Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Name: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Abbreviation(s): AOS
Creator: Maurissa Tancharoen
Jed Whedon
Joss Whedon
Date(s): September 24, 2013 - present
Medium: Live-Action Television Show
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: Official Website
Agents of SHIELD - Concept Poster by eclecticmuses
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an American television show that premiered on September 24, 2013. It is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The 7th and final season aired on May 27, 2020.


Agent Phil Coulson puts together a small team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to handle strange new cases. Each case will test the team in cooperation and ingenuity as they try to work together figuring out newly emerging superhuman individuals in the world.

Main Characters

  • Agent Phil Coulson - S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who oversees the division's field operations. The character was killed in The Avengers, but was brought back to life - although it is currently unknown how - even Phil doesn't know the whole truth.[1]
  • Agent Melinda May - S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who's the division's pilot and weapons expert.
  • Agent Grant Ward - S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who's a black ops specialist.
  • Skye - A civilian, computer hacker, and later S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
  • Agent Leo Fitz - S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who specializes in engineering weapons technology.
  • Agent Jemma Simmons - S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who specializes in life sciences (both human and alien).
  • Agent Antoine Triplett - S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who joins Coulson's team in late season one.
  • Lance Hunter - a mercenary working for the reconstituted S.H.I.E.L.D., later joins it after his partner's death
  • Agent Bobbi Morse - S.H.I.E.L.D. agent known as Mockingbird.

Agent Maria Hill makes a few appearances. Director Nick Fury appears in the second and last episode. Multiple comic book characters, including S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and super-powered characters, appear in various episodes. Many have altered backstories or appearances to help them match the world established in the MCU, see Category:Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Characters for more information.


Even before the show aired, a small fandom had already sprung up around it based on a mix of the trailers, fan speculation, and previous knowledge of Marvel Comics and the MCU in particular.

The fandom is currently active, producing almost 3000 works on AO3 by the end of its first season and making almost 4 thousand posts in the #agents of shield tag on Tumblr during the season 1 finale.[2] There are several active Tumblr tags, including #agents of squee (created to avoid the negative comments of some disappointed viewers after the premiere[3]). By the end of Season 2,[4] AO3 had over 10.6K and FFN has over 5.3K works listed for Agents of SHIELD.


Since before the show's premiere, the most popular character in the fandom is Phil Coulson who had gained fandom appreciation throughout his appearances within the MCU films. Although the character died in The Avengers (2012), fans campaigned for him to return which ended successfully and landed him is own show centered around his team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. By the end of September 2013, due to the premiere, released trailers and released information about the show (along with prior MCU knowledge), the characters Clint Barton, Nick Fury, Melinda May, Tony Stark, Grant Ward, Jemma Simmons, Maria Hill, Leo Fitz, and Natasha Romanoff[5] were the most popular behind Coulson. The character Skye became more popular after the first couple of episodes.[6] Second half of the Season 1 introduced Antoine Triplett, who quickly became a fandom favorite.[7]

Season's 2 popular characters continue to be several of the main AOS characters: Phil Coulson, Jemma Simmons, Skye, Leo Fitz, Melinda May, and Grant Ward.[8] However, Season 2 also introduced the characters Lance Hunter, Bobbi Morse, and Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie to the team.[9] They are fairly common characters in AO3 works, although Bobbi Morse had long been added to the MCU by fans due to her comicverse connection to Clint Barton and S.H.I.E.L.D..


Prior to the show premiering, a few pairings popped up due to the mix of trailers released and fan speculation along with prior MCU knowledge such as Lola/Phil Coulson, Lola/other fictional cars (such as Supernatural's Impala), and Phil Coulson/Melinda May. By the first week[10] after the first episode premiered, the most popular pairing was Clint Barton/Phil Coulson with Phil/Nick Fury, Phil/Melinda, Phil/Lola, and Skye/Grant Ward as the most common.[11]

After the first couple episodes at the end of October 2013, other pairings started to gain a following in the fandom such as Fitz & Simmons (as gen pairing) Fitz/Simmons (and as het pairing), Simmons/Ward, Fitzward, and Simmons/Skye.[12]

By the end of the First Season,[13] the popular het pairings include: Skye/Ward, Fitz/Simmons, and Simmons/Ward;[14] Common het pairings include: Coulson/May, May/Ward, Phil Coulson/Skye;[15] Rarer het pairings include: Simmons/Triplett, Coulson/Simmons, Fitz/Skye, May/Sitwell, Simmons/Sitwell, Triplett/Skye and Fitz/May.[16] The popular slash and femslash pairings by the end of the first season are: Phil Coulson/Clint Barton, Jemma Simmons/Skye, FitzWard, May/Skye, and May/Natasha Romanoff[17] with rarer pairings such as May/Skye, Coulson/Ward, May/Simmons, Fitz/Triplett, and Coulson/Fitz.[18]

By the end of the Second Season,[4] popular het pairings gained the ships: Coulson/May, Coulson/Skye, Bobbi/Lance, May/Ward, Skye/Triplett.[19] Popular slash and femslash gained the ships: Fitz/Mack and Bobbi/Jemma.[20]

Due to the appearances of several new (and old) characters by the end of Season 3, there are a lot more rare pairings in the fandom with Het and Femslash taking the leads. The new Het rare pairings are: Lance/Skye, Melinda/Andrew, Ward/Agent 33, Raina/Triplett, Skye/Lincoln, Jiaying/Cal, Lance/Jemma, Mack/Bobbi, Skye/Mike Peterson, Jemma/Lincoln, Lance/Agent 33.[21] The new Femslash pairings include: Melinda/Maria, Melinda/Victoria, Melinda/Bobbi, Raina/Skye, Bobbi/Agent 33.[22] For slash, Fitz/Lance[23] started appearing.

New rare pairings arising from Season 4 include the canon het pairings of Mack/Yo Yo Rodriguez, Robbie Reyes/Skye, and Agnes Kitsworth/Holden Radcliffe, as well as the framework canon pairing AIDA/Leo Fitz. Aida was originally created in Agnes Kitworth's image, and Aida was known as Ophelia in the framework. As a result, there is some crossover on these character tags.

Het pairings dominate this fandom, with slash and femslash works on Ao3 been equally popular.[24]

Common Storylines & Tropes

  • AUs and Canon Divergence AUs, especially AUs that feature the Everybody Lives trope.
    • A plot device in canon, Terrigenesis, is used to explore different characters gaining powers and how those powers affect their lives and relationships. In canon, Skye/Daisy is the only one to gain powers.
    • The season 2 finale introduced a monolith that transported Jemma to a different planet, Maveth. Monolith AUs focus on how the circumstances may have been different if a different character was transported to Maveth, or if Jemma had met someone different on the planet. (In canon, she meets a NASA astronaut named Will and begins a romantic relationship with him, which was controversial in the fandom.)
    • Season 4 introduced The Framework, a virtual reality where HYDRA rules and S.H.I.E.L.D. has been forced to move underground. Framework fics focus on characters within this virtual reality. Oftentimes these fics explore characters with different moralities, as in the Framework canon Leo Fitz is the leader of HYDRA.
  • Future fics are normally fluff with pairings in established relationships.
    • A subcategory of this fic for the Fitzsimmons fandom is the Perthshire fic, where fans imagine Fitzsimmons's life they share in a cottage in Perthshire, a dream they mention in canon.
    • A popular trope in the Huntingbird fandom is a future fic where they reunite with the team again after being disavowed, and share how their lives have changed since they last spoke.
  • Pre-canon fics vary from ship to ship, though a common theme is characters in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, which educates civilians to become agents.
  • Mission fics add additional missions to canon. Some involve undercover agents pretending to be in a romantic relationship, while others are used to build up sexual tension in smut fics.
  • Missing moment fics are common. The emotional ramifications of several important canon events are not explored to some fans' satisfaction, and several months to a year sometimes pass between the end of one season and the beginning of the next.
  • In canon there are several unknown alien objects, called 0-8-4s. 0-8-4 fics can make use of the sex pollen trope, but may also involve mind reading, body swaps, memory loss, or any other science-fiction or fantasy trope the author wants to explore.


Notable Fanworks


  • Her Story Started Here by charmed4lifekaren, May/Coulson & Skye, After hearing Agent Lumley story about Skye Coulson can't help but think of the similarities that the story shares with that of his and Agent May's daughter who was taken in the middle of night from her room when she was only 3 months old. He suspicion leads him to get Simmons to run a test which will change the dynamic of the team forever. (AU after S1EP12)



Season One Vids:

Season Two Vids:

Multi-Fandom vids:


