A (Second) Guide to Fan Theories

The Christmas season has passed, and the new year is upon us. And to mark the occasion, I’ve got a little gift for you, Dave.

Dave: Yes, but I’m a bit worried about what it is.

Oh, why ever would you be worried? After all, you only decided to bring me not one, not two, but FOUR idiotic fan theories during the buildup to Christmas, effectively polluting the whole of december, with your “Three Weeks of Fan-Mas”! Why would I be mad about that?

Dave: I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to!

So now, I have something to give you. Wanna guess what it is?

Dave: No, I don’t want to know!

I am going to give you…

Dave: Please no!

A fan theory lesson!

Dave: NOO- wait, what?

See, I came across a theory that, at its core, is plausible. The problem is that the arguments supporting it do not work. However, that doesn’t always mean a theory is broken. Sometimes, on rare occasions, a seemingly bad theory just needs to be modified. And that is the case with this theory.

Somewhat annoyingly, it’s yet another Harry Potter theory.

The theory is that when Harry uses the Resurrection stone, he doesn’t actually see his parents and Remus and Sirius.

Dave: No?

No. Instead, the theory suggest that these are more… spectral images conjured by the stone, to encourage Harry to kill himself. The arguments are that it’s very out of character for these four people, who have all tried their best to help and protect Harry, to suddenly just be completely fine with him dying now.

Even with all that is at stake, and the nobility of the act, it’s hard to believe that James and Lily, who gave their lives to save Harry, and who protected him even AFTER dying, when he fought the newly restored Voldemort, wouldn’t object to him just allowing himself to die like that. But no, they’re all fine with it.

The theory then points to the supposed origin of the stone, and how it was created by Death, as a means to kill someone. So when Harry uses it, it does what it was meant to do. It tries to kill him. Dumbledore knew this was what the stone does, and wanted to ease Harry’s passing. Dumbledore wanted him to willingly sacrifice his life, in the belief that he would save everyone else.

That was his plan. The protection Lily used to save Harry survived with Voldemort taking his blood, so the killing curse would only destroy the soul fragment inside Harry. And Harry’s sacrifice would protect everyone else from Voldemort, in the same way Lily protected Harry.

But like I said, this theory isn’t perfect. However, with some alterations, it can be made Plausible. That is, to where there are arguments for and against it.

In other words, we will twist theories to suit facts, rather than facts to suit theories. Let’s begin.

To me, the main issue with this theory is that, according to it, the tale of the three brothers is true. That in turn would mean that Death is an actual person in the Harry Potter universe. And I don’t buy that. As Dumbledore said:

I think it more likely that the Peverell brothers were simply gifted, dangerous wizards who succeeded in creating those powerful objects.

And the rest is just legends to add to the mystique of the Deathly Hallows. But let’s look at the resurrection stone in that light, then.

Why would Cadmus Peverell seek to create a way to raise the dead? Let’s suppose there is a nugget of truth in the tale, and it was because of a lost love. He tries to raise his fiancé from the dead, and he thinks he succeeds. We don’t know exactly how the stone was created, but we do know that intent or lack of concentration can skew the result of magic.

We can suppose that Cadmus was deeply heartbroken and abysmally depressed when he made the stone, so perhaps, rather than making a link to the afterlife, the overwhelming grief was enough to make the stone into a device that tries to comfort its wielder, by any means necessary. To most who use the stone, it would simply show them the image of a dead friend or relative, ensuring them that they are happy and have no regrets.

But in the case of the inconsolable Cadmus, the most effective way for the stone to comfort him and make his pain go away was to convince him to kill himself, thus being reunited with his lost love. Either that, or he realized that it was failure, and its comforts are just empty words meant to make him feel better, leading to deeper despair and finally suicide.

And in Harry’s case, it shows him Remus, Sirus, James and Lily, who all ensure him that they are proud of him, that they don’t blame him, and that it will be painless. They comfort him, and attempt to ease his passing. Because that is what the stone does. It comforts him.

