While I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious episode of Wednesday that this show has a veritable shitload of references to Edgar Allan Poe, I remember a time when it was a dark night.
The 19th century American writer and poet known for his tales of mystery, grief, insanity, murder, ghosts, and revenge, plays a major role in Tim Burton's characteristically spooky film. The most notorious student to attend the Nevermore Academy is Poe.
In Wednesday's episode, the author says that he told people to "believe nothing you hear and half what you see." The most famous alumni of Nevermore picked that up. He became a drug-obsessed madman.
The ending of Wednesday is worthy of the Gothic writer. Burton throws a cask of amontillado at his series in order to get the attention of his audience.
It's on, Shelley. Credit: Netflix
Burton uses the author's Gothic associations to Wednesdayify the element of a typical teen series, from the school dance to the annual canoe race. Maybe you spied more, because there are a few references to the author in the series.
QUOTH IT. Credit: Netflix
The central academic institution of Wednesday, Nevermore Academy, is named after the most famous poem of all time, 1845's The Raven, in which a stately ebony bird torments a grieving writer by perching above his chamber door.
The fictional Nevermore was founded in 17th century to educate people like us. You can fill in your favourite group here. He wouldn't write the name poem until 54 years after he was born, and he wouldn't be alive until 1809.
I'll take a break from the show. Speaking of the fowl...
The midnight visitor from The Raven is a representation of grief and loss for the main character. If you took a shot for every time a raven is mentioned or appears on screen during Wednesday, you would be in for a rude awakening.
From the raven-dotted wrought iron gates of Nevermore to the taxidermied raven sitting on Principal Weems' desk, ravens soar through the episodes. There is an island on campus. Wednesday's psychic power style was described as a "rave," leaning towards a darker lens than her own positive "dove" style. Goody Addams refers to her as the raven in his family.
A solitary path is the path of a raven. Goody says that you end up alone because you can't trust others.
The Raven isn't the only story mentioned in Wednesday's edition.
Every team name is a Poe story. Credit: Netflix
An annual sporting tournament is what every magical school needs. The Poe Cup is an annual tradition that dates back 125 years and is named for the most famous alumni. Each dorm has to pick a Poe story as inspiration for their team name, canoe decoration, and costumes, while rowing over to Raven Island, capturing a flag from Joseph Crackstone's crypt, and returning. The team names and their associated stories are listed here.
The Pit and the Pendulum is a short story about rats that were helpful in a sticky situation. A prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition is tortured and sentenced to death in a small cell with a swinging pendulum blade. The main character is able to get the rats in the cell to chew through his bonds, but then the walls begin to move.
The gold bug is a story of code-breaking and treasure hunting and was written in 1843. The main character, William Legrand, is a former South Carolina planter who is bitten by a golden bug, and his servant, Jupiter, is a formerly enslaved man.
The Black Cat is a study of violence and guilt in which the main character cuts his cat's eye out and hangs it from a tree. When his house burns down, he finds another black cat and tries to kill it, but accidentally kills his wife. When he tried to hide his crime by burying his wife's body in the wall of his basement, he was undone by the cat that was hiding in the wall as well.
Go, Black Cats! Credit: Netflix
The team dressed as horrifying jesters is named after The Cask of Amontillado. Montresor is a nobleman who wants to murder a wine expert who insulted him while wearing a jester's outfit. Montresorlured Fortunato into his family vaults with the promise of amontillado, then trapped and killed him.
The story of how they first met during a hide and seek game that saw him headed to live cremation in his grandmother's coffin is one of the multiple stories of interment and burying people alive that has been told by the author.
There is a man in Wednesday. The statue in the cloisters of Nevermore has a smirk on its face and is the entrance to the Nightshades. The Addams Family double snap was used to help Wednesday solve her way into the hidden door.
*click click* Credit: Netflix
There is a chance that the name of Nevermore's secret Nightshade Society is a reference to Morella. One of the names of the poisonous black nightshade is "morel". The importance of nightshade poisoning in the story makes this a coincidence.
Maybe you saw more of the murder and carnage at Nevermore. Do you want to tear up the plank?
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