Monday, July 20, 2020

The Verge asked the lead singer of Evanescence if she had read the infamous Harry Potter fanfiction she inspired

Adi Robertson for The Verge:

If you mention the name “My Immortal,” you may mean one of two things. The first is the 2003 hit song from rock band Evanescence. The second is a Harry Potter fanfic so transcendentally, mysteriously bad that it’s transfixed the internet for years.

The fanfic My Immortal is about a time-traveling mall-goth teenage vampire wizard (named “Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way”) who is obsessed with Evanescence and a variety of goth-inflected rock bands. She’s supposed to look like Amy Lee, Evanescence’s lead vocalist, pianist, and songwriter. And to this day, nobody is sure who wrote the story or whether they were serious.

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Which brings me to my next question: had you ever heard of My Immortal?

I think for quite a while I was just unaware of it. And then my cynical, Reddit-loving younger sister who’s also an English teacher, somewhere during the holiday every year when the family’s all together, it’ll come up for some reason. And she’s like, “Wait — you still haven’t read My Immortal?” And I’m like, “No, what do you mean?” She’s like, “You have to. Okay, hold on. Let me read you an excerpt.” And then she’ll pull up her phone and read some awesome paragraph from the craziest, funniest thing ever that makes no sense.

It’s one of her favorite things that she thinks is the most hilarious thing in the world, and I still just kept not reading it. It’s been kind of this ongoing joke with us. And then I got a call a few days ago that you wanted to talk about it, so I was like, “Oh, crap. I have to read a little bit of it.”

I read I think not quite half of it, but it did have me in tears. I was laughing really, really hard at one point, just because of the nonsense. And then I started asking myself, is this real? I can’t quite tell. I’m totally undecided. Is it sincere? I feel like it started maybe as sincere, but they got in on it and started playing it up for the haters. I can’t tell! What do you think?

It would have to be so elaborate, but there are a bunch of cases that really make it seem like this person knows much, much more than the character they’re putting on.

I noticed a misspelling that was like, instead of triumphantly, it was “triumelephantly.” And I was like, come on, you don’t think “elephant” is inside “triumphant.” There’s no way.