Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Top Ten Fandom Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new subject each week and this week's theme is "Fandom Freebie".

I think it's perfect timing that this week's topic is about fandoms as I am currently helping to plan my library's third annual Comic Con event. 

According to Wikipedia, a fandom is "a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as part of a social network with particular practices..." 

Here are some of my favorite fandoms:

Star Wars

I have been a Star Wars fan since I was a tween and first watched the movies on video (I wasn't born yet when the first one came to theaters and too little when the other two were released). I think I even joined the fan club. I used to get these mailings with items you could buy like signed cast photos (I never bought anything). One of my friends later loaned me Timothy Zahn's Star Wars books when I was a teen and I became a Star Wars fan for life. I'll never forget the joy of standing in line for over an hour to see the movies when they were rereleased in the 90s. Someday I hope I get the chance to go to Star Wars Celebration.

Harry Potter

Ironically I was not a Harry Potter fan until the year book 5 was released. In college, one of my friends started reading the books and loved them but at the time I had no interest because I figured it was too juvenile for me (this same friend was a huge fan of Rugrats at the time). I didn't start to read the books till my sister convinced me to give them a chance.  I was hooked by the time I started Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  Being an adult while reading Harry Potter meant that I missed out on some of the fun that kids have when discovering the series and growing up with it but I still love the books. I never went to a midnight release party though I did help with a book release program at my library one year that was a blast. I also remember waiting in line for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and talking with complete strangers about the books and what we thought would happen. 

I even took a fun class through Barnes and Noble taught by John Granger (the Hogwarts Professor) about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that really went in-depth. I still suspect that J.K. Rowling joined the discussion board because someone with the initials JK as part of their screen name shared a lot of what actually does happen in the final book and I heard that she was going on various fan boards and leaving hints back then.

The Lord of the Rings

I didn't become a fan of The Lord of the Rings until 2001 when I first read The Fellowship of the Ring after seeing a trailer for the movie. When I was a young teen, one of my friends told me that the books were fantastic but I picked up book two, not realizing it wasn't the beginning of the story and I quickly lost interest. To be honest, I wasn't into fantasy back then and probably wouldn't have appreciated the book at the time. Years later in my twenties I was finally able to read the books and enjoy them. I loved the movies and watched them many times. I became such a huge LOTR fan that I would even buy and read literary criticism and books like The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All. I still have several of those books on my bookshelf. I had planned to read all the extra material as well as The Silmarillion but sadly that didn't happen. I read parts of The Silmarillion but never got around to finishing it. Maybe someday! Of course books weren't all I bought. I also had to have a replica map of Middle Earth, multiple calendars and posters, the soundtracks to the movies (some of my favorite movie scores of all time) and books on the art of the films. I'm sure if I'd had the money I would have bought more. I think my sister bought me a Gollum keychain but I don't know what happened to it.

Downton Abbey

I kind of consider myself one of the "original" fans of Downton Abbey because I liked it before the show became a huge hit :) When I first started watching it, I remember being mad at Brendan Coyle for leaving Lark Rise to Candleford but then I watched the first episode and I understood why. Season one will always be my favorite though I still love the rest of the seasons too. I became a Downton Abbey evangelist of sorts and convinced my coworkers to watch the show. I tried to get my parents to watch it because I was sure my mom would love it but sadly she fell asleep during the first episode! I enjoy talking to people about the show and some of my book groups discussions were even derailed by the show a time or two. I also bought some Downton Abbey merchandise. As a soundtrack junkie I couldn't rest till I owned the music from the show which is beautiful. I also purchased behind the scenes books and even various types of Downton Abbey tea (The Crawley Sisters tea is a favorite). I was so tempted to buy Downton Abbey ornaments for my Christmas tree till I remembered that I don't like to bother with putting up a tree :)

Star Trek

I never really watched the original episodes of Star Trek (I wasn't alive then!) but as a teen I was hooked on Star Trek: The Next Generation thanks to my favorite older cousins and uncle who were big fans of the show and would watch it while visiting us. Of course I mostly watched reruns but it quickly became my favorite show. While I don't think I got into it as much as Star Wars, it was still an important part of my teen years and I started reading Star Trek science fiction because of it. I later tried reading other science fiction but couldn't get into it. For me, it was all about the familiar characters. My favorites were Picard (I love Patrick Stewart!), Data and Deanna Troi (because I loved her hair and wished mine would curl like that). I also enjoyed Deep Space Nine and Voyager though not as much as TNG. When the Star Trek movie reboot came out in 2009, I wasn't planning to watch it till a friend convinced me to give it a try and I loved it. While I don't watch the old William Shatner episodes, I love the new versions of Kirk, Spock and Bones especially.

