As one final critique (and I know I’ve been mostly negative, but you did do a pretty good job of explaining the positives, which I partially agree with you on), it absolutely drove me crazy how most of the characters were such horrible students! Perhaps the most well-known argument runs something along the lines of “Harry Potter promotes real-world occult practices.” Unfortunately, this issue has turned into a media circus, thanks to unfortunate publications like this one: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fd/Nervous_Witch_20.png. It's nominally the house of courage and chivalry, but some fans see it more as a house full of, Ravenclaw is the house for smart people, but how smart are Ravenclaws really? This may have contributed to his clashes with his fellow Gryffindors. I know numerous people that will read the entire series (all 7 books) multiple times a year. There is honestly no moral difference between the magic in “Harry Potter” and the powers possessed by Superman or Spider-Man. She could be aware that others are inclined not to believe her — which can be a problem, given that she knows she can see magical creatures like thestrels that even most other wizards can't (and that only because she had seen someone die — even Harry doesn't get that experience until, Marietta Edgecombe is a minor character who made a big impact by turning over Dumbledore's Army to Umbridge. The often-irritable Potions teacher at Hogwarts, Snape frequently appears to be antagonistic towards Harry throughout the series (although, interestingly, he often intervenes to protect Harry during the darkest moments). ( Log Out / At Hogwarts, he meets his two closest friends – Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger – and begins studying magic. And, of course, they’ve attracted praise and scorn from virtually all sides, including an almost unprecedented amount of criticism from the conservative Christian community. Nothing. Alternatively, was Harry's failure to learn Occlumency Snape's fault or Harry's? Draco, who takes on the task of killing Dumbledore out of love for his father (wanting to redeem Lucius) cannot do it, even with Dumbledore helpless before him. Since that point, Snape’s relationship with Harry has been a constant source of pain…yet Snape chooses to sacrifice his own feelings and defend a child he believes should have been his. Fans are on two sides as to how sympathetic Marietta is. I’ve listened to the books way too many times (the audio books are truly remarkable plus I have few audiobooks and lots of housework). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. ( Log Out / However, considering that the franchise has almost run its course, and sentiments have cooled somewhat, I feel it’s time to take an in-depth look at some of the themes and worldview elements in this oft-disputed series. All the “dark” characters in the book who nevertheless love someone deeply and truly are unable to fully participate in evil. Unfortunately, legitimate disagreements with the content of “Harry Potter” have often been obscured by a deluge of inaccurate information. In the climactic scene, Lucius and Narcissus, as devoted Death-Eaters, should be trying to kill, but they are only desperately searching for the son they love. Reading the final book of the Harry Potter series was one of my holiday activities this summer. The “Harry Potter” series is, in many ways, a parable about the danger of desiring immortality. His death leads to the salvation of countless others. Is there something that she's missing, or is the Wizarding World — which has. Not that it helps, because he and Tonks are both killed by the end. And this isn’t even the classes where they get to learn how to charm objects to make them fly, or transfigure yourself into an armchair, or defend against dark curses. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Script (2004) 4. It soon becomes clear that the death of Harry’s parents was no accident: the evil Dark Lord Voldemort murdered them. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I think it’s fair to say that few books have ever inspired as much controversy as J.K. Rowling’s hugely popular “Harry Potter” fantasy series. Never judge a book by its movie. As Dumbledore puts it: “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”. It’s got to be me.” While this motif is certainly common even in non-Christian literature, it gains special significance when viewed in light of another prevailing theme (to be discussed later). http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fd/Nervous_Witch_20.png, Harry Potter and the Literary Analysis « The Oak Dialogues. There are so many story lines and they are so perfectly combined, that I coul not stop reading. The book of Acts tells the story of Paul using the Athenians’ altar to an “Unknown God” as a means of proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. This is hