“There’s something about shipping characters together that brings us immense joy and, yes, sometimes heartbreak”


Spoiler Warning: this article contains spoilers for the Netflix series Wednesday, and HBO Max series The Last Of UsRead on at your own discretion. 

It’s happening. Her hand caresses her face and there’s another hand on her waist and then their lips touch. You scream, multiple times and cry with joy. Your Mum, downstairs, is concerned you’re upset about something. 

If only she knew. 

Am I the only one who reacts this way when my favourite ship, finally, gets together? From the amount of queer YouTube reactors I’ve seen who have screamed like they’ve just won the lottery when their ship has sailed, I doubt that very much. 

There’s something about shipping characters together that brings us immense joy and, yes, sometimes heartbreak. Years ago, I remember watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer when I was probably far too young to watch it, and shipping Buffy and Faith. I could see some underlying sexual tension between them and even though nothing ever came of my ship, I still enjoyed imagining these characters being together. 

Image: 20th Century Fox

That’s the beauty of ships, we all have different perspectives and this can generate discussion between friends or even random people who you might start chatting too, because who else is going to understand the dedication and passion it takes to create a scene compilation of your favourite sapphic ship?

Recently, I watched the Netflix series Wednesday and couldn’t help but ship Wednesday and her close friend/roommate, Enid, who also happens to be a werewolf. Even though they are complete opposites in terms of personality and style, they share a strong connection. 

Shipping these two characters enriched my viewing experience. I became more invested in them and felt much more immersed in the story. Who doesn’t enjoy wailing like a pterodactyl when two fictional characters who you’ve longed to be together, finally do, or at least show signs of becoming something more? I totally do this with real people too… honest. 

Image: Netflix

The pros far outweigh the cons (if there are any?) Okay, let’s be fair here. The only “negative” consequence of shipping is the pain we experience as fans if something terrible happens to a couple that prohibits them from exploring their relationship or actually being together. I cannot tell you how much pain fictional characters cause me. It’s actually soul crushing. I need my gay soul to be full and shiny.

Speaking of pain, let’s move on to another series. The Last Of Us, which is based on a video game, seemed to be on everyone’s queerdar and I was roped into watching it by two very passionate friends who apparently, like to torture me, for fun. 

Set in an apocalyptic world where a hideous strain of fungi infects the human race turning them into fungus loving “zombies,” a grieving father is enlisted to protect Ellie, a young girl who is immune to the infection, who supposedly could hold the key to finding a cure. 

Ellie’s best friend, Riley, gives her the best night of her life by taking her to a mall and giving her a tour of the arcades. For those of you who have watched The Last Of Us, you know what happens next. For those of you that haven’t, I would proceed with caution and prepare yourselves to have your heart, mind and spirit ripped out. 

Image: HBO

Though, not all ships may end up where we want them to, there’s something exhilarating about witnessing their story from the comfort of your sofa, or chair or whatever you choose to sit on. It gives us a chance to experience a range of emotions in a safe environment which can be a good thing. 

Still, there are many sapphic ships which never get to see the light of day due to their show’s cancellation. Warrior Nun, First Kill, Batwoman, Fate: The Winx Saga, Gentleman Jack, Queer as Folk and many more have all been cancelled even though the majority had dedicated fans, huge fan bases and produced big ratings. 

There isn’t a clear answer as to why this keeps happening. But what I find inspiring is fans don’t let this stop them from celebrating and enjoying their sapphic ships. We write stories, create art, and edit videos with sexy and romantic background music. 

No one can take this from us. Not even the powers that be, who for some reason, don’t always recognise the importance of sailing sapphic ships 

Try saying that when you’re screaming at your screen at 2am because your ultimate sapphic ship has just got married and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you. 

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