I talked about the bad and the ugly ships (see previous post), but what about good?
Glad you asked (and if you didn’t, stick around, I might surprise you.)
Okay, I’ve talked about fictional relationships before, if you’ve read my Justice League posts, about Batman and Wonder Woman, and Mr. Miracle and Barda.
I talked in those posts about how Scott and Barda have an extremely functional relationship, while Batman and Wonder Woman, on the JLU show, has a potentially good one, but kept getting in their own way, and how I thought we could learn from both.
I’m risking losing some of you here, but I will say that I think shipping characters can be a healthy use of time. It can be innocent at the very least, and women usually can’t help it, honestly. But even for men it might be good tool for gauging where your own expectations for a relationship are.
I’m often confronted with what my own standards are when I find some fans shipping characters I either really like, or really hate the idea of being together.
Abusive relationships and homosexual ones are at the top of my list of “NEVER EVER EVER” along with incest, obviously (eww.)
But what about the ones I like? Asking myself why I like it has proven very useful to me in deciding what makes a good relationship.
The nice thing about fiction ships is that you get so much variety. There could be many reasons it works, and they can be specific to the characters as much as real life is. You learn to broaden your view of a good relationship. With that in mind, I’d like to talk about some of my favorite kinds of ships.
- I do love the pure, unadulterated, they just fall for each other upfront ship. It’s pretty rare now, and even mroe rarely is it intersting, but when it is, it’s really beautiful. In my mind it’s the most realistice kind of relationship. Most people marry someone they intitially liked and grew to love. A lack of tension can make a relationship boring, but when it’s well written and you see how well they suit each other, you wont’ find it so. Pure love is simple, but it’s never boring.
- I like the healing kinds of ships. Ones that are based around one character helping another through a very hard place in their life, and they develop those feelings along the way. The ship is cool because it feels earned, and you can definitively understand why the characters trust each other. This kind of relationship also happens in real life quite a bit.
- Perhaps the funniest ship I like is the one that starts off with them not liking each other. It’s overused in romantic comedies. But it’s not a bad idea functionally. It provides more comedy then the other two, and often the most character growth out of the three. It involves very different people having to learn not just to understand, but to love and appreciate each other through their differences. Though how these relationships resolve is often unrealistic, the concept it not, because most married couples find out that living together is that exact experience. Learning to love. In that way, the animosity-to-love ship is the most real of all.
So, that said, how does seeing this in fiction really help me?
For the first kind of ship, I’d like to use the classic example of “The Princess Bride.” That’s not technically shipped, because there was never any doubt of it, but these kinds usually are established early on in the story anyway. In the movie/book Wesley and Buttercup fall in love, and stay in love. It’s pure, real, and powerful. But it’s opposed. What makes the story great is that at no point do either of them tear each other apart, split up over some stupid fight, or waver in their affections for each other. They know their own mind, and yet they still have to fight for what they want. (Wesley does anyway.)
The power int his is the very constancy. Love never fails.
I think Scott and Barda fit this example well too, but I already wrote about them so I won’t rehash it all here.
Often the healing ship can happen just through characters supporting each other, not always with a traumatic experience having to happened first. I think Jamie and Landon fro “A Walk to Remember” are a good example of this. Older films tend to have it more. People sharing each other’s burdens is a powerful thing.
For the last ship, I could name dozens of examples if I had an hour to think about it. But that won’t be necessary. My current favorite ship of the animosity sort is the Qrow and Winter ship from RWBY. I have a lot of other ones I like, and they are all different, which makes the description hard. I’ll stick to the one for now.
More than for the other two, you have to fundamentally understand both characters for this ship to really be good. I am not about watching people fight and then like each other without any really good reason for the change. (Sorry Quest for Camelot, I like you, but it was clumsy at best.)
I like this ship because both characters have certain traits in common. They care about their family, believe that people have to learn how to fight for themselves, and are loyal, perhaps too loyal at times.
They are also widely different. Qrow is open about his opinions and not one to care much for delicacy. He has a rough and tumble approach to family togetherness, and to telling the truth.
Winter by contrast tends to keep her opinions in reserve unless she feels superior to the person she’s talking to, she’s more willing to submit to authority, and though she’s not very gentle, her approach is more cool and severe than rough. It’s hard to imagine her ever playing a game with anyone.
They hate each other–ostensibly, but they aren’t so different in essentials as they think.
That’s why I like it. If two people share core values, then initial disliking of each other can be a good catalyst for growth. And not such a bad foundation for a relationship. The other kinds may be easier, and heartwarming, but in the end, most of us will have fights with our spouse, and have to be willing to change, or compromise. We’ll have to learn to be more humble in how we approach disagreement.
Again, many fictional couples could fit into this category.
the cool thing is how diverse it can be. When you realize why people suit each other, it can give you a better understanding of love.
Love is not all hearts and roses, though that’s fine, but in the end love is about growing with someone. Any ship can give you that picture. And the more different they are, the clearer it becomes that love isn’t really about type. It’s not about a formula.
Whether people are alike, or different, they will still grow together, and that’s why it can work either way. Maybe it’s a bit of a reality check to us, not to think we know exactly what kind of person will suit us. In “Anne of the Island” L. M. Montgomery shows the foolishness of thinking you’re fancies are what would be best for you.
A little honesty: If you got exactly what you wanted, the chances are it would be bad for you because they person would let you get away with too much crap.
Unless you think that you don’t dream of them tolerating a lot more of your quirks then most self respecting people would…yeah, I know. Brutal. I’m working on not thinking that way myself, but I know marriage will stills hock me by showing much of a fantasy that really is.
Jane Austen’s books are more realistic, people have faults, but are they ones that you can grow with, or ones what will make you worse? That’s the real question.
Toxic relationships often are more about people being ill suited for each other’s faults then intentionally harming each other.
Anyway, that’s about all I have for now, until next time–Natasha.