I thought today would be a fun day to talk about Easter Eggs. No not the chocolate ones that you have been waiting impatiently for weeks to dive into on Easter Sunday. I’m talking about those little inside jokes/clues/hidden messages that the author has left for you to decipher. Something that you might not spot on a first read but when you do they can often be a little bit mind-blowing. Fewer calories than the chocolate ones but just as sweet when you find them!
Ready, Player One by Ernest Cline
The first time I really thought about Easter Eggs was when I read Ready, Player One. The whole book is based on an Easter Egg hunt that James Halliday has left coded into his virtual reality. I just thought the whole concept was fantastic and I ended up researching lots of other easter egg references that I previously knew nothing about. There is a world of them out there in books, movies, arts of work, album covers, the list goes on and on.
Some of my favourite Bookish Easter Eggs that I discovered are :
Harry Potter by J K Rowling:
The access code in to the Ministry of Magic:
“No, no, I’m sure it’s fine,” said Mr. Weasley, holding the receiver above his head and peering at the dial. “let’s see…six…” he dialed the number, “two…four…and another four…and another two…”
Which is 62442…which also spells out MAGIC!
And another Harry Potter, just because you can never has too much Harry Potter references in a single blog post!
Dumbledore’s office has a griffin knocker on the door. So it’s a Griffin Door! Oh, JK, I love you more and more every day!
It by Stephen King:
In this one Stephen King made a reference to every single other book that he had ever written. For example:
The town of Castle Rock is mentioned, along with references to the serial killer that lived there (in The Dead Zone)
But there is so much more than that, it is littered with references to his previous books which really makes you believe in the reality he has conjured up as they are all so entangled.
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
I’ll be honest, I kind of hated this book. But I loved the hidden code at the end of the book. On the last page, you get this sequence:
So you have to take the first letter from each of those chapter numbers and then arrange them in to a Cesar Square which is explained during the book and then you read them backwards (still with me?!), it spells out the following.
“WE ARE WATCHING YOU”
Which wasn’t much reward for working all that out! But as this was a book about codes and cryptology, it was a fun one to work through.
Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
I only found out about this one on my recent trip to Oxford. Before that I had no idea that Alice was based on a real character but she was based on the middle daughter of Henry Liddel, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and Dean of Christ Church.
The poem that ends Through the Looking Glass spells out the full name of the real Alice – ALICE PLEASANCE LIDDELL (if you take the first letter of each line).
A BOAT beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening in July —
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear —
Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life what is it but a dream?
I feel like every time I either find an easter egg for myself or discover it via someone else, it just gives me a little thrill. It feels like I’m sharing a secret with the author and I can all but see a knowing smirk on their face when I get it. And not just books either, they are even more common in movies and TV programs. Just think about all the examples in Lost for example, in fact this just makes me want to re watch all the series and keep an eye out for all that I could spot.
Talk to Trish : What Easter Eggs do you know about in books? Which of the ones above impress you most? Are they something that interest you or not?