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Launcher Of A Thousand Ships / Literature

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  • While Animorphs fandom has a tendency to pair off all the characters, Marco gets it more than any other. He's been paired with every single Animorph plus some side characters. (And if Ax is paired with anyone at all, it's generally Marco. Unless it's Tobias, which is squick, for several reasons.)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • Edmund Pevensie is the Ensemble Dark Horse from all the protagonists—the Troubled, but Cute Lancer, with a pale skinned-dark hair complexion. Hence he is shipped with practically everyone, plus various made-up fan characters. Out of all the ships, the most popular are him with Lucy and Peter.
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    • Caspian has the distinction of being pretty much the only main-ish character who's not a Pevensie, which makes him popular among shippers who aren't fond of incest. Ships include Caspian/Susan, Caspian/Lucy, Caspian/Peter, Caspian/Edmund...
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Daenerys Targaryen fills this role. Common pairings include Jon/Dany, Viserys/Dany, Drogo/Dany, Daario/Dany, Jorah/Dany, Tyrion/Dany, Dany/Jon/Tyrion, Dany/Aegon and Dany/any-of-her-handmaidens. To be fair, most of those have basis in canon. Viserys feels Dany up at least once, and their family has a good old tradition of incest, while one of the handmaids (Irri) takes it upon herself to sexually service Dany when she's having a restless night. There are several foreshadows (Valyrian polygamy and the three-headed dragon) indicating that Dany could take two husbands in the future (although and she would find Tyrion completely repulsive). As for Khal Drogo, well...
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    • Aegon comes in a close second, with possible matches including Dany, Sansa, Arianne Martell, Margaery Tyrell, or even Arya. As a young man with a solid claim to the Iron Throne, Aegon is easily Westeros' most eligible bachelor.
    • Sansa Stark seems to be one of the most commonly shipped, despite being no older than thirteen at the end of the last book. The most popular ship is Sansa/Sandor, but there's also Sansa/Petyr, Sansa/Tyrion, Sansa/Margaery, Sansa/Jaime, Sansa/Jon, Sansa/Theon etc.
      • The three oldest Stark siblings, Jon, Robb and Sansa all count, and between the lot of them have been shipped with nearly everyone in the series. Including each other. Especially each other.
    • Roose Bolton seems on his way to becoming this in the LJ and Tumblr communities.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Hermione Granger has been paired with characters of every age, allegiance, gender, and other realities and worlds. Thanks to carrying a Time Turner around for a year, there are even stories where Hermione is shipped with temporally displaced copies of herself!
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    • Harry has been shipped with almost every character imaginable, especially Draco Malfoy, Snape, and Cedric. Fanfiction wise, he has been paired with any named character (even those he never met) or any creature you can imagine, and of course, a fair amount of fanmade stuff. There is also a surprising amount of pairings that use Harry as a girl. And there is a lot of Crossover Shipping too, from the Naruto or Twilight characters.
    • Severus Snape similarly is shipped off with a multitude of characters, from certain students to other Death Eaters, as well as with a Mary Sue.
    • Bellatrix will fuck Anything That Moves, even her own sister or nephew!
    • The Giant Squid is a joking example—any discussion of Crack Pairings is bound to have somebody claim they ship Squid/the first character that comes into their head.
    • Luna Lovegood has also been paired with everyone (usually as a Beta Couple though).
    • Draco Malfoy has been shipped with anyone that is mention he has had eye contact with in the series.
  • Bella Swan from Twilight is a huge example of this. There are pairings of her with practically every character, including those of lesser importance. And the crossover ones, of course. There's even Bella/Tyler's Van.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians :
    • Percy Jackson has been shipped with every character in his titular series, including very minor characters. Especially since Word of God says that even though demigods' parents may be related, demigods themselves, even if they share the same divine parent, can fall in love and have kids with no issues.
    • Luke Castellan is like this as well. He's often nicknamed the fandom bicycle.
    • In the sequel series The Heroes of Olympus, Leo, the Ensemble Dark Horse, is even more extreme. Being the only character without a Love Interest in-universe until House of Hades makes him in the fanfic available to every character mentioned.
  • Crowley from Good Omens fandom along with the Fan-Preferred Couple Aziraphale/Crowley he is also shipped with Hastur, Pollution, adult Adam Young, the angel Gabriel, his Bentley, and in Crossover Ship John Constantine, James Bond, Harry Potter, Olympia Black... and anyone else. Being mistaken for an incubus seems to be a common plot thread. Lampshaded in one fic ?Do I look like a sodding *** toy to you?? Don't Answer That.
  • Everyone in Warrior Cats has had this to a certain degree:
  • The Left Behind detractors, in their exquisite Bile Fascination, has chosen Nicolae Carpathia for this role. This comes most directly from Fred Clark's famous weekly blog detailing just how bad these books are, the comments section for which has officially branded Carpathia to have canon chemistry with EVERYONE — and they've set out to prove it too!
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • Frodo Baggins. Especially in the wake of the 2001-3 films, Frodo got paired with every conceivable hobbit, many big strong Men, and an Elf from time to time. Oh, and Gollum. Most of this was generated by women who found Elijah Wood's portrayal seriously attractive. Then again, he is the protagonist.
