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Why are Strike and Robin so compelling?
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08/17/2017 - 4:51 pm

I think it will be interesting how things will change between them when sex enters the picture. I do know, because Robin is a woman, Strike is having some trouble not wanting to protect her. We will see what happens...LOL

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08/08/2017 - 7:27 pm

LindMea said

While I think that if Robin found out about the deleted voicemail before the wedding, she would have left him, I think that actually being married when she finds out is going to put pressure on her to forgive him and move on (even if he absolutely doesn't deserve it!).
  

Most definitely. The main problem with this marriage, as I see it, is that it is going to make it more difficult for Robin to ultimately break it off with Matthew--both in terms of the actual logistical hurdles and, more importantly, as Robin will perceive, in view of the expectations of all of their family and friends. It's so much easier to break off an engagement than a marriage, which, especially in a small hometown like Masham, is more likely to be perceived as quite egregious to break off. Especially so soon.

LindMea said

I know already that I'm going to devour every word a million times, and I'm probably going to enjoy yelling in anger at Robin's and Cormoran's terrible choices at some point.  

Also THIS. Is the most accurate representation of how I read Strike. "YES, YES, WE'RE GETTING THERE...WAIT NO YOU IDIOTS WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU'RE MESSING IT ALL UP! STOP! GAHHHHHHH."

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08/07/2017 - 11:15 pm

Caitlin said
I'm sorry but I can't say I agree with all of that! First of all we can't be sure if they are married yet! Yes Matthew is a safe choice but for me Robin just choose the easy way out! She didn't know how to cancel the wedding so she got back with him! She didn't want to once again disappoint her parents (I don't believe they would be after what her mother told her but she thinks so) so she went on with the wedding! She got back with Matthew because she believes she owes him that much for staying with her after her rape! She got back with Matthew because he is good at manipulating her and even if she doesn't realize she isn't in love with him she cares for him! For her is difficult to open herself to another man and live alone in an apartment so she got back to Matthew out of fear! For all of us sometimes it's difficult to let things go and start over and after Robin's experiance it's even more difficult for her to do so! The fact that she didn't smiled once during the ceremony is very telling about her feelings! If she still believed that by her side was the man that meant everything to her and she was the happiest girl in the world her reaction would be different! While she and Matthew were separeted she wasn't unhappy just scared of what had to be done! Her thoughts after they got back together and the way she tried to convince herself that she did the right thing proves that she already got a lot of Matthew's "virus" out of her system! I really gonna lose my respect for her and I'm gonna like her less if she is marrying him and knows about the deleted call history + voicemail or if she finds out and doesn't leave him! I'm not gonna care how things gonna process for them and I'm going to read only the parts of the book that are related to the case and skip whatever is related to her relationship with Matthew! I had enough of Matthew's shit to see how much more she will take for him until she leaves him!  

I've been pretty sure that they are married, since Matthew is referred to as her "new husband" in the closing lines of Career of Evil. While I think that if Robin found out about the deleted voicemail before the wedding, she would have left him, I think that actually being married when she finds out is going to put pressure on her to forgive him and move on (even if he absolutely doesn't deserve it!).

All of the things you mention, Caitlin, I think are definitely factors in why she took him back - there are a lot of complex emotions involved in the whole thing. I agree with janeausten24's analysis too - she can't move on from the real Matthew until she moves on from the image of him that she's still clinging to.

