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  • There are some fanon ships that I just don't see any subtext between. Take Arnold and Helga, Helga's affection for Arnold is canon (needless to say) but for those who think Arnold likes her back but I just don't see it. Arnold has always been overt with his crushes (Ruth, Ms. Felter, Lila, even Hilda in his dream). What indication is there that Arnold likes Helga?
    • Also Kim Possible and She-go, I'm not blind to slash subtext (especially the Ben 10 love triangle) but this one doesn't work either too me.
    • Ships aren't based so much on indicative subtext so much as which characters the fanbase wants to see together. Subtext is usually a secondary factor, or just entirely made up.
  • Any and all Ship Sinking. I mean it. Especially in this day and age when the creators know exactly' the sort of "cyber gang warfare" (as J.K. Rowling herself put it) goes on over this. Yes, and I know, it's their work, but there's a difference between saying "Hey, it's not gonna happen, but it's okay if you ship it.", and doing an outright Take That to part of your own fanbase, which is exactly what J.K. Rowling did in Book 7! I find it cruel and disgusting. Yes, maybe "Harmonians", or "Zutarans" or whatever non-canon shippers from some fandom I'm not even in may be batshit insane, but, well, being pretty batshit insane myself, I can't help but feel sorry for them. I mean, seriously, what's WRONG with seeing something the author didn't? And what's wrong with liking it? God damn, why do I even care if I'm not even in the fandoms where this sort of thing most happens? Maybe it's because I can't go anywhere on the internet without seeing it happen. And it Just Bugs Me that people are bullying each other over it, and sometimes the creators are joining in!
    • Um, not to push any buttons, but what if the author didn't intend to make that scene a Ship Sinking, and some of these are simply overreactions to already-planned plot points? It's not hard to believe that such-and-such WAS going to hook up with such-and-such, and the scene that shows that just happens to enrage the fandom to thinking it was a last-ditch Take That.
      • Besides, for real people, there are people they would never ever have sex/a romantic relationship with, and they would often feel shock, bafflement, disgust, etc., at the idea. So why shouldn't fictional characters feel that way? It's legitimate characterization. And in real life, people sometimes have to be reassured that someone's relationship with their sweetie is totally platonic (And to go with the HP example, Ron was already shown to be somewhat insecure). Why shouldn't it come up in fiction? I don't think authors should have to carefully avoid discrediting any pairings or showing them in a negative light just because it might upset people who like those pairings.
    • You honestly think JK Rowling cares enough about Harmonians to give them a Take That on purpose? It made perfect sense for Ron's nightmare scenario to include Hermione preferring Harry to him, and that's the long and short of it.
    • Its not like the creators of Avatar changed any ships they were planning on - as they've said in interviews, Aang & Katara's relationship was woven "into the DNA of the show" from episode 1, season 1. Now, Ship Teasing, that they are most definitely guilty of in spades.
    • Don't know about JK Rowling but Avatar's Mike, Bryan and the Avastaff are notorious for crack-shipping. Aside from a hilarious slideshow of ships during a con, one of the staff apparently did the Zhao/Yue manip and Appa/Momo was mentioned first by the creators. From these alone, you can say they don't mind shipping at all, no matter how crazy it is. As for the supposed bullying of Zutarians by the Avastaff - I must disagree. They like to tease all shippers, not only Zutarians: Zuko/Aang, Sokka/Zuko, Aang/Katara, Toph/Zuko, Toph/Sokka, Aang/Azula shippers all got teased.
    • Because an author has a story that they want to tell or a point they want to make, and sometimes this involves disappointing some people. You can't please everyone. In any case, the author in a way has a 'shipping' preference as well - and since they're the one actually writing the official stories, their preference comes first. That's just the way it is. You don't like it, then sorry but that's tough - that's why there's fanfiction.
      • Furthermore, 'Death of the Author' aside (and I'm not someone who automatically subscribes to that viewpoint, but that's another discussion), why should the reader's demands outweigh the story that the author wants to tell anyway? The author's the one making it up, not the reader, and just because someone reads a story and enjoys it doesn't mean they know how to tell the story in the best way. Sometimes the wrong ending for a shipper is the right ending for the story.
        • Exactly. One complaint I saw lodged at Russell T. Davies was that "you aren't writing Torchwood for the fans, you're writing it for yourself!". Well, duh. You have to write for yourself. What's the point in writing something you wouldn't want to read/watch?
    • Well, I can kind of see the rationale on this one. Imagine that you write a story. And in that story you carefully develop a romantic subplot. You come to identify with your characters and you're happy that they're happy together. And then you go on the Internet and you discover that there is a segment of people who are deliberately breaking up your pairing to create their own which totally conflict with the way you see your characters. Wouldn't you be tempted to use your Author Powers? Just a little bit? Especially if it's persistently done by people whom you've repeatedly told their pairing of choice just isn't happening-yours is?
