Gillian Anderson/David Duchovny

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RPF Fandom
Name(s): Gillovny, DAGS, David x Gillian, Anderchovny,[1] Davillian, Gillian/David
Date(s): 1994 to present
See also: Gillian Anderson/David Duchovny, Snogger, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, X-Files RPF
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Gillian Anderson/David Duchovny, also known by the Portmanteau Gillovny, is the RPF pairing of actors and writers Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. For some fans, it revolves about shipping the two actors together while for others the term represents the deep rooted, 25+ year friendship of the two The X-Files actors.


First wave (1994 to 2007)

During the original run of the X-Files original series in the 1990s discussions in X-Files Usenet groups about rumors about an relationship between the two actors could be found. Posts about this topic can be found in entries reaching as far as back as 1996 on the archived usenet group entries in Google Groups [1].

Some fics from 1994-2000: see Some Examples of Early X-Files RPF.

Controversy and fandom war

As the shipper discussions moved from usenet groups to shipper friendly message boards, it became a policy that discussion about this topic was deemed unwanted, like for example on the Idealists Haven board. Until this day a user will be fandom policed on the Haven board of even dares to imply that Duchovny and Anderson could be more than friends.

This lead to the fact that the often derogatory so called snoggers moved their discussion to message boards like the now defunct Shipper Sanctum, especially to avoid bullying from other X-Philes. This became especially apparent after Duchovny married actress Téa Leoni in May 1997.

Around the release of the first X-Files movie in 1998 the press started pit Duchovny and Anderson against each other which lead to the rumors that the two stars would hate each other. Around the some fans of the actors started to praise their favorite by posting negative opinions and rumors about the other actor.

Second wave (2008 to 2012)

After the end of the show's original run in 2002, all fandom activity calmed down until the shooting release of the second feature film I Want To Believe. The actors appearances lead to an increase of former and still active philes that claimed to ship them. Closeted shippers sometimes used the euphemism to "got to hell in a hand basket" to avoid fandom policing. In September 2010 the X-Files Universe message board was set up and became one of the most popular X-Files messages boards around whose most active thread with over 30462 hits as of 2017 was GA & DD: Did something happen between them in the past? until the discussion was fandom policed by a member of the board in 2012 [2] Some Real Person Fan Fiction was written and publicized on LiveJournal and on HTML based websites hosted on Geocities and Angelfire.

Third wave (2012 to today)

In 2015, during the promotion of the show's 25th anniversary another huge increase of the Duchovny and Anderson shippers could be noticed on social media platforms like tumblr, twitter and Youtube. Several tumblr blogs started posting pictures, gif sets, quotes and videos about Anderson and Duchovny together and the term Gillovny was coined and used to tagged posts of such content. Even mainstream media such as the or Huffington Post[2] reported/joined speculations (see Links).

The Gorgan controversy and resulting rift in the Gillian Anderson fandom and ship war

In late 2016 Anderson started to publicly appear with writer/producer Peter Morgan at public events, causing a significant upset to some hardcore Gillovny shippers. Although Anderson did not comment or release a statement, many in the fandom assumed the presence of Anderson at Morgans events, and vice versa implied a relationship. The backlash was immediate, with some going so far as to attack Morgan on the grounds of his looks/personality and others claiming they had lost respect for Anderson and her work, especially on twitter and tumblr.

History of Dogpiling, Shaming and Cyberbullying of Gillovny posters by Gorgan supporters

Posters who stated their opinions and/or disappointment about Anderson's unusual behaviour in such matter a short time after were labelled misogynist[3] by SJW-y blogs or were made fun of for their spelling or handling of the English language even it's visible that the poster is a non-native English speaker.[4]

HMSGilligan/ishipgilligan tumblr blog

Shortly afterward, somebody set up a tumblr blog called HMS Gilligan that posted "humourously" crude manipulated pictures of Anderson and Morgan, sometimes purposely mistagged as #gillovny just for the sake of it, poking fun at some of the more extreme theories that had emerged to deny the apparent relationship and to counter the unpleasantness posted by more extreme Gillovny blogs who they called out as "snoggers", a derogatory terms used since the early days of The X-Files fandom which generalized everyone who posted Gillovny content as being a snogger. The blogs user bio reads "For every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction." which suggests their mission statement is to react to Gillovny content. One blog that frequently reposts content from the HMS Gilligan blog even labelled this alleged "hardcore Gillovny" as "alt-right", which basically likens what the posters calls the "extreme" Gillovny supporters to right-wing radicals and in the end Nazis.[5]

