Image Created by: Marukaite Chikyuu on Tumblr
Previously on the Tor-Cha Chamber…
“Ah, shippers, how I absolutely dread them. I mean some might be justified as it’s rare to find a compelling romantic story in fiction now and days. While I find that Harry/Hermoine didn’t have the same sort of bond her and Ron had, the dissenters to Harry/Ginny are understandable considering J.K. Rowling did a really bad job building up that relationship, more pages were devoted to his ill-fated and misguided relationship with Cho Chang than developing up a significant bond with the youngest Weasley. However in some cases I think they are pushing it when it comes to finding the “signs” of their shipping preference, and I’m calling out the ones in that group that are awfully defensive about whom they prefer as a couple.”
(One Zutara Rant later)
“I just wanted to make a point on why I just don’t see why this pairing is enough to be worked up over. They can have their fanfictions and fanarts but when some of them shove their preferences down other people’s throats by bemoaning and insulting shippers of the official couple, then it crosses a line between an innocent preference to obsessive fanboyism. This is not something to get worked up over, they are fictional characters, there are far more worthy causes in the world to be all in a fussy about, having viscous debates about couples in a TV show isn’t one of them, as it doesn’t have the effect as say drastic changes in the environment or concern over how the government is running things. Don’t take it too personal, and at least have a sense of humor about it, I mean… why so serious? Now isn’t that so much better advice than saying ‘Get a life!’”
-CALLING OUT HATERS: Zutara Shippers get no satisfaction (Avatar: The Last Airbender SPOILERS), June 6th 2010
Look at the people around you when you walk down a crowded street, there is probably a sizable portion of them that are… SHIPPERS! In one form or another they have their own OTP or One True Pairing that they prefer in fiction or in real life. They’ll probably rant at great length about it on an open forum, in their blog, post a bunch of gifs on Tumblr or just talk with at great length with their friends, strongly supporting about whom they prefer as a couple, even battle with other ships over who is the true pairing. They might even make little cute nicknames of their preferences combining the first and/or last names of their characters to represent their ships.
Chances are your parents, grandparents and even great grandparents have done it as well. Before there was people debating Edward and Jacob, there was Betty and Veronica. Think the debates over Peter Parker’s one true love, Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson is a recent thing? That battle has been waged since 1966, not even Gwen dying in 1973 has quite stopped it.
But maybe I’m not quite the romantic, but I just can’t find myself understanding the whole fascination of shipping. I mean certainly I can feel strongly about people who have a romantic pull in fiction, after-all I did make a defense of Kataang (The official pairing of Katara and Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender) over four years ago. But there are certain aspects about shipping that I don’t really understand, especially the people who like to like to make cross-over ships (Merida/Hiccup, Elsa/Jack Frost… really?).
I mean it’s not like there is someone who has confessed continually can help a Fluffy Man out.
Jash Derin Kol-Ze aka jashykins:
Yeah, really wish there was someone to help you out. Someone who has a blog series about what they ship.
I didn't start out as a big shipper and it's something I kind of ended up accepting about myself. I ship purely for fun and get annoyed when people take it too seriously. Even if people use shipping to make arguments that I agree with I don't usually like it since it takes out the fun element.
I ship things that I wouldn't ship in real life including incest. They're fictional people so real world logic doesn't apply.
…You ship incest?
Well the people in my incest ships aren't real. Nothing is actually happening to them in the real world. It's the reason I can enjoy a good slasher film: nothing is actually real so I don't have to feel guilty about cheering the killer on.
In the ship Wincest (pairing between Dean and Sam in the show Supernatural) or Charlie/Miles (Charlie and Miles Matheson from the show Revolution), things don't have to happen like they would in the real world, especially in the second example.
Besides the age difference in Charlie/Miles, there is the fact that Miles is either Charlie's Uncle or Father (because the show got cancelled we'll never know for sure). In real life I would be against this because of the power play that could easily go on.
But it's fiction and non-canon so if I don't want to imagine that happening, I don't have to and so I can enjoy the ship my own way.
Well… if I were to follow that, I’d put out some examples of my own… I mean not something I personally ship but have seen people ship or really shipped within the show itself.
I mean with Game of Thrones, brother-sister incest isn’t just implied, it’s freaking canon. Part of a major conflict in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros is the incestual relationship between Jaime and Cersei Lannister which they have not only done the nasty, they’ve birthed several children including the unholy abomination Joffrey. And funny thing is there are people who believe in them, even if they are not very nice people, it’s hard to find a moral paragon in the show or the novels to be sure. But I find it really mortifying people believe in an incestuous relationship between two kind of awful people… it is just pretty damn wrong. Ship might have sunk like a rock with the scene in which it very much looked like Jaime was raping Cersei (Which they changed from the book where it’s direct about it being consensual) but that sort of plot device is a rant for another time.
