I had several people ask me if I would post this article I wrote for class, so here it is!
Fans of Fiction
So many times, we hear of crazy fans doing off-the-wall things in order to read the next book to that “hit new series” or spending outrageous amounts of money just to see the movie version one day early. There are millions of these fans out there watching and waiting to pounce on the first whispers of a new piece of fiction that is going to “literary” rock their world. Why is that? What is it about The Harry Potter Series, The Twilight Saga, or The Hunger Games Trilogy that gets fans so worked up into a literary seizure? I will attempt to answer this question through evidence and examples of crazed fans doing lunatic inspired stunts in order to feed on the next fiction victim.
Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Fans
I will first talk about The Harry Potter Series, because it was the first out of the three and probably has the most devoted fans. There is a young man, self-named Harry Potter, who prides himself on being the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world. He has three rooms full of paraphernalia, has read each book over a hundred times, wore dress robes to his high school prom, and claims he can wear HP-related clothing for three months straight and never wear the same thing twice. He even had J.K. Rowling sign his arm and had it made into a tattoo, one of four HP related tattoos.
Yeah, this guy.
Amazing stories of the stars actually being approached by these crazed fans never cease to amaze and even frighten those of us with a sane mind. A devout HP fan offered, with necessary documents in hand, to adopt the still under-aged Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy). This fan wanted to take him away from his own parents to live with him at a place he was to call “Malfoy Manor.” He even legally changed his name to “Lucius Malfoy.” Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) unfortunately is terrorized by many of the perverted fans out there. One man photo-shopped her face onto child pornography, but was kept out of jail because he didn’t mean to send out these pictures, only to keep them for himself (Sick, I know). When she went to college at Brown University, she was actually stalked by a group of guys from Harvard at a football game, who tweeted about their success as it was happening. Stalking, apparently, is not the only way to show your devotion to the characters.
Have you ever heard of Wizard Rock? Well, it’s a genre of music celebrating the world of Harry Potter, and consists of some bands such as “The Luna Lovegoods,” “Danny Dementor,” “Riddle TM,” “The Band Who Must Not Be Named,” “Celestial Warmbottom” (probably my favorite name), and “The Ministry of Magic.” This is only scratching the surface of devoted fans out there dedicated to this franchise, or as they might call it, “my childhood.”
This is Danny Dementor’s song “The Fallen”
So the Fan Fell in Love with Both Edward and Jacob
I am going to go ahead and take a stand on this one: Twihards, or the many other names Twilight fans call themselves, are among the craziest fans in existence. Small events turn into crazed, angry, and more often than not, violent, mobs. People get trampled, hit, and even end up in the hospital. There have been several reports about young girls with broken noses just because they grabbed the last free poster. These young girls and grown women (we don’t like to call attention to the age gap here), kick, push, and scream if it means getting only a little closer to being able to talk to one of these stars. Speaking of women who will do anything…
The fourteen-year old Booboo Stewart (Seth Clearwater) experienced the inappropriate actions of older women. After taking a picture with a forty-year-old woman, Stewart was asked if he wanted to “make out” with her. These types of stories are plaguing these actors and even putting their lives at risk. A group of giggling girls ambushed Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), causing him to jump out into on-coming traffic. Luckily, the car only grazed him, but he could have been seriously injured from these unrelenting fans. I guess Pattinson should be thankful the driver wasn’t anti-Twilight like some of these people:
While some of the actors themselves have been accosted, the anti-Twilight people out there have actually been harmed for their hate of this franchise. I have read three girls’ accounts of what happened to them or friends of theirs, while bashing Twilight. One girl was sitting with three friends on a dock by a river when a very deranged fan overheard them poking fun at Twilight. She proceeded to pick up a flare gun and shoot it directly at them, severely injuring one of the guys in the group, making him unable to move his arm. Another account is about how three fans “jumped” a girl for writing an anti-Twilight essay, resulting in this girl needing stitches because of the assault. The last one, and probably the most frightening of the three, is when a girl said that because the saga was taken too seriously, it should be destroyed. Proving her point, a nearby fan-girl left the table fuming. Later on that day, as the first girl was sharpening her pencil, the crazed fan came behind her with a shank and tried to slit her throat. I would like to stress that this is a book adapted into a movie and these fans are willing to go to jail and ruin their lives just because someone doesn’t like it as much as they do. However, it isn’t just the teen fans acting crazy; it’s the older women as well.
Some older women go too far with their obsessions, compromising their marriages, their integrity, and even their sanity. Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black) was approached by an older woman and proceeded to take her panties off for him to sign. Other men have claimed that their wives love the books more than they love them. Some women have whole rooms devoted to their obsession and have to retreat there in order not to become depressed. They have even created a name for this: Post-Twilight Depression. It is defined by Urban Dictionary as “the mixed feeling of wondering awe and devastating sadness when a person finishes the last book of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn.” Fans are letting a series of fictional characters literally ruin their lives.
May the Fans be Ever in Pursuit
The Hunger Games is quickly gaining the fandom that Twilight and Harry Potter have achieved. There is no doubt in my mind that we will continue to see crazy fan stories throughout the rise of this series. However, since the movie was just released, it hasn’t had enough time for the crazies to come out. The actors in the movie have had some weird, and maybe a little creepy, encounters with fans, but not to the same extent as the other two franchises.
Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) is still getting used to the new attention being placed on her and is still confused when people start cheering when she walks into a room. “I still do the thing when they start screaming and I’m like, ‘Who’s here?’” She has said that fans follow her and kind of “creep her out.” One girl followed her home from the airport and confessed to sleeping there while waiting for her. Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket) has gotten many marriage proposals and had some older women beg her to let them buy her coffee.
Like always, there are fans who like to dress up for the premieres on opening night (I might be one of those people, but I will never admit to it!). At the theater I went to, there were many people dressed up as various characters. The other fans, who did not dress up, were begging for pictures with them. I’m not going to lie: we felt important. I mean, you know, the other people who dressed up felt important (not me, I would never dress up for a movie…).
These franchises all have something in common: they make people do crazy stuff. No one really understands or can coherently explain why they like these books/movies they just know they do. There is one thing that I have learned though: Never, I repeat, NEVER tell a teenage girl that you don’t like Twilight. She WILL shank you. You have been warned.