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Some people only watch/read/etc something for a specific ship sometimes and that's fine because it's their main interest, but you'll find that almost no one in any fandom takes the attitude that everything is about their ship and death to everything else about the show/book/media.It's more than possible to love a ship and love other characters and stories at the same time.What makes shipping in this context even more a question of life and death is that there are two (well, at least two) couples to ship: Hermione and Ron or Hermione and Harry. I had never gone and looked at fan sites, and then one day I did and oh – my – god.Five hours later or something, I get up from the computer shaking slightly [all laugh]. ’ And it was during that first mammoth session that I met the shippers, and it was a most extraordinary thing.This is a clear example for how shipping influences the actual work.
The shippers became more and more vocal and more and more desperate.
Shippers have no patience for anything else–whatever does not move the two characters towards each other is time and energy wasted.
And once they are together, happily engaged, everything else is seen as a distraction from showing the two of them holding hands being happy.
It's more about community with people who feel as strongly about something as you do, without being called weird for loving something so much-- usually because it makes you feel less lonely.
It's unfair to people invest so much of their time and energy, and sometimes labour and money (with fanart, fanfiction, cosplay and other fanworks) into ships AND shows with no expectation of getting anything but maybe other fans' gratitude and happiness in return.