One non-canon incest shipping that really freaks me out: Prince Zuko and Princess Azula, the heirs to the Fire Nation throne in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Not only is this ship creepy for the obvious reason of incest, they could not be more different of characters. Zuko is a banished prince who had spent most of his life being the unfavorite to his father Fire Lord Ozai, and feels capturing the Avatar will restore his honor. Azula is Daddy’s Little Sociopath, has no empathy for anyone around her, only cares about goals that benefit her, not mention a master Firebender and carries out creepily elaborate schemes, making her one of the most dangerous characters in the show. Both have mommy issues, however Zuko yearns because of his abusive relationship with his father, Azula dreads because her mother never loved her. Pretty much both characters are trying to kill each other for most of the show (Azula though more trying to kill Zuko than vice versa) and even have a climactic battle at the end. There is a brief period in which the characters are “at peace” with each other, but even then, there are major differences that separate them. The idea of Azula being shipped with anyone though scratches my head, she isn’t a character that has a lot of redemption or even sympathy, I doubt there is anyone that is “the one” for her because. Maybe people just don’t like Mai, Zuko’s official pairing partner in the show.
Other incest pairings I’ve seen people ship: Simon/River Tam from Firefly, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff of Marvel Comics (Which Jeph Loeb decided to canonize in Ultimates 3 *shudders*), Thor and Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Elsa and Anna in Frozen, Peter Petrelli and Claire Bennett in Heroes (Not helping with the actors briefly dating in real life), Chuck and Ellie Bartowski in Chuck, and I’m certain plenty of others that you’d likely experienced.
I think what usually leads people to do things is when writers seem to have a failure to really write interesting romances for characters, but resonate much strongly with writing a relationship with a sibling or another relative. I can definitely see people seeing the failure of a canon ship causing them to wish there was a much better pairing, but to a blood relative… must admit personally creeps me out.
Getting back to the whole writing of relationships, is there anything that you can say about the mindset of those who write ships because they feel official couples fail to compel them?
From my own mindset I never ship something because a canon ship fails. I ship canon couples as well as non-canon ones.
In the Animorphs series I ship Jake/Cassie and Rachel/Tobias just as hard as the non-canon couple Tobias/Marco.
I have really big emotions for Jake/Cassie and how much they go through and change throughout the war. I feel the sadness in the Rachel/Tobias ship by the end of the series. So they don't fail at all. They are big wins.
So I ship Tobias/Marco because I see connections between the two. Not because one of the canon ships failed.
I can't get into the mindset of someone who ships just because they feel a canon couple failed since the mindset is truly foreign to me. Of course I'm also one that doesn't hate most ships except one so I'm pretty open minded about most things.
The only pairing I don't like is canon and is from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It is between Jesse Flores and Derek Reese. It commits the sin of dumbing down Derek in order for the ship to work. Does that mean I started shipping Sarah Connor/Derek Reese because of it?
I see chemistry between two characters and I ship them. Not because 'the canon ship failed'. Of course this does mean there is a vast number of my ships that conflict with each other.
Well I feel I might relate a bit more to the mindset of finding the canon ship lacking and wish at the very least they could be bothered with writing one that is more compelling and better built upon. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley is one canonical ship I haven’t really felt. As much as J.K. Rowling and the films try to push them as a great couple, the fact is neither really did a good job building this great romance between them. They of course plant the seeds of something in Chamber of Secrets but Ginny’s importance in the series doesn’t come anywhere near as relevant until The Half-Blood Prince when they eventually become an item and (to borrow a bit of British terminology) snog. In-between Harry is side-tracked with a crush on Cho Chang which ends up pretty badly for both of them in Order of the Phoenix anyway with a combination of jealousy, betrayal and the death of Cedric Diggory (It’s much worse in the books). Harry and Cho’s arc of at least three books felt like it was given more care and attention to than the canon ship of Harry and Ginny which just seems more spontaneous than anything. Ron and Hermoine at least had an undercurrent that spread throughout the seven books, even with their tiffs especially with the whole in-book-only House Elves subplot. That does not mean I ship Harry and Cho mind you, it was great that it ended as it was more of a strained one that wasn’t going to work out.
