Alex Rider

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This article is about the fandom. For the character, see Alex Rider (character).
Name: Alex Rider (Series)
Abbreviation(s): AR
Creator: Anthony Horowitz
Date(s): 2000 – present
Medium: Books, Movie, TV Series
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
External Links: Alex Rider Books
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Alex Rider is a series of YA spy novels by British author Anthony Horowitz about a 14–15-year-old spy named Alex Rider. The series is comprised of twelve novels, five graphic novels, several short stories and four supplementary books.


The series originally ended in 2011 with Scorpia Rising, the intended series finale. However, in 2016, an announcement was released on Anthony Horowitz's website that he was continuing the series.[1]

The first novel, Stormbreaker, was released in the United Kingdom in 2000 and was adapted into a motion picture in 2006 starring Alex Pettyfer. As of 2020, the book series has a web television series adaptation which premiered on Amazon Prime Video in the United Kingdom on June 4. The first season is based off of the second novel, Point Blanc, and filming for Season 2 is currently underway.

Popular characters include: Alex Rider, Yassen Gregorovich, K-Unit (Fox, Wolf, Eagle, Snake), Tom Harris

Main Series Graphic Novels Movies TV Series
Stormbreaker (1) Stormbreaker Stormbreaker
Point Blanc (2) (Point Blank in the US) Point Blanc Alex Rider, Season 1
Skeleton Key (3) Skeleton Key
Eagle Strike(4) Eagle Strike Alex Rider, Season 2
Scorpia (5) Scorpia
Ark Angel (6)
Snakehead (7)
Crocodile Tears (8)
Scorpia Rising (9)
Russian Roulette (10)
Never Say Die (11)
Nightshade (12)
Supplementary Books Other Works
Alex Rider: The Gadgets Secret Weapon: Short Story Collection
Alex Rider: The Mission Files Undercover: Four Secret Files
Stormbreaker: Behind the Scenes
Stormbreaker: The Official Script


The first book in the series was published in 2000, but the earliest fandom activity can be found on in 2004. Before the release of the movie there was a small number of fanfiction, mostly adventures in the style of the books.

The release of the movie Stormbreaker in 2006 brought increased activity to the fandom--fanart and fanvids were created, communities opened up on Livejournal, an Alex Rider specific archive was created, and many fanfics were posted to The most popular ship from the main archive of this period ( was Yassen/Alex, with Alex/Sabina in second place. Other notable ships were Alex/Fox and Alex/Wolf, a sign of the popularity of K-Unit.[2] Although the majority of fanfic was on, many fans created communities on Livejournal, especially slash and Yalex shippers.

The pairing Yalex was controversial for obvious reasons and in 2009 the community yassen_alex on Livejournal and several Yalex fics were targeted by copyright notices from the Alex Rider publishing company.[3] Vulnerability to purges and copyright takedowns is possibly a reason for why the Alex Rider specific archive ARchive was created during this time. Fic on the ARchive was mainly focused on angst and slash.[2]

The fandom started to decline in around 2011. Scorpia Rising was published, which was ostensibly the end of the series. The character Alex Rider finished the book having retired from the spying life, and the author Anthony Horowitz maintained that there would be no more Alex Rider. Fan activity slowed and the fanfic exchange Spy Fest did not generate enough interest to run in 2012.

The fandom was renewed again by the release of the TV series in 2020. In one year the number of fics on AO3 doubled from 575 (before 04 June 2020) to 1129 (on 04 June 2021). Fandom activity has also increased on tumblr and discord, as well as new fandom events such as Alex Rider Ship Week.


The Alex Rider series has a fairly small fandom, dubbed the "Sock Drawer" and its fans the "socks".[4][5][6] Due to the TV adaptation, the fandom has grown considerably. It is also quite old, with many communities and members owning accounts on LiveJournal. There is also a fandom discord server, Cub's Army, that was made in 2018 by Hollow Rosewood.[7]

Fandom Tropes

  • Yassen Gregorovich Lives - Many in the fandom prefer to ignore the end of Eagle Strike, as evidenced by this being one of the top 10 additional tags on AO3
  • Alex joins Scorpia - The most popular fic for this trope is pongnosis' The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. There are several fanfics set in this universe and also many fanfics with their own take on this trope.
  • Alex returns to Brecon Beacons - This is an older trope that has fallen out of favour. It would often involve Alex's class joining him at the training camp with Alex having to hide his identity (amitai's Hell is Other People is a popular example of this).


The chart covers categories within the AR fandom, specifically the Alex Rider - Anthony Horowitz tag, i.e. not fics that only include the Alex Rider (TV 2020) tag. 49.4% of the AR fics on AO3 are gen.
Graph depicting the top five Alex Rider Ships and the number of fics tagged with each pairing. Yassen Gregorovich/Alex Rider has 241, Tom Harris/Alex Rider has 26, Yassen Gregorovich/John Rider has 16, Helen Rider/John Rider has 15, and Alex Rider/Wolf has 14. The data was current as of February 28th, 2021.