Dave: So… this theory actually makes sense?

Yes. Inasmuch as there are valid reasons for why it could be true. However, there are equally valid arguments to suggest that Harry actually sees James, Lily, Remus and Sirius.

After all, we know that the afterlife is a thing. We know that when people die, they can stick around as ghosts or… move on. We also know that neither Dumbledore, Sirius, Remus, Lily or James are ghosts.

So we can reasonably suppose that Albus simply explained his plan to the others when he died and passed into the afterlife. That in turn explains why none of them are worried and they are all fine with Harry sacrificing his life: Because they KNOW it’s not permanent. If they tell him the truth, the plan fails. He has to be willing to sacrifice his life, granting everyone else the same protection as Lily granted him, and also destroying the soul fragment within himself.

And with that, there are arguments both for and against the theory, which to my mind makes it plausible. It’s up to the reader, if Harry meets his parents again or not, when he uses the stone.

Of course, there’s also a small addition to the original theory, suggesting that Dumbledore is Death, but I’ve already covered that once. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now.

So that’s my gift to you, Dave. Sometimes, all a theory needs is a different approach, and it can go from idiotic to somewhat plausible.

How’s that for a holiday miracle?

Dave: Well, I’m glad you’re in this good a mood, because I’ve got another fan theory that I’d like to discuss.

Oh, I’m indeed in a very good mood. Which is why I will allow you to simply leave, hoping in vain that you’ve learned something from this, instead of stapling your testicles to a firework for making that suggestion.

Dave: Oh… Well, in that case, Bye and Happy New year.

Happy New Year, Dave.

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WTFAW: Santa Claus

There’s something in the air, I feel…

Dave: Christmas cheer?

No, impending stupidity. I think it’s about time we wrapped up the “Three weeks of Fan-Mas” now.

Dave: Alright. I’ve got a theory about The Santa Clause!

Well, I suppose it’s only fitting. So what is the theory?

Dave: Ok, the theory is that Bernard is the son of Scotts predecessor.

Ok… What do you base that on, then?

Dave: Well, it’s a bit strange that he looks so different from the other elves. He’s noticeably taller, for example. Also, he gives Charlie a magic snow-globe, with which to summon his dad. Why would he have that, unless he himself had a need of it?

Is that all? Well, then.

You’re saying that Scott accidentally kills Bernards father, and Bernard just accepts it? You’d think he’d be a bit more upset about the death of his father, or at the very least have some reservations about helping the man responsible. That doesn’t quite add up, does it?

And while you may be right that Bernard is a bit taller than the other elves, there are some details he shares with them.

Such as the fact that his ears are pointy!

We know that the previous Santa must have been human, just like Scott, since it’s clearly a title passed from person to person. Scott took over from the previous santa, who in turn took it over from another person, and so on.

Therefore, if Bernard is his son, he must be human too. But he isn’t human, but an elf. Which makes sense, because while the elves LOOK young, they are really quite old. So how come, if your theory is true, a kid who may well be CENTURIES younger than his coworkers, gets the post of Head-Elf?

In fact, you mentioned the snow-globe. You remember what Bernard said when he gave it to Charlie?

“Be very careful. This is very old, just like me.”

Ignoring the fact that, according to your theory, Bernard has LOST HIS FATHER, and yet is absolutely fine with not only helping the guy responsible, but to give his kid what would have to be a treasured memento of his father and the connection they had, within DAYS of losing him…

Dave: Uh…

Even ignoring ALL OF THAT, he outright says that he is very old. What possible reason would he have for lying about that?

Dave: I don’t know. But why else would he have the snow-globe?

Weren’t you listening? Bernard is very old. How many Santas do you think he has seen come and go over the years?

Do you think Charlie is the first kid a Santa-to-be has brought to the north pole? Isn’t it far more likely that Bernard knew this was a possibility, and had the snow-globe with him just in case?

Really, I have to ask… is this really it? I mean, I’m happy to be done so fast, but I was expecting something more, given the occasion.

