You can tell a girl she’s smart her whole life, encourage her in school, buy her a chemistry set, send her to math camp, help her apply for college scholarships in STEM fields, and she’s still eventually going to walk into a classroom, a lab, or a job interview and have some man dismiss her existence, deny her funding, pass her over for a promotion, or take credit for her work. How about you work on getting those assholes out of power and quit telling me not to call girls pretty.
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’m not saying this is for everyone, but it sure as hell is for me.
The Russian Academy of Magic is a colossal onion-domed structure drifting aimlessly across the surface of Lake Baikal brought to existence using centuries of levitation charms perfected by a group of Russian witches experimenting with portable floating ice rinks. Self-heating fur scarves are all the rage amongst students and professors alike, although they have been known to overheat from time to time, leading to mild cases of heat stroke. When traditional Quidditch games become dull, players would discard their brooms for skates and duke it out on the frozen surface of the lake.
Russia’s past is rife with the loss and alteration of recorded history. Government, forced illiteracy, war, communism. Its stories are a patchwork of translated letters and oral tradition. Thus the Russian Academy of Magic prides itself on its specialization in recovering and preserving information. Never again will Russian witches and wizards allow their people to be robbed of their stories.
Graduates of the academy can restore the smallest scrap of document to its original form by drawing on the energy of the writer (because writing is, the school teaches, a form of low level charming in which part of the person’s life is imprinted on the object, and this applies to many arts. Even cooking. Coincidentally, Russians are experts in detecting poisons by this same method). Students practice the art of remembering. Graduates can pull memories long forgotten, help amnesia patients, and are masters of painless interrogation. Russian witches and wizards often prove themselves the most intelligent people in the room by a combination of their memorization techniques and pure determination.
As their final test, each student is given a small box they must open. The needed information is hidden within the school, and they must use their training to determine where it is hidden and how to extract it (for instance, it might be hidden in the mind of a friend, a sequence of dreams that must be remembered, they might need to locate a number of ingredients for a potion, it might be a riddle, or the information is held by a person whose identity they must determine). This proves their resourcefulness, ability to think outside the box, and the quality of their training.
The Avengers as a Western
Steve is the Sheriff. Clint is his deputy. Tony is the Blacksmith. Natasha runs the Saloon. Bruce is the physician with a split personality and Thor gets into a hell of a lot of tavern brawls.
Together, however, they manage to bring order to the once corrupt town of Triskelion.
Remember The Avengers as a 70s Cop Drama? A Western might be cooler.