I must admit, that even before I finished reading the Left Hand of Darkness I looked up the corresponding page on TVTropes. As an avid consumer of pop culture, I love finding patterns in works and seeing how the writer has things play out in their work. While some people lose enjoyment because they automatically label tropes and know how every story will when they’ve only seen half of the work, I revel in examining the themes and seeing how every trope affects the work as a whole. Spoilers mean nothing to me, I want to break down everything and watch as the gears click together.
TVTropes doesn’t approach literary works the same way as Academics might however. In many ways, TVTropes is just like the SF fandom and in some parts is comprised of said fandom. Anyone can contribute as long as they do so respectfully. What I personally find interesting is the YMMV tag, I love seeing how people’s opinions may differ from mine. Of particular note in the YMMV tag for the Left Hand Darkness at least for me, was the trope Ensemble Darkhorse for Estraven. I wasn’t aware that many readers were so fond of Estraven. I could see where the interest comes from though.