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WIP The Red Knight by Demon Eyes Laharl -T

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by nevu, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. nevu

    nevu First Year

    Jul 29, 2015
    Title: The Red Knight
    Author: Demon Eyes Laharl
    Library Category:Alternates
    Summary: When Ron Weasley realized he was reborn to the world with his memories mostly intact, he felt it was a second chance to do better. However, he slowly realizes that this world was different from his own. Making new friends and earning new enemies, he has to use his experience from his previous life not only to reach his goals, but also to survive. AU

    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12141684/1/The-Red-Knight

    This was brought up in the almost recommended thread a few times and it's cracked 100k words and has finished its first arc. It seems like a fic worth being looked at via the review board at this point. Apologies if I've done anything incorrectly.

    The basic premise is that canon RW is reborn into a fanon AU after a long life. His mother has become a cliche, Harry is now female, Hermione hates him, Ginny is loudly and pointlessly drawing attention to 9 3/4, etc. He's mostly completely baffled by the changes, and there's a good deal of humor to be had from the situation. The story is at its strongest when it gently mocks cliches, and probably at its weakest when it dives into a mystery tangent that consumes the latter half of what has been written so far due to a lackluster handling of the identity of the antagonist.

    I've never particularly cared for Ron Weasley, but the portrayal of him in this fic was fairly likable. The relationship between him and DG gets a little weird and creepy later on (the problem is best encapsulated by him unironically saying "m'lady" in later chapters frequently. I see what the author was attempting, but it was a poor nickname for him to choose) but that's fairly common to all these sorts of stories with time traveling.

    Mechanically - It's told from a 1st person POV with a fairly strong and consistent voice, a rarity in HP fanfiction. I don't recall seeing any particularly grating grammatical errors.

    Personally, I give it a 4/5. It has some very noticeable flaws but its strengths shine through in spite of them.
  2. Invictus

    Invictus Master of Death

    Mar 21, 2013
    This fic is bad. Technically speaking it's meh, with lots of repetition and some grammar mistakes, but nothing glaring.

    The pacing is awful, dragging at completely unnecessary parts while not being able to connect scenes. Passage of time is a mess and nothing gets indicated clearly.

    Plotwise? It's bad. Quite bad. The plot idea is bad already, but the unexplained and many times needless changes for the au are both grating and easily break SoD. Worst, I don't feel like the author understand much about the universe he is writing about or the characters. It feels more like he read the Wikia than the books. He barely cares about Hogwarts or anything inside of it. Plot holes abound as the author freely created them without need.

    The dialogue is annoying, with the author's attempt at humour being both incredibly out of place in both England (it's very much American humor IMO) and specially Ron. It tries too hard. Way way too hard. The 'serious' talks don't feel serious at all. The banter is atrocious and shallow.

    Then there are the clichés. So many bloody stupid cliches. Magical cores? Check. Slytherins children acting like proto Byzantine Court? Check. Using Houses Anne's like adjectives for everything? Check. Special Powered Wand? Yep.

    Then we come to the main issues, which are deeply connected. Characterization and Narration. Characterization is awful. Shit. Ron is incredibly bland, having all of its defining characteristics surgically removed for a token hero. He barely talks about his past and when he does, it's like he's reciting woodenly from a script. His past doesn't matter at all except to give him Extra Powers.

    Violet and Hermione are insanely obnoxious. I cannot for the life of me see any appeal in them as characters. At all. Boring, repetitive, without remarkable anything and endless shilling to compensate that. Luna is turned into Ginny and her mother is a walking plot device. The four Slytherins are satellite characters whose whole characterization revolves around what Ron needs/wants/thinks.

    The m'lady joke gets tiring after the first chapter it was used. After that is a long road into the depths of creepiness and unnecessary shit.

    This story doesn't mock cliches. It eats most of them.whole and tries to give them a totally sarcastic spin that only.makes them and this story even more.obnoxious.

    This story is incredibly frustrating because it could be really good, but anytime it came close to being original or interesting it backpedalled like Tour de France champion. It's just unwilling to take risks or anything besides safe little plot.

