The Annoyance of Shipping

Time for another rant. That’s right, another one. Same thing as usual, if you disagree with me, leave immediately, I do not want trolls or arguments on this blog as long as I continue to run it. But if you have something to clarify then be nice about it.

Okay, so I’ve been part of quite a few online fandoms in the past 5 years. It’s not so bad at first. You meet different people; some are nice and chatty, some are crazy people who post a shit-ton of memes especially on a forum, and some of them are just trolls who want to upset others and they will continue as long as you feed them. (in fact one of the forums I’m on right now has people separated into castes, and I feel like I’m the only person in the caste I’m in who doesn’t post memes, troll, or post completely random things, instead I want to have an actual discussion. But then again, the caste I’m in doesn’t have a lot of people in it right now so that might change later on.)

I can be a tough talker in online fandoms; be it a forum or Facebook group and at other times I’m friendly and want to just talk with people who share this passion with me. But sadly there are some things I find absolutely stupid.

That is shipping. No this isn’t buying something online and having it shipped to your house. This is when you take fictional characters and imagine them as a couple. Most of it annoys the hell out of me because I don’t see the two characters you have chosen to make a good pair as a cute couple, or I have a crush on one of them and don’t want to see them with someone else other than myself.

I ship myself with Optimus Prime, the Didact, and all my fictional crushes. So why does someone shipping them with someone else bother me?

Well first off, it depends on the situation. Take Marcus Fenix for example, you can ship him with Anya Stroud. That doesn’t bother me because it seems they had some chemistry throughout the series. Sam & Baird, they didn’t seem to get along but there were hints at the first part of the game that Sam likes Baird.

Shipping the Librarian and the Didact doesn’t bother me because their relationship was part of the story, they were married. There was a fire between them at one point until they went their separate ways when the Didact had gone mad.

So it all depends, but if people in a fandom start to ship characters who are just friends, I don’t see any connection between them. A lot of people ship Optimus and Arcee in Transformers Prime only because they once held hands during the first season. This became extremely annoying, not only because I am a Prime-Lover, but also because well Optimus hasn’t been with anyone since Elita-1. Probably because he doesn’t want to put them in greater danger. Arcee has a close relationship with Optimus but she’s more like his go-to girl. That sort of thing and nothing more.

The most recent however is when people said shipping between the Didact and the Gravemind is happening. This one seriously is the grossest I’ve come across, because well it’s between a Forerunner and basically a giant Venus Fly Trap. What the hell? That’s worse than the time a large number of people in the Halo fandom ship Thel ‘Vadam & Rtas ‘Vadum.

Not saying I don’t support homosexuality, because in reality I do support anyone who chooses to be gay or lesbian in their lives. It’s just that something like Thel & Rtas more than friends I cannot see, not just because I am smitten for both of them, but also because both of them seem more like the type who would rather be with a female Sangheili.

But the nonsense of Gravemind x Didact or Gravedact as it is sometimes called (thank the Mantle it’s not viral and can be found everywhere from fan art to fanfiction, I would literally lose it if I started seeing fan art about this shit) is just plain disgusting, not just because it’s a Forerunner with a giant Venus Fly Trap, but also because well it’s gross. In the Forerunner saga’s third book (review on that trilogy coming soon) the Ur-Didact encounters the Gravemind when stranded in a Burn with Catalog and the Gravemind tortures and manipulates him. I haven’t finished the book yet, but as far as I know, this is what makes him go mad, desert the rest of the Forerunners, experiment on himself that changes his appearence, and so on. In fact I had an argument with a few people today on a forum about how I don’t support this disgusting shipping, even if it is a joke when they say it actually happened.

Correction: It did not happen. Here’s what REALLY happened: The Ur-Didact meets the Gravemind, the Gravemind tortures and manipulates him to become his puppet, the Didact goes mad, changes his appearence, composes a human colony, is imprisoned by his wife in a Cryptum, BOOM end of story. There is no other connection that a giant Venus Fly Trap and a Promethean should share other than that particular encounter. It would be too disturbing to see something like sex going on between those two.

So why on Earth would people start shipping those two anyway? It’s one thing how love developed between the Didact and the Librarian, but with the Gravemind? Yes, the Didact was technically his puppet but love? Hell no, it’s just too weird, and yet people tell me, “it already happened” what do you mean it already happened? It was brainwashing! It disturbs me how in these fandoms, people come up with the most unusual shippings ever like this one.

So now do you see why I think this is interspecies shipping gone too far?

Yes, I ship myself with all the aliens I have a crush on, but if I were to ship any other characters I wouldn’t make it so unusual if it was interspecies. I love interspecies romance so Femshep and Garrus Vakarian is one thing but Ur-Didact and Gravemind that’s another. It’s a matter of how different each species is. I never have to worry about this shipping nonsense in the Mass Effect fandom since you have several romance options to choose from, but I’ve always been with either Thane or Garrus.

I’m not saying this shipping needs to stop, in fact people like this can do whatever the fuck they want, but I don’t see the point of it being fun. The only shipping I do is shipping myself with a character that makes my heart swoon. At times some of it is okay because it’s part of the plot of the original story, but if it reaches a certain point where there is a HUGE difference in species (human and alien is one thing, but alien/human and giant beast or parasite is another), or the two characters have a close bond but don’t seem to want anything deeper than friendship in the original story, that’s when shipping begins to irritate me up to a point when I despise it.

I usually try to ignore it but it’s not easy sometimes, especially when fan art pops up, or a topic shows up about it.

So in a way, I don’t have a complete problem with shipping and I ignore it as best I can, but if it goes too far to some extent then I start to really hate it. That being said, I’m glad that this shipping stuff is only a fan-made thing that fans imagine and it’s all jokes, instead of it becoming official in whatever franchise we’re talking about here, even if the two characters had a close moment together (hence the reason why people say “This shipping is actually happening because of their encounter”) whether it was briefly holding hands in Antarctica or one brainwashing the other to become their puppet and they are driven to madness.


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