like I think ao3 stats are interesting and they have their use but it’s very limited and doesn’t tell the full story lol
if I looked up frodo baggins/samwise gamgee, I get 900+ fics, compared to over 8000+ fics for bilbo baggins/thorin oakenshield. so either I can make the assumption that one pairing is under-served in fan content…or I can look at context and realize that frodo/sam is an older pairing, it’s been some time since the movies, most of the fic was written in the early 2000s before ao3 and may not even exist anymore
just like I can see 900+ tagged works in a character tag and acknowledge a very minor character is likely going to be a support character that lasts maybe a paragraph or two. and sure! there’s also gonna be fic of this character as the main pov, but like
it’s a raindrop in an ocean of fic for the favs you actually want to read about
fanfic is also not a finite resource. there is always going to be more fic, I promise.