Dave: Well, it’s really close to christmas , so I thought it’d be fitting to theme it around Santa. Sorry it was so anticlimactic.

Right. You know what? I cannot believe I am about to say this, but… give me another theory.

Dave: Really? You mean it?

Yes. You were really excited about this whole fan-mas stuff, so I guess if we can’t have “intelligent”, we can at least have “entertaining”. But make it an interesting one.

Dave: Alright! Let’s see… Oh, I know! You know Santas magical powers?

Yeah…?

Dave: He has a sack that is larger on the inside, he can appear and disappear seemingly at will…

Right…?

Dave: And he manages to deliver toys to children all over the world in one night, which could only be possible if he had some kind of time-travel magic.

Where are you going with this?

Dave: Don’t you see? Santa is a wizard!

A wizard? As in “yer a wizard, santa”, wizard?

Dave: Exactly!

So let me get this straight… I give you ONE CHANCE to bring me a second fan theory to discuss… and you bring me a fan theory about Harry Potter?

Dave: …Yes?

After what I said the last time we covered Harry Potter, where I think I made it crystal-fucking-clear that I am sick to death about these endless theories about Harry Potter… and you bring me another, four days before christmas.

Dave: Uh…

No, it’s ok. I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed.

Actually, scratch that. I’m boiling with rage, if I’m honest. There’s disappointment as well, but mainly rage. But it’s this close to christmas, and I don’t think it’d be keeping with the holiday spirit to murder you violently.

Instead, I will ask you to elaborate.

Dave: Well, there’s not much else to say, is there? Santa uses memory alteration to make people forget he was there, and he uses a time turner to solve the time problem. And the reason he’s at the north pole is because he’s an exiled wizard! He broke Clause 13 of the International Statute of Wizard Secrecy, by performing magic in front of muggles! The North Pole is International Waters!

I see. Well, it’s an interesting theory, but again, it doesn’t quite work. For example, we have the problem that your theory suggests that Santa is real. And yet, nobody in the Harry Potter universe makes any mention of him as a real person.

Furthermore, if he uses the obliviate spell, which removes memories, then how come there are descriptions of him? How can anyone know who he is or what he does, if he wipes the memory of anyone who sees him?

If he can apparate, how come he needs a sleigh to get anywhere? We know that people still buy christmas gifts for each other, so why does santa need to deliver gifts?

Dave: He could alter peoples memories to make them think they bought gifts?

Wait… he makes gifts and delivers them, then alters the parents memories so they think they bought the gifts and then what? Removes money from their bank account? That’s just insane and stupid!

And finally, you’re saying he has been exiled by the wizarding world, and has to stay at the north pole. Presumably to avoid the law. Correct?

Dave: Yeah…?

One can assume, then, that he has nowhere else to go, and by extention that he is considered an international criminal, sought after by all law enforcements agencies in the wizarding world, right?

Dave: I suppose.

Then my question is this: How have they not caught him by now?

Dave: What do you mean?

Think about it. If your theory is true, Santa has been exiled for breaking the law about using magic in front of muggles, and has to stay at the north pole to avoid the law.

Except according to your theory, he keeps committing the same crime over and over. All over the world. In the same night. AT THE SAME DATE EVERY SINGLE YEAR!

He doesn’t change his MO, his tactics, his targets… He has done the same thing for what has to be CENTURIES, and nobody has ever caught him?!

That makes absolutely no sense!

Let’s summarize. Santa is never mentioned to exist, the arguments against his existence are the same in the wizarding world as in the real world and even if he DID exist, he would not be able to do the same thing twice, let alone for literally hundreds of years!

So for all those reasons, this theory is stupid.

And with that, the “Three Weeks of Fan-Mas” is over and done with.

Dave: Yes, I suppose. Now we can relax, and welcome the new year.

We can, but we won’t.

Dave: We won’t?

I’m not finished with you yet. You have brought me FOUR stupid fan theories during these past three weeks. Two of them were about the same movie, and one was about a subject that I have TOLD you I am sick to death of. You have made me suffer through your idiocy for THREE WEEKS, and dumping this madness on me only a few days before christmas!

