Would YOU Fall For Lord Voldemort If…

So, first of all, this amazing fan-made Beauty and the Beast/Harry Potter trailer:

Anything with Emma Watson in will clearly always be a Hermione AU opportunity. I wish I’d never given up video editing as a hobby now, but moreover, it got me thinking about what a hideous relationship this would be.

Bare with.

First of all: no way do I take this video seriously. It just got me thinking, yeah?

What would Voldemort – a pretty 2D evil villain – have to do to be forgivable? Probably impossible, he sought genocide and tortured peeps for fun. If you watch the trailer again, those clips of Voldemort actually showed expressions of vulnerability. It made me think more about how some romance stories look at forgiving someone for terrible sins and helping them to be better.

So if Voldemort stopped killing people and learned the error of his ways, what would you say he’d have to do/change before you’d fall in love with him, despite his track record for murder and torture? Is it even possible for you? It must have happened somewhere in history…

What characters have you forgiven for heinous crimes? At what point could you never forgive a character, despite their depth?

One example from me: I could never forgive Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones, who deserves whole posts to talk about why. Short version: even if Cersei suddenly felt truly remorseful for all the people she has murdered and betrayed – or for those her son Jeoffrey tortured and murdered and she pretended not to notice – her cruelty has ruined and obliterated the lives of literally hundreds of people. I feel sick whenever she’s on screen because she enjoys the suffering she’s caused.

She manipulates and abuses those around her, including her own children, her lover/brother, and family. Any flicker of remorse she seems to feel is only when she gets caught. Despite her fantastic depth of motivation and feeling, I don’t think I could forgive her. It would take an intense character shift and a lot of genuine acts of kindness and generosity for me to perhaps forgive Cersei Lannister.

On the flip side, I forgave Regina Mills from Once Upon A Time. Again, a cold, selfish, murderous, and extremely manipulative woman who I loved to despise. But eventually, she embarked on a difficult journey to reform her core self. She remains sarcastic, quick-to-judge, and wildly controlled by her emotions, but as a person, she grew capable of deep internal reflection and struggled hard to be better.

Both of these women share the same motivator: to love, protect, and keep hold of their children. Both are great characters, but one of them I really want dead.

Fictional Characters Who Changed My Life

It’s true that reading books/comics/manga or watching a film/TV series can change a person’s perspective on things. We can see our faults reflected in others, we can see our virtues, we can think outside of our small bubbles and we can learn to understand others. We can also be inspired to change the things we hate about ourselves or in the world around us – we can find the courage to admit what we love.

There are a small number of characters who have affected me so much that I have sought to change who I am, and I’d like to tell you about three of my most significant role-models.

Hermione Granger: I met Hermione when I was five years old in 1997. What an annoying bossy-boots she was. She always had to be snooty about getting things right. She had to point out the obvious to Ron and Harry like they were idiots. She had this way of talking that was so irritating, so well pronounced. And she knew everything! I mean, alright, that’s pretty amazing but she was way too arrogant about it.

I disliked her for a long time and, even by the end of the Philosopher’s Stone, I only had a begrudging admiration for her. It was her sharp tongue and logic won my respect in the Chamber of Secrets. I cared about her, of course I did, but she was still a bossy know-it-all.

It wasn’t until the fourth book that I began to realise I was also a bossy know-it-all. I realised I had all of her annoying qualities and not enough of her wit or dedication. It took me years to grow out of my ‘Granger Attitude’ but I always told myself, ‘Be smart like Hermione.’ and I knew that to be smart, I had to work hard.

Hermione taught me to study; not to be arrogant, to expand my vocabulary, to be brave and stand up to your friends when they’re being idiots. She’s the reason I try so hard and she’s the reason I’m no longer a dick.