      • Not to mention the fact that there is a certain amount of inherent arrogance involved in Shipping -- or rather, the more extreme version of Shipping, in which Ship is stated to be superior than the author's own construction -- in the first place since you're essentially suggesting to the author of the text that you know what's better for their story and characters than they do. That has to grate.
      • Not, true. Most shippers I talk to ship because they find the scenario behind the ship interesting, and the Ship becomes the vehicle for the plot. It's the people who state that their ship is actually Canon, or claim that it's Better Than Canon that I find need to have their bubbles burst by The Rusty Needle Of Reality.
    • In addition to other points made above, let's face it -- some shipping pairings are just mental. There really are some fans who will put together any two characters together on the flimsiest of pretexts -- okay if it's for fun or a Crack Pairing or something, but then they start taking it way too seriously. Some ships need to be sunk.
    • Perhaps when a writer is finishing the end of their work, they want to put their foot down a bit and make things totally, utterly clear to everyone in the ending so you don't get endless bickering after it ends. After you finish a work and move on, do you really want to keep being bothered about this plot or that pairing? So they just write how Alice and Bob got together and Charlie was just a crush, the end.
    • Basically, you're arguing for ambiguity. You want the author to leave you some wiggle room, so that your particular fantasies about the work in question would still be available. Well, what if the wiggle room you already have is considered a mistake? What if the wiggle room you have doesn't actually exist in the work, and is just a fiction created by your own mind. Take Harry/Hermione. This ship does not exist. Read the first 6 books; it simply is not there. Harry's alone-time with Hermione is generally him getting advice, her getting advice, them engaged in action, or him being bored. They do not mesh as a couple. The ship was never sunk, because it never set sail. All Deathly Hallows did was to take everything Rowling had already written about them and put it on one page, so that it could not be ignored or rationalized away. Not all ship sinking works like this; sometimes it is just the author smacking his more imaginative fans. But in this case, the ship was delusional.
    • I just do it because I like making you teenage girls cry.
    • "an outright Take That to part of your own fanbase, which is 'exactly what J.K. Rowling did in Book 7!" It's called plot, genius. What, did you think she was just going to leave it ambiguous? That would have pissed off even more people.
  • I'm curious about Die for Our Ship and related tropes. How did something that started as a genuine experiment ("what if this character dated this character instead?") become a discomforting pseudo-Martyrdom Culture?
    • It probably has to do with how attached people get to characters. For example, let us use Hermione Granger. Most fans would think she's an interesting character and enjoyable to read about and leave it at that. But then there are folks who really identify with her. Maybe she reminds them of a friend or a sister. Maybe she just really strikes a chord. Maybe they somehow see her as the ultimate example of a good person/feminist character/whatever. So they really care about her and her wellbeing. Now let us move to the love interest part. Continuing to use Hermione as an example, that would be Ron. Now again, most fans look at him and think "okay, he's got good points and bad points, mainly a nice guy". For whatever reason though, some of those aforementioned die-hard fans just don't like him. Maybe he reminds them of a person they don't like at all. Maybe they are only able to notice the bad flaws while his good points are more subtle/glossed over. Whatever the reason, they see him as someone who doesn't really care about Hermione, the character that they really, really like. And so they react the way anyone would if they saw someone they liked hooking up with someone who (they think) doesn't really love them or treat them right. Except that in real life, you can talk to your friend and explain to them your worries. For characters like Hermione though, you can't do that. You can only watch as she hooks up with a guy that you hate and think is a jerk who doesn't deserve her at all. So what can you do? You can't force the author to do what you want. All that's left is outlets like fanfiction. In short, the people who take shipping past simple thought experiments and fun guessing seem to be just folks who get more attached to the characters than others.
  • I enjoy crack ships and non-canon pairings as much as the next normal, mild-mannered person. However, I don't see what's so evil about liking canon pairings. I don't get why the mere fact that Kataang and Maiko are my preferred ships makes me a drooling canon-whore who can't think outside the box, according to some people. I like the way it all turned out, okay? Why is that so wrong?
    • Well, with the Avatar situation, it could be simply that a lot of certain fans are really, really butthurt about their preferred pairing not being canon. This doesn't really happen outside of the internet, though. I've noticed that the people least likely to participate in online fandom are the ones who are most frequently on the mark about the storytelling.
  • Mostly out of curiosity, are there any fandoms at all where the Fan-Preferred Couple and the Official Couple overlap? (In other words, when the majority of the fans ship the same couple as the authors?) I know of a lot of Shipping Wars, but has there ever been a time when a fandom came to the general consensus that the canon pairing was the right one? I can't think of any examples, but I would be interested to hear some, if they're out there.
