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Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

I’ll most likely be away from my computer tomorrow, and as it’s now past midnight I thought I’d get a day ahead of the memeage. Today (or rather tomorrow, which is now today by the clock) I’m supposed to talk about pictures from Sherlock that make me smile.

Over at Tumblr it’s not at all uncommon for me to preface a picture with “We can’t giggle, it’s a crime scene, but ________” because so much of it is entirely too funny. Or rather, entirely too silly. Sherlock is great fun on top of everything else it does right because there’s been such a long break between series, the fans have gone a bit crazy. And I mean this in the best of all possible ways. So you get things kidlock:

and hedgelock

and of course proof that Sherlock-deprived people should never be given access to Photoshop:

But the thing is, all this zaniness is owned and welcomed. I’ve seen some weird stuff, but odds are, if someone puts it out there and it’s well enough done, some fan will quirk an eyebrow, turn it over, and decide that’s actually kind of a cool possibility. Even if said possibility is about a fire-breathing dragon flying around sporting a purple scarf (*waves* @ Smauglock).

Not just the fans, as it turns out.

And not just the actors.

Spoilers for series three, but not until they start talking about Moriarty – I’m showing this for the first segment. Let’s just focus on that line:

People always make up their own stories when they watch TV shows, and so they should. In fact, our biggest reference to it was to explicitly deny that it was happening, but… [shrugs] People have their own fantasies, and that’s fine, that’s good.

I share this not because I’m a Johnlock shipper (I’m not, as I noted) but because here we have the star of the show expressing his love for a fandom favorite. In Benedict’s case, he’s honoring our love for 221 Baker Street in the cutest way possible. When it comes to Moffat, it’s a little subtler, a little less playful, but it’s still there: not what he intended after all, but what people do with shows and what they did with the original ACD stories. Not only will other hands and other minds do what they will with these characters, but that’s actually a good thing.

Compare that to the Tolkien fandom. I love Tolkien and think this fanfic world will always be where I’m most comfortable. But it seems like an objective fact that the Tolkien fandom takes canon seriously. There is a lot of it, and relatively little fannish output compared to the Sherlock fandom. If something doesn’t match up with the way you interpreted the book it will throw you or a loop, and is often as not discouraged by the movers and shakers of the Tolkien fanfic world. Fanwork is explicitly prohibited by the Tolkien Estate, at least in commercial forms and regardless of how closely it follows Tolkien’s canon. But in Sherlock creator, not only does the show’s producer give us his blessing, not only does the network producing the show recognize and thank (maybe, depending on how you read it) the fans for all the weirdness they create… it’s called good.

And that thought makes me smile on my worst days. On my best days, it leaves me trying hard not to squeal so loudly my roommate catches on and signs me up for a padded room. Because as someone who loves being fannish, writing fanfic, and for so long has lived within the borders of such a crowded canon?

This is awesome.

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