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I love ships…

everything from ore freighters on the Great Lakes, trans-Atlantic ocean liners, and pirate ships to 16th century galleons and spaceships like the Space Shuttle.  My favorite ships are clipper ships and ships-of-the-line from the early 1800s.  I got to fandom partly by way of the adventures of Jack Aubrey, a british naval officer written about by Patrick O'Brian so it took a while to get used to ship meaning something other than big boat.  There are relation"ships" in the Aubreyad though so it was an introduction to a different use of the word.  SPN does very little with water besides bless it and throw it on demons and actual boats are few and far between.  Most of the SPN ships are the relationship kind, usually with some romance or sex thrown in the mix.  Erotic, psychotic codependence works too.  In this fandom, I can't even say that these are the people kind of ships because we've got your ships that include angels, demons, reapers, Death and a car, amongst a myriad of other things.

Here are my favorite SPN ships.  A couple of them are canon ships. (Not to be confused with ship's cannon. That's that other fandom.)

John/Mary, especially when we get to see them early on.



Sam/Jess, mostly due to fanfics that have given Jess a full story of her own.  This is the SPN ship version of the Lusitania.



Bobby/Ellen, canon in some alternate universe and doomed like the Titanic.



Bobby/the Sheriff, if they had only had more time.



Salt/Burn




Saving People/Hunting Things



Dean/Pie



Dean/Impala



Dean/Alcohol



Dean/death

Dean's relationship with Death, big D or little d, while maybe not a romantic relationship, has gotten a lot of exploration through the seasons.  When they personified Death, it gave the show a chance to get some of what might be going on in Dean's head out where we can see it through body language and dialog.  Dean's gotten pretty close to Death.



Dean/Tessa

With Tessa, Dean's flirted with death and felt the kiss of death.  While not a canon ship, I think these two have got something going on.






The thing about shipping characters is that in the hands of a good fan fiction writer, almost anything becomes believable.  In the case of Dean, some of the ships people write about are unhealthy and even dangerous but somehow easy to picture anyhow.  I think part of that is because Jensen as Dean manages to have chemistry with a whole range of characters, from Anna the angel to Alastair the demon.  I don't think it's coincidence that the two non-canon ships most associated with SPN include Dean.  As far as shipping goes, people are going to see different things.  What seems incomprehensible to one is the OTP of the next person.  That happens to me with Dean/Cas.  I can see how people see it but I can't wrap my head around it.  Doesn't mean it isn't there, it's just not there for me.  If it's canon, great, if not, I wish people would enjoy it in fanfiction and on tumblr but let the writers tell or botch the story as they will.  Which brings me to my favorite ship, Sam/Dean.

If sex has to be included for a relationship to be considered a ship the way fandom uses the term, then this ship isn't canon and will only ever flourish as Wincest in fandom.  I'm really happy to have it stay there.  And yeah, after a discussion over on ash48's journal, I should probably clarify that to me Wincest includes sex.  If you were a curious young adult reading romance and horror fiction in the mid-80s, chances are you ran into author V. C. Andrews.  If you did, reading about sibling incest is probably old hat.  Flowers in the Attic with its story about siblings falling in love while locked in an attic was printed as a hardcover book granting it a place on library shelves not always given to romances or horror stories only printed as paperbacks.  It was pretty easy to come by as it sold 40 million copies.

If you go with a ship being characters who love each other beyond reason and that love drives a lot of the plot and action in the story, I think that's pretty much canon the way Sam and Dean are written.  Granted, that's my take on it and not everyone's.  For me, it's very much a love story even without any kind of sexual relationship and for me that's a big piece of why it's so compelling.  If it wasn't for how tangled up in each other the Winchester boys are, this show would have lost my interest fairly quickly.  I'm amused at how this show has turned me into a Victorian lady getting the vapors every time either of these guys takes off an outer layer of clothing.  Watching most shows where there is some kind of romance, I'd be waiting for some steamy scenes.  With this show, I wait for hugs and can list them all.  It's SPN's version of reunion sex.

While I see a love story playing out between Sam and Dean, it's not a love story like a Harlequin romance.  There's really nothing romantic about it.  It's dark and more tragic than not.  It's the kind of love story set on a foggy moor, in a Paris opera house, or behind a barricade.  We keep expecting a crazy wife locked in the attic, tuberculosis, or a cyclops and 108 suitors.  It will bring down a kingdom, start a war, look back over the shoulder too early or jump in front of a train.  It's been possessive, jealous, betrayed, and constant despite everything including PTSD, trips to Hell, addiction, and relationships with other people (angels, demons, yoga instructors, vets, vampires).  We've been watching it since Dean broke into Sam's apartment, ignoring daytime hours and knocking on the door, all to get Sam's attention, wrestle, and be obnoxious to Sam's girlfriend, because he didn't want to try to find John by himself.

