It didn’t matter how much they loved each other, these couples never had their fairytale ending.

1. Romeo and Juliet

One of the most enduring and iconic love stories, this tale of feuding families and young love follows the teenaged son and daughter of rival families as they fight against fate in an effort to be together, but their destiny has only tragedy in store.

2. Tristan and Isolde

With love potions, forbidden love, betrayal and poisoned stakes, the tale of the adulterous love between the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Isolde has all the ingredients for a great love story. First made popular in 12th century French medieval poetry, the lovers, stricken by a magic potion, betray the King to be together. The story may even have been the inspiration for the Arthurian romance of Lancelot and Guinevere.

3. Bonnie and Clyde

Outlaws Bonnie and Clyde achieved nationwide notoriety after leaving behind playful photos depicting Bonnie as a ‘cigar smoking gun moll’ and a poem about their apparent backstory when fleeing a hideout during a police raid. These materials were soon given to newspapers and published around the country, giving the criminals celebrity status. The ultimate outsiders, Bonnie and Clyde stuck together until the very end, believing a violent death for them both was inevitable.

4. Maria and Tony

West Side Story, a musical inspired by real-life warring teenaged gangs in New York, follows the story of Tony and Maria, two lovestruck teens from opposing sides of the urban war. Despite their efforts the pair is unable to stop the fighting, and eventually (spoiler alert) the conflict results in Tony’s untimely death.

5. Cathy and Heathcliff

The tumultuous couple from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights led a love story gone wrong — a soulmate connection doomed by jealousy and selfishness. The brutality of the characters and the otherworldly passion of their love established their story as a classic, with their intense connection the source of a lifelong obsession that leads the lives of many others into ruin.

Do you agree with our list? Did we forget to include any other tragic love stories? Tell us in the comments below…

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