I guess we'll find out in Lethal White what she chooses to do! I know already that I'm going to devour every word a million times, and I'm probably going to enjoy yelling in anger at Robin's and Cormoran's terrible choices at some point.

~~~ Follow me on Tumblr | Find my Strike Series Fanfic on A03 ~~~

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08/07/2017 - 10:52 pm

I'm sorry but I can't say I agree with all of that! First of all we can't be sure if they are married yet! Yes Matthew is a safe choice but for me Robin just choose the easy way out! She didn't know how to cancel the wedding so she got back with him! She didn't want to once again disappoint her parents (I don't believe they would be after what her mother told her but she thinks so) so she went on with the wedding! She got back with Matthew because she believes she owes him that much for staying with her after her rape! She got back with Matthew because he is good at manipulating her and even if she doesn't realize she isn't in love with him she cares for him! For her is difficult to open herself to another man and live alone in an apartment so she got back to Matthew out of fear! For all of us sometimes it's difficult to let things go and start over and after Robin's experiance it's even more difficult for her to do so! The fact that she didn't smiled once during the ceremony is very telling about her feelings! If she still believed that by her side was the man that meant everything to her and she was the happiest girl in the world her reaction would be different! While she and Matthew were separeted she wasn't unhappy just scared of what had to be done! Her thoughts after they got back together and the way she tried to convince herself that she did the right thing proves that she already got a lot of Matthew's "virus" out of her system! I really gonna lose my respect for her and I'm gonna like her less if she is marrying him and knows about the deleted call history + voicemail or if she finds out and doesn't leave him! I'm not gonna care how things gonna process for them and I'm going to read only the parts of the book that are related to the case and skip whatever is related to her relationship with Matthew! I had enough of Matthew's shit to see how much more she will take for him until she leaves him!

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08/07/2017 - 10:18 pm

Ha! Same! Whenever I re-read the books I end up skipping or skimming everything important to the plot so that I can get to the best Cormoran/Robin scenes faster. The break up chapters in CoE, their road trip, Strike thinking about how he likes her face, likes her voice, likes being around her, the whole scene where Strike hears her being attacked and then meets her in the hospital... they kill. me. Every single time.

I also quite like their trip to the art gallery to interview Tempest and Jason - Strike being nice by asking to see Robin's shoes, staying calm because he can see the anger and distaste on her face, Robin paying as fast as she can because she knows Strike's going to lose it, the chapter ending with them joking around together... painfully good.

Edit: omg janeausten you are cracking me up right now. ~~* platonic musings * ~~, riiight Robin.

~~~ Follow me on Tumblr | Find my Strike Series Fanfic on A03 ~~~

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08/07/2017 - 10:17 pm

^Not to mention the entire several chapters worth of their trip up North. I just can't get over how perfectly they get along together that entire time...not to mention Robin's absolutely hilarious forays into denying her own feelings....aka:

"Her unruly imagination presented her with the sound of a knock on the door, Strike inviting himself in on some slim pretext...."

Of course Robin, this is just Matthew putting strange thoughts in your head, it's all his fault, hmm, yes....sort of like this moment.

"She thought it might be the very first time that Strike had ever given any indication that he saw her as a woman, and she silently filed away the exchange to pore over later, in solitude.”

I'd love to know what objective, platonic musings you had during this poring over later...

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08/07/2017 - 10:06 pm

LindMea said

Everything you've said is so spot on, I can't add any comments. If there was a like button for posts I would slam it twice!

Although, I'm actually looking forward to all the suffering and angst! What can I say, I love a slow burn, and appreciate painful realism. The more painful the better. (As long as there is eventually a happy ending, of course.)  

Hahahahah I'm definitely the same way...I am SO looking forward to how this plays out. The more pain on the way to the happy ending, the more ecstatic you are when it comes. At this point I don't think I could get any more painfully impatient about getting Strike and Robin together, but I'm sure JKR will invent a hundred more reasons to make it so much worse. Every book I come up with more passages to re-read over and over to fan the flame....In Cuckoo's Calling I kept reading the visit to Vashti's and(best of all) Robin finding Cormoran in the pub...in the Silkworm we had the lovely burger moment (that entire conversation kills me)...and then in career of evil, omg. I have read the chapters around Robin breaking up with Matthew, as well as the awful/exquisite chapter of Strike reflecting on their relationship, an embarrassing number of times...

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08/07/2017 - 10:01 pm

janeausten24 said

...

With all this going for them, I'm really counting on JKR to hurry up and throw Matt off a cliff on their honeymoon. But I'm afraid instead we're going to have to suffer through the many long, painful months of their failing relationship that are a more realistic conclusion than the one we want for Robin. It's an unpalatable truth, but it will be much, much harder for Robin to extricate herself from her completely destructive relationship than we we would like. And Strike's going to suffer just as much as she does during the painful process.  

Everything you've said is so spot on, I can't add any comments. If there was a like button for posts I would slam it twice!

