The idea of a fandom is a fairly recent one for me though I’ve been longing for something like it for a long time. I have been prone to diving deep into subjects and pop culture at times. Sometimes obsessively.
I suppose the best way I can explain all this is with my current obsession, the NBC TV series Hannibal.
I’ve been fascinated by this character, Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter, since I first saw Silence of the Lambs. I’ve read all the books, except one, and have seen all the movies. But this appreciation I had at the time made me weird. Most people I spoke to about this character acknowledged that he was fascinating in a macabre way but thought I was going a little too far out there with my interest. The one small light of hope I had was an article about how a surprising number of people were fascinated with Hannibal and, oddly enough, many of them were women.
I remember thinking “Where are these people and why can’t I talk to them?”
Eventually time passed and I moved on to other interests like yaoi, writing, movies, art, etc.
Fast forward to the present day. It was announced that NBC was going to be doing a series based on Hannibal starting when he was a practicing psychiatrist (!) and Mads Mikkelsen was going to play our titular cannibal (!!). You should know I’m a purist. You should know that I think Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of this character is as close to perfect as possible. You should know that I don’t like people screwing around with movies and characters that I deem perfect.
BUT I love Mads and I trusted him and his skills. And I was completely, totally on board with him playing Hannibal. And I loved the idea of starting with Will Graham, the original FBI profiler.
I held off for as long as I could. I knew once I went down that road I was going to sucked into a spiraling obsession and I wanted to try to keep my wits about me for as long as possible. I finally caved a few weeks before the start of Season 2 and I LOVE THIS SHOW! I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT! I love shipping Hannigram. Somebody throw me a wreath of flowers!!!!
I freaking wept during the season finale, people.
Back to the original point of this post. I feel I have finally come home. On Tumblr and Twitter there are people just like me who are obsessed with these characters. Some are even more obsessed. And there are fandoms for almost anything you can think of. The great thing about it is that we all have a place and an outlet for our fanfiction, our drawings, our scenarios, our gifs, and thoughts. We have a place to share photos, news, and throw around theories.
Fandom is about security and freedom. A safe place to indulge all the squee worthy scenes, pictures, etc. A safe place to enjoy all these things. And it’s freedom! Free to make up your own stories to supplement the cannon. Free not to feel alone. Free to know there are people like you who love this shit.