Tomorrow, November 5th, is Guy Fawkes Day, and the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. What’s that all about, you say? All is explained by scarletdemon.
In 1605, English Catholics were angry that they did not have equal rights, so their leader (Pope Trevor the Third) signed what Catholics call a “Fatwa” and sent it to Guy Fawkes to be carried out. Fawkes assembled a band of like-minded terrorists and they decided to assassinate King James I, his family, and most of the Protestant aristocracy, in one fell swoop, by blowing up the Houses of Parliament during the State Opening. They saw themselves as soldiers of fortune, helping people in need. But who were these desperate men? Guy Fawkes had chosen some of the best minds in pyrotechnic history: Himself, George Handel, Arthos, Porthos, Shakespeare, Dogtanian and fuse specialist Artemis Richlieu. Their famous cry of “Penny For The Guy And One For All!” has become a regular catch-phrase for children begging outside corner-shops (with their Guy Fawkes effigies), even today.
(Thanks to sclerotic_rings for the pointer…)
My favourite inside joke in the Harry Potter books is that there’s a phoenix named Fawkes. =)