Avatars (The Magnus Archives)

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Character Group
Name: Avatar(s)
Type: Type of being
Fandom: The Magnus Archives
Members: notable members: Michael, Mike Crew, Helen, Jane Prentiss, Jared Hopworth, Peter Lukas, Manuela Dominguez, etc.
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Avatars are a type of character, and a type of being in the show The Magnus Archives. In canon, they are generally an unclear phenomena at first, but are revealed to be (mostly) humans (or animals) that have been touched by the paranormal and must now survive, at least partly, by inspiring fear or causing death in humans. In canon, because the podcast follows an anthology format and conforms mostly to the horror genre - most of the episodes in the first 3-4 seasons follow the format of a central "monster of the week" plotline. An avatar often is directly involved in, or forms the impetus for the "monster of the week" setup. Because of the horror angle - meaning that the events are frightening, this is usually, though not always, set alongside one or more "victims" also known in fandom as "statement givers" as they give their statement or description of what happened to The Magnus Institute.



There is a significant portion of fandom (though arguably still in "rarepair" territory) that is interested in the more supernatural aspects of the show, and the more supernatural characters. Often this goes along with an interest in Xeno or Monsterfucking.

Fans may pair supernatural or "monster of the week" characters - with eachother, with various "statement givers" or with main characters. Each fan may have their own favorite pairings, often to a strong degree, or to a weaker one, but any one pairing is often in "rarepair" territory with lower double-digit numbers of fics on AO3, and many people will float to, and read or look at art and fic from other pairings with a similar supernatural or Xeno bent. If for no other reason than necessity and shared interests.

Because the show itself follows the genre of horror - and so the encounters are almost always frightening and in that way "non-consensual" in the most literal meaning of the word, whether canonically sexual or not - there is often in fic, (though pure fluff is also occasionally a thing) - an exploration of that sense of power dynamics and helplessness. This can stretch along a wide range of tropes, from very consensual, soft kink, (involving supernatural powers for "fun" or not) through dubious consent and straight Non-Con (either romanticized in a bodice ripper way or uncomfortable and brutal). Using the fact that in canon, many Avatars started out as "victims" of the paranormal, or more rarely of more human mundane events and cruelty, many fanworks explore cycles of being hurt and harming others, or of "reclaiming" kinks that may involve things a person is personally afraid of or oppressions they may face.

Commentary, Politics, and Fix-It Fics

In canon - each "Avatar" tends to draw from a particular source of a certain kind of fear, which they must "feed". Some speak of them metaphorically as their master or their honored saint or deity. These "sources" are artificially described in universe as 14 beings known as "The Entities" and there is some comradeship between similar supernatural creatures. The main cast - and the Institute they belong to is also revealed to not be apart from this "social order" and to be drawing power from one Entity known as The Eye or The Beholding.

In fanworks - the "politics" of these groups is explored. And since canonically characters have been known to willingly join another "side" to escape a difficult day-to-day experience with another type the of supernatural - this is fairly often shown in fics. A common theme is to show Alternate Universes where various characters are offered a chance to join another side. One use for this seems to be expressing frustration/compassion with the many frightening situations the main cast must witness and endure - and as an opportunity for Fix-it fic and happier endings. This is commonly expressed through characters in fics commenting that they think that "The Eye doesn't take proper care of people" or "The Eye doesn't take care of it's own". One popular character for these kinds of fics who offers other characters a (marginally) "better" life, is Mike Crew, but it isn't exclusive.

Example Fanworks