Tor.com content by

Emily Asher-Perrin

The Harry Potter Reread: The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 11 and 12

The Harry Potter Reread really thinks we should make synchronized swimming a thing again. It’s just so pretty. And it expands the amount of fun you can have a pool, which is always a win, right?

We’re back at Hogwarts and we’re about to get a closer look at the new DADA teacher! (oh no.) It’s chapters 11 and 12 of The Order of the Phoenix—The Sorting Hat’s New Song and Professor Umbridge.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

30 Years Later, Real Genius is Still the Geek Solidarity Film That Nerd Culture Deserves

It’s interesting to me that Revenge of the Nerds, while still full up of the nostalgia that the 80s lends us, is lately being repositioned in the zeitgeist. What was viewed for many years as a bit of harmless fun that waved the banner for nerds everywhere is finally being called out for exactly what it is; an Us vs Them revenge fest that never lets go of racism or misogyny, and damages the image of geek culture more than it applauds for it. That shouldn’t be surprising—RotN was always just a frat house comedy with a thin nerdy gloss applied to it. And that’s fine with me, because that was never my go-to movie for feeling the geeky solidarity.

No, my friends. That movie was Real Genius.

[“Your mother puts license plates in your underwear? How do you sit?”]

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell: “The Friends of English Magic”

The BBC has adapted Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell into a seven-part series, bringing magic back to England and giving a renowned book a live adaptation. Pilot episodes are often rough things, but when you only have seven tries to get your world across it’s important to make a great impression.

Unfortunately, this premiere offering is too crammed with information to be coherent, and perhaps too timid as well.

[I am a practical magician.]

The Dursleys Were Mean to Harry Because They’re Terrible, Not Because He Was a Horcrux

So there’s this fun little theory that seems to have started on Reddit and moved into the popular theory sphere. It concerns Harry Potter’s status as a Horcrux, and how it might have affected his extended family the Dursleys, leading to their mistreatment of him throughout childhood.

And it doesn’t hold water.

[Yer a Horcrux, Harry.]

The Harry Potter Reread: The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 9 and 10

The Harry Potter Reread has a swanky new locale to call home! Look at this gorgeous place. So fancy. Work it, website redesign!

This week we’re going to find out how one is named a Hogwarts prefect and get our first glimpse of a butterbeer cap necklace. It’s Chapters 9 and 10–The Woes of Mrs. Weasley and Luna Lovegood.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

The Harry Potter Reread: The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 7 and 8

The Harry Potter Reread wonders what will happen when everyone starts getting all geared up for the Newt Scamander movies and people are talking Potter everywhere all over again. It’ll be the fandom’s own Force Awakens or what-have-you.

This week we’re going to view a creepy statue in a government building and get defended by Albus Dumbledore in court. It’s chapters 7 and 8 of The Order of the Phoenix—The Ministry of Magic and The Hearing.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

This is Why Obi-Wan Lied to Luke Skywalker About His Father

The Star Wars films aren’t exactly complicated fare, particularly the original trilogy. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) Luke Skywalker’s journey is pretty cut and dry, a solid line from farmboy to superbad in several short years. The Empire falls, the Rebels win, everyone is back on Endor in time for stormtrooper stew.

But how do you topple a galactic Empire, really? How do you get a boy who’s never known a life outside the sticks to become a galactic savior in the same amount of time that it usually takes to earn a bachelor’s degree?

The plan is likely less perfect than it appears.

[I’m coming with you to Alderaan. There’s nothing for me here now.]

Is the Force A Religion?

We can make all the jokes we want about how many real people list “Jedi” as their religion on government census forms, but… well, what exactly does that mean? Can the Jedi Code be counted as a religious doctrine? What does it mean if it can? It’s an odd question to pose perhaps, but one that might demand a revisitation as a renewal of Star Wars Fever is already underway…

[There is no emotion; there is peace.]

“A Suit of Armor Around the World”: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Here’s the deal: We can talk about Avengers: Age of Ultron as a film, or we can talk about it as a piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe jigsaw puzzle. As a film, it’s a fun action flick with some deeply hilarious plot contrivances. (It’s inevitable with these sorts of stories, really.) As the next step in the MCU arc, it is a joyful smash of all the things that you like in the same place.

See what I did there?

[“You didn’t see that coming?”]

Thor is Just a Codename, Right?: What Humanity Knows About Superheroes in the MCU

Now that Age of Ultron is upon us, the Avengers will be smashing, hammering, and zapping a few more cities into rubble with the help of a rogue robot force. And while it’s been made clear that the public within the movie universe is aware of the Avengers’ presence in the grand scheme of things, you have to wonder… how much do they actually know? Yes, Black Widow published all of SHIELD’s secrets on the internet in Captain America: Winter Soldier, and the world has known that Tony Stark was Iron Man since he gave a fateful press conference and ignored his notecards… but what else does the average MCU Joe know about this team of mighty heroes?