    This was used unironically.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  3. Rahkesh Asmodaeus

    Rahkesh Asmodaeus THUNDAH Bawd Admin DLP Supporter

    Apr 3, 2005
    I've been reading it for a while now, I like it. I don't much mind pureblood politics in fics, I don't mind the cliches. I think it's written well enough that they don't ruin the fic. What passes for witty banter does get annoying, but it's the only part of the fic that I find annoying.

    There aren't many stories that feature Ron as a main character, and never a solo Peggy Sue Ron fic. Especially one that keeps him in character, mostly. Potter and Granger are asses, sure, but they're meant to be. You're not supposed to like them.

    5/5 for me. It's one of the only currently updating fanfics that I read, and it updates at least once a week, and many times twice a week. The authors update rate is fast and consistent, so even if the plot feels slow at times, you don't have long to wait for it to move forward.

    It's a somewhat unique take on time travel fanfiction, for that alone I think it's worth giving it a shot. Especially since it diverges from canon quite drastically.
  4. Invictus

    Invictus Master of Death

    Mar 21, 2013
    The problem isn't that Potter and Granger are unlikeable. Umbridge was completely hateful, but she was interesting to read, you loved to hate her. Same with Malfoy. These two are just really annoying. It's like reading the stories of Jar Jar Binks the Sith.
  5. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Jan 6, 2009
    The South
    This is a 3.5/5 for me. I read it only recently, during Winter Break, and it kept my attention well enough that I finished it quickly.

    I think of 4/5 as being 'good' and 3/5 as being both average and readable, usually with nothing unique to make it stand out. This is a true 3.5/5 for me because while it is a bit above average and has a unique spin, I can't say I really enjoyed much about it. I can't see myself ever re-reading it.

    The best part of this fic is what makes it unique - Ron is a time traveler and the main character. He appears to have come back from a relatively good future, though I can't recall if it was canon or not.

    Kudos for that part, because it was unique and interesting.

    I will also provide kudos for the idea that Harry and Hermione are also time traveling, but they are from a different 'future' than Ron. Their future is not as pleasant and they have been repeating the past for a while.

    But the problem is that apart from Ron I don't like any of the characters. Well maybe I like Mr. Greengrass - I can't remember why, but I remember that Ron met Daphne's parents and I thought that he was well done, but he's a minor character at best.

    Ron is sorted into Slytherin and while those characters are done well there's a bit too much focus on witty banter that starts to grate after a while.

    Harry (AKA Violet, because fem!Harry) and Hermione are... well, like @Narf said, they aren't meant to be likeable. But I also agree with @Invictus that they don't interest me in the way that good unlikable characters do. They feel too much like a gimmick that's overdone.

    But regardless of all of that, it is 'above average' for fanfiction, so I'll round up to 4/5.
  6. Dn18

    Dn18 Third Year

    Dec 31, 2014
    I have been reading and enjoying it as well. I agree that it is written well and the cliches do not get in the way of the story from what I have seen. The concept is a good one and I like learning about the differences in the AU.

    I judge a story mainly on how invested I am while reading and how much I look forward to an update. This story excels at both points.

    4.5/5 rounded up to 5 because of the time travel genre and update rate.
  7. Invictus

    Invictus Master of Death

    Mar 21, 2013
    Forgot to grade this. It's a 2.5 from me, for hitting way too much pet peeves and cramming it with clichés that had no need to there. Also, I stand by Ron feeling nothing like his charming canon self. I will up it to 3 for competent writing and finally using one of my favorite characters from canon.
  8. nahdawg

    nahdawg First Year

    Jan 4, 2014
    I don't mind some of the cliches. I find magical cores annoying but not to the point of making a story unreadable. However, I hate it when 11 year olds act like they're twenty-five. I find Ron's interactions with Hermione/Violet quite interesting. But I really dislike it when he interacts with his Slytherin classmates, they just seem so condescending and contrived. Furthermore, these classmates never really question Ron to why he is so much better than everyone, they just accept it. And since the whole Slytherin friendship and "M'Lady" thing is featured so prominently, I can't really take this story super seriously.

