Eduardo Saverin/Mark Zuckerberg

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Pairing
Pairing: Eduardo Saverin/Mark Zuckerberg
Alternative name(s): Mark/Eduardo, Markwardo, E/M, M/E, The Social Network OTP
Gender category: M/M slash
Fandom: The Social Network
Canonical?: No
Prevalence: Most popular pairing in fandom
Archives: mark_eduardo (LiveJournal)
Other: Mark/Eduardo tag at AO3
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Eduardo/Mark is the most popular pairing in The Social Network fandom. Its name smush is Markwardo.

For the most part, shippers ship the dramatized relationship between Mark and Eduardo in the movie - not in real life. However, due to the nature of RPF, it's not to say that real life!Mark/Eduardo shippers don't exist.

Canon

While The Social Network is often known as "the Facebook movie," anyone with or without slash goggles on can easily see that the movie is more about the betrayal and heartbreak between two former best friends rather than just a website. (As can the actors.) The movie itself can be interpreted as a story between two people who were poor at communicating with each other creating a website that revolutionized communication.

What likely makes the Mark/Eduardo ship so appealing - aside from being the primary focus of the movie - is that it plays up all the popular ship tropes across ships: best friends, foils, and enemies/rivals. Mark and Eduardo have three layers to their relationship in the movie: as best friends (from the beginning), as business partners (when Mark births the idea of Facebook), and as estranged enemies (interspersed throughout, due to the movie's use of flashbacks.)

The movie does not discuss how Mark and Eduardo became friends, but does explicitly use the term "best friend" in relation to Mark and Eduardo twice. The book the movie is based on, however, states that Eduardo first met Mark at an AEPi frat party in Mark's sophomore year. Since the movie takes place during Mark's sophomore year, when the two are presumably already best friends, fanon often accepts that in The Social Network 'verse, the meeting at the AEPi party was a year earlier, in Mark's freshman year.

Fanon sometimes also makes the minor character Dustin Moscovitz introduce Mark and Eduardo, since both Dustin and Eduardo were economics majors - in real life, and presumably in the movie as well.[1]

The film frames Mark and Eduardo's relationship as a give-and-take: Eduardo giving, and Mark taking. This begins with Eduardo's first scene in the movie, where he enters Mark's dorm and Mark immediately says to him, "I need you." Eduardo offers his emotional support, but Mark specifies that he needs an algorithm only Eduardo can provide for a website. Later, Mark asks Eduardo for $1,000 to start Facebook, which Eduardo gives; for the final club mailing list Eduardo had been punched for, which Eduardo gives; and for Facebook money during the summer, which Eduardo gives. Eduardo is also often seen waiting for Mark, such as after the ad board scene, and when Mark is coming back to his dorm on the day of the site's launch.

But their relationship is not one-sided; Eduardo often offers before Mark takes. After the first time Mark says, "I need you" (in reference to the algorithm), Eduardo says, "I'm here for you." Another scene has Eduardo sitting down and saying to Mark, "Listen, if there's ever anything wrong, you can tell me. I'm the guy who wants to help. This is our thing." Though visibly more emotionally capable than Mark, Eduardo is not a doormat - he vocalizes his opposition to Sean Parker's involvement in Facebook, and when Mark insists that Eduardo must come out to California for the summer, Eduardo remains stubborn in looking for advertisers in New York. Both have strong personalities, and can be seen either symbiotic or clashing throughout the movie. While Mark is obviously more abrasive, Eduardo always makes his own choices: to offer, to give, to drag Mark to advertiser meetings, and to stay in New York while Mark is in California.

Their friendship comes to a head in the last third of the movie, when Mark dilutes Eduardo's shares, resulting in Eduardo suing him, thus the depositions that are threaded throughout the movie as the "present." During the depositions, they spend a lot of time staring at each other with bitterness. Occasionally with regret, on Mark's part. There is some hope for shippers post-lawsuit, however; during the overshadowed Winklevoss depositions, Eduardo defends Facebook (or Mark) on the accusation of intellectual property theft, saying that, "It didn't have much to do with the Winklevosses' dating site, at the time." Mark and Eduardo also share a meaningful, not spiteful look during this exchange, though they do not talk directly to each other.

Some lines from the movie shippers like to bring focus to are:

  • "I was your only friend. You had one friend," from Eduardo to Mark during the depositions. Some interpret this line to be manipulative since Eduardo is giving an emotion-based testimony, while others interpret it to mean I loved you.
  • "I'm afraid you'll get left behind, I want - I want - I need you out here," from Mark to Eduardo, when Eduardo comes out to California once during the summer and they have their infamous hallway fight. Unfortunately, Eduardo appears to focus on the "left behind" part than Mark telling him that he needs him.

After Mark had settled in Eduardo's lawsuit, real life Eduardo had immediately left to live in Singapore, which is often woven into fanon. Others like to place post-movie Eduardo in New York, where he had been during summer 2004.

Fandom

The mark_eduardo community on LiveJournal was created two days after the movie's release, on 3 October 2010.

It has been the most requested ship on The Social Network Kink Meme, making up over half of the prompts and fills.

Due to the prominence of Mark/Eduardo, the fandom is not very multishipping-friendly. Nor does it give it much time to other ships that do not interfere with Mark/Eduardo, such as permutations of Cameron/Divya/Tyler, and Chris/Dustin, despite that many E/M shippers may ship casually them as well.

