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20 December 2007 @ 07:49 pm
What It All Boils Down To...  
I'm talking about ships.

I've noticed that in multiple fandoms (Smallville, Stargate, X-Files, and Harry Potter for example) there may be discussions about plot, character, themes, and story, but in the end it all seems to boil down to ship. (Defining ship here in the broad sense - het or slash.) Sure, there are people in fandom that are there just for characters and plot. But those that are mainly focused on shipping is by far the majority. Once you weed through the hearty discussion of character arcs and plot, you'll see that people are arguing for "who ends up with who." Out of everything, this becomes the main focus and the most passionate for fans.

Take a look at any forum or discussion area. Doesn't matter which fandom. Most of them mirror each other.

So, I ask why? Why do we (in general) abandon everything else about the story, making it secondary to the ship? Why is it so vital to have the end goal be "so and so ends up with Clark" or "so and so ends up with Mulder" or "so and so ends up with Jack?" Why does that becoming the most defining attribute of the story or the characters? Why are we defining them by their romantic entanglements? Why are we defining them by their prize at the end of the day?

And is it the woman who is the prize in the end? Or the man? I've seen this go back and forth and it may depend on the fandom.

It happens across fandoms. I've noticed it a lot lately. As stargazercmc mentioned, is this something inate or does fandom perpetuate it? I wonder does this feed some basic human need or is something else going on here?
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Working for the Mandroid: Toughmoonshayde on December 21st, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh don't worry. I always think in context. Fandoms vary as much as shippers vary. That's not the point I'm trying to make.

I'm zeroing in on patterns I have seen in several fandoms I've encountered, whether they be active fandoms or where I happen to lurk.

I'm talking about the groups or individuals that see everything just through the lens of their ship, ignore canon, and even sacrifice character becase at the end of the day, it's just all about the ship.

I don't even mean this is a bad or good way. A person can be extremely invested in a ship for one show and not care in another. I've done this before.

An example are the Harmonians from Harry Potter fandom. Some fans of this ship see the end goal of the entire series to be Harry should be with Hermoine or that hermoine should end up with Harry. Everything about the series is seen through that scope.

I just wonder about the psychology behind it.