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 generally agree, not a fan of the Harry Potter books. I wrote a post criticizing the antagonist of the series actually, because he frankly never scared me. As far as villains go, he’s basically a magical version of Luther from The Warriors.
I agree that Harry Potter is not a very interesting protagonist. My personal enjoyment of the series was learning about the world that JK Rowling created. All those little details. I still think the universe holds up even though sadly the author has really tainted the series for me.
I could never finish the books. Too chatty for my style. I did however, like the characters and the world. As far as harry Potter goes… He’s not a character I could create. Sadly, I cannot picture somebody with such high morals. That said, I’ve never written for children. Maybe that’s something their hero is supposed to have?
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If you think the retcons and plot holes in HP are bad, then you better not try to analyze World of Warcraft story from the last 5-8 years.
I think one of the most important things to keep in mind is that, at the end of the day, Harry’s just a child. Even in the last book, he’s not 18. Harry was mad with rage in the ootp when Sirius was killed by bellatrix, but what 15 yo would be able to inflict that level of harm on someone. And in the end, Harry imo intended to kill Voldemort but cast expelliarmus instead of avada kedavra because he OWNED the elder wand. This is just my opinion. I could be wrong because Harry is one of my favourite characters
Finally someone who has said something I couldn’t muster the courage to say. I also felt jk introduced character as per her convince and left them without any closure .