“Shipping” is a fandom term that refers to a desire to see two fictional characters in a relationship. Shipping includes many behaviors, such as…
- Wanting canon to bring the characters together.
- Wanting to interpret canon in such a way that it makes sense for the characters to be together, or that they’re already together.
- Fantasizing about two characters being together, regardless of whether that would make sense.
- Wanting to produce or consume fan works that portray the characters together.
- Rooting for a particular relationship over the alternatives, similar to how sportsball fandoms root for teams.
As a person who has always been on the outside of fandoms, shipping doesn’t really make sense to me. That is, I have difficulty imagining ever feeling that way about characters. Sometimes I like romantic arcs in fiction, and I even enjoy stories in the romance genre, but I don’t fantasize about counterfactual relationships between characters.
But perhaps it’s something I can understand after all. Because you see, I have fantasies in the opposite direction.