Help me create a comprehensive list of famous star-crossed lovers

Criteria: They must be genuinely star-crossed. One or preferably both of the couple must have died before consumnating their love.

Requests: Names are good, but if we can, let’s also get a brief description. And let’s see how many cultures we can incorporate! Seems like every culture has at least one tale if not more.

I’ll start us off.

English / European: Romeo and Juliet. The quintessential star-crossed lovers. The ones that probably popped into all of your heads. Do I need to describe them?

Punjabi/Hindu: Heer-Ranjha. Ranjha was the youngest of seven children and had six sisters who doted on him. Heer was the beloved Princess of the warring tribe across the sea. The fathers agreed to marry the children, but her brothers did not agree and attacked Ranjha’s brother-in-laws when they came to visit. The lovers were separated. Ranjha, while searching for Heer, was blinded by briar bushes and only found her by her voice. But it was already too late - her brothers found out and they killed him. She killed herself to be with him.

Punjabi: Soni-Mahiwal. They lived on opposite sides of a river from each other but neither could swim. So Soni would take her (baked) clay pot and float across the river every night to see him. Her sister-in-law, jealous of her love and her happiness, secretly replaced the baked pot with an unbaked pot one night, and it fell apart and she drowned. Upon seeing this, Mahiwal threw himself into the water too.

Muslim: Laila-Majnu. His real name was Quais. He laid eyes on her once in a crowded market and he was hers. Their families were warring tribes and Quais was attacked. He fled to the desert and when he returned he was stoned by the populace, upon which she came out to defend her lover. He saw her, and considered it plenty for the time being, and escaped back into the desert. While he was there, she was married off and he grieved. Her husband would not take her forcibly, claiming he wanted her to love him. Eventually she escaped, and ran to the desert. She found Quais there, but her trek to the desert on foot had nearly destroyed her and she died. Quais simply laid down at her feet and died of lovesickness as well. Forever after someone who pines after something unreachable is called Majnu because of him.

More? I love these kinds of sappy stories.

Greek: Pyramus and Thisbe

Two lovers in Babylonia whose houses shared a common wall. Their families forbid them from marrying, but they communicated through a crack in the wall.

They agreed to meet one night, but at the apointed place, Thisbe, who arrived first, was frightened away by a young lion. As she ran, she dropped her cloak.

When Pyramus arrived, he found the cloak (that had been chewed on by the lion) and believed that Thisbe had been killed. In his sadness, he killed himself with his sword, and his blood stained the mulberries on the tree nearby red (they had been white).

Thisbe returned, to find Pyramus dead. She then killed herself with Pyramus’ sword, and in memorial the gods caused the mulberry bush to produce red fruit.

I forgot to add, if it wasn’t apparent, that Romeo and Juliet draws heavily from this story.

Do Anakin and Padmé count?

Um…no, they DEFINITELY consumnated their relationship. :wink:

You’re going to have to change this criterion. Romeo and Juliet not only consumated like bunnies, they were actually married before they died.

Wow, I’d actually forgotten about that. Been a long time since I read it, and I never liked it anyway, but I just went and looked it up and you’re right. Ok, no problem - let’s define star-crossed to “One or both of them died and they did NOT have a happy life together”.

How about Tristan and Iseult (Irish)? They were more or less the precursors to the Arthurian love triangle. Drawing from memory here, Iseult was to marry the king of Cornwall and Tristan was sent to escort her there. But then they drank a love potion and fell deeply in love with one another. Depending on which version you read, the King of Cornwall is either weak and jealous, or the tragic third in a love triangle. At any rate there is certainly not a happy ending.

Ennis and Jack. What does “genuinely star-crossed” mean, anyway? Just that they’re fighting against fate?

Running Bear and Little White Dove (from one of my favorite songs as a kid.)

If Romeo and Juliet count, then I think that Tony and Maria should as well.

Beren and Luthien

Abelard and Heloise. Bonus points for castration.

Old Dan and Little Ann?

Lancelot and Guinevere

I have that on CD and listen to it often.

How about Scarlet and Ashley from Gone With The Wind.

I don’t think Scarlett and Ashley count. He never really loved her, he was only humoring her (and enjoying a bit of angst. The Wilkses were always good for angst.) He had a very happy marriage with his true love, Melanie.

I submit Orpheus and Eurydice. He lost her to death and then again. In some versions of the story, he loses her on their wedding day.

Zebra and Anaamika
tragic, very very tragic.

Oh holy shit. And let me just apologize for the MIDI on that website.

I found the link at work and not having speakers, couldn’t hear it. Fool that I am just assumed it was an mp3 of the actual song.

I just clicked on it and my ears bled a little.


Kalijah (probably misspelled) and the Indian Maid. Both were statues in front of stores facing each other across the street. Someone buys the Indian Maid from the antique store breaking poor old Kalijah’s wooden heart, which was made of knotty pine.