Presenting OTP Tuesday! Each Tuesday I will introduce you to a new One True Pairing! Tune in each week to find out which fictional couple you need to agonize/squee over next. This week I’m feeling the love for Glimmbow!
Who Are Glimmbow?
Glimmbow refers to the characters Glimmer and Bow from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Because this is a fairly new show and a fairly small pairing, I haven’t seen much about it, so Glimmbow might not be the official name, but I’m going with it. Although, I did like one person who suggested “Glow” for the ship name…
Glimmer is one of the protagonists of She-Ra and one part of the Best Friends squad. As one of the titular “Princesses of Power,” Glimmer has a big role to play in the war to save Etheria from the Evil Horde. But at her heart, Glimmer is a teenage girl struggling to find her place in the world and establish an identity separate from her mother.
Glimmer hails from the kingdom of Bright Moon, one of the strongest holdouts against the encroaching Horde. Her mother, Angella, is the leader of the rebellion against Hordak and his armies. Glimmer is one of Angella’s generals, but finds herself frequently sidelined.
A grounding after an argument leads to Glimmer busting out. She goes on a secret mission with her best friend Bow to retrieve ancient technology that could save their kingdom. On the way, however, they run into a Horde captain. The captain, Adora, turns out to be less of a problem than they originally think. In fact, Adora is the legendary hero She-Ra, though she doesn’t know it yet.
Glimmer and Bow manage to show Adora the truth about the Horde and sway her to the side of the rebellion. Running on the high of this great achievement, the three of them – the Best Friends squad – set out to restore the Princess Alliance, which had previously saw numerous kingdoms unite to fight the Horde.
The alliance is a way for Glimmer to prove her worth. Her father had died in the last alliance, which is why Angella holds Glimmer back. However, when Glimmer is injured, she and her mother finally talk things out. This leads to a better understanding that helps both contribute to saving Bright Moon. The war is not over, but it’s getting better.
Another part of the Best Friends squad – indeed, the one who named them that – Bow is Glimmer’s best friend and closest ally. For a long time, it was just the two of them. Glimmer confesses to Adora that she didn’t previously have any other friends but Bow. Bow is a huge part of Glimmer’s life; he is a favorite of her mother and aunt and part of Angella’s trusted council.
Bow is the heart of She-Ra. While Glimmer is desperate to prove herself to her mother, and Adora is desperate to right the wrongs the Horde has committed, Bow just wants to make things better. Part of this sees him take care of Glimmer and Adora when they would let the war run them down. He’s always looking out for them.
We also see Bow befriend numerous other people throughout the show. When they go to meet Entrapta, a technologically inclined princess, Bow is excited to meet another “maker.” He and Entrapta are able to bond over their love of technology and inventing. Bow seems to hit it off with most of the people they meet, unlike Glimmer and Adora, who are both a little socially awkward.
Catra, Adora’s former best friend and new arch-enemy, sees how important Bow is to the alliance. She mentions her plan to defeat Adora by stealing her “heart,” and shows a picture of Bow. Bow is the glue that keeps things together, and even the Horde can see this.
In the end, Adora and the alliance manage to rescue Bow, and he is an integral part in defending Bright Moon in the final battle. When Adora seems defeated, lower than ever before, Bow comforts her. This gives her the push she needs to carry on and defeat the Horde, saving the day.
Why Is Glimmbow OTP?
As I mentioned last week in my Catradora article, I went into She-Ra not knowing who I was going to ship. I had seen a lot on my Tumblr dash about the two main ships: Catradora and Glimmadora. What I did not see a lot of was attention on Glimmbow.
That surprised me, to be honest. Glimmadora is a little bland, at least in comparison to Catradora. Personally I think Glimmer goes much better with Bow than Adora, but few seem to agree with me. (To be fair, most of the chatter I’ve seen indicates that fans see both Glimmer and Bow as not-straight. I agree, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be in a relationship! Bisexual Glimmbow for life!)
After watching all of season one of She-Ra, I really think there’s a lot of potential for Glimmbow. It seems like a nice, gentle relationship that could run counter to the far more antagonistic Catradora. We could use some nice balance and Glimmbow delivers that!
Friends to Lovers
While enemies to friends to lovers is my favorite trope, friends to lovers is definitely a part of that. There’s something nice about seeing two people move from one stage of a relationship to a new one. The lifelong friendship between Glimmer and Bow sets them up for a beautiful transition to being something more than friends.
That friendship gives them a lot to draw on. Glimmer and Bow already know each other completely. There’s no need for an awkward period where you get to know each other, nor any need to hide who they are. Bow already knows that Glimmer is moody and messy. Glimmer already knows that Bow gushes about his arrows.
