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So this brings us to Ship War #2, There Can Be Only One: Larry vs. Ziam. And this one, I freely admit, I had more fun researching than Larry.


But first, some song Lyrics. This is You & I, AKA The Ziam Song...


I figured it out,
I figured it out from black and white
Seconds and hours,
Maybe they had to take some time

I know how it goes,
I know how it goes from wrong and right
Silence and sound
Did they ever hold each other tight
Like us?
Did they ever fight
Like us?

You and I
We don't want to be like them
We can make it to the end..
.



This combo of ships, Larry and Ziam, should actually be harmonious and get along. After all, no boy from either ship intersects between them to cause a conflict.

There are many obvious similarities as well. Tinhatting for Ziam is very similar to Tinhatting for Larry. I would say that most Ziam shippers believe the relationship is real, and they are in it to win it just like the Larry Shippers. And also, ZS are as deeply committed to the idea that MM! is oppressing Liam and Zayn, and forcing them unwillinging into the closet as any Larry Tinhatter.

But in general, these two boats should be able to coexist peacefully. (And to be honest, they often do.) But there IS an issue, and a serious one for LS.

One of the things I noticed right away about Larry shippers is that not very many of them believe in Ziam. They may ship Ziam, but they have a hard time believing that it is real. In fact, they can't. Because for the current Larry narrative to hold up as TRUE, The current Ziam narrative must be FALSE. And therein lies the basis for the conflict.

A Larry Shipper was kind enough to set it down for us on a Confession Blog:

 <-- Let me explain below...

So, here is the Ziam Narrative to compare with the Larry Narrative:

Like Larry, Ziam has a legend about their first meeting. Zayn & Liam met at a McDonald's during X-Factor boot camp.

Unlike Larry, the feelings weren't instantly mutual. Though Zayn was obviously instantly infatuated with Liam, Liam still thought of himself as straight and was dating a girl, Danielle Peazer, whom he was with until late 2012 or early 2013. (That ship, Payzer, still has shippers.) Everyone knew that Liam was in love with Zayn too, but he couldn't admit to it because he didn't yet realize that he was gay/bi. (He hadn't "figured it out" yet. See the song lyrics above.)

  <---Here's Payzer, so you can see what that was all about.

So Zayn was forced to pine for Liam from a distance. He pined, and pined. For almost two years. Poor baby.


In the meantime, Zayn became involved with Perrie Edwards a member of the girl band Little Mix. Her band won X-Factor in 2011, and is also signed to Simon Cowell's Syco Records. The pairing became known as Zerrie. It did appear at the very least that this relationship was started for publicity. (Although as of this writing, it has now continued for three years and includes a tattoo and an engagement ring...)

 <-- Some early Zerrie. Obviously they went with Z+errie as the ship name rather than the alternative P+ayn, because "Payn" would have been aaaaawkward, that being Liam's last name and all. ;)

Finally, In late 2012, at the ITunes Music Festival... Something appeared to change between Zayn and Liam. All of a sudden Ziam became fully realized and totally mutual. Ziam shippers believe that Liam finally gave in to his feelings and that the relationship was consummated at this music festival. Their anniversary date is considered to be Sept. 20, 2012.

During the rest of 2012, Ziam shippiness went into over-drive. Here's a helpful example...

 <-- OK. Yeah. I could stare at this for a long time.

Also during that Fall, Liam broke up with, and got back together with Danielle Peazer. There appeared to be noticeable tension between them the second time around, and they broke up for good in the Spring of 2013.

That May, Liam was seen with a "Mystery Girl"... Who would turn out to be Sophia Smith. Liam and Sophia did not "out" their relationship until August of that year. Ziam shippers generally believe that Payzer was a real relationship, at least the first time around. But they believe that Sophiam is a "bearding" because by this time, Ziam was in full swing. So, therefore, ZS believe, Management must have forced Liam to get a beard once he broke up with Danielle... Sigh.

(As it happens, Sophia is actually a girl that Liam knew in school back in his home town. So they were old friends, and there were actually rumors and indications that Liam may have started seeing her before Payzer finally split... So there's that.)

 <-- Liam's first photo with Sophia. It was awhile before they officially "came out". So to speak.

When the TMH tour began in 2013, the Ziam flirting continued and really hasn't stopped. Here are examples from that tour...

