I once wrote a blogpost about fictional fandoms. Well, it stands to reason that fictional fandoms have fictional fans, right? So, this blog post is dedicated to just such fictional individuals. Perhaps they are the ones I identify with most of all. Perhaps the creators of my favorite stories conceived of them to criticize me or, to put it more bluntly, to encourage me to Get A Life. I don’t care. I love being a fangirl and I love my fellow fictional fangirls.
Cather Avery – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl is centered around Cather Avery, a young girl who goes to university. She is introverted and struggles withe developing a social life, but on the internet she has no problem making friends. On the internet, Cath writes Carry On, Simon, the most popular Simon Snow-fanfic ever. The Simon Snow fandom is fictional, but it it obviously based on the Harry Potter fandom, and it pleases me a lot to see a respectful portrayal of fangirls and fanfiction writers in this book.
Penny Lane – Kate Hudson in Almost Famous
Contrary to popular belief, Penny Lane and her friends, Polexia Aphrodesia and Sapphire, are not fangirls.
Penny Lane: We are not groupies. Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids.
Although, of course, this speech in part serves to make Penny Lane feel better about her chosen occupation, I also think there is something very noble about being a Band Aid; it means putting your love of one specific thing, in this case, the music of fictional band Stillwater, before literally everything else in your life. I am awed by such dedication.
Hazel Grace – The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
John Green shows his readers a take on fandom that is, while somewhat less enchanting than Almost Famous, perhaps more realistic. In The Fault In Our Stars, protagonist Hazel Grace is completely obsessed with the fictional novel An Imperial Affliction by fictional author Peter van Houten. As in Green’s earlier book Paper Towns, the message is that you should never make anyone into more than a person; no idol can live up to such high expectations, and Peter Van Houten is no exception.
Rob – High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby was the first fanboy I ever saw. I’m serious; before I watched the movie adaptation of High Fidelity when I was about twelve or so, I was unaware of all the people in the world that were just as obsessed with things as I was and still am. For that reason, Rob holds a special place in my heart, even though he’s kind of a douchebag.
Becky Rosen – Supernatural
To tell you the truth I was a little offended by the representation of fangirls when I first encountered Becky Rosen. She is, for lack of a better word, slightly insane. Of course, Supernatural isn’t a show renowned for its subtlety. I think pretty much all female characters and characters of color die on this show. So maybe it was a bit idealistic to expect a nuanced portrayal of the Supernaturl fandom.
On the other hand, I think it’s really great that the show engages with its fandom in such a direct way; very few shows do. On Supernatural, the adventures of Sam and Dean make up the story. However, as it turns out, a prophet named Chuck is continually seeing flashes of Sam and Dean’s lives and turning them into a series of novels which are widely popular within the fictional universe of the show.
Becky is a fan of Chuck’s Supernatural books, and she is overjoyed to discover that, in her world, Dean and Sam and the monsters they fight are real.
Throughout the later seasons of Supernatural, the metafictional themes first touched upon when Becky and Chuck are introduced are explored further. Supernatural uses this fiction within their fiction to comment on the actual Supernatural fandom. As you may know, it is a show that lots of fans see homoerotic subtext in, and this issue is also addressed through the self-referential storylines of the Supernatural books. Are you confused yet? Because I am.
Dean: You know they’re brothers, right?
Marie: Well, Duh. But subtext.
In the 200th episode of Supernatural, Fan Fiction (s10e05), Sam and Dean investigate the disappearance of a high school teacher. When they arrive on the scene, they discover that the school’s drama club is performing a musical based on the Supernatural books. God, I love fan service sometimes.
The Empty Hearse – Sherlock
In season three episode one of Sherlock: The Empty Hearse, we are shown an exceptionally strange sequence of scenes that are later proven to be all untrue; these scenes were made up by one of the characters, Anderson, and the other Sherlock-fans within the show he has bonded with in his fanclub The Empty Hearse.
I can get over the fact that this fanclub within the show makes all Sherlock-fans look like they’re obsessed to the point of insanity. Truth be told, maybe I am a little too into Sherlock.
What bothers me is that, in Anderson’s imaginings, there is a clear instance of fan service: an almost-kiss between Sherlock and Moriarty. If you were going to mock Tumblr’s theories on the plot of Sherlock, if you’re going to actively involve the fandom in the plot of the show, wouldn’t it have been better to have an almost-kiss between Sherlock and John? After all, everybody knows that Sherlock and John are really, really, really in love with each other. Then again maybe they didn’t because they take Johnlock much too seriously to joke about it.