Thanfiction, AKA Amy Player, VoyagerBabe, Strwriter, VB, Victoria Bitter, Jordan Wood, Mr. Frodo, and Andrew (Andy) Blake
Andy/Thanfiction, known on Tumblr as andythanfiction, is a participant in the Harry Potter and Supernatural fandoms. His involvement with Harry Potter is primarily through the fandom of his Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness fan fiction universe (the "DAYDverse"). The members of this fandom are commonly referred to as DAYDians, and Andy is their Fearless Leader. From 2012-early 2015, he was active as a Destiel (Dean/Castiel) shipper in the Supernatural fandom, primarily posting fanart and meta about the show and Destiel. As of Summer 2015, Andy claims not to belong to any fandom. His focus now is on cosplay (mostly Game of Thrones so far) and he has been a regular cast member in season two of the web series Viva La Cosplay.
Andrew Blake identifies as a straight, cisgender man, but was assigned female at birth and identified as a woman until 2003. Male pronouns will be used throughout this entry, along with whatever name he was using at each point in the timeline.
As "Victoria Bitter" in Lord of the Rings fandom, Andy started a fan group called Bit of Earth in January 2002 and immediately began soliciting the attention of celebrities, particularly Sean Astin. Bit of Earth put on a number of events, the most successful of which were a line party for the release of The Two Towers and the creation of a reading garden for children in April 2003 (Project Elanor, in which Sean Astin participated). Unbeknownst to most Bit of Earth members, almost from the beginning, Andy had been claiming to have psychic abilities. He convinced some friends, most notably Abbey (then known as Orangeblossom Brambleburr), that Tolkien's universe was real and that he was channeling characters from it--as well as the real actors who played some of those characters. Andy moved to Oregon to live with Abbey and started a cult, which gradually expanded to a small number of other fans. Eventually he told Abbey that his soul had died and been replaced by the "duplicate soul" of Elijah Wood. Andy then began using the name "Jordan Wood". He created a LiveJournal in which he posed as Elijah Wood writing about his relationship with Dominic Monaghan, without actually naming names, and brought this to the attention of the Domlijah tinhats. Andy sent his parents a pseuicide letter in October 2003 and began trying to obtain legal ID under the name Jordan Gabriel Wood, which drew the attention of the police.
Bit of Earth was supposed to hold a large LotR fan convention, Tentmoot, in December 2003, featuring appearances by a number of LotR actors and various musical acts. Unfortunately Andy never did much of anything to set it up beyond booking a convention center and lying through his teeth to his entire volunteer staff and everyone else who ever asked about Tentmoot. Although Turimel had already been approached by the police regarding Andy's identity, he was able to talk her into giving him her credit card number to secure airfare for several actors from New Zealand--supposedly Air New Zealand had promised free flights and then backed out. He'd told her that it was just a "hold" and she wouldn't be charged, but when Turimel learned that she was actually expected to pay for $15,000 in airfare, she canceled. Three of the actors ended up in LA anyway and had to sleep on the floor in Andy's apartment. There was no convention. Following a pseuicide attempt, Andy informed Abbey, Diamond, and Little Sam that his soul had died again and had been replaced with the "duplicate soul" of Orlando Bloom. He legally changed his name to Andrew Blake. Turimel ended up writing a book about Andy and Abbey's involvement in LotR fandom, When a Fan Hits the Shit.
Andy abused Abbey and roommates Diamond, and Little Sam in various ways, including (but not limited to) manipulating them into cutting ties with their families amid false accusations of abuse, convincing them that they had various mental illnesses, and routinely depriving them of sleep and food. Little Sam's mother took her home not long after the Tentmoot crisis and Diamond left a while later, as Andy was becoming increasingly hostile toward her. He managed to keep Abbey with him, working as character ambassadors on Hollywood Boulevard, until her mother had to rescue them from a disastrous attempt to enter Canada under false pretenses. After they split up he moved back in with his parents, posted a lengthy non-apology as Amy Player (his birth name) in March 2007, and declared that he was leaving fandom.
Andy reappeared in the Harry Potter fandom as "Thanfiction" in 2008, having written a lengthy fanfic (DAYD). No one other than Abbey caught on to his new identity. Andy claimed to have a very colorful past that included fighting on both sides of the Troubles in Ireland, rescuing large numbers of women and children from various perils, and being a self-educated polyglot with a genius-level IQ. He also claimed to have a heart condition that meant he only had a short time left to live--he used this to convince some of his fans to give him money to visit them. Andy built a second cult around DAYD and his so-called channeling abilities. He exerted a great deal of influence over some fans' lives, playing matchmaker and even trying to pair off an underage girl with an adult man in another country. When he and some of the DAYDians started making plans to meet up for DAYDcon, Abbey revealed to Turimel that Thanfiction was the same person she'd known as Jordan Wood. Despite the ensuing wank, DAYDcon still happened in December. A few days afterward, Andy and DAYDian Brittany Quinn sequestered themselves for a "psychic battle" with an "undead shaman wizard" that they insisted was attacking another DAYDian's children. Within two weeks of that news being shared on Fandom Wank, Andy posted to the DAYDverse community to say that he was leaving fandom and the internet. True to form, he did not actually disappear from fandom or even slow down appreciably.
On May 7, 2011, Brittany Quinn and another roommate were murdered by her ex-husband. Andy, who had been living with Brittany for almost a year, was also shot. Nine days later, he made a self-serving post about Brittany to the DAYDverse Facebook community and announced that a two-month hike around New Zealand that he'd been planning would now go on in Brittany's memory. He moved in with two other DAYDians and attempted to set himself up as an authority on domestic violence, starting a group called It's About Power. Amid accusations that he was exploiting Brittany's death to get people to pay his way to New Zealand, Andy ultimately changed the route to the Trail of Tears and made the hike between July and September 2011. The two DAYDians who accompanied him on the hike suffered severe health consequences due to the extreme heat and food and sleep deprivation. They were also emotionally and psychologically abused by Andy in many of the same ways that he had previously abused Abbey and other members of his LotR cult.
Amy Player started out in the Sharpe and Star Trek: Voyager fandoms in 1998. Under the name Strwriter, he claimed to be a 15-year-old college student/actor/singer/dancer who toured nationally. Under an alternate pseudonym, Voyagerbabe, he told fellow fans that he was Ciyarra Tallaver, an 18-year-old college student and Strwriter's best friend. He joined Due Southfandom under both pseuds in 1999 and began sharing (100% false) stories of the childhood sexual abuse that Voyagerbabe had allegedly suffered and of Strwriter's extremely religious parents, who were also implied to be abusive. In August 2000, he retired the Strwriter identity. In 2001, he briefly moved on to Horatio Hornblower fandom, adopting the name Victoria Bitter for the first time. Victoria was English, born in London (later changed to Sheffield), and worked as a waiter, theme park portrait artist, living history interpreter, and internationally-touring actor.
Lord of the Rings Fandom/Bit of Earth
In January 2002, Victoria Bitter/VB (now identifying as a college student, which was actually true) created the Yahoo! group Bit of Earth (BoE) for fans of Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings. He began trying to get Sean Astin himself involved with the group from the very first day. Some of his common behavior patterns first became evident at this stage, including faking a serious illness, posing as an extremely stereotypical soldier, and claiming to "channel" both fictional characters and real people. The latter was gradually revealed to Abbey (then using the name Orangeblossom Brambleburr) and a few other friends via chat and LiveJournal. VB said that Tolkien's works comprised the real history of a long-forgotten world than had been revealed to Tolkien when he discovered the Red Book of Westmarch. Thanks to the training he'd received from an old woman that he called his "master", VB could communicate with Merry ("Kali") and drag his friends into LotR-themed "spirit battles" that he said were absolutely real. After attending Connexions in April, VB had a brief relationship with Versaphile, which he ended after about a month because he was so preoccupied with his hobbit channeling--having, he said, recently had all of Merry's memories "dumped" into his brain. He continued to ramp up his alleged psychic powers until he was "channeling" both Merry and Elijah Wood while visiting Abbey.
On September 11, 2002, VB approached Sean Astin after a 9/11 memorial event in New York City and asked him to participate in a community service project. He could hardly say no, given the context. VB subsequently announced Project Elanor on BoE. Soon after, VB moved cross-country to live with Abbey and (eventually) several other LotR fans who collectively called themseves the BagEnders. This was when the real cult-building started. VB claimed that his soul had died and been replaced by a "duplicate soul" of Elijah Wood. More and more characters and real people continually joined what he referred to as the "Mindhole" and he worked hard to convince Abbey that she was channeling as well. In November VB made one last post, hinting at suicide, and disappeared from LiveJournal and the BoE group. Jordan Wood/Mr. Frodoappeared soon after. He started an LJ, padawans, in which "Elijah" wrote cryptically about his love for Dominic Monaghan and New Line Cinema's cruel insistence that all of their stars sign a contract forbidding them to become romantically involved with each other until The Return of the King was released. Over time, "Elijah" and "Dom" came to terms with their feelings and decided to live together as life partners. Jordan/"Elijah" didn't name names in the LJ, but "revealed the truth" to people in the Domlijah tinhat segment of Lotrips fandom. His other claims included that Elijah's family was abusive and trying to get him involved with the IRA.
