Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ship Shape: Picking the Sinking Ship

Welcome to Ship Shape, your home for all things shipping, in which we gush and swoon over our favorite fictional couples and break down just what it is about them that captures out hearts.

Previously on Ship Shape: Elizabeth and Darcy

A couple of days ago, an extremely popular trilogy came to an end. Not only was I looking forward to Ignite Me because I really enjoy reading the Shatter Me series, but because I had to know if my ship prevailed. Okay, mostly I was reading to see if my ship prevailed. And if it didn't prevail, what was I going to do? Eat a tub of ice cream? Rant on Twitter? Send Taherah Mafi angry anonymous notes with letters all creepily cut from magazines?

"Make Juliette pick Warner or you'll never see your favorite pillow alive again!"

This is a spoiler free post, so I'm not talking about what the end result in Ignite Me was, but rather the general phenomenon of investing in the doomed ship. I've talked about this a lot with Molli, fondly known as the Patron Saint of Doomed Ships. If she ships a ship, there is a ninety percent chance that ship is headed to Iceberg City (her most epic shipping failure is her Hunger Games ship, if you ask me). Me, on the other hand? I tend to be very lucky when it comes to picking ships. Call me a ship psychic (I wish). Okay, no, call me canon fodder. I tend to go along with the ship the author ships. Like my brain subconsciously picks up those hints the author's leaving, which somehow gets my heart on board, so I end up shipping the ship I was meant to ship.

But obviously not all the time.

I still ship it. I just ship the part that's falling. I ship the smokestack.

My ship on Gilmore Girls did not prevail. On Gossip Girl the evil writers chose to snatch shipping victory from my hands. I still maintain Luna and Neville should have been a thing. And do not even get me started on Little Women.


It's quite an emotional thing to invest in a ship. Sometimes you pin all your hopes on it. Sometimes it's the thing you truly love about a series above all. So the question is, is your love for a book or series diminished when your ship doesn't win out?

The answer can be yes, which is so unfortunate. It can't be helped. But sometimes the author sways you off your ship, or so many elements are at play in the series that the resolution of the ship isn't the most significant factor. But other times... Oooh, is it rough. It hurts to go so deeply into a fictional relationship and come out of it with nothing. I gave you my all, ship! I gave you everything I had, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!

Row, row, row your boat, gently to your death

For example, there's a love triangle set to be resolved this year that I am super worried about, God help me. In spite of myself, I am apparently enormously invested in the romantic outcome of The Selection trilogy. It's strange, because, in all honesty, I don't like this series. I don't like it at all. But I also feel like, if America picks As(s)pen, I will make fire and brimstone rain from the heavens and also punch my copy of The One in its bookish face. (I need therapy.) My enjoyment of that series hinges entirely upon the outcome of that ship.

Maybe I'm spoiled when it comes to ships. I get very cross and crankypants when the obviously correct ship (aka mine) is defeated in shipping battle, and that's possibly because I'm not used to losing in the shipping long run. And in regards to me usually siding with the chosen ship: does this mean I only invest in ships I know are going to be successful? To spare myself the agony of sinking? it's an interesting question, and I don't honestly know the answer.

Obviously I won't stop shipping, because that's crazytalk and honestly an impossible task for me. Shipping is how I read; I can't help it, and I wouldn't want to stop it. Whether the investment engenders a reward at the end or not, the act of giving your heart so fully to a piece of fiction is still a magnificent thing. Sink or sail.

What about you? Are you a Patron Saint of Doomed Ships, or Canon Fodder? Have there been any sunken ships that really hurt you? Bear in mind this is a SPOILER FREE POST, so please be considerate in the comments.


  1. *sigh* I am seriously a patron saint of sinking ships. Seriously. I can hardly think of a time when I HAVE been successful. I lost in The Hunger Games, Unearthly, Everneath... I will probably lose in Shatter Me, though I've only LIGHTLY chosen a side there. I'm losing in Reign, currently. My favorite ships in Harry Potter and Doctor Who never made it to canon. ;_______; basically authors and TV writers hate me. This is why I need there to be no love triangles. It never works well for me.

    Bahaha I'm interested in The Selection's resolution as well. Though I still need to read The Elite. I've just been putting it off because it's so guilty pleasure that I don't even really want to allow myself to read it xD At least, after the first book, I was on Maxon's side, so sorry to let you know your ship will probably sink ;)

  2. Ahhhhhhhhhh our sweet Patron Saint of Doomed Ships. At least we know if we ship the opposite, we're gonna be okay 99% of the time.

    Also her Hunger Games ship is the worst of the worst.

    LUNA AND NEVILLE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A THING. Really. What was she thinking?

    I am terrified about the outcome of The Selection. I was so just angry at everything that happened in The Elite.

    Of course, I'm going to be crushed this summer when Ruin and Rising comes out because of my ridiculous (and probably emotionally disturbed Darkling/Alina shipping), but I don't think that I've ever liked a book less because my ship didn't prevail. I think the only time I came close was in Bitterblue because I so did not want her with Saf.

    I just get frustrated with love triangles in general, and I'm more likely to dislike a book just for having one, then I would be if my ship wasn't end game.

    1. I see you sneakily talking about me, Ang. *hugs THG ship close and smothers them with kisses*

      GAH, R&R. I am TERRIFIED of that book. TERRIFIED.

  3. Crown of Midnight. I didn't know whether to sob at the horror of losing or because the enemy ship was still SO BEAUTIFUL WAH.

    And don't even get me started on the majestic failure that was Dramione. That ship was never built. BUT WE STILL SHIPPED IT.

  4. This post is hilarious! I also tend to be the patron saint of doomed ships. Gale, Jacob, Ren from Nightshade, Jem Carstairs (that one was a little different I guess), Simon from TMI. The list goes on and on. So I think that's why I was so pleasantly surprised by IGNITE ME. My ship never wins, so it was a momentous occasion. Lol I'm also really invested in the America/Aspen/Prince triangle. If she doesn't choose royalty, somebody is gonna lose their head- that's all I'm saying ;-)

  5. I think I'm usually okay with ships. Some of them will be how I wanted them, and sometimes, others won't, that's life, and I do get quite annoyed when a ship I'm passionate about doesn't happen, Neville and Luna for example, but I do get over it with time. Sometimes the ship is the focal point like in the Starcrossed Trilogy, and I'm delaying the last book because I'm nervous about who she'll choose, but in the end, you just have to swim or drown. This is a great post! :D

  6. I'm okay with ships . I have not encountered one yet that devastated me yet . Cute post

  7. I avoid books with love triangles, so thankfully my ship always wins. :D
    Actually, the only two series I've read with love triangles are VA and THG, and I knew the outcomes ahead of time. I was definitely Team Dimitri (I mean, Adrian never stood a chance anyway), but I would have preferred Gale (I wasn't invested in either romance in that series, so it wasn't a big deal to me).

  8. Wait...I thought Luna and Neville WERE a thing! They were in my refuse-to-acknowledge-the-epilogue-refuse-to-read-recent-blog-posts head, anyway :) And they still are. #TeamIMakeMyOwnReality

    But no, one reason I am done with triangles and trilogies is that MC girls always pick wrong (IMNSHO :D) Bella? Katniss? Cassia from Matched? WTF were all of you thinking?? I'm sure there are more, but my brain refuses to remember them. Because of reasons.

    Happy shipping!

  9. I love this post! I am about 70/30 on my ships. I tend to get it wrong in movies more often in books and boy does it hurt. I get really upset with Little Women too, haha. I shipped Bella and Jacob and stopped enjoying the series when I realized it would not come to be. Seriously I love this post! :-)

  10. First of all, THANK YOU, for the spoiler free post.
    I usually get my way in books. Like you, I must be lucky that way. There are a few that I which for something else: Bella & Jacob (obviously), Puck and Meghan. Not very man, happy to say.
    Where I get screwed is the Kdramas. Without fail, if it's a Kdrama, I pick the second lead almost every time. Maybe it's the fact that so many of the main guys in Kdramas are like such DB's at first. I dunno. But somehow I end up okay with it in the end. With few exceptions. (*cough* You're Beautiful *cough*)

  11. I have this rather alarming tendency to create ships out of the main characters and the comedic-relief-haha-funny-but-super-awesome-on-the-inside side characters that usually end up dying. My ships go down before the plans are even laid out to build them. It's gotten to the point where my life is just like "#NopeNopeNopeNopeNope":)

  12. (Firstly, to everyone who has read IGNITE ME: JEALOUS.)

    I think my problem is that sometimes when I feel like the author is saying: "here's this lovely couple, ship them," it doesn't feel organic to me. Not ALWAYS, but just sometimes. Like with THG, I could never really get all the way behind Katniss/Peeta for REASONS. But Gale/Katniss had that wonderful history, stories, that BOND that developed so beautifully into more. (I also tend to go for the couples/potential couples with history, or who are second-chance-love-stories. It's a thing I do.)

    Sometimes the canon ship is awesome for me, I mean, Anna and the French Kiss was screaming "SHIP ANNA/ETIENNE" at me and I was all "OH HECK YES I WILL BOARD THAT SHIP." I shipped the heck out of the canon ship in Vampire Academy, even with the temptation of a doomed one.

    But more often than not, I DO pick the doomed one, and when it doesn't work out (looking at YOU, Jess/Rory, Laurie/Jo, Buffy/Angel, Stefan/Elena, etc etc) I huddle in my blanket fort and cry. And eat chocolate. A lot of chocolate. BUT I still get totally over-invested in ships so I think I'm just a glutton for punishment. ;)

  13. Hahaha I'm not a fan of The Selection series that much either, but I'm also super invested in who she's going to pick. And it better be freaking Maxon or I'm going be pissed :P

  14. I'm basically Canon Fodder, since I tend to go along with the ships that are clearly MTB, as per the author's writing. I usually have a different opinion as to who the character should wind up with and who I happen to have a crush on though ;)

  15. Sometimes my ships sail, but when they sink, they sink on a Titanic/all hands on deck/prepare the lifeboats-wait the lifeboats are gone kind of way, lol.


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