Hi guys! Wow, it’s been aaaages
. I’ve been working like crazy the last few weeks. It should taper off in the next few weeks, or at least the timetabling should get less crazy. (These are the moments when I wonder if I should try qualifying as a secondary school teacher after all, cos I’d get paid a lot more for my exhaustion. My tax form tells me I survived on £12.6k for nine months in London, which is TMI but I’m sharing it because that number keeps rattling around in my head. I don’t know whether it makes me what to curl up and never spend money again or be like I AM A FUCKING GOD OF BUDGETING LET’S DO THIS.)Anyway.
I’m adding new people here on Dreamwidth, and I’m gonna try and do an intro post/getting-to-know-you meme soon. (As well as brief thoughts on LJ’s latest round of poor choices, and the new series of Doctor Who
.) But for now I’m just gonna post what I got, which is a slightly edited Tumblr reblog I want to be able to find again.
read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
in April and I was in the group chat for some of it. Something that came up was Delphi’s existence, and the weirdness of the idea of Voldemort and Bellatrix having a baby - and it’s a massive sticking point for people in general, I think, even those who like CC. I was thinking about that, and then my friend boundingheart
posted that “if you can accept that Hagrid’s parents had him, you can accept that Voldemort and Bellatrix had Delphi.”
Now I’m actually totally down for Delphi’s existence (even if I’m firmly Team IT WAS A MAGICAL RITUAL) but I still disagree with that, because there are definitely factors that affect people not accepting Voldemort and Bellatrix conceiving a child that don’t affect Hagrid’s parents.
. It’s about more than just squick.
There is so much freight
in the Potter books around immortality, children, and parenthood: it's baked right into the premise of what makes Voldemort frightening as a villain. Voldemort’s raison d’etre is seeking immortality, and having children is inherently a reminder of your own mortality (although it can also be grasping after a less-literal immortality). Voldemort does not like children, and they’re inherently in opposition to his goal: the two enemies he sees as a threat are a baby
, and the headmaster of a school.
I’m also thinking of the epigraph at the beginning of Deathly Hallows - bless the children, bring them triumph now
; and the flister whose Harry Potter tag is “that story about children who fought a war.” Even if readers aren’t consciously thinking about this stuff, it definitely affects how they look at Voldemort.
Parental love as ultimate protection, and also as bringing out the best in people, is a big deal in Potter; Lily and James, Narcissa, the Weasleys, Mrs Crouch, etc etc etc. Voldemort was brought down by parents (mothers), and his lack of understanding of parental love. So I totally see why this fucks with people, even though I think it’s a change in angle rather than an enormous shift. Cursed Child
is massively connected to GoF and that's the book where Voldemort resurrects himself using family – bone of the father and all that. I reckon Voldemort very much has that in mind when he decides to have a child. So instead of the destroyer of parents and children because he wants immortality rather than children, Voldemort becomes a selfish, villainous parent – one who conceives a child to protect himself
. In a family drama about parents and children, where the emotional climax is the main characters watching Harry’s parents die to save their son, what could be more horrifying?
Bellatrix is also a weird one for parenthood; I actually headcanoned her as “barren” for years. (And I use that word deliberately: it’s fairytale logic rather than anything related to RL problems having kids, as well as fitting with the Blacks' incestuous, Gothic, concern-over-the-end-of-the-line vibe.) She’s a pureblood who murders her kin, she says to Narcissa she’d be happy to give up a child to the Dark Lord. Which she does: Delphi is “in a truly dark place” because she has neither parent or friend, whether adopted or blood. So again it’s an angle-change rather than breaking of things but I see why it feels wrong to people.
Also, in-story, Dumbledore says Voldemort's become less human thanks to making the Horcruxes. I instinctively assumed the ability to have children would be something lost when you’re murdering people to keep yourself alive: it just seems to fit. Also, ahem, not to violate your privacy, Mr Riddle, but... losing his humanity goes along with losing his nose
. I must admit I assumed certain other appendages went with it.This was originally posted at http://lokifan.dreamwidth.org/359346.html. Comment wherever you like :)