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Are You a Supernatural Fanfiction “Shipper”?


Hey folks! Check out this awesome article by my good friend and writing partner, Kelly. She and I share the “Supernatural Thursdays” column over at TV Equals and each Thursday we discuss a new topic about our favorite show. Recently she did an article that I thought y’all might find interesting.

Supernatural Thursdays – Are You a “Shipper”?
by Kelly Michele

As a completely open minded and non judgmental Supernatural fan, I feel that we can talk about a very heated topic in the fandom without people flying off the handle or taking offense. Am I right? I hope so because this week is all about “ships”.

In a fandom (and according to Wikipedia) “Shipping” is defined as such:

Shipping, derived from the word relationship, is the belief that two fictional characters, typically from the same series, are in an intimate relationship, or have romantic feelings that could potentially lead to a relationship. It is considered a general term for fans’ emotional involvement with the ongoing development of romance in a work of fiction. Though technically applicable to any such involvement, it refers chiefly to various related social dynamics observable on the Internet, and is seldom used outside of that context.

Shipping can involve virtually any kind of relationship — from the well-known and established, to the ambiguous or those undergoing development, and even to the highly improbable and the blatantly impossible. People involved in shipping (called shippers) variously assert that the relationship does exist, will exist, or simply that they would like it to exist.

Okay. So we all know that there are various relationships that fans really enjoy on Supernatural. Sam/Ruby (apparently the use of a / while talking about two characters is the technical way of writing a “ship”), Dean/Jo, etc. etc. etc. And then… there are relationships that fans talk about that I find hard to understand. Yes, I’m going to go there in this article so if you’re offended easily or take things personally, I want to state for the record that this is a SAFE place where you can state your opinions without being judged. I am also not trying to offend anyone or belittle any thoughts; so please don’t take this topic in that way.

I’m open to every and all opinion and want to hear from you!

Like I said, I don’t “ship” any relationship on the show except for maybe a teeny bit of Sam/Ava. I prefer the boys single, without strings, and relying on each other to get through an episode. Hell, I don’t even like Sam/Jessica, so that should tell you something!

I’ve never been a “shipper” and I wanted to write this article as more of an outreach to the fandom to explain to me why there are such PASSIONATE feelings about specific pairings. I’ve seen more fights break out between fans that don’t agree on a character relationship than I think any other topic in the Supernatural fandom.

This article is coming from a comment that a reader left on last week’s article where I was accused of being a “shipper” of Dean and Cas. I really wanted to know why that was thought and just exactly how many people see that as a romantic relationship! I’m just downright curious about a lot of things having to do with “shipping” and I hope you guys, the fans, can make me understand.

So here are a few of the “ships” that I’d like you guys to weigh in on. Informational, negative (as long as they are respectful), and positive comments are all welcome! Let’s just make sure that we all play nice and don’t intentionally set out to hurt other people’s feelings. That said let’s begin!

Supernatural Fanfiction: Sam/Dean (aka Wincest)


Might as well get this one out of the way as the first topic of discussion. I’m on Tumblr and follow a lot (and I mean A LOT) of Supernatural blogs. I also am on message boards and various sites and this pairing ALWAYS comes up. It was even referenced in “The Monster at the End of this Book” when Sam discovers the underground world of the Supernatural novels.

Now. This is sort of a taboo topic, but since we’re all adults, we can be mature and non-judgmental.

Members of the fandom that don’t ship Sam/Dean seem to get hung up on one major issue: Sam and Dean are brothers. They were raised as brothers, and Dean has always had a girl around since he hit puberty. Where does the romantic relationship come in between these two? This is, followed by a close second with my next pair, seem to be a huge topic of debate among fans. And one that the most fights will break out around.

……Check out the rest of Kelly’s article at TV Equals.

In addition to writing for TV Equals, Kelly is also webmaster and writer for PopKelture. Kelly’s bio reads: “I’m a lover of pop culture, a hater of censorship, a proud fangirl, and a writer for several websites. I believe the Winchesters, Buffy, Dr. Horrible, and Malcolm Reynolds can solve all of the world’s problems. I’ll survive longer in Jurassic Park than you. I’m a believer of fairy tales and super heroes.”

More from Moki’s Fanfiction Blog…..
Fanfiction Writing Tips: Using Fanvids as Inspiration
Fanfiction Writing Tips: 5 Ways to Avoid the Dreaded “Mary Sue”
Fanfiction Writer to Entertainment Writer – My NCIS:Los Angeles and Supernatural Interviews from Comic Con
Moki’s NCIS Fanfiction Story: “The Cavalry Rides Again” – Chapter 17
Moki’s Supernatural Fanfiction Story: “Blood Brothers” – Chapter 5
Moki’s Supernatural Fanfiction Stories and Recs
Moki’s NCIS Fanfiction Stories and Recs

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  • http://twitter.com/fictionalchick Cara V.

    I’m rather new to the whole Supernatural scene- and I got pretty creeped out when I heard about the Wincest thing. I’ve never paired people on shows before and Tumblr is the first place that I had seen shipping (they always do it to characters in a zombie game I love to play).

    Personally my mind just never goes there. If a character is written- that’s how I view them and I don’t go off on my own tangents nor have I ever wrote fan fiction despite being a writer. I get that there are deep relationships on the show- but I don’t really understand taking that relationship and insisting it be sexual… and I’m nowhere near a prude. I simply don’t get it.

    Psychologically- it says a lot about a person, how their mind works etc. I want to know why people do this… why want a sexual relationship between brothers? Dean and Cas / Cas and Sam… it’s all hella kinky. It’s just there isn’t any sexual tension on this show so people are creating it. Maybe that’s something people need?

  • http://www.popkelture.com/ Kelly

    Hi Cara! I like your thinking – I’m very interested as well (which is obviously why I wrote the piece) as to why people “ship” specific pairings. I personally don’t enjoy Sam/Dean or Cas/Dean (however I can see Cas/Dean more than Sam/Dean), but I’m intrigued by people that do see these pairs.

    I’m actually writing a follow up to this piece next week on Supernatural Thursdays for TV Equals, so be sure to check that out!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Cara, thanks for commenting!

    I definitely used to get more disturbed by the Sam/Dean stuff and the Jared/Jensen stuff when I first discovered it. Some people have tried to convince me that “Hey, they’re just characters!” but I just can’t got there with brothers, whether they’re “just” on TV. Also, a friend tried to get me into J2 and I can’t really do that either, because these are real people. I should point out that the stories I was reading were not overly sexual either, but it doesn’t matter in my head for either one, since I have trouble with both. Nowadays, I can at least accept that other people like it, even if I don’t enjoy it myself. 
    I have discovered a few Dean/Cas stories that I like, but again they didn’t focus on the sexual aspect of their relationship. If I do read any sort of ships or slash, those are the ones I usually gravitate towards. Where they are maybe a “couple” but you don’t see anything in the bedroom, just their working relationship. If I do those kinds of stories, those are usually the only kind I will read. That way it doesn’t detract from the storyline, at least for me. 

  • http://gaelicspirit.livejournal.com/ Gaelicspirit

    Having been part of this fandom since the jump, I am rarely surprised by the various “ships” out there. Scrolling through Live Journal communities, I’ve seen pairings from those you’ve mentioned above to others such as Gabriel/Sam, Ellen/Dean, and even John/Dean.

    Many of those pairings have me tilting my head. Some are simply unusual while others sound as if the taboo-ness of the relationship is the appeal. One thing fandom has opened my very naive eyes to is the fact that there are a lot of different kinks and triggers out there in the world.

    I’m not a “shipper” by the definition you included in your article. My thoughts are more along the lines of Cara V.’s — I see the characters as they’re portrayed in the show. That doesn’t mean I won’t write Dean and/or Sam with a female companion once in awhile — they are guys, after all. Single, virile, and more than willing — as canon has shown us. And regardless of the show, I can roll with it if a relationship happens organically within the storyline of an episode (be that a male or female pairing), or even within a fanfiction story, but I’ve never really been one to think that  just because two people look good together, or have a certain chemistry, they must therefore be linked in a romantic relationship.

    I suppose I can see the draw on some level — we all crave some sort of connection and we all need a release. It’s why many of us write fanfiction in the first place: we want to create an extension of the world we enjoy but with our own rules applied. It just doesn’t appeal to me to have all close relationships immediately or ultimately end in sex. I guess, for me, I don’t understand why two characters can’t just enjoy the intimacy of  friendship or brotherhood without the sexual undercurrent.

    I much prefer when characters find it’s the draw of friendship, or of being partners, brothers, family that connects them. Soldiers in war, cops, hunters, siblings…there is a bond there that says ‘I love you’ on a deeper and more meaningful level than the temporary release of sex.

    As you said, Moki, I can accept that others like it even if I don’t. And I can just scroll past the stories that have pairings that don’t appeal to me. It’s one of the great things about this genre of fanfiction — there’s something for everyone.

  • Anonymous

    You’re so right about one of the great things in this fandom being the sheer amount of fanfic out there. There’s so much that everyone can probably find what they want, and skip over the rest. 

    For me too it’s about the draw of the friendship and the partnership, not so much about the romance. Like you said, that bond says “I love you” more than anything else and though the boys have never said it, their very actions prove. That’s the love I want to see, above anything that could ever happen in a bedroom……or in the back of the Impala. ;o)

  • http://twitter.com/fictionalchick Cara V.

     I will be sure to do that! I will say that I’m obsessed with the Impala though… all I’ve been doing is making Impala posters lol I built an impala in photoshop…  I dig Dean’s relationship with his car… and after hitting Swan Song I just loved it so much more. So hey… we all have our things.



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