Chapter 1: PSA
With the end of the show, there has been a recent influx of Jaime/Cersei fics. Which is great; I always need more of that in my life. Usually I prefer to find fic for them through collections and authors. But in the last few weeks, I've been keeping their tag bookmarked just because with the influx, it's actually statically worth looking in the tag right now.
But it's no secret that their tag is a polluted cesspool. For a complete list of tags wrangled to there, see here. It has all the barely-there versions ("minor," "background," "past," "implied," "mentioned") and a few even worse ones.
They have the dual problem of:
- Being a basic pillar of canon and thus appearing in many fics that are not about them in any meaningful way. This is what I call "The Ned/Cat Problem".
- Being deemed by some so offensive that even the slightest mention of them must be warned for. (If someone can't stomach even that, how did they get into this fandom in the first place?)
So once again, I come with my plea: Let's start tagging Jaime/Cersei fics written by and for shippers with the tag beautiful golden fools. It's a phrase I've only ever heard used by fellow shippers, it's affectionate, and pretty damn on-point.
The basic idea is to create a tag which is not the main J/C tag—one that actually functions as a ship tag. New AO3 features—such as the "exclude search" options, or otp:true—are game-changers, and I am so grateful. But over-tagging is ultimately a user-based problem, and I believe needs a user-based solution.
This has already been done by Littlefinger/Sansa shippers. Both on tumblr and AO3, they use the tags creepyship and creepyshipping to find content for their oft-maligned ship and avoid vitriol. This tongue-in-cheek tag is an exclusively ingroup one. It seems to have worked reasonably well for them. Regardless of what you think of that ship, I think you have to admire the shippers for this workaround.
Chapter 2: 100 Works
We are on track to hit 100 works in the Beautiful Golden Fools tag by the end of this year.
Thank you so much to everyone who'd contributed to this—the AO3 tag wrangler who marked the tag common for us, everyone who's written fic and tagged it, everyone who went back and tagged their old fic, everyone who's commented on a fic that wasn't theirs, "Hey could you tag this beautiful golden fools?"
I first made a tumblr post about my idea for a beautiful golden fools tags back in June of 2018, but it didn't go anywhere then. I feel like Laura Linney in the Downton Abbey intro, but it is completely literally true: this would not be possible without the support of viewers like you. We made this happen this year.
So emboldened by that, here's another idea of mine which didn't go anywhere the first time, but which still might be worth pressuring: a ship discord channel. In the comments section, I often want to talk more, but am quite aware of the fic's author getting notifications for each comment on their fic, and I feel awkward flooding it that way with something that doesn't even relate to the fic. Will this work out? Who knows. But I think it's worth giving it a shot.