Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’ is full of references to Edgar Allan Poe. Here’s a lot.

It was a dreary night, while I was reflecting, weak and tired, on many quaint and curious episodes on Netflix. Wednesday that this show has a real bunch of Edgar Allan Poe references.

19th-century American writer and poet, famous for his macabre stories of mystery, pain, madness, murder, ghosts, and revenge as The Raven, the revealing heartY The fall of the House of Usher, plays a major thematic role in Tim Burton’s characteristically creepy teen series. Poe is the most notorious student attending the fictional Nevermore Academy attended by our morbid protagonist, Wednesday Addams.


‘Wednesday’ Review: How Tim Burton Transforms Teen TV With Wednesday Addams

Edgar Allan Poe said, ‘Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see,'” Wednesday says in episode 2. “Clearly, Nevermore’s most famous alumni took that here. No wonder he became a crazy drug addict.”

Like Poe’s tales, Wednesday it revolves around mysteries, monsters and chaos, with a final twist worthy of the gothic writer. And while Wednesday quotes his beloved Agatha Christie and nemesis Mary Shelley more often throughout the series, Burton throws a barrel of amontillado into his series to make it better.

It’s on, Shelley.
Credit: Netflix

In this enviably stunning gothic setting, Burton finds ways to use the author’s gothic associations to Wednesday-ify the element of a typical teen series, from the school dance (The Rave’N) to the annual canoe race (Poe Cup). These are just some of the references to Poe in the Netflix series. Maybe you spied more?

academy never again

A group of students in purple and black striped uniforms.

Credit: Netflix

The central academic institution of WednesdayNevermore Academy, named after Poe’s most famous poem, 1845’s The Ravenin which a stately ebony bird torments a grieving writer by perching on his bedroom door and repeatedly cawing one maddening, apprehensive word: “Said the raven ‘Nevermore.”

Just to be that guy, fictional Nevermore was founded in 1791, as Edith Sinclair, our favorite pastel-haired werewolf, explains in the series, “to educate people like us. Outlaws, freaks, freaks, complete your outcast bunch.” favorite here.” But Poe himself would not be born until 1809 and would not write the poem of the same name for another 54 years.

Yes, yes, it’s a TV show, I’ll calm down. But speaking of gangly birds…

The Raven

The Midnight Visitor from Poe’s most famous poem, The Raven, represents the immovable pain of the protagonist and the loss of his love, Lenore. If you took a photo every time a crow is mentioned or appears on the screen during Wednesdayyou would be drunk long before the identity of the monster is revealed.

From the crow-stitched wrought-iron gates of Nevermore to the stuffed raven sitting on Principal Weems’ desk, ravens fly through episodes to the annual school dance, The Rave’N. Wednesday sees ravens in her vision of Rowan’s doom, and Xavier is painting a colossal raven on the courtyard wall. There’s even a Raven Island on campus. Morticia describes Wednesday’s psychic power style as a “rave”, leaning towards a darker lens as opposed to her own positive “dove” style. Within these visions, Wednesday’s ancestor Goody Addams refers to her as “the raven in my lineage”.

“The path of a Raven is a lonely one. You end up alone, unable to trust others, only seeing the darkness within them,” Goody tells Wednesday.

But The Raven is not the only Poe short story to which explicit reference is made in the Wednesday…

the poe cup

A group of teenagers dressed in various costumes stands by a river.

Each team name is a Poe story.
Credit: Netflix

Apparently every wizarding school needs an inappropriately deadly annual sports tournament. An annual Nevermore tradition dating back 125 years and named after “Nevermore’s most famous alumni,” the Poe Cup is part canoe race, part chase, with no rules. Each dorm has to choose a Poe story to inspire their team name, canoe decorations and costumes as they row to Raven Island, capture a flag from Joseph Crackstone’s crypt and run back. Here’s a rundown of the team names and their associated Poe stories:

The well and the pendulum

One of the teams, rowing a canoe equipped with double-headed axes, is named after The well and the pendulum, an 1842 Poe short story about helpful rats in a sticky situation. In the tale, a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition is tortured and then sentenced to death in a small cell containing a deep, dark well and a slowly swinging pendulum blade. The protagonist can enlist the help of the rats in the cell to chew through his restraints and avoid a cut, but then the walls start to move…

the golden bug

Playing the dirtier way in the Poe Cup but looking more glamorous in their glittery beetle trimmings, the mermaid team chooses the 1843 tale. the golden bug, which is essentially a code-breaking, treasure-hunting story. However, Poe’s story has some problematic elements, as the main character William Legrand is a former planter from South Carolina who is stung by a golden bug, and his servant, Jupiter, is a former slave whose portrayal has been dubbed by modern critics as a “minstrel show partner”.

the black cat

Enid and Wednesday’s team takes its name from Poe’s 1843 short story, the black cat, a study in violence and guilt in which the protagonist abuses his own cat by cutting out its eye and hanging it from a tree (it’s pretty grim). When his house burns down, he finds another black cat, which triggers the same murderous intent in the protagonist, and while trying to kill him, he accidentally kills his wife. When he tries to hide the crime from him by burying the body of his wife in the wall of his basement, the cat undoes him. When the police investigate, the cat was also hiding in the wall, and the incessant screaming from him sent this jerk straight to prison. .

Teenagers dressed as cats paddle a canoe.

Come on, black cats!
Credit: Netflix

The Barrel of Amontillado

The team of Xavier and Ajax, all dressed as hideous buffoons, take their name from Poe’s 1846 revenge story, The Barrel of Amontillado. Set in Italy during Carnival, the short story follows Montresor, a nobleman who plots to assassinate wine expert Fortunato, who apparently insulted him (get over it, dude) while wearing a jester’s costume. Montresor lures Fortunato into his family’s vaults with the promise of a rare amontillado, then traps him and buries him alive.

Xavier also alludes to Poe’s many stories of live burials and burials, recounting Wednesday the story of how they met during a game of hide-and-seek in which Xavier headed for the live cremation in his grandmother’s casket.

poe’s statue

The man himself appears in Wednesday, something like. There is a statue in the Nevermore Cloisters that shows Poe with a “prude grin” holding a book and a raven, but it also doubles as the entrance to Nightshades. wednesday notes Poe’s legendary penchant for riddlesand works his way to the hidden door with a cheery Addams Family double snap.

A girl with dark braids raises her hand as if to click.

*click click*
Credit: Netflix

The Night Shadow Society

This might be an exaggeration, but the name of the Nevermore Nightshade Secret Society could be a reference to Poe’s 1935 short story. Morella. According to the Baltimore Poe Society, “morel” is one of the names of the poisonous black nightshade, from which the drug belladonna is derived. Given the importance of belladonna poisoning in the story, this cannot be a coincidence.

They’re the main Poe references I could spot, but maybe you saw even more between the murder and mayhem at Nevermore. Break the tables!

Wednesday it is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab) Read Mashable’s spoiler-free review here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *