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May 2018
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Aerden [userpic]
Writing Narcissa Malfoy

Beyond the Hallows: I write Narcissa Malfoy in the Beyond the Hallows RPG, and I am finding her both fascinating and difficult to write.

I think she's fascinating because I am writing her as someone who has finally woken up and smelled the coffee after twenty some-odd years. She is at last seeing what the world is like, seeing the damage that the DE, Voldemort, and obssession with blood status have wrought, and she doesn't like it. For the first time in her life, she's questioning everything she was taught. I love this, and I feel as if I could gladly write her forever.

On the other hand, she is difficult to write because she is so depressed in my head. She's angry, unhappy, confused, and lonely. She realizes that she's alienated all the people she would now like to be friends with and can't stand the people she was friends with--wants nothing whatsoever to do with them. The only people she has right now are Lucious and Draco, and, somewhat distantly, her sister Andromeda, who she is awkwardly trying to repair relations with.

There are times when I think (and she 'says' so in my head) that she dares not cry because she's afraid that if she does, she won't be able to stop.

I am not prone to depression, so this is disconcerting to me, and it feels weird to both feel, in a part of my mind, depressed and yet not be depressed, at all. Even as I write this, I'm amused at my own psyche.

But I can't let her fall apart in the RP, even though I think, in a way, it might be realistic for her to. She's lived in a house with Voldemort for the past year. She's watched people be murdered and tortured in her own home, and she's ashamed that she was too gut-terrified to stop it. She's watched her own son be forced to do Voldemort's bidding and feared for his and her husband's lives constantly.

She's obssessively gardening in the RP right now because gardening is hard physical work (she's doing it the Muggle way), and she wants to be so exhausted that she falls asleep at night and doesn't dream, doesn't think, doesn't anything.

Then there are Lucius and Draco to consider. She loves them, and she knows they must be going through the same thing she is, in their own ways. She can see the condition they're in and thinks she should be strong for them--because she can tell that Lucius, at least, is in a bad way.

But I'm just sitting here thinking that something's got to give, and how to write that in an RPG so that it's not a pity party is a thing I'm having a hard time working out how to write.


I do feel you are doing a great job with her but understand that she isn't easy to write for. Maybe take a bit of a break from her? Let her character take a bit of a back seat.

You could also consider taking up someone a bit more bouncy as a second character.

Viv--I've actually been thinking of applying to write Mandy Brocklehurst, because I'd like to have more interaction with the other players, and Narcissa is very isolated, at the moment--and probably will be for quite a while, as she and her family are sure to be social pariahs. I'm actually quite grateful to Andromeda's player for taking the time to interact with her.

It's not really stressful playing Narcissa--it was a lot more stressful playing Paul, actually, especially around the time of Cicuta Bulstrode's death, when he didn't 'talk' to me for a week.

Getting into Narcissa's head is just strange. I'm discovering how naive she is about some things and how straightforward she can be about what she's thinking. She'll be asking things at her trial (rhetorically) that Paul would never dream of discussing in such a situation. She expresses thoughts that Paul would hide out of simple decorum. But for Narcissa, she's genuinely trying to figure out what happened to the world she was brought up in and why everything is suddenly turned upside-down and how she's going to live in the (for her) new reality.

Heh...I love Andromeda's continued cynicism, though. It is perfect. If Narcissa wants to be friends with Andie again, she should have to earn it.

I could kiss the mods for letting me play her. I worry that I'm not playing her canon enough, but I honestly do think she changed during the course of the books, particularly the last two.


I want to play!


I keep finding myself in games with 14 year olds, it's getting highly disturbing.

Sarah--It'd be fun to have you there! Check out byondthehallows


It might be a good idea to let Narcissa hold on to a few opinions that you yourself would never dream of keeping. And don't let her be argued away from them: think about how, in Narcissa's head, those opinions should be "obvious" and "correct", and all arguments otherwise "obviously flawed".

(It's one thing I've noticed about a lot of roleplayers playing canon characters: said characters in the hands of said roleplayers inevitably "figure out" that their old way of thinking is All Wrong, and wind up struggling to adopt the *roleplayer*'s ideals of right and wrong.)

Forty years of pride aren't going to wash away even in the light of the last two books; even Andromeda, in canon, retained something of the haughty, prickly pride with which she had been brought up. If you've ever read "Gone With The Wind", it's interesting to see how much Scarlett O'Hara remains the same in spite of how much she changes in other ways.