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Ship To Ship Combat / Literature

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  • Older Than They Think: Russian author Alexander Pushkin's verse novel Eugene Onegin (published in serial form in the early 1800s) attracted quite a bit of this. What's more notable is that the author actively took part. At one point, he asked a group of fangirls where they saw the various ships of the novel going. When he didn't like their answers, he then lectured them on why their favored ships were wrong. Granted, he had a good point, since the shippers' preferred ships were incompatible with the book's aesop, but most people reading Eugene Onegin in serial form probably weren't aware there was a deeper literary point to the shipping drama.
  • Harry Potter's is probably the biggest and one of the first to take place in the virtual world of the internet. Even Rowling described it as akin to trench warfare. It can happen between any ship, though the largest and bloodiest (virtually, of course) was between the Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny ships vs. the Harry/Hermione ship, for obvious reasons. Though true shippers tended to stay with their own ship (because it's much more fun to talk with people who agree with you, than fight with people who don't), there were obnoxious militant fans on both side with a tendency to enter chat rooms or forums and spam them. There were also very vigorous debate threads on many of the main fansites. The war was exacerbated after the release of Half-Blood Prince and the infamous interview Rowling gave in which the interviewer suggested that any leftover Harry/Hermione fans were "delusional." Rowling agreed that they were misled (but did specifically say they weren't delusional), which led to quite a lot of fan hate in her direction.
  • Twilight: Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. Since the release of Twilight in 2005, shippers have argued vehemently, and even resorted to physical violence, flame wars, and hate fics, over whether Bella should end up with Edward or Jacob. On the other hand, Edward/Jacob shippers argued that Edward and Jacob were really in love with each other.
    • With the release of Breaking Dawn and Bella choosing Edward and marrying him, and Jacob imprinting on Bella and Edward's half-human, half-vampire hybrid daughter, Renesmee, despite author Stephenie Meyer's writing suggesting a possible romance developing between Jacob and Leah, shipping wars continue, albeit over Jacob/Leah (or "Blackwater") and Jacob/Renesmee. Meyer herself has rebuffed any indication in her writing of Jacob/Leah suggestions, saying Leah has "absolutely no romantic interest in Jacob". Despite this, Meyer's stated interest in writing a possible sequel series to the Twilight Saga, featuring Renesmee's or Leah's POV, and likely featuring Jacob heavily, has served to ignite further flame wars between Blackwater and Jacob/Renesmee shippers.
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    • Of course, the Saga's multitude of minor characters also has ignited smaller shipping wars, including Edward/Bella vs. Jasper/Bella vs. Alice/Bella vs. Alice/Jacob vs. Jacob/Rosalie vs...well, you get the picture. Even anti-Twilight forums like Twilight Sucks debate over which ''Twilight'' couple is the "best" and "worst".
  • The Hunger Games: Team Peeta vs. Team Gale. Even with the release of Mockingjay, and Katniss ultimately choosing Peeta, marrying him, and having kids with him, the epic war over whether Peeta or Gale is better for, or "deserves", Katniss more has reached staggering proportions.
    • The movies do their best to cash in on this by making Katniss and Gale seem much more romantic, adding kisses not in the books, and downplaying Katniss and Peeta significantly, presumably to make the rather weak triangle from the book more viable (it's made clear fairly early in the books who Katniss will end up with). Surprisingly this has only seemed to have the effect of killing the ship to ship combat and mostly have fans complain that the endgame couple isn't given enough spotlight. By the time the third movie came out the shipping war had more or less died out and while both couples have their fans there seems to be little to no fighting between the two "teams".
  • Perhaps the oddest fandom to have this going on is Les Misérables of all things, vis, Marius/Eponine vs. Marius/Cosette. The stupidest arguments from each side are that Marius/Cosette reeks of boringness and that Marius/Eponine shippers are so socially locked out that they feel better looking up to a street urchin. Try not to trip on the Eppie Sues and avoid any variations on the phrases "First Girl Wins" or "Stalker with a Crush" if you want to keep all your limbs.
    • A positively vicious example broke out recently between the fans of Enjolras/Grantaire and the small faction of Enjolras/Eponine shippers. Some of the former have gone so far as to accuse the latter of erasing canon sexualities, despite the fact that Enjolras could be also interpreted as Asexual or a highly repressive Celibate Hero. The Irony kicks in when many of these crusaders completely dismiss the possibility of an asexual character, and thereby practice a form of the erasure that they are trying to combat.
  • Hilarity Ensues when Ship-To-Ship Combat breaks out between the writers of a collaborative work. This has happened at least twice to the Star Wars Legends:
    • During the Bantam era it seemed as if every other author was trying to pair Luke up with their original character: first there was Ship Tease with Gaeriel Captison in The Truce at Bakura, then Luke fell in love with old order Jedi Callista Ming in The Callista Trilogy, then had an implied dalliance with his traveling companion Akanah in Black Fleet Crisis. Timothy Zahn had the last laugh, retconning Mara's implied courtship of Lando to a spying mission and marrying him to Mara Jade in Hand of Thrawn, but then Legacy of the Force stuffed her into the fridge. Many angry Luke/Mara fans viewed as Ship Sinking by vengeful writers (though it probably wasn't, or at least had more to it than that).
