I’m curious where the “Kaidan creepily hero-worships Shepard” meme came from. I’m pretty sure it sprouted from fanfic somewhere, then slowly insinuated itself into certain fanons. It almost always exists in contrast to Garrus, though sometimes another alternate love interest, and gets used as one of the reasons Shepard leaves him for someone else. It’s right down the line from “Kaidan becomes a psychotic stalker” as a favorite white-knighting tactic. Trouble is, I just don’t see it in the game text. This is the guy who says “this can’t change anything” during the pre-Ilos scene.
I find it most odd because in ME2 Kaidan is the one who, after Shepard’s death, keeps doing his job and tries to move on, whereas it’s Garrus who quits, goes to Omega, gathers a team and basically tries to be Shepard. He’s never criticized for this behavior, indeed he’s hardly ever criticized at all in fandom, and Shepard is never portrayed as finding it creepy.
Garrus should (and can) stand on his own merits as a romantic partner without twisting other characters into pretzels.
I know my biases, but I’m trying to think of other common memes where one love interest is so severely bent out of shape to make another one look good, and I can’t think of one. That’s not so say it doesn’t happen in individual circumstances, but it just doesn’t seem as commonplace as crapping on Kaidan to white knight someone else. Maybe it’s because he has the misfortune of being the only male love interest in ME1, so getting turned into “the ew ‘other guy’ with X and Y negative trait” is the very first option on the list.
Why yes, I do have ME3 on the brain. Why do you ask?
Maligning one character/pairing to make another look good was completely commonplace in some of my previous fandoms. Most of them, actually, now that I think of it. But in those fandoms, what typically happened was that fans of a non-canon pairing would write fic/meta/etc attacking and blatantly misrepresenting the canon love interest of their favorite character. So in some ways, I guess, it was like an act of frustration against the canon going in a way that they didn’t want it to go.
That’s why seeing it happen (and seeing ship wars, and “I don’t get why people romance X love interest with a male/female Hawke” posts, etc) in video game fandoms is even more bizarre to me, because that lack of fan control isn’t even an issue. You want Kaidan, take Kaidan! You want Garrus, take Garrus! You want neither of them, take someone else! Or no one! No one choice is more or less valid than any other, so why bicker about them?
But I guess if there’s one thing that fandom makes perfectly clear (and especially in the last few days, with the whole Jennifer Hepler debacle), it’s that some people just literally cannot handle anyone else having different opinions than they do. In any case, between the “ugh he’s so whiny” stuff and the “ew he’s a creepy stalker/hero worshiper/xenophobe” stuff, Kaidan might just be the most misunderstood (deliberately or not) character in the whole Mass Effect franchise.
Wow, I was not even aware that “creepy” Kaidan was a thing or that it had insinuated itself into fanon like that! To be honest, I wanted Garrus from the get-go, BUT by the time I got to the end of ME1, I loved Kaidan a lot. A very lot. And I’ve got one Shepard who is waiting for him and one with Garrus, because no one is ever going to make me choose between these 2 bamf men. I can’t do it.
… dammit, where is that Tulio and Miguel “Both” gif???
Here ya go… for future use.
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- foxybcosplay said: Yes, if anyone displays evidence of hero worship, it’s Garrus. And he has A LOT of fans. It’s surprising that people project that idea on to Kaidan though, when he really gives no indication of feeling that way, & then crap on him for it. wth fandom?
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- inyri said: That’s got to be a fanfic-spawned thing. I agree I see Kaidan getting the short straw more often than not (creeper and/or stalker- where did *that* come from?) and God, it’s annoying.
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