    3/5 for having good ideas and solid writing.
  9. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Jun 27, 2006
    High Score:
    So I like it as a twist on the time travel story, with Ron decently characterized. The kids aren't that well sketched out, but it's fine enough for me. It feels pretty readable and has an interesting hook. Currently it's good enough for reading, but not quite over that "must read" line. 3.5/5
  10. Socialist

    Socialist Professor

    Feb 13, 2006
    The root of mt. Olympus
    As good as this appears on the surface, it suffers in plot and (especially) characterization. We're 100k words in and all characters feel like one dimensional mannequins constructed to assist the reader in reading about Ron . The wooden characterization heavily detracts from the plot as well; I can barely give two shits about why secondary or tertiary characters do things, because disinterest has made me forget what they actually did a couple chapters back.

  11. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

    Nov 12, 2014
    The "witty banter" in this story might be why I will eventually stop reading it. The M'lady-"joke" wasn't funny the first time. It also wasn't funny the second time. After seven-hundred-seventy-scroll-times, it's goddamn annoying. The worst part is that I feel like 50k words of the 110k that are there are this less than brilliant bit of humour.
    However, I didn't think Hermione and fem!Harry to be that annoying to read about. Hermione, granted, is batshit-crazy and bound to get annoying soon, but for me, it's ok at the moment. Violet is a little flat, but the scenes with her are fairly interesting.
    Apart from that, we have a unique take on time travel, a few nice ideas, a Ron-centric story (huge plus) and a decent update rate.
    Ah, and Daphne has a characterisation. She pinches Ron.
    The bad thing's just that that's actually all I remember about Ron's five friends.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  12. Odran

    Odran Fourth Champion

    Aug 12, 2013
    It's an utterly shit fic.

    The attempts at banter are pathetic. Not even children would find it amusing. In fact, this is the kind of banter that adults think children might use, but they don't. Interactions between Ron and Daphne, or just in general Ron and the Slytherins, are cringeworthy. I found myself just hurrying past those, as they were lacking in substance.

    Then there's the matter of procrastination in regards to Violet and Hermione. Time and time again, it happens that Ron really needs to deal with them, but he just keeps pushing it off. And then, when things do come out in the open, does he actually clear the air on things, like he said/thought he would? Of course not. Don't be silly, that would just deprive the author of stirring more pointless drama later on.

    I'm not expecting Ron to just get rid of them. Despite them being two different people from the ones he's known, he's not a cold-blooded person who'd just dispose of them. But all those situations, all those times they messed with his life, downplaying events and risks, it's just fucking incredulous and honest to God tedious to read about. I've read through the whole thing in one go and now I found myself wishing I just didn't bother with it in the first place. It's just that bad. That fucking pointless, because shit will keep following a pattern, Ron will keep acting the same, and that's just no good to read about.

    Hence my rating.


    Also, I will admit that I dislike seeing Ron act like a child when he isn't one. I'm not talking about him acting around other people, but just with himself, his inner thoughts, his deeds (not words). For all the supposed maturity he should possess, I can't find a trace of it.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  13. TallDarkStranger

    TallDarkStranger Fourth Year

    Dec 4, 2015
    High Score:
    I started off at 3/5 for the first 10 chapters, but these fic has regressed a lot. I'm hesitant to give it above two now.
    Pros: For once, Ron is a good guy, makes active changes, and isn't an idiot.
    The Slytherin politics-ish stuff is tolerable.
    Having multiple characters running through time and from different timelines (maybe even dimensions?) is new.

    1. M'lady was funny at first, and then got annoying.
    2. 6th graders have crushes, but for fuck's sake don't alternate between "I'm much older at heart and these kids are jailbait" and "My boner needs to go spelunking". Pick one and stick with it, don't teeter-totter (however much I hate the former style, consistency is much better than this shit).
    3. Pacing is dirt-poor. Plot accelerates, and then completely unrelated filler with no development that is largely poor in itself. Then a pseudo-plot chapter where nothing much happens, and then more fillers.
  14. Invictus

    Invictus Master of Death

    Mar 21, 2013
    This fic is shit.
  15. Zerg_Lurker

    Zerg_Lurker Headmaster DLP Supporter

    Apr 1, 2010
    I read through this because I needed something to read, but man, I did not need to read this.

    The story seems to want to go through the motions of aligning with canon but completely glosses over the things that actually happen in favor of snippets of conversation after whichever coma SlytheRon ends up in.

    The action sequence/duel was completely forgettable even though it tried really hard to come off as cool.

    I don't mind that characters are unlikeable but what galls me is that they are completely uninteresting or simply not there. One would expect Dumbledore or Snape to actually make an appearance and say something after all the kerfuffle but we're denied even that much, as their dialogue is filtered through the cardboard mouths of Ron's Slytherfriends.

    The breaking point for me wasn't the m'lady fedora tipping or the stilted dialogue or the bizarre characterizations or the abortion/trainwreck of a plot.

    It was the fucking shadow clones.

    2/5 because it's got an interesting premise and I might return to it at some point to see how it ends if it doesn't implode into a driveling pile of cliches of decades past first.
  16. DooomCookie

    DooomCookie First Year

    Aug 17, 2015
    I've actually read this one!

    I didn't think it was so bad. I always like reading non-Harry-centric fics, although the first person perspective grated at times.

    By the standards of Peggy Sue fics, the plot is pretty decent. Ron's an active protagonist, which is more than I can say for most fics.

    Where it all falls over are the characters. If you're going to write an OC (or hijack an background character to effectively create one), that's great. But at least give them a personality. His Slytherin friends are completely indistguishable from one another. They, Luna, Hermione and Violet have zero agency (or, for that matter, any goals in life aside from 'react to Ron').

    The dialogue is incredibly flat, which doesn't help. It comes across as oddly stilted and the humour only elicits cringes. (I need not mention the constant m'ladying.)

    I'll give it 3/5 (+0.5 for the non-Harry perspective). Better than most fanfiction, but that's not a high bar, sadly.
  17. Nauro

    Nauro Headmaster

    Oct 20, 2011
    I've read the reviews here before going to read this, and I was expecting something terrible and irredeemable.

    I was waiting for the pretend-sneaky Slytherins, and unity only outside the house, and complicated games that have no place for Hogwarts, and I...

    I both got and didn't get what I expected.

    The attempts at "true slytherin ways" are terrible, yes, but I got the vibe of them that it's children playing at being sneaky, rather than actually being sneaky. If I believe that angle (as it's probably a wrong interpretation), I kindoff like it.

    There were no pitfalls of Snape talking with protagonist about showing too much disloyalty in public, or everyone in the house hating Ron, just because. In fact, I felt that he kinda found his group of friends, and all others left him alone.

    I read the lines "ah, malfoy is trying to get others to hate you", like I would expect children who are told that they need to be sneaky and about favors would do. I had fun with this, right up to the point where the plots actually became more than words, and actual actions were taken by Ron's friends to plot against Hermione and Violet, and my illusion was broken.

    Otherwise, I loved some of the ideas, even though the execution wasn't up to par in places. That might be because I love most of time travel stories that offer new ideas, and here it mixes things up a bit.

    The weakest point was the sorting hat going "oh, you're the third time traveler", and RON LEAVING IT ALONE. I mean he was obliviated at one point, but I think he didn't even react to this piece of news at all.

    They also didn't fucking try to communicate at points where it could have saved them a lot of trouble. Then again, this somewhat makes sense, as neither party can be sure the other is saying the truth, as all see something unexpected.

    I liked the hints of Violet story, which builds up into an interesting story from the bits and pieces that are given*:
    She's a female Harry that was involved with her version of Ron and Hermione both, and at some point Ron went evil, and time travel loops got involved in (oder is unclear). The interesting bit is that their loops seems to be tied to their deaths, but it's implied that the loop doesn't really end until their Ron dies too. It is implied that that other Ron had a couple of loops where he was left to live out his life, leaving both Hermione and Violet behind in terms of achievements.
    Their current plan was to Obliviate their Ron, either before resetting the loop or just as it started for them, leaving this Ron with some information missing.
    My theory is that their Ron knew and tried to counter it, so we accidentally got a wrong Ron.
    Oh, and other Ron had kept Hermione around for a long time as a slave in a single loop, which is why Hermione is both messed up and is constantly trying to kill Ron.

    This whole set up has shades of Naruto fanfic Time Braid, but is definitely not that awesome, but it could be, if handled by a decent author.

