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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Saenz

always an angel, never a god

The phrase “always an angel, never a god” comes from the song "Never Strong Enough" by boygenius. It won two Grammys: Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. Their album The Record, which contains this song, also won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album. 


I started listening to them more because of their recent album, The Record. I have heard music from one of the three members already, Phoebe Bridgers, but Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus, the other two, have completely changed the music game as well!


Looking at the video Genius breakdown lyrics, boygenius explains the verses and this part from their own perspective. Lucy shares, "you're receiving praise for being subservient, the best that you can do is the best second in command...if you can't be powerless you can at least excel in your powerlessness..." (Genius, 2023) Keep in mind this part is repeated a couple of times. Symbolically, this could mean the emphasis on the character, author, or narrator that they have probably concluded that this is the best they can ever do. I pointed out these lyrics because I’ve seen edits of fictional characters with this song in the background, specifically that part of the verse. I think the meaning of it is that you will never come close enough to being good/strong enough. In other words, you will always only be an angel but never a God, never someone superior.


Because of this, I came to the realization that I watched a couple of shows and movies where I see this type of pattern involved in the main and side characters; even if it seems sad, it’s true...

I've come up with a list of 7 duos and put their characters side by side, Followed by the entertainment title, description, and whether they are an angel or god.


@lover636 credits: via Pinterest @fshnbella

god: Serena van der Woodsen (left) and angel: Blair Waldorf (right)

Show: Gossip Girl (2007)

Connection: Best friends

Reason: Those who have seen this show can start to notice that there is some sort of competition between these two friends, and it's brought up through the seasons. This is mostly because Serena is considered to be more famous and more of an "it girl." On the other hand, Blair is just as famous but has a hard time staying at the level once Serena comes into the picture.


 @ELLEPHORIA credits: via Pinterest @ClementinesLawyer

god: Harry Potter (left) and angel: Ron Weasley (right)

Movie: Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)

Connection: Best friends

Reason: In the Harry Potter movie series, we know that Harry has been the chosen one for many years. However, he does have his sidekick buddies, Ron and Hermione, who help him out through everything. Ron is just seen as someone who helps and is on the sidelines while Harry is the one in power.


 @mandysfilm credits: via Pinterest @Refinery29

god: Rory Gilmore (left) and angel: Paris Geller (right)

Show: Gilmore Girls (2000)

Connection: Best friends

Reason: There are a lot of people who are actually seen as just "angels" compared to Rory. One of those examples is her friend from high school and college, Paris. Once Rory entered her life, it all changed. She got better scores on tests, received praise at school, and even got into the top Ivy League schools like Harvard. While Paris didn't, despite it being her dream school.


 @katemeany credits: via Pinterest @Savannahgreyx

god: Meredith Grey (left) and angel: Lexi Grey (right)

Show: Grey's Anatomy (2005)

Connection: Sisters

Reason: For this specific duo, it's hard to identify which is which because it can be said from a familial perspective that Lexi is superior. When it comes to careers and in the medical field, which is what the show is mostly about, Meredith cannot be beaten. (SPOILER) If Lexi had not died during season 6, they both would have been the best and, in these terms, "gods."


 @mccdreamys credits: via Pinterest @seeingmoons

god: Derek Shepherd (left) and angel: Amelia Shepherd (right)

Show: Grey's Anatomy (2005)

Connection: Siblings

Reason: Just like the duo before this, both siblings faced different levels of who was best and during what timeline. However, overall Derek has always come first in the medical field and family. Amelia has tried her best, but others still remember her brother. *Spoiler* Derek died during season 11, but even so, Amelia, in newer seasons, has made a name out of herself instead.


 @beyaalam credits: via Pinterest @Pumpkin.Queen

god: Thor (left) and angel: Loki (right)

Movie/Show: Marvel Franchise

Connection: Brothers

Reason: This is a classic story of a villain and hero when it comes to family. As we know, Thor is a part of the Avengers and "saves the world." Loki didn't grow up the same or with the same mindset, and this led to many thinking he wasn't good enough. His character development did win throughout the years, but it was kind of too late when he died officially (except for the events from his show;)). He was never the better brother...


 @m3oww04 credits: via Pinterest @bbagriela

god: Katniss Everdeen (left) and angel: Peeta Mallark (right)

Movie: Hunger Games Franchise (2012-2015)

Connection: Team-Friends-Lovers

Reason: Peeta and Katniss are a team in the Hunger Games because they come from the district. But as seen in the first movie, we know that Peeta isn't as strong or mentally prepared as Katniss had to be. Though they won the first and almost second movie, most credits are towards Katniss. Later in movies 3 and 4, Peeta becomes weak because of Snow, which shows more that he wasn't ever going to be at her level. He was good, smart, and strong, and had a BIG heart but is that all it takes to be a "god"?


Looking at these examples, this phrase can also be played out when people say:

  • always the lover, never the loved

  • always the writer, never the story

  • always the poet, never the poem

  • always the villain, never the hero

  • always the artist, never the art

  • always wanting, never receiving

  • always the moon, never the sun

  • always the listener, never the talker

  • always good, never great


If you feel like you are stagnant and never anything else better, just know that it is okay, and you are not alone. These were fictional characters and the reasons why one person is higher in status than the other. Don't worry about being an angel or god; worry about being yourself only. Apart from this thought, what other characters do you think about when it comes to always this, never that?


— tune in for more stories from #lachurrosstories 


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