    • The X-Wing Series and Jedi Academy Trilogy had two shipping wars, one of which also intersected with Hand of Thrawn. X-Wing: The Krytos Trap established Wedge Antilles as being attracted to Corran Horn's old Space Police partner Iella Wessiri, now an operative for New Republic Intelligence, but their relationship was derailed by the discovery that her husband was still alive and then was killed by Iella in self-defense when he turned out to be a Manchurian Agent. Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy Trilogy paired Wedge with Qwi Xux, a beautiful but incredibly clueless engineer who helped design Imperial superweapons, and additionally shipped Mara Jade with Lando. Aaron Allston's Starfighters of Adumar broke them up and put Wedge back with Iella, while Michael A. Stackpole's Fix Fic for the JAT, I, Jedi, established that Mara and Lando were just Undercover as Lovers (in preparation for her and Luke getting together in Hand of Thrawn, which came out shortly after).
    • Between Troy Denning (mainly) and Dark Horse Comics over Han and Leia's daughter Jaina. Denning seemed to want to pair her up with her old friend Zekk from Young Jedi Knights, a fellow member of Luke's restored Jedi Order, whereas Dark Horse preferred the New Jedi Order character Jagged Fel, a human fighter pilot serving in the Chiss military and son of an Imperial Ace Pilot from X-Wing Rogue Squadron. Dark Horse resolved it with the implication in Star Wars: Legacy that Jaina and Jag had founded an Imperial dynasty together, and a subsequent novel from Del Rey stated the two had married.
  • The biggest pity in the world is that Little Women wasn't written 150 years later. It would have been grand to watch the Jo/Laurie and Amy/Laurie Ship Wars unfold, the outrage when the author deliberately sunk the Fan-Preferred Couple, and the various creative and excruciatingly painful ways Amy must die. But unless Alcott's fans' letters are preserved in a museum somewhere, one of the earliest Shipping frenzies is lost to time.
    • What evidence remains suggests it was a ship war for the ages, with poor Professor Baeher and Amy taking the worst of it. Now if someone only found some nineteenth-century fanfic in a trunk somewhere...
    • Actually, the STSC still lives. The Jo/Laurie "essay" in the Ship Manifesto LJ comm is full of Amy bashing, Relationship Sue calls and "Jo/Laurie OTP!" bitching from both the rant's author and the commenters. It has even reached this very wiki, sadly.
  • Warrior Cats: Apart from having an extremely divided fanbase on the basis of favourite characters, you can find a ton of fanfic for pretty much all pairings you can think of (and also for some that you can't). Some particularly obvious examples are:
    • A common debate is whether or not Firestar should be with Spottedleaf or Sandstorm. And let's not even get started on Cinderpelt, who had unrequited feelings for him that he was oblivious to.
    • Funnily enough, Crowfeather has three canon love interests (Feathertail, Leafpool, Nightcloud), but there's little to no Crowfeather/Nightcloud faction to argue against the Crowfeather/Feathertail and Crowfeather/Leafpool shippers. This seems to have extended to even the authors themselves, with constantly contradicting statements between two of them about whether Feathertail or Leafpool was his true love.
    • There are the Lionblaze/Heathertail, Lionblaze/Icecloud, and Lionblaze/Cinderheart factions, the former two often despising Cinderheart. As for Cinderheart herself, there's the question of her aforementioned pairing with Lionblaze or Jayfeather/Cinderheart.
    • Who should Jayfeather be with? Cinderheart? Willowshine? Half Moon? Kestrelflight? Poppyfrost? Briarlight? His stick? A question that no one seems to know the answer to until Sign of the Moon.
    • Then there's Ivypool/Bumblestripe vs Dovewing/Bumblestripe, Dovewing/Bumblestripe vs Dovewing/Tigerheart...
    • Many Mothwing/Leafpool shippers hate Crowfeather. Many even believe that he abused Leafpool.
    • Despite being the mother of the original lead Firestar and not even appearing in-book, Nutmeg gets the short end of the stick from both Jake/Tallstar and Jake/Quince fans because Jake fell in love witb Nutmeg after them.
  • Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: lovers or just "blood brothers"? A classic question. Ask it to any serious fan of the books and they will enthusiastically respond — shippers going off on endless subtext rants and non-shippers calling the shippers ignorant and/or delusional. The huge amount of Ho Yay in the 2009 movie just added fuel to the fire.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Don't mention Susan/Caspian to people who ship Caspian/Ramandu's Daughter (aka Lilliandil) or Susan/anybody but Caspian. Just don't.
