Why Cedric Diggory Deserves Better Than “Cursed Child”
Ever since its release, fans have been discussing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child pretty much endlessly. Whether it concerns plot, form, or consistency, most of us have an opinion – and often, it’s either love or hate.
Personally, I’m still feeling rather torn. Several aspects of the story were fun to read, fun to imagine, and after traveling to London for the actual play onstage, fun to see. However, there is one thing about Cursed Child that has always frustrated me endlessly – and that is the portrayal of Cedric Diggory.
Of course, we all know this beautiful Hufflepuff as one of the two champions from Hogwarts during the Triwizard Tournament. He was supported by a big part of the school, took the popular Cho Chang to the Yule Ball, and seemed to be just an all-around pretty cool dude. More importantly, Cedric was a kind and loyal person.
After catching the Snitch in a match against Gryffindor in Harry’s third year, he offered to replay the game since Harry was unwell. He never got angry at Harry for becoming the second Hogwarts champion and remained friendly even when most of the school didn’t. He helped Harry during the second task, tipping him off about the riddle in the golden egg.
And then, finally, after offering Harry the chance at winning the Triwizard Cup by himself… Well, we all know what happened. The last words that Cedric Diggory heard while he was alive came from a Dark wizard, calling him nothing but a “spare” (GoF 638).
Cedric Diggory’s story is a tragic one, and it signified an important turning point in Harry’s story. To have someone so selfless and righteous meet their end in such a horrific way shows how incredibly high the stakes are and how no one is safe.
You can imagine my surprise when I read Cursed Child and realized that they’d turned Cedric into a plot device leading to the downfall of the wizarding world in an alternate universe. I was outraged. Disgusted. There was no way I would ever believe that that boy would turn into a Death Eater and kill one of his fellow students simply because he felt embarrassed.
In my opinion, it would’ve been better to leave Cedric be. His character arc was finished. It was a solid, heartfelt story that made sense and motivated Harry and his friends to fight back against Voldemort. Having Cedric come back as a villain – not even on the actual stage, but just as part of a backstory – contradicts everything we know about him and disgraces his character.
Of course, since the main story is built on Albus and Scorpius trying to save Cedric, it would make sense for Cedric’s survival to create complete disorder in an alternate universe. But even so, couldn’t it have been a different character who was the direct cause? Karkaroff? Wormtail? Perhaps even Amos Diggory? All of those options would be more believable than Cedric turning to the dark side.
Don’t get me wrong – I agree with J.K. Rowling that it is up to her what to do with the world she created, but I also believe that that world should be consistent and remain believable. It’s real for us, after all. And for that reason, I’d like to point out the following words by Albus Dumbledore:
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” (GoF 724).
It seems to me that the Cursed Child writers chose what is easy instead of what is right. They took a character who, at 17 years old, at the height of his teenage years, proved time and time again that he is kind and loyal and willing to fight for what’s right even if that was to his own disadvantage. And they changed him until he became unrecognizable.
What do you think? Is Cedric’s fate in Cursed Child excusable somehow? Or does this part of the story annoy you as much as it does me?