There’s no denying that Frank and Claire Underwood of House of Cards are two people you do not want to get on the bad side of. But they’re not the first and only badass power couple in pop culture. In fact, we can think of quite a few who might be able to give these two a run for their money — literally and figuratively. Who’s the biggest, baddest pop culture power couple of them all?
Cersei and Jaime Lannister, Game of Thrones
This was perhaps truer at the beginning of Game of Thrones than later on, but the Golden Twins of Casterly Rock are definitely a force to be reckoned with. I mean, seriously — who [SPOILER] throws a kid out of a castle window just to keep him quiet?!
Walter and Skyler White, Breaking Bad
Martha and George, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
All I can say is this: I would pay good money to see a game of “Get the Guests” with Martha and George on one team (take your pick between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor or Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner) and Frank and Claire on the other. I get the feeling that it might end in a big ol’ stalemate, but boy, what a spectacular train wreck it would be.
Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt, Parks and Recreation
Not all power couples have to be evil! I kind of get the feeling that Leslie and Ben might be able to overwhelm Frank and Claire through the sheer power of their inherent goodness.
The Macbeths, Macbeth
Although House of Cards has been reminding me more of Richard III as the seasons roll on, I can’t help but compare the Underwood saga to Macbeth. What’s so interesting about Frank and Claire is that they don’t have a loveless marriage — on the contrary, they’re still totally wild about each other (indiscretions aside). But they definitely have a strategic marriage, just like the Macbeths.
Unlike the Macbeths, Claire may not be the driver behind Frank’s ascension to power; nor is Frank “too full o’ the milk of human kindness.” I’d still like to see Claire and Lady M. go head to head, though.
Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes canon
Okay, so technically these two are only romantically linked in derivative works — but there’s a reason Irene keeps popping up in things like the BBC’s Sherlock and Guy Ritchie’s recent films: She’s one of the few people Holmes has ever come across who’s a match for his wits. She also tends to be a little morally-greyer than the great detective himself. Something tells me Frank would find her pretty irresistible.
Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd
I’m not sure which is more frightening: A power couple who can tear you down from within the confines of society like Frank and Claire, or a power couple who can murder you and make you disappear without a trace — in song. Sweeney and Mrs. Lovette definitely get the Batshit Crazy Power Couple award.
Image: House of Cards/Netflix