So I’ve got a little gift for you, in view of that.

Dave: What is it?

You’ll see next week. But suffice to say, I will really, really enjoy it!

Merry Christmas.

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WTFAW: Home Alone (Pt. 2)

Dave: It’s time for the second week in the Three Weeks of Fan-mas!

Goody. So what subject is the nonsense about this time?

Dave: Today is about Home Alone!

No, did a theory on that last week.

Dave: Yeah, and I’ve got another!

Splendid. I hope for your sake that next weeks theory is at least about another movie. I would hope it made sense, but why wish for the impossible. But I digress. What is the theory?

Dave: Kevins mom Kate sold her soul to the devil.

…Well, of course she did. And what exactly is there to support this?

Dave: This one is kind of obvious, really. In the movie, she desperately tries to get home to Kevin, at one point getting stuck at Scranton Airport. While there, she’s told that there is no space on any planes further, until the day after. She tells them that she is going to get home, no matter what. To quote her directly:

Even if I have to sell my soul to the Devil himself, I am going home to my son.

Dave: Immediately afterwards, she is approached by Gus Polinski, who offers to give her a ride to Chicago. And he plays the clarinet!

Ok, one piece of madness at the time.

Let’s start with the simple idea that Gus appears as soon as Kate makes the offer of her soul. But for that to make sense thematically, he would have to appear the instant she makes the offer. You know, “speak of the devil, and he shall appear” and all that.

Dave: Yeah?

The problem is, he is already in the background long before she makes that offer, and in fact, we can see the reason he got involved. He didn’t react to anything Kate said, up until she made it clear that she is going home to her eightyearold son.

And he then takes her aside and offers her a ride, since he and his band are going to Milwuakee. And his motivation is that it’s christmas time.

Seems to me he’s more of a good samaritan than the prince of lies.

And as for her offer of selling her soul, by that reasoning, literally ANYTHING SHE DID TO GET HOME would therefore cost her her soul, according to your logic. In other words, there is absolutely no reason for the devil to get involved what so ever. After all, she didn’t specify a time frame for when she would be home.

So why would the devil who, in case you forgot, is FUCKING EVIL, shift a single hoof to help her?!

Dave: Ah, but old folklore tells of people summoning the Devil at a crossroad. Scranton aiport is at a crossroad! It’s where highway 84, 81 and 80 meet.

Well… no. Firstly, the definition of a crossroads is a point where four different roads meet. This is where three roads meet. That’s not really a crossroad. Secondly, even if it WAS a crossroad, it’s also 1.3 km away. That’s not “at” the crossroad. That’s “a fair distance from the crossroads”. If you can summon devils at that distance, I’d say the crossroads is completely unnecessary at that point.

And then there’s the clarinet. Explain.

Dave: Well, the clarinet is a wind instrument!

Yeah… and?

Dave: and the devil likes wind instruments!

…Ok, is this going to be another thing like you did with Pulp Fiction? Where you just make shit up to support your argument? Otherwise, I’m going to need some explanation or a cited source or something.

Dave: I figured you might, so I brought you this, an excerpt from the bible! Ezekiel 28:13

You were in eden, the Garden of God […]The workmanship of thy tabrets and thy pipes was prepares in thee in the day that thou was created.

Dave: Tabrets and pipes refer to percussion and wind instruments. Therefore, the devil has wind instruments and percussion instruments built into him, and is fond of them!

Ok, I am not a bible studier. I am not pretending that I can pick up all the subtleties in the bible, which may have been lost, added, misinterpeted or mistranslated over THOUSANDS OF YEARS…

But I think it’s a pretty flimsy argument to say that one solitary sentence means playing a clarinet automatically makes Gus the devil. Especially when I’m pretty sure the biblical “pipes” refers to… you know, pipes and flutes, not a clarinet, which wouldn’t be invented until about the 1700’s?

