Those who say that age is but a number are probably fans of age gap romance. The main goal of many of these stories is to explore romantic relationships that aren't usually considered normal to the main sectors of society. Films like Lolita and American Beauty showcase inappropriate age gap romances between adults and minors. Other age gap romance films like As Good as It Gets and Edge of Tomorrow take a more subtle approach, featuring adult relationships where one half is much older than the other.
This list focuses on an entirely different sort of age gap relationships: those between characters with age gaps larger than the average human lifespan. Often, these movies and TV shows feature a human mortal and an immortal, or even two different species of supernatural creatures, attempting to build a bridge between their two worlds to make their relationship work.
Though these fantastical romances provide a form of escape for the audience, who gets to imagine what it would be like to be taken for a ride on the Doctor's Tardis, for example, most of the time the challenges the characters meet come down to normal relationship issues. Sookie Stackhouse breaks up with Bill Compton for lying to her. Edward Cullen doesn't want to lose his virginity until he's married. These are everyday issues put in the perspective of beings living outside the rules of a normal human lifespan, which in turn, makes the audience better appreciate the beautiful simplicity of the reality we live in.
Diana Bishop & Matthew Clairmont ('A Discovery of Witches')Photo: Sky Vision
Age Gap: 1,478 years
Both a book and a British TV series, A Discovery of Witches explores a romance between two supernatural beings normally on opposing sides: 33-year-old reluctant witch and historian Diana Bishop, and geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont. They are brought together when Diana finds a previously lost manuscript called the Book of Life, which Matthew has been searching for during most of his 1,500 years on Earth.
Even though a relationship between a vampire and a witch is “taboo” in their world, Diana and Matthew find common ground in their academic search for the truth. Matthew helps Diana deal with some very human issues, like how to embrace her witch ancestry and grow into the powerful witch she’s destined to be. In this case, age and species don’t keep these two apart, and instead unite them in a common purpose.
- Photo: 20th Television
Age Gap: Approximately 1,100 years
Xander and Anyanka are unlikely but endearing partners. When Xander meets the Anyanka for the first time, he’s just a 17-year-old kid at the wrong end of a curse. Anyanka, on the other hand, is a vengeance demon specializing in scorned women. Once she’s turned mortal and nearly forcibly woos Xander in Season 4, the two turn out to complement each other. Even though Anya’s straightforwardness often puts her at odds with the rest of the Scooby Gang, Xander sees through the rudeness to her frank honesty. Likewise, Anya sees Xander as a real man, where he’s seen as less powerful by the other members of the group.
Despite their age gap of several centuries, Anya and Xander face mostly regular mortal problems in their relationship, including fear of commitment, heartbreak, and eventually, friendship.
Feyre Archeron & Rhysand ('A Court of Thorns and Roses' Trilogy)Photo: Bloomsbury
Age Gap: 516 years
Feyre Archeron, a human, and Rhysand, a fae lord, make an ultimate power couple. Feyre is only 19 years old when she’s taken to the faery realm of Prythian and meets “bad boy” Lord of the Night Court Rhysand, who is a mere 516 years older than her. Maybe because he’s older, Rhysand sees Feyre’s potential two whole books before she does and helps her to achieve her potential by treating her as an equal partner and giving her the tools and confidence to fend for herself.
In return, Feyre eventually loves and trusts him unconditionally, and once she becomes immortal, she devotes her life to protecting Rhysand and his people. Even though Rhysand has centuries of knowledge on his formerly mortal mate, he never treats her like a child or disputes her ideas based on lack of experience.
Serafina Pekkala & Farder Coram ('His Dark Materials')Photo: HBO
Age Gap: At least 250 years
In the book trilogy-turned-TV series His Dark Materials, it’s not age but obligation that keeps Serafina and Coram apart. Farder Corem, a Gyptian mortal, meets the immortal witch Serafina Pekkala as a young man when she is already over two centuries older than him. Farder saves her life in a swamp from another witch’s deamon. Later, the two fall in love and have a son, who unfortunately perishes in a disease epidemic. Serafina’s obligation to her witch clan ends their relationship, separating them for decades.
When they meet again, their love for each other still remains. Because of Serafina’s immortality, Coram has aged while Serafina has remained a young woman; however, her centuries on him allow her to see through his age to the man he once was.