|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||courtship fic, courting, wooing|
|See Also:||age difference, dating, didn't know they were dating, first kiss, first time, interspecies, virginfic|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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The term is sometimes reserved for formal courtships, where the process is supposed to follow a set of rules, and ends in a formal marriage or bonding ceremony. Such stories tend to focus on the details of the rituals involved in the courtship, and are also known as "courtship fic".
Often the courted character is entirely ignorant of the traditions involved in courtship and takes some time to realise that s/he is being courted. (This can be played for humour.) Usually the courting character is significantly older, much more experienced in the culture, and/or of substantially higher status. The trope is particularly common in sources which include several different races, cultures or traditions, such as Harry Potter, Star Trek and Tolkien.
Sometimes the courtship is initiated (at least on the surface) for reasons other than mutual love, for example to protect the courted character or for legal reasons. Sometimes the courted character is initially unaware of the courting character's true feelings. Being a romance trope, the couple usually find mutual love by the end of the story.
A twist on the courtship trope is where the courtship is just a device to make the real partner realise his/her true feelings.
- Bostock by hannahrhen: Tony sets out a lure with almonds and powdered sugar. Loki/Tony Stark (The Avengers Movieverse, 2014)
- Dumbledore's Folly by Dementor Delta. Snape/Harry. Another highly popular HP story, in which the courtship is initiated over wizarding inheritance law (Harry Potter)
- Interspecies Courtship Rituals by Kathryn Ramage. Garak/Bashir. Another story with interracial differences in courtship as the focus (Star Trek: DS9)
- Splintered: A Romance In Six Seasons by Cân Cennau. Julian Bashir/Elim Garak/Kelas Parmak. Includes a formal multi-part Cardassian courtship ritual. (Star Trek: DS9)
- Signals in Courtship by melonbutterfly: Tony Stark is nonplussed at first when he starts to receive gifts from Loki that Thor informs him are courtship gifts, but he soon starts to return the interest. How could he not when nobody has ever gone to such effort to show their interest in him before, especially someone as fascinating as Loki? Loki/Tony Stark (The Avengers Movieverse, 2012)
- The Courting Habits of the Line of Durin by diemarysues. Thorin/Bilbo. One of many filmverse stories in which Thorin survives the Battle of the Five Armies and courts Bilbo for his consort; as with many of these stories, there are lots of interracial differences to negotiate (The Hobbit films)
- The Courtship of Harry Potter by Diana Williams. Snape/Harry. Often cited as the definitive HP courtship story (Harry Potter)
- The (Mostly Accidental) Courtship of Dean Winchester by tuesday. Dean/Castiel. Mines the didn't know we were courting trope for crack (Supernatural)
- What Happens in Peru by spikedluv. Jim/Blair. An example of the third-party courtship gets the OTP together twist (The Sentinel)
- Courtship by YamBits. Sam/Frodo. Pre-canon Samfro story. (Lord of the Rings)
Courtship is also sometimes used more generally to refer to any period of courting, particularly when there is a slowly developing relationship which ends in marriage or a similar formal bond. Het is more common with this broader meaning. This usage can overlap with dating fics.
Couples whose relationship building is often referred to as courtship include Vincent/Catherine from Beauty and the Beast, Kirk/Spock & Sarek/Amanda from Star Trek: TOS, Merlin/Arthur from Merlin, and numerous m/f examples from historical fandoms. .
- Simply Perfectest by Voleuse. Zoe/Wash. Gently humorous (Firefly)
- Courting the Lady by Celandine. Denethor/Finduilas. Balancing the personal and the political (The Lord of the Rings)