In my hype for the upcoming Borderlands 3, one of the new draws of the game for me had been how incredibly unique and different the characters in this sequel looked. They all looked like the main characters of their own video games, all brought to this universe I’ve loved since the release of the first game. The character I knew I’d want to play first was Zane. At first glance, I thought I would be playing an older, classier, and experienced John Wick. Seriously, the man is a foxy granpa. He inspired me to make a future fanfic with him as the lead role. What does this have to with me shipping Zane and Amara, well, I didn’t mean to start shipping the two, but when I got into the pairing, the two seemed to click for me. It started with a Zane centric fanfic I was planning. The moment I saw him in the first reveal trailer, I fell in love with him. Though, at the time, I had thought he was someone else. First thoughts when I saw him: Lone wolf character, an older, wiser, and mellowed out John Wick. Someone who didn’t speak much unless necessary, and kept mostly to himself, cause he was that professional. To me, he was perfect for the fanfic I had in mind. The premise, enemies from his past have come back to take revenge on him, and so Zane would have to reveal parts of his past and himself to the Crimson Raiders. Thus opening a way to expand on the character and his relationship with the others. I was going to make the fic interactive in how Zane handled situations and the kind of relationships he could have with the other characters. Of course, I wanted it to be within reason, so the first few that were going to be romantic options were Amara and Moxxi.
I was willing to wait on more characters to add to the list should I learn more about the character and the people he’d be interacting with in the game. Until then, I had these two to consider. To me, Amara definitely seemed like the best option, considering that the two would be fighting together, and would actually make quite the interesting dynamic. It wasn’t until I actually heard and saw what they were like that I began to actually believe it could work. I mean, I was going to have quite a few options for Zane, from the people we would meet in-game to OC’s I’d come up with that may have had connections to Zane. Women and men that Zane could have been attracted to, provided it was well within reason of the character. Since learning more about the characters in these last few months, I can say the fic I had planned for Zane no longer applies for him. He wasn’t a lone wolf, but a wily fox, a trickster, a smart bandit who didn’t believe in the nonsense most bandits like his brothers did. The one thing I was right about with Zane, he was a cunning mercenary that was just that damn good at his job.
I don’t think Zane’s fighting with the Raiders because he believes in their cause. At this point, I think the Crimson Raiders have become a well-known group in the galaxy. They were the ones who killed Handsome Jack and defeated Hyperion, as well as had members that opened multiple vaults on Pandora, a planet considered a barren inhospitable wasteland. Zane I think, joins them with the idea that he’ll acquire loot, riches, and power beyond belief. He just has to help the group beat the Calypsos, the very people who tried to have him killed at the beginning of the game, and get to the vault before they do. This is where the pairing came in, you have a group of people, 4 that have never known or worked with each other before. They have a common goal and fight for a common cause, but each has a different reason for doing so. Amara was vigilante on her home planet. She struck fear and respect into the people. Zane came from a bandit family and left them to join an assassins academy. He’s worked under every corporation in the galaxy. Guy’s just that good at his job. Though you see where the two conflict, and why it is Amara would dash any chance at a relationship with them. I find it strange the two work together in the same team, being that Amara has probably dedicated her life to stopping men like Zane. Whether you were the boss or the lackey, you didn’t escape justice. Yet in the trailers, these two and their other two teammates FL4K and Moze work together in sync. Like any team, I’d imagine it took a while for them to work in harmony, but it always leaves you wondering what change as people they had undergone to trust one another in the way they do now.
I think Zane would be the ice-breaker, or at least the one to admit he’s got a crush on Amara. Despite her being a goody-two-shoes he’d become attracted to her violence, her sense of vigilante justice, and of course, her to the point methods and mindset. The woman embodies strength and beauty personified. To Zane, she’s a good woman, trustworthy, someone he can believe won’t stab him in the back. No, if she turns on him, she’ll do it face to face, a factor he can appreciate after years of being a corporate hitman. The kind of partner he’d want would be strong. The kind of person who he’d respect, and one that could knock him on his ass, both figuratively and literally. Meaning, it’s someone who will remind him of why he chose to be with them, and one who could keep him in line because even he knows how full of himself he can get. Zane definitely strikes me as the type to fall for someone who can knock him on his arse. Zane is a man that has never known true loyalty, compassion or virtue. Coming from a bandit background, it’s easy to understand why. He’s always respected power and riches because they were the only thing that seemed to matter in the universe. Then he meets the Raiders and the team he’s meant to fight with. Amara would stick out to him most, not just because he’s fighting alongside a siren, but also because she’s plenty powerful and skilled on her own. For a man like Zane, power is a draw for him, it’s a sexy turn on. He’s always fought for the highest bidder, has probably worked with people that have made his pants tight in the past. But Amara overshadows them by a longshot and has more to her than just the power and riches she obtains and wields in their fight for the vaults. She’s a powerful, virtuous, and trustable person that he could trust with his devotion. She could no doubt handle him and his craziness, so that’s a bonus for him. Hell, Zane’s brother Captain Flynt had a son named Sparky. Makes you wonder what kind of person could handle or even want to be with a Flynt. Especially if they can all be as wild, feral, and extreme.
As for Amara, if she was interested in that special someone, that someone is likely to be her sparring partner. Amara would seek the one that challenges her. Who’s not afraid to be themselves around her, who would fight beside her, and be there for her when she’s hurt. (This could go either physically or mentally.) Amara was the vigilante tiger of Partali, she’s accepted the responsibility of helping and cleaning up her community because she believes in a just cause. She fights for those who are oppressed and are unable to defend themselves. It’s hard work and does not guarantee success, but she has the power to make a difference. If not with her fists, then with the power she wields as a siren. Amara is strong and steadfast in her beliefs. If something is not to her liking, she changes it, and she does so with a lot of guns and her own fists. Her siren powers aren’t even a crutch she relies on, her skill and power are all her own. But despite being the vigilante of her community, I doubt she had many experiences outside of being the “Tiger of Partali.” from her want to protect and help the oppressed as her bio says, I can tell that she’s a kind, compassionate, and nurturing soul. It’s her life in Partali that made her a rough, strong, and gruff person. She had to be, not only had she taken up the responsibility of cleaning up her community of crime, she was a siren. It would have made her a target even if she hadn’t become the tiger of Partali. Though, I’d imagine that would have been a difficult life to lead. Even if she had the power to overcome the challenges set before her, she was just one person and dealing in such a role and it’s responsibilities, it would have left scars.
She wouldn’t be open to many experiences, she’d be too distracted to actually do so. Which is why she seeks to learn more about the universe, the people she meets, and their complexities. She finds the task of learning the easiest to accomplish in the conflicts she overcomes. What better way to reveal one’s true nature than to see what they’re really like when it matters most. Which is why Zane would stick out to her the most. She doesn’t understand his brand of insanity. The man lives off chaos and conflict, not for any particular reasons other than that he enjoys it and enjoys being compensated for it. He’s wild and carefree, a factor I think Amara would be disgusted at him for at first. She’d have lived most of her life fighting what she believed was the good fight. She’d always accepted responsibility for fighting in a cause she believes in. Then someone like Zane comes along, and she doesn’t understand him, prompting conflict between the two. But in these conflicts, Amara learns more about Zane, and to an extent herself. There is a method to the man’s madness, and though she believes he’s not right in his beliefs, she comes to understand why he can enjoy the universe and his life for what they are. To Amara, Zane represents the freedom and thrill that life has to offer. The experiences she never had or could properly understand because she always carried the weight of the world on her shoulders. After all of this, even with her strength and confidence, she’s still finding herself. That adventurous and free spirit grows ever stronger with her, and it’s all the result of the journey she undertakes with the Crimson Raiders and her team. Each of them teaches her something new about herself. Not that she would admit it aloud, but she loved the challenge Zane presented, the fight for the sense of self-being and worth in a beautiful yet cruel and dangerous universe. To find truth and order within the confusion and chaos. In short, Zane helps Amara remain sure of herself when he presented her with a moral dilemma the actions they must undertake in the race for the vaults. Freedom and happiness vs responsibility and meaningfulness. He taught her that the two could be one and the same and that there was no shame in doing something simply because it made you alone feel good. In ways, he could make finding her zen clear when she herself couldn’t figure it out. Not everything is black and white like she thought it was. Sometimes it takes a different perspective to figure it all out. To help those who need it, she must sometimes take on the role of both the liberator and oppressor. Zane has done bad things in his life, but it’s not to say he hasn’t done any good in those actions. It’s this excitement, this thrill, and wisdom that would draw her to the man.
This is the short shameless summary I came up with for this ship:
The two deal with each other a lot within the group, probably being the ones with the most conflicting views and distrust of each other of them all. Both knowing what they want, and not being afraid to go for it. Arguing with Amara probably makes Zane feel young, virile, and excited. He loves the aura of strength and authority she gives off. The thrill and possibility of facing such a woman make both his mind and heart race. He composes himself, not wanting to look weak, and show her he’s worth her time. He’s never walked away from something he wanted, he wants her and is willing to face her in any capacity to win her respect and affection. Amara doesn’t understand Zane, but that is also her draw to him. Despite his demeanor, Zane tends to be more confident of himself then any other in the group, and if we’re talking on pure power and abilities, that’s saying a lot. She’d call him a fool, but she’s seen the way he fights, and how he even takes out enemies many times more powerful then he is with a few elaborate gadgets. She wonders if he’s devised any plans that could overcome her, even with her siren abilities. Not only does this give Zane her respect, but it also does something to her that both frustrates and pushes her buttons. She’s actually excited at the prospects of that man overcoming her. Maybe because she feels he’s a worthy opponent. Maybe because she just enjoys a good fight. Maybe because she’s met someone that could help her discover more about herself. Don’t ever think she’ll admit to the idea of possibly being turned on.
Though as for how they might handle being in a relationship, I don’t think Amara, Zane, or quite frankly any of the vault hunters know how to engage in intimacy. They might understand lust, desire, and probably sex, but how to interact with one another in a deep emotional level, not sure anyone really knows how to go about it in this series. Each official relationship in Borderlands has a bit of an awkward dynamic to it. Amara and Zane would be no different in this aspect, opening up to one another would be quite the obstacle. Though I had the idea that this would be how Zane went about it, as bandits can be straightforward, forceful, and even stalker-like when faced with something they really want. Though in time, I’m sure he’d learn that if it matters it shouldn’t be forced, cause this is not something that he can solve with strength, guns, and violence like he usually does. He can be crazy and tenacious, but is not so bullheaded in attempts he knows or learns won’t work. Amara would be irritable, stand-offish, and would likely play rough with the one who catches her attention. Her feelings are not something she can just punch, but something she must confront to center herself. Despite being badasses, nothing can really prepare you for that significant someone. People often think that when they find that special someone, they’re something out of their dreams. The reality, who we end up with is not who we’d expect, but someone who makes us happy anyway. It just becomes a matter for these two to figure it out. Being themselves would be the answer, they’re not people comfortable showing signs of affection. Only occasionally through inside jokes, witty sass, teasing one another, and the occasional pleasure of each others company. The lives they’ve lived have made them hard people, they’re not the type to show affection through words or gifts, but through their actions. Their idea of bonding or date night would probably be through fighting and completing dangerous missions together or in their team. They’d appear no different to the rest of the team or the raiders because being in a relationship wouldn’t affect how they’d appear to others. They wouldn’t go through a personality change, but just accept their feelings, and what they mean to each other. No point in worrying about whether or not it’ll work out. They’d just be happy with one another, and embrace whatever comes next for them.
So yeah, this is why I ship them. In my unhealthy and probably insane obsession and hype for the upcoming characters, I fell in love with this ship for them. Of course, this is all just my speculation, and at best my own headcanon. But I like to think, whether you ship these two in simple friendship or in an actual relationship, they’d make quite an interesting dynamic. One capable of being a story all it’s own. Of course, you can all agree or disagree, but this was my conclusion with the characters should any of them develop feelings for each other. I’d certainly love to hear yours if you have anything on them or any other characters. Whether you ship characters, would love to talk about one or have your own speculations, it’d all be welcomed here. Would certainly love to talk about possible outcomes and possibilities all the characters could experience. It could be your own speculations and headcanons, would love to hear it all.