Saturday, March 2, 2024

I’ll go down with this ship… Nyssara

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Last time I wrote about what ship is how they work and how many different kinds of ships there are. Now it’s time to really get into it and dissect one of my favorite ships.

I chose this ship not only because I enjoy the chemistry and the relationship but also because it was the first gay relationship I enjoy. I’d really like to kick off this series with a relationship that was accurately portrayed and in my opinion launched the diversity among superheroes.

The couple I’m talking about is, of course, Arrow’s Sara Lance and Nyssa Al Ghul or as we shippers call them Nyssara.

The characters

This ship consists of two very well defined and strong characters. Although both of them are very different.

Sara Lance came a long way from the rebellious teenager that came aboard the Queens Gambit with Oliver Queen and betrayed her sister. Now she’s the White Canary and Captain of the Waverider. She was also one of the women featured in my other series.

I believe that her relationship with Nyssa was a big catalyst for her change. A motivator in her journey of becoming a hero and overcoming many obstacles.

Obstacles seem to be the thing what Nyssa and Sara have in common. The Demon’s Daughter had to face quite a few of her own. Be it her cruel father or the obvious judgment she’d face when she came out or fell in love with a woman.

Nyssa’s resilience and quiet strength came through years of training. Faced with disappointment her whole life her relationship with Sara was definitely a bright spark in Nyssa’s controlled and planned out life. Although their relationship was a turning point in both their lives but it wasn’t the only defining factor in the life of the determined Heir to the Demon.

Their story

Nyssa and Sara’s story starts in a way most fairytales end with the hero or in this case the heroine saving the princess. In this case, Nyssa saved Sara from dying on Lian Yu. Sadly it wasn’t without cost seeing as the younger Lance had to join the League of Assassins.

There isn’t a lot that we know about their relationship. As there were just a few scenes between these characters on Arrow but although their romance was mostly a filler story and designed to pose a conflict for Sara and soften Nyssa’s character a little it quickly caught my attention.

One characteristic of their story is that it didn’t have a happy ending with Sara dying and then joining the Legends but it even though both characters moved on that relationship is still unresolved (at least for me).

There is a chance for a happy reunion.

Their flaws

Like any relationship between people, this one isn’t without its flaws. And there are quite a few of them. Be it personal flaws in the characters or in their dynamic.

Let’s start with the personal flaws that make this relationship almost impossible. Both Sara and Nyssa have them. For both of them, the flaws main source is the League. Although it affects them differently.

Nyssa can’t seem to reconcile her role in the League and her father’s expectations with her relationship. She also seems to have trouble breaking the training that was ingrained in her from a young age.

Sara struggles with the burden of having to kill for the League.

She also can’t really let go of her past and after she escapes she doesn’t seem o know if she wants a relationship with Nyssa or to come back to Starling fully, cutting herself off of the League and everything that came with it.

She takes her sweet time trying to figure it out. Thankfully she makes a decision in the end.

Both women also have to face the strict rules of the League and the cultural differences between their lives.

A huge flaw of this story and relationship is how abruptly it ended with no real answers but maybe it’s just a build-up to something better… (fingers crossed).

Why I ship them

There are several reasons as to why I ship this particular couple, one of them being the balance between the characters. You would think that Sara will always be the hothead in this relationship and Nyssa the calm, collected one but that’s not true. They naturally switch places and temperaments.

Furthermore, I liked how this romance was kind of always in the background and never really the focus of their stories but also always had an impact on how they acted and the decisions they made. It seemed almost platonic.

Lastly although it never really got to a happy ending and their romance ended rather abruptly (which is one of the flaws of this story for me) I enjoyed this relationship because it was a light in the dark for both of these characters. Changing hem for the better.

Even though the romance ended the women have changed thanks to it and became better versions of themselves.

It helped them to move on and make better decisions in the future, especially for Nyssa who finally broke free from her father’s tyranny. Sara could then move a stable-ish relationship with Ava which I don’t think would have been possible if not for Nyssa.

What’s so special in this relationship for me is how tastefully it was introduced in the show. The way it lingered in the background made it more natural and not forced. It also proved that there’s room for diversity and it can be handled like any other romance story. Furthermore, by keeping it as a complementing storyline and not the main arc for these characters it made it more natural and easier to accept. It presented as a simple fact and came off as almost platonic. It was a beautiful romance which I wouldn’t mind seeing more of.

Images courtesy of CW


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