By now it should be plainly obvious to everyone how I feel about J.K. Rowling. However, in case you’re not, I’m no fan of hers. I find her writing to be somewhat simplistic, her characters extremely archetypal, and her plotlines to be the literary equivalent of swiss cheese. She also seems to go back and retcon details thus creating even more holes in her stores! What’s more than that, I dislike her on a more personal level. Regardless of anyone’s political or social beliefs, everyone should be able to recognize the rather over-the-top smugness of her twitter posts, including how she refuses to recant certain statements even after being proven wrong.
That being said, though I dislike her, I do respect her. She’s a fellow writer who came up with a thematic world that people of all ages, including my children, absolutely love. What’s more, she did it without any level of professional training and only tidbits of higher education. So I tip my hat to her in that respect.
Today though, I want to talk about the primary hero in most of her stories; Harry Potter. Though I am in the minority here, I will come out and say this… I am not a fan. So let’s get into the real meat and potatoes here. Why do I dislike him so much?
(PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS ALL OPINION, SO DON’T WORRY IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH ME. IN FACT, LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS… EVEN IF YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG! 😉 )
So what’s wront with Harry Potter?
He’s unrelatable and unrealistic.
Okay, before everyone gets mad, I know he’s a fantasy character and they’re not always realistic. However, this is a boy who supposedly comes from something resembling the real world and gets thrust into a land of magic. The best characters though are ones who are relatable and he simply isn’t. Consider for a moment… this is a boy who lives in a closet, is abused by his aunt and uncle on an emotional, if not physical, level. He has no parents, likely no friends, very little to call his own, and is lucky if he lives like a servant. Yet when he gets to school, though awkward, he is outgoing and seems to pick out a small group of friends very quickly.
In addition to that, it seems like almost every year he has to win everyone’s approval over and over again. In the first book, he’s the legend who survived. Living a normal life is likely off the books for him. In the next book, he has people thinking that he’s the heir of Slytherin attacking students. Then he’s a cheater who got himself into the tri-wizard tournament. Then he’s a liar… the list goes on and on. Yet he just shrugs it off each time. He doesn’t get mad, he doesn’t put up a fight, and he barely gets emotional.
As if most of that wasn’t enough, even when he has to watch the last member of his family die, even then, he can’t bring himself to inflict harm on the person who killed him. As Voldermort said, the cruciatus curse only works if you mean it.
Even in the end when Harry takes on Voldermort, he doesn’t kill him. The wand does the job for him, absolving him of a supposed murder that absolutely no one would have faulted him for. Harry could pretty much try out for the role of Jesus.
I’m sorry, I get that maybe he might be a little squemish, but his one and only outburst really wasn’t all that believable. In the end, he’s the archetype of a good guy character with little in the way of faults or flaws and really comes off as weak and/or unrealistic.
Anyway, that’s my opinion. Let me know what you think in the comments.
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Catch you on the flip side!
I like Harry Potter but I’m not a die-hard. I think the series is an exceptional feat for a writer. As for Rowling herself, I don’t know enough but I agree she seems smug sometimes. Harry is def an odd character because of the way you described him. He is incredibly flat I guess – we really dont know much about him other than that he lived!