My name is Ashly and I have shipped non-canon pairings.
I’ve probably been doing it since before you were in fandom. I know I’ve been doing it since before talking about fandom was a thing you did without the safety of hiding behind a fake username. I’ve discussed “wouldn’t it be great/hot if…” scenarios and, yeah, let’s just go all out here, I’ve written fanfic involving couples who were never, ever, ever getting together. Ever.
I am here to prove to you that I have survived. And that, somehow, you will as well.
Shipping non-canon couples is fine. I wanna make sure you know that. If you wanted to see Kirk and Spock all over each other, that’s your call and I’m not gonna judge you. Though, to be fair, I did at one point pretty heavily judge anyone in the Final Fantasy X fandom who shipped Auron/Rikku because he is a) too old for her and b) DEAD, OKAY? SPOILER ALERT.
It’s not like something not actually coming true in the source media somehow invalidates what you’d like to see. When a creator puts something out there, they are at the whims of their audience, and a large portion of the fun of fanworks is exploring “what if” scenarios, so if you wondered what it would be like if Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance were more than just friends, then FANWORKS ARE YOUR FRIEND. And there is likely someone out there who has had the same thought and will want to talk about it with you and compare notes and it can be so. damn. much. fun.
But for some reason that I will never quite understand, some people seem to feel that if their pairing isn’t approved in the source material, you have somehow managed to time travel into the future and take a huge shit on their grave.
The most infamous incident I can think of was while the Harry Potter series was still being released. Notably, it was when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out.
So much happens in Half-Blood Prince. There was a lot to get emotional over and things that were sure to cause a ton of fan outrage. And do you know what I saw the most outrageous anger over?
Dumbledor’s death? Psh, no, old dude gets killed whatever.
Snape turning traitor? WHO CARES?
No. No, the most terrible thing JK Rowling did in Half-Blood Prince, according to a very vocal section of the internet, was this:
THAT’S RIGHT. HARRY/GINNY. ROWLING, YOU UTTER BITCH.
See, there was this expectation that Harry was going to end up with HERMIONE and Ginny…let’s just not go there regarding their opinions of Ginny.
So, why do I bring this up now? Because, I have to confess, I’ve been sucked into the whirlpool that is Teen Wolf. Why, you ask? Well…
…for the plot. Totally for the plot.
Anyway, the most popular pairing in Teen Wolf is that of Stiles Stilinski (human best friend of the lead character) and Derek Hale (mysterious failure of a werewolf). The pairing is commonly known as “Sterek.” For the record, in a world where Final Fantasy 8 fandom gave us the namesmush “Squinoa,” I cannot laugh at “Sterek” as much as I want to.
Anyway, as for the pairing, I don’t get it, but I’ve gotta give them this: it is very pretty.
Please remember, I told you: I watch it for the plot.
Anyway, recently there was word that, sadly, Sterek will NOT become canon on the show. And from the internet there was a moment of silence.
And then? FIRE.
Okay, okay, exaggerating, but seriously. I can see why there was a certain amount of hope that it COULD happen: Teen Wolf has been pretty cool about normalizing homosexuality on the show, in fact we’ve been promised that the openly gay character of Danny will be getting a werewolf boyfriend and some on-screen loving in Season 3. Besides that, the show has done things such as holding a slash-friendly fanfiction contest where the winner got to meet members of the cast and the creator and, well, stuff like this.
FOR. THE. PLOT.
WHAT WAS I TALKING ABOUT?
Right, anyway. Sterek no happen.
Disappointment I can get. Especially in a case where you saw hope for it.
But the battle cry of STEREK EXISTS? Oh, folks.
Look, yes. Sterek exists and can continue to exist in fanart and fanfic and whatever else you wanna make. Obviously the cast and creator are COOL with it, in fact cast members may ship it (or they may be trolling, I don’t know, either way it is awesome). But it’s just NOT the direction the show is going.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still ship Sterek. You are TOTALLY allowed to. I’m sure most of the fandom would prefer you did (though there may be some people who would like to see a little more Stiles/Scott/Allison stuff. I mean, I assume so). But really, let’s all remember that it’s all in good fun, that life goes on, and we should pay attention to the important things.
Like the plot.
THE PLOT, DAMMIT.
Ashly is an IHO Geek contributing writer and, apparently, a creeper who is hoping you don’t kill her for saying any of this. She is glad to discuss the plot of Teen Wolf on her Twitter @newageamazon