May 21, 2007

lost and harry potter: which ship will sail in the season finale?

With the season finale of "Lost" around the corner, people are wondering if the Jack-Kate-Sawyer triangle will be resolved. So, are you a Jater (a Jack-and-Kate shipper) or a Skater (a Sawyer-and-Kate shipper)? You don't know what a shipper is? Let's visit the experts:

From the "Lost" forum on Television Without Pity (TWoP):

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what the heck is a shipper?

A shipper is a 15 year old girl who watches a TV show only to see a particular relationship come to fruition. i.e. people pining for Kate to finally "choose" either Jack or Sawyer. They care not for competent writing, plot development, or believable characters.
According to Urbandictionary.com the term was first used with regard to the series "The X-Files" (which I never watched):

The term "shipper" comes from supporting a ship. To ship something means a person wants two characters to get together and/or shows support for two characters already together. The term "ship" came from the X-Files fandom, when fanfics were written about Mulder and Scully. The fans then called themselves shippers. It quickly spread and is now the title a person gives themself if they believe two characters should or will be together.

Passionate shippers can also be found in the Harry Potter community. In an article entitled "if you're an obsessed Harry Potter fan, Voldemort isn't the problem. It's Hermione versus Ginny" the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in 2005:

In the Harry Potter fandom, 'shipping (short for "relationshipping") simply means championing a romantic relationship between certain series characters, either within canon or in works of fan fiction (fan-penned fiction that spins off an original narrative). Potter fans have long been divided into camps advocating one 'ship over another: Some celebrate the pairing of Hermione and Harry, for example; others want to see Harry and his nemesis, Draco Malfoy, erase the thin line between love and hate.

Competition has been especially fierce between the Harry/Hermione and Harry/Ginny camps, where devotees have spent years on various Web sites, forums and mailing lists arguing the plausibility of their chosen pairings. "The Half-Blood Prince" should have settled the matter when it matched Harry with Ginny and Hermione with Ron. Instead, it's caused an eruption of fannish dismay. "That woman has completely destroyed my faith in ever having a real relationship," opined one Harry/Hermione 'shipper on an online message board.

And while their 'ship has been sunk by Rowling, it will probably continue to flourish in fan fiction. In fact, regardless of what happens in the final book -- Harry might surprise everyone by swimming off to share a love nest with Hogwarts' giant squid -- it is equally probable that the series' many 'ships will keep on sailing.

And I'm pretty sure the producers of "Lost" will feed both Jaters and Skaters in the finale and in seasons to come.

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