    • Most likely. You just don't hear about them because there's no big uproar from the crazies about how the author just didn't see the "true" pairing. There's probably a general agreement between authors and fans if there's not much to choose from, either. The Nightmare Before Christmas, for example, is the only fandom I'm in that has the majority of the fans ship the canon couple. Can't think of others, though.
    • In general, Castle fandom seems fairly unified with the writers behind Castle / Beckett.
  • Not to push any buttons, but the entire concept of shipping. I've always read/watched/played books/comics/films/shows/games for the story first (yes, even for the games) and everything else second, and the creator of a work, while I occasionally disagree with them- and in the single case of Star Wars siding with EU canon supporters against George Lucas- respect their word over others. I'm a writer myself, and I find it silly to speculate on romantic angles that have not come up yet, preferring to go into every development without assumptions if I can help it, and just going along for the ride. I make up for this "void" of no shipping by speculating about symbolism/philosophy, but that's neither here nor there. WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO FOCUS SO MUCH ON ROMANCE IN STORIES? If it's blatantly in the story, that's one thing, but speculation to me seems just...a waste of time, and when I run into fans of works (and this includes my friends) I just don't understand why they're so determined to put things into romantic contexts. I mean GAH!
    • Well, romance can be useful to give characters relatable desires and motivations, and even a goldmine for humor or character development. In fact, romance CAN easily drive the plot of a story when done right. Speculations about how people feel is just nonverbal communication 101, (even if lots of people who frequent net forums tend to be poor at this) because most of the important information about people isn't said with words. Humans are mentally and emotionally complex social animals. But there are also lots of people who care a lot because they have empty lives and emotionally hollow imaginations, and hence need an "ideal" pairing to worship that goes way beyond simple well adjusted appreciation of beautiful, heartwarming story telling.
    • Like I said, I get that romance can be important in stories, and when the writer puts it in- and is a decent writer without having characters Strangled by the Red String- then I'm all for it. What annoys me is the ridiculous number of people who seem to misconstrue romances for the sake of having a romance in the story. Not every story needs a romance. Not every character needs to be paired off or even be interested in romance. It just seems a useless exercise done for no reason.
      • The reason is fun. There's a lot of things people do with fiction that is, strictly speaking, a waste of time. Some people are artists and sketch out various improbable situations or jokes. Some people are writers and try to make up various scenarios that they think would be cool. Some people are thinkers and try to eke out a metaphor or deeper meaning within the world. Some people are romantics that like the fuzzies of seeing huggies and smoochies in action. Why do they all do it? 'Cause it's fun to them. If you don't like it, that's cool.
      • Personally, I would define shipping as a major waste of time. Why get so worked up about something that's not even part of a main plot, let alone the B-plot or C-plot? If you tried to judge a show based on the fandom, you'd think most forms of entertainment these days are adaptations of Harlequin romance novels. Look at the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom, they're so focused on shipping that many of them don't even care about the actual story!
  • Why all the hate for slash? Apparently, if you like slash you're either a frothing fangirl who can't accept canon/het or you're a Jerkass for 'disrespecting the creator of the work'. Seriously, wtf?!
    • It has a tendency to be done rather badly. It can be done well (although not often enough to clear the genre's name), but even then its usually almost wholly not grounded in canon due to the inability to show homosexuality in media meaning there are never any canonical gays to use, meaning characterization must be changed to do it.
      • It's a double standard. You don't see het pairings not in canon get the flack for 'disrespecting the creator of the work' like yaoi pairings do, when it certainly falls under the same crime. But I think, in this day and age, people are a bit more understanding of it. I haven't heard of the disrespect excuse in the past few years on this troper's end.
    • Because derailing a character to write a pseudo-porn fic in which they have graphic sex with someone completely out of character? It's kind of creepy.
    • Not to mention that, besides usually being incredibly poorly-written, a lot of fangirls tend to fetishize it because they think two men having sex is "hot." In a really weird way it's almost like homophobia since they focus completely on the sexual aspect and don't give a damn about any other part of romance.
  • I don't get people that act like being engrossed in a fictional romance is this strange fringe concept completely different from following a show for plot twists or general character interaction.
    • If I'm reading what you're saying correctly, then it's because shipping involves relationships that are not there, while plot progression and general character interaction, well, is.. If someone started pushing for a plot twist to happen, that would be regarded as a strange fringe concept on about the same level as shipping. The other interpretation of what you wrote is that you're talking about following a canon romance, in which case... well, people don't regard that a strange fringe concept, romance movies and relationship shows are genres made for that purpose.
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