And isn’t it strange that the devil would appear in a movie that is supposed to be set in the real world, where nothing else supernatural happens?

Dave: Well, the slapstick is a bit unrealistic. If you heated up a door handle until it glowed, the door would catch fire, and a paint can to the face might actually kill you!

Maybe, but isn’t  that just for comedy? You’re suggesting that the devil appears, at random, to get the soul of ONE RANDOM PERSON, for no good reason! There’s no signing of contracts or handshakes or anything you would expect from a faustian pact. And then the Devil, Evil Incarnate, is genuinly helpful and friendly, and her selling her soul appearantly has NO negative side effects at all?

Dave: Uhm…

Isn’t it much more likely that she just made a hyperbolic statement, and a good samaritan decided to help her out, because she needs help, he has the means and the time to help her, and it’s christmas, and he’d have to be a stone cold bastard to ignore a desperate parent who needs to get home to her kid?

Doesn’t that seem a bit more reasonable and believable than “Devil randomly turns up in the movie that hasn’t been supernatural before or after”?

Dave: Well… yes…

Good. so that’s the SECOND week of Fan-Mas done with.

Dave: Only one more to go! Aren’t you excited? Oh! I just realized! If Gus Polinski is the Devil, what if Old Man Marley is God? I mean, he is-

Continue that sentence, and I will stab you to death with a candy cane…

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WTFAW: Home Alone

I think Bing Crosby said it best. “It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas“.

Dave: So let’s enter the festive season with a fan theory about the christmas classic Home Alone.

Yes, because appearantly, coal was too good for me this year… So, what is the theory this time?

Dave: The theory is that Kevin McAllister grows up to become Jigsaw!

Alright, kind of interesting. What do you base that on?

Dave: They’re both blonde and blue eyed.

Ok, you are going to bring me some better arguments than that right now, Dave, or I’m going to nail you to the fucking ceiling.

Dave: Oh, I’ve got more. Kevin is also shown to be manipulative, eager to terrorize people, good at constructing traps, obsessed with social outcasts and murderers and taking a huge amount of glee in forcing evildoers through painful obstacles. All this smells a bit fishy, and it could be that he’s a nascent sociopath.

Alright, so let’s break this down. Why does he turn evil, exactly?

Dave: Well, he was left behind by his family on christmas, not once but TWICE. Perhaps this made him think that humanity was corrupt and evil, when not even his own parents cared about him.

Except… both times he was left alone by accident. The first time, it was due to a power outage leading them all to oversleep, and in the confusion, they mistook a neighbour kid for Kevin. The second time, Kevin boarded the WRONG FUCKING PLANE and ended up in New York.

Dave: Ah, but they also treated him unfairly! In the first movie, they didn’t save any pizza for him and in the second, they all blamed Kevin for something his brother did.

Yeah, that’s hardly a “All of humanity is corrupt, I must punish humanity” situation. It’s not great, but it takes a lot more than that to turn someone into some murderous avenger.

And while it’s true that he’s able to trick people, like the hotel staff, being charming and convincing doesn’t automatically mean “Sociopath”. It’s less that he’s a mythomaniac and more that, being a kid, people don’t expect him to be as clever as he is.

He even highlights it in the second movie, when he places the reservation.

Ma’am, My feet are hardly touching the ground. I’m barely able to look over the counter. How can I make a reservation for a hotel room? Think about it. A kid coming into a hotel, making a reservation? I don’t think so.

And if we compare that to how Jigsaw operates, he’s not really keen on outright lying. He’s more into irony and withholding information. I get the feeling he’d consider lying as unworthy of him.

Now, you say that he’s good at constructing traps?

Dave: Yeah!

Exactly what traps are you thinking of, when you say that? The paint cans on a string? Plastic wrap with glue, and feathers to the face? Toy cars on the floor?!

Jigsaw’s traps included a beartrap on a timer, attached to a persons head and a collar rigged with shotgun shells, connected to a heart sensor!

It’s a bit of a different fucking league, isn’t it?

