What if books had hidden “Easter eggs” like in the movies?
Sometimes in movies the viewer will find hidden or bonus information that only someone who has seen all of the other related movies would understand. For example, in Disney’s Aladdin, when Jasmine’s father is building his porcelain animal tower he uses a stacking piece that looks just like the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. In Frozen, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider can actually be seen with the other guests while Anna sings “For the First Time in Forever” right before Elsa’s coronation.
So what if there were little hidden tidbits in an author’s book that hinted at things in another unrelated book by the same author, much like the way in which Aladdin references Beauty and the Beast?
Sometimes a sequel will have little inside jokes, too, like the moment from Princess Diaries 2 when that woman says “I hope they have string cheese!” While this sounds totally random to people who haven’t seen the first movie, for those in the know it’s a clever and humorous treat. It’s like the directors are rewarding the audience for having invested their time and *cough cough* money in the entirety of the franchise — a reward for being a “loyal customer.”
From my memory books don’t really seem to do this. The author assumes (and the continuous nature of the story often requires) that you’ve read the other books in the series. Otherwise you’ll probably be pretty lost… Are movie series written in a way that makes them more viable as stand-alone products, then? If anything I would have thought it would be the opposite, where books would be more stand-alone given the much larger amount of time the “audience” must take to read them. (But maybe book readers are more loyal to a series than movie-goers are to movie series??) The closest bookish example I can think of is when J.K. Rowling has Slughorn accidentally call Ron “Rupert” (as in Rupert Grint, the actor who played Ron in the movies).* This is actually an easter egg that goes between books and movies! I still don’t know that I’ve ever come across an easter egg within books alone, though.
So have you ever read a book or book series that alludes to another book? And if any authors are out there reading this, would you ever consider dropping these sorts of “Easter eggs” in your novels?
*I definitely didn’t notice this by myself. Thank you internet: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/entertainment/news/a48532/professor-slughorn-ron-real-name-half-blood-prince/
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