 <-- One of the extremely popular Ziam gifs from the 2013 tour. (Known as the "almost kiss")


 <-- Another extremely popular gif from the 2013 tour. (Swept off his feet...)

 <-- Zayn likes to give Liam Roses. Apparently.


If anything, things got even SHIPPIER in 2014, especially during the opening leg of the tour in South America. They tickle, Kissper, and hug in the most dramatic ways. Zayn even carried Liam off stage over-the-shoulder style at the end of one of the South American concerts. (The ZS comments were hilarious after that, "Zayn tops tonight!" LOL)

  <---The Famous Hug of Forgiveness for the Weed Video scandal...

  <---This is called Kisspering. You see, they apparently have some very important information that they need to tell each other, and found it necessary to stand just like that on stage and whisper it just at that particular moment. Narry shippers have similar gifs...

 <-- Zayn hoists Liam over his shoulder.
 

 <-- Ziam looking soulfully at one another during You & I.


Zayn and Liam often cry and/or make googly eyes at one another while singing You & I in their concerts. It is considered their song. For whatever reason, Liam is clearly very emotional about that song... (Keep in mind that Liam has lyrics from his song tattooed on his arm. And you know how much this fandom makes of tattoos. Oh, better yet, the lyrics he tattooed are "I figured it out"... how's that for loaded?)

 <-- Ziam shippesr think they know what Liam figured out.

Of course the biggest impediment to the ship remains the existence of Sophiam and Zerrie. As with Eleanor, both are dismissed by the true believers. (Feel free to peruse the Zerrie is Fake and Sophiam is Fake tags on Tumblr...) To a dedicated Ziam Tinhatter, these ladies are no sweat. (They even found a way to get around Zayn's tattoo of Perrie... I did a post about it once.)

Meanwhile, if you recall the Larry Narrative, Larry started out HOT, and was intense through 2012. However, beginning in 2013, on the TMH tour, and continuing on the current WWA tour, there is very little interaction on stage between Harry and Louis. In fact, there are lots of crickets... Larry Believers cling to their ship, using the lifeline that is the Management Conspiracy Theory, and the conviction that MM! has forced Larry apart against their wishes. They also accept whatever bones Harry and Louis will throw them as "secret messages" of rebellion against MM! It is a hard slog for LS as they wait out the contract, believing with all their hearts that when it is over, Harry and Louis will joyfully come out of the closet.

So now you can probably now see what the LS issue is with believing that Ziam is real.

If Zayn and Liam can continue to be shippy, on stage and in interviews to this very day, without MM! interference, then why can't Larry? And why does management allow all of this obviously shippy Ziam interaction to occur? Why hasn't Ziam been shut down too??? There are certainly plenty of rumors about Zayn/Liam by now...

It is tantamount to an existential question for Larry Shippers. (Because, if Louis and Harry are silent by CHOICE, what the hell would that mean for Larry???)

So, the only way that Larry shippers can justify all the current, healthy doses of Ziam interaction, is to deny that the Ziam relationship is real. Ziam must be fanservice, because the alternative is unthinkable.

(Of course ZS have a great comeback for them, don't they ;) Larry is over! Long Live ZIAM!)

So therein lies the Larry/Ziam tension. Larry shippers can't fully embrace a Ziam reality in the current narrative without damaging the basis for Larry reality. And Ziam shippers want the recognition that Larry shippers still have.

One of the main ways this has been manifesting for Larry Shippers lately is that many of them have become major shippers of the two Ziam girlfriends*. In fact, many Larry shippers have been citing Sophiam as the ideal example of what a "real" hetero relationship should be, in contrast with fakefakefake Elounor.

 <-- A recent illustration from a Confession Tumblr. (Do the two couples really look that different to you? Because they don't to me.)

And there you have it... They should be a match made in heaven, and yet not.


***

*Hey! Like the Larry Shippers, I am also a proponent of Sophiam and Zerrie! Yay! (Of course, I also support Elounor, so there ends the agreement...)

And as I hinted in the Larry post, the modus operendi of the band is to flirt with the audience and each other, and Ziam/Larry shippers make good customers... So actually, yeah, I think Ziam is fanservice... And so was Larry, although the boys were all considerably more innocent when Larry was flying, so there was a lot of genuine friendship involved as well...

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