Please note: This article contains spoilers for readers and movie goers who have neither read the final Harry Potter book nor seen the second part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film. Read with caution.
Lauren Fairweather began her wizard rock career in 2005 when she created the Moaning Myrtles with her friend Nina Jankowicz. She has released numerous albums since then and has been involved in a myriad of Harry Potter related projects. Her most recent addition to the Potter fandom is an album entitled The Prince’s Tale.
The ten track CD is devoted to a very specific aspect of the Potter series- the relationship between Professor Snape and Lily Potter, Harry’s mother.
“When I read Deathly Hallows for the first time, ‘The Prince’s Tale’ was the chapter that really pulled together the whole series for me,” Fairweather explained to me during a recent interview. It is this chapter that reveals to readers that Snape and Lily were friends during childhood, and that they had developed a complex and possibly romantic relationship prior to Lily ultimately choosing to be with Harry’s father, James.
“I watched the Great Snape Debate at Phoenix Rising [New Orleans, 2007] before the book was released and was just so amazed at how JK Rowling had created a character that could be debated as being on either side for hours without accomplishing any kind of final decision. Seeing the pieces fall together through a heartbreaking tale of friendship and unrequited love just made everything make sense for me and set the story on its journey to the final confrontation,” she continued.
Fairweather sympathized with both characters through personal experience, explaining that she related to Snape’s family situation and experiences being bullied as well as Lily’s desire to belong to a community.
“As they grew apart, I caught glimpses of friends I’d lost over the years,” she stated.
“At the point in my life when I was reading this, I also saw the way that Snape was truly never able to move on with his life after he and Lily stopped being friends and hoped that I would never be in that position. After having some lengthy and painful experiences with unrequited love, it didn’t seem far off for me to spend my whole life loving someone who I could never be with and that made the story so much more powerful for me. I feel these stories as if they have happened to me, so this album really reflects that,” she also said.
So despite being a self-titled musician, the album is still the epitome of a wizard rock contribution. Fairweather considered creating a new “band” name for her solo wizrock endeavors but ultimately decided her solo identity would be best for her numerous pursuits. In addition to being a full-time musician, she is also an avid YouTuber and artisan.
“I do worry that people assume I don’t write wizard rock music anymore just because they won’t find my name in the pages of these books, but wizard rock is my life and has been since 2005. Even if there’s a little bit of confusion involved with not having a Harry Potter-related band name, I think there would be considerably more if I came up with a new one every time I switched perspectives or topics. I hope that if people like the music I write on certain topics, they would also be interested in the others as well,” she said.
The subject matter of The Prince’s Tale coincides perfectly with the release of the final Harry Potter film, in which the chapter of the same name is finally depicted.
“I thought that what they did keep of The Prince’s Tale [chapter] in the films was great, but what upset me is what was missing. Benedict and Ellie did such a wonderful job with young Snape and Lily but I wanted to see more of them. I was pretty bummed when they skipped over so much of their storyline and jumped ahead to adulthood,” Fairweather said of the film.
Fairweather’s album, meanwhile, explores Snape and Lily’s history in nearly every aspect, providing fans of the chapter with the perfect artistic celebration of their relationship.
The Prince’s Tale begins with “Maybe.” The song, from a young Snape’s perspective, exudes the hope and innocence he had when he laid eyes on Lily for the first time. “It’s Real For Us” serves as both an anthem for muggle-borns in the series as well as for dedicated Harry Potter fans. With “Gone,” Fairweather explores the developing relationship between Snape and Lily as they turn to each other as a result of feeling out of place at home. It’s also one of the most beautiful songs wizard rock has ever been blessed with.
“Freak” is devoted to Lily’s sadness when she realizes that her relationship with Petunia has been damaged forever. “This Is It” represents the moment when the two friends begin their journey at Hogwarts together, while “Lose You” explores the start of Snape’s journey into darker magic and the crumbling of their relationship.
“Worst Memory” serves as the epitome of Snape’s lowest point; being ridiculed by his peers and breaking the heart of the girl he loves. “Mudblood” is almost as heart wrenching with Lily ostracizing Snape from her life. “Keep Her Safe” and “Harry” are the album’s final songs. They establish the Snape we had known until the final book was released as well as the man we came to fully understand in the end.
The Prince’s Tale will make you cry, fill you with love and inspiration, and will leave you wondering whether or not there will be another wizard rock album as perfect as it is.
Fairweather is currently on tour promoting her new album. Digital downloading of the disc is available through iTunes for $9.90. Listeners can also preview the album on bandcamp. Physical copies ordered through her website will be shipped upon completion of her tour.