Hurrah for the double post!
Since the last post was just me rambling about my favorite series, today I’m posting double. That way there’s something new on the ol’ blog for everyone. (There were some great links in that last post though. Seriously, go check out that map of Panem. I wish I had that kind of patience/research ability.)
That being said, this will probably be the last post about fandoms for a while. Time to move on to bigger and better topics. Not that I have anything especially against fandoms.
So. On with the post.
In 2005, Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, was released, and the public’s understanding of vampires consequently exploded into a thousand sparkly bits. The next year, New Moon (and the general werewolfery within) was unleashed upon the world, and with it came the end of all love triangles as we knew them.
Before I go any farther, I should warn you that if you haven’t read New Moon yet, or the Hunger Games trilogy (especially the second and third books), there are spoilers ahead.
Suddenly, there was no more polite disagreement over whether Edward was good for Bella or not (I should tell you that this is all just my fanciful imagination of what happened; I didn’t catch onto the series until much, much later). Now, the naysayers suddenly had a face to go with the argument, an excuse for rejecting Edward and Bella’s love. That face, that excuse, was Jacob Black.
At first, Jake is a lovable, normal guy who helps Bella out of the unhealthy depression she sinks into following Edward’s breakup with her. But then-gasp!- it turns out he’s actually a werewolf! This, of course, was just great news for the naysayers. Not only is he a living alternative to cold vampires, he can also take on his vamp rival in a fight!
With the release of Eclipse, and later, Breaking Dawn, the rivalry between the naysayers and those who loved Edward skyrocketed. Before long it was a full-blown fan war. They even had names for the opposing armies: Team Edward and Team Jacob. Soon came t-shirts, jewelry, banners, you name it. The movie only made things worse.
My response to all this was, of course, to immediately join Team Jacob (for the win!). But now, as I look at this once more, I find myself mourning the loss of a united fandom. Stephenie Meyer, maybe without even knowing it, created a rift, a tear if you will, in the delicate fabric of the “Twi-hard” community. There was no more polite conversation between the opposite Teams. Instead, there were glares and heated arguments.
And so on. I ask you, why must this happen? Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we accept that we feel certain ways about certain things and move on with life? That’s what happened with myself and a friend of mine. She is a staunch supporter of Edward, and yet we still remain friends.
Team-choosing doesn’t have to be the end.
But now, it seems, Team-choosing is all there is in the YA world. This is a genre where love triangles are as plentiful as grass in my neighbor’s yard (he has a very nice lawn). And, because of the lessons the Twilight Saga has taught us, no doubt there will be a set of Teams for every popular series in the near future.
It happened in the Harry Potter fandom before Deathly Hallows came out (remember the Harry/Hermione theory?). It’s happened with the Hunger Games. Tons of blogs and web sites are separating into Team Gale or Team Peeta (or, extra bonus Team, Team Katniss). Even though I don’t think these Teams are as adamant or as earth-shaking as the Twilight Teams are, it irks me a little to see such a great and complex series (see previous post) be simplified into Teams. There is so much more to consider than which guy is hotter!
For example, I’m Team Gale. However, I’m happy with the way the series turned out. Peeta is, in the end, better for Katniss.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t pick a side. It’s great to get these types of discussions going within the fandom (at least in my humble opinion). Just don’t go too over the top with the arguing, I think. We fans have to stick together, you know.
I guess all I’m saying is, there is more to a love triangle book than who the main character should be with. Opposite Teams should find some common ground. (I’m still Team Jacob, though. Always.) Remember: what the author says, goes. No need to grab your pitchfork and start hunting down everyone on a different Team, just because the author had a different vision of the interpersonal relationships than you did.
After all, that’s what fan fiction is for.