Then there is a case in which I find all ships lacking and wished that the creators have spent energy on something else… anything else. One stand-out example recently is the sequel series to Avatar: The Last Airbender called The Legend of Korra. In this show the attempts at romance are far more in the forefront to the series than they were the previous one, and it comes at the detriment. I kind of understand since it involves people in their teens to early adults as opposed to kids in the last show, they’d tailor stories more closely related to that audience. In terms of the people involved we have the main character Avatar Korra, the brooding firebending orphan Mako, his charmingly goofy earthbending brother Bolin and rich heiress/hair-flip expert Asami. How it goes is that Bolin really liked Korra, but Korra really likes Mako, but then Mako also has a thing with Asami, Bolin’s heart is broken, eventually Asami’s is as well, Korra and Mako get together, then due to the big conflict in Season 2 Korra and Mako split up, Asami kisses Mako then trying to rekindle a relationship (In which she’s at an all-time emotional low in that period BTW), but then things get side-tracked and then Korra and Mako decide to split out for reals. A tangled web indeed, made worse by taking up a good chunk of the screen time with mediocre writing by which at the end I would like to have just screamed to the heavens like Lumpy Space Prince and shout “I DON’T CAREEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Things seem to just get better with the third season though as there doesn’t seem to be any sort of shipping shenanigans this time… I hope.
Not as bothersome to me but still kind of annoying is the whole shipping wars of Adventure Time. Centric on the protagonist Finn the Human people either prefer him to be paired with Princess Bubblegum, Flame Princess, Lumpy Space Princess, Marceline the Vampire Queen… and I’m certain there are plenty of others, Finn trying to be the honorable hero he is pretty much a chick magnet in this show. But one thing to keep in mind with any of this is Finn’s emotional maturity or real lack thereof, as he is a boy growing up to be a man, thus can’t really fathom the complex emotions of adulthood. To put it simply I can’t really strongly get behind any ship as because he isn’t quite at the point where a serious romantic relationship is possible. But if I were to put my two cents on a few, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline are REALLY too old for Finn and the former seems to just be written more and more like a sociopath. Flame Princess ship they pretty much all but sank recently. And Lumpy Space Princess… whilst strongly suggesting recently she has deflowered Finn so to speak (Yes it’s still a family show), LSP doesn’t really have much emotional maturity herself and their “moment” so to speak LSP was taking advantage of Finn, feeling disturbingly close to rape.
Speaking of Adventure Time, a popular ship is something that goes beyond the average parameter of family shows and that is Princess Bubblegum and Marceline, and I think if anything is implied strongly with the writers themselves. This is a ship I actually can see, and it’d be definitely a ground-breaker to follow through with it, if there are any spines left in Cartoon Network that is, but this show pretty much contains a ton of moments in which you question you are watching something marketed towards kids.
Any two cents on same-sex shipping? I can definitely see you have a few yourself.
Same-sex ships are either man with man which is slash or woman with woman which is femslash. And there are ships involving more than two people but that's an area I'm just now really getting into.
What I've come across shipping slash and femslash is people saying that me, and people like me, are only shipping those kinds of pairings because we have a fetish. It can't be possibly be because we see connections between two characters. Nope, we have to be fetishing the LGBTQ+ community.
What makes that even more stupid at times is actual gays, lesbians, ect. ship femslash and slash so...are they fetishing themselves?
I, myself, am not turned on by a good majority of slash pairings, but I ship them because I believe I see a romantic connection between the two. So when I ship Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (called either Science Bros or Science Husbands) from The Avengers I am not doing it because I get off on imagining them having sex.
Not that I don't mind it, but it is far from the reason I like to pair them together.
Femslash pairings, for me at least, are a little more rare though I like them as equally as slash pairings.
One of my more recent femslash pairings is Sifay (Melinda May and Sif from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) even though they only had one episode together and there's no assurance that they'll share another one.
And as for changing someone's sexuality for a ship: sometimes myself and others believe that it's obvious that someone isn't straight.
Such as Dean Winchester from Supernatural just has these moments where it seems he's bisexual. While in the Animorphs series Marco just acts too straight and makes a majority of the fandom agree he's not straight (I, myself, like to headcanon him as gay though I don't mind a bisexual Marco).
While having more LGBTQ+ representation in fiction would help, I don't think it would ever really stop these type of headcanons.
