Harry Potter‘s Chris Rankin announced for Dragon Con

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FINALLY!!!

Chris Rankin, who played the “Head-Boy-know-it-all” Weasley brother Percy in the Harry Potter films, has been announced as one of the latest additions to the Dragon Con guest list.

Movie fans didn’t get to see much of Percy in the films, but book fans know that Percy’s “prodigal son” story arc was one of the great lessons taught in the series – about the importance of family, forgiveness, and unity.

Chris is (so far) the only Harry Potter guest confirmed this year.

Dragon Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. This year’s event will take place September 4-7. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon Cons past at this link.

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Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015 – The Grown Up Fangirl’s Year in Review

Goodbye 2014 Hello 2015 HD Wallpaper Images PicturesGoodbye, good riddance 2014!!! 2014 was the year I really could have used a clone, because I did not get to do nearly as much as I wanted to do, fandomwise. Not enough cons, not enough podcasting, not enough TV/movie watching, and not enough blogging. Even so, there were a few highlights to my fangirlish year, and it’s enough to motivate me to make more effort in the coming year. So…let’s cover a few things, shall we?

BOOKS – Trying to work full-time and go to school has gotten harder for me to juggle in the past two years, so I haven’t gotten to read quite as much as I wanted to this year (my reading goal on Goodreads was 25 books – I fell waaaaayyyy short of that goal). In anticipation of the reboot (which I still have yet to see), I re-read V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic for the millionth time (and am still adequately fascinated/disturbed at the story). I finally sat down and read/listened to the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (or, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the books, the series that HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on). I found some sense of closure with The Mortal Instruments: A City of Heavenly Fire, but was reluctant to give up on the Shadowhunter world, so I picked up The Bane Chronicles in an effort to get into the head of one of the more mysterious and interesting characters in the series, warlock Magnus Bane. As of right now, the jury is still out on this one; whereas most of the books I’ve read lately have been of the can’t-put-it-down variety, sadly this book doesn’t fall into that category, and I am finding it harder and harder to remember why I liked Magnus Bane in the first place. But the book series that has really had a grab-me-and-don’t-let-me-go effect is the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.

divergent1Until June 2014, I had worked the past two years in the public library system, and the Divergent books were always in the hard-to-find category, especially with to the March release of the first film in the series, Divergent. For awhile I had given up on trying to read the books, deciding that I would just wait until I bought them to read them. However, once I sat down to finally watch the film, I was drawn in by the chemistry of the lead characters Tris and Four (portrayed onscreen by Shailene Woodley and Theo James, respectively). So, Halloween weekend consisted of me reading Divergent (Friday), Insurgent (Saturday), and Allegiant (Sunday). I followed up with Four a couple of weeks later. Even though I’m late to the faction party, I’ll probably end up doing a re-read and then blogging about the books at some point, because those books were a doozy to read. But I haven’t fangirled about books/movies as much in the past few years as I have in the past few months with these characters, so that’s a good thing. (BTW, I will totally spaz out if I ever get to meet Theo James in person. Just warning y’all in advance). Oh, and if someone could find a way to convince Veronica Roth to write more books about Four, I’d appreciate it.

TV – Television was kind of huge for me in 2014. I enjoyed some of my newer favorites (Game of Thrones, Sleepy Hollow, Walking Dead, The Originals, Orphan Black), fell back in love with an older one (now that’s the Supernatural I know and love), said goodbye to an old friend (rest in peace, True Blood) and got sucked in to a couple of others (How to Get Away with Murder, Teen Wolf).  Scandal consistently kept my jaw on the floor, and The Vampire Diaries is getting interesting again now that Delena isn’t so much the focus of the show. I am currently catching up on Season 4 of Lost Girl, but am apprehensive because I already know one of my favorite characters dies. Oh yeah, speaking of beloved characters dying…

WTF, Walking Dead and Sleepy Hollow? (Spoilers be ahead, for those of you not caught up).

I know that in the reality of the zombie apocalypse, it’s unrealistic to think that all of our favorite characters will escape unscathed. Episode 1 of Season 5 nearly gave us a heart attack thinking that Glenn was going to be head-bashed with a bat not once, but twice, Carl was almost raped by a rather ogre-ish looking biker dude, and even little baby Judith was threatened with a knife to the throat (RIP Martin…not). But we knew someone from the group was gonna have to die, and unfortunately the first casualty was Bob Stuckey. After what happened to him (being bitten by a walker, and then taken hostage and partially turned into Bob-B-Q by some survivors of Terminus), I expected him to not make it. No, the death that got me was Beth. Beth’s death for me equaled the WTF? incredulity I had when Hedwig was killed by Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was just one of those deaths I really feel was unnecessary to the whole of the story; it really serves no purpose except to solidify the fact that the group needs to pay attention to Rick when he tells them that being nice isn’t getting them anywhere. And poor Maggie’s face…