Dean: I can’t do this alone.
Sam: Yes, you can.
Dean: Yeah, well... I don’t want to.



It hasn't really allowed anyone to get between them for any length of time.  People who get between these two end up dead or at the very least, with their memories wiped.



Eight seasons later, it's as tangled as it ever was.



It will be interesting to see where humanized Cas falls in all of this.  I know some Dean/Cas fans have been really vocal about wanting to see that become canon.   I just don't see how that ends well for anyone.  With this show, happily ever after isn't really the point though, so who knows.  That's what fan fiction is for.  Thanks to all you authors, vidders, and artists out there.

Caps from homeofthenutty


Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
quirky_thoughts
Oct. 7th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
Very interesting piece. :)

I love that Dean has ships with inanimate objects as well as people! lol. I suppose after Sam it has to be his baby, the Impala.

Yep, I think I'd have lost interest ages ago if the relationship between these two didn't have that obssessive quality.

As much as I love Wincest, I don't think it'd work as canon, same goes for Dean/Cas. In fact I don't want any heavy Dean/Cas relationship...maybe they can pair him off with Garth! XD
galwithglasses
Oct. 7th, 2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
I don't particularly want any heavy Dean/Cas either. I actually hope they decide what kind of personality they want Cas to have and stick with it and get that right before they dump him into any kind of relationship. I should have written it in above, but I liked the Cas/Meg dynamic and thought that would have been interesting to see develop.
kazluvsbooks
Oct. 7th, 2013 07:10 pm (UTC)
Oh i don't know..i ship Sam with his laptop and with any gym equipment (but that's another story) and ,maybe salad dressing..mmm..yes.

I LOVED this and i agree with 99.99754% of it!!

Sam/Dean IS canon just not with any (known) sex involved. I like the way show has us imagine what we want to see and the boys make it so EASY to do so.

As far as Cas/Dean goes, i think cas has a crush on Dean but more of a teenage first love thing, not sexual, and Dean thinks of Cas as family but like a 2nd Cousin.
galwithglasses
Oct. 7th, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
Sam/salad dressing could be interesting. ;-)

I think Sam might be developing strong a connection with the Men of Letters library like Dean has with some of these other things. I would like Sam to end up with some friends. Seems like other than Dean, his life is lonely.

I feel like Cas has two things going on with Dean. One is the teenage crush like you mentioned but the other is more complicated and has to do with his initial relationship with Dean when Cas pulled him out of hell and then gradually ended up fighting on the same team during the team free will days. I think once the writers settle on how they want Cas to be, it will be easier to figure out how he and Dean relate. In terms of lifespan, Cas has been around for millenia but in terms of being able to make his own choices about where his life goes, Cas is barely more than an adolescent. Now he's going to be human on top of that, just to complicate matters. We shall soon see....yay S9!
galwithglasses
Oct. 7th, 2013 11:23 pm (UTC)
Forgot to tell you I love your icon.
bowtrunckle
Oct. 7th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
I love this post because oh, hah, ships!

This is the SPN ship version of the Lusitania.

LOL!!!!

chances are you ran into author V. C. Andrews

*nods* And you should've seen my preteen face when I figured out what the heck was going on between the eldest siblings. XD If only I'd known then that would pale in comparison to stuff I'd read years later the SPN fandom.

it's very much a love story even without any kind of sexual relationship and for me that's a big piece of why it's so compelling. If it wasn't for how tangled up in each other the Winchester boys are, this show would have lost my interest fairly quickly.

Ditto.

I'm amused at how this show has turned me into a Victorian lady getting the vapors every time either of these guys takes off an outer layer of clothing.

No kidding, right?

There's nothing wrong with Dean/Cas and there is certainly enough subtext, but it's hard for me to see Cas as a sexual being. I see him as more of a child, and viewing him in a sexual relationship pings my "minor who doesn't fully understand what's going on" warning bell. Therefore, it's hard for me to put Dean in the position of being complicit with "taking advantage" of Cas. That's not to say that's what's going on in canon or fanon, nor do I necessarily want to feel this way bec. I'm sure I'm missing out on some good fanfic, but that's just my personal block with Cas/anyone, esp. Dean/Cas.

Sam/anyone on the other hand... ;)

Edited at 2013-10-07 11:56 pm (UTC)
ash48
Oct. 7th, 2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
Jumping in because...

see him as more of a child, and viewing him in a sexual relationship pings my "minor who doesn't fully understand what's going on" warning bell

This! This this. That's what makes it hard to believe Dean/Cas for me. (I've been trying to put my finger on it) Cas stares at Dean a lot and it's with this kind of childlike fascination. It's like he's trying to work Dean out and if Dean turned and, say kissed him or something then it would be like and adult kissing a child - all sorts of inappropriate (I'm pretty sure fanfic writers work out a way around this though). I see Cas and Meg as close to a canon relationship for Cas, but even then I don't imagine they've actually had sex. Maybe more .."I'll show you yours if you show me mine". Meg - for all her evilness - seemed to respect Cas's childness.



bowtrunckle
Oct. 16th, 2013 11:53 pm (UTC)
Cas stares at Dean a lot and it's with this kind of childlike fascination.

Yes, Cas has no sense of social norms like a young child. This was one of the interesting things about him early on. I adored how he just stared oddly too long, stood too close and really had no idea he was doing it nor seem phased by Dean's response. However, 5 years into his stay on Earth, I'm thinking that child-like!Cas should be catching on.

"I'll show you yours if you show me mine". Meg - for all her evilness - seemed to respect Cas's childness.

I see the Meg Cas relationship being like a cat (Meg) and a chew toy.
galwithglasses
Oct. 7th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
I completely agree with Cas being a definite minor when it comes to sex, at least the way they've been writing him for most of the last couple of seasons. It was apparent even when Dean took him to the brothel back in S5. He's just so naive about so much, then you throw in his very recent ability to make his own choices and it just doesn't seem like he should be adding a sexual relationship to the mix.

The other bit that weirds me out is that it's been pretty unclear where Jimmy Novak is in all this. I'd like to think he's in heaven eating a cheeseburger but who knows.
bowtrunckle
Oct. 16th, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)
it just doesn't seem like he should be adding a sexual relationship to the mix

I'm not sure I'm interested in seeing Cas have sex just yet (if ever). Awkward.

The other bit that weirds me out is that it's been pretty unclear where Jimmy Novak is in all this.

Let's hope he's elsewhere. Cas hasn't been too kind to his vessel and it would be a special kind of torture to be stuck shotgun with him driving. I'm curious, do we know if angels and their vessels work like demons and the bodies they possess in the sense that, if an angel chooses, the vessel's original inhabitant can be aware of what's going on while they're not in control? Also, can demons be privy to thoughts/feelings of their hosts? Gah, I can't remember what's canon anymore. :( *bangs head*
galwithglasses
Oct. 17th, 2013 11:59 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it's canon that demons are as much in the minds of their hosts as angels. I think Jimmy said something about being a vessel was like being chained to a comet and so I think he was conscious of it. Lucifer let Sam see him beating Dean to death and Sam saw him kill Cas and Bobby. I think possession by angel and demon is pretty similar except that the person has to agree to possession by angel.
ash48
Oct. 7th, 2013 08:03 pm (UTC)
Wonderful write up! HA! Love the opening about ships - you know about ship ships!

And yes yes yes -everything you say about Sam and Dean. Theirs is most definitely an epic love story - not of the sexual kind, but love in every other way kind. I love the way you describe us hanging on for every hug or removal of a piece of clothing. ;)

And it's not romantic as such - but you know, there's those damn (wonderful) scenes of them staring up into the sky looking at the stars and sitting by the side of the road sharing a beer - that's as close to romantic as it gets. I think these two have everything a loving relationship has - they've even been likened to a married couple a few times. As much I know Wincest isn't canon (and yep! that means sex) - they make is so easy for it to be written and believed. Their epic love is most definitely canon.

Another great, thinky post.
galwithglasses
Oct. 8th, 2013 12:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, star gazing and then there's the looks of great fondness. Plus, they just keep finding their way back to each other. There are stories in mythology about couples that tangle with the gods and the gods admire them enough or their love is great enough that they get put in the sky as a constellation so they will always be together. To me, this is that kind of story.
runedgirl
Oct. 7th, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC)
It's so so true - this is a love story, and that's why I'm still besotted with this show after all these years. Sam and Dean have the most twisted, tangled, effed up, compelling love story I've ever seen. I'm as excited to see their story go forward in Season 9 as I was in Season 1. Amazing!
galwithglasses
Oct. 8th, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, Lisa had it pretty much right when she described the tangle between them plus there's the whole soul mate bit that I didn't even throw in my post. I'm looking forward to S9, too. Just a few more hours now. 8-)
zebra363
Oct. 8th, 2013 02:06 am (UTC)
Lovely post! I really enjoyed reading your Wincest thoughts.
galwithglasses
Oct. 8th, 2013 02:32 am (UTC)
You got me thinking about the beginning of the post with the ships when I commented on yours. You're nearly finished. 8-)
layne67
Oct. 9th, 2013 02:43 am (UTC)
Canon ship and ship's cannon, that's a good one. I like!

Btw, no comment on that one and only true ship on the show? The one in Red Sky ;P
galwithglasses
Oct. 9th, 2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
zebra363's post about the ghost ship being the favorite ghost/monster on the SPN 30 days meme is where I started goofing around with the ships. One and only true ship is true. 8-)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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