The accusation of fetishizing a sexual preference isn’t one that I haven’t heard before. This is different than the dumb accusation of something “pushing the homosexual agenda”; this is a case in which the homosexuals are actually offended by the way they are portrayed by others, especially in the media. There are writers and producers out there who just don’t know how homosexual relationships work, when gays are depicted in fiction, sadly they are usually put in as wacky comic relief or as part of an incredibly disingenuous ratings stunt. They write them less like human beings and more either to be ridiculed or fapped to.
Though with same-sex shippers, I do normally find the cases for them to be not so much about feeding a one-handed exercise and more thinking “wouldn’t it be cute if they were together” or something like that. Stark and Banner feels to me a pairing which people just really love how they talk and interact with each other, and becomes heartwarming when one isn’t afraid of the other.
Marceline and Princess Bubblegum though is a case in which their interactions can also be considered unresolved sexual tension. They have a troubled history together and in some ways feels like they’re mending a few fences in recent episodes that they’re involved in (At one point Bubblegum sniffs a shirt Marceline gave her to wake up in the morning… read that as you will). As much as people wish upon them being a couple there is still the hurdle that Adventure Time is on Cartoon Network, thus there is that barrier in which network censors would not approve of a same-sex relationship, even with all the other stuff it gets under a radar. I do hope there is at least a progressive change in which how family entertainment perceives homosexuality, but that’s definitely another rant for another time.
Yeah, some writers of TV shows and the like just don't get someone who isn't straight and their relationships. Queer baiting, though what is queer baiting and what isn't can be heavily up to debate at times, is a horrible thing where people entice others to watch in the hopes that a slash or femslash pairing will become canon. Basically using the HOPE of a same-sex relationship as bait to bring in views.
Now for a subject that I’m really kind of baffled on why some people genuinely like to do… cross-over ships. Can you explain to me the whole fascination with that?
I'm not really a person that goes with crossovers for the most part. The Shormlit Chronicles is mostly set in the Animorphs universe, at least for now though I have plans for that to change in the far future; and Inbetween: The Works of Crayak combines elements from The Following and Animorphs to get one universe.
So I don't have much experience with it personally. I will admit, though, that some crossover ships are cute and adorable.
Elsa and Jack Frost things I see on Tumblr make me okay with the ship though I don't ship it as much as I do other things.
The only fanfic I read, and do need to finish as well as the fic that came before it, that did a crossover ship wasn't one I'd normally think of but it worked. It was a Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Fringe crossover. The main pairing was Sarah Connor and Olivia Dunham.
The fic I need to finish does a great job at dealing with Sarah getting cancer and Olivia having to deal with that.
I personally don’t get the whole Jack Frost and Elsa thing, I mean other than being ice people and them having to come to terms with responsibility, Jack being a Guardian and Elsa being a Queen, there isn’t a whole lot in common with each other. Jack is a dorky trickster and Elsa is a bit rebellious but treats her powers in exile as a liberation and there isn’t a lot of time to be spent goofing around (Olaf is an unintended thing). I don’t exactly see them connecting quite as well as some Tumblr users do that gif them in scenes together.
As for Princess Merida and Hiccup, really hinges on derailing the former. One of the big messages of Brave was that Merida didn’t need a man to fulfill her life, the story was more about a conflict between herself and her considerably more conservative Queen mother Elinor. The suitors aren’t a major factor in her development, so how the heck can Hiccup be a major factor in her life? As much as there would be suggestion Merida would warm up to a suitor eventually, doesn’t change the facts. Hiccup might be part of a land with people who many of the adults have Scottish accents (Even though Vikings existed in Scandinavia), his dorkiness might have some appeal, but there is one important factor that cross-over shippers seem to not like and that is HE IS TAKEN. Hiccup doesn’t need a girl as he has Astrid, a determined yet hot-headed rookie dragon slayer who first hates Hiccup but then eventually warms up to him, and they even become an adorable official couple in the second film. I think it some people’s distaste for Astrid for some reason, but as much as she doesn’t quite strongly resonate with some people, she’s still with Hiccup, and she will always be with Hiccup (That is unless they pull some BS in the third film).
Other cross-over ships I’ve seen: Hiccup and Rapunzel (In spite of both being taken), Jack and Merida, Jack and Rapunzel (There’s even a whole shipping community called “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons”) Norman of ParaNorman and Coraline, Sailor Moon and Goku, Wally/Waldo and Carmen Sandiego, Bayonetta and Devil May Cry’s Dante (Helped by both being from the same creator), Samus and Solid Snake, Nathan Drake and Lara Croft, it goes on and on. And someone I knew once shipped Hunter of Road Rovers with Mallory of the cartoon Mighty Ducks doubling as inter-series AND inter-species ship.
