Greetings shippers welcome back and it’s time to take a look once more at Good Omens
and tackle the ineffable husbands whilst examining the differences between book and series, how
that is factoring into shipping and the differences between works produced as well as modern and
So we have a lot to chat about.
We laid the history of groundwork for this fandom as well as Gaiman’s feelings on fanficiton
when we discussed this fandom’s renaissance aka surge in interest thanks to the 2019 amazon
So if you missed that you know the drill click the card or the link will be down below.
If you’ve already read more than 5 pages on a03 or fully intend to hit that like button.
As always please follow on social media to stay up to date and just come on over and
chit chat about fandom it’s a good time I swear.
Also we launched ut sister channel casually comics for those looking to dip their toes
into comic fandom.
It’s a fun time.
Now onto Aziraphale and Crowley this ship was the ship to come out off the good omens
novel a byproduct of many who were shipping inclined who happened to read it.
Good Omens is a farcical account of the apocalypse gone wrong populated with an array of eccentric
characters two of whom are the demon crowley and the angel aziraphale agents of heaven
and hell respectively sent to tip the scales to their respective sides turning souls and
the like creating miracles and catastrophes.
However, largely left unsupervised by their superiors they end up not only coming to appreciate
humans and more pointedly their inventions and hedonisms more than they should but strike
up an arrangement that has clearly blossomed into a close friendship over the 6000 years
they have been acquainted.
While the two are not always in focus in the novel what interactions they have are peppered
with little hints of closeness that shippers were quick to note, latch onto and extrapolate
The use of pet names, my dear and angel.
The lunches, the late night drinking sessions, the gentle ripping about their demonic or
The small miracles crowley performed for aziraphale unprompted with nary a comment.
The way the two would think of the other when solving a problem in a what would they think
of this sense or a we discussed this.
In short within the novel their closeness was so taken for granted that it didn’t
bear extra scrutiny it was imply a fact.
Add to that the humans assumptions of Aziraphales sexuality, along with some discussion about
the general sexlessness of angels with the caveat unless they made the effort and many
While for many the relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley stood firm what was less clear
were the details of their histories indeed while the book provided a firm foundation
it was sparse in minutia so fans had room to play and thus many trends and fanons were
People were keen to explore the arrangement just what did it consist, and what were the
two like pre and post.
There were many philosophical based fics, or ones playing with biblical symbolism.
There was also wingfic, in our video about wing fic we discussed how good omens is home
to not only wingfics but a special kind the wingless fic.
If you want to find out more about that again card link.
There was smut in fact more so than can be found during the renaissance at the time of
this recording, for reasons we will dive into shortly.
There was a lot of getting together post apocalypse, or fics about az opening his bookshop.
In short the fandom filled in the gaps creating a world rich in elements that had been hinted
at but not shown foundations laid had been jumped on.
It was a small but passionate fandom, with dedicated shippers who very briefly had cause
for concern when Gaiman was first asked about fanfiction and was slightly confused but decided
it was alright so long as no one profited.
This was the 90s so there was much confusion as to what exactly fan fiction was, and some
authors or rather their lawyers couldn;t fathom a world where these fans would create this
work for free hence felt it must be a form of intellectual theft geared towards detracting
from the original work.
Gaiman would eventually go on to win a Hugo award for a chronicles of narnia fanfic, hence
he clearly came to fully embrace and enjoy the subculture.
Once the reason people shipped and wrote fanfic was clear to him he quite easily saw his way
to why people shipped crowley and aziraphale.
Again we discussed this more in depth in our first video on the subject.
The ineffable husbands as they came to be called was a staple ship meaning one that
had an impact on fandom and how it developed.
They were a signpost in bookdom, instrumental in modernizing wingfic and always amassing
new fans at a trickle as the book Good Omens is deemed to be a cult classic meaning that
it is always being read in some capacity.
It wasn’t the biggest fandom but it certainly wasn’t the smallest and it always had a
fanbase just primed for something to get back to that peak.
For years that was thought to be a film adaptation but ultimately it became a series produced
And the series ignited this fandom in a big way and also introduced some modern fandom
idiosyncracies into the mix.
Firstly let’s chat about some of the differences.
There is way more of aziraphale and crowley in the series, in the form of multiple additional
scenes, which includes a jaunt through history explored the evolution of their relationship
and two entirely new segments in the climax and denouement dedicated just to the fallout
for their actions and how they work together to save each other.
They also speak some of the lines that were initially descriptive so that they can enter
the world outside of God’s narration, there are some additions that cause their characterization
to appear slightly different from their book counterparts it is up for debate how different
it truly is a topic fans are working over quite vigorously mostly good naturedly though
as with all things some will take it too far.
The length of the series contrasted to the relative shortness of the book along with
other restructured elements allow for more of a focus on these two this allows them to
become the lynchpins holding the narrative in place.
The viewer also gets a better grasp of the larger stakes as played out through the threats
to them and their friendship, or relationship as many characters from angels, to random
passerbys on the street mistake them for a couple an extension of the belief surrounding
aziraphale’s sexuality from the novel.
Indeed the personal stakes are upped for everyone but it impacts these two the most in terms
of their additional scenes, the rationale is clear to make sure people connect a lot
of the novel is abstract or focused on pontification through the omnipotent narration the details
while there are sparses to the point of perfunctory meaning how rooms look, how characters look,
what a character is doing in a scene at any given moment.
This leaves room for extrapolation and many feel these changes were for the better.
On changes Gaiman had some intriguing things to say stating “There’s a couple of places
I took liberties, and I took some liberties in the end because I didn’t want people
who read the book being too cocky.
So there is stuff that keeps ticking and will keep worrying them and a plot that does not
untangle until the final second, and that was fun to build,”
This is part of what makes the adaptation so interesting it is fundamentally the same
but also different it is rare for creators to be so flexible with their work , so willing
to change though some of it had to do with shift in medium such as the sequence wherein
aziraphale resurrects the dove rather than crowley of this moment gaiman stated “The
Good Omens fans are just obsessive, in basically a very nice way,” “but there was a moment
on the screen when you saw Aziraphale after a children’s party with a dead dove in his
hand, and I posted a tweet saying, ‘Today, Aziraphale will bring a dove that had been
shoved up his sleeve and it died back to life’.“And people were like, ‘In the book, it’s Crowley
who…’ and we were like, ‘Yeah, but we couldn’t do that because… we have a Bentley
in the way, physically, and Crowley has to get… and he’s still standing, so…'”
Another reason for some of these changes could be how much contact gaiman has had with fandom
and how strongly they feel about the depth of these twos relationship.
For how fans view a work can impact how an author views it either changing their perspective
subtly or reaffirming what they felt to an impassable degree.
This form of feedback loop also occurs in fanfiction though on a much quicker and more
direct scale which coupled with a general lack of separation or pedestalling that tends
to happen with published authors creates a different writer reader connection, but feedback
does still happen in published works.
Though there is a much stronger emphasis on denying that authors can be influenced by
fans or just the public in general despite numerous examples to the contrary.
It is purely speculative but years of talk about the depth and love between these two
coupled with what is there in the text could have lead to this increase in interaction.
Although some of it may be arising due to translation from text to screen, and also
both actors did play their roles as if they loved one another for the characters do.
The type of relationship it is Gaiman has left up to fandom in a decision some adore
but other fans resent.
There are some who feel the series actually had less ineffable husbands for them than
This may be for some of the intricacies that could not be directly adaptated, some of the
shifts in characterization or fanon the good omens fandom and it;s works have existed for
so long orbiting it that for some they have become part of the work which impacts how
they read it as the knowledge of these fanons is always there enriching the text potentially
beyond what it would be were they not shippers or involved in fandom.
This is neither a positive or negative rather it is just an occurence the positives and
negatives come with how people react to it.
In the series fandom one can find some specific trends of ones own.
There is a particular missing scene at the end of episode 6 that has become it’s own
With most making the assumption that post bus ride Aziraphale spent the night at crowley’s.
There is a role reversal of who assumes who has discorporated, but mostly there are getting
Ending the 6000 year slow burn with many focusing on the dynamic of oblivious aziraphale and
pining crowley though az can also be pining in these.
Oblivious aziraphale is one point where book and series fans differ as many book fans feel
this is a shift and that aziraphale was never oblivious but simply less direct, but actually
understood crowley extremely well and would never miss something so huge.
While others argue whether he is even oblivious in the series or simply playing it up as he’s
not ready to acknowledge it yet because of what that means for his relationship with
heaven and how he feels about heaven and the great plan in general.
Others note that Crowley is more pessimistic in the adaptation than he is described as
in the novel, wherein he is actually said to be an optimist.
This fandom is an intriguing blend of newer and older fans delighting in the boom of fandom
and the discovery of pre-existing fandom for those new to it.
And some of the works are quite lovingly blended between both canons.
This has resulted in different styles of discussion and new headcanons some are along the lines
of the usual secret likes or dislikes of characters.
Crowlye only liking popsicles cause he can eat them and hide his tongue and the like.
While others are attempting to nail down just what can these two’s relationship be classified
as which has led to a bit of an argument between a few sects.
Those who enjoy smut and those who feel this is an asexual relationship, or those who feel
this is an ace queer platonic relationship vs a gay romantic relationship.
Now there are multiple reads and gaiman has made his stance clear angels are sexless for
one and whether one is making stuff up his words not mine whether it is feasible or not
it is still making stuff up for ones own enjoyment.
So in short no one has to be right, while some reads may be more feasible than others
people will gravitate to the ones that suit them for a variety of reasons.
Some love the relationship doesn’t focus on sex or smut as so many relationships already
do that and that makes this one feel unique and is a good demonstration of other deeply
important aspects of a relationship that can often times be glossed over.
Others feel that is so well established they would like to see some smut some even explore
the concept from a supernatural well if humans like it guess we should give it a try angel.
Others view this as a more human relationship while others play more with the angelic and
In short there is no need to force ones head canons on others and because one doesn’t
see it does not mean they dislike the other headcanons or are informed from a place of
negativity though especially on tumblr certain fans are quick to jump to assumptions of bigotry.