Gilmore Girls (the original series)

I was a little late to the Gilmore Girls bandwagon because the show started when I was still in college (and didn't have a TV) but I became a big fan with the second season. I'm glad they aired the reruns of the first season (Gilmore Girls: Beginnings) so I could get caught up. I then converted my mom and my sister. I remember having to always work on Tuesday nights when it was on so I used to tape the episodes and watch them on Wednesday evenings with my mom. Then I would take the tapes with me to my sister's place when I visited and we'd binge watch several episodes together. Pizza and Gilmore Girls became a family tradition :) I also had a friend at work who was really into the show so we had fun discussing the characters and when Luke and Lorelai would finally get their act together. Sadly my friend passed away before she got to see the rest of the original series. She had such a huge crush on Luke. I thought of her as I watched the final episode of the new series.
I admit I was so disappointed with the Netflix series though it was still fun to catch up with the characters and Emily was fantastic. I hope that if more episodes are made, the problems will be fixed.

Game of Thrones

I am a latecomer to the Game of Thrones fandom as I didn't start to read the books till I watched the show. I had heard of the books years before when one of my cousins told me I should give them a try. I looked at the size of the books and decided not to at the time. I also wasn't a huge fan of that particular cousin so I thought I wasn't missing anything. I'm glad the show changed my mind! I still haven't read all of the books yet but I do enjoy the show and talking about theories with friends and coworkers. Quite a few of them hadn't heard of R+L=J! I was so thrilled that the show finally revealed that. Jon Snow is one of my favorite characters. I also love Arya, Tyrion and Danaerys. Sansa is growing on me. Eddard was another favorite so I was devastated by season one. I will be on pins and needles while watching this next season. All of my favorites better survive!

Jane Austen

I am a Janeite and former member of JASNA but I didn't become a fan of Jane Austen till after college. Sense and Sensibility was required reading in one of my sophomore English classes but for whatever reason I couldn't get into the story. Then I watched the movie and loved it (sadly I still failed my exam since I hadn't finished the book). I also watched Emma (the Gwyneth Paltrow version) and fell in love with Jeremy Northam and decided to give Jane Austen another try. While my attempts to read Emma didn't succeed at the time, I persisted during the summer after college and read Jane Austen's major novels. I admit that watching the Pride and Prejudice miniseries helped give me the determination I needed :) I remember taking this huge volume of Jane Austen's works on my family's annual two week trip to Canada that summer. Oh, for a Kindle in those days! Back then I had to pack a separate bag for all my books :)

Other fandoms I am part of but to a lesser degree: 

The Flash, Sherlock, Outlander, Percy Jackson

What are some of the fandoms you belong to?


  1. Great list, Christina! I wish I had thought of Jane Austen for my list. :-) I came into the Harry Potter books late too. As well as The Lord of the Rings. There was no going back once I entered those worlds, however. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Star Wars should have been on my list too! And yes to game of Thrones. And of course Middle- Earth. I love maps of that world and like to imagine the areas we don't hear much about. :)

  3. I didn't start until book 5 HP either, haha. And even then it took me ages to go back and read the first four. Still I ended up loving the world.

  4. Ohh! I am definitely a part of some of these fandoms like Downton, GoT, Jane Austen, HP, and GG. I am starting to get back into Star Wars thanks to my son who is a big fan!

  5. Love Harry Potter and Gilmore Girls!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/top-ten-tuesday-101/

  6. I am definitely part of some of these fandoms, like: LoTR, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Jane Austen. They are my favs! I have a love hate relationship with GoTs lol! I can't get into the old Star Trek series but I enjoy the new movies. I've never watched even one episode of Gilmore Girls. I really should give it a try one day. Great list!!


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