This issue of Reading & Ranting will be on the Cursed Child, and will contain spoilers!! So if you don’t want to spoil yourself do not read any farther! Seriously…if you see something you didn’t want to see, it’s not my fault.
A lot of the discussion after the Cursed Child came out had a lot to do with the way the characters turned out in several the different timelines. One thing I say a lot from people were that they didn’t think the way some of these characters turned out was very believable, case in point Cedric and Hermione. Since I love talking about Harry Potter and exploring other view points I thought it’d be cool to talk about that here, where I could go into detail on my on thoughts and welcome you to post yours.
Hermione goes through a rather dark change in one story line where her and Ron do not end up together. Instead of becoming the Minister of Magic, she becomes a Hogwarts professor and basically becomes the equivalent to Snape. This ruffled a few feathers, so I’ll go over the issues I’ve seen posted. I’m not point fingers and telling people they are wrong, a lot of these issues were pretty relevant and made me think about my own stance on it.
– It makes it seem as if Hermione’s success depended on her relationship with Ron.
At first glance…it definitely does. There isn’t a lot to say otherwise actually. I think this and most of the character development portion requires the reader to 1) accept the strict constraints of a play and 2) really read between the lines. For me Hermione’s success was more of an outcome of her support system, not purely Ron. Ron and Harry were Hermione’s closest friends and her strongest support system in the magical world. We see in Goblet that her feelings for Ron are becoming more pronounced, and it’s clear she’s falling for him by the end of the book. We see that grow, and cause some severe tension when Ron begins dating Lavender Brown. Like…severe tension. So if we now insert the possibility of Ron dating Padma before the end of Goblet. Here is Hermione watching one of her best friends and the boy she knows she’s falling in love with be with someone else…and then year after year they don’t break up. The tension between them would probably grow and very likely cause a distinct fracture between them. Suddenly, Hermione has to guard herself and her heart from her best friend and in some ways from Harry too, and they have a long road to go before they really have time a part. All of those fights they had towards the end of the series would very likely be amplified. Her friendship with Harry would have probably suffered from all of this as well. He has had to be the go between Ron and Hermione on several occasions, and it frustrated him to the point of snapping at them and eventually they apologized & moved on. Here the result could have been different. Either one of them could have seen Harry’s reluctance to be stuck as a mediator as picking sides, even if he wasn’t. In short, her support system would have been on extremely wobbly ground. A person can do a lot alone, but fighting a war and risking your life are usually not part of the equation. It’s not hard to see her become jaded and cynical after spending years building up walls around her emotional center. She could have found someone else, but after that 4th year she didn’t have a lot of mental time to devote to getting to know a lot of other people on a deeper level. Cynicism doesn’t usually lead to a person building a complete career devoted to selfless serving
– Cedric would never have become evil.
Cedric is quite easy to see as a golden boy, but I’ll confess something to you…I’ve always kind of hated him. My brain is wired to read people and their actions…every little thing registers as having a meaning to me. To me Cedric will always be the guy who allowed his friends to openly mock and bully Harry, and then instead of publicly standing up to them he just quietly and privately apologized to Harry. Was it nice of him to apologize? Sure. BUT!! It doesn’t excuse the fact that he watched his friends do something he supposedly didn’t like and let them keep doing it. You don’t get points from me for apologizing for something you had the power to stand up against. Does this mean he’s capable of evil? Not necessarily…but it does mean that Cedric has a few issues in his personality that make him susceptible to straying down that path. To me he’s either a doormat or an asshole. Doormats can be lead to do pretty much anything, that’s why they are called doormats. They might jump into something feet first and then let someone else drag them around the pool. A lot of accomplices to horrible acts have been doormats. Assholes…well they are assholes so they can be evil with enough of a nudge.
Another point, his dad also does something similar to Harry…Just out right shuts Harry down (even though Harry isn’t really even bragging) and builds up his golden boy son in front of Harry. This is a clue that there is a little bit of ego stroking going on. I hate compliments from my parents…I really hate compliments in front of other people. It’s weird and kind of unnecessary, but I would be totally lying to you if I didn’t feel my ego being massaged. It’s embarrassing, I want them to stop but damn does it feel good to have someone tell me I’m amazing. My point is, even despite my hatred of public praise my brain still latches on to that and makes me proud. I don’t know if Cedric is the same, but from personal experience it would seem likely that Cedric probably did have enough pride be embarrassed and angry at the events of the alternate Goblet of Fire. Would this lead to a life devoted to an evil mastermind? Maybe? One instance I could think would work would be this: Imagine your Cedric and you’re going into the first task. Your spell that you know you can do, goes array and you end up almost being killed. Weird…discouraging to be sure but you can bounce back. Now we’re at the lake, another spell you know how to do doesn’t work as planned and you end up floating out of the lake and into the sky. Two spells going screwy? Not likely. So what does that leave? Sabotage would be a good guess, but he doesn’t know it’s not one of his friends (who are probably laughing right now) or someone who is rooting for Harry. So now he has this distrust of those around him; the people who have been building him up all year. He’s embarrassed and angry, and he doesn’t know who’s responsible. Also the fact that someone is a nice and charming person should never be an excuse to validate them not being capable of bad things in the future. All it takes is one domino to topple over to make the whole thing collapse, and it’s not odd to assume that some as “small” as embarrassment could lead to something terrible.