Ships. In entertainment, and especially, in fandom, we live and die by them. Which is why every Friday, we’ll be focusing on a couple, analyzing why we ship them, and overall, just proclaiming our eternal love for those couples that make us say:
I will go down with this ship.
Anne and Gilbert — or Shirbert, as they’ve been affectionately referred to — are one of those OG ships. Originally a book ship, then a TV ship, Anne and Gilbert were once again re imagined for Netflix’s Anne With An E, which had me falling in love with them all over again.
Words cannot describe the love I have for these soulmates. They’re the epitome of how opposite personalities attract but also how like souls connect.
While Netflix has crushed our dreams of seeing these lovelies take the next step in their lives together — as a couple — we’ll always have the books, and we’ll always have the moments from these first three seasons.
Anne and Gilbert are a ship that transcends time period. And they’ll forever hold a place in my heart.
So let’s dive into the reasons why I will FOREVER go down with this ship:
THE WAY THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER
If we had to watch Anne With An E as a silent film, I guarantee you that we would’ve felt the exact same way about Anne and Gilbert. It’s all in the eyes. How they look at each other. It speaks louder than the already powerful words they speak to each other.
Stolen glances, intentional looks, and the the moments where they lock eyes and time stands still. It’s only Anne and Gilbert.
Gilbert. Sweet, Gilbert. That boy can’t hide a damn thing he’s feeling. And we know he was crushing on Anne from the moment he met her. From that moment, there’s been a constant look of awe and affection that hasn’t left his face — even when they’ve sparred with each other.
Gilbert looks at Anne like she’s the Sun — the center of his universe — and this was all before he realized that he was in love with her. Even Anne, who fought harder to hide any sort of emotion on her face, snuck glances at Gilbert. She’d catch herself looking at Gilbert and pull back, not sure what to make of it.
Perhaps that’s the point, when we’re not able to be honest with ourselves, sometimes our face tells the true story — even if we haven’t yet read that chapter.
THE WAY THEY CHALLENGE EACH OTHER
Anne and Gilbert’s love story is unconventional. It didn’t start off perfect. They started out bickering with each other as preteens. During seasons 1 and 2, Anne and Gilbert always seemed to be arguing.
Something, anything. You name it, Anne and Gilbert were arguing about it.
Usually, it was instigated by Anne, who was trying to fight her feelings or fight for something that most others didn’t believe in. But Gilbert always stood his ground and knew when to back down.
One of the beautiful things about Anne and Gilbert is how they always seemed to challenge each other. Whether it was during a spelling bee in school or in their career paths or seeing who would back down first, this friendly competition became a staple in their relationship.
THE WAY THEY SUPPORT EACH OTHER
While it seemed that Anne and Gilbert were most always arguing with each other in their childhood — the classic, I’m going to tease you because I like you, thing — they really, truly cared for the other. While they had their disagreements, the moments they truly need each other, they’re there.
Every time Anne seemed to be struggling in adjusting to Avonlea, Gilbert was there to reassure her — indirectly — that he was there for her. He made it clear she had a friend in him.
When Gilbert lost his father, Anne was there (although that didn’t end well, as Anne selfishly made Gilbert’s dad’s death more about her, though she did apologize.) But when Gilbert lost Mary, who had become like a sister to him, Anne was the supportive friend that knew exactly what Gilbert needed. He needed company, even if that company didn’t require conversation. Until Gilbert needed to vent. And Anne knew the perfect words to say. When Gilbert felt the weight of days of emotion bearing down on him, Anne pulled him into a hug, which he clung to her for dear life and let all the emotion out.
But what speaks louder than those actions is how they support one other when they other isn’t around. Whether it’s Gilbert defending Anne to the bullies that are jealous of her individuality or Anne standing up for Gilbert in his absence, these two would go to the ends of the Earth to protect one another. And that’s one constant in this world.
THE WAY THEY ARE IN AWE OF EACH OTHER
While some people were put off by their brilliance, Anne and Gilbert appreciated watching each other accomplish great things. Sure, there was a sense of jealously at times, especially when they were younger. But they grew to appreciate each other’s talents — and also loved the challenge.
This goes hand-in-hand with how they’ve looked at each other, especially Gilbert, who couldn’t seem to hide a single emotion on his face. Honestly, I’m surprised it was only Bash that could see the smitten written all over Gilbert’s face. How every time he mentioned Anne, he was glowing with pride. At her passion, at her individuality.
It’s impossible not to be wowed by Anne and Gilbert and everything they’ve fought for, everything they’ve accomplished. So it’s easy to see why they fell head over heels for each other.
THE WAY THEY DIDN’T REALIZE THE TRUE EXTENT OF THEIR FEELINGS FOR EACH OTHER
Aw, to be young and in love. Emphasis on the young part, which led to some miscommunication on their part.
Near the end of the third season (I refuse to call it final season), both Anne and Gilbert were left believing that their love for the other was unrequited. A sign of miscommunication. If only they were able to have a face-to-face conversation with each other — rather than depend upon letters that were never read by the other.
While everyone around them can see how they feel about one another — you’d have to be clueless not to — it took Anne and Gilbert a little longer to truly figure out their feelings. Because how do you quantify love at 16? How do you realize those intense feelings you’re feeling is the stuff of legend? Not just love, true love.
Anne with an E seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix.