What makes you a member of a fandom?
I’m pretty sure that I’m a bonafide member of the Harry Potter fandom. I’m (still) not convinced that Pottermore and the rest of the sorting quizzes have sorted me properly into Gryffindor, but I have friends who say it’s the right placement. I have sneaking suspicion that many Gryffindors doubt that they belong amongst the lions. I also suspect that authors are disproportionately Slytherin. But I digress. I say I’m a member of the HP fandom because I do things like write fanfic, cry when I arrive at and leave the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and routinely wear Harry Potter socks. Okay, that last bit is probably not germane. And the amount of HP swag at my house and in my office? Geez. Let’s just change the subject.
Now, moving along to my other “fandoms” – X-Files, Star Wars (because STAR WARS), Supernatural, and even The Vampire Diaries. I’m not sure I can claim to belong to TVD fandom. Yes, I’m a fan. But I’m not a FAN. I haven’t even read the books, for pity’s sake. That said – have you seen Ian Somerhalder? Please look at that man. How can you not be a fan of TVD when Ian Somerhalder is involved?
SPN: Those Winchesters. Those beautiful Winchesters who will do anything for one another. Seriously, they will bring on the end of the world to save each other. They are so selfish and selfless at the same time. Because once they bring on the end of the world, they’ll do virtually anything to save the rest of us. How can you not love those two? But I don’t write for that fandom. I think I might have a sticker and two Funko Pops to go with my Pinterest board.
The X-Files – Fox and Dana, Mulder and Scully…those two belong together. And there are events to watch (thank you FOX!) I’ve watched X-Files since the 1990s, but I don’t write for them. I just adore them so much. Dana is an inspiration for young girls, and I will never NOT be a fan of that.
Star Wars – All my life, I’ve been a Star Wars fan. I don’t want to write for it, though. I just want George Lucas to have done a better job with his prequels. Why did he have to open up plot holes? What the heck was that about? Anakin didn’t have a father? What? No. Anakin made 3PO? Really? And then Padme dies in childbirth. Wait – Leia clearly says she remembers her mom, through thoughts and impressions. Did Lucas even watch Episodes 4, 5, and 6 before he penned 1, 2, 3? Y’all, I wanted to like them. I did. I wanted to like them so much. I was heartbroken when I couldn’t. And I was thrilled with The Force Awakens. It’s not that it was the best movie ever made with no flaws, but TFA goes back to the originals and seeks to capture that same feeling the first three did. And for me, it succeeded. Rogue One broke my damn heart. Cracked it into all sorts of pieces. I literally had to pick them up and glue them back together. It was like a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle. Jerks. And I will be purchasing my tickets for The Last Jedi well in advance, thank you very much. Oh, and thank you to Disney for being better for Star Wars than its’ creator.
So – what does it take to be a member of a fandom? Is it enough to just be a fan? If so, I’m in with all of mine. Or does it take more? Am I only a true member of the Harry Potter fandom? I personally think it’s about self-identification. Members of fandoms are fans, but they tend to be more serious fans. They are the ones that buy the swag. They are at the theater on opening night or the bookstore at midnight. They have theories and thoughts on where the series might go or where it has gone. So – what are your fandoms? Do we have any in common? What do you love about your fandom(s)?
PS: if you are interested in my Pinterest boards, you can find them here.