Though Teen Wolf is about much more than romance – captivating stories, awesome creatures, realistic characters and relationships, etc. – there’s no denying that the residents of Beacon Hills are, um, really hot. And fandom loves nothing more than shipping pretty people together – especially when they are such complex, engaging characters. The show’s most popular ships tend to revolve around one Stiles Stilinski (Dylan O’Brien) – Scott’s sarcastic, funny, slightly dark BFF. Since Sterek is off the table for the time being with Tyler Hoechlin’s (hopefully temporary) absence from Beacon Hills, the fandom’s attention has turned to Stydia – Stiles + Lydia (Holland Roden), the long-time unrequited love scenario – and Stalia – Stiles + Malia (Shelley Hennig), the current status quo.
Season 5A has already caused quite a few developments in the shipping department, including hints that Stydia may not be a lost cause and that Stalia could be headed for trouble. Whether or not this is the case, Fangirlish writers Chloe and Lauren (one a Stydia shipper, the other a Stalia shipper) wanted to talk about where each ship really stands right now, why they love their respective romances, and what we can realistically hope to see from each ship as Season 5A enters its second half. This is not a conversation based on a ship war – it’s real, respectful talk about the State of the Ship.
Why We Ship It (and Feelings about the Other Ship)
Lauren: The moment I started shipping Stalia was when Stiles and Malia were in his Jeep, accompanied by Lydia and Kira, and Malia told Stiles she would never leave him. It became very clear to me that Malia needed someone who she could count on and be honest with in her life, and Stiles was that person to her. Stiles equally needed someone in his life that reciprocated those feelings of desire and whom he could act on those feelings with. Malia was finally someone that saw him romantically and appreciated the admiration he showed her.
I will always ship Stydia for the simple fact that they share a deep bond that makes both of them better people. Lydia brings out the inner strength in Stiles and cuts through his sarcasm. Stiles has always appreciated Lydia’s intelligence and never undermines her abilities. They’re a great duo, but I no longer see them romantically.
However, I’m definitely Stydia for the long-haul. I can relate to the hardcore unrequited love, which (combined with Stiles and Lydia being my favorite characters individually) helped get me into the ship. I love how their relationship has developed to true friendship and partnership – how they are often there for each other when the rest of the pack is nowhere to be found, and how they are a brilliant crime-solving duo. When we spoke to Jeff Davis at San Diego Comic-Con, he said that when it comes to Stydia, “there’s two different ways about it… They’ve become friends and they’re beyond it, or they are meant for each other. And we love stories where they’re meant for each other.” I think that Stiles and Lydia have grown to understand and respect each other so deeply, and I would love to see that develop into a “meant for each other” romance.
Why They’re Good for Each Other
Lauren: Malia is as blunt as you can get, and she never sugarcoats anything when it comes to Stiles. She’s incredibly honest about her feelings towards him and she sees him as a partner for life. Her loyalty is her most admirable quality. Stiles is very understanding with Malia and never makes her feel bad for not always understanding the world around her. He helps her but knows she is a strong woman who is capable of handling herself (especially against overly confident werewolves). They balance each other out and bring out the tender side in each other.
Chloe: From the very beginning of Teen Wolf, Stiles paid attention to Lydia in a way that no one else did. Though, yeah, he was a bit obsessive and didn’t fully understand who she was as a person, he knew that there was more to her than met the eye – that she wasn’t a vapid queen bee, but a brilliant, interesting person. That’s now come full circle: as I mentioned before, these two seem to be there for each other when they need it most, whether that’s Stiles’ panic attack in the school or Lydia doubting her abilities (or, you know, both of them almost dying in the basement of Eichen House). Their relationship has grown to the point where they both truly understand, appreciate, and pay attention to each other in a very natural way. It’s easy like breathing – the perfect foundation for a romantic relationship.
Favorite Moments for Each Ship
Lauren: There’s honestly so many great moments between these two that it’s hard to choose just one! If I must, then it has to be the scene at the dance where Stiles is trying to convince Lydia to show off some moves with him. The fact he laid it all on the line and was completely honest about his feelings towards her, all while complimenting her intelligence, makes this a huge moment for me. Not many guys dare to be that honest with their crush, not to mention applauding a female on being more intelligent than themselves. I also think that is the first time Lydia really saw Stiles for the genuinely good guy he is and realized he was maybe someone worth getting to know. I’ll admit I’ve watched that scene on repeat!
Chloe: Such a hard decision! I’m also a huge fan of the winter formal scene, as well as countless small moments, but I think my favorite has to be Stiles and Lydia’s kiss in “Alpha Pact.” Since it happened as a result of Stiles’ panic attack, it took him – and fans – completely by surprise. You can tell that Stiles never would have imagined his first kiss with Lydia happening that way, but he loves her all the more for it, complimenting her intelligence for using the kiss to stop his panic attack even in his state of distress and shock. Though it’s not really a romantic situation, the scene is so charged with emotion – and reading Lydia’s body language, it seems like maybe, just maybe, she felt something, too.
Chloe: I loved Stiles and Malia’s exchange at school in “Parasomnia,” when he’s filling her in about his suspicions concerning Theo. It’s more of a “partners in crime” moment than a romantic one, but after Scott’s firmness on giving Theo the benefit of the doubt, Malia’s offer to torture Theo was surprisingly endearing. She’s always on Stiles’ side, which I can definitely appreciate, and their “problem-solving approaches” are well-matched.
Lauren: The scene where Malia is desperately trying to wake Stiles up to help her study (we all know this is a task in itself) and was getting frustrated with him until she saw that he added the Desert Wolf to his board. It’s a very simple scene, but I love how real it felt (e.g. Stiles mentioning how he hadn’t brushed his teeth yet). Once again, it showed how much humanity is in a show filled with supernatural creatures. It also showed he truly wanted to help Malia piece together her past, as long as that’s what she wanted.
Where Each Ship Stands Now
Chloe: Stydia fans have had plenty of cause to rejoice this season, from Stiles’ devastating look at a seriously injured Lydia in the station (a callback to, “If you die, I will literally go out of my freaking mind”) to Scott’s confidence that Stiles still loves Lydia, just in a more mature way. Stiles and Lydia have clearly grown to understand and appreciate each other, and they pay close attention to each other without even thinking about it – he notices the weird look between Lydia and the creepy orderly at Eichen House, and she confronts him about the shoulder injury from Donovan he’s trying to hide. They have developed a strong friendship and are protective of each other. Though Lydia has yet to show an obvious romantic interest in Stiles, the groundwork is laid, and the show is strongly hinting that Stydia fans shouldn’t give up hope just yet.
Lauren: I still maintain that Stiles and Malia’s relationship will hold strong, despite Theo’s intentions. Malia is smart enough to realize when she is being played, and she’s fiercely loyal to Stiles. Even though we last saw Stiles at Eichen House with Lydia while Scott commented on the state of their relationship, Stiles still cares a lot about Malia. He knows there will always be a place in his heart for Lydia, but their relationship is purely platonic. You never forget the first person you had real feelings for, but it doesn’t mean you can’t move on and be happy with someone else. Lydia has accepted Malia into the pack and it’s unlikely she would betray Malia that way – nor has she ever shown any romantic interest in Stiles. Plus there’s a spark between her and Parrish that seems will be explored. Only time will tell, but I’m placing my loyalties with Stalia.
Where We Think Each Ship is Headed
Lauren: I think Malia is going to firmly back Stiles on his reservations about Theo, as well as help him through unintentionally killing Donovan. We all know the truth will come out, and even though Scott may have a problem with it, Malia will stand by her man. Plus she can relate to what he is feeling, having experienced similar feelings herself (although I’m relieved that she may no longer be the cause of her family’s car crash). Once Stiles becomes aware of Malia’s PTSD, I believe he will be there to comfort her and help her any way he can. He knows all too well what it’s like to deal with psychological issues (that whole being possessed by an evil Japanese spirit thing). He’s also concerned (sometimes overly so) for the wellbeing of those he cares about deeply. So even though Stalia may hit some rough patches (they’ve already hinted at the pack being broken apart), I still think they will find a way to stay together.
Chloe: Though all signs point toward a Marrish (Lydia + Parrish) detour, I don’t think that Stiles and Lydia eventually getting together is as much of a long shot as it once seemed. The show and its creator seem to be reintroducing Stydia as a real possibility, both by having Stiles’ feelings (and their maturation) reaffirmed verbally by Scott last week and by hinting at upcoming conflict between Stiles and Malia. Season 5A has already sown the seeds of many possible sources of discontent for Stalia, from Malia spending a lot of time with Theo on the DL (which could either lead to a romantic entanglement or an extremely satisfying takedown of the evil lone wolf) to Stiles, you know, hiding the fact that he accidentally murdered someone. Whether Stalia will survive the season remains to be seen, but if something does split Stiles and Malia apart, I think Stydia has a real shot (post-Marrish and post-Eichen House stay, on Lydia’s part). If there’s one thing Stydia fans are good at, it’s waiting – so I, for one, am happy to wait a little longer.
Do you ship Stydia or Stalia? What do you think is in store for these ships on Teen Wolf?