With the arrival of Mother’s Day (seriously, if you haven’t gotten a gift now, get cracking on something homemade at LEAST!) the FANGRRLS got together and agreed to call our moms.
In between hearing what our less disappointing siblings and their children were up to, we each asked our matriarchs what they might possibly know about the things we’re most obsessed with. The following are some excerpts from our favorite fandoms, according to our mothers.
Avengers: Infinity War
I started by asking my mom, Mary, who she recognized. The list included (in this order) Captain America, Loki, Doctor Strange (even though she’s never seen a movie he’s in so we can’t figure out how she recognized him), Thor (because “Thor is Thor”), the Hulk (“Although he never showed up in this one”), Black Widow, "all of the Black Panther people,” and that was it. At this point, I asked her if she knew who my FAVORITE Avenger was because it was literally the only one she didn’t name. “Oh! Yeah! And I know Tony Stark!” She was also "familiar with Bucky" (although she didn’t know why she knew him) but “Didn’t he lose his arm in Black Panther?”
I also asked her about my favorite MCU ship, Pepper and Tony. What does she know about them? “Oh, that’s Pelgrow…Pelthy?” I think she meant Gwyneth Paltrow but I’m still not sure. Anyway, she said with certainty that Tony and Pepper are “in love, they got married, they had a baby…no, they didn’t have a baby.” What she remembers about their romance is “he was always zipping off becoming Iron Man” and “she was instrumental in all that but [she] can’t remember how.” When I pressed her on it, she speculated: “She’s like a scientist or something.” Close. - Heather Mason
I asked my mom, Linda, what she thinks [Infinity War] is about. “All the superheroes getting together for the final war…infinity, the end of all wars.” The bad guys are “other superheroes that are bad”, and the leader of the Avengers is Superman. Other Avengers include Robert Downey, Jr. and “the guy that throws the disc.” When I point out Superman isn’t an Avenger, she responds with a surprised, “He’s not?” - Sarah Marrs
Debbie couldn’t pull anyone from any Star Wars movies except the original trilogy, which I’m going to headcanon as her just being a hardcore purist, and not that she stopped paying attention to Star Wars after her two children grew up. Still, I was impressed that she knew I was “Light Side” when I asked her. And once I mentioned Rey, she said that was a name she recognized. I asked her if she knew who Holdo was but she didn't, which is sad because a parent should know her daughter's girlfriend's name. - Riley Silverman
My mom, Mary, had a difficult time describing Star Wars without getting super deep and heady and how “value-laden” the franchise is with themes of friendship. She also stressed how much she loved the “playful banter.” Eventually, she described the plot with random words including “space travel” “romance” and “good and evil.” When I asked who Luke Skywalker was, she knew he was the “son of Darth Vader—the evil” and she thought Leia was his sister “but at the beginning, they didn’t know that and he was definitely attracted to her.” All right. And what’s the goal of the characters in the franchise? According to her, “They were adventurers” but she “didn’t know if they were trying to save anyone specifically.” It seemed more like “Raiders of the Lost Ark but in the sky” to her. We couldn’t decide if she was just confusing Harrison Ford movies or not. I asked about porgs but she honestly has "no idea about those guys” which is upsetting considering my porg obsession. She didn’t even know they were related to Star Wars. - Heather Mason
I also asked Linda about the new Star Wars movies, in which she thinks “Luke Skywalker’s grandson is probably heading the space exploration.” We paused to determine the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek, and she does know Star Wars is Luke Skywalker and “the lady that just died that has the things on her head…Carrie Fisher.” But she stuck to her original guess and says the new movies are about “exploring space” and “setting up space stations.” The bad guy is “the guy in black…Darth Vader.” I inform her Darth Vader is dead, and she responded with utter confidence that the bad guy is “his grandson, Darth Vader III.” - Sarah Marrs
Game of Thrones
I asked my mom, Shirley, about Game of Thrones, which she watches. She told me, “I would say Game of Thrones is about five or six different nations all wanting to have one ruler, and they’re all fighting to be that person who rules the entire Game of Thrones. The female lead gives birth to dragons, and she ultimately, in the end, becomes the ruler.” I asked if she thinks that’s going to happen at the end of the series. “Yeah! She has dragons, but nobody else has dragons. But, there are White Walkers who have killed one of the dragons…now THEY have dragons. But still, the Mother of Dragons—it’s a non-ending story because this could go on forever. That’s what eight seasons led up to, or what you thought it led up to, that she would be the ultimate winner in all of this because she has the dragons. However, the surprise ending is that they killed one of her babies, one of her dragons, and now—they brought it back to life... I guess that’s why they’re going to have another season because there is no end in sight to this. I find all of these shows, when dead isn’t dead, there’s really no way of knowing how things end.”
I asked if she had a favorite character in Game of Thrones. Mom said, “I guess the Mother of the Dragons would be my favorite.” “Because dragons are cool?” I asked. “Dragons are very cool. I just bought a dragon bell for the grandchildren’s tree house. And really, they were adorable little dragons, even though now they’re big and kind of scary.” “Well, they do eat children,” I said. “Yeah! And goats. Just about anything that’s small,” she laughed. I said, “They’re cool but murder-y.” She said, “Well, they’re carnivores. It makes it a problem.” - Jenna Busch
My mom actually watches this show! “I like that most of the cast has depth, many layers.” And at first that was it, so at this moment I’m not sure my mom knows that this is a superhero show. I decided to ask her why she thought I liked the show. “I think you like the depth and layers as well,” she said. And that’s true. Especially if those include a layer of Melissa Benoist punching stuff, an occasional layer of Cat Grant dropping feminist truth bombs, and several layers of Alex Danvers smooshing faces with cute girls. Still, my mom was able to correctly name Reign and the Worldkillers and this is a woman that can’t even remember how to pronounce Chipotle properly so that’s a huge win. - Riley Silverman
The X-Files is a huge fandom of mine but my mom has only ever seen a few episodes so I was especially interested to know what she’d picked up about the show. When I asked her the generic question of what The X-Files is about, she said, “Unsolved Mysteries of extraterrestrial beings.” She’s not wrong really. The characters are “Gillian and Mulder” but she asked, “Are there any other characters?” No, mom. There aren’t. I asked about who Mulder and Scully are as characters. “Mulder is the one who is always far out” and “Gillian is much more ‘That’s not logical.’” Obviously, I asked her about the relationship between Scully and Mulder to which she waffled between “they clearly have chemistry” and “it’s classic opposites attract” and “in the process of working together they become more like each other.” And a romance? “It seemed like there was a romance going on there, I heard from you” or my sister who she also had apparently heard “something about how they’re gonna have babies...or something like that.” Of course, she “wouldn’t be surprised because they work together constantly in close contact with nobody else so it’s entirely possible there’s sex going on.” MOVING ON. - Heather Mason
When I asked her if she knew what my house was in Harry Potter (Slytherin), Debbie couldn’t name it. “The only thing I know about Harry Potter is that there’s an owl.” I then informed her of Hedwig’s tragic fate. “So there’s not even an owl,” she said, laughing.
“Now, if you want to know about Fifty Shades of Grey, I can tell you all about those,” she said, as I immediately tried to get off the phone with my mom faster than I ever have before. “I’ve read all the books and seen all the movies. It’s really a love story...” -Riley Silverman