    • Legolas, oh so much. Because he is pretty and an elf, and fangirls turned authors really like those things. It helps that there's been almost fifty years of people writing fanfics for this series, although Lemons were relatively uncommon before the movies due to the average age of the fanbase. Legolas/Aragorn, Legolas/Every male elf (including his father Thranduil), Legolas/Gimli, Legolas/Faramir, Legolas/Most of the self-insert characters, Legolas/Sauron, Legolas/Gandalf, and so on and so forth.
    • Due to most people not knowing about the wider legendarium, this doesn't happen nearly as often with the other characters. For those who are aware though, Fingon is generally the Launcher: mainly because he acts as The Heart in the text. It helps that he's a Pint-Sized Powerhouse (at least in comparison, especially to his brother Turgon) and named for his pretty hair. Finrod also gets this on occasion due to being a blond bombshell, and fans seeing Ho Yay between him and various human characters (but it is less common as he has a canonical, albeit absent, love-interest)
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe tends to have at least one per era.
    • In the prequel era, Anakin's Single-Target Sexuality doesn't stop all the Anakin/Obi-Wan, Anakin/Ahsoka, Anakin/anybody who's not Padmé fics. To say nothing of Anakin/Palpatine...
    • Obi-Wan gets a bit of this as well, despite being a Celibate Hero in canon. Anakin/Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan/Padme, Obi-Wan/Siri, Obi-Wan/Satine, Obi-Wan/Vos and Obi-Wan/Bail are all popular pairings.
    • In the Rebellion and New Republic eras, it's Luke. It would be Han (because he's sexy), but everyone likes the Han/Leia ship too much. This doesn't stop Luke/Han slash, though it's overshadowed in the fandom by Anakin/Obi-Wan.
    • In the New Jedi Order era, it's Jacen and Jaina. Not together. Usually. (They're also sometimes paired, or even a One True Threesome, with Anakin.) But Jacen and Jaina are paired with anybody who isn't related to them.
    • In the ''Legacy era, Cade. He'll do Anything That Moves, so...
    • As the Legacy of the Force / Fate of the Jedi era goes through, it's turning into Ben. Oh, so much.
    • Quinlan Vos is this in the Republic comics (though usually he's shipped with Mace, Obi-Wan or Aayla).
  • The GONE series by Michael Grant has a huge ensemble cast, but for the most part it's averted this trope by the main characters only tending to have one canon love interest... And then there was Lana Arwen Lazar. She's been paired with him (and fanned with by big groups too);
    • Sanjit, her official boyfriend and a manic pixie dream boy whose only significance to the plot is "fixing" her.
    • Quinn, with who she has many a UST moment with and there's still loads of sexual attraction between the two.
    • Cookie, who she used her power to heal in the first book and now he literally only lives to serve her. (kinky).
    • She's been shipped with the gaiaphage, and unfortunately, due to their disturbing "bonding time" spent together in the first two books, it can be considered canon.
    • She was even paired with Edilio in the first book, although he came out as gay in FEAR, which made Lana...A beard?
    • Seriously, the only other character with multiple ships is Brianna, who has two canon ships (with Computer Jack and Dekka), although some argue Dekka doesn't count seeing as it's a one sided crush.
  • Maximum Ride has Iggy, who in fanfiction has been paired with every member of the Flock (yes, even with 6-year-old Angel), Dylan, and Maya. And that's not even mentioning the sheer amount of Mary Sues and Original Characters the fandom comes up with. Or even the crossovers...
  • Protector of the Small's protagonist, Keladry of Mindelan, doesn't have any official love interest. So she's paired mostly with Neal, Dom, and Cleon, the three boys she crushes on... but it's not hard to find fics shipping her with, well, pretty much every character in the series, particularly the Yamani Ladies or other pages/squires.
  • If the Honor Harrington WMG page is any indication Shannon Foraker is an extremely popular shipping target. Also doubles as a great pun given her position as the commanding officer of one of Haven's biggest shipyards.
  • Believe it or not, Sun Wukong the Monkey King is this for Journey to the West. As far as Chinese fanfiction is concerned, he's been shipped with practically every important (and not so important) character, which is a lot. The Monkey King has been shipped with his Master Tripitaka, his fellow pilgrims (Pigsy/Zhu Bajie, Friar Sand/Sha Wujing, White Dragon Horse/Yulong), Nezha, Master Puti, Erlang Shen, the Six Eared Macaque, nearly all his enemies (the White Bone Demon, the Spider Demon, the Bull Demon King, Princess Iron Fan, the Yellow Robed Demon, the Jade Emperor, etc.), himself, the golden cudgel, original characters, crossover characters, and so on. Animals, humans, demons, deities, you name it, he's been shipped with it. There's even a pairing called All/Wukong, which pretty much speaks for itself.
  • Wings of Fire: Moonwatcher. She's been paired with Qibli, Winter, Qibli and Winte,, Turtle, Kinkajou, Anemone, Darkstalker, Clearsight, Mightyclaws, and the entire Jade Winglet, among others.
  • Alice, Girl from the Future: The fact that the main heroine is never portrayed as older than thirteen in canon doesn't stop the shippers. Alice gets shipped with Pashka, Kolya Naumov, Kolya Sadovsky, Kolya Sulima, the Third Captain, Rat, Left Mole, various Self-Insert time travelers and other OCs, etc. There is also a growing count of Crossover Ship fanfics.

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