Tropes serve the function of signaling story elements to the audience and of providing shortcuts to understanding said story. While badly-written tropes can come off as “cliche,” the most common fiction tropes are so popular, and are relied on so heavily, because they have a fundamental logic to them that the creators know most or much of the target audience will grasp instinctively. However, various tropes are similar enough in essential elements that they are easily confused or misidentified (sometimes by design). In such cases, the surrounding context of the story and structure, as well as an understanding of how such tropes work and – significantly – why they work, should be given special consideration. Here we examine how the “enemies to lovers” trope is used in modern popular fiction and compare and contrast it with how Kylo and Rey’s relationship is presented in the Force Awakens. The comparison will show whether their relationship, as presented in canon, is in agreement with or in violation of the trope.
Continue reading The Enemies to Lovers Trope vs. Rey and Kylo in the Force Awakens