Forums: Index > The Wizengamot > Character Images and Infoboxes

As the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is providing new images and descriptions for characters, several discussions have arisen about which is the best information to use for a character infobox, the new image and related details from the play, or the previous ones from the films. There seems to be a couple different approaches being favored, so it's probably best to discuss them here to decide on a common approach. As an overarching rule of Harry_Potter_Wiki:Canon details provided by JKR in any written work take priority as Tier 1 canon over other visual representations in the films and play. The current suggested approaches:

  1. Use written details first, and if film and play details conflict then leave the field blank with a comment that the sources differ. All differences can be noted in the Behind the scenes section.
  2. Use written details first, and use details from the first portrayal of the character only. This means that all known characters will use images and details from the 8 HP films, but Cursed Child information would be added to the Behind the scenes section. Any newly portrayed characters from the play will use images and details from there.
  3. Use written details first, and then any additional information from the latest portrayal. This means that the play images and details take precedence over the films as the latest revision of the material.
  4. Use written details first, then hold a vote for each character to decide which image and related details are used. This allows for a case-by-case decision on how well an actor matches the written description, what may be implied by canon, or other considerations.

Ideas for other approaches are welcome as well. Thoughts & discussion? --Ironyak1 (talk) 16:21, June 2, 2016 (UTC)


I´d vote for the first option. --Rodolphus (talk) 15:06, June 2, 2016 (UTC)

