shoutout to my mutuals that I don’t really talk to y’all still cool
I think one of the reasons the Harry Potter Epilogue was so poorly received was because the audience was primarily made up of the Millennial generation.
We’ve walked with Harry, Ron and Hermione, through a world that we thought was great but slowly revealed itself to be the opposite. We unpeeled the layers of corruption within the government, we saw cruelty against minorities grow in the past decades, and had media attack us and had teachers tell us that we ‘must not tell lies’. We got angry and frustrated and, like Harry, Ron and Hermione, had to think of a way to fight back. And them winning? That would have been enough to give us hope and leave us satisfied.
But instead. There was skip scene. And suddenly they were all over 30 and happy with their 2.5 children.
And the Millennials were left flailing in the dust.
Because while we recognised and empathised with everything up to that point. But seeing the Golden Trio financially stable and content and married? That was not something our generation could recognise. Because we have no idea if we’re ever going to be able to reach that stage. Not with the world we’re living in right now.
Having Harry, Ron and Hermione stare off into the distance after the battle and wonder about what the future might be would have stuck with us. Hell, have them move into a shitty flat together and try and sort out their lives would have. Have them with screaming nightmares and failed relationships and trying to get jobs in a society that’s falling apart would have. Have them still trying to fix things in that society would have. Because we known Voldemort was just a symptom of the disease of prejudice the Wizarding World.
But don’t push us off with an ‘all was well’. In a world about magic, JK Rowling finally broke our suspension of disbelief by having them all hit middle-class and middle-age contentment and expecting a fanbase of teenagers to accept it.
Also. Since when was ‘don’t worry kids, you’re going to turn out just like your parents’ ever a happy ending? Does our generation even recognise marriage and money and jobs as the fulfillment of life anymore? Does our generation even recognise the Epilogue’s Golden Trio anymore?
I would really love to know whether inksplattersandearlyhours has read the Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman, and what they think about it.
I am so, so feeling this right now. I hadn’t thought of it this way, but not only is the epilogue a narrative cop-out, it robbed us of the opportunity to identify with the characters when we still needed them.
Here’s something I think about a lot: witches and wizards grow to be much older than Muggles. I mean, Dumbledore was about 150, right? Which suggests to me that actually, the set-up of the wizarding world must be much closer to our post-recession economy than the books suggest. I mean, talk about dead men’s shoes! In my twenties, my friends and I are finding that the sixty-year-olds aren’t clearing out of top spots fast enough to make way for later generations to move up. We’re stuck in menial jobs for so long—how much worse would that be for witches and wizards, who seem to have kids in their twenties and thirties but then don’t pass out of the workforce for another century?
Sure, the wizarding world is smaller, possibly has more space for growth, but that’s a bottleneck. And that persistence of older witches and wizards accounts for the conservatism of the wizarding world: the classism, racism, tremendous ageism, implied homophobia… How are we expected to believe that even the best and brightest young wixen (whose character assassinations by Rita Skeeter the world was all too happy to accept earlier) can break through that, and become successful by their early thirties? No, given the wizarding world we were shown, Harry, Ron and Hermione should still be struggling. Even the brightest witch of her age can’t really be expected to challenge colleagues with sixty years more experience and research behind them. As for the hot young Herbology teacher Neville headcanon—well, you need only look at the situation in Muggle academia to see how unlikely that is when there are always other, more qualified candidates.
And the thing is, it took a few years of struggling against the recession—thinking that it was my fault, that I was failing in some way—to realise that the problem is systemic. And the problems in the Muggle economy are replicated in the wizarding one. Being told that everything just fell into place for the characters we’d identified with for so much of our lives exactly when things were getting harder for us felt like the cruellest dismissal of our ongoing struggle. The epilogue replaced our teenage selves with adult strangers—and not cool adults like Charlie Weasley and Tonks and Kingsley Shacklebolt, but the very establishment adults who insisted that going to school is a direct path to a fulfilling career and happy home life, who dismiss the difficulties of succeeding in a world that doesn’t mirror their own.
In fairness, we don’t know about the characters’ lives in their twenties. Perhaps they did move into a flatshare and hook up with other people before ultimately getting back together with their childhood sweethearts. Perhaps they struggled with the idea of going to work for a Ministry of Magic that had obstructed them and discriminated against their friends so many times. Maybe they floundered between different jobs for a while, never quite content (and after all, they’re picking these jobs for a very long life). Perhaps the “extended childhood” Millennials are constantly being accused of is a requirement in the wizarding world; a period to go chase dragons, live in other communities, do research, just so that you have enough life experience to be able to compete when you get to the point of trying to have a career. That would have been wonderfully reassuring. But we don’t get to see any of that; we just get the fait accompli of bland marrying-off, dutiful procreation and success in a prestigious field, when the road to getting there is what we really needed to see. And we didn’t need JK Rowling to write it for us; we were doing that fine ourselves. But by capping book seven with that epilogue, she took away a lot of our potential to create that material ourselves; she made any mirror to our own lives an explicit AU, rather than leaving those possibilities open.
why do you care if people have tattoos and piercings or if people don’t wanna shave their legs or who people wanna fuck with
literally why do you care what someone else does with their own body if they’re not hurting anyone
it doesn’t affect you and there are a lot better things for you to actually give a fuck about
y’all got to work on your fucks budget, spend your fucks more wisely
ration all y’alls fucks
LOTR meme: five races
Elves were the first of the Children of Ilúvatar to awaken and venture into Middle-earth.The Elves were fair and noble people, wise and skillful, possessing great knowledge of handicrafts and art.Their realms in Middle-earth – Rivendell or Imladris and especially Lothlórien – though diminished, were yet places with a different sense of time, places of light, harmony and “no stain”. The elven tongues were tuneful and pleasant to listen to.(✖)