30 Day Fanfic Challenge – Day 2

Favourite character that is developed in fan-fiction but barely mentioned in the source material

Almost every book, movie and game has at least one character that is mentioned once by name before being completely ignored from then on; or maybe has one or two lines, or cuts the protagonist off in traffic, or has some other minor interaction with one or more of the major players.

These minor, to barely existing, characters are a major boon for fan-fiction writers as they allow the inclusion of an OC (original character), without them technically being an OC. Sometimes, though, these characters are used so much, they begin to develop common characteristics which are gradually accepted as fanon.

One such character from the Harry Potter universe is Daphne Greengrass. Here is pretty much everything the Harry Potter books tell us about Daphne:

  • Her name is Daphne Greengrass.
  • She is in the same year as Harry Potter.
  • She is sorted into Slytherin.
  • She is female.
  • She has a sister named Astoria, who marries Draco Malfoy.

Despite (or perhaps, because of) this lack of character development, Daphne is an extremely popular character in fan-fiction, to the point where she has developed a distinct persona with specific character traits. Here is what fanon tells us about Daphne:

  • Daphne is stunningly beautiful with blonde hair and (usually) blue eyes.
  • Daphne’s family are neutral in the war, considering themselves ‘grey’ rather than ‘light’ or ‘dark’.
  • She is a pureblood but doesn’t buy into the whole Pureblood Supremacy movement.
  • In order to protect herself from entitled Pureblood Slytherins, she hides her warm heart behind a cold outer shell, often coming across to observers as emotionless. Because of this many stories refer to her as the Slytherin Ice Queen or Ice Princess.
  • Her best friend is Tracy Davis, who is more easy-going than, and quite protective of, Daphne.
  • She is highly intelligent.
  • She embodies all the best qualities of Slytherin — ambition, cunning, determination, resourcefulness.
  • Her family is wealthy, but not in the same league as the Malfoys.

Not all stories show this Daphne, of course. That’s the beauty of fan-fiction (and undeveloped characters), you can write whatever you wish. However, enough writers adhere to these common characteristics that they have almost become ‘facts’, despite having nothing to do with the actual books.

Slytherin Ice Queen Daphne has, in fact, become so common as to be regarded as a cliché. Many authors use this trope as a substitute for lazy writing. However, there are also many excellent stories out there featuring this rendering of Daphne. It is particularly common in stories with a romantic pairing between Daphne and Harry.

Despite the shortcomings, and potential pitfalls, I adore a good Harry/Daphne story, and fan-fiction Daphne is one of my favourite characters.

If you want to participate in the 30 Day Fanfic Challenge, you can find the daily themes here.
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