Although, I'm actually looking forward to all the suffering and angst! What can I say, I love a slow burn, and appreciate painful realism. The more painful the better. (As long as there is eventually a happy ending, of course.)

~~~ Follow me on Tumblr | Find my Strike Series Fanfic on A03 ~~~

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08/07/2017 - 9:19 pm

I definitely see your point there. Here's the thing. I'm going to be extremely angry as well if she forgives him, if they stay together after she finds out how he tried to stop her going back. But I was upset after she got back together with him as well. I was upset that she didn't break it off after everything he's done to diminish her and her work. Why is it that she has kept forgiving and going back to him all this time?

JKR has given us a lot of abusive, wrong relationships to ponder over in the course of these three books, from Stephanie and Whitacre, to the many women abused by Donald Laing and Brockbank, even to Lula Landry and Evan Duffield. What seems like self-destruction to an outsider peering in on a bad relationship is so much more complicated to the woman involved. Robin's married now; breaking off the relationship has so many more consequences, could have such an impact on both of their families. She's fighting against the combined expectations and the social consequences of so many.

And most importantly, she has years and years of absolutely adoring Matthew to cope with, to try to understand. Because as little as he deserved it, as much as she imagined and embellished his virtues, the feelings were real to her. As independent as Robin has become, cutting someone like Matthew out of her life--losing, not him exactly, but the reality in which he was the most important person in the world to her--would be as painful as cutting off an arm. That's the real reason why she couldn't cut him off for good this time, that's the real reason she married him. Because she couldn't let go of the reality where she loved him, and where he meant everything to her, and where the idea of marriage to him had made her the happiest girl in the world. The same way that Strike could never let go of the idea of Charlotte.

I think in the next book (or few books...) we're going to see Robin go through the same transformation as Strike did. He spent years coming back to Charlotte, years of breaking up with her, before the final, indefensible lie about the baby. And even then it was hugely painful to let go of her, the idea of their relationship. He still would have gone back to her, despite everything, in those first two books, if she had come to his office like he always imagined her doing. I think it's going to be a long time before Robin can really get that "virus" out of her system, and truly, definitely cut it off with Matthew. It's harder for her, because unlike Charlotte, who just tried to hurt Strike as much as possible, Matthew had begged her to go back to him, constantly appealing to her pity and affection. Maybe her burgeoning realization about what she feels for Strike will help her. Maybe finding out about the phone calls will be the straw that breaks her back, beginning the process. But it's going to be a process, I know. And I'm in equal parts scared and excited to see how it will go...

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08/07/2017 - 9:01 pm

janeausten24 said
With all this going for them, I'm really counting on JKR to hurry up and throw Matt off a cliff on their honeymoon. But I'm afraid instead we're going to have to suffer through the many long, painful months of their failing relationship that are a more realistic conclusion than the one we want for Robin. It's an unpalatable truth, but it will be much, much harder for Robin to extricate herself from her completely destructive relationship than we we would like. And Strike's going to suffer just as much as she does during the painful process.  

First of all let me tell you that I agree with all that you wrote in your post!

I choose this part to comment because I wanted to say that I'm gonna be so angry and disappointed if what Matthew did with her phone and Cormoran's voicemail doensn't come up in the beginning and if she doesn't break off things with him after she finds out about it! If she forgives him it will be a much worse decision than when she decided to put the ring back on! And to be honest how much of my time must I lose to read about how many times Matthew is gonna screw things up for her to get rid of him?

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08/07/2017 - 8:28 pm

I definitely agree with what you both have said so far!

Another reason I think I want their relationship so much, other than the complementary natures of their characters, is because I feel that their interactions are based so strongly in this sort of perfect friendship--not just the sexual tension which usually takes center stage in other romantic pairings. Everything from their mutual sense of humor, their joint aspirations, the way they work so perfectly together in a team, makes each interaction come alive for me. Strike often muses to himself about how much he simply enjoys Robin's company, how easy it is to talk to her, how much he loves making her laugh: those simple things that most people don't find in their relationships until many months spent together, but is what ultimately decides whether a pairing will stick or not.

It's something that I don't think Strike has ever had with anyone, not even with Charlotte--because even though their relationship spanned years, and he did feel really profoundly for her, every bit of his admiration and love for her was mixed with the bad memories of what she'd done to him in the past. What drew him to her was passion; they came back together every time because of longing and were torn apart because of their complete incompatibility (aka, Charlotte being her regular, textbook definition of borderline personality disorder self). They didn't share a vocation like he and Robin do; they didn't have the same easy chemistry. I even think Strike admires Robin for her many good qualities far, far more than he ever admired Charlotte for her beauty and charisma.

And for Robin it's much of the same. She began with Matthew as a young girl, feeling the classic high-school surface-level affection that we can all remember (but would never admit as superficial at the time). She wonders at one point whether they might have grown naturally apart, if her rape hadn't made her cling to him, and she's definitely right. Apart from his often abusive, controlling behaviour, they share very few common interests, and he refuses to engage or believe in what is really important to her. She loves to investigate, to make a difference; he wants the "surface glitter" of London. They are so fundamentally different, it's almost comical to see her relationship with Strike as a comparison. I think with Strike, she feels a personal connection that she's never experienced before: a true meeting of minds and personalities.

With all this going for them, I'm really counting on JKR to hurry up and throw Matt off a cliff on their honeymoon. But I'm afraid instead we're going to have to suffer through the many long, painful months of their failing relationship that are a more realistic conclusion than the one we want for Robin. It's an unpalatable truth, but it will be much, much harder for Robin to extricate herself from her completely destructive relationship than we we would like. And Strike's going to suffer just as much as she does during the painful process.

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08/03/2017 - 11:46 am

LindMea said
Hmm good question...

For me, all three of the factors you've listed are totally a part of why they're so compelling. I think JK Rowling has a serious gift for writing believable characters and relationships - the last ships I cared so intensely about were from Harry Potter (Ron/Hermione, Sirius/Remus, etc...) - and I find that I'm more likely to get invested in a relationship if it's believable, if the characters feel like real people.

My favourite thing about Cormoran and Robin is that both of them are surrounded by people who just don't understand them; their families, their relationships - none of the people in their lives seem capable of seeing and accepting their core values and desires, let alone sharing them. But the two of them are so similar in terms of these fundamental traits, and because of that they really see each other in a way that no one else does.

I also love that while they are so similar, they are also different in many ways, and their differences complement each other perfectly. Robin's empathy and Cormoran's tendency towards cynicism, for example - these traits really temper and balance each other.

It's indeed a good question but after reading LindMea's answer I don't have much to add!

For me they are compelling because JKR made me care for them, she made their problems, feelings, failures, successes and worries real to me!
I like that after all that they went through they are not bitter even though they have insecurities and don't always make the best decisions for themselves they are doing the best they can! They complete each other by being different in some aspects and they give each other what the other needs!

LindMea said
But obviously "Cheer the fuck up and eat your burger" is just perfection.  

Couldn't agree more!!!

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08/03/2017 - 12:25 am

Hmm good question...

For me, all three of the factors you've listed are totally a part of why they're so compelling. I think JK Rowling has a serious gift for writing believable characters and relationships - the last ships I cared so intensely about were from Harry Potter (Ron/Hermione, Sirius/Remus, etc...) - and I find that I'm more likely to get invested in a relationship if it's believable, if the characters feel like real people.

My favourite thing about Cormoran and Robin is that both of them are surrounded by people who just don't understand them; their families, their relationships - none of the people in their lives seem capable of seeing and accepting their core values and desires, let alone sharing them. But the two of them are so similar in terms of these fundamental traits, and because of that they really see each other in a way that no one else does.

I also love that while they are so similar, they are also different in many ways, and their differences complement each other perfectly. Robin's empathy and Cormoran's tendency towards cynicism, for example - these traits really temper and balance each other.

But obviously "Cheer the fuck up and eat your burger" is just perfection.

~~~ Follow me on Tumblr | Find my Strike Series Fanfic on A03 ~~~

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08/02/2017 - 6:04 pm

Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum (but not to the cause of Cormoran Strike!) and wanted to ask your opinions on this point. I love books and have been known to be a vehement fangirl, but I don't remember ever being so invested in the relationship between two characters as much as I have been in Robin and Strike. I remember after the first book I was enchanted by their working relationship and very keen to see them solve mysteries together, but I was far more invested in their friendship than the possibility of a romantic relationship. By the end of the Silkworm, their obvious mental compatibility and conversational chemistry, not to mention their mutual love for their vocation was making its inroads...and of course by the end of Career of Evil I was a complete shipping wreck.

So why do you guys think this relationship is so compelling for almost everyone who reads these books (because, come on, who among us does not want to murder Matthew and Elin and get them out of the way already)? Is it because Strike and Robin themselves are so carefully crafted, so real to us, so that their struggles in love and attraction really gets to us in a fundamental way? Is it because of the long history of pain they've both had in relationships? Or is it just because "Cheer the fuck up and eat your burger" is obviously the foundation for the best relationship in history?

I'd love to hear your thoughts! 🙂 I need some psychological musings to tide me over until the fourth book comes out, I'm dying already...:P

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