Moving along to Sleepy Hollow – I will admit that I am still pissed about the killing off of Captain Frank Irving. That was another WTF? for me. Orlando Jones is a talented actor and his character brought a sense of balance to the group of Ichabod, Abbie, Katrina and Jenny. It was bad enough that the character was grossly underused in the first part of season 2 (bring him back and send that damn Sheriff Reyes away, okay? She irks the hell out of me and serves no purpose), but then to kill him? (Although the manner of death was heroically glorious). However, I do realize that dead does not always mean dead in Sleepy Hollow and hope that there’s some great way the writers will bring back Irving’s character.

In the meantime, check out this HILARIOUS video from the Captain himself, giving us a recap of his character’s journey through Sleepy Hollow:

MOVIES – I totally suck in the movie department for 2014 – aside from Divergent, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy (last week), X-Men: Days of Future Past (two weeks ago), and Maleficent (opening weekend). Pathetic, I know, and I will hopefully get a chance to change that in 2015.

PODCASTS – Due to scheduling conflicts and other real-life BS, I only recorded a few episodes on Sci-Fi Party Line this year. They are as follows:

20140830_215700CONVENTIONS – I only got to attend one convention this year: Dragon Con. The experience wasn’t as great as previous years, mainly because I spent most of the week prior sick as a dog and literally had no energy, but it wasn’t a total flop. After podcasting together for 5 years, I got to meet Cat (@fancyfembot) in person!

I also got to meet Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter) and Osric Chau (Kevin Tran, Supernatural – he was there as an attendee but was nice enough to pose for a photo when I recognized him outside of Starbucks). I got to ask Karl Urban (The Chronicles of Riddick, Almost Human) a question during his panel, and I was a panelist on the “Growing Up to Save the World” panel on the Whedonverse track.

All in all, not such a bad year, but I plan to do so much more in 2015. To those of you who follow and have stuck with me, thanks again for another great year! Happy New Year 2015!!

So yeah, I’m just a little bit late on my Dragon Con recap…

dragoncon2014…I mean, it’s only been two weeks since it ended. I’m still suffering from PCD (post-con depression), combined with the hustle and bustle of real life, but I at least want to talk about some highlights.

My Dragon Con was a bit different this year because I didn’t actually get to do much. I spent a whole week prior to Dragon Con SICK, and so by the time it was here, I was physically exhausted. But here are a few highlights from the weekend:

Friday: I got to attend only one panel on Friday and it was one of the main ones I wanted – Karl Urban. Let me tell you, I’ve been attending Dragon Con since 2007, and have attended other cons as well, and this was one of the best panels I’ve been to. From the time he hit the stage to the time he walked off, there was nothing but nonstop laughter, jokes, memorable anecdotes and wisdom. He told about the pranks he likes to pull on set with the cast and crew, and spoke very highly of some of his co-stars, especially Vin Diesel. I even got to ask him a question – his answer can be seen in the clip below:

All in all, it was worth the three-side-of-the-hotel-wall wait in line. 🙂

Saturday: Was a pretty cut and dry day. I worked at Froggy’s Photos, manning the tables where people could stash their stuff while they waited for photo ops. Was able to get my photo taken with Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter movies), so that pretty much made my day. However, due to some miscommunication issues regarding my badge, I couldn’t stay for the evening and went home early. Again, it was probably a good thing because after working all day I was exhausted. Having con crud before the actual con sucks, in case you didn’t know.

But my picture with Evanna was pretty damn awesome! 🙂

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with Evanna Lynch at Dragon Con 2014. Photo by Froggy’s Photos

And as an unexpected bonus, I went to Starbucks to do a coffee run for the staff, and bumped into Osric Chau, who plays the prophet Kevin Tran on Supernatural. He was there not as an official guest, but as a con attendee, but was still nice enough to take a photo with me. Such a sweet guy!

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with Osric Chau at Dragon Con 2014. Photo credit: Hanako M. Ricks

 

Sunday: Sunday turned out to be the best day for me. I participated in a panel for the Whedonverse track, called “Growing Up to Save the World”, where we discussed teenage antagonists in shows/books such as Teen Wolf, Harry Potter, Buffy, and others (the discussion got taken over by Teen Wolf discussion, which was totally okay with me since my daughter got me addicted to the show over the summer).

After that, I FINALLY got to do something I had been waiting the whole weekend for: meeting Cat, the founder of the podcast I get to occasionally co-host, Sci-Fi Party Line. Cat and I have now known each other for about 5 years, and this was the first time we had been able to meet in person. And then (even though I’m so ridiculously out of touch with anything Whedon-related on TV), I went with her to the “Agents of Whedon” panel, where I got a chance to see Carl (another co-host from SFPL), whom I hadn’t seen since 2011(?) Anyway, that was also a fun panel to go to, and it made me want to sit my tail down and get around to knocking off Buffy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from my “need to watch” list.

Next year, I will definitely make it a point to do more during the con, as there was so much I missed this year. I will be sure to take my Vitamin C, pack my Zicam, and whatever else I’ll need to be energized and ready!

Hanako (@hmrpotter) and Cat (@fancyfembot) from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast meet for the first time :)

Hanako (@hmrpotter) and Cat (@fancyfembot) from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast meet for the first time 🙂

Cat (@fancyfembot), Carl (@robominister) and Hanako (@hmrpotter) at Dragon Con 2014

Cat (@fancyfembot), Carl (@robominister) and Hanako (@hmrpotter) at Dragon Con 2014

Dragon Con is almost here!!!

dragoncon2014

5 MORE DAYS!!!!!

 

It’s finally here, time for the streets of downtown Atlanta to be taken over by cosplayers, celebrities and fans en masse! Dragon Con – the largest multimedia, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film – will take place in Atlanta next weekend, August 29th – September 1st, and the guest list contains something for everyone: a little bit of 70s/80s nostalgia, some sci-fi/fantasy, big names, new names – Dragon Con will have it all.

 

Here’s a look at some of my favorite shows/movies/book fandoms that will be well represented:

Harry Potter – You guys know it just would be a post worth mentioning if I didn’t talk about the HP guests first! 🙂 Two actresses from the series will appear for the first time at Dragon Con: Evanna Lynch, who plays the faithful and loyal (if a little quirky and eccentric) Luna Lovegood; and Scarlett Byrne, who is known as that annoying girl from Slytherin/Draco’s girlfriend, Pansy Parkinson. Byrne is more recently seen on television as Lexi in Falling Skies.

It’s the 80s baby!! – Enthusiasts of the 1980s period of television and film will be well represented this year, with guests from popular cult classics such as The Princess Bride, The Karate Kid and The Outsiders. Recently, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Martin Kove, Cary Elwes have all been added to the guest list. Actors Nancy Allen (Carrie, Robocop), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Gil Gerard and Erin Gray (Buck Rogers), and John Ratzenberger (Cheers, various Pixar films) are just a few of the “blast from the past” names that will appear.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV – So much to choose from! We have actors from returning favorites (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, the Stargate universes), as well as a few of the newer shows (Defiance, Once Upon a Time, Arrow, Lost Girl). Cast members from popular shows Warehouse 13, Being Human and True Blood will appear; all three shows will have ended by the time Dragon Con begins (the last episode of True Blood will air this Sunday at 9EST on HBO).

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film – Dragon Con will have mutants (Patrick Stewart and Shawn Ashmore of the X-Men films), futuristic cops (Peter Weller and Nancy Allen from the original Robocop film), and pirates (Kevin McNally and Lee Arenburg from the Pirates of the Caribbean films); Karl Urban (Star Trek, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Chronicles of Riddick, RED) will make his first Dragon Con appearance.

Personally speaking, I – along with a few of my fellow co-hosts from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast – will be at Dragon Con the whole weekend. We will be recording shows, blogging, and generally having a grand old time, considering this weekend will be the first time most of us will have ever met in person, although we’ve been recording the show for years. You can find all of our combined posts on our Dragon Con portal at http://www.dragoncon.scifipartyline.com.

I will be speaking on two panels related to Harry Potter during Dragon Con. The first is Shipping Wars in Harry Potter!, which will discuss one of the largest shipping debates ever, Ron/Hermione or Harry/Hermione (I am of course on Team Ron!). This panel will be held on Saturday, August 30 at 10 pm. The second panel is Growing Up to Save the World, which will discuss the roles of teens from several different fandoms (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Buffy, Teen Wolf, etc) and their roles in “saving the world”. That panel will take place on Sunday, August 31 at 1 pm.

Dragon Con adds “Harry Potter” actresses to guest list

10308072_10152305926823806_6126995956316945809_nIt’s about damn time.

After feeling a little bit of despair at the lack of Potter-related guests for this year’s Dragon Con, Potterheads received notice that not one, but two actresses from the series would be appearing at the popular convention held every Labor Day weekend.

The official Dragon Con Facebook page announced today that Evanna Lynch and Scarlett Byrne, known to Harry Potter fans as Luna Lovegood and Pansy Parkinson, respectively, would make first-time appearances.