Some have gone so far as to call Gaiman homophobic or claim he is misinterpretng his own work
or that the entire show is queerbaiting.
This for the stance that canonically this series is about angels who interact differently
than the humans around them, and the series is based heavily off of their relationship
so no promo containing it would be lying.
The question of whether these two feel something more, and more recognizably human as mentioned
is one that is left up to fans.
And to some it doesn’t matter nearly as much as how lovingly these two have been adapted.
And some feel that they are quite clearly involved in some capacity that is dare one
say it ineffable, though of course mileage varies and some even have guilt about shipping
them because of all this.
If one does not enjoy discourse overriding their shipping and prefers a balance in between
Tumblr is a bit of a roulette wheel if that is exactly what one wants dive in, also this
is a smaller segment of the fandom, kept largely in check by the pre-exiting matrix of good
omens that has been firmly established and by how quickly this ship has exploded as some
find it undeniable some are even comparing it to kirk and spock.
These headcnaon details can mean a great deal to certain shippers and increase or decrease
their enjoyment which is understandable it crosses the line however when one feels everyone
must adhere to their headcanon no matter how feasible or infeasible, especially as no answer
will be forthcoming as Gaiman feels fans should play in their own sandbox however they like
as it were.
And some fans love exploring all the different takes as it were and will read anything ineffable
simply thrilled to have options to explore.
Their ship name in many ways suits them the word means too great or extreme to be expressed
or described in words.
Or not to be uttered the latter actually having biblical ties.
This works because it is hard to describe why fans have come to ship these two as there
is just so much to say and many find the ship upon them before they even realize what happened
already half way down the rabbit hole before they have time to question it.Some fans have
even said they went in attempting not to ship and came out doing it anyway.
But let us make an attempt these two are set up as creatures who are meant to be adversaries
avatars of good and evil and yet they find themselves drawn to each other and find an
understanding together that is lacking from anyone on their respective or opposing sides.
Together they find space to question their natures, to share their love of various aspects
of humanity, food, wine, music.
They come to appreciate the constant of each others presence and in the series go out of
their way to ensure the safety of the other, with crowley saving aziraphale from beheading
as well as a blitz bombing wherein he also saves his angels precious books.
Many fans point to this as the exact moment you can see aziraphale realizing just how
much he loves crowley.
Crowley is willing to work with aziraphales idiocyncracies and go at his pace and Aziraphale
is there to lift Crowley.
up and encourage him to move past his occasional bouts of cynicism.
The series in particular is full of moments, the statue, the fact that the two share music
even if every cd in crowley car is doomed to become a queen tape.
Though doomed is probably the wrong word for such an awesome occurrence unless you hate
queen that is.
There is a normalcy to the two’s relationship that many find endearing, identifiable and
For it is not mundane but a celebration of the magic of the ordinary.
Nights spent drinking wine and planning, lunches together at ones favourite places, lunch in
the park, small acts of kindness, pet names, the safety to bicker about quirks one has
long ago accepted which differs from fights over real issues.
In the series these two know each other so well they can mimic the other though if one
watches closely there are tells where one has a different interpretation of the others
behaviour, as seen through the others eyes.
Fans have penned many any essay on just why they feel these two work and they just keep
Others require no explanation it is simply ineffable and they love it.
But not everyone does not every ship is for everyone or in this case every work.
Not everyone is down for good omens, some find it too blasphemous, or not funny, or
trying too hard to be the hitchhiker's guide.
From the days of only the book some felt it was a reach and that shippers were simply
building upon a friendly foundation to create something that really wasn’t there, and
in their minds didn’t need to be.
Others feel that this relationship is too co dependent despite the at times century
long gaps between the two seeing each other, or that it just wouldn’t work.
That as anything more than friendship it would be doomed to fall apart this mindset tends
not to apply when one is keeping the relationship sexless.
Some ship either only the book or series versions
Some book fans don;t like the shift the medium and additions have caused preferring their
book crowley and aziraphale.
While others who have gone back to the book have found it to be virtually devoid of shipping
For many this ship is undeniable yet not for them not everyone likes every ship and that
is absolutely fine.
Some don’t care for one or both of them as characters and feel crowley’s melodrama
would eventually prove too much for the more even tempered aziraphale or that the two never
would be able to move at the same speed.
This is definitely a fandom where if one doesn’t ship them there’s not much else out there
in the fic department it’s inception all over again or rather inception was good omens
all over again.
Woe unto those few shippers trying to find a match with one of these two with gabriel,
For those shipping these two do you find a significant difference in characterisation
between book and series?
Did you enjoy the changes the adaptation made?
If you don’t ship these two why not?
That’s not an aggressive why not but a genuine one one of the hopes of this channel is to
share a variety of perspectives so that those mired in one may see at least the rationale
You know the drill answer all those along with anything else you can think of down below
numbered if possible I love a good essay comment.
Thanks so much for taking some time out of your day to spend it discussing shipping with
me I always appreciate it.
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keep shipping and stay tuned for there are as many ships out there for as there are stars
in the sky.