Shipping is a popular term used by fans of fiction to express their desire for two characters to be in a romantic relationship. It is a shorthand for “relationship” and “bonding,” and it has grown into a phenomenon of its own. Shippers have their own language, cultures, and communities where they can express their passion and creativity. But what does it mean to ship a couple? In this ultimate guide, we will explore the world of shipping, from its history to its impact on media and fandoms. Whether you are a seasoned shipper or a newcomer to the game, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know to understand what shipping is all about.
The Origins of Shipping
Shipping has its roots in fanfiction, a form of fan-created writing that explores and expands upon the characters and worlds of popular media. In fanfiction, writers can explore different pairings and romantic relationships between characters that may never happen in the canon (the official storylines of a media property).
Shipping, in a way, was born out of fanfiction. When fans started writing stories featuring romantic relationships between characters, they started to use the term “shipping” to describe their affinity for these combinations. Shipping also became a way to express fandom and creativity, creating new narratives and possibilities beyond the original canon.
What Does “Ship” Stand For?
The term “ship” is short for “relationship,” and it’s often used to refer to the act of supporting a romantic relationship between two characters. For example, if you ship Harry and Hermione from the Harry Potter series, it means you support them being in a romantic relationship, despite the fact that they were not canonically paired in the original books or movies.
Types of Shipping
Canon shipping is when the relationship between two characters is supported by the canon of a media property. For example, in the Twilight series, Edward and Bella’s relationship is canon, as it was developed in the official books and movies.
Non-canon shipping is when the relationship between two characters is not supported by the canon of a media property. For example, if you shipped Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter series, it would be considered non-canon shipping, as they were not officially paired in the books or movies.
Crack shipping is when two characters who are unlikely to be in a romantic relationship are paired together by fans for humor or irony. For example, if you shipped Dobby and Hermione from the Harry Potter series, it would be considered crack shipping because it is an unlikely pairing that is not supported by the canon of the books or movies.
The Different Types of Ships
Canon ships are pairings that are supported by the official canon of a media property. Some of the most popular canon ships include:
- Harry and Ginny from the Harry Potter series
- Buffy and Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Ross and Rachel from Friends
Non-canon ships are pairings that are not officially supported by the canon of a media property. Some of the most popular non-canon ships include:
- Harry and Hermione from the Harry Potter series
- Johnlock (John Watson and Sherlock Holmes) from the Sherlock Holmes series
- Stucky (Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes) from the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Brotps are pairings that involve two characters of the same gender who have a close, non-romantic relationship. Some popular brotps include:
- Sherlock and John from the Sherlock Holmes series
- Sam and Dean from Supernatural
- Troy and Abed from Community
Crossover ships are pairings that involve characters from different media properties. Some popular crossover ships include:
- Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes from Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes series, respectively
- Tony Stark and Hermione Granger from Marvel Cinematic Universe and Harry Potter series, respectively
- Dean Winchester and Buffy Summers from Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, respectively
The Impact of Shipping
Shipping can have a positive impact on fans and media properties, as it creates a sense of community and fosters creativity. Fans can use shipping as a way to express their love for characters and media, creating art, stories, and memes that celebrate their favorite pairings. Shipping can also create a sense of empowerment for fans, as they can take ownership of the characters and stories they love and create their own narratives that go beyond the official canon.
Shipping can also have a negative impact on fans and media properties, as it can lead to toxic behavior and conflicts. Some fans can become overly invested in their favorite ships, attacking other fans who do not share their opinions or engaging in harassment and bullying. Shipping can also create unrealistic expectations for media properties, leading to disappointment and backlash when a particular pairing does not become canon.
The Ethics of Shipping
Shipping is a form of creative expression, and as such, it can be subject to ethical considerations. When shipping involves real people, such as actors, it can be seen as intrusive and potentially harmful to their personal lives. Shipping can also perpetuate harmful stereotypes and tropes, such as the fetishization of queer relationships or the glorification of emotionally abusive relationships. It’s important for shippers to be aware of the potential negative impacts of shipping and to engage in a thoughtful and respectful way.
Shipping is a fascinating and complex phenomenon that has captivated fans of fiction for decades. From its humble origins in fanfiction to its impact on media and fandoms, shipping has grown into a thriving subculture with its own language, communities, and cultures. Whether you are a seasoned shipper or a newcomer to the game, this ultimate guide has provided you with all the information you need to know to understand what shipping is all about.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is shipping? Shipping is a term used by fans of fiction to express their desire for two characters to be in a romantic relationship.
- Where did shipping come from? Shipping has its roots in fanfiction, a form of fan-created writing that explores and expands upon the characters and worlds of popular media.
- What are the different types of shipping? The different types of shipping include canon shipping, non-canon shipping, and crack shipping.
- What are some popular ships? Some popular ships include Harry and Ginny from the Harry Potter series, Buffy and Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Johnlock (John Watson and Sherlock Holmes) from the Sherlock Holmes series.
- What is the impact of shipping? Shipping can have a positive impact on fans and media properties, as it creates a sense of community and fosters creativity. However, it can also have a negative impact, leading to toxic behavior and conflicts.
- What are the ethics of shipping? Shipping can be subject to ethical considerations, such as when it involves real people or perpetuates harmful stereotypes and tropes.