25. scorpio / infj / fed up. grad student.
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Folks let me talk about Crowley and sunglasses, because I have a lot of emotions about when he wears them and when he doesn’t, and Hiding versus Being Seen.
We’re introduced to the concept of Crowley wearing glasses even before we’re introduced to Crowley, by Hastur: “If you ask me he’s been up here too long. Gone native. Enjoying himself too much. Wearing sunglasses even when he doesn’t need them.”
Honestly Crowley’s whole introduction is a fantastic; we learn so much about his character in a tiny amount of time. The fact that he’s late, the Queen playing as the Bentley approaches, the “Hi, guys” in response to Hastur and Ligur’s “Hail Satan”. I like this intro much better than the one originally scripted with the rats at the phone company, but I digress.
Crowley wears sunglasses when he doesn’t need them. Specifically, he still wears them around the demons, and when he’s in hell.
You know where Crowley doesn’t wear glasses? At home.
We never once see him wearing glasses in his flat, except for when he knows Hastur and Ligur are coming. That’s an emotional kick to the gut for me. Here’s one of the only places Crowley’s comfortable enough to be sans glasses, and when he knows it’s going to be invaded he prepares not just physically with the holy water, but by putting up that emotional barrier in a place where he wasn’t supposed to need it.
An argument could be made that Crowley actually never needs glasses. We’re shown that it’s well within the angels’ and demons’ powers to pass unnoticed by humans. Crowley and Aziraphale waltz out of the manor in the middle of a police raid, and going unnoticed by the police takes so little effort that they can keep up a conversation while they stroll through. Even an unimaginative demon like Hastur apparently doesn’t have trouble with the humans losing it over his demonic eyes. The humans in the scene at Megiddo are acting like “this guy is a little weird” and not “holy shit his entire eyeballs are black jelly”
That means that Crowley’s glasses are a choice, just like Aziraphale’s softness. Sure, he could arrange matters so that nobody ever noticed his eyes, but he doesn’t want to. Crowley wants acceptance, and he wants to belong, and he’s never, ever had that. He didn’t fit in before the Fall in Heaven, he doesn’t fit in with the demons in Hell. With the glasses, and with the Bentley and his plants and with the barely-bad-enough-to-be-evil nuisance temptations, he’s choosing Earth. This is where he wants to fit in, perhaps not with the humans, but amongst them.
Even after Crowley is at his absolute lowest, when he thinks Aziraphale’s dead and he’s on his way to drink until the world ends, he takes the time to put a new pair on when the old ones are damaged. He needs that emotional crutch right now, even with everything about to turn into a pile of puddling goo he’s not ready for the world to see his eyes.
Which is why I swore out loud when Hastur forcibly takes them off.
It’s about the worst thing that Hastur could have done. Rather than leading with a physical threat, his first act is to strip away Crowley’s emotional defences. It’s a great writing choice because god it made me hate Hastur, even more than all the physical violence we see him do.
It’s also the moment that Crowley really truly gets his shit together, and focuses all of his considerable imagination on getting to Tadfield and Aziraphale to help save the world. He’s wielding the terrifyingly unimaginable power of someone who’s hit rock bottom and realised it literally could not get any worse than this. He doesn’t put another pair of glasses on after discorporating Hastur, and he spends the majority of the airbase sequence without them.
He puts them back on again, I think, at the moment that he really lets himself hope. When he thinks ‘shit, there may be a real chance that we get through this to a future that I don’t want to lose’.
The vulnerability is back, and he needs Adam to trust him. In Crowley’s mind being accepted by a human means he needs to have his eyes hidden. Someone give the demon a hug, please.
Interestingly, there’s only one time in the whole series that we see Crowley willingly choose to take his glasses off around another person. Only one person he’ll take down that barrier for, and even then he’s drunk before he does it.
Dear God/Satan/Someone that makes my heart ache. Crowley’s chosen Earth, but he’s also chosen Aziraphale. He’s been looking for somewhere to belong his entire existence, and it’s with the angel that he finally feels it.
When the dust settles and the world is saved and they finally have space to be themselves unguarded, I like to imagine Crowley takes off the glasses when it’s just the two of them; the idea of being known doesn’t scare him quite so much anymore.
Been relistening to balance and Lucretia’s reaction to hearing that the “red robe” showed up just solidifies my headcanon that… She had absolutely no idea what had happened to Barry.
He just fucking disappeared, like Lup before him disappeared, without a trace. She erased her crewmates’ memories and suddenly when she went to look Barry wasn’t on the ship anymore. He was gone.
So when a “spectral guy in a red robe” shows up to talk to the THB, asks them if they’re afraid, tells them they’ll learn fear, makes captain bane drink his own poison… She seemed not only genuinely shocked, but genuinely afraid for them.
And yeah, some of that fear is the realization that Barry may not let her finish her plan.
But part of that is a very real fear that Barry isn’t in there anymore. Liches are feared for a reason. They’re forbidden for a reason! They’re not stable, and with Lup gone, his family forgotten, I think Lucretia is absolutely terrified that they’ve lost Barry for good, and that in his confusion, with the boys having no idea who he is or how powerful he can be, that something seriously bad could happen if they ran into them again.
Every time Barry speaks to them in his lich form it’s not the charming Barry Bluejeans we know and love. He’s mysterious and spooky at best, and menacing and downright terrifying at worse.
They learn to trust him, of course, but that’s kind of beside the point.
