Is Ford Actually Westworld’s Protagonist?

A park full of intelligent, feeling creatures, reduced by their human masters to mere instruments of pleasure. Sounds like it should be pretty easy to point out who the “bad guy” is, but this show will give you a run for your money.

Let’s see what we can learn from it…

Support us on Patreon  ➤
Subscribe for more! ➤
Facebook ➤
Twitter ➤ 
***View the video description on Youtube for sources/attributions/additional information***

3 Messages Hidden in Harry Potter (and Fantastic Beasts)

Watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them gave us an appreciation for an aspect of Harry Potter we’ve never really paid much attention to.

Let’s talk about allegory, and Rowling’s ingenius approach to it.

Subscribe for more! ➤
Facebook ➤
Twitter ➤

***View the video description on Youtube for sources/attributions/additional information***

This month’s story still needs a setting — any ideas?


On the lookout for more ideas for the upcoming story. This time we’re talking SETTING.

Mostly looking for suggestions on:
—Context in general
—Time period

Any ideas?

Make Something Up — Harry Potter Month



This month’s story prompt. If you’ve been following our Harry Potter posts and you’ve got a story brewing in your head, now’s your time. Write it up and send it our way!

Read the post for details on what we’ll be looking for. For submission details, visit:

Rowling’s Pulled the Wool Over Our Eyes and We Love Her For It

Welp, if you’re going to do a show about storytelling and fiction, seems pretty inevitable that you’ll get around to discussing Rowling’s work at some point. We’ve come to that bridge, and we’re crossing it in a haze of sparkly-eyed wonder.

If we’re being honest, it wasn’t actually any sense of obligation that drove us to start this series on Harry Potter. We’re doing this because we watched Fantastic Beasts, and as we did we felt ourselves being lulled back into the warmth and whimsy of Rowling’s world. And it was wonderful, and we wanted immediately to explore it.

Our first thought was just to do a series on how Rowling captures that feeling, but we quickly realized how much of that is in the nuance of the prose and—in the context of the films—the cinematography. It would certainly be interesting to talk about, but not necessarily conducive to the creation of new fiction. Easy to end up just copying Rowling’s style that way, which is something we like to avoid if we can. Always that mantra, “inspiration doesn’t have to mean imitation”.

Thankfully, Rowling is an incredibly capable writer, and imbues in her work far more than a veneer of fantastical intrigue. While watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we also picked up on something else:

Rowling presents an incredible allegorical structure that’s present throughout her wizarding world, but most apparent in the newest film.

Before we go any further, let’s be good little scholars and define some terms real quick: there’s an important difference between metaphor and allegory that you oughtta know:

Metaphor — A figurative reference to one object or concept as another (e.g., “she was the storm, and I the shuddering tree”); symbolism

Allegory — The use of multiple, interactive metaphors within the context of a larger narrative which itself conveys some figurative meaning


So what we were picking on wasn’t just that many of the fantastical elements of Rowling’s fiction can be interpreted as poignant symbols, but that the narrative structures themselves are highly symbolic.

Hopefully you weren’t too excited for us to tear through all the allegories in Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts though, because that simply isn’t a task we’re equal to. There are…  a great deal of them. A dragon’s hoard. And that’s because Rowling’s done something with her setting/presentation that allows all of them to coexist in the same context without making us feel as though we’re crawling through some ancient holy text.

She shows us very clearly the dichotomy between the magical and the mundane.

She presents her world with a profound emphasis on the fantasy elements, even going so far as to contrive the names of characters with pivotal roles like Severus Snape and Ron Weasley. And then she takes this overt whimsy and juxtaposes it against our world by moving Harry back and forth between the two, showing how wondrous and strange the wizarding world is compared to his grim, frankly depressing “muggle life”.

I’m sure you see where this is going.

While we’re wrapped up in the sheer magic of her fiction, the literal progression of events, the disclosure narrative of what her world is like—while the wool is pulled over our eyes—she takes the opportunity to assemble her narratives’ scaffolding in such a way so as to lead to us to a place of philosophical/moral/personal import. It’s like disembarking from a Disney ride to find that the whole thing was actually a rail system taking you to some unexpected destination.

Invisible allegories, layered into the most engaging part of the fiction.

Pretty incredible stuff. We want to replicate it with this month’s short story. So, if you have any suggestions about how we should approach it—what kind of allegory we should use, what our magic should be like, what you’d like to see in our fantasy—let us know. This’ll be a tough one, but it should also be a lot of fun.

Also, if you’ve picked up on any particularly poignant allegories hidden away in Rowling’s work, let us know. We could use your input for an upcoming video. Leave a comment. Tell us about what you’ve found.

We’ll be talking more about this over the course of the month, so stay tuned.

Looking for a starting place for this month’s story — any ideas?

harrypottermonth_anyideas_startingplaceThis month we’re talking about Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, and how Rowling approaches allegory in both.

So, the plan is to write a short fantasy story that hides an allegory in the most important part of the fiction. Right now it’s just an idea, but we’d love any opinions on how we should begin our approach. What do you think? Everything is welcome. We’ll build on this as the month progresses.

How Fantastic Beasts Handles Allegory

Watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them gave us an appreciation for an aspect of Harry Potter we’ve never really paid much attention to.

Let’s talk about allegory, and Rowling’s ingenius approach to it.

Subscribe for more! ➤
Facebook ➤
Twitter ➤

***View the video description on Youtube for sources/attributions/additional information***

“The Meat Lady,” by Vangluss


I had a neighbor once. She was never quite right. Often, on random days of any given month, she duct-taped raw meat to her front door. Nobody, including me, bothered her about that. Live and let live, I guessed. Until she did the same to me.

She never left anything I would consider prime cuts. It was always some kind of offal. Kidneys. Livers. Brains. Guess I wasn’t good enough for prime rib.

We kept an unspoken peace. She duct-taped meat. I threw it away before the other neighbors started asking uncomfortable questions. This surreal daily routine continued for months. Then the October incident happened.

I remembered the day as clearly as I remembered the smell. I struggled to push my door open, and saw the Meat Lady’s masterpiece. A pig’s head, pink, raw, and chopped to gory bits decorated my door.

After taking it down with copious amounts of panicked pulling, I absolutely lost it. I stormed over to her house, and banged on the door. Thank God it was near Halloween. Nobody was the wiser.

She wore a black sweater with a long black skirt. She was a frail little thing with hair like dying Spanish moss. Her pitiful appearance didn’t stop my rage. I said a lot of things. Especially regretful things. By the time my ranting was done, several of the other neighbors enjoyed my freak-out. The lady silently cried. In my heart of hearts, I knew I fucked up, but didn’t care.

In between soft sobs, she hitched up her skirt. Ragged lines and patches of dense, scarred skin riddled her legs and thighs. She murmured, “I was only trying to help.” repeatedly until someone called the police and I backed off, terrified. The cops took her away. She ended up in a psych ward. Those hollow corpse eyes haunted me for a long time.

To my bitter delight, the meat deliveries stopped only to be replaced with another disturbing phenomenon. I kept waking up with random, jagged cuts somewhere random on my body. Last Friday morning, it was my stomach. This Tuesday morning, it was on my right thigh. Some are deeper than others are. Some bleed more than others do. They all stung like hell. Still, this was a lot more manageable than that lady.

Some real demons were eating her up.



Thanks for reading!

This fan-story was submitted to us by the clever Vangluss(

For more like it, click here; if you’d like to submit your own, click here to read our guidelines; to check out the stories we’ve written ourselves, click here to check out our show.