12 Days of Yaoi – What is Nygmobblepot?

Nygmobblepot is the ship name of the pairing of Edward Nygma and Oswald Cobblepot aka The Riddler and The Penguin within the television series Gotham to be specific. Though not as popular before the rise of the broadcast of the show Gotham, previous incarnations of the characters in other batman media have been shipped before and these pairings were referred to by fans as Riddlebird. Though within in some fan circles the term Riddlebird and Nygmobblepot are both used no matter what iteration of the pairing they are talking about, to make following this post easy I will only be referring to the pairing found within the television series Gotham for this post as it is the side of the fandom I have the most experience with.

A short and very funny Riddlebird comic by GeniusBeeHive over on Tumblr, this one cracks me up every time

So what is it about the pairing of these two in the show Gotham that has spawn a whole almost separate fandom of itself within the Gotham fandom? Well to understand that first we need to go into a bit of background about the show that spawned this ship, Gotham. It is a show I have mentioned before on this blog earlier this year in my post Finding Light in the Darkness where in I wrote about how the show and the amazing fandom of this show helped me through some hard times last year.

Gotham can be a hard series to describe, but in simple terms it’s a prequel story to Batman. It tells the story of the city of Gotham herself, before their was a Batman, a time before super villains and the city’s biggest crime problem was gangland wars between feuding mob bosses. In a way the beginning of the series very much starts off like a procedural cop drama mixed with the intrigue and mystery of a classic mafia story, but as the viewer will soon learn nothing is ever simple in Gotham. Government corruption and illegal human experimentation is just the beginning of the city’s fall into madness and chaos and as new players enter the scene the city becomes truly like no other place on earth. There is a sense of reality and the fantastic within Gotham and this is what will draw you into it’s story as well as a few familiar faces from the world of DC’s Batman.

Within this chaotic city and it’s many stories as the series does not really have what one could call a main character but a series of interconnected narratives that form the shows foundation we find the two characters that make up this popular ship and I must warn for those who have not watched the series their will be some major character development spoilers ahead.

Edward Nygma starts the series as the socially awkward but cheerful forensic worker for the GCPD, an interesting take on the origin of the man who will become the Riddler. He enjoys his work and just wants those around him to thank him for his help, though there is something dark about Edward just below the surface and every time someone makes fun of him or blows him off as just some weirdo that rage begins to boil to the surface and Edward begins to become unhinged. The role is played by the amazing Cory Michael Smith who’s many years performing on the stage really shine through in later seasons as Edward’s character embraces his flamboyant evil side and slowly becomes the Riddler.

Oswald Cobblepot’ origin within this series is equally as fascinating as that of Edward as he pretty much begins the series at the very bottom of the criminal food chain as a simple Umbrella Boy for mobster Fish Mooney an original character made for the Gotham series and it is her goons that nickname Oswald Penguin a name he very much at first despises but grows to enjoy once he has a taste of power. He is the seen within the series as the ultimate manipulator who throughout the series learns to think three steps ahead of his opponent whether they be his fellow criminals, politicians or the GCPD. Underneath this manipulative exterior however there is a softer side that at first is only shown towards his mother and as tragedy after tragedy follows him around Gotham he learns to harden that soft exterior, until he ends up with a genuine friendship with one Edward Nygma during one of his own darkest moments of growth early on in the series and Edward is growing darker at that point as well and turns to The Penguin looking for guidance.

It is at this point in the series where a lot of fans began shipping these two together and many a fanfic was written for the two with the trope ‘they were roommates.’ However it would not be until season 3 that the ship would really take of with one scene of confirmation that the ship could happen in canon that things really started the get interesting within the fandom.

At this point in the series a lot of people who fans of both Edward and Oswald especially as a ship were somewhat disappointed or outright pissed off with the inclusion of Isabella to the cast. She shows up at a very plot convenient time to put an end to any possibility of the ship happening, there was even a small amount of discourse accusing the series of queer baiting with the relationship between Edward and Oswald and others like myself were a little disappointed at the fact that we had a two canon female characters who were in a lesbian relationship and had been confirmed as bisexual and yet we could not get a similar relationship with Edward and Oswald.

So what did the fans do about this? After all shippers are the most toxic part of any fandom so they must have caused a big ruckus online, threatening writers and boycotting the show right? Nope, we didn’t after all Gothamites are not like other fans like say Fannibals or Voltron fans. A low blow I know but the loud minority of shippers in these kind of fandoms really give people a bad name. Gotham’s fanbase has always been on good terms with the cast and crew and the shippers within the fandom have also been very kind and friendly with each other. There have been discussions within the fandom about rival ships one of the biggest rivalries within the fandom being the one between Nygmobblepot and Gobblepot (the later of which being the ship of Jim Gordon and Oswald Cobblepot) and though some of these discussions have been heated none that I know of have become all out flame wars.

The love the writers have for the fandom is on full display within series five of the show, which was also sadly the final season. With a reunion of friendship between both Oswald and Ed being one of the biggest highlights of the season for many, as well as a flash forward into the future where the two of them have gone full Penguin and Riddler and have their first of what will undoubtedly be many encounters with Batman.

I want to give a big thankyou to all my friends on the Nygmobblepot Haven discord before closing this post, everyone in the chat who continues to make fan content even after a year and half of the series coming to an end and being some of the coolest friends I have made in any fandom a big thankyou to all of you, this post is in part for all of you!

Thank You

Please return tomorrow as I will be reviewing one of my many favourite manga reads of this year, until them be kind to other shippers so we can make all fandoms as positive as the Gotham fandom!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Powered by WordPress.com.
%d bloggers like this: