Cedric Diggory: Valiant or Villain
This post contains spoilers from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. If you do not want to be spoiled, I suggest you stop reading now.
The original Harry Potter series presented Cedric Diggory as a brave and kind student.
Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory” (Goblet of Fire 724).
However, this is contradicted in Cursed Child. In the script, an alternate timeline where Cedric was humiliated during the Triwizard Tournament was presented. This led to him becoming a Death Eater and killing Neville. While an embarrassing moment may have led to some fallout, it would not have caused such a drastic change.
Despite Cedric’s short appearances in the series, he demonstrated many incredible qualities.
First of all, he was incredibly fair.
Diggory got the Snitch,” said George. “Just after you fell. He didn’t realize what had happened. When he looked back and saw you on the ground, he tried to call it off. Wanted a rematch” (Prisoner of Azkaban 180).
Plus, he exemplified the traits of Hufflepuff House when he repaid the debt he owed to Harry after he clued him in on the egg.
I owe you one for telling me about the dragons. You know that golden egg? Does yours wail when you open it?”
“Yeah,” said Harry.
“Well . . . take a bath, okay?”
“Take a bath, and — er — take the egg with you, and — er — just mull things over in the hot water. It’ll help you think” (Goblet of Fire 431).
Also, he tried to make life easier for Harry during the tournament.
He wasn’t attracting nearly as much unpleasantness in the corridors anymore, which he suspected had a lot to do with Cedric — he had an idea Cedric might have told the Hufflepuffs to leave Harry alone, in gratitude for Harry’s tip-off about the dragons” (Goblet of Fire 389/390).
In addition, he was noble and insisted Harry take the Triwizard Cup when they reached it together.
You take it. You should win. That’s twice you’ve saved my neck in here” (Goblet of Fire 633).
Some of these acts still would have occurred in the alternate timeline. Cedric’s bravery, loyalty, and kindness are testaments to the extraordinary character he was. His unfair and tragic death inspired many students to take up the fight against Voldemort, which would not have happened had he not been the wonderful man he was. Cedric’s death left a lasting impact on the characters and us, the readers, as well. When he died, he demonstrated how cruel and unfair the world can be. However, it also showed how the loss of one life can impact so many others.
Taking into account everything he did and was, how is it possible that this selfless character goes from a valiant hero to a villain in a single moment?