A sympathetic shipper, in the world of fandom, is one whose shipping behaviour comes from joining in with their friends and peers. As a result, they generally have a wide range of ships, but are less obsessive over them. It is unusual for them to have an OTP as they can switch quickly between ships for different conversations.
Sympathetic shippers should not be thought of as copycats or people just trying to fit in/be cool. They are able to enjoy a wider variety of ships than most traditional fans, but this enjoyment is still genuine.
Friend one: Frodo and Sam are so cute together!
Sympathetic shipper: I know right? That scene on the mountain!
Friend two: Oh my goodness, Merlin and Arthur in that episode.
Sympathetic shipper: Oh, completely. MERTHUR <3
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