Their presence, along with their chosen shipper name "Gilligan" was rejected by the fandom (since the early 1990s this term was used in the The X-Files fandom to refer to Vince Gilligan), in favour of the less palatable "Gorgon". The term Gorgan started to gain popularity and was both "partly derived by the term "demugorgan" used for monsters in the televison show Stranger Things", as well as a Portmanteau from the first name of the Actress and the last name of Morgan. However, the term has been established for the Anderson/Morgan ship by now, since even the supporters of the ship identify with the term.[6]

However, in response to continued perceived ugliness by "snoggers", many Anderson-centric (and thus often Anti-Duchovny, see Duchovny Fans vs. Anderson Fans), blogs started reposting post of the HMS Gilligan blog, with tags suggesting the stupid humour was a welcome relief for the pro-Gorgan side from the increasingly output of some Gillovny content. It's notable that post from the HMS blog (Which was formerly known as ishipgilligan) was usually first reposted by the same three tumblr blogs who were also most outspoken in "calling out" Gillovny tumblr blogs and twitter users. Many in the Gillovny fandom assume that these three blogs are behind the HMS Gilligan blog.[7] In the face of accusations of "showmance" (see Gillovny Receipts), some what most pro Gillovny and moderate Gillian Anderson fans on tumblr consider "holier-than-thou" fans of Ms Anderson felt the continued existence of certain dialogues was insulting to Anderson and Morgan, and any relationship they might be in and this validated attacking users and sending them hate messages as tumblr anons.

A certain fraction (from what many Gillovnies assume to be the same people behind the HMSGilligan tumblr blog and their clique) of the Anderson fandom also shone light on the less pleasant moments in Duchovny and Anderson's past, presumably seeking to de-romanticize the relationship by posting old quotes and balance the giddy reunion with the realities of a 20+ year shared history, which by many pro Gillovny blogs was interpreted as an attempt to remove Duchovny from Anderson's past and devalue the friendship the two actors developed since working the first time together on "The X-Files".

Many of the fandom, on both sides of the equation, were uncomfortable with this division, as the hard won and well documented friendship of Anderson and Duchovny seemed at risk of being sullied by shipper fandom infighting. Claims that Anderson would be "uncomfortable" near Duchovny and that Duchovny would be "toxic relationship" she referred to in an interview are unsubstantiated, circumstantial and taken out of context, as were the "romantic" rebuttals, which similarly used non-specific quotes from various interviews to "prove" the Gillovny romance. Although the fact that Anderson and Duchovny do not behave like "normal co-workers" during public appearances (probably partly being an expression of their friendship and the media attention is generates) does not help the fact that fans ship them,[8][9],.[10]

In June 2017 400+ paparazzi pictures of Anderson and Morgan on holiday together in Portofino appeared, the most intrusive of which showed Morgan with his fingers in Anderson's bikini bottoms. The pictures also followed them through town to dinner on several occasions as well as showing Anderson changing through her room's window. On tumblr, many fans that had previously identified as Gillovny decided that those pictures "finally" proved that "Gillovny is over".

Around that time a large amount of anonymous hate mail was received and published by a variety of blogs, both of whom had once leaned Gillovny and moved with the evidence to another mindset as well as "pro Gillovny" blogs for continuing posting "Gillovny" content. Reportedly, Gorgans also started to insult and threaten Gillovny blogs, and while there have certainly been public spats between outspoken parties in both camps, the pro Gillovny side started to adapt the "report, block, move on" policy for users posting insulting (often via tumblr's and curious cat's anonymous functions) "Pro Gorgan" content and ignored anons. Many Pro Gillovny users still receive anons that like to stir trouble by sending taunting messages[11] and unveiled death threads.[12]

Gillovny Receipts tumblr blog

Tensions continued to raise on tumblr when an anonymous user created a Receipt Blog, calling themselves Gillovny Receipts saved and posted published content of an off tumblr private chatroom, hosted by key players in the Gillovny fandom. The content was inflammatory, unflattering in the extreme to Anderson and Morgan and further alienated the Gillovny snogger fringe from the tumblr Gillian Anderson fandom mainstream. The chat was widely circulated, and some users called out, with some twitter users going so far as to tag Gillian Anderson's social media accounts.

A fan commented on this behavior on 27 Aug 2017:

Why can not these gorgons just stay away, and leave us alone?
Let us enjoy everything good that Gillovny brings us. Why will not they live for their ship and leave us alone? Oh sure, they have no ship, they just have something to always attack gillovny fans. They do not ship ga/pm, they just have the need to mocking us, it's as if that's the air they breathe, and without it they die.

GillovnyFactChk Twitter Account

On 29 August 2017 a twitter account that featured an image of Peter Morgan as user picture called @Gillovny Fact Check was created and started insulting and harassing random twitter users that posted Gillovny related content on twitter.[13] It's notable that especially screenshots from the tumblr blog justholdinghands were posted as well the posts tagged with the hashtag #JHHFactCheck (JHH being a Gillovny fandom abbreviation for the tumblr user justholding hand).

Death Threads and anonymous hate mail

On September 12, 2017, the popular France based Gillovny tumblr blog justholdinghands posted about an anon which has been sending her "daily messages since the last two months" which contained messages like that "they wished for me to die in a terrorist attack".

(...)In the last 2 months, I’ve been receiving a daily trolling anon, several messages a day, everyday, all the time. They were calling me names and obsessing over a chatroom that everyone had forgotten about already. It escalated a little when they wished for me to die in a terrorist attack, but it was mostly name calling and attention seeking. I blocked them everyday, but they came back, over and over, obviously using a VPN. It had bothered me for a time and I talked about it to a few close friends sending them screenshots and all. I reported the anons of course, but Tumblr policy in terms of bullying is so lame…(...)


allthatsleftisthehate tumblr blog

In October 2017 another dog piling tumblr blog called all that's left is the hate was created. The name is the negation of a quote Duchovny used to describe his relationship with Anderson in an audio interview in September 2015 and which used in the Gillovny Fanworks a lot[15] As a user picture it uses a Guy Fawkes mask and has a screenshot from a pro Gillovny blog as header picture. The blogs' manifesto is

the gillovny truth,in their own words.

The blog posts non anonymised screenshots from tumblr blogs that post Gillovny content and underlines and circles words and tags that show the "hate" of Gillovny supporters against Anderson, Morgan,X-Files or what the blogs perceives as "mainstream" X-Files fandom. Since the modus operandi of the blog is similar to the tone and style (for example sarcastic and or condescending tone, screenshots of private or only tumblr logged in blogs, cross platform posting [posting of tumblr screenshots on twitter and vice versa], public "out calling" in favor of direct, non anonymous conversation, rummaging through 10 months old posts even if the bloggers opinion on the Gillovny/Gorgan controversy has changed by now and they decided to no longer post content of either) of the hmsgilligan and Gillovny Receipts tumblr blogs and the Gillovny Fct Check twitter account, many Gillovny supporters tumblr bloggers and twitter users assume that these blogs are sockpuppets of the same person or group of persons who are operating that blog as well.

On September 22, 2017, Anderson referred to a boyfriend in an interview with Parade magazine.[16] For some, this is may be final proof that the Morgan/Anderson relationship is ongoing, though as always, there remains a Gillovny fringe that still posts pictures, gifs, videos and quotes because it makes people happy and who won't stop believing in their ship because after one year the whole mess started, there is still no official confirmation about the Anderson/Morgan relationship nor have Anderson or Morgan mention the other by name in any interviews.

While most Gillovny blogs by now no longer fall for providing a platform for few who can't stop sending taunting anon messages and move on, all this led to further division between the parties and continues to do so. Previously one was either Gillovny or not and people could blog away their RPFs, manips, head canons to their heart's desires, now people get bullied in the name of "defending" Anderson who can dictate what is allowed to be posted or not.

Anderson/Morgan split announcement and the aftermath

In December 2020 it was widely reported that Anderson and Morgan had separated, with a handful media news outlets like e-online[3], Archived version e-online] and The Cut[4], Archived version] being surprised that the pair dated,since there was never an official confirmation of the Anderson/Morgan relationship nor of its demise - just 4 years worth of uncomfortable looking videos and pictures of the pair and Anderson uncharacteristically over promoting "The Crown" and Morgan in all her social media outlets, interviews and media appearances since this random tweet by the official Anderson Twitter account containing a YouTube trailer for the show and the according hashtag on September 30th 2016 which eventually lead into Anderson scoring the role of Margaret Thatcher in the show's 4th season which was rumoured since 2016 in the Anderson fandom and officially confirmed in 2019.

I'm sorry but this is going to be the best thing to happen to your lives this year!

@TheCrownNetflix #TheCrown

I'm sorry but this is going to be the best thing to happen to your lives this year!, Archived version

Many of the self-declared Peter Morgan supporter blogs and twitter "stan" accounts vanished within days after the split had been announced, leading support to a wide-spread theory among DD/GA fans that many Anderson fans only supported the Gorgan ship to gain a positive reaction like a re-tweet or a reply from Anderson's social media accounts. After the news, a new wave of anon hate was sent to Gillovnypositive tumblr blogs and anons tried to spread the narrative that Duchovny and Anderson loathe or even hate each other, often by providing over fifteen year and older quotes that contradicted the points the anons were trying to make:

(...)Last year she [Anderson] roped David into helping her raise money for a NF charity she’s passionate about. She also promoted his music and showed people where to find it. Then, after swearing off the X-Files, she did zoom calls with David about the X-Files. Gillian has even gone to a play that David was in and he went to her plays as well. People will claim some of these actions are PR (funny how they believe in PR-esque relationships now), despite some of these things not being connected to the X Files at all and neither having any reason to do it other than them wanting to.

Was GA promoting DD’s music for “The Crown”??? I’m sure antis will find a “plausible” explanation.

For all of the antis proclamations that they aren’t friends, Gillian hates him, and she doesn’t talk to/associate with David, 15 years of evidence and her own words prove otherwise. :)

How dare I say they’re friends because they behave like friends AND, well, they called themselves friends. No, I’m wrong and the antis who deny their literal quotes confirming that I’m saying is right.

(I expect more anon hate, despite solidly making my case. lol)

Gillian's comparison posted on Jan 8th, 2021, Archived version

Gillovny perception outside of fandom by others

Now, fans of films and shows casually “ship” characters—Harry Potter and Hermione, Captain Kirk and Spock. They even ship real humans: Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio; Tessa Thompson and Janelle Monáe.

And inevitably, plenty of X-Philes ship David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, posting speculation about the two actors, and hoping that their on-screen chemistry carries over into real life. (We want to believe.)

“Shipping,” and other cultural concepts we can trace back to the X-Files by Jane C. Hu, September 10, 2018

::female host : "I wanna bring back Red Shoe Diaries."
Everone: Oh!
host 2: My god, David Duchovny.
female host: And then. But now, since there is speculation that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are together...
host 3: ..That's not speculation... not speculation
host1: ...they're the host of it as well....
host 3:...that is a fact.
host 4: I thought they hate each other.
host 2: No, they love each other. They love each other.
female host: No, they love each other,.
host 3: we saw things happen at the Webbys. That's pretty much all we can say.
host 2: And did you see the photo shoot recently?
host 3: No?!
host 2: Oh my god! I mean, my goodness.
female host: and that's I mean have them do it together because then you get all the nerds really "Oh god!"
host 2: Did they do them at the Webbys...
female host: You know?
host 1: Ahh!
host 2: ...I mean at the Webbys let's just say:...
host ?: Were they fingering?
host 1: No!
host 2: ...They showed up together and she went in through the front door, he went in through the back. He had is arm in a sling and she was on crutches.
female host: I was told I wasn't allowed to say this...
host ?: Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!....
female host: ...I like it, though.
host 1: Oh that!
female host: Yeah!
host ?: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
host 2: So what,...
host ?: Mmmmmmm! Mmmmmmmmmmmm!
host 2: ....he broke his arm and she broke her ankle...and that is supposed they're fucking?
host 2:...But they'd be together...
host 4: David Duchov... that's what they do, right?
female host: ...together...
host 2: they do it together, they're probably out, having a tryst somewhere... got into a car ac...
host 5: They tried to solve some fucking alien crimes
female host: Oh my god, like in "the World according to Garb"!

From episode 338 of Roundtable of Gentlemen Poddcast around the 50 minute mark. Hosts Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski were present at the Webby Awards 2017 where Duchovny presented an award to Anderson

I don't know what's going on between @GillianA & David Duchovny lately but I don't ever want it to stop #xphile4life

Michael Ausiello (Founder and Editor-in-Chief at ) in a tweet on 16 Oct 2013

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are going all over the place acting like an actual couple. STOP TORTURING YOUR FANS!

Matt Zoller Seitz (Writer for and in a tweet on 17 Oct 2013

“Gillian was great because she was kind of flirty with him and that’s what I wanted,” says Jason. She really knew how to handle him. She helped me a lot just by her being there and knowing how to take care of it. She was great. Beautiful. Friendly. And she gave me the look I wanted.”

Jason Madara (photographer)

"We may not be reunited with partners Mulder and Scully until the end of the month, but Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny took to the set of Jimmy Kimmel: Live! to prove they're still the best damn couple out there—even if they won't admit it."

The Daily Heat Index: The Sexual Tension Between 'X-Files' Stars Gillian Anderson And David Duchovny Is Too Real by Sean Abrams, Jan 13, 2016,

“Definitely a fabulous energy in the studio when David and Gillian came in, really electrifying, some may say unwordly. This was a genuine moment. Would love to know what she was saying”

Mark Mann (photographer)

“David and Gillian stood in that room together alone, and held each other for a good five minutes. They didn’t talk, they didn’t move, they just held each other. Tears running down their faces.”

“You could just see it in their faces, how much they truly did love each other. And that wasn’t just Dana and Fox, that was David and Gillian. They truly, truly loved each other. Oh, I never saw anything like it. I’ve been in this business all my life, literally. And I think David and Gillian’s relationship, Scully and Mulder, are one of the greatest male/female in TV history.”

Kim Manners (X-Files producer and director with the most episode directing credits)

Orlando Jones and Gillovny

Jones worked with Duchovny back in 2001 on the movie Evolution and with Anderson 2016 on the Starz TV adaption of Neil Gaimans novel American Gods. In an interview with he talked about fandom life and shipping

“I got a Gillovny ship problem to deal with. Like you read about, I’m Captain of that ship. And Gillian (Anderson) and David (Duchovny) are not gonna be together for whatever reason…so they think. I’m still trying to make that happen while I deal with Olicity and Westallen and very important other ships that are happening right now. Shoutout to Destiel.”


“It’s going to happen. They don’t understand what’s going on. David just finished touring, he and Tea are no longer together—which is horrible, I love Tea. They have beautiful kids. But Gillian’s beautiful, she’s sort of amazing—I don’t really understand what the problem is. Here’s the thing, I get that they want to take a slow roll, they want to walk in the sand for a little while, they don’t want to commit too soon. But in 20 years they’re going to be on Golden Pond together if I have to break both their fucking legs and put them there.”


When asked by fans about gillovny on his social media platforms, he usually replies with a #gillovny[17] and/or a-gillovny5eva[18] hashtag



In the 1990s most X-Files fan fiction was posted on HTML based websites or archives like the The Gossamer Project. Gossamer and most archives usually rejected RPF fan fiction and especially Actor fic.

On Archive of Our Own currently 306 works tagged Gillian Anderson/David Duchovny can be found. There used to be more, some authors decided to deleted their works from the archive after Gillian Anderson started to appear with Peter Morgan publicity although Anderson until today has neither denied nor confirmed to be in a romantic relationship with Morgan.

notable Fanfiction

Fan Art


On Youtube, currently, over 200 fan vids and slideshows can be found when searching for 'David and Gillian'



Further reading