Probably a lot less than we assume.

(NO SPOILERS for AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON)

[This guy’s still alive!]

The Harry Potter Reread: The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 5 and 6

The Harry Potter Reread went outside without an extra sweater on this week, and it was the most surreal feeling. Truly the most. The absence of layers was frightening. Send help for layer withdrawal.

We’re going to pal around at Grimmauld Place this week, and learn about wizard cleaning! It’s Chapters 5 and 6 of The Order of the Phoenix: The Order of the Phoenix and The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

Terry Pratchett is (Supposedly) the Most Shoplifted Author in Great Britain for a Reason

Today, April 28th, marks Sir Terrence David John Pratchett’s birthday, and along with being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 (an honor that caused him to forge his very own sword from iron that he dug out of the ground), he was also once reputed to be the most shoplifted author in Britain. And what that tells us is actually very simple: Terry Pratchett writes wonderful books and we love to read them.

An only child and self-described “nondescript student,” Pratchett was first commercially published at age 15, and claimed to have received his true education from the Beaconsfield Public Library. He was an astronomy enthusiast all his life, and had an observatory in his home garden. There is an asteroid named after him. He had a love of wide-brimmed black fedoras, and a wit welcome among the likes of Twain and Wilde. While a great deal of fantasy spends its time displaying the grimmer aspects of life, the world loves Terry Pratchett for his ability to tell the truth in ways that make us laugh.

[Read more]

Series: On This Day

The Harry Potter Reread: The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 3 and 4

The Harry Potter Reread has typed “Harry” so many times that it’s starting to mess up from sheer repetition and accidentally type “Haryr” instead. Which just looks hilarious.

We’re about to meet our very first Metapmorphmagus and visit the worse house in all of wizardom. It’s Chapters 3 and 4 of The Order of the Phoenix—The Advance Guard and Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

The Best AUs are Pacific Rim AUs

It’s far too much fun imagining your favorite characters in another environment, especially when you plant them in a different fictional universe. This is one of the reasons why Harry Potter alternate universes (or AUs) are so prevalent; everyone wants to know what the Buffy the Vampire Slayer crew would be like at Hogwarts, what houses they would get sorted into.

But the Pacific Rim AU may have stolen my heart in this regard. You should see some of the gorgeous work that accompanies it.

[Why Pacific Rim, you ask?]

The Harry Potter Reread: The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 1 and 2

The Harry Potter Reread forgot that the typeface gets smaller in the fifth installment of the series. We’re grown up now, kids.

As you might have guessed, we are starting Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! Longest book by quite a few pages. Strap in because we’re here for the long haul. Let’s start with chapters 1 and 2—Dudley Demented and A Peck of Owls.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

The Harry Potter Reread: Rewatching The Goblet of Fire Film

It’s funny, because this movie has a… rocky relationship with Potter fandom. Some of the reasons why are warranted, others I’m not so sure on. But what’s odd to me on rewatching this time around is that the Goblet of Fire film was clearly trying to recreate Cuarón’s magic from PoA, and as a result has many of the same flaws; it has some beautiful added/altered moments and snappy dialogue, but the plot is a chopped up mess of a thing.

Of course, people are generally shouting over the color of Hermione’s dress too loudly to get that conversation in.

[Introducing Shouty Dumbledore!]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

The Harry Potter Reread: The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 36 and 37

The Harry Potter Reread would compose its own theme song, but it knows how incredibly wrong those plans can go.

This week we have reached the end of the middle book in the saga. Welcome to Chapters 36 and 37 of The Goblet of Fire—The Parting of the Ways and The Beginning.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

The Harry Potter Reread: The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 34 and 35

The Harry Potter Reread might have an unhealthy obsession with pickles. It once had a pickled green bean and became inconsolable and the thought of not always eating pickled green beans. Pickles. Like that Portlandia sketch only real and tastier.

This week we’re going to find out what happens when wands cross in unexpected ways and find out what Mad-Eyed Moody’s deal really is. Chapters 34 and 35 of The Goblet of Fire are up—Priori Incantatem and Veritaserum.

Index to the reread can be located here! Other Harry Potter and Potter-related pieces can be found under their appropriate tag. And of course, since we know this is a reread, all posts might contain spoilers for the entire series. If you haven’t read all the Potter books, be warned.

[Read more]

Series: The Harry Potter Reread

“Rose” Introduced A New Generation to Doctor Who Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago to the day, Doctor Who returned to television screens. It’s been a wild decade so far, and for many fans, this was where their Whovian journey began. But with a show that evolves so quickly and so often, it can be easy to forget what made the world love Who all over again. For many of us, “Rose” was a gateway into the world of the Doctor and his TARDIS.

And what a gateway it was.

[“That is who I am. Now forget me, Rose Tyler.”]

Series: Doctor Who on Tor.com