Supernatural Thursdays – Are You A “Shipper”?

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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!

Sam/Dean
 

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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.

So, if you ship Sam/Dean tell me why in comments below!

Dean/Castiel
 

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From what I’ve seen, this seems to be the most widely accepted pairing in the fandom. Non-shippers of Dean and Cas seem to wonder how this works as Castiel is an angel. I’m not asking anyone to get into the logistics of things, but while Cas is Dean’s best friend (yes, I’m going to say that, and we all know that I mean besides Sam) why does that mean that they automatically need to be in a romantic relationship?

Can’t they just be BFF and be done with it? And… why would Dean take Cas to a brothel if he wanted to hook up with the angel himself? It seems to get a bit confusing when Dean is shipped with any other guy just because of his love of women, but I digress.

Castiel and Dean is a feasible pairing based on their “connection” and some of the subtext between them. And the fact that Dean is really the only person that Cas has on earth since he and Sam don’t really get along. Which leads me, in turn, to my next pair.

Castiel/Sam
 

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No disrespect intended to Sam/Cas shippers, but this pair is one that is a HOT topic on Tumblr. Sam/Cas seems to be the most unaccepted pairing that I’ve seen. Again – just basing this off of my social media feeds; not my personal opinion! The main reason that I see for the dislike of Cas/Sam is simple: Castiel and Sam don’t even seem to like each other very much. In the canon story of the show they barely shake hands, they don’t really talk, and Castiel brought down Sam’s hell wall!

I’m not trying to start another debate on the whole Cas vs. Sam front (although that was a spirited conversation last week!), but this does seem to be a heated pair over on Tumblr! If this is your “ship” let me know why!

 

Those are the top three that I wanted to talk about and what I would LOVE more comments on. Like I said, I’m not trying to disrespect, I’m honestly VERY curious as to the thoughts that go behind each “ship”. I know I missed out on a lot – I’ve read things about Bobby/*Fill in Sam or Dean*, Sam/Gabriel, Dean/Crowley, etc. etc. etc.

What I do find interesting is that our fandom tends to shy away from shipping any of the boys with women. Why’s that, fandom? Let me know your favorite ship in comments below! And remember – be respectful!

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