Subject: Sounds like a glimpse into an alternate multiverse...
Posted on: 2022-08-04 00:14:57 UTC

Legolas was sitting under a bridge. Why Legolas was sitting under a bridge in the first place was not entirely apparent, though he seemed to be rocking back and forth and crying. Alvin and Xena looked at one another and waved their analyzer at him.

[Owen Evansted never intended this. A whimpering girl. Projection: 48.6%.]

"As I suspected," said Alvin, frowning at the analyzer. "This is the moment when the plot begins."

Xena tilted her head. "He's just sitting under a bridge, Al," she pointed out.

"Where in a moment he's going to meet Elrond. And then they're going to start a problematic relationship."

Xena's expression crumpled. She liked Elrond.

Alvin nodded, grimly satisfied. "Yeah. Think of the impressionable teenagers who'll read this and think that means it's okay to pursue romantic relationships with older men."

"How do we stop that?" demanded Xena, her hands balled into fists. Her knuckles grew whiter at the sight of Elrond approaching the bridge from above. "I don't want anything bad to happen to Elrond or Legolas! That's why I joined the Guardians of the Continuum!"

Alvin glanced at his partner. It would be too easy to call her oversensitive, except that would be gaslighting. "We're going to have to get Elrond some help with managing his desires," he said gently. He would touch her shoulder, too, except that would break fraternization rules. "Otherwise, he's going to continue to prey on younger elves."

Xena nodded. That made sense, of course -- it would stop future plots if he knew to control his instincts, and any impressionable children who happened to be reading Lord of the Rings fanfiction would learn the same lesson.

So basically this turned into "what would happen if the PPC had been created during the height of Tumblr anti-shipping wank", whoops :P There's reasonable discussions to be had about the average fic writer's responsibility to their audience, but a lot of the folks on Tumblr (and now Twitter) grossly oversimplified things into "if you ship this character with this character, you're literally supporting xyz", or "writing about x conflict means you endorse x conflict irl" -- hence the idea of stopping the plot before it can happen.

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