For the Love of Fandoms

July 20, 2017

Posted: November 6, 2015, 8:00am

On September 1, 2015 Potterheads across the world united to wish Harry Potter’s eldest son, James Sirius Potter luck  as the eleven year old boarded the Hogwarts Express for his first year at the school for witchcraft and wizardry. On October 21, 2015 fans marked Back to the Future Day, the day on which Marty McFly arrives from the past in the time travelling DeLorean automobile. A few weeks ago, social media went into a frenzy (at least my news feed) when an extremely insightful reader  proposed a theory behind Gandalf’s popular phrase, “Fly, you fools!” Well apparently, it wasn’t just a derisive instruction to the rest of the Fellowship to flee from the Mines but an alternative plan to get the Ring to Mordor – get it to the Eagles and fly to Mordor from there.

The list of fandoms proposing alternate theories, headcanons in alternate universes, and scandalous interpretations of popular scenes and lines from books and movies alike, is endless. This kind of attachment with fictional characters and worlds is like a dream you never want to wake up from. I can vouch for the fact that these book series and franchises hold a pedestal way above mere reading materials. Even after you’re done reading/watching these, the imprints of the characters’ personalities stay with you. When we read, a character and their life is just a series of words but our brain forms images out of these words and we can visualize the character’s appearance, their actions and even imagine their voice – all out of mere words. It is these images that form lasting memories of our favorite characters, which we don’t want to give up because they bring a sense of attachment, that drive us to voraciously defend our theories and show off our knowledge of Game of Thrones or Harry Potter trivia. It is these memories that actually enable us to imagine these characters outside of the universe they were created in or in a time that follows long after the moment the author stopped writing about them. The Harry Potter fandom had its mind blown some months ago when it was proposed that Harry, Voldemort, and Severus Snape represent the three bothers from Beedle the Bard’s popular children’s story “The Tale of Three Brothers”, and Dumbledore was in fact Death (inspired by the fact that he met Harry at King’s Cross). The person who analyzed the characters of the three brothers in Beedle’s story was so diligently,that they even impressed JK Rowling.

A large part of the human population would face existential panic if fandoms were wiped from the face of the earth. It be like getting hit in the chest with a rock when Fred Weasley died during the Battle of Hogwarts . But I found solace in a fellow fan’s musing that after Fred’s death, George wore his hand from the Weasley Clock around his neck and held on to it when the going got tough.

Published on July 20th, 2017

Last updated on August 10th, 2017