Endgame (fannish concept)

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Synonyms: canon, Word of God
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Endgame is the concept of the ultimate meaning to, and ends of, plots and devices by a creator. It appears to be a new fannish usage, possibly borrowed from gaming fandom(?)[citation needed]. In nonfannish usage, endgame was originally a chess term, though it is now used more broadly.

About Canon

It is used fannishly to declare, for example, one's ship as "endgame", meaning that the creator intends to make the ship canon.

One can see many examples of fannish 'endgame' on Tumblr, such as hoping for one's ship to be endgame:

Also I decided, I’m pretty much going to blow out my birthday candles and wish for Brittana.[1]


Anon: Or the fact Klaine is endgame? Response: Show me your qualifications in reading the future, then we’ll talk. ‘Til then, keep your trap shut and stop being such an insufferable know-it-all, pretending that you alone can read the writers’ minds. From past evidence, not even the writers know what they are going to write in the future, so how you think you can know is beyond me.[2]

'[Pairing] is endgame' as a phrase has become somewhat of a manifesto or declaration of belief,[3] sometimes employed by tinhats. For example "Larry is endgame" might be used as a rallying cry for Larry Stylinson believers who think Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson will come out as gay together after One Direction's contract expires.[4] [5]

About Fanworks

The concept is now also used about fanworks.

It is used to describe stories that contain multiple pairings, to indicate which is (or will become) the main focus of the story/get a happy ending; it might be added in stories posted as WIP to give indications as to which characters will appear or get together in coming chapters.

Spreading use in various fandoms has led AO3 tag wranglers to create canonical 'endgame pairing' tags for several popular ships, such as Endgame Derek Hale/Stile Stilinski in Teen Wolf fandom; Endgame Harry Styles/Louis Tomlinson, Endgame Niall Horan/Harry Styles, Endgame Zayn Malik/Liam Payne in One Direction fandom etc.

Examples of use:

Is Big Brother Larry endgame? Because on AO3 It doesn't say and i'd hate to read it and be disappointed.[6]


Anonymous whispered: okay it's really weird that they don't even have lilo as a pairing if that's how it ends. like, even if you're not going to say it's endgame lilo to leave something to find out, you should say it's in there somewhere[7]

Some uses show there is now an expectation of endgame tagging:

if your fic is not Larry endgame, tag that shit…[8]


  1. ^ LikeAFawnInTheWoods, (2011). Brittana
  2. ^ lil-mis-choc, (2011). You know what? It’s late, I can’t sleep, and I have nothing better to do.
  3. ^ sterekisendgame Tumblr, created July 2014.
  4. ^ "Larry is endgame" Twitter search
  5. ^ Emily Barrow, Louis + Harry| Larry Stylinson| "We are endgame" fanvid, posted to YouTube Sept 22, 2013 (accessed Sept 13, 2014).
  6. ^ anon, ask on larryfanfictionasks Tumblr, answered Aug 20, 2013
  7. ^ anon, ask on zaptains Tumblr, answered... sometime in 2014.
  8. ^ thetommoandhishazza, Tumblr post, Feb 26 2014