    ++Speculation, a.l.a. how I imagine that story to be ++

    I also like to believe that other Ron turned evil because he was the last of the Golden trio to survive, and maybe got to live in Voldemort's run country until his first death. This means we have a basically canon Ron (with very mild changes because instead of Harry we have Violet) who gets to see a full loss.

    I assume that their second run goes similarly to the first run, but Ron is changed. He either gets into Slytherin or not, but he becomes what Violet and Hermione remember the most. The more careful, non-commital fiend, that doesn't really go a full mile. There's some quote about Ron disappearing as the trouble begins, and coming back afterwards all smiles. I believe this is Ron that has survived longer than his friends, and that has lost some of his will to fight.

    I see both Violet and Hermione lashing out at him, perhaps on third or later run-throughs, stopping to trust him. And since this other Ron knows that both Violet and Hermione lose, even with a second chance, he might change to ever more neutral party, or even allying himself with blood purists, to live an even longer life a third time.

    I assume on the fourth run, he just starts making sure that both Violet and Hermione die soon and maybe painlessly, because then he can live his pureblood life the longest, without having to even be associated with the "golden duo".

    At this point, he becomes the antagonist, because he's the more experienced of the three, in raw years, and their game becomes less Violet against Voldemort, but rather Violet and Hermione against Ron, as he spirals ever more to deeper evils.

    Until Ron has his evilest moment - of keeping Hermione as a slave for unknown numbe of years, and then gets hit by an obliviate either before or as Hermione and Violet assume (because it's another Ron arriving here) after the loop.

    I believe that Ron was a vital part of their trio in the first (or maybe more) runs, because one of the plans Hermione has is to bait him into trying to save her from the troll, all the while rigging the fight in the trolls favor. This, at least for me, is proof that on the first run, it was HarryViolet and Ron saving Hermione. That's what they assume an Obliviated Ron would do as well - this is why HarryViolet comes to tell about Hermione in trouble, too.
    *I don't think writing this story instead of this one would be a better choice, because I'm unsure this author can pull it off. By leaving only hints, (at least for me), my mind is creating theories and making that untold story better than it might have been.

    What else.
    I disliked Ron training his friends in the first year, a bit unrealistic.

    I disliked placed when "play intrigue" became intrigue. I'm all for firsty Slytherins going debt this and allies that, but behaving like simple kids, because I buy that. Tell a little kid that he's sneaky, and he'll call you an ally because that sounds cool, unlike "friend".

    Magical cores are barely mentioned, mostly in the context of "too young to use proper spells" and "magic core was exausted", which is but a small benefit, but at least there aren't any "my magic core is bigger than yours, because I'm a chosen one".

    When I sat down to write out this review, I was gonna give it 3.5/5, rounding up. Yet, when I put this all to virtual paper, it's 3/5.

    tl;dr Good ideas for mentioned timelines, decent surprises at places, childish intrigue with children, and stupid jokes. It's alright, I suppose.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  18. Blundo

    Blundo Second Year

    May 19, 2016
    High Score:
    Was a tentative 3-3.5/5 for a while, on account of having some fun and interesting ideas. Not always especially well executed, and with some cringeworthy aspects (for instance we're meant to find Ron witty and charming, but he comes off more like a guy with a very large fedora collection), but not irredeemable. Figured it was worth reading further as it might find its legs, like a TV show that only gets genuinely good after a few episodes.

    Unfortunately, the opposite has happened. Parts of the more recent chapters are especially dire. At first I thought the fic was poking fun at shitty fanfics by intentionally putting Ron from the canon universe into a parallel world with shitty fanon goings-on, but it's looking less and less intentional.

    As the fic is currently, I'd bring it down to a 2-2.5/5.
  19. Conquistador

    Conquistador High Inquisitor

    Jan 19, 2017
    At Peace
    High Score:
    Cliches, bad plot, bad attempted humor, and no unique characterizatio.


  20. DragonSin

    DragonSin Disappeared

    Sep 7, 2016
    Old York
    High Score:
    I have yet to see someone make a good Harry-centric fic ... so why is anyone even attempting to touch Ron? I get that some people will give this fic a 5/5 just for showing Ron in a semi-decent light, despite all the glaring flaws, but c'mon, what is the point of it? "Let's use every trope we've ever used on Harry, on Ron, then bash Harry like he does Ron." 1/5