Teen Wolf

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Fandom
Name: Teen Wolf
Abbreviation(s): TW
Creator: MTV
Date(s): 2011-
Medium: TV
Country of Origin: USA
External Links:
Teen Wolf cast
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Contents

Teen Wolf is an MTV television show based on the movie Teen Wolf from 1985. According to Wikipedia,

The series revolves around social outcast Scott McCall, a young lacrosse-playing student at Beacon Hills High School. His life drastically changes when he is bitten by a werewolf one night. Upon discovery that he is a werewolf, with the help of his best friend, Stiles, and the mysterious werewolf, Derek, he is forced to learn to balance his newfound identity among the many dangers that it presents with his teenage life. He must keep his loved ones safe and balance the relationships he shares with each person around him. Scott is also having trouble with keeping his secret from the girl he loves, Allison, and later finds out she is part of a family that hunts werewolves. The theme of "finding your place" is a prevalent undertone in the series that is mirrored by the pack mentality of werewolves.[1]

The original MTV airing dates for season one were June 5, 2011 to August 15, 2011. Season two ran from June 3, 2012 to August 13, 2012. Unlike the first two seasons of 12 episodes each, season three was split into 3A and 3B with a total of 24 episodes. 3A ran from June 3, 2013 to August 19, 2013. 3B ran from January 6, 2014 to March 25, 2014. 12-episode long season four started June 23, 2014, and it has been announced that season 5 will be split into two 10-episode arcs for a total of 20 episodes.[2]

Character Cast

Main Characters:

Recurring characters include: JR Bourne as Chris Argent, Linden Ashby as Sheriff Stilinski, Melissa Ponzio as Melissa McCall, Sinqua Walls as Vernon Boyd, Gage Golightly as Erica Reyes, Keahu Kahuanui as Danny Mahealani, Seth Gilliam as Alan Deaton, Jill Wagner as Kate Argent, Ian Bohen as Peter Hale, Adelaide Kane as Cora Hale, Bianca Lawson as Marin Morell, Meagan Tandy as Braeden, Ryan Kelley as Jordan Parrish, and Dylan Sprayberry as Liam Dunbar.

Characters that are mostly fanon are Laura Hale, Talia Hale, and Claudia Stilinski.

Fandom

Teen Wolf fandom is very active on Tumblr. Many fans of the show like to reblog gifs that say "This show is a gift." Because of tumblr's inability to search terms using a "/", portmanteaus are very commonly used. See List of Teen Wolf Ship Names for many common ship names.

Relationships

Popular canon pair: Allison/Scott.

Popular non-canon pair: Derek/Stiles, more commonly known to fans as Sterek.[3] Many fans of Derek/Stiles can be found posting on the tumblr tag sterek.

Other popular pairings: Jackson/Lydia (canonical), Isaac/Scott, Boyd/Erica, Peter/Stiles, Scott/Stiles, Lydia/Stiles, Isaac/Stiles, Allison/Lydia, and Danny/Stiles.

Popular Threesomes: Allison/Isaac/Scott, Derek/Scott/Stiles, and Allison/Scott/Stiles.

Popular Gen Relationships: Sheriff & Stiles Stilinski, often tagged Stilinski Family Feels.

Homophobia in Teen Wolf

One of the more interesting aspects of Teen Wolf is that the universe created by Jeff Davis is notably free of homophobia[4]. This translated to a world where Danny, the only openly gay character on the show, meets with no backlash from the sports team he's on, the student body or anyone in the town.

Fans embraced this concept, and many Sterek shippers see it as one of the reasons why Teen Wolf could be the first show to successfully introduce a male/male relationship between previously-assumed-to-be-straight characters.[5]

By the start of season 4, however, many fans had become disillusioned and instead began to argue that TPTB were simply engaging in queerbaiting.[6]

TPTB Interactions with Fandom

Twitter

Many of the cast as well as the creator/executive producer Jeff Davis is on Twitter and answer questions from fans. Some, like Colton Haynes who plays Jackson on the show, like to have fun with fandom.

Coltonhaynestwit.jpg

Last nights episode was gold for all you #sterek fans! What was your favorite part?

Tyler Posey and Tyler Hoechlin refer to themselves as "T Twice."[7]

Fans appreciate commentary from actors and Jeff Davis that acknowledges Sterek and/or slash interpretations[8], but there have also been arguments over whether some of these remarks constitute queer baiting.[9]

The Collective

In July 2014, MTV announced it would create a subsite called The Collective specifically to house Teen Wolf fanworks.[10] Reactions were mixed, with most early ones focusing on MTV's Terms of Service.[11][12]

Fanon and Fanwork Tropes

briecheesie's Tumblr graphic on the difference between Teen Wolf canon and fanon circa season 2. Note that Scott, the main character, does not appear in the fanon image, and Danny's head has been pasted on his body.
See individual character pages for character-specific fanon.

A majority of the fandom shifts the focus of their fanworks to Stiles or Derek, treating them as the main characters,[13] even in non-Derek/Stiles pairing fanworks. Additionally, the show's protagonist Scott McCall is often assumed to be or is portrayed as an idiot.[14] In this context, the revelation of Scott's secret plan to defeat Gerard at the end of season 2 was a surprise to many.

Common Tropes

  • Backstories or pre-canon or canon AU fanfic featuring Derek's dead family.
  • Derek and/or Stiles and/or Derek's pack rebuild/renovate the Hale house.
  • Wolfsbane acts as a sex pollen.
  • Future fic where Derek and/or Allison becomes a Deputy.
  • Somebody adopts Isaac, usually Melissa or Derek.
  • Deceased characters are alive, or are resurrected; most often Erica, Boyd, Allison, and sometimes even Laura.
  • Someone who doesn't know finds out about werewolves, usually Danny or the Sheriff. (This trope is now jossed, because as of the end of season 3 all of the major characters know about werewolves.)
  • Until season three, werewolves and the Kanima were the only supernatural elements on the show. However, since the fandom's beginning, all manner of fantasy creatures and human magic users have populated the fanfic, including kitsune, who were added to the show in season 3b.
  • Crossovers. On the AO3 at least, Teen Wolf is most frequently combined with Supernatural, as well as other werewolf canons and The Avengers.[15]

Werewolf-Specific Tropes & Fanon

Although Teen Wolf has its own werewolf mythology, fans have either embellished or ignored parts of it in fanworks. A major difference between canon and fanon is werewolves' wolfed-out appearance. On the show, they have cosmetic and prosthetic enhancements, but are still humanoid; in a lot of fanfic and fanart, they can change completely into wolves and are sometimes mistakenly adopted as pets by a human character (usually Stiles). On the show, only Talia Hale, in a flashback, has been shown to appear as a wolf, and she is the exception that proves the rule.

Fanfic often dwells on werewolf instincts and the differences between werewolf and human psychology beyond the full-moon killing instinct that is referenced on the show.

Pack

Fanfic rules for werewolf pack dynamics are often far removed from canon: requiring an Anchor, sensing if other pack members are in pain, sensing where they are, touching a pack member to take away their pain or help them heal faster, etc. On the show, "anchors" are mentioned a few times to mean anything that helps a werewolf keep in control, but in fanfic, the use of anchors can verge on the Sentinel and Guide trope. Meanwhile, taking away pain is a canon werewolf ability (introduced in the second season), but works on anyone, pack or no; pack fanon is generally far more developed than pack rules in canon. The proximity healing factor is complete fanon invention, though interestingly, something similar appeared on the show after the fanon--Derek successfully heals his sister Cora Hale, but drains all his alpha power in the process.

A lot of fanart depicts pack snuggles [2] or the pack as a family. No snuggling happens on the show.

Alphas and Betas and Omegas, Oh My

The terms "alpha", "beta", and "omega" are used on the show itself to describe certain categories of werewolf, with an emphasis on differences in powers/strength. Alphas can turn humans into werewolves, and their eyes glow red; betas are not as strong, and their eyes glow yellow. Omegas are werewolves without a pack. Until season three broke the rule by introducing an Alpha Pack, it was implied that the alpha was also by nature the leader of the pack and that there would be only one per pack. It is assumed in fanfic, but never? explained in canon, that Laura Hale somehow "inherited" the alpha powers after the rest of the pack died in the fire (including, presumably, the previous alpha). Canon shows Peter becoming alpha by killing Laura, but fanfic also addresses how the line of succession works in more peaceful circumstances.

Just to make things more confusing, the panfandom trope Alpha/Beta/Omega means something completely different from the show's use of the terms "alpha", "beta", and "omega". The trope Alpha/Beta/Omega predates Teen Wolf fandom, but is now very popular in this fandom.

Knotting

Knotting was already popular when Teen Wolf appeared on the scene, but the trope fit with the werewolves so well that there is a substantial body of knotting fanfic in this fandom.[16]

NECKZ 'n THROATS

The fandom has created a shared universe called NECKZ 'n THROATS which is a semi-Mundane AU (mundane in the sense that it does not engage with the canon concerns of monster-fighting) in which werewolves are known and the fanwork is focused to some extent on the characters interacting with or working for a genre of magazines that caters to the werewolf population.

Fanworks

See Derek/Stiles, Allison/Lydia, and Scott/Stiles pages for fanworks for those pairings.

Fanfics

Fan Art

Fanvids

RPF

Teen Wolf RPF represents a very small slice of the Teen Wolf fanwork pie; there are more than 100 times the number of FPF fanworks as RPF fanworks on the Archive of Our Own.[17] Teen Wolf RPF was a small enough fandom to be part of Yuletide 2012 (9 stories) and 2013 (3 stories).

The most popular RPF pairing is the real life counterpart to the most popular fictional pairing in the fandom: Tyler Hoechlin/Dylan O'Brien.[18]

Resources

Communities

Livejournal Communities

Dreamwidth Communities

Challenges

Archives

Fannish Tumblrs

Other Resources

References

  1. Teen Wolf (2011 TV series)
  2. Teen Wolf Renewed for Super-Sized Season 5 at E! Online. Accessed 25 July 2014.
  3. On the AO3, the single most popular Teen Wolf pairing is Derek/Stiles, with five times more fanworks than the second most popular pairing, Scott/Allison. See the Relationship filter on the Teen Wolf works page. As of 3 April 2013, the most-tagged pairings are Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski (10266 fanworks), Allison Argent/Scott McCall (1870), Lydia Martin/Jackson Whittemore (1090), Vernon Boyd/Erica Reyes (643), Isaac Lahey/Scott McCall (548), Peter Hale/Stiles Stilinski (323), Danny Mahealani/Jackson Whittemore (296), Scott McCall/Stiles Stilinski (285), Kate Argent/Derek Hale (213), Isaac Lahey/Stiles Stilinski (148). Note that AO3 tags do not indicate whether or not it is the "main" pairing of the work. Also note that 68% (10266 of 15022) of all AO3 Teen Wolf fanworks are tagged with Derek/Stiles.
  4. AfterElton interview with Jeff Davis, last acessed on January 10th, 2013
  5. For example, see Saucery's meta essay on why she thinks Sterek could become canon: Fanon to Canon: A Journey, posted 15 July 2012.
  6. For example, see this tumblr conversation between colethewolf, von-gelmini, and your-lobster, last accessed 28 June 2014.
  7. Comic Con 2011 cast interview
  8. For example, this July 1, 2013 tweet posted by Keahu Kahuanui, the actor who plays Danny, was retweeted 900+ times and screencapped and reblogged over 3000 times on Tumblr, all within a week.
  9. See a rebuttal at mylittlewerewolf's tumblr, On “Queer Baiting" and Sterek, posted June 10, 2013. "Jeff Davis and co. not queer baiting Sterek fans when they say they like the ship, appreciate the dedication of Sterek fans, or tell fans who ask about their scenes together that they’ll have a scene in X episode. All canon evidence for 3 seasons has pointed to the two characters barely being allies, much less lovers. If it doesn’t affect or influence the actual canon of the show, it’s not queer baiting, it’s the cast and crew having some fun with a segment of the fanbase."
  10. [mashable.com/2014/07/21/teen-wolf-mtv-collective/ 'Teen Wolf' Fans, You Can Stop Scouring Tumblr for Fan Art], posted July 21, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014.
  11. Hey, Teen Wolf fandom, Mtv has something for you!, posted July 21, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014.
  12. A few highlights from their User Content Submission Agreement, posted July 21, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014.
  13. A lot of fans who read the fanfic first or became aware of Teen Wolf through fannish osmosis circa 2012 have commented that they did not know that Scott was the main character of the show due to fandom's fascination with Derek and/or Stiles. For example, see the Teen Wolf slash report episode.
  14. Circa 2011-2012, there was a period where Tumblr fans frequently repeated variations on the phrase "Scott is a potato"[1], either as a way of saying that Scott was bland and not the sharpest stick or just because everyone else was doing it. Other fans began protesting this meme on the grounds that the origin of the meme was a slur against people with Down Syndrome. See Potato Wank on the Fail Fandomanon wiki.
  15. The fandom filter on the Teen Wolf tag page lists Supernatural (176), Harry Potter (55), The Avengers (2012) (44), Vampire Diaries (TV) (31), Doctor Who (25), Sherlock (TV) (18), Suits (TV) (17), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (15), Doctor Who (2005) (13). (Accessed 1 April 2013)
  16. As of 31 March 2013, 334 of the 928 knotting fanworks on the AO3 are for Teen Wolf. (These numbers may be partially attributed to the overall popularity of Teen Wolf on the AO3. 2.2% (334 of 14884) of the works are tagged with Knotting vs. 2.8% (144 of 5177) of Supernatural RPF, the second most popular fandom for knotting. However, knotting is far more popular in Teen Wolf than in Supernatural (.3%) or Sherlock (.2%), both large active fandoms. See the fandoms filter on the Knotting page.
  17. On 28 October 2013, there were 246 Teen Wolf RPF fanworks and 27773 Teen Wolf fanworks on the AO3. 44 works were listed under both fandoms. 246/27975 or .9% of total Teen Wolf related fanworks on the AO3 are RPF.
  18. As of 28 October 2013, 161 fanworks or 65% of Teen Wolf RPF posted to the AO3 are Tyler Hoechlin/Dylan O'Brien.
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