I haven’t been on the site much recently, so I apologize if this has already been discussed, but it seems to me that the ‘relationships’ sections in many articles are getting out of hand.
As someone tried to point out in another forum thread, the Harry Potter article has forty-six relationships. The Hermione Granger one has twenty-nine and the Ronald Weasley one has twenty-six. Albus Dumbledore has twenty-three and Ginevra Weasley has eighteen.
However, what I find personally more objectionable than sheer numbers is sections on “relationships” that really do not qualify as notable – or as relationships at all. For example, Bellatrix Lestrange has sections on her relationships with Ron and Hermione. Fighting someone in a few battles does not constitute a noteworthy relationship, in my opinion. The closest thing Bellatrix ever had to a conversation with either of them was when she was interrogating Hermione under torture. There are many other examples of this sort of thing. For instance, both Ron and Hermione’s articles have sections on their relationship with Lord Voldemort. Whom they only saw once or twice in their lives and never conversed with. How does that constitute a relationship?
A lot of articles also seem to have relationship sections involving an organization – e.g. a character’s relationship with Dumbledore’s Army and/or Death Eaters. I don’t think these should be permitted for multiple reasons:
- 1) A relationship is generally considered to be between individuals or between organizations, not between individuals and organizations. Thus, the Order of the Phoenix has a relationship with the Ministry of Magic, but most individuals who are members of either organization only have a relationship with the other organization directly through their membership – i.e. only as part of an organization, not as an individual. Likewise, someone like Harry only has a relationship with the Death Eater organization through his relationship with Voldemort – i.e. Voldemort is the head of that organization and wants him dead, hence the Death Eaters’ treatment of Harry.
- 2) If a character is a member of an organization (as stated in their infoboxes and in many other places in the article), then that sums up what their relationship to the organization is – they are a member of it. Having an entire section on it is unnecessary.
- 3) Similarly, if a character is a member of an organization that is ideologically and militarily opposed to another organization (e.g. the Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters), then obviously the character is opposed to the enemy organization. The ‘history’ sections in their articles will also discuss things like their battles; this does not need to be repeated in a ‘relationships’ section.
- 4) The sections often end up being highly repetitive and/or discussing only members of the organization in question, not the relationship the character has with them. (e.g. the “Death Eaters and enemies” section in Hermione Granger’s article describes various Death Eaters, most of whom Hermione has only briefly met in combative situations).
If an organization is used as a grouping for a few relationships, I think that would be acceptable. For example, Harry’s relationships with characters like Ernie Macmillan, Zacharias Smith, and Lavender Brown are too minor to have their own sections, but could all be summarized in a Dumbledore’s Army section.
The last issue is sections that are highly speculative. This seems to mostly occur with characters who only appeared or were mentioned in the epilogue. For instance, the Lucius Malfoy article has a section on his relationship with Scorpius Malfoy. We know absolutely nothing about their relationship except that Scorpius is his grandson. That is not nearly enough information to merit its own section.
Having enormous ‘relationships’ sections with high degrees of speculation and irrelevant material is not encyclopedic, and I think we should come to a consensus about this situation and then act to remedy it. Oread (talk) 16:40, November 21, 2009 (UTC)
- What constitutes a "notable" relationship is highly subjective, but I agree that things have gotten out of hand lately and more discussion is needed about possibly setting some guidelines. - Nick O'Demus 14:28, December 8, 2009 (UTC)