This isn’t maybe a rant so much as it is a question. Probably not the best way to start off a category titled “Fan Rants,” but I have to get you in the door.
Anyway, it’s a simple question. And that question is… why? Why, in fan culture, do so many flock to the nefariously exclusionary? It’s not that I don’t understand the allure of the villain. Villains are reckless in a way we nonfictionals can’t be. They know what they want and boy howdy do they go for it! There’s something about that, no matter how bad the thing is that they’re going for, that’s kinda cool. Respectable, even.
But with these dudes, the two-word one-two punch of the fictionalized freakin’ NAZIS… why? What’s so appealing about them? Is it their penchant for dressing exactly the same? Is it their masked ability to be unconscionably cruel without fear of reprisal? Is it just how very, very bad they can be? What? What is it?
I’ll admit it now, as anyone reading this will undoubtedly be thinking it – yeah, I’m a bit of a goody two shoes. I guess. I think all people deserve respect, anyway, and that people who aren’t hurting anybody shouldn’t be treated poorly for whatever non-hurting-anybody differences they may have. Funny thing is, most of the people I know who think the Death Eaters and Stormtroopers are cool… believe the same things! Kinda fries the circuits a little bit.
Let’s be real for just one second. These groups are both founded on the core value of sameness. They are the Borg. You will be assimilated. They don’t want people who are different. They don’t want people who shake things up. They don’t want people who go for it, unless “it” is getting rid of those people who don’t fit into the mold. They want mindless obedience and the status quo. So it straight up boggles my mind when people who pride themselves on having a unique perspective idolize these weirdos.
I’ll speak mainly to the Death Eaters now, since even though I am a huge Star Wars fan, I have read the Harry Potter books just about every year since I was 15, and let’s just say that’s quite a few years and leave it at that. I feel pretty comfortable in my understanding of the series.
So, the Death Eaters, right? Nazis, right? What is the Death Eaters’ main cause? Blood purity. AKA, keeping the wizarding bloodlines “pure” from any intermingling with the Muggleborn gene pool. Not that there appears to be any difference whatsoever in the skill level of pureblood and Muggleborn witches and wizards – these jags just don’t want anyone else “stealing” their precious magical power. They elect a noseless psychopath that they don’t even like to be the leader of their little crusade, all so they can be the bosses (sort of, it’s not like Voldemort shares the throne all that much) of magic land. They are literally the worst.
Beyond being the wizarding world’s answer to the KKK, the Death Eaters tend to hail from the most hoity-toity, old money families. Because of course they do. They’re all about power and reigning supreme over everyone else. So I’d maybe, kinda sorta get the fan love, if the fans of these guys were privileged, popular people who were used to keeping others at arm’s length and spending most of their time creating more power for themselves. But they’re not! And that’s the wildest bit. Wilder even than liking guys who are obviously Nazi KKK racist dirtbags (I mean, plenty of people today have Nazi fetishes, so as much as I am not in that club, I get that some people dig that unsettling shiz), is that the people who like them are exactly the kind of people they’d hate. Outsiders. People who stand out and bravely defy the way things are when the way things are aren’t okay anymore. The only Death Eater who ever fit that description was Snape, who most of the other Death Eaters basically despised, and who was a double agent anyway.
The whole thing gets under my skin a little. Every time I see someone sporting a Death Eater tattoo or proclaiming love for a Malfoy (apart from Narcissa – we cool), that little niggling feeling returns. Why? I want to ask. But I know there are no answers that I could fully understand.