What Makes an Enduring Fandom

What makes an enduring fandom? From Star Trek and Star Wars, to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, what makes a fandom lasting and persisting? Why do some fandoms garner such a huge following, while other fandoms simply fall away? I think there are many factors, but for me, two of the biggest draws are the story and the characters. If those two factors are solid, I think a fandom has a chance of lasting a good long time.

For example, my favorite movies are The Lord of the Rings. The films are beautiful and there is a lot of action and incredible special effects, but none of that would really matter to me, if the story wasn’t great. None of it would matter to me if I didn’t care about the characters. I loved the story before I loved the film. I loved Frodo and Sam and Aragorn before I ever saw them on the big screen.

Another example for me, and in a very different way, is Star Trek. The premise here is what really draws me in- a utopian Earth society is now exploring the stars. That premise attracts me to the show, and good episodes that tell a good story keep me tuning in. This is a big reason why I have come to appreciate DS9 so much over the last few years. I just love the intricate, long, story arcs. Plus, the characters are fantastic. I love Benjamin Sisko, and how he has to balance so much on his plate, yet he feels like a regular guy. I love that.

Maybe that’s just me, though. If you read this blog, chances are, you belong to a fandom or two. Why? Why do you love what you love? Which fandom is your favorite, and what initially drew you to it? There is any number of reasons why people enjoy something, let’s hear about yours.

Jake Dietz

Jake Dietz is a humble bank employee by day, and super dad to 5 little monsters by night. He enjoys all things geeky. That’s why he started this blog. He considers himself a member of many fandoms, and dreams of the day when all geeks, everywhere, can find a way to live together in harmony.


3 thoughts on “What Makes an Enduring Fandom

  1. Gemma styles

    Doctor Who is my first and favourite fandom. My favourite thing is thay he never uses weapons and gives the opposition a chance because he sees everyones side of things. He only defeats them using his intellegence and ingenuity with the help of his companions. He loves humanity even when they are wrong. The show is funny and scary and touching. The Doctor once said… in 900 years of time and space I have never met anyone who wasnt important. Enough said.

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  2. Katy

    Such a fascinating idea to consider! A lot of stories and characters make me feel a little less alone and are comforted in meeting other people who share the same passion, so I’d totally agree. I also think some fandoms endure by how the story transforms our world or makes us think about our world in a different way. So many stories and characters may deal with the same themes but it’s the slightly new, never-before-thought-of way that makes people go back. There were a hundred stories of witches and wizards before Harry Potter but it was J.K. Rowling’s storytelling spin that might it stand out. Same thing goes for Doctor Who, LOTR, Star Trek, etc. Sometimes it’s that little extra something of worldbuilding or story that makes it catch on. 🙂

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