I think what I love most about Lucretia (and I think what people misunderstand about her most) is that she’s not some calculating mastermind sitting behind a curtain going “Aha! My secret plan is working!” She’s a person who is, in an effort to save the whole universe and, impulsively, protect her family from the suffering they’re feeling is constantly, desperately fucking up.
Nothing ever goes the way she wants it too, even with the best intentions because she’s trying to accomplish it alone and we see a stark reminder of that after their first real interaction with “the red robe”: she realizes that whatever happened with Barry is just another one in the long line of mistakes that she doesn’t know how to fix
Okay so you know that trope in fics where after Harry comes out, Ron asks him if he ever looked at him that way? Usually his response is relief but like, what if it wasn’t? What if it went like…
Ron: What do you mean you’ve never?
Harry: Well, you’re like my brother. It would be too weird.
Ron: Not even once?
Ron: But you’ve thought about Malfoy?
Harry: Um, recently, yeah.
Ron: I’m gonna need a 20 inch essay on what Malfoy has that i don’t.
Harry: It’s not like that! Hermione, help me out here.
Ron: Is it the hair?
Hermione: I doubt that’s it, he used to like Ginny. Maybe it’s more about posture.
Harry: *hitting his head to the desk and groaning*
Ron: I’m taller than he is Harry and he’s a bit skinny to be honest. I have more bulk, you know? Wait, where are you going? I’m a bloody catch, come back!
Hermione, snickering: There there, Ronald. I know you are.
Fleur Delacour had the most impressive performance in the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament, imo, and it is a Crime that she came in last place. Like, sure, maybe what she did took awhile and it wasn’t flashy, but imo she did by far the most impressive, difficult, and most humane piece of magic.
Like, there’s this pissed off dragon mother, right? It’s been boxed up, taken to this strange place, then stuck in a noisy arena where its eggs are being threatened. This dragon is probably Unbelievably scared and angry.
It can take 4-8 grown wizard working in tandem to Stun a dragon, especially a pissed off one, but Fleur “fairy princess” Delacour walks into that arena, stares down an angry apex predator, and somehow manages to single-handedly enchant it to sleep. This Common Welsh Green is surrounded by hundreds of people, needs to protect its eggs, but Fleur Delacour’s magic manages to override all of its fear and anger? That is an incredible feat of powerful and probably very complex magic.
Like, no wonder Fleur Delacour can come off as condescending, that is mind-blowingly impressive. That is the work of 4-8 adult wizards. You cannot tell me that the watching dragon-handlers were not LOSING THEIR MINDS.
Between sexism and Fleur being part-Veela, it is unfortunately very realistic that she faces a lot of prejudice, but come on, Professors Sprout and Hagrid and etc. must have been going wild. It’s only some very bad luck that her skirt was accidentally set on fire. She got the golden egg. There was zero damage to the dragon or to the real eggs. Even if Madame Maxime and Fleur worked together to prepare it, Fleur still had to do it, and Madame Maxime would have been so rightly furious that Fleur’s bravery and magical skill wasn’t recognized.
Anyway, part of where I’m going with this, is that this injustice also creates some choice eldest Weasley brother reactions. Like Bill Weasley is writing his regular letters to Charlie, right? And he happens to mention, “Hey, I met this woman at work, with that guardian beast problem with that tomb I was telling you about. Do you remember the Beauxbatons Champion, Fleur Delacour?”
And Charlie Weasley writes back like, “DO I REMEMBER FLEUR DELACOUR? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! WE HAVE A POSTER OF HER ON OUR WALL! I HAVE HER GRADUATING CHARMS THESIS ON CALMING MAGICAL CREATURES AND I WANT IT SIGNED. SHE REVOLUTIONIZED OUR DEALINGS WITH DRAGONS HERE. INJURIES ON THE RESERVE FOR DRAGONS AND HANDLERS ARE DOWN BY LIKE 75% SINCE WE BEGAN IMPLEMENTING HER SPELLWORK.”
“Uh, alright then. Well, you can send that to me and I will ask her to sign it for you,” Bill Weasley, an extremely successful Curse-Breaker, writes back. (It isn’t that he doesn’t find Fleur Delacour accomplishments very impressive, it is just that the poster on the wall thing is a Bit Weird.) “That’s not going to be weird when I ask her out or anything. Wish me luck.”
And Charlie writes back, “LUCK? LUCK?! WILLIAM WEASLEY, IF YOU DON’T MARRY THAT WOMAN, I’LL DISOWN YOU. TELL HER THAT IF GRINGOTTS DOESN’T APPRECIATE HER, SHE CAN COME TO ROMANIA. WE’RE BROKE, BUT I HAVE A DOZEN MUSCLED WIZARDS, WITCHES, AND OTHERS READY TO PROPOSE TO HER ON THE SPOT.”
“I was thinking dinner first,” Bill writes back. “But I’ll let her know?”
So, Fleur initially has to deal with a lot of crap from the Weasley Family, but at least she’s always got Charlie “Number One Fleur Delacour Fan” Weasley in her corner. You’ll catch Uncle Charlie excitedly telling the story of Fleur Delacour in the First Task to Bill’s children forever.
(Charlie: “IF YOU DON’T MARRY HER THEN I WILL!”
Bill: “Charlie, you’re not even into women.”
Charlie: “WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE MOST IMPRESSIVE DRAGON HANDLING I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE?!!”)