Eyes Wide Shut or Suicide Club?: 6 of the scariest fictional secret societies

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

Celebrate Harry Potter's birthday with a bunch of Harry Potter ASMR, if that's your thing

Today is, canonically speaking, boy wizard Harry Potter’s birthday. He is 38, it seems. (Not coincidentally, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is 53 today.) As of the writing of this article Rowling is yet to publicly celebrate the birthdate of her most famous creation in her traditional fashion of tweeting a new Harry…

Unfortunately, Dumbledore does not fuck in the first Crimes of Grindelwald trailer

We knew it was coming, but we held out hope. However, the first trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald , the second film in the five-part Fantastic Beasts series, confirms that Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) does not fuck in this movie. There’s plenty of other eye candy for Potterheads, though: We catch glimpses of…

Read if you dare about the worst Harry Potter fan fiction ever written

With more than 5.5 million articles, Wikipedia is an invaluable resource, whether you’re throwing a term paper together at the last minute, or seeing if there’s a good private school in your area with a magical-hat-based admissions department so you can downplay your lousy test scores. We explore some of Wikipedia’s…

Harry Potter fans can blow their New Year's Day watching the whole series on HBO

New Year’s Eve is all about getting dressed up, putting on a sparkly hat, and getting so drunk that you don’t mind watching several hours of Anderson Cooper or Ryan Seacrest on TV, but New Year’s Day is about groggily rolling out of bed, pushing aside all of the previous night’s detritus, and either going for a…

“19 years later,” Harry Potter’s biggest legacy is how it shaped modern fandom

Like many people, some of my favorite memories from high school are of road tripping to concerts with my friends. Only in my case, we were driving to suburban libraries and the musicians were “wizard rockers”—Harry Potter-themed bands who half-ironically, half-sincerely sang about J.K. Rowling’s wizarding series to…

A titanic, bittersweet symphony: 35 pop-culture windows into 1997

Two years after warring electronics companies competing to develop high-capacity CDs declared a truce, their compromise format, the DVD, first went on sale in the U.S. in March of 1997. (Twister, The Mask, GoodFellas, and The Road Warrior were among the first batch of titles.) DVDs didn’t hit major retail chains like…

What does Harry Potter mean to you?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

Which fictional language would be the biggest pain in the ass to learn?

For most people, the constructed languages spoken in fictional universes sort of flit by, an element that adds to the overall immersion of the experience, but that’s all. A lot of work goes into those moments of immersion, though, and some people invest deeply in them, learning languages like Star Trek’s Klingon and …

Questionable but fun fan theory explains how Severus Snape could be alive

Severus Snape went from a character we loved to hate to a character we just loved. His story is the Harry Potter series’ true tragedy, and his death retroactively becomes one of most devastating after Harry learns of Snape’s unrequited love for Lily and his true motivations for coming back from the Dark Side.

Good lord, people are out here writing Hillary Clinton fantasy fan fiction

In the days after Trump’s election, the majority of Americans who opposed him were looking for something, anything, to feel comfort. And so it was nice to see that picture of Hillary Clinton, seemingly fine, hanging out in the woods in upstate New York—to see that after all of the indignity of the campaign, and after…