The Shipping News: Gotta Love the “Slash Madness” Final Four

The Shipping News

Let’s take a closer look at Destiel, Johnlock, Wincest and Sterek. Also the problem with the ‘more canon’ argument.

Hi slash fans! I know you’re all super busy voting in the Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney but on the off chance you’re still having trouble deciding which of the final four couples deserve your last minute voting efforts I thought I’d have a closer look at each ship. Before that let’s have a little chat about one shipping argument I would love to see benched for life.

Super quick fandom round up: According to THG: Catching Fire director Frances Lawrence says that Peeta needed to be ‘manned up’. Not cool, Lawrence, really very not cool! Let me explain to you about perpetuating problematic gender ideals—also I just really wanted to see Finnick rescue Peeta. In other news the new Thor: The Dark World trailer was released, now with added Loki!


Slash Soapbox: Let’s bench the ‘more canon’ debate!


Now I love a good argument and it’s super fun to fight for your ship — breaking out the pages of evidence you have compiled as proof that your OTP really do love each other. It’s a demonstration of your passion and I can’t fault that, but there is one argument I would like to see less of (if we can’t get rid of it all together), especially in regards to Slash Madness, and that’s the idea that one ship is ‘more canon’ than another.

Slash fans are kind of like Indiana Jones-esque treasure hunters. We comb through the jungle of the text to find even the smallest hint that those two dudes are definitely more than just friends (or at least could be in the future). It’s one of the things that makes slash fandom so fun! There are so many amazing ideas and analysis surrounding slash ships (especially our final four) so you have no idea how disappointed I am when people fall back on the ‘more canon’ argument.


Don’t get me wrong, it would be fantastic if slash (and femslash) ships weren’t simply dismissed because TPTB can’t see past the heteronormative binary. But when it comes to the Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney, which is exclusively for non-canon pairings, saying your ship is ‘more canon’ is kind of pointless. It’s all subtext, which means it’s all subjective. Basically no ship is ‘more canon’ than any other. So when you say your OTP is ‘more canon’ what you’re really saying is that your ship has ‘more subtext’, which, when it comes to non-canon slash pairings (like the ones featured in the Slash Tourney), usually just means ‘queerbaiting’.

I don’t want you to stop fighting for your OTP! And I’m not saying canon is bad or that no slash ship is ever going to get a relationship upgrade (it’s gonna happen). Keep up the good fight (and of course keep voting) but can we please move on from the idea that ‘more canon’ is essentially better? Canon is great. We love canon! If we didn’t love the canon we wouldn’t be fans, but the very act of engaging with slash proves that canon isn’t everything.

Let’s love our ships for what they are – if canon happens it’s a nice bonus, but it’s not the whole point.

Meet The Final Four

Destiel – Dean Winchester/Castiel – Supernatural

When someone saves you from an eternity in hell — literally — it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with them so you can’t really blame Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) for becoming ever-so-slightly enamored with the angel Castiel (Misha Collins) early in Supernatural’s fourth season. And Dean is definitely worth waging war on hell for, at least Castiel seemed to think so. Okay so I might be jumping the gun a little because Cas was still following orders like a good little soldier of heaven at that stage but over the course of the 5 seasons since Castiel’s first appearance, Dean and Cas have definitely grown to care for each other deeply.

There are SO MANY things you can mention when it comes to Dean and Castiel’s profound bond. Like that time Castiel rebelled against the other angels, his family, and he did it all for Dean.


Or last year when the whole fandom flipped because Dean finally hugged Cas and smiled like it was the happiest moment of his life (Dean doesn’t smile so this is a big deal. I’m still crying about it, okay?).


And my personal favorite moment — proof that Castiel just understands Dean because he would never forget the pie (especially not when his boyfriend is mad at him).


It also doesn’t hurt that they look at each other like they’re magical. Dean/Castiel is definitely worthy of your vote. In celebration of Destiel making it this far I would like to highlight one of my favorite fan artists: thimblings.

In which dean reads twilight to piss Cas off….(Artist: thimblings)

Last year Destiel made it to the Championship Round of the first Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney but unfortunately lost out to the couple that inspired the poll — Sterek. The Destiel fandom is one of the biggest slash fandoms around. And you know what they say about Supernatural fans, they vote like nobody else, so they are in a good position to take the top honor. Can they make it all the way this time?

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