Good, Kind, and Brave: Six Ways Cedric Diggory Embodied the King of Cups, and How to Honor His Memory
The House of Hufflepuff and the Suit of Cups of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck were made for each other. Both value emotion, friendship, loyalty, and fair play, and both produce diplomatic representatives of these altruistic traits. My favorite Hufflepuff, Cedric Diggory, is a perfect example of the King of Cups. Known as a leader forged from kindness, fellowship, and emotion, the King of Cups is a representative of success through cooperation and collaboration. Though our time with Cedric was short, it was chock-full of kindness and diplomacy. Here are six ways Cedric embodied the King of Cups and what we can do in life to honor his memory.
1. Unicorn Hair Wand
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we discover that Cedric’s wand has a unicorn hair core. Pottermore describes wands with unicorn hairs as faithful and “difficult to turn to the Dark Arts.” Similarly, the King of Cups is a diplomat who would rather talk than fight, and make allies rather than enemies. Cedric’s conduct at Hogwarts, even as a competitive Quidditch player and Triwizard Champion, shows honor and kindness even to his opposition. This is the type of righteousness and purity that compels a unicorn hair wand to choose a wizard.
2. Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Cedric attempts to forfeit Hufflepuff’s Quidditch victory after discovering that the Dementors had caused Harry to fall from his broom. However, even Oliver Wood called it a clear-cut win for Hufflepuff. Cedric’s inclination to forfeit due to Harry’s accident is an example of the King’s sincerity, compassion, and diplomacy.
3. Triwizard Camaraderie
As the first Hogwarts Champion in Goblet of Fire, Cedric strives to bring honor to Hogwarts and Hufflepuff. I think he also views the competition as an opportunity for camaraderie. Just after the Champions are announced, Cedric seems delighted to be “going up against each other again” (282). During the Tournament, Cedric and Harry form a cautious friendship and help each other with each of the tasks. Harry tells Cedric about the dragons, and Cedric tells Harry how to work out the egg’s clue. To forge this kind of relationship with his competitor is another example of the amiable fellowship of the King of Cups.
4. Against the “Potter Stinks” Badges
The King of Cups believes in fair play, and Cedric mirrors this belief in Goblet of Fire. In the book, Harry suspects that Cedric asked people to stop wearing the “Potter Stinks” badges. In the film, Cedric tells Harry that he asked his friends not to wear them. Though these badges were also pro-Cedric, it is plain that Cedric looked down upon their blatant poor sportsmanship. Students wearing the badges, even in support of Cedric, was the opposite of what Cedric would have seen as right and just.
5. The Triwizard Cup
After Harry hurts his leg helping Cedric in the maze, Cedric clearly has the advantage. He could get to the Triwizard Cup before Harry and accept victory on behalf of both Hogwarts and Hufflepuff. However, Cedric believes that Harry is worthy of the Cup for saving him in the maze and tipping him off about the dragons in the first task. This irritates Harry because the rules are that whoever gets to the Cup first wins, and he couldn’t possibly win on his injured leg. However, Cedric is relentless, and Harry eventually decides that they should take the Cup together. Like the King of Cups, Cedric values virtue over victory. In his eyes, he wasn’t trying to let Harry win; Harry had already won through kindness and allyship.
6. Thought of Others, Even in Death
The King of Cups is known for putting others before himself, something Cedric always did. If you were killed, and then suddenly conjured to the scene of your death, faced with your own dead body and several individuals carrying magic wands, what would your first request be? Mine might be, “Hey, guys, could one of you try to resurrect me?” Cedric, however, thought of others even in death. He didn’t ask to be resurrected or point out the unfairness of his death. He asked Harry to take his body back to his father. This level of thoughtfulness and consideration for others is an indication of Cedric’s alignment with the caring King of Cups.
Honoring His Memory
Dumbledore says it best in his end of the year speech in Goblet of Fire: “Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy… Remember Cedric Diggory” (724). Be good. Be kind. Be brave. Make the right choices, even when no one is looking. This is how we can honor Cedric’s memory. As Cedric did, forge friendships instead of making enemies, and value virtue over victory. Cedric and the King of Cups both serve as examples of the fact that you can be both a strong leader and a kind one. In a world where this idea is admonished by a majority of society, figures like these are vitally important.