If you're a Harry Potter nerd and/or a fan of Internet culture, you may have heard whispers of the craziest Harry Potter fan fiction story that once existed on fanfiction.net between 2006 and 2007. A story so awful, some non-believers questioned its authenticity. A story that defined a generation of emo kids in the late '00s. A story that has since passed into Internet legend as the "Best-Worst" fan fic ever written. Its name? My Immortal.
Piecing together the mysterious history of this much-beloved, terrible fan fic is almost as difficult as piecing together a coherent story from the work itself. Was it real or was it an elaborate, satirical hoax? Will the true identity of its author, ""XXXbloodyrists666XXX," ever be confirmed? Was "bloodytearz666" the worst beta reader in history, or just a supportive friend? How many Snapes were there, exactly?
In this guide to My Immortal, you'll learn everything you need to know about this classic, enigmatic piece of online literature.
After years of speculation, My Immortal fans can finally meet their (supposed) idol. In September 2017, St. Martin's Press announced their plans to publish a memoir by one Rose Christo. The 27-year-old Christo claims she is the true author of the timeless Internet tome, which she says she wrote when she was a teenager with the help of a friend.
So, was My Immortal intended to be serious? According to Christo, it's pure "troll fic" meant to rile up readers. For the full story, you'll have to read Under the Same Stars: The Search for My Brother and the True Story of My Immortal.
Alright, y'all. Let's get into this.
As a work of fan fiction based on J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series, My Immortal's "story" suitably takes place during the final year of 17-year-old student Ebony "Enoby" Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way's time at Hogwarts. To clarify, yes, that is her name. The drama revolves mainly around a love triangle between Ebony, Draco Malfoy, and Harry "Vampire" Potter. Peripherally, a social war between three cliques – the "preps," "goffs," and "posers" (people pretending to be "goffs") – seems to have consumed Hogwarts, including the life of Headmaster Principal "Albert Dumblydore," with Ebony as the leader of the sympathetically depicted "goffs."
Later in the "story," Ebony starts having visions telling her she has to travel back in time to the 1980s to seduce Tom Riddle, AKA Satan, in order to stop him from turning into Lord Voldemort. Ebony does this using an iPod that can handily transform into a DeLorean time machine. Ebony brings Satan back to the future with her, where he instantly transforms into the Dark Lord and threatens everyone with a gun. Ebony stops him using the "Abra Kedabra" curse but, as the final chapters the author promised us have never materialized, we'll never know how things resolve from there.
Naturally, something as unbelievably badly written as My Immortal has led to ongoing speculation as to the legitimacy of the work, and the true identity of its author, XXXbloodyrists666XXX.
Just take a look at this extract, and decide for yourself whether it's the authentic voice of a hormonally-plagued teenage girl of the late '00s, or a clever troll [sic throughout]:
"I was in the school nurse’s office now recovering from my slit wrists. Snap and Loopin and HAHRID were there too. They were going to St. Mango’s after they recovered cause they were pedofiles and you can’t have those f*cking pervs teaching in a school with lots of hot gurlz. Dumbledore had constipated the cideo camera they took of me naked. I put up my middle finger at them."
The author self-identifies herself as Tara Gillesbie, possibly originally from Dubai (or "dubya") and possibly moved to England after going on permanent hiatus from writing My Immortal sometime in the summer of 2007. Since gaining infamy, many others have come forward to claim authorship and insisted it was a hoax, though the broad consensus seems to be that such a feat would be near impossible. KnowYourMeme's Brad Kim told Vulture that, “I absolutely think this was a genuine piece of work... I was in writing workshops on LiveJournal and Xanga, and these were the kinds of things that would be formulated by a high-school teenager in the early 2000s.”
Watch the video above supposedly featuring Tara – along with BFF and fic editor, "Raven" – from their joint YouTube channel and decide for yourself. Real? Or satire?
While the "plot" of My Immortal is more perplexing than Being John Malcovich, what's clear right from the outset is that Ebony (or "Enoby" or "Egogy" as she's sometimes called when Tara's memory and typing skills fail her) is a Mary Sue character.
How do we know this? Well, thanks to a clever sleuthing device known as "reading," we can see clear parallels between author Tara's love of emo and "goff" culture – fishnet tights, smudged eyeliner, vampires, sadism, cute bisexual men in bands – and her protagonist.
There are also moments in the "narrative" – like in the example below from Chapter 10 –when Tara accidentally slips between writing from Ebony's perspective and her own:
"'What have you done!'" He started to cry wisely. (c dats basically nut swering and dis time he wuz relly upset n u wil c y) 'Ebony Draco has been found in his room. He committed suicide by slitting his wrists.'"