type 1). Type 10 is pretty widely accepted as the situation later on, with Mugen as a, but then again, Jin's very stoic personality makes the triangle a particluarly tricky one to classify. Not that the other two are too easy to read either.
    • Fanfiction is fond of using Fuu as a catalyst for Type 6 (as a), Type 9 (as a), Type 11 (as b) or Type 12 (as b) situations to get the guys together.
  • Fruits Basket has this with the calm introverted Yuki and the hot blooded Kyo.
  • Yurara has an almost literal example of this, where the titular character is involved in a love triangle between the extroverted and happy-go-lucky fire user Meiwa, and the calm and intelligent water user Yakou. In a subversion though, Yakou doesn't actually love Yurara — he loves her Older Alter Ego.
  • Berserk has Guts as Fire and Griffith as Ice. Casca is a staunch follower of Griffith and wanted to be with him, but grows to accept that she could never be his woman, and his emotionally distant and ambition-driven personality didn't really help with that. Over time, she naturally falls in love with Guts, who has his own emotionally distant behavior but is much more receptive and passionate than Griffith and develops the same feelings for Casca.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji's two main love interests are the tempestuous redhead Asuka and the emotionless blue-haired Rei.

     Comic Books 
  • Marvel liked to play with this:
    • Back in the 1960s there was the Invisible Girl and her beaux Mr. Fantastic (ice) and Namor (fire).
    • Various versions of the triangle of Jean Grey with Cyclops (ice) and Wolverine (fire) in different realities.
    • Rogue between Gambit (fire) and Magneto (ice) at various points in her life.

     Fan Works 

  • Mr. Rochester (fire) and St. John Rivers (ice) in Jane Eyre. Mr. Rochester is passionate and hot-tempered, whereas St. John Rivers is described as cold, passionless and marble-like.
  • Edward and Jacob from Twilight. Edward is the Ice (aloof, controlled and has trouble opening up emotionally, as well as physically cold to touch) and Jacob is the Fire (hot-tempered, openly emotional and honest to the point of bluntness, as well as having a higher-than-normal body temperature). The third book actually has a chapter titled "Fire and Ice" and quotes Robert Frost poem "Fire and Ice", prominently featuring the triangle.
  • Simon and Jace from the first half of The Mortal Instruments. Jace is arrogant, cold, and distant while Simon is dorky, caring, and an Unlucky Childhood Friend.
  • Will and Jem from The Infernal Devices. Will is fire, Jem is ice. Interestingly, Jem is both much nicer and an infinitely safer bet.
  • Sally and Angua in Thud! — Sally is Ice (vampire), Angua is Fire (werewolf), although the triangle is more what Angua fears than a serious threat to her relationship with Carrot.
  • Elend Venture (Fire) and his half-brother Zane (Ice) in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy. Elend wins.
  • The Hunger Games: Peeta is Ice, Gale is Fire.
  • Anne of Green Gables: Warm, friendly Gilbert is the Fire to Roy Gardner's mysterious proper Ice as they both court Anne.
  • In Evernight, Lucas is fire (passionate and bold, with a Hair-Trigger Temper) and Balthazar is ice (somewhat aloof and detached, calm and levelheaded) for Bianca. She picks Lucas. Ironically enough, Lucas starts out being rather cold to Bianca whilst Balthazar is warm and friendly to her, though their personalities generally fit the opposite. Furthermore, in this case Lucas is the rebellious 'bad boy' Bianca's parents don't approve of, while Balthazar is considered the more safe and sensible option.

     Live Action Television 
  • In an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street, a prim and proper career military man is accused of killing his wife because she left him for her bad boy lover. As it turned out he did kill her, but precisely because she tried to go back to him, undermining his sense of control.
  • Stefan and Damon from The Vampire Diaries fit this trope. Stefan is the Fire, who is warm, kind, compassionate, caring and loving and Damon is the Ice, who is uncaring, arrogant, cold, unsympathetic and impulsive.
  • The epic Love Triangle of Dawson's Creek fits - with Red Oni, Blue Oni Pacey and Dawson.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has the Angel(Aloof and always-in-control Ice)/Buffy/Spike(Spontaneous and violent Fire) triangle.
  • Veronica Mars has Icy, ever-composed Duncan and temperamental Logan vying for Veronica.

  • In The Snow Maiden the passionate and hot-tempered Kupava is the Fire and the shy and literally frigid Snow Maiden is the Ice. Interestingly, there is a double triangle: Kupava's fiancé Mizgir spurns her for the Snow Maiden while Lel, initially being in love with the Snow Maiden, grows tired of her coldness and goes for Kupava.

     Video Games 

  • The Dave/Terezi/Karkat love triangle in Homestuck with calm, cool kid Dave as the "ice" and the hot-headed and emotional Karkat as "fire".

     Western Animation 
  • In the Bolin/Korra/Mako love triangle in The Legend of Korra, Mako is the ice to Bolin's fire. Interestingly enough, the cooler-mannered Mako is a firebender.
    • In the Korra/Mako/Asami triangle from the same show, Korra in turn is the fire to Asami's ice, which is just as crazy since she's originally a waterbender and Asami, though a non-bender, is from Fire Nation ancestry. The triangle is resolved in the Grand Finale by leaving Mako single, while Korra and Asami end up with each other.
  • The Miraculous Love Square essentially features a double version of this trope with only two people involved. Marinette Dupain-Cheng has a crush on the mysterious and reserved Adrien Agreste (Ice). When she dons the mask of Ladybug, she does not reciprocate the affections of her superhero partner, the reckless and passionate Cat Noir (Fire). Meanwhile, Cat Noir is crushing on his partner, the cool and professional Ladybug (Ice). When he assumes the identity of Adrien Agreste, he regards the friendly and approachable Marinette Dupain-Cheng (Fire) as no more than a friend.


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