Tohru Honda: My cousin introduced me to Tohru (from the manga series Fruits Basket) when I was 16 in 2008. What a caring, considerate, loving and determined girl Tohru is. I’ve always been emphatic but not to the extent of Tohru Honda. Sure, she’s dopey, overly apologetic and keen to please people – but she truly cares. She’s not stupid. She doesn’t cling onto others because she’s incapable. In fact, despite how lovely she is it’s never annoying. You know what I mean. The unflawed Mary-Sue type.

Tohru sees – or tries to see – the good in everyone, even if they seem like the incarnation of abuse and anger. She looks past their flaws and asks, “Why did you treat me this way? What’s hurting you or troubling you? Ah, I see. I understand you. If I can’t help, please just know I understand. I won’t run away.”

She strives to be helpful and puts other’s needs before her own. She loves people without holding back and offers advice that I think everyone should hear.

Tohru is the character I relate to the most. I learnt from her how much I hate selfishness. It’s the one quality I can’t stand and I especially hate to see it in myself. Jealousy, too, is a terrible, destructive, stupid thing but that wasn’t so hard (for me personally) to master. Selfishness, however, still bothers me.

I’ll always strive to be as caring, understanding and loving towards everyone like Tohru is.

Ibis: What an insightful character Ibis turned out to be. I met her when I was 18 in 2012 and I carry her story with me every time I move house: The Stories of Ibis by Hiroshi Yamamoto. I don’t think it was her intention to have such a profound effect on my outlook on life but, nonetheless, she’s changed my world and opened it up into a gaping expanse.

I don’t believe in any religion because of this book and I don’t think that was its intention. I think it wanted to express the brilliance and kindness of the human mind, which it certainly achieved. While Tohru restores my faith in the people around me, Ibis stripped away my doubt and made me see the world.

She showed me how amazing people are when they work together. She showed me how illogical it is to believe in ‘a fairy in the sky’ (please note I do not condemn anyone who believes in God or the Gods). It still stuns me that now, even when I try, I can’t find any belief in a higher life form (E.Ts are a whole other discussion).

I feel liberated, if perhaps a little sad. I even feel like I caught a glimpse of everyone in the world, despite knowing this is ridiculous. Ibis taught me to believe everyone has the ability to be kind and that no religion will fix things; people have to fix things themselves, and they have to feel motivated to achieve change.

Ibis taught me not to put faith in the Gods but to put my faith in people, who are a lot more likely to get things done.

What about you? What characters have changed your life?

My Five-Year-Old-Self has found satisfaction.

Last night, on a spontaneous whim, my boyfriend took me to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: part 2. This series has been a constant throughout my childhood, woven into the fabric of my development, and etched into my heart. It is no exaggeration when I say I am emotionally attached to the characters of Harry Potter.

For the past fourteen years I have known and grown up with Harry, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. I can’t remember every plot detail but I can tell you silly things like: Remus’ son is named after his wife’s father, Teddy. Don’t try playing HP trivia games with me.

During the seventh film, when Harry discovers Snape’s past and learns what he must do to kill Voldemort, the tears flooded over my cheeks and down my neck. Here was the moment where my fantasy hero was closest and lost to me all at once: a moment where Harry – self-absorbed dick that he is – is braver than I could ever be. I wanted to wail, which is unlike me. I wanted to sob my heart out but somehow I manged to half-strangle myself into silence.

For those who have invested a huge chunk of themselves into the series, this film pulls it all together. It’s not the end, it’s satisfaction. Fourteen years is very a long time to love and wait for visual indulgence.

Many criticise the epilogue and I admit to hating it when I read it for the first time, too. It seemed corny, tacky and downright cheap to my fifteen year old self. But now that I’ve watched it, seen all the films this past week with an older perspective, I feel complete. Everything has been tied up and I think fans deserve that. Having watched the epilogue I feel utterly explosive (in an epic, liberated and satisfied sort of way) and perhaps that’s because I’m now planning and making my own future – my adult life: children, a career, a home…

I’ve grown up with Harry. Thank you, Joanne Kathleen Rowling. I can’t wait to read to my children, as my father did for me.