I have so many fan-related items I’ve lost count. I have a Doctor Who sonic screwdriver, a miniature Millennium Falcon, THE ONE RING OF POWER (although it might be a replica since no Nazguls have showed up at my doorstep), a Loki toy, a Desolation of Smaug Moleskine notebook, an Aperture Science mug and a Wheatley key chain (from Portal 2), a lightsaber, a Slytherin scarf and ring etc. I obsess over so many different fandoms I cannot even begin to list them. I’m a geek, a nerd, a fan, call it whatever you want—the point is, when I like something, I really like it. Thankfully, I have surrounded myself with people who share the same passions that I do and are willing to spend countless hours analysing fictional characters and cry over their tragic fate (for instance, I’m still not over Thorin’s death. I will never be over Thorin’s death and my friends have made their peace with it).
I find the idea of people uniting under a fandom very refreshing. Worldwide, people unite for the wrong reasons—hate, racism, violence, and intolerance dominate the news every day and, unfortunately, are supported by many fanatics. And yet, works of fiction, comic books, video games, TV shows, and movies somehow manage to tie strangers together into a collective group. Fandoms can be powerful. If you don’t believe me, go on Twitter and use the hashtag #SaveHannibal. When it was announced that NBC decided to cancel Hannibal, the “fannibals” didn’t stay idle. You will be amazed at how quickly fans from all over the world spread the word and started campaigning for other networks to pick Hannibal.
How often have you heard the phrase “Aren’t you a bit too old for this nonsense”? But does enthusiasm and love for something have an expiration date? There is nothing childish or immature in showing an interest in a work of art or
fiction. There is nothing shameful in considering yourself a part of a fandom. Even one’s darkest times can be dealt with when a sense of belonging can be found. I hate people who shame other people for their little obsessions. We live in a time of loneliness and isolation and I think it’s wonderful when people find things to bring them together. I met a great friend of mine by accident, after she overheard me discussing a Doctor Who episode. As far as I’m concerned, fandoms are like adult kindergarten: you make friends with others because you both like the same thing, whether this thing is the green colored plasticine or the Avengers.
I first felt how powerful fandoms can be back in Edinburgh, when I went to the 3D screening of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary episode. I remember a movie theatre packed with Whovians. I remember the collective gasps when something exciting happened (needless to say that when Capaldi’s eyebrows made their official premiere everyone went mental). The same excitement was present when I went to the premiere of the first episode of Capaldi’s season. I was beaming with enthusiasm, knowing that I was among people who shared my love and passion for Doctor Who. I clutched my sonic screwdriver and thought “I belong”. And yes, of course I took my sonic screwdriver to a Doctor Who screening, what I am, some kind of uncivilized animal?