As if you needed another indication that millennials are no longer the youths and are now entering middle age, a biologist in New Zealand named a new wasp species after Harry Potter villain Lucius Malfoy, according to CNN. The Lusius malfoyi is a "newly discovered species of non-stinging wasp," and it's all part of the scientist's grand plan to rehabilitate the wasp's public image.
CNN says the biologist wants to "clean up" the negative image wasps have — that of stinging, vindictive little dicks. So maybe — just maybe — naming it after one of the seven-book series' villains wasn't the best call.
Tom Saunders is a researcher from the University of Auckland, and he came to the defense of the elder Malfoy, who was depicted in the Harry Potter series as the evil Deatheater father of antagonist and Harry's school rival, Draco Malfoy.
Saunders told CNN,
People see wasps as villains, as the 'bad guys.' But the truth is that the vast majority of wasp species are either neutral or beneficial, from a human standpoint. Just as Lucius Malfoy is pardoned after separating from Voldemort's allies, I'm asking people to pardon wasps in order to restore their reputation as interesting, important creatures.
Some people were, to put shortly, unhappy with Saunders' reasoning, because, I mean, come on. Lucius Malfoy was a high-ranking Deatheater, which is analogous to being a high-ranking Nazi.
But in all fairness to Saunders, Harry is a notoriously unreliable narrator. He is so selfish that he often sees the world in black-and-white, and he sees people as absolutely good or absolutely bad. So it's not totally out of the realm of possibility that somebody, at some point in time, could successfully argue for Malfoy's redemption. I mean, after all, he didn't fight in the Battle of Hogwarts, instead opting to look for his son, Draco.
CNN sums it up thusly:
[I]n the final installment, Malfoy redeems himself by defecting from Voldemort's Army in order to save his own family, and is pardoned for his crimes.
And while it's true that Malfoy, in the climactic battle scene, didn't fight for Voldemort, I wouldn't exactly call his arc one of redemption.
After all, there's the whole deal of, like, his entire existence, what with him being a Deatheater who believed in the superiority of pureblood wizards. Oh, and the fact that he tried to sabotage Arthur Weasley's job, oh, and the time he passed on a cursed journal to Ginny, which led to all sorts of injuries and petrified kids. Yeah, I mean, let's be honest: he's directly responsible for unleashing the basilisk. Oh, god, and there was the whole helping-Voldemort-rise-again thing. And he was a total dick to Hermione Granger, who, may I remind you, was a young girl when he first started being, like I said, a dick.
Yeah, you know, on second thought, I'm having a hard time understanding Saunders' reasoning here, if he's trying to rehabilitate the wasp's image.
Especially since it seems that Lusius malfoyi is quite an integral part of the New Zealand ecosystem, acting as nature's pest control.
Now, if he's just trying to be clever, that's fine. Because if any creature were the Deatheater of the natural world, it would be the wasp. I mean, what is the point of wasps, other than to sting people and call over their little jerk wasp friends with their stupid pheremones to sting people even more?
OK, whatever, so wasps are vital to the environment, according to the BBC. They're important predators and pollinators. Oooooh. Big deal!
And sure, Saunders told CNN, "I was inspired to name this species in a way that would hopefully spark a larger conversation about the relationship that humans have with the millions of species that share the planet with us."
But WHATEVER, dude.
Not like we'll have an environment for wasps to be a ~vital part of~ anyways.
So who cares if a wasp is named after a sloppy version of literary criticism.