Flint/Wood

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Pairing
Pairing: Marcus Flint/Oliver Wood
Alternative name(s): Marcus/Oliver, Oliver/Marcus, Flintwood, HMS Chasing to Keep, MF/OW, M/O
Gender category: m/m (slash)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Canonical?: no
Prevalence: uncommon
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Flint/Wood or Marcus/Oliver is a Harry Potter pairing involving Marcus Flint and Oliver Wood, the Slytherin and Gryffindor Quidditch captains in the first three books.

Canon Relationship

Marcus Flint and Oliver Wood are rival Hogwarts Quidditch captains—of Slytherin and Gryffindor respectively—from Philosopher's Stone through Prisoner of Azkaban. Originally, Flint is described as a year ahead of Wood at Hogwarts. His appearance in Prisoner of Azkaban after he should have left school (an acknowledged mistake or "flint") was explained by J.K. Rowling as his having failed his exams and repeated a year. However, revised editions of the books place Flint in the same year as Oliver. While the original canon of Flint being older is more prevalent, both versions are widespread and tend to be accepted. In either scenario, the two likely shared classes at least in the Prisoner of Azkaban school year.

The two have a hostile relationship. For example, when instructed to shake hands before a Quidditch game, they each appear to be "trying to break the other's fingers."[1] Flint repeatedly attempts to undermine the Gryffindor Quidditch team's chances with unfair tactics (in-game fouls, interfering with their practice time, rescheduling games on false pretence, trying to sabotage Harry by dressing up as a Dementor), which angers Wood. Indeed, their very names suggest that the characters were designed with this antagonism in mind and as complements of one another: flint and wood makes fire, something that represents a heated rivalry but can also be interpreted by slashers as romantic or sexual passion.

Ship History

Interest in the pairing emerged in early 2001, when the cast of the first Harry Potter film started to be announced and fans were intrigued by photos of Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood) and Will Theakston—who would actually appear in the film as Terence Higgs but was initially reported to be playing Flint. Khirsah's November 2001 "Violence Fetish", the first Flint/Wood fanfic posted to hpslash, was a direct response to Jamie Yeates's somewhat unexpected depiction of Flint in the first film.[2]

Flint/Wood fanfiction gained popularity in 2002. Mireille was one prolific early writer for the pairing, writing over 10 Flint/Wood stories by August 2002. Other early authors for the pairing include digikym (Thrasia), V, and Silvia Kundera.

The LiveJournal community roughquidditch was founded in January 2003 and was active through 2012. Another LJ community, marcus_oliver, was active in 2006 but has since been deleted.[3] Two popular LiveJournal RPGs were also influential in popularizing the ship: Hogwarts After Dark (lumosnox) (2002–2004) and The Leaky (2004–2006).

Fanon & Trends in Fanworks

Flint/Wood fanart by Anna Shellkova. A unique realistic depiction of Flint and Wood kissing. The red and green of their clothing suggests their Hogwarts Quidditch uniforms, and their windblown hair gives the impression that they are flying.

Many Flint/Wood fanworks are set during canon in the first three books, Marcus's and Oliver's final years at Hogwarts. Works usually focus on their canonical Quidditch rivalry: Oliver is canonically obsessed with Quidditch and, in fanfiction, this often carries over to an obsession with Marcus. There are also Quidditch-focused works set after they leave Hogwarts: Oliver canonically goes on to play Quidditch professionally with Puddlemere United, and Marcus is also often depicted as going pro after Hogwarts—usually with the Falmouth Falcons, due to their reputation for a violent playing style matching what we see of Flint's proclivity for fouls in canon.

Some Flint/Wood fiction touches on the war against Voldemort. Canon does not indicate whether the Flint family has connections with Death Eaters, although this is common fanon due to Marcus being a Slytherin and (per Pottermore) a pure-blood. On some occasions (such as Mireille's The Last Time, July 2002), Marcus is depicted becoming a Death Eater himself, resulting in conflict or a doomed relationship with Oliver. More commonly, Marcus is caught between Oliver and his own friends and family in the war.

Fluff and schmoop are relatively uncommon in Flint/Wood fanworks.[4] Many early stories, in particular, have elements of darkfic and angst, and even get-together fics tend to emphasize physical attraction over romance. Some fans suggest that this is because Flint/Wood is "jockslash" and tension and PWP are more true to the characters. Drew writes in his 2004 Oliver Wood character essay:

In the grand tradition of Mortal Enemies Having Sex, however, many authors stick these two in a broomshed/locker room/closet/etc. and watch the hot and heavy happen. If we're going to approach this pairing, it's important to recognize that these are not two characters who are going to wax philosophical or poetic about the other's beauty -- these are two teenagers (or 20somethings or however old you make them) who are, bluntly speaking, jocks. Jocks who, in all likelihood, are ready to jump just about anything that moves -- remember, in the books they're teenagers, and the hormone overload is probably running fast and furious in these two. If an author forgets that, that is, turns one of them into a lofty academic or pouting fop, then you're not really reading Marcus/Oliver slash -- you're reading original character fiction written in the Harry Potter universe.-- Drew (babyofthegroup) at idol_reflection, Which broomstick?, Nov 2004[5]

Because Percy/Oliver is also a popular pairing, Percy Weasley is sometimes depicted as a rival for Oliver's affections in Flint/Wood stories. The Percy/Oliver/Marcus threesome is also fairly common.

Example Fanworks

Fanfiction

Fanart

Fanvids

RPGs

Meta

Links & Resources

References

  1. J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), Chapter 15: "The Quidditch Final":
    "Captains, shake hands!" said Madam Hooch.
    Flint and Wood approached each other and grasped each other’s hand very tightly; it looked as though each was trying to break the other’s fingers.
  2. Author's note for Violence Fetish: "ok, I’m writing this for the sole reason that the redneck-inbred Marcus Flint in the movie pissed me off. lol. So I had to write an explanation of why he looked so ugly at the time." (Archived 01 April 2003 by the Wayback Machine.)
  3. Mentioned by physixxx in June 2006 (FLW-7, pre-beta'd for roughquidditch & marcus_oliver members, posted 06 June 2006) and by x_posed_again in October 2006 (Comment on "Another Marriage drabble -", 15 October 2006). Community deleted sometime after October 2008: see marcus_oliver - Community Information, archived 07 October 2008 by the Wayback Machine.
  4. For example, Liz commented on the FictionAlley Park SCUSA thread in August 2002: "I was talking to my friend last night, and we were discussing favorite ships. Marcus/Oliver came up, and we decided that angst is the best way to go. She said something along the lines of "Marcus/Oliver fluff? I think not." The very idea of combining those two and the fluffiest fluff I've ever seen sent me into a fit of giggles." (Post #306869, 12 August 2002.) Mireille responded: "Yeah. Er. My blackmail story is the closest I've gotten to fluff, in fanfic. I think you could even write them sort-of happy, but definitely not fluffy and schmoopy." (Post #306886, 12 August 2002.)
  5. Drew (babyofthegroup) at idol_reflection. Which broomstick?, posted 04 November 2004 (accessed 04 September 2017). Drew also adds in the comments to the post (reply to angylinni, posted 05 November 2005):
    I've seen some quite schmoopy Oliver/male character fic, but generally not with Marcus. Part of what defines their relationship isn't the lack of romance -- it's there, just in a different form from "traditional" romance -- but rather the intensity and physicality. If written well, you can see exactly how much each cares for the other, but you can't throw out the physical aspect. If you're going for schmoop, better look toward Oliver/Percy :)
  6. ladybirdington at crack_broom. Marcus/Oliver: "Drug" by salmon_pink, posted 18 May 2009. (Accessed 31 August 2017.)
  7. A drawing with the description "Oliver/Marcus - PG" was listed on glockgal's art site, every flavour, in 2002, but the image itself was not archived by the Wayback Machine. See everyflavour of art, archived 13 December 2002.