The fandom is unusually focused on Gen, with 49.4% of fanworks being Gen compared to the AO3's average of 17.1%.[8] The shipping fanworks are dominated by one pairing, Yalex, which has more than nine times the number of fanworks than the second most popular pairing, Tomlex.[9] This is perhaps due to the solo nature of the books and the lack of recurring characters who have interesting interactions with Alex.


Yalex – Yassen Gregorovich/Alex Rider: Yassen has only appeared in three books in the series but he has made a big impact on the fans, evidenced by the movie and TV show putting his character into a much larger focus. He has an unusual relationship with Alex--he is an assassin antagonist but he refuses to kill Alex, and he has a link to Alex's father. Their characters also mirror each other, both being forced into an adult world after their childhood was destroyed at age 14, but on opposite sides. Although the pairing can be very dark many creators choose to age Alex up and reimagine their relationship in a happier context.


Tomlex – Tom Harris/Alex Rider: As Alex's closest school friend, Tom did not show up in the book series until book five 'Scorpia'. The TV show, however, has centred their friendship as a much bigger part of Alex's normal life. This has proven to be a welcome development for AR fans, as approximately half of Tomlex fanfic on AO3 was written after the show aired.[9]


Yian – Yassen Gregorovich/Ian Rider: This was an extremely obscure ship until 2022, when it battled its way up into the top 5 most popular ships for the fandom[10]. Ian barely appears in any Alex Rider adaptation before being killing by Yassen, but the TV show teased some never-before-seen backstory for the two of them. They are close enough to use nicknames, for Ian to hide Yassen's existence from MI6, and for Yassen to appear genuinely regretful at killing Ian. This tantalising mystery has garnered interest in the pairing and lead to it being joint second most popular AR ship with Tomlex.[11]

Other Pairings

Other pairings include: Yassen Gregorovich/John Rider | Alex Rider/Wolf | Fox/Alex Rider | Sabina Pleasure/Alex Rider | AlexmisArtemis Fowl II/Alex Rider | Ian Rider/Jack Starbright | Wolf/Jack Starbright| Fox/Jack Starbright | Eagle/Jack Starbright | Yassen Gregorovich/Jack Starbright | Derek Smithers/Wolf | Alex Rider/James Sprintz | Ian Rider/John Crawley | Julius Grief/Alex Rider | Snake/Eagle | Fox/Snake | Eagle/Fox | Fem!Alex/Eagle | Yassen Gregorovich/Wolf | Yassen Gregorovich/Derek Smithers | Yassen Gregorovich/Monica Peretti

Fandom Events

  • SpyFest – the first AR fic-exchange. It is no longer running.
  • SpyFest Revival – an AR fest. This event takes place every July.
  • Flufftember – This took place in September, 2020, in an attempt to produce more fluffy content for the fandom. Due to the small turnout, it seems this event was not very successful.
  • Angstober – This took place next month, with a much larger turnout. AR fans seem to greatly enjoy angst.
  • Alex Rider Febuwhump - A whump prompt fest for every day in February 2021
  • Alex Rider Ship Week Tumblr - This takes place in late March and features a choice of two prompts--one naughty and one nice--for each day.

Fannish Resources


Fanwork Recs




  1. ^ "New Alex Rider novel coming in 2017!". 2016-10-19. Archived from the original on 2022-05-04.
  2. ^ a b Alex Rider Ship Week. A History of Alex Rider Fandom by rirren and pongnosis, 07 March 2022. (Accessed 12 June 2022)
  3. ^ yassen_alex Welcome post, 20 May 2009. (Accessed 12 June 2022)
  4. ^ "what does your url mean". 2014-02-24. Archived from the original on 2022-05-04.
  5. ^ "The Alex Rider Fandom is a Sock Drawer". 2015-04-18. Archived from the original on 2022-05-04.
  6. ^ "where did the name sock drawer come from". 2015-04-18. Archived from the original on 2022-05-04.
  7. ^ "HEY SOCK DRAWER! (Alex Rider's Discord Server)". 2018-08-31. Archived from the original on 2022-05-04.
  8. ^ Alex Rider Ship Week. Shipping in AR Fandom. A Not Entirely Scientific Look at the AR Fandom by rirren and pongnosis, 21 February 2021. (Accessed 07 April 2021)
  9. ^ Alex Rider Ship Week Shipping in 2022, 27 February 2022. (Accessed 06 March 2023)
  10. ^ Alex Rider Ship Week Shipping in 2023, 18 February 2023. (Accessed 06 March 2023)