Fandom Wars

Aug 31, 2008

Posted by: John Admin


As the title of this blog might suggest: this isn’t the happiest of blogs. And perhaps in shouldn’t follow on from my previous one, about a glorious week spent with friends. But it’s definitely something that’s been playing on my mind recently, having been brought to my attention.

It started when I saw this video on YouTube the other day, (if the link doesn’t work, the video’s at the bottom of the blog). A great funny video which simultaneously mocks and supports both fandoms and proves a point very clearly about how similar they are.

When it comes down to it, I’m a Harry Potter fan, and I’m not a Twilight fan, (for the record I thought the first book was ok, the second was a little boring, I enjoyed the third book but felt let down by the fourth), but thats simply down to what is in the text, and which I find more prone for discussion I can participate it. Should I have enjoyed the Twilight books, then surely I should feel free to visit Twilight websites and join in with whatever conversations are taking place. A false assumption seems to have settle in among some fans that you can only be part of one fandom, which is frankly ridiculous. I have friends who have enjoyed each volume of the Twilight series but I’m hardly going to tell them to leave the Potter fandom forever or even choose between the series.

Moving aside slightly to the topic of television. Many TV shows have fandoms nowadays too. In fact, a LOT of different media has a fandom these days. It’s what the internet is good for: bringing people together. My two favourite shows – and the only two I seem to watch these days – are LOST and Doctor Who. I visit fansites of both, I discuss both with my friends and if for some reason they were moved into the same timeslot I seriously would not be able to choose which to watch. But thankfully I’m not in that position. I can watch them both and then have plenty of time to discuss the latest happenings. Because the internet is always there, and its never-ending. There is an infinite amount of space, enough for me to watch every television show in existence, and still find somewhere to talk about it.

So why should it be any different for books? Saying you can only be part of one fandom is pretty much the same as saying you can only read and discuss one book serious, which is not what literature is about. Books are about discovery, learning and opinion. A book is one persons voice pressed into pages and distributed to make over people have a voice, and let other people say their piece. And the internet is the perfect vehicle for that. If Harry Potter was to be the only fandom in existence, frankly I’d get bored. With nothing else to discuss the books would get old and probably boring. Fresh books bring fresh discussions, and thats the best way to appreciate the new and the old.

Supporting a new fandom is to support your old fandom. Its a way to keep the material new and fresh, and a way to strengthen your appreciation.

There’s plenty of room for all of us 🙂

P.S. As the link doesn’t seem to work, here’s the video:

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.