    • Peter/Susan and Edmund/Lucy fans weren't pleased when Caspian appeared in the picture, cause it spurred other ships like Caspian/each one of the Pevensie siblings. Most prominently:
      • Caspian/Susan vs Peter/Susan, which spurred fiction like Caspian/Susan/Peter, since the second film, Prince Caspian. This film ended up supporting it accidentally and indirectly: Peter and Caspian have a feud since the beginning that involves Peter initially hating and bashing Caspian, while Susan is instantly swept off her feet by Caspian.
      • Caspian/Lucy vs Edmund/Lucy, which spurred fiction like Caspian/Lucy/Edmund, since the third film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The same as above but this time, Lucy wanting to be noticed by Caspian and trying to be like her older sister, while Edmund is revealed to be jealous of Caspian at one point. When Edmund is tempted by evil again, he actually tries to get rid of Caspian, because Caspian opposes Edmund's intention of becoming powerful and rich with Lucy through the magic pond that turns everything into gold.
    • Caspian/Susan vs Caspian/Lucy most prominently, but also vs Caspian/Peter vs Caspian/Edmund.
  • Jane Austen's niece Louisa Knight claimed that, when she was 8-years-old, she observed her aunts Jane and Cassandra having a mock debate over whether Fanny Price of Mansfield Park should have ended up with her Stalker with a Crush Henry Crawford or Edmund, leaving Janeites forever tortured without knowing the details. If only they had conducted their mock Team Crawford vs. Team Edmund ship war in letters!
  • Team Rebecca got so vocal in the 19th century Ivanhoe fandom that Sir Walter Scott had to write them a letter explaining why Wilfred didn't end up with Rebecca.
  • Within the Wicked fandom, you either believe it involves a Starcrossed Lovers story between Elphaba and Glinda, or you don't. The ship even has several musical casts (including the original cast) and apparently even the author on its side. However, there are also fans of the ever-popular rival ship "Fiyeraba", Fiyero and Elphaba, which is equally as canon (and more-so apparent in the books and musical).
  • A Song of Ice and Fire sees Ship To Ship Combat not only between individual ships, but also between philosophies of how shipping should work. On one hand you have the traditional shippers, who focus on chemistry and how hot a given pairing would be. On the other hand you have political shippers, who pair people up based on political advantage. The political shippers generally concern themselves only with prominent noble characters.
    • Shippers sometimes come into conflict shipping Sansa with a variety of different characters: Sansa x Sandor (Sansan), Sansa x Petyr, Sansa x Harry,Sansa x Willas, and Jon x Sansa (Jonsa).
    • Fans also ship Arya with Gendry (Gendry/Arya) while others ship her with Young Griff, a character claiming to be the believed-to-be-dead Aegon Targaryen, who was the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martel thought to be killed as a young child.
    • Robb has this going for him as well. There is the One True Love story with his canon love interest and wife Jeyne Westerling and some ship him with a more powerful player, like Margaery Tyrell, in order to win the War of the Five Kings. Then there are also the Theon/Robb and Robb/Jon ships. Some Theon/Robb and Robb/Jon shippers combine the two into Theon/Robb/Jon in their fanfic stories.
    • In the previous generation, we have Robert/Lyanna versus Rhaegar/Lyanna, (with people actually having fought over this in universe, too). A weirder one is Rhaegar/Lyanna versus Arthur/Elia: the ships don’t actually conflict with each other, but Arthur/Elia fans don’t like Rhaegar and often show him as a cheating asshole that Elia needs Arthur to save her from.(Unless she needs to hook up with Arthur in retaliation.)
  • Artemis Fowl doesn't have any portmanteau couple names, but the battle between Artemis/Holly shippers and Trouble/Holly shippers doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon, particularly since neither side can be Armed with Canon yet.
    • A slightly lesser debate is Artemis/Holly versus Artemis/Minerva. Some people can be very very cruel to poor Minerva...
  • A in-universe example is The Iliad: Helen's suitors (plus Agamemnon and Odysseus, who, being already married, were out of the competition and chosen as referees) had sworn they'd do anything, including war, to defend Helen's marriage to whoever was the lucky guy, so when Paris kidnapped her from Menelaus (the lucky guy who won Helen's hand) they raised their armies, involved anyone else they could and marched on Troy, while the Trojans (and, later, their allies) did the exact same thing to defend the Paris-Helen ship.
  • Bobby/Courtney versus Mark/Courtney and Bobby/Loor were quite bad at times when The Pendragon Adventure was popular. The fact that all sides were Armed with Canon at at least some points in the timeline didn't help, and neither did making Bobby/Courtney the Official Couple with a Time Reset and the undoing of loads of character development. Made particularly painful for Mark/Courtney shippers, who'd thought an Anguished Declaration of Love on both sides would have helped their cause, only for Mark and Courtney to barely interact alone together (or until the very end, in the last book) in the last two books.


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