In February 2003 BoE's message board, The Prancing Pony, was redirected to an LJ entry in which Versaphile presented photographic evidence that Jordan Wood and Victoria Bitter were the same person. Jordan played this off as being a trick played by a "bitter ex", another behavior that would repeat itself years later. In April, Project Elanor took place, in which BoE created a children's reading garden. Sean Astin attended and assisted with the work, and the group allegedly raised $3000 for Reading Is Fundamental. Unfortunately, Jordan had planned the whole thing so poorly that all of the money (and then some) went into supplies; RIF never saw a dime. In July, BoE held the Hall of Fire Music Festival at a Portland park. This was another epic failure, as he had effectively sabotaged the event before it even started, with lies, procrastination, and a lack of communication that rendered his volunteer staff unable to do the work he'd delegated to them. During the event, he managed to get Sean Astin on the phone and had him propose to Abbey on his behalf while the two of them were onstage. In September, BoE put on the Lost Palantir Film Festival, which was meant to be a short film screening/competition. Sean Astin made a video appearance.
In October, Jordan sent a suicide letter to his parents. They really believed that he was dead and his father traveled to Oregon to look for him. Jordan had also been illegally trying to obtain a driver's license and Social Security card under the name "Jordan Gabriel Wood". These events led to a detective's knocking on Turimel's door in October, telling her that her friend "Jordan" was actually a missing person named Amy Player. Jordan was briefly able to stave off these accusations by giving Turimel some vague nonsense about an endocrine disorder and by telling her and his parents that Amy Player had attempted to steal his identity.
BoE's really big event was supposed to be Tentmoot, an enormous LotR fan convention scheduled for December. In a way, it turned out to be Hall of Fire writ large, as he once again procrastinated and outright lied to dozens of people, including all of the BoE members and (sometimes by extension) vendors, musical acts, and numerous actors, crew members, agents, PR people, et al. associated with the LotR movies. He actually had volunteers traveling to LA for him at their own expense, attempting to get video interviews that Jordan swore he'd been promised by the PR staff of some of the main cast. Jordan also told Turimel that Air New Zealand had promised free airfare for some of the actors who planned to fly in for the convention, but that they'd reneged on the deal. Turimel gave him her credit card to secure the tickets, with the assurance that only a temporary hold of $15,000 would be placed on her account and the actual payment would come from Tentmoot's ticket sales. He had told everyone that they'd already sold hundreds of tickets. Just days before Tentmoot was to take place, Turimel realized the truth and hurried to cancel the flights. When Jordan found out, he made a dubious suicide attempt and spent a couple of days in the hospital while Abbey, Diamond, Little Sam, and others attempted to deal with the mess he'd created. LotR actors Brian Sergent, Jed Brophy, and Paul Randall all arrived at LAX expecting to appear at a sizable fan convention, only for the latter two to end up sleeping on mattresses on the floor of "Bag End". Tentmoot completely fell through and the BagEnders, other than Abbey and Diamond, got the fuck out.
Soon afterward, Jordan was arrested for identity theft by the Marion County, OR sheriff's department. No charges were filed, but he and Abbey paid a fine and were forbidden to solicit money for charity in the state of Oregon.
Jordan kept the cult going with Abbey and Diamond, going so far as to start preparing an information packet to recruit new members to the group. He said that his soul had died again and had been replaced with the duplicate soul of Orlando Bloom. Diamond eventually left as he was becoming more and more hostile toward her. Jordan legally changed his name toAndrew Blake. He continued to "channel" more and more "Others"; eventually the total was over 160. Abbey was held responsible for keeping track of them all.