My vote goes to option two. My earlier arguments:
  • I think changing the pictures of Ron, Harry & Hermione (and those to follow) to those of the play will bring way too much confusion, and simply will not work. The way the characters look in the film is the way the characters were presented to the world for the first time. The majority of the people who have seen the movies see Harry/Ron/Hermione as Daniel/Rupert/Emma, the same for every other character out of the movie. Also take the people who only watch the movies into consideration. Most of them probably have no clue that there is going to be a play in the first place. Replacing the images of Daniel, Rupert and Emma to those of the play will probably displease a lot of people.
  • Of course when new characters are introduced in the play a picture of the actor/actress playing that character should be used at the top. Because it how the character is introduced to us for the first time like with the movies. -- LilyOfTheMoon (talk) 16:13, June 2, 2016 (UTC)
I love the idea of both option 1 and 2. I think we should use pictures from their first portrayal but only use written information for the infoboxes, and if we don't have any put sources conflict instead and explain why in Behind the Scenes. This way we avoid the confusion of why some characters have their film picture and why others have had theirs changed to their Cursed Child picture. Voting on every character will be time consuming and people will still try to change the picture to the other one. At least if we use option 1 for the infoboxes and option 2 for the pictures we can explain it simply as "We use pictures from their first portrayal and we use information from the written source unless there is none in which case we put sources conflict and explain why in Behind the Scenes." --EmilyMills22 (talk) 15:26, June 2 2016 (UTC)
I agree with LilyOfTheMoon. Also, while we can keep the movie images as the 'upper' image, there's nothing stopping us from using images further down on the page from the play/play cast with something like 'Albus Potter, as seen in the 'play' (link to page), portrayed by' as we flesh out the pages with the new information introduced.  Ninclow (talk) 20:25, June 2, 2016 (UTC)
I would suggest a gallery. You can put the images of every actor of the character in it. When a picture for the infobox shall be used then 8 years are much longer than a few weeks or months. We have seen the film actors rise from child to adult. No one will ever forget this. Ask me for the name of the film actors and I can tell you. Ask me for the name of the play actors and sometimes I have already forgotten. And - the play will be performed in England. Most people of other countries will probably have no chance to see it and only know the pictures, but that are only pictures without life when you could not see them acting and could not hear them speaking.  Harry granger   Talk   contribs 21:21, June 2, 2016 (UTC)
Generally speaking, it is generally incorrect to describe characters based on what the actors that play them look like (unless we are talking about wigs, or prosthetics the actors wore, or things like that specifically designed to alter their appearance). First, because it's potentially canon-defying (e.g. "Aunt Petunia is totally a brunette and has regular front teeth"); second, and most obviously, because characters can be played by several different actors who will, invariably, have many, many physical dissimilarities (Lavender Brown is, perhaps, the greatest example of this out there -- Kathleen Cauley, Jennifer Smith, and Jessie Cave have nothing to do with each other). Hence why any references to skin colour, hair colour, how tall they are, should preferably come from the books/written material themselves -- because while the actor may change, the character is still the same, and our info on the character shouldn't change just because the actor did.
Any considerations of "newest source is most canon" (the same thing goes for its "oldest source" variation presented here) are restricted to Tier One canon when it comes to our canon policy, and simply for the purpose of allowing J.K. Rowling to make corrections or retcon things. Applying that rule to Tier 2 canon has no policy basis, and doesn't make much sense either -- for example, whoever designed the scenery in the play cannot possibly be retconning anything we have seen in the film; they're two different media.
That said, option 4 is particularly aberrant when it comes to voting on "what details" to describe them. Such votes would be meaningless, in the face of policy, since we cannot simply decide, as it were, what's the correct description. All we can vote on is what pictures to showcase on a given infobox -- it's completely irrelevant which, since they all come from legitimate canon sources.
Tl;dr: Option 1 is the only one that adheres to the canon policy (though no references should be made to "sources differing" on the article's main body, since that breaks the in-universe point-of-view); and all images from canonical sources are equally valid. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 22:10, June 2, 2016 (UTC)
Seth - can you point us to where in the policies it says that infobox descriptions cannot / should not be based on images from the films or other visual media? Most of these options hinge on this policy or norm as without it voting on the image leads to voting on the descriptors when not provided in the texts. (Such as blue vs brown eyes for Rose Granger-Weasley depending on the actress). If the descriptors are only to come from Tier 1 canon then it's probably best that a ref with a quote is used to make clear interpretations (hair like her dad's, white face vs white as a ghost, etc) vs clearly stated (eg green eyes). If that is established (and stated as an exception to the general rule that all details are allowed except when they differ with a source from a higher level of canon) then it's just an image policy which likely comes down to voting on best images to resolve disputes? Thanks --Ironyak1 (talk) 22:37, June 2, 2016 (UTC)
There is no specific policy saying that, but it is obvious for the reasons I pointed out above (a character can't simultaneously be white and black, blonde and brunette, tall and short, but different actors playing the same character can). For that reason, the physical likeness of the actor cannot be used to describe the character (be it film depiction or play depiction).
Voting on the image does not in any way lead to voting on the description provided in the article. There are several instances of an article's image not corresponding exactly to the description of the article's subject (there's the case of Petunia Dursley actually being blonde; there's Harry Potter having green eyes despite images from the films depicting him with blue eyes; Albus Dumbledore doesn't have blue eyes, as he should, on his main picture; Neville Longbottom, who is also canonically blond, is depicted in the films as having dark hair; Voldemort is shown with blue eyes instead of the canonical red; Albert Runcorn is missing his full black beard; and I could just go on and on).
All in all, the only issue is that of the images, which comes down to voting, really. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 00:42, June 3, 2016 (UTC)
But those examples you give are the simplest case where JKR provided details in her writings, which clearly have precedence over the how the actor or actress looked when playing that character. The problem at hand is when JKR has not provided a description so we are left with lower level of canon to draw from. Or not? If not, then why not? Why can lower levels of canon fill in many other details (patronus, boggart form, etc, etc, etc) but not physical description details? Please understand that I am not arguing against the approach (as it keeps the details near to JKR's word and easy to cite), but that this is a clear exception to the rules of canon hierarchy used here and should probably be clearly stated as such. To return to a more problematic example, JKR never specified Rose Granger-Weasley's eye color - so should it be listed as blue from the actress seen in DH - Epilogue (note that blue was recently used in the infobox), or should it be brown (recently listed as well from the play actress) or should it be nothing as there is no JKR writing to say so? Cheers --Ironyak1 (talk) 01:17, June 3, 2016 (UTC)
ETA: And what about characters that only appear in lower canon (eg Nigel Wolpert or Andrew_Cleveley) Can their description be based on their portrayal (as there is no other source?) --Ironyak1 (talk) 01:30, June 3, 2016 (UTC)
ETA2: In searching through the ebooks for all mentions of Lavender Brown, there was no mention of her eyes being blue, her hair being dirty-blond or her skin colour being light, all of which are listed in her infobox. If characters cannot have physical details from lower levels of canon, many of their infobox details will need to be removed it appears. This is why I was wondering about a policy as the general practice seems to differ completely from the stated expectation. Thanks --Ironyak1 (talk) 02:16, June 3, 2016 (UTC)
I think it's best and much simpler if we leave a picture up of the character from their first portryal and keep the infoboxes strictly with information from J K Rowling herself. Like how when you go onto Neville's page, his hair is described as blond even though he doesn't have blonde hair in his picture. If J K Rowling has not given a description, we leave a comment saying the sources we do have conflict and explain why in Behind the Scenes. The latest actor/actresses appearance shouldn't matter. There will be many of them for years to come and we cannot add another line to the infoboxes to point out what they look like this time and we cannot vote on every picture every time. It is time consuming, may get too confusing and the infoboxes will get crowded. This is the less complicated way. We can still put up their new pictures from a different media in Behind the Scenes. EmilyMills22 (talk) 10:35, June 3 2016 (UTC)
Just for clarity, Seth is saying that for infobox physical descriptors, we should already be using Tier 1 written descriptions ONLY. I think that approach is reasonable, but as it has not been commonly followed and goes against the governing principle that "everything is canon unless specifically contradicted by a "higher" source", I think it needs to be be a clearly stated policy. Perhaps this discussion can be used to help establish it as such?
As for infobox images, I believe curent practice is that they can be freely changed unless there was a previous vote to choose them, in which case a new vote is needed before making changes. A vote is also triggered if edit wars occur. As a pragmatic issue, getting a vote held and a clear consensus found has been difficult of late, so it may be challenging both to establish a preferred new image, or to change one that had been voted on. Whether there should be a "first portrayed as" policy (with or without a case-by-case ability to vote and override - Dumbledore seems a likely candidate for this) is worth continuing to discuss IMHO. --Ironyak1 (talk) 12:08, June 3, 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps it’s time for some new, more clear rules. The idea that "everything is canon unless specifically contradicted by a "higher" source” is confusing, because that means anything is possible. Until something is confirmed by Jo, it shouldn’t be put in the wikia infoboxes until it is. It gives people the false misconception that it is definitely true. Therefore, I vote that only Tier 1 “written descriptions” should be used in the infoboxes. If there is none, a simple “sources conflict” explanation should be put instead and the reason why explained in Behind the Scenes.
For the pictures, I think we should only use a picture from their first portrayal. It should be sort of a first come, first served basis. I say film pictures first, and if there is none, a picture from their first appearance can be used instead. If they haven’t be portrayed yet, then art can be used. I basically think the hierarchy should be this:
1. Film picture first
2. If they conflict then we discuss and vote (Dumbledore is an example of this)
3. If there is no pictures from the film, then we use one from their first portrayal such as the play and the Fantastic Beasts film
4. If they conflict then we discuss and vote
5. If the character has never been portrayed, art can be used
6.If they conflict then we discuss and vote
7. If there is no art either, we leave it blank. --EmilyMills22 (talk) 13:37, June 3 2016 (UTC)

