|See also:||Shipping, One True Character, Ensemble, OTP|
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Multishipping is a form of shipping that supports multiple relationships within a single fandom. Multishippers are fans who consciously identify as supporting multiple relationships, as opposed to fans who mostly support one relationship but will include non-competing relationships in a secondary position. Character-focused fans who are interested in a particular character, regardless of the relationships that character is portrayed in, may or may not call themselves multishippers. Some fans ship multiple pairings without identifying as multishippers.
Relationships in multiship works are frequently romantic and/or sexual, with nonsexual and aromantic relationships often being categorized as friendshipping or gen.
Sometimes a fanwork, collection, or community will be described as multiship or multipairing. In the case of a fanwork, this means multiple relationships are included in the work itself. In the case of a collection or community, this usually means that the collection or community's rules allow or encourage several ships, either within a themed set or all possible ships for the fandom(s). For example, the exchange I Saw Three Ships is multiship because it allows any threesome from multiple fandoms.
Sometimes multishipping is seen as a solution to ship wars, although it has also been blamed for them. In fandoms that are extremely fractured along shipping lines, being a multishipper may become quite uncomfortable socially. In some fandoms, multishippers even create their own communities, much as some gen fans do. However, many multishippers simply join multiple shipping communities.
Canons with ensemble casts and heavy fannish interest in multiple characters are more likely to encourage multishipping. Buddy shows and romantic comedies are less likely to do so, because the fandoms tend to focus on the relationship between the main characters and provide less support for other relationships. However, every fandom is unique, and the degree of multishipping in a fandom often depends on specific personalities of the characters, the nature of the canon, or the specific groups of fans who become involved.
Communities and Events
Multishipping communities and events include:
- camelot_fleet, a multi-shipping community for Merlin (BBC)
- SGA_Guide provides newbie guides for multiple relationships and characters in Stargate Atlantis
- I Saw Three Ships, an annual multifandom and multiship threesome exchange
- Slash vs Het wars, aka: Won't someone please think of the multishippers; archive link by yourlibrarian (2009)
- (looking for link on merlin_anon)