|Location:||New York, New York/Lima, Ohio|
|Relationships:|| Kurt Hummel (fiance)
Sam Evans (best friend)Cooper Anderson (brother)
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Blaine Anderson is a character on the TV show Glee played by actor Darren Criss. He first appeared in the sixth episode of the second season, "Never Been Kissed," as the lead singer of the Dalton Academy Warblers, an a cappella group ostensibly in competition with the main cast's titular club. Originally described as an older and wiser gay mentor to fan favorite Kurt Hummel, the character's immediate popularity with critics and fans alike ensured that he would wind up being Kurt's first boyfriend.
Blaine Anderson was introduced in episode 2.06 as the openly gay leading soloist of the Dalton Academy Warblers, an a cappella group in competition with McKinley High's glee club. He was immediately popular with a large segment of the Glee fandom, who noted his dapper manners, as well as his love for top forty pop music, football, theater, and pop culture in general. His relationship with Kurt Hummel was at times flirtatious and at times merely platonic, until he had a revelation in episode 2.16 that lead to a declaration of love. Kurt/Blaine, aka Klaine, would ultimately become the most popular ship in Glee fandom.
Blaine transferred to McKinley in order to spend the year with Kurt. His most noteworthy season-three plotline was probably his flirtation with Dalton Academy's Sebastian Smythe. Blaine seemed to enjoy the attention Sebastian gave him, even as he took his relationship with Kurt to the next level, losing their virginity to each other that fall. A jealous Sebastian eventually flung a rock-salt slushie at Kurt's face, and Blaine pushed him out of the way, getting hit instead. The incident left him with a scratched cornea, which kept him out of school for a while. Despite this, Sebastian/Blaine remains an incredibly popular alternative ship for Blaine. In the end of the season, Kurt and Blaine vowed to stay together despite being separated by Kurt's graduation.
Although Blaine encouraged Kurt to go to New York and make a place for himself in season four, the relationship quickly deteriorated. In "The Break-Up," episode 4.04, the distance became too much for Blaine, and in a moment of weakness he cheated on Kurt with a random guy he'd met on Facebook. Their breakup inspired the creation of a lot of fanfic. Later in the season, they became best friends again, visited at Christmas, and hooked up on Valentine's Day. Blaine hoped that they'd get back together and towards the end of the season made plans to propose to Kurt. Blaine's season four plotline also heavily featured his newfound friendship with, and occasional crush on, fellow glee clubber Sam Evans, which became yet another popular fandom ship.
Blaine proposed to Kurt in the season premiere, and they became engaged. Before graduating, he went on to ace his off-screen NYADA audition, and wound up being valedictorian (albeit on a technicality). After graduation, he moved in with Kurt and Rachel in New York, but Blaine struggled at times to find his place in the big city. He and Kurt wound up living apart so they could give each other more space. Other season five plotlines included Blaine's struggles with weight gain, becoming the protege of a wealthy older woman, and finally moving back in with Kurt, their issues - seemingly - resolved.
The most popular Blaine ships in fandom tend to be the ones that have at least been alluded to in canon. These include:
- Kurt/Blaine or "Klaine"
- Sebastian/Blaine or "Seblaine"
- Sam/Blaine or "Blam"
- Rachel/Blaine or "Blainchel"
- Dave Karofsky/Blaine, or "Blainofsky"
- Tina/Blaine, or "Blina/Blaintina/Blatina"
Blaine is also shipped less commonly with any and all of the other Warblers, other male characters, and still less frequently with other female characters.
Fanon and Fanfic Trends
Several fanworks started in the early days after "Never Been Kissed" heavily feature Blaine and his friendships with other members of the Dalton Academy Warblers. While since jossed, the Warblers and fans' early conceptions of them have become a minor fandom within the larger Glee fandom. Influential fanworks from this period include Dalton by CP Coulter, and the Dalton Boys Are Geeks series by infraredphaeton.
Changing Perceptions of Blaine's age and Maturity Level
Originally conceived as a strong, confident, older role model for Kurt Hummel, as part of the process of transitioning him into a love interest, Glee's writers gave him a complicated past. In the latter half of season two, Blaine revealed that he had a strained relationship with his father, that he'd been badly beaten by bullies at a Sadie Hawkins dance at the school he'd attended before Dalton, and that he'd never really had a boyfriend prior to his relationship with Kurt. Then in a twist that surprised many fans, at the start of season three it was revealed that Blaine was only a junior - and therefore a year younger than Kurt. Unexpectedly de-aging Blaine by a year or two had the effect of immediately jossing a year's worth of fanfiction, as even those works which did not explicitly state Blaine's age had often portrayed him as cool, unflappable, and "dapper," a characterization that somewhat fell by the wayside in subsequent seasons. The community was, to put it mildly, peeved. Early perceptions of Blaine as more mature and experienced resulted in several fandom tropes: Older!Blaine, Dom!Blaine, and dark!Blaine, among others. Later perceptions of Blaine as far less mature and collected than Kurt resulted in fandom tropes corresponding to his perceived weakness: pocket!Blaine, sub!Blaine, homeless!Blaine, and younger!Blaine.
In season four distract himself from his loneliness without Kurt, Blaine signed up for just about every club at McKinley - the most notable of which was a superhero sidekick club where he dressed as generic Robin-knockoff sidekick, "Kittenboy" and a full-fledged superhero club where he dressed as the generic Nightwing-knockoff superhero, "Nightbird." Combined with the unabashed superhero fandom he displayed in his newfound friendship with Sam, this resulted in a spike in AU fanworks featuring Blaine as a superhero - generally but not always Nightbird.
One of the mainstays of Blaine's characterization has been his enthusiasm and zest for life that often had him literally dancing on tables. Jokes about his exuberance and various people telling him to stay off the furniture, combined with a preexisting trend to see Kurt as kittenish, resulted in the puppy!Blaine trope.