It's a little bit late but to say that in the books is nothing to find about the skin colour of Lavender Brown is not correct. In the book Half-Blood Prince you can find this:

Harry looked into the corner she was indicating. There, in full view of the whole room, stood Ron wrapped so closely around Lavender Brown it was hard to tell whose hands were whose.

The Weasley family has red hair so they must have light skin. After this description Lavender can only have light skin, too, otherwise the description would not make sense. That was the reason they changed the actress. In the films before they did not know this because the book was not written already.  Harry granger   Talk   contribs 15:54, June 3, 2016 (UTC)

Good find! I had read that passage but not thought through the implications. That would make a good ref for an infobox! --Ironyak1 (talk) 15:58, June 3, 2016 (UTC)
I've always personally had an issue with basing textual descriptions of the physical appearance of a character on the physical appearance of the actor or actors who portrayed them. I know I've discussed the reasons I find this practice problematic before, but I can't remember where at the moment, unfortunately. I'm thus in favour of basing textual descriptions of characters' appearances strictly on Tier One written sources, but I also could support modified versions of Ironyak1's first two proposals. That is, basing textual descriptions of characters' appearances primarily on Tier One written sources, but filling in the blanks with information from film and stage portrayals.
I think the images of a character included in their article (excepting the one featured in the infobox) should be treated as distinct from the textual descriptions of their physical appearance. The precedent for this was set years back, when we elected to include images of both Jennifer Smith's and Jessie Brown's portrayals in the Lavender Brown article, despite the two actresses being of different races. What mattered is that both actresses had portrayed Lavender. Their portrayals both constituted depictions/representations of Lavender, and were thus suitable for inclusion in Lavender's article. Images primarily serve a decorative function within articles, anyway. They are there to enhance or supplement the text of an article, not to communicate information in their own right. Discrepancies with canon shouldn't preclude an image from being featured in an article unless they are extreme. For example, we can include film stills featuring canonical Ravenclaw Padma Patil wearing a Gryffindor tie, but we probably shouldn't include images of the Burning of the Burrow in the Second Wizarding War article, since the Burrow was never attacked in any manner in the books.
Infobox images should ideally be chosen on a case-by-case basis through votes and discussion. We could certainly benefit from establishing some general guidelines to aid the selection of infobox images, but I don't think it would be practical to try to create a one-size-fits-all policy. There are many factors that should ideally be taken into consideration when determining which image to feature in the infobox, including how recent the image is, whether it is of poor quality or unflattering, etc. Just look at the Remus Lupin article for evidence that defaulting to the most recent image doesn't always yield the best results. Starstuff (Owl me!) 01:57, June 4, 2016 (UTC)
In looking at many character infoboxes, current practice tends to follow option 2 with some physical descriptors taken from the books (often with a ref) and others filled in based on the film portrayal. This has largely worked because there has almost always been a single actor or actress for a role (Dumbledore and Lav-lav being key exceptions) However, with the play offering new portrayals (which it will continue to do so with the recasting of future productions) this mixed tier approach no longer seems workable as the potential for conflicting descriptors is too great.
I was ready to make a suggestion on voting about an infobox policy change, but I think we need to sort out how to handle characters that only appear in lower canon such as film, games, etc (see Nigel Wolpert) Should their descriptors be based on their appearance, or should they not be filled out at all and allow the portrayal image to speak for itself?
If we separate the infobox descriptors from the infobox image shown, then there is just the matter of how to choose an image. Under these circumstances, I agree that the infobox images should be freely changeable and when disagreements arise, a vote can be taken to determine a consensus based on adherence to canon, image quality, latest portrayal, or whatever factors editors find most important. However, as others have strongly advocated for a "first portrayed as - with a vote on alternate actors from the same medium" approach, I believe a vote should be held when our discussion is complete. Just my 2 pence, always --Ironyak1 (talk) 15:40, June 4, 2016 (UTC)
I vote for option 2, but adding multiple sections to the description part of the info box wouldn't be a big deal. Also should we include the new books which are just modified screenplays as written material?
Goofyd00d (talk) 17:16, June 5, 2016 (UTC)
Just to end the whole Hermione/Rose skin colour issue, there's this text in The Half Blood Prince: Chapter: An Excess Of Phlegm. First Hermione gets punched in her eye by the telescope lying in a box from Fred and George at the burrow. Hermione eventually goes off to see if any owls have arrived yet with their O.W.L marks. Then comes "But when Harry arrived downstairs ten minutes later, fuly dressed and carrying his empty breakfast tray, it was to find Hermione sitting at the kitchen table in great agitation, while Mrs. Weasley tried to lessen her resemblance to half a panda."
Hermione can only look like half a panda when her skin is white, which would make Rose's skin colour white too.LilyOfTheMoon (talk) 13:40, June 7, 2016 (UTC)
I don't want to veer too far astray here as it feels we may be close to voting on this, but JKR talks about the Hermione casting issue directly in the recent Guardian Article "[Rowling] says there was always the possibility of Hermione being black in the way she was described; skin colour was never mentioned. “I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”
I think there are several references, like the half-panda one, that show how Jo originally envisioned this character which should be preserved here. However, whether or not Jo is overlooking the details, or retconning her work, it's her words that are law here so we have to figure out how best to honor those words, both past and present. (PS just a few hours till Cursed Child! Everyone break a leg!)
ETA: Both the play script and screenplay are Tier 1 written canon as as as Jo has stated clearly for Cursed Child, and Fantastic Beasts is written just by her. (See the Guardian article for discussion why she didn't write Cursed Child)
Anyone's opinion of film-only or game-only characters: physical descriptions in the infoboxes or no? --Ironyak1 (talk) 15:20, June 7, 2016 (UTC)
I really think we should just stick to what is book canon for any book characters. We wouldn't put Neville down as having both blonde hair in the book and dark hair in the film. Neville canonically has blonde hair, so that is what we have stuck with as the official description. If there is none, we put sources conflict and explain why in Behind the Scenes.
If the character was made up just for the film or the video games, then the descriptions should match them because that is how they were originally envisioned by the person who made them.
The story of Fantastic Beasts and the Cursed Child should be Tier 1. But like with the film, the appearance of the person who plays them should not be put in the infoboxes. Whether the script will include any descriptions of the characters remains to be seen, but I have never known a script of a play to really mention the appearance of the character, or at least, go in depth about it so I don't think it will be a problem.
Jo's comments are confusing the problem even more. It is very obvious she originally viewed Hermione as white and it shouldn't be a problem. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 21, Jo writes that "Hermione's white face was sticking out from behind the tree". She very clearly states that Hermione has a white face. I have never known a black person to turn white, even when their in shock! Jo would have put she looked "paler" or just she looked "pale". She is a very smart woman, especially when it comes to words. She would have been much more careful and vague if she hadn't decided on Hermione's exact appearance yet. It's very strange to describe a black person as turning white when they go into shock. It's problematic in itself. Then there is the drawing Jo made, where Hermione is standing by a confirmed black character, Dean Thomas. Dean was shaded in, while Hermione was not. I don't know why Hermione being white in the book stops Hermione being black in the play. It shouldn't be about that, it should be about how Noma plays her. The way she brings Hermione's personality to life matters more. I think Jo made those comments merely to try and show she supports Noma completely and perhaps didn't think things through. I don't see why Hermione being canoncially white in the books and being black in the play should be a problem. It should just be like how Harry has blue eyes in the film when he has green eyes in the book. Jo may have changed her mind, but it's a bit too late. She wrote what she wrote and approved Emma Watson too. -- User: EmilyMills22 16:27, June 7 2016 (UTC)

For the image issue, User:Long Island Spartan had a neat idea to add tabs to the images so that we could display each of the actors that portray the character. I made a mock-up here to gather feedback. I could not get the tabview to work inside the infobox so I had to post it above, and I had to make a page for each image as File: wouldn't work for me within tabview (point being there may be a better way for those more wiki-wise than me). I don't know if the tabs break the in-universe perspective too much, and there are improvements to the layout needed, but I thought this was an unique idea that allows us to handle first portrayed and all subsequent portrayals for the various play productions. Thoughts? --Ironyak1 (talk) 18:07, June 7, 2016 (UTC)

I saw your message on Albus Potter's talk page so I thought I would move the discussion over here with you too! :) I really do think it looks great and is by far the best idea we have had. I remember another wikia who did the same thing a few years ago and it worked well. I don't think it breaks the in universe perspective. We already use pictures from the film where the actor doesn't look like their book character. I think if we keep the information in the infoboxes stricly Tier 1 like we do for the rest of the page, then that covers the in universe part. And then by using the two different pictures, we show how they were portrayed and it solves the problem of arguing whose pictures to use. We wouldn't have to worry about voting and people trying to change them all the time. --User:EmilyMills22 18:34, June 7, 2016
Personally I find the idea of putting up the picture of the first person who portayed the character in the infobox better. Everybody knows how the characters look like in the film. Concerning the play, especially concerning the matter with the casts concerning Hermione and Rose. Hermione can't first be white, and then suddenly be black (we know by now that she is white in the books). Putting up tabs will simply not work in that matter. And let's be honest, people always will be first thinking of the film characters than those of the play, which the majority of the people won't even be seeing. This whole play wasn't even Jo's own idea in the first place, neither did she write the script. Harry Potter will always be remembered by the books and the films, not by this play, which probably will be forgotten about again in a couple of years. I'm sure people over here will disagree with me again because of "cannon rules". In ten years, Daniel is still Harry, Rupert is still Ron, Emma is still Hermione, Bonnie is still Ginny, etc. etc. in the heads of the majority of the people, because that's how the characters were introducted to them for the first time, and that's how they will always keep seeing them. LilyOfTheMoon (talk) 20:42, June 7, 2016 (UTC)
"First actor only" presents several issues. One of which is that full compliance to this mantra would imply that we switched the main images of articles of main characters who have been recast throughout the film series (a lot of which are frankly worse options). It would imply changing Voldemort's picture to one of his appearance in Philosopher's Stone (played by Richard Bremmer), the Fat Lady to a picture of her original appearance as played by the Elizabeth Spriggs, or Albus Dumbledore's to as he was played by Richard Harris. Lavender Brown's main picture would be problematic (we'd have to change her picture from the current one from when she became a supporting character, to a picture of when she was but a background character). Harry Potter's image would be frankly odd, too (in actuality, the first actor to portray him was one of the Saunders triplets). And there are multiple more examples (The Grey Lady, Pansy Parkinson, Katie Bell, Tom, Griphook, Angelina Johnson, Bozo, Cedric Diggory (who was played by an unknown extra in the Prisoner of Azkaban film...), Elphias Doge, Aberforth Dumbledore...
As for "Hermione can't first be white, and then suddenly be black", we already have characters who first were black, and then suddenly were black, and characters who first were old, and then suddenly were younger. In the images that accompany their articles at least. This wouldn't be any different.
As for dismissing the play as "not even Jo's own idea", that's an irrelevant remark. It's a valid canon source, and JKR has said herself that the story of the play "should be considered canon". --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 21:17, June 7, 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Seth, I now see that a first portrayal only picture could become quite problematic and it won't solve the problem, because people will keep wanting to change it. Have you guys seen the mock up Ironyak made? I think this is a really great idea and by far the best one. We still get to keep the already decided film picture, but people can alternate to the play one very easily if they choose. We get to keep both portrayals as one of the main pictures so there would be no need to vote on whether we keep the film or play one - we get to have both and we can put in the infoboxes book only descriptions, with a note saying sources conflict if there is none. It solves a lot of problems and it is a very clever layout. Here is the link to the mock up again. I have seen a similar thing on another wikia before. It keeps both sides happy and the film picture is still the first one to show up, but the play can also appear. It really solves the main problem.
As for the play not being Jo's idea, she still co wrote it. I doubt the Cursed Child will reference appearances, since scripts never really do, but The Cursed Child is a confirmed continuation of the story so if we don't consider it canon because of the actors appearance, we can't consider the story canon which we must. Otherwise, there is not much point to it! User talk:EmilyMills22 21:49, June 7, 2016 (UTC)
My personal opinion of this -- and it's probably irrelevant -- is that, for characters who appear specifically in the play (e.g. if Neville suddenly has a son called Frank or something), that we use the image provided by the play. If a character -- Harry, Ron, Hermione, for example -- has already appeared in the films and already has a picture, then we leave them as they are. It blends new and old then. --HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 02:00, June 8, 2016 (UTC)
Seth or Starstuff - any thoughts on the tabbed images idea seen in the mockup HERE? Figured you all have the long-view and can probably note any potential issues with this approach. (Still can't tell if changing the image for Harry Potter to Saunders triplets was serious or snark, but makes me smile at well-spotted literal implications :)
It is interesting how many people are very attached to the film portrayals. I don't think there is anything wrong with this perse, and I definitely love watching all the films repeatedly, but having read the books as each was first published, I have a distinct image of each character separate from the the later film actors and actresses. For instance, I love Rupert Grint, but the Ron Weasely in my head is far lankier and closer to how Jim Kay illustrated him. Point being that there is not a single portrayal that is going to work for everyone IMO, so I think we're better off considering an image tab for each portrayal (note that first portrayed would likely be first tab) or being prepared to hold a vote on each character image as needed. My two pence --Ironyak1 (talk) 08:13, June 8, 2016 (UTC)
The tabbed infobox images proposal is an elegant solution, but, taking the long view, I think it could potentially create new problems to replace the ones it solves.
The difference between a film series and play is that, unless they have to be recast for some reason (death, illness, unavailability, lack of interest, etc.), characters are generally played by the same actors throughout a film series. Film series also generally feature a set number of installments and are considered over when the final one has been released. Whereas a play, by its nature, is meant to be staged many times in different locations over a long period, usually with a new cast each time. Cursed Child will probably hit New York with a new cast within a couple of years. There will probably be another London production a few years down the road.
This means that, over the next few years, a number of actresses will be taking on the role of Hermione Granger in different productions of Cursed Child. Thus, I fear implementing the tabbed infobox images proposal would only complicate the image selection process, as it would mean having to settle on two images instead of just one. Determining which film image to use is often already a long and involved process. Having to determine a second image for many articles would require dedicating a lot of time to a feature many readers probably won't notice or use. Every time a new production of Cursed Child is mounted, I can foresee someone wanting to change all the "play" tab images, so it's probably best not to open that door.
Infobox image selection is an inherently subjective process. It involves weighing a number of subjective criteria, like the quality of the image, whether the image constitutes a definitive representation of a character, etc. So I don't think it would be practical for us to set out to create a blanket policy for choosing infobox images, but only some general guidelines to direct the selection process. I personally think that these guidelines should favour film images, as the films could be considered a more widely-known and definitive representation of the characters, but I think it's also important for infobox images to be selected on a case-by-case basis via discussion. Which means that Anthony Boyle's Scorpius could very well supplant Bertie Gilbert's Scorpius in the infobox if that is what the outcome of discussion favoured. Starstuff (Owl me!) 23:58, June 10, 2016 (UTC)
I think you made a point with the play part. If this play is a succes, which is likely, the chance exists it will also be played in other parts of the world, which means lots of more castings.LilyOfTheMoon (talk) 08:03, June 11, 2016 (UTC)
I think the idea is that you could have a tab for each production so in the future, Hermione might have tabs for Film, West End, NY2018, etc. each of which are free to edit or vote on separately. As the infobox descriptions are based on Tier 1 written material only (I don't think we can base these on film or lower canon given the issues seen with Lavender Brown's 3 actresses alone) we don't have to worry about agreement with the image when the character is later portrayed by someone with a different hair color, ethnicity, or even gender as is common in theatre. --Ironyak1 (talk) 08:34, June 11, 2016 (UTC)

With Cursed Child officially premiering in a few days it would be helpful to come to a decision on this. I suggest that physical descriptions for characters be limited to written canon only so as to avoid issues with physical differences between differing actors, and that we implement tabs (example) for displaying images of the different actors. This way we can show the various portrayals of the character without having to constantly discuss/argue/vote on the best image. Voting can be held to decide which image is best for each portrayal (film(s), London play, US play tour, etc). Any other thoughts? --Ironyak1 (talk) 16:36, July 28, 2016 (UTC)

I agree! This is the best option. If we don't go with this idea, the edit wars will be terrible! The tabs are amazing :) --Kates39 (talk) 17:05, July 28, 2016 (UTC)
In my opinion it should stay the way it is now. Just use the movie pictures, then there won't come a discussion anyway.LilyOfTheMoon (talk) 21:24, July 28, 2016 (UTC)
When you do this you leave out an information belonging to the HP universe! That can also lead to discussions.  Harry granger   Talk   contribs 22:00, July 28, 2016 (UTC)
A different aproach could be that the movie picture stays on top, and that there comes a separate play section, where everybody can add pictures of all the actors/actesses in the future in a tab system, or in another way. If this play is going to be a success (which I don't doubt), then this play will probably also be brought to other countries. Who knows how many different actors and actresses we then will get in 10 years time. Everybody would want a different actor/actress on the top, no mather the tab system. If a separate section would be made, then everybody can watch all the actor/actresses pictures there, and there won't be any arguments.
As for new characters that get introduced in the play, the rule could be handed that who plays it first, will remain at the top.LilyOfTheMoon (talk) 08:20, July 29, 2016 (UTC)
You brought me to an idea, LilyOfTheMoon! The first page with film actor - yes!
What about a subpage as gallery, e. g. "Albus Potter/Gallery" or "Albus Potter/Gallery Cursed Child"?
This subpage could be divided into the countries, where this play is on stage.
Great Britain:
Albus Potter:
Sam Clemmett
File:Albus Potter (HPCC).png
United States of America:
Albus Potter:
  • Name
Harry Potter:
  • Name
Albus Potter:
  • Name
Harry Potter:
  • Name
Albus Potter:
  • Name
and so on.  Harry granger   Talk   contribs 15:19, July 29, 2016 (UTC)
As noted above, using just "first portrayed" images has its own issues such as Lavender Brown's image would now be Kathleen Cauley, or as Seth snarkily pointed out Harry Potter would be Baby Saunder. A gallery would work fine for organising all the future play portrayals. I'll see if Seth thinks this is ready for a vote yet. Cheers --Ironyak1 (talk) 16:30, July 29, 2016 (UTC)
As I said earier above, I would suggest the first appearance picture only for the play, not for the already known movie characters. They already have pictures. New characters in the play will need a picture too, I only suggested to use an image of the first main actor, like Daniel is the main Harry in the movies, to give the characters a first picture.
I wouldn't mind a separate gallery page. That way everybody can have a look at all the different actors/actresses from all countries in one place.LilyOfTheMoon (talk) 21:46, July 29, 2016 (UTC)

I think we need to try and reach a final agreement. The pictures for the next generation have changed, and then got changed back again, then changed again!

The thing is, the actors playing the characters at the moment won't be the only ones ever. So do we keep changing them to suit the newest actor or decide to keep the first actor who played them. And by that, do we keep the Deathly Hallows pictures or the original play pictures. I am only talking the next generation and new characters for the original play.

The options are:

  • Keep the film pictures and only put the play ones in a gallery
  • Keep the original play ones as the main picture and put the film one in the biography only
  • Go with Ironyak's mock up and use tabs to include both - with the play one being the original actor only (I think this is the best option)

--Kates39 (talk) 15:34, August 2, 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, just wanted to add the other option which is current policy:
  • Images are open for editing and when disputes arise, a vote is held on the talk page to decide which image is preferred by the community. Once voted in, this image cannot be changed until a new vote is held.
This is why the images for Harry, Hermione, and the other major characters have not been updated to CC and I recommend we use this current policy to resolve Scorpius, Albus and the other next-gen characters for now. Cheers --Ironyak1 (talk) 16:00, August 2, 2016 (UTC)
I forgot that option! Thank you! I feel like the current policy is making things more complicated than it really needs to be. As we have seen today, users are going to have conflicting ideas and everyone will keep calling for votes every now and then. However, since it is current policy, I think we need to have a vote on each picture for the next generation. --Kates39 (talk) 16:09, August 2, 2016 (UTC)
My vote goes to option 1. That way we can see all actors and actresses in one place instead of just the original ones, and there won't have to be needed voting wars, because everybody would want something else.LilyOfTheMoon (talk) 17:55, August 2, 2016 (UTC)
My vote: first. The other proposals are too complicated. CharmedCircle (talk) 08:53, August 7, 2016 (UTC)

It's not really about images but more about general oppinion - how about we make sepparate pages for characters about their book versions, movie versions, play versions and other (game, lego etc) versions? Like in the Shadowhunters wiki? Because quite often the versions collide and we can have pages specifically for book+ versions of characters (Ron being a loyal friend) and pages for movie/play characters (Ron being too stupid to see in front of his eyes and being a simple comic relief, adding next to nothing to the trio). Not necessarily for all characters - just the major ones and the ones that conflict with the book version. It would add more pages, since this wiki writes everything about anything. Williukea (talk) 15:19, September 24, 2016 (UTC)


This has been discussed for what seems to be enough time. I'm going ahead and opening the formal vote on the main infobox images, now that Cursed Child has officially premiered. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 22:40, August 2, 2016 (UTC)

I take it from the discussion above that there are four proposals:

  1. Film only. Infobox images shall preferably be taken from the film series. Only characters whose first appearance was Cursed Child shall have main pictures from the play.
  2. Play only. Infobox images shall preferably be taken from the original West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and its associated production stills, on articles about play-only characters and otherwise.
  3. Tabs for each portrayal. Adopt the tabs alternative to include both images from the film and play.
  4. Open edits till voted. Keep current practice: images are open for editing and when disputes arise, a vote and discussion is held on the talk page to decide which image is preferred by the community, on a case-by-case basis. Once voted in, this image cannot be changed until a new vote is held.

Voting: Normal voting policy applies. Only autoconfirmed registered users with greater than 20 mainspace article edits, whose first edit was more than one month prior to the date of this proposal (2 July, 2016) are allowed to vote. A vote for an option is a negative one for all other options. The vote will remain open for two weeks, unless a snowball vote occurs, in which case it can be closed early by an administrator. If no majority is reached, the opinion(s) with the lowest number of votes will be removed and voting will be reopened.
Vote closes: 22:40, August 16, 2016 (UTC).

Proposal #1 (+0)

  • LilyOfTheMoon (talk) 16:58, August 3, 2016 (UTC) (does not meet voting policy criteria)

Proposal #2 (+0)

Proposal #3 (+6)

  1.  Harry granger   Talk   contribs 14:43, August 3, 2016 (UTC)
  2. Flabshoe1 (talk) 15:22, August 3, 2016 (UTC)
  3. May32 (talk) 18:54, August 3, 2016 (UTC)
  4. Gibson42 (talk) 19:37, August 3, 2016 (UTC)
  5.   ArrestoMomentum | talk  20:12, August 3, 2016 (UTC)
  6. ProfessorTofty (talk) 04:48, August 8, 2016 (UTC)
  7. HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 13:16, August 9, 2016 (UTC)
  8. Juraj103 (talk) 16:17, December 20, 2016 (UTC)
  • KillerBird (talk) 06:00, August 7, 2016 (UTC) (sockpuppet of banned user, vote disallowed)

Proposal #4 (+3)


If proposal #3 won then how come it was never implemented? Also seeing as how photos from the Cursed Child are still being used as the infobox image for some pages (Albus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy) should these not now be updated as new actors have been cast and have been playing the roles since May 2017? Howitoughttobe (talk) 23:43, September 16, 2017 (UTC)

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