It’s alright in the world of Fan Fiction but it just feels to me that if you do that, make pairings that might make sense. Then again I’m a person who has admitted to not being quite the romantic. As I myself don’t have a girlfriend and never officially had one, so I can’t exactly fathom entirely what can go into attraction, only really know what other people see it is.
The thing I think you're having a problem with is letting go of canon. As a multi-shipper who ships both canon and non-canon couples alike I don't worry too much about how they wouldn't all work and so I would just have to pick one.
I ship Dean with Sam but I still ship Dean with Castiel. Hell, Dean and Crowley look really promising especially with the finale of the current season.
So if you don't get too upset about canon, or how certain ships will conflict with other ships, there's really not much of a problem.
And as for pairings making sense...some people see things in some places that others don't. So it's really a difference of opinion at times.
Say… do you think you can ship me with someone, jashykins?
Let me first say that I don't know you that well. Even though I do a decent job at keeping up with your blogs I'm not too familiar with what series/franchises you are into. Since I also don't know you that well...near impossible to think of anything at the moment.
With that said I'll have to go with a fellow member of Manic Expression. I will just say that I pair your blogging styles up and that's really all I'm going on: Jim Bevan.
I don’t know if me and Mr. Bevan would stand each other. Now James Daniel Walsh is probably the closest I’ve come to of anyone in the Manic Expression website, being that he was a a major influence on my blogs in the first place. But I try my darndest to not suggest any tension between us when we did our co-op blogs. But he really gloated over me when he highlighted me as a Great Blogger back in March, and saying my series is better than his, leaves me very flattered. People might read some sort of tension in there. Oh and congratulations on being the latest blogger to be highlighted by James, you really seem to keep yourself busy to deserve it.
Ah, you and James. The great love story of our age.
And thanks for the congrats! I was extremely embarrassed and tried to hide from the screen. But it's still a nice feeling.
So who would you ship me with?
As far as you are concerned, I run into the same problem with you in that I only just became familiar with your work, so it’d be hard to ship someone. But maybe one of the guys from Supernatural you seem to really love them, maybe an Animorphs character, though I would have to really read up on them because I don’t have knowledge or experience in either. I know of one or two other known people who have a great appreciation of Supernatural so maybe… Obscurus Lupa?
Obscurus Lupa? I don't mind being paired with her. I don't keep up with her videos often but when I do watch them, sometimes in a binge which is the same way I like to view Linkara, I do enjoy her.
So maybe you are right, shipping can be a fun thing. Mind you there is definitely an extreme to it, in which people so passionate they really start to tear fandoms apart. As well there are certain parts of which I’d not like to get into like when people ship a kid with a grown adult, I feel very uncomfortable with even discussing it. But taking away the bad, there can still be something enjoyable found in there, I don’t quite know if I can completely come up with the right words.
Just a few assorted thoughts to wrap things up about shipping on my end:
-I’m probably not alone in thinking as a child, Shaggy and Daphne felt more interesting of a pairing as opposed to Fred and Daphne.
-I honestly don’t care about Gilligan enough to really think he can really be paired up with Mary-Ann or Ginger (Though I’m more of a Mary-Ann guy but that’s a self-insert)
-Batman and Catwoman OTP.
-Peter Parker and Mary Jane OTP, though hard for me to think how it could have worked in Spectacular Spider-Man a show that ended before they even got to that point.
-Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart.
-I’m not a fan of actor shipping, even if celebrities can look adorable together, I leave that to the gossipy media.
-Good lord… don’t get me started on Anakin and Padme.
Any last things you want to say about shipping?
My final words would be to just enjoy ships for fun and not to take them too seriously. Not that I like when my OTP (Science Husbands) are said to just be friends, but I don't start yelling at people.
Some people just think that ships need to be canon because they believe in them. I believe the LGBTQ+ community should be represented better, but some of the more...passionate shippers take things too far and don't help.
There are plenty of people who can take things too far with something they are passionate about in their fandoms. That is not to say passion is a bad thing, but certain passionate battles definitely feel like they take the fun out of whatever they are fighting about.
Thank you so much for helping me with this blog. This definitely has been a surreal and at the same time kind of enlightening conversation.
You're welcome. I love talking about shipping so it was a good conversation for me too. And any time you want to ask me to collaborate with you in the future just ask.
Happy to ship with you.
End of Rant
See jashykins on:
Her Blogspot page
Has her own forums