|sistermagpie (sistermagpie) wrote,|
@ 2007-04-03 11:02 am UTC
|Current music:||Grapes of Wrath|
|Entry tags:||draco, fandom, hp characters, meta|
...Myrtle as Draco's fangirl.
On the one hand I can easily see the connection, with Myrtle rhapsodizing about how Draco's really sensitive and all that. I think JKR could definitely have had fun writing Myrtle's dialogue there and been thinking about Draco fans...though, actually, we may have a skewed impression of just what she thought of them. I mean, we know that post-HBP she got letters from girls who were all mushy over poor Draco, but her previous comments about bad boys and Tom Felton may have been about people thinking Draco was cute in his evilness rather than really sensitive underneath. Though the two do go together, sometimes. (You know what we women are like!)
But at the same time, the most I can imagine JKR doing in that scene with regards to commenting on Draco fandom is having fun with things that were there for the plot already, because Myrtle's attitude towards Draco--and Kreacher's too--are just too, imo, important to the story. Part of what Harry is doing in HBP is following Draco into his world for the first time, if not very far in, and for the first time having to try to think about Draco as a person at the center of his own life. So it's fitting that Harry meet people whose view of Draco is so completely the opposite of his own to shake him up.
Both these characters who are besotted with Draco are saying something about themselves too. Kreacher and Myrtle both seem to prefer different versions of fanon Draco. Kreacher's into the fine cheekbones and aristocratic bearing--he'd read the fics where Draco's sophisticated and has expensive taste and is witty. And that fits Kreacher because he's the Black family retainer in love with their history and his place in it, the anti-Dobby. He immediately recognizes Draco as family and sees the family the way they want to see themselves.
Myrtle's more into the emo!Draco fics, which is interesting in itself, especially since as silly as Myrtle is, she's not completely *wrong*. Myrtle is never objective about anyone and always sees what she wants to see to some extent, but still, her relationship with Draco is based around something different than her relationship with Harry was. We don't see Draco and Myrtle together enough to really understand how much she's warping things, but in the one scene we do see Draco is essentially being what she says. He's not being cruel to her, he is being weepy and bullied and vulnerable. Myrtle may always see things in a self-centered way, but she also always has exactly the important, crucial information Harry's looking for. The boy saying strange words in the bathroom, the book someone threw at her, how to work the egg, and her crying boy were all the answer Harry was looking for at the time.
There also in some way seems something significant in how believably Draco and Myrtle can have this kind of relationship. I can't really put my finger on it and don't want to come across as being overly positive about it, but it somehow fits that Draco, rather than another student, would somehow fit with self-pitying, childish Myrtle.
It's just kind of ironic that although neither Kreacher nor Myrtle are giving us insightful, three-dimensional portraits of Draco, we almost need extreme views like that to challenge Harry's own and knock him out of his own view. Not as some lesson that Harry's been totally wrong, but by opening up the possibilities, showing him that if he's to understand what's going on he has to be able to think of Draco as someone who has value to other people who see something in him. Harry's original idea, that Draco wants revenge and has been given a chance by Voldemort, is a good start, but not enough--it's not the thing that's really driving him.
And of course, as a Draco fan I've always thought those views, even when I disagreed with them, were important to the fandom conversation all along. I think the characters in the books are really a combination of different versions of themselves. It's just that when you release the books to a fandom made of so many people, it's like a prism and characters breakdown into rainbow interpretations, if that makes sense. Sirius becomes a heartless bully on the red end and a tragic hero on the violet side. Snape's evil on one end and a brilliant, unappreciated, noble victim on the other. Draco's got his evil DE self, his cowardly DE self, his emo!boy self, his witty aristocrat self, all based on something in canon. Somehow he also seems to lend himself the most to pointing out the differences.