I have a lot of thoughts about Annie Reilly, many of them brought on by watching Interview with a Vampire last night and the correlation between Annie and Claudia. Clearly, it’s very different to look at a little girl who has been turned into a vampire and is unable to grow her body along with her mind and emotions, and a little girl who has lived a hard life and has also matured past her physical age because of it. It doesn’t excuse the fact that the child is creepy and manipulative, but I think it explains it.
We have culturally decided that children are not sexual creatures, and for the most part, today they are not. But that hasn’t always been the case, for large swaths of human history the age of consent was twelve years of age for girls. (It’s still the legal age of consent in some cities.) This is something that is very off-putting for a modern audience and I fully understand how much the audience dislikes Annie. Thing is, in her own mind and understanding, Annie sees herself as a woman, and she is confident in her sexuality. Everyone else sees her as a child, and because of it, she is frustrated, both as being treated as an autonomous individual in charge of her own life, and as a sexual being.
I feel awkward just writing this, but I feel it’s important to say more than, “God, Annie’s so creepy, I hate her” as I have mostly been seeing in fandom.