Dave: Ah, but that was when he was older! He just got better at it.

Maybe, but there are other, very important details about the traps, but I’ll get back to that.

You also said that he’s obsessed with social outcasts.

Dave: He becomes fascinated with Old Man Marley, after he’s told the old man murdered his family. In the second movie, he also becomes obsessed with the old pigeon lady.

Firstly, he wasn’t “fascinated” by Old Man Marley. He was TERRIFIED of him. And in both cases, he found out that while they SEEMED frightening, they were harmless and kind people. That story about Marley being a serial killer? That was just idiotic rumors!

And in Marleys case, Kevin helped him reunite with his estranged son! He helped another human being, by having a simple conversation, not through some horrible test.

And this brings me back to Jigsaws traps! They are TESTS!

Jigsaws traps always had a deeper meaning, a dark irony meant to teach the victim an important lesson about themselves and the way they lived.

Kevins traps are made as annoying deterrents, not some deranged punishment.

Dave: Well, they ARE technically being punished for their actions, by going inside the house and tripping the booby traps.

That’s not what I mean, and you know it, Dave.

And also, Kevins traps all hinged on the victims not expecting them. They are all booby traps. Jigsaws traps were made so that the victims COULDN’T avoid them, forcing them to “play the game”.

This points to a completely different methodology and approach.

And this leaves out the more obvious flaws with the theory!

Dave: Such as?

At what point did Kevin change his name to John?

Dave: What?

The real name of the Jigsaw Killer is John Kramer. So according to this, Kevin changed his name at some point, for no good reason.

Dave: Isn’t it obvious? It’s an alias!

But why would he need an alias?! You’re suggesting he invented an entire new life and personality, for no reason what so ever! Because we KNOW he started his crusade AFTER he changed his name.

Which brings us to another important point. We know why John Kramer became Jigsaw! His wife worked in a clinic for drug addicts and, while pregnant with their child, was hit in the stomach by a patient, causing a miscarriage. This led to John falling into a deep depression, not helped by discovering he had cancer. When his attempts to get money for treatment were unsuccessful, coupled with his wife leaving him, he attempted suicide, but survived. This caused him to have an epiphany about life and how he, only at the moment of apparent death, started to appreciate life.

He then set to work testing other peoples will to survive, targeting people who were “wasting their lives”.

THAT is what turned him into Jigsaw.

Not his brother EATING HIS FUCKING PIZZA!

And that is also ignoring that, not unlike in The Burton Theory, Kevin and John cannot be the same person.

Dave: Why?

Because Home Alone was set in 1990. John Kramer was given the news of his terminal illness in 2004.

So how the frosty fahrenheit fuck did Kevin Mcallister manage to age 40 YEARS between 1990 and 2004!?

Dave: Uhm…

The answer is, he didn’t, which renders this theory utterly and completely broken.

Dave: Yeah, I guess you’re right. But I’m not too upset. After all, this is only the FIRST day.

What are you talking about?

Dave: I’m talking about

The Twelve Days of Fan-Mas!

Wait, the what of the what now?

Dave: From now, until Christmas, I will give you TWELVE christmas themed fan theories!

Like hell you are!

Dave: What? Why not?

Do you really think, for a moment, that I’m going to let you ruin my christmas, by making me suffer through TWELVE instances of pure idiocy, when I can barely tolerate ONE per month at the best of times!?

Dave: Well, I…

No fucking way! I would rather eat broken glass with a lemon juice chaser!

So no, we are NOT doing Twelve Days of Fan-Mas!

Dave: But… I was looking forward to it. I mean, it’s the christmas season and all… I thought we could do something special for the holiday seasons?

No!

Dave: Come on! What about… one theory per week, until christmas? That’d at least be something.

So… the Three Weeks of Fan-Mas? Not exactly catchy, is it?

Dave: Please? And hey, that means there’s just two more theories to go!

Well, joy to the fucking world… Alright, let’s do this then.

Dave: Hooray! You won’t regret this!

Yes, Dave. Yes, I really will….

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