SparkNotes Blog

Twins in Literature, Ranked in Order of Creepiness

If you are a twin in a novel, you are either extremely cute or extremely creepy, and that’s just the way it is. (Twins in fiction that are neither cute NOR creepy occupy some nebulous in-between state.)

Today we will be judging all literary twins based solely on their creepiness, from “Not creepy” to “That’s an omen of death if I ever saw one.”

Fred and George Weasley from Harry Potter
The twins of Weasley are not creepy at all and how dare you suggest that they might be. They are mischievous, funny, and entrepreneurial, yes, but off-putting? Never. Fred didn’t die for this.

Viola and Sebastian from Twelfth Night
Viola and Sebastian don’t have much in the way of creepy. If pressed, I would concede that it’s a little unsettling how Viola’s man-disguise is so good that not only are women falling in love with her, but even her actual twin, Sebastian, sees her (dressed as “Cesario”) and says something to the effect of “Huh. I guess I have a brother I never knew about. Weird, but I’ll allow it.”

Sam and Eric from Lord of the Flies
Sam and Eric are ineffective as island castaways and little better as twins. They don’t wear matching outfits, switch places for wacky purposes, or finish each other’s sentences. Sometimes they speak in unison, but that’s just unnerving, particularly when you realize they have apparently fused into a single person devoid of any and all individuality, an entity known only as Samneric.

Artemis and Apollo from Greek mythology
Artemis is the goddess of hunting and archery. Apollo is the god of basically everything, he falls in love with the drop of a hat, and he is irresponsible with his discus throwing. Both are liable to bring plagues, which is unfortunate.

All the twins in The Comedy of Errors
There are two sets of twins in The Comedy of Errors, and they were all separated at birth, like Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap. Unlike Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap, everyone in this zany tale gets beaten up, arrested, or accused of demonic possession.

Castor and Pollux from Greek and Roman mythology
Castor and Pollux make up the constellation Gemini, which I find slightly suspect.

Cersei and Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire
You know exactly why Cersei and Jaime wound up here, and I know exactly why Cersei and  Jaime wound up here, and we’re not doing ourselves any favors by pretending we don’t.

José Arcadio Segundo and Aureliano Segundo from One Hundred Years of Solitude
No one is ever entirely sure whether or not these two were switched as children. This is why when they die (AT THE EXACT SAME SECOND for some unknown, probably disconcerting reason) there’s a coffin mix-up and they get buried in the wrong graves, or maybe the right ones.

Romulus and Remus from Roman mythology
Romulus and Remus are said to have founded the city of Rome, which is very cool. However, they are often depicted in sculpture as two babies suckling a she-wolf, which is disquieting. This isn’t their fault, it’s more a failure of architecture, but it’s the reason they wound up where they did on this list.

Jane and Alec from the Twilight series
They are eternal vampire children, which is creepy enough without Jane’s horrifying psychic pain powers and… whatever it is that Alec can do. Sensory deprivation, I believe? It’s been a while since I read the books, but that feels right.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Through the Looking-Glass
When it comes to twins, it doesn’t get much worse than ending up back in Wonderland only to find two identical morons reciting poetry at you. Tweedledee and Tweedledum spend the entire chapter 1) refusing to tell Alice the way out of the wood, and 2) forcing her to question her very existence. For this reason, they are the creepiest twins. They are also the stuff of fever-fueled nightmares.