By Spring 2004, Andy and Abbey had begun working as character ambassadors on Hollywood Boulevard: Abbey was Princess Fiona and Andy was Legolas, Puss in Boots, Harry Potter, and a ninja at various times. They continued as such for the next three years and were featured in Imposters, an book of photography and interviews with some of the character ambassadors, as well as a documentary. In 2007, Andy and Abbey traveled to Buffalo and attempted to walk across the border into Canada, seeking political asylum from the government agents that Andy claimed were after him because of his "powers". Needless to say, they were unsuccessful. Abbey's mom came to the rescue and brought her home in March. That month, Andy posted the "Amypology", blaming all of his actions on his restrictive upbringing, being transgender, mental illness, the alleged "priestess" who told him he was a "rare lesbian paladin", slash itself, and everything else he could think of. Abbey broke things off with Andy and he continued to harass her for a year afterward.
Harry Potter Fandom
In 2008, Andy (as Thanfiction) wrote a fic that he eventually expanded into Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness(DAYD). He aggressively promoted the fic in HP fandom, as well as selling fanart. Andy began to exhibit more blatant misogyny than usual, as well as railing against m/m slash and people who read and wrote it. He gave himself a backstorythat included Oirishness, being a self-educated genius, fighting on both sides of the Troubles, being cruelly abandoned by a woman who also took his son away, and having a fatal heart condition. The woman, of course was Abbey, and his son? A sparrow. Andy used the alleged heart condition to guilt DAYD fans into sending him money to come and visit them before he died. He did take several trips at their expense, including one to Germany.
When the DAYDverse LJ community was created in March 2009, Andy once again began building a cult of personality. He began "channeling" HP characters, making even more grandiose claims about his past and his abilities, and playing matchmaker for various DAYDians. HP fan luvscharlie, who'd formerly been in an online relationship with Andy, tried repeatedly to warn the DAYDians that he was a liar and a con artist, but was brushed off as another "bitter ex". In December 2009, Andy and friends held DAYDcon, in which a number of DAYDians traveled to Washington, DC to spend a weekend with him. This was followed by a brief stop in upstate NY and a cross-country trip in a van, ending in California. About a week before the con, Abbey revealed to Turimel that Thanfiction was Jordan Wood/Victoria Bitter. Andy unsuccessfully attempted to bribe Turimel to keep it quiet.
While staying in California after DAYDcon, Andy and Brittany Quinn participated in a "psychic battle" with an "Undead Shaman Wizard" who was supposedly attacking another DAYDian's kids. They tried to get idiomagic involved in it, and she soon shared their e-mails on LJ. Two weeks later, in January 2010, Andy announced that he was leaving fandom (again) because of both the wank and his imminent death due to the heart condition. He continued to participate in the DAYDverse community after that, as if nothing had happened.
Later in the Spring, Andy flew to California to visit Brittany again. He "missed" his return flight and never booked another one, deciding instead to stay in Sacramento with her. In the Autumn of that year, Andy, Brittany, and another DAYDian spent two months hiking to Vancouver. Andy "channeled" during the hike and Brittany supported him in all of his convoluted stories. Toward the end of November, Andy and Brittany moved into the upstairs of a Fairfield, CA house co-owned by Brittany and her ex-husband...who also lived in the house with his father.
In March 2011, Andy announced that he, Brittany, and the other DAYDian from the Vancouver hike were going to hike the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand with a local DAYDian. This was supposed to be a charity hike to benefit survivors of the Christchurch, NZ earthquakes.
On May 7, 2011, Brittany Quinn and another roommate were murdered by Brittany's ex-husband, Jason Eisenberg. Andy was also shot. Several days later, he wrote and posted a "eulogy" for Brittany on the DAYD Facebook group. He linked Brittany's death to his ficverse and announced that the hike would go on, but would now benefit victims of domestic violence. He subsequently moved to Colorado to live with a couple of DAYDians.
Amidst a lot of drama, the hike was eventually moved to the Trail of Tears in the US and was declared not to be a charity event. Leading up to the hike, Andy continued to participate in the DAYDverse community, posting art, participating in very lengthy chat sessions, and haranguing people to work on a community website, cookbook, and wrock album. He created an anti-domestic-violence website, blog, and Twitter account called It's About Power and wrote at length about domestic violence as if he were an expert, while soliciting donations to cover all of the supplies necessary for the hike. The Trail of Tears hike took place from July through September 2011 with Andy, the DAYDian from the Vancouver hike, and another DAYDian. Andy was abusive to these two DAYDians in many of the same ways that he'd been to Abbey and Diamond.
In Andy's Own Words
Other Primary Sources (i.e., people who were directly involved):
Secondary Sources (Research, analysis, and wank):