Archives and Fannish Links

LiveJournal Communities






  1. ^ "He can never know", a gif of the lines from the show featuring Maria Hill and Dr. Streiten about Phil.
  2. ^ So, I was procrastinating this morning and tried... lists 3935 posts in the tag during the 4-hour span between the finale beginning to air in the Eastern time zone and when it finished airing in the Pacific time zone. Posted May 18, 2014. Accessed May 19, 2014.
  3. ^ "So I had a thought". Archived from the original on 2018-12-04. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 21/22 "S.O.S." aired May 12, 2015.
  5. ^ By September 30, 2013: Clint Barton (60), Melinda May (37), Tony Stark (20), Nick Fury (25),Grant Ward (33), Maria Hill (23), Jemma Simmons (28), Leo Fitz (23), Natasha Romanov (18), . (Accessed 24 July 2014)
  6. ^ By October 14, 2013: Skye (60 compared to only 16 by September 30th)
  7. ^ By February 7, 2014, Triplett has 1148 works.
  8. ^ By February 7, 2014: Coulson has 17054 works, Jemma has 4452 works, Skye has 4359 works, Fitz has 3475 works, May has 3308 works, and Ward has 3243 works
  9. ^ By February 7, 2015: Mack has 407 works, Bobbi has 523 works, and Lance has 491 works.
  10. ^ September 30, 2013
  11. ^ Each tag had by September 30, 2013: Clint Barton/Phil Coulson (55), Phil Coulson/Nick Fury (5), Phil Coulson/Melinda May (4), Phil Coulson/Lola (3), Skye/Grant Ward (2). (Accessed 24 July 2014)
  12. ^ Each tag had by October 31, 2013: Leo Fitz & Jemma Simmons (21), Jemma Simmons/Grant Ward (22), Leo Fitz/Grant Ward (26), Leo Fitz/Jemma Simmons (13), Jemma Simmons/Skye (6), (Accessed 24 July 2014)
  13. ^ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 22 "Beginning of the End" aired May 13, 2014.
  14. ^ Popular Het Pairings; Each tag had by May 31, 2014: Skye/Grant Ward (483), Leo Fitz/Jemma Simmons (340), Jemma Simmons/Grant Ward (268)
  15. ^ Common Het Pairings; Each tag had by May 31, 2014: Phil Coulson/Melinda May (129), Melinda May/Grant Ward (93), Phil Coulson/Skye (87)
  16. ^ Rare Het Pairings; Each tag had by May 31, 2014: Leo Fitz/Skye (36), Phil Coulson/Jemma Simmons (15), Jemma Simmons/Antoine Triplett (15), Melinda May/Jasper Sitwell (11), Jemma Simmons/Jasper Sitwell (9), Leo Fitz/Melinda May (2), Skye/Antoine Triplett (2)
  17. ^ Popular Slash Pairings; Each tag had by May 31, 2014: Clint Barton/Phil Coulson (402), Jemma Simmons/Skye (168), Leo Fitz/Grant Ward (85), Melinda May/Natasha Romanoff (64)
  18. ^ Rare Slash Pairings; Each tag had by May 31, 2014: Melinda May/Skye (30), Phil Coulson/Grant Ward (14), Melinda May/Jemma Simmons (11), Leo Fitz/Antoine Triplett (6), Phil Coulson/Leo Fitz (5)
  19. ^ Popular Het pairings by May 28, 2015: Coulson/May (997), Coulson/Skye (586), Lance/Bobbi (237), May/Ward (137), Skye/Triplett (111).
  20. ^ Popular Fem/Slash pairings by May 28, 2015: Fitz/Mack (215) and Bobbi/Jemma (113)
  21. ^ Rare Het pairings by May 28, 2015: Lance/Skye (47), Melinda/Andrew (36), Ward/Agent 33 (23), Raina/Triplett (12) Lincoln/Skye (10), Jiaying/Cal (6), Lance/Jemma (6), Mack/Bobbi (4), Mike/Skye (3), Lincoln/Jemma (2), Lance/Agent 33 (2)
  22. ^ Rare Femslash pairings by May 28, 2015: Melinda/Maria (29), Melinda/Victoria (15) Melinda/Bobbi (6), Raina/Skye (5), Bobbi/Agent 33 (5)
  23. ^ Rare Slash pairings by May 28, 2015: Fitz/Lance (9)
  24. ^ As of Dec 2017, there are 13533 het works, and 2627 and 2573 works in femslash and slash categories respectively
  25. ^ "0-8-4 (code)". Archived from the original on 2017-09-06.
  26. ^ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 2 "0-8-04"
  27. ^ "Science Twins". Archived from the original on 2018-12-04.