Lynch first appeared in the fifth film of the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, as the eccentric but fiercely loyal Luna Lovegood. For all of Luna’s…erm, differences, she proves herself to be one of Harry’s staunchest supporters and one of the few people whose opinion he respects. She stands by Harry, Ron and Hermione in their greatest times of need and has the heart of a Gryffindor, even though she belongs to the witty Ravenclaw House. Harry and Ginny even honor her by naming their only daughter, Lily Luna, after her (Lily is the name of Harry’s mother).

10561698_10152305993778806_2102370234562264782_nByrne makes her first appearance in the sixth installment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. She portrays the character of Pansy Parkinson, who is mostly known throughout the films as the girlfriend of Draco Malfoy. Her character famously offered to give Harry up to Lord Voldemort in an effort to keep him from killing more wizards in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. It was her outburst that caused the Slytherin students to be locked in the dungeons while the Battle of Hogwarts brewed on.

Byrne is more recently known for her role as Lexi in the sci-fi TV show, Falling Skies.

Dragon Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. It is held every Labor Day weekend in the downtown Atlanta area. For more information regarding daily and weekend memberships, photo ops, and other events, check out the official website.

Side note: I will be speaking on two panels related to Harry Potter during Dragon Con. The first is Shipping Wars in Harry Potter!, which will discuss one of the largest shipping debates ever, Ron/Hermione or Harry/Hermione (I am of course on Team Ron!). This panel will be held on Saturday, August 30 at 10 pm. The second panel is Growing Up to Save the World, which will discuss the roles of teens from several different fandoms (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Buffy, Teen Wolf, etc) and their roles in “saving the world”. That panel will take place on Sunday, August 31 at 1 pm. You can keep up with my Dragon Con adventures here or at my other site with the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast (who will also be in attendance at Dragon Con).

‘Deathly Hallows 2’ back in theaters this weekend

Did you miss your chance to see the end of the Harry Potter saga in theaters? Are you one of the megafans who would love to see it again on the big screen before its DVD release on November 11? Or did you see the film in 2D, and want another chance to see the film in 3D?

Well, you will get your chance this weekend. In support of the Will Rogers Institute, select AMC Theaters across the country will have encore showtimes for the final film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Ticket prices for all events are only $5, and fans will receive a special collectible lithograph with their purchase (while supplies last).  Tickets can be purchased at this link; just make sure you change the zip code and select the correct date to find showtimes in your area.

Will Rogers was a popular actor, comedian and radio personality in the 1920s-1930s. The purpose of the Will Rogers Institute is “To perpetuate the memory of Will Rogers by promoting and engaging in medical research pertaining to cardio-pulmonary diseases and educating the general public on topics of health and fitness.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is the final installment in the Harry Potter series. It is scheduled to be released on DVD/Blu-Ray Combo on November 11.

Dragon*Con: 4 days and counting!

Dragon*Con begins in Atlanta on Friday, and for this Grown-Up Fangirl, this year is shaping up to be the best since I began attending back in 2007.

All of my favorites will be there: guests/panels on “Supernatural“, “True Blood”, “The Vampire Diaries“, “Being Human“, and of course, Harry Potter. I have the privilege again this year of attending on a media pass, representing Examiner.com (I am the Atlanta Sci-Fi Movies and Atlanta Sci-Fi TV Examiner), and I will also have a chance to display my love for Harry Potter by sitting on two panels this year: Harry Potter: From Page to Screen (Friday 8:30pm), and The Hero’s Journey of Neville Longbottom (Saturday 1pm). Both panels are part of the Young Adult Literature track; stop by and say hi!

Also, I have received an invite to one of the press conferences being held for Jim Beaver, who plays Bobby Singer on “Supernatural”. This will be my first press conference, and I’m very excited at the opportunity.

You can look below to see what panels I will be attending, and if you have any burning questions for any of the stars, please let me know and I’ll try to get your answers posted.

Supernatural guests: Jim Beaver (Bobby), Mark A. Sheppard (Crowley), Misha Collins (Castiel), Samantha Ferris (Ellen Harvelle), Julie McNiven (Anna) and Christopher Heyerdahl (Alistair)

True Blood guests: Kristen Bauer van Straten (Pam), Jim parrack (Hoyt Fortenberry), Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux), and Denis O’Hare (Russell Edgington); Charlaine Harris will also be there (author of The Southern Vampire Series, the books upon which “True Blood” is based)

Being Human guests: Sam Witwer (Aiden), Sam Huntington (Josh) and Meaghan Rath (Sally)

The Vampire Diaries guests: Sara Canning (Jenna), David Anders (John Gilbert) and Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood)

Harry Potter guest: Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)

If you are a reader of the blog and will be at Dragon*Con, please let me know…I love meeting new people face-to-face. You can message me here or via Twitter.

Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon*Cons past at this link.