Plus, they are already fully integrated into each other’s lives. We haven’t met Bow’s family (yet) but we have seen how Bow interacts with Glimmer’s. Angella is the queen, obviously, so Bow isn’t super close with her, but they seem to have a mutual respect and fondness. Glimmer’s aunt, Castaspella, is far less subtle. She openly talks about how much she loves Bow and his closeness with Glimmer.
Glimmer and Bow are already incredibly close. They spend almost all their time together, and do everything together. Anytime there is a fancy event, they go together. It wouldn’t take much to transition from that friendship to something more.
Season one gives hints that there may be something more in store for Glimmbow. We see their relationship change as they no longer only have each other to rely on. Meeting more people opens more doors for each of them, in terms of relationships. However, at the end of the day, they still cling to each other as the most important person in their lives.
OTP or BROTP?
Some people see the Glimmbow relationship as purely platonic. They are best friends, and nothing more. To be fair, there is a lot to be loved about a platonic friendship, and platonic relationships are no less important than romantic ones. This is especially true when the relationship is between a man and a woman; the urge to force a heterosexual romance is strong in society.
So I get why people want to see Glimmbow as purely platonic – a BROTP, if you will. But it seems to me like there’s more than just platonic feelings here. Once again, the episode “Princess Prom” gives us shippers a goldmine to work with when it comes to analyzing a ship.
“Princess Prom” sees the characters attend a ball for all the princesses in Etheria. Glimmer and Bow are super excited; they love big parties, and this will be a great opportunity to work on the princess alliance. However, Glimmer’s excitement plummets when she discovers that Bow will not be her plus one, as he usually is. Instead, he is going with another princess, Perfuma.
This shakes Glimmer’s worldview. Suddenly, she has to compete with another person for Bow’s affections. She spends the entirety of the ball distracted, focused more on Bow’s interactions with Perfuma than anything else. This actually leads to them getting captured by the Horde.
Glimmer is so focused on what is happening with Bow that she loses track of everything else. Her response could be platonic; she mentions being unused to sharing Bow’s attention. However, her distinct focus on the way he interacts with Perfuma reads as jealousy to me. This may be what pushes Glimmer to admit her feelings for Bow are not quite platonic, at least not anymore.
What’s Next For Glimmbow?
It’s unclear if there is a next for Glimmbow. At the moment, we still do not know if She-Ra will return for a second season. Given the popularity of the show and the positive reviews, it’s unlikely that Netflix will choose to cancel the show. They’ve given Voltron eight seasons with a lot less positivity, so I don’t see them cutting She-Ra. For now, though, we just don’t know.
If Netflix does choose to renewShe-Ra, the writers have indicated that they already have drafted out a four season arc. The show may go longer, but we know that their storyline is set up to spread across that arc. One thing we might see if they continue is a change in the Glimmbow relationship from purely platonic to something romantic.
As it is, right now Glimmer and Bow have some work to do. Their fight in “Princess Prom” really shook them both, as some harsh words were said. They apologized to each other later, but they need to fully resolve the issue before they can move forward. Unfortunately, with the Horde attacking and a doomsday device on its way, they didn’t have time for a full therapy session.
Moving forward, I think that Glimmer and Bow are going to need to actually discuss their relationship. I can see more misunderstandings blocking their path to a resolution. Glimmer’s jealousy and Bow’s obliviousness could be plot points on the road to a potential Glimmbow endgame.
We don’t know what’s next, or even if there is a next, at the moment. But I can see a few ways that the writers could make Glimmbow happen, if that’s the way they want to go.
Is Glimmbow Canon?
At the moment, it’s not canon. There’s every possibility it never becomes canon. While I personally see Glimmbow as a potentially romantic ship, there’s every chance it continues to be a platonic relationship. That’s totally okay! Glimmer and Bow both deserve a close relationship, no matter whether it’s platonic or romantic. A close friendship is just as important and just as valid.
However, they may yet become romantic. It could really go either way at this point, and in neither case will I be disappointed. Romantic Glimmbow gives me friends to lovers, a relationship developing into a new stage, and hopefully some open communication. Platonic Glimmbow gives me two adorable people with a fulfilling and healthy friendship that means the world to each.
Not a lot of people are talking about Glimmbow. A lot of people ship Glimmer with Adora, and Bow seems to be nebulously connected to various people (I’ve seen a lot of Sea Hawk and Entrapta, but there are others). But Glimmbow deserves attention because it could be a really sweet, happy relationship. Both these characters deserve that.
Whether or not Glimmbow becomes canon, I’m going to continue to ship it. I like their dynamic and I like the potential for this to develop further. If it happens, I’ll be happy! I’ll be excited to see it develop and grow over the course of four or more seasons. If not… well, there’s always fanfiction!