Yesterday, I gave Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a mostly positive review, but now it’s time to talk about a part of it that was just plain wrong. Cursed Child spoilers below.
Cedric Diggory would never be a Death Eater. Never. In the past, he has always been characterized as a good, kind, honorable young man. This is someone who wanted a rematch of a Quidditch game he won after he realized his opponent had passed out from a dementor attack. During the Triwizard Tournament, he helped Harry solve the clue for the second task to thank him for warning him about the dragons in the first task. The reason he ended up in the graveyard to start with is because he and Harry were both too honorable to fight each other for the cup and decided to take it together. If he had lived, I don’t think losing the tournament, even in a humiliating way, could possibly have been enough to turn him evil.
But what bothers me even more is that his survival could so easily have changed the outcome of the war without making him evil. Cedric’s death was the proof of Voldemort’s return, the prompting for Dumbledore’s speech about choosing between “what is right and what is easy”, and most likely the reason so many students joined Dumbledore’s Army: because one of their classmates was dead, and they were not going let the Ministry lie about it and keep them from learning how to defend themselves. Without Cedric’s death, Harry’s story about Voldemort’s return would have seemed to come out of nowhere, and more of his peers might have believed the Ministry’s version. Dumbledore’s Army became even more important in the final book, and with far fewer of them, the Battle of Hogwarts could easily have turned out differently. Especially if someone like Neville, who destroyed the final horcrux, was killed in that version of the battle.
It didn’t have to be Cedric who killed him. He didn’t have to become a Death Eater. All he had to do was survive. It’s a shame the play didn’t go that route, instead of drastically warping his character in order to force a change in the timeline that didn’t really make sense at all.