A close inspection of the Fire Emblem sections for both fanfiction.net and Archive Of Our Own has rendered my deepest fear a reality: That the release and popularity of Awakening has all but destroyed the limited dignity this fandom already had, and what's actually left is hanging on by a thread.
The Avatar themselves has brought the bulk of the fandom's downfall, the Mary Sue and Gary Stu problem was bad enough before, but Awakening has encouraged these plebians to create their own soppy romance with their canon character of choice! And not surprisingly, half of these stories are about Chrom. I cannot fathom how anyone could be so unintelligent and lacking in imagination as to want to marry that poor excuse for a man. Worse yet, the Avatar actually has some semblance of personality despite being a clear-cut Canon Sue/Stu and even that is destroyed in favor of making them a cardboard cutout tailored to act as the author's proxy.
And that's not even going into the quality of fanfiction about other characters. Granted, the characters are badly-written stereotypes to begin with, but that just leaves more room for intelligent writers to dig deeper, to deconstruct their behaviors and attitudes and limited personalities. Cordelia's unhealthy love for her lord, Sumia's soul-crushing self-esteem issues, Henry's bitter and bloody past, Olivia's crippling shyness, Frederick's obsessive-compulsive disorder and unhealthy attachment to Chrom.
But where are these intelligent stories? Nowhere. Instead, we have copious amounts of childish fluff, usually shipping related. Little slice-of-life stories that have no place during a war. And of course, pointless pornography littering AO3.
This is what has become of the franchise, people. Shattered into pointless bits of stupidity by drooling fanbrats who don't even bother to think about what they write anymore. And it makes me want to reach out to these fans and scream, use your minds! Demand more quality from your entertainment! A good strategy game is supposed to encourage deep and critical thinking! But of course we can't, and what stings the most is that Nintendo and Intelligent Systems encouraged the series' downfall.
What was once a great and noble franchise has become a landfill for idiocy.
If only the series had ended with this game. Then we wouldn't have an insipid crossover and a possible fourteenth game to dread.