What brings a person to a particular table of myth that they then never leave?
And, in this particular context, what makes a warhorse?
It's easy to take joy in that thing everybody's talking about. The Super Bowl, the last season of Game of Thrones, the music of a band that's coming to town next week . . . when a thing is currently present in your life, everybody's loving it, and you're feeding off each other's excitement . . . it's the easiest time to be a fan, and a level of fandom that almost everybody hits about something at sometime. It's the fandom of the moment. Years pass, you might even forget that one.
And then there's the fandom of the phase . . . the thing you really got into for a year or five, and then drifted away from (or grew out of, if one can write that without insulting whatever that fandom is). You always have a certain nostalgia for that time, still think of yourself as a fan but maybe not quite as much a fan as some others. The books may stay on the shelf as trophies of that time, but you don't pull them down anymore.
But there are also those books you never stop touching. They don't gather dust. You refer to them again and again, not for the simple pleasure of entertainment, but to recharge your mental stores of what they hold. Because what they hold are things that are always with you. Blocks you need for building your next inspiration, your next game, or your next simulation. At which point, you enter the realm of the warhorse.
Warhorses were determined creatures, responding without the reins needed to guide most of their kind. They were so familiar with the being they carried into sheer chaos that they almost merged into one creature in the heat of their charge. And they kept on until they finally fell, which makes this metaphor all sad when you think about horses, so let's get back to people.
The warhorses of a fandom. Those people who keep pushing ahead with a thing, even when those next to them fall away. What bonds a person that closely to something that might be a temporary diversion to most?
One would think a person would know the answer to that question after four decades of being around just that sort. At this point, I'm still wondering, though. There are more than a few warhorses out there though, still charging after all these years, so whatever it is, it works.