Relationship Interpretation

Some like to interpret that Eduardo knowingly was in love with Mark all along, since he plays the emotion to Mark's logic, and the impact of the hurt he expresses throughout the depositions is a message of sorts for how much Eduardo had loved him. Many also like to say that the only reason Eduardo had given Mark money for Facebook in the first place was because Eduardo believed in/supported Mark, not Facebook itself. In this interpretation, Mark is often depicted as too oblivious to be aware of Eduardo's feelings, much less anyone else's.

Others like to interpret Mark having been in love with Eduardo, and never intending to hurt him emotionally despite ousting him from the company.

Another common take is for Mark and Eduardo to have had either a romantic and/or sexual relationship throughout the movie, misled or diverted by their depositions as the movie itself outwardly states that the flashbacks are told by various unreliable narrators (i.e. the depositions.) Many like to see Mark and Eduardo either having had drunken fumblings that never led to anything established, or an actual relationship that ended the same time as their friendship.

Of course, there are a sizable amount of shippers who like to read Mark and Eduardo having had no romantic and/or sexual interest for each other during their time at Harvard, only beginning or being fully realized post-movie (sometimes during, or after a reconciliation.)

Sean Parker and Facebook

Sean is often seen as "the other woman," both by the fandom and the actors themselves. Many interpret his role in the movie to interfere with Mark and Eduardo's relationship, some even saying that he had manipulated Mark to abandon Eduardo all along.

There is also the aspect that Facebook may have gotten in the way of Mark and Eduardo's relationship. Many like to joke (or state in all seriousness) that Facebook is Mark and Eduardo's baby.

Common Tropes and Themes

Perhaps the most widely-loved TSN fanfiction premise is post-movie canonfic where Mark apologizes for either the dilution or for hurting Eduardo - sometimes both - and for Eduardo to eventually forgive him, leading into a reconciliation. Often this can prelude a sexual and romantic relationship, or come as a result of a hate!sex/friends with benefits arrangement post-movie.

Business functions and shareholder meetings are also common themes in TSN fanfiction, as after the settlement, Eduardo becomes a 5% stockholder in Facebook. Because of this, many stories have Mark and Eduardo traipsing around the same business functions/galas/charities, either studiously avoiding each other and/or making forced small talk. (Mark sometimes also initiates his apology during these.) Some fic also has Eduardo attending Facebook shareholder meetings, while others have him not attending and/or sending personal assistants in as proxy.

Another common premise is when "Mark is Mark" (i.e. still the creator and CEO of Facebook), Eduardo is something else, and they meet after Mark is already a billionaire. Here, Eduardo's role can be a variety of things, whether a business investor, a bartender, Mark's personal assistant, an image consultant, a yoga instructor, a sex therapist, a restaurant owner, a firefighter... you get the idea. In these types of fics, Mark is often much more emotionally mature than he is in the movie.

This trend may(?) have started with moogle62's bakery AU fic, sweet on you, wherein the summary states, "Mark is Mark, Eduardo owns a bakery/café near the Facebook offices."

Many fics also like to refer Mark and Eduardo as "[divorced] parents," with Chris and Dustin (who fandom has almost unanimously agreed that they had inadvertently taken Mark's "side" by staying with Facebook) as kids caught in the crossfire, more often Dustin than Chris, due to Dustin's fanon personality.

Since the movies came out at the same time, there are also a number of Inception crossovers and AUs, both as prompts on the kink meme and as stories themselves.

Other popular tropes and AUs:

There are some mixed preferences among fandom of who "tops" and who "bottoms" in the Mark/Eduardo ship. Though there are no conclusive statistics, it is safe to say that there are large portions who are partial to top!Eduardo/bottom!Mark, while others are partial to top!Mark/bottom!Eduardo (or bottom!Eduardo in any ship.) Sometimes, the only solution is versatility.

Quotes from Actors

Many have taken the things Mark and Eduardo's respective actors, Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, have said about the nature of Mark and Eduardo's relationship, to imply that the actors ship Mark/Eduardo, particularly Andrew.

“I think with Mark, up until the end, Eduardo’s hoping at some point Mark’s going to go, ‘Look, I’m really, really sorry, man. I really messed up. I love you so much, and I just was jealous of you for this. And I acted out like this. Can we be friends again? I’ll give you back as much money as you want. Let’s move in together and we’ll play basketball every day, and we’ll cuddle at night and watch reality TV.’ Part of Eduardo in those depositions is just waiting for that moment.” -- Andrew Garfield; the quote on the mark_eduardo community profile[2]

"From my side anyway, it was very easy for me to project and feel very strong feelings for Jesse as Mark and as Jesse. What’s wonderful is when you can blur that line in a safe way – not in like, you know, a I’m-going-to-cheat-on-my-girlfriend with this man." -- Andrew Garfield[3]

Interviewer: Now Andrew, you play the best friend of Mark Zuckerberg.

Andrew: The girlfriend, yeah. The girlfriend role.

Interviewer: Oh, you play the girlfriend of Mark Zuckerberg.

Andrew: Yeah.[4]
"I think above all else [The Social Network] is a love story. And something of a tragic one, I suppose." -- Andrew Garfield[5]

Fanwork Examples

Fanfiction

While the majority of the fanwork examples on The Social Network page and The Social Network Kink Meme page are Mark/Eduardo as well, here are some more.

Fanvids

Meta/Further Reading

Sources

  1. Eduardo's major is stated in the movie; Dustin's is not.
  2. mark_eduardo at LiveJournal
  3. DP/30: The Social Network, actors Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield on YouTube
  4. There are currently no active and confirmed sources on this quote, but it's cited a lot in A/J and TSN posts on Tumblr.
  5. See above