Inspired by the discussion on @halekingsourwolf ‘s blog about Teen Wolf timelines, I got kiiiinda into figuring out when exactly the Hale fire might have been set.
So yeah, Teen wolf wiki has Deuc being blinded in fall of ‘03, right after Derek turns 15, Jennifer happening in spring of ‘04, and then Kate and the death of the Hales happening in January of ‘05 (referencing the webisode that suggests it went down during the Wolf moon, which was Jan 25 in ‘05, claiming that born wolves have massive reunions/celebrations for that full moon every year, thus explaining why everyone was together), right after Derek turns sixteen… so it would have been just over six years since all that, when S1 starts.
But Peter’s comment is just that Derek was a Sophomore, and 15. While there are always exceptions, most folks I knew in California school systems, if they had a fall birthday, turned fifteen during their Freshman year. So I posit the timeline: Derek is 15 at the beginning of his Sophomore year, ‘03, when He and Paige start up. The shit with Deuc and the alphas and Paige’s death happens that fall, Derek has the shittiest sixteenth birthday, and Kate starts preying on him while he is exceptionally vulnerable that next semester (there’s probably some bullying/blowback/ostracization from his peers to deal with, if only because of his changed behavior, let alone any connections anyone has drawn to Paige’s disappearance and death, not to mention his mother’s distraction with pack politics and hunters, and him having gone from top-of-the-world to fuck-all self-esteem wise… plus, y’know, crushing grief and guilt). Kali attacks Jennifer that spring (2004), Talia is even more preoccupies there, and Kate makes her move sometime before the end of the semester, since Derek and Laura were presumably at a school function/practice/etc instead of home when the fire happened. This also Lets Derek and Laura be two years apart in school if she’s a senior, which I like better. Also lets her graduate (although, what a shit-show that probably was. Holy shit). And then it’s a full seven-years-and-a-summer before they come back and S1 starts (which would make him 23 when we meet him, instead of 22) (or, if you prefer, move all the years up one, duec attacked in 04, jennifer dies in 05, shorter time Derek and Laura were gone… or make Derek younger, make Paige happen his freshman year when he is 14/15, and Kate happen either that spring/summer he’s 15 or during his sophmore year, maybe, at 15/16).
This ignores the webisode/Wolf moon breadcrumb, which attempted to explain why all the Hales were gathered together, but unless it was, like, a lunar eclipse, which it was not, why would they have been inside the house, instead of out running with the moon? I would expect a moon celebration to involve, y’know, being under the moon.
I would argue that there doesn’t need to be a reason that they were gathered, at least, not beyond the fact that there were lots of dangerous things happening in the territory at that time. Maybe it was just a meeting to deal with that. Maybe it was a pretty regular occurrence, during times of strife like that, and so it was predictable. Hell, maybe they were in the house planning something for Laura’s graduation??? This is also suggesting that they didn’t all live there???
However, if you dig the Lunar Eclipse theory, do you know when there was a lunar eclipse? A total Lunar eclipse? That might explain the Hales gathered together someplace defensible? Like the Alpha’s house? 2004. 2003-2004 feature a tetralogy of full lunar eclipses, two a year, one in spring and one in the fall. On May 4, 2004, there was a total lunar eclipse, but it was not visible in California. And then there was another on October 28, 2004. The October lunar eclipse was visible from all of North America (if any of y’all were into baseball at the time, this is the lunar eclipse that took place during a a world series game, the first time this had happened, and was the world series where the Boston Red Sox won for the first time in 86 years, ending the curse of the bambino. ;) trivia!) . The penumbra started about 5pm in California (if I’ve done my math right), partial started at 6:15, Total at 7:23, and by the time of the greatest eclipse at 8:04, the Hales would already have been dead, since the canonical time-of-fire seems to be about 7PM.
But, if we assume the moon has some effect on you whether you see it or not, then I like the May 2004 moon. Even though it would be on the wrong side of the planet, the penumbral eclipse would start about 10:50am, with the greatest eclipse being at 1:30 PM… and the whole thing is done by 4:09 pm. But what if the goal is not so much having the wolves powerless as together? Because… I have a theory/headcanon/plot bunny about eclipses.
We know that the wolves lose all their wolfy powers during the short window of the full eclipse… but what about the rest of the time? What weird/new thing happened right after a full eclipse, probably still during the partial or penumbral part?
Scott breaking through an Ash Barrier. (which, I know, isn’t the only time he’s done it, but what if the eclipse stuff helped?)
So what if the hunters have figured out, and are desperate to never let the wolves know, that during the eclipse, yeah, they’re weaker but also sometimes they’re immune/resistant to weaknesses they normally have?
Were that the case, hunters would want to be very careful going after wolves on lunar eclipses because, if you screw up the timing like Jennifer did, you might wind up missing the “powerless” window and landing in the “pissed off, wolfed out, and mountain ash only works some of the time” window… which, hey, may be where the canonical “rumors” and speculation about wolves getting more powerful on lunar eclipses comes from.
So the October moon might not have been the best one, esp since they didn’t need to weaken the Hales, just get them together.
And on the evening/night of the May moon, the “danger” from their “weakness” would have passed, as far as they knew, they would be feeling safe (and from the hunter’s POV, they would be safely vulnerable to mountain ash once again), but they would likely still be together in the aftermath of a “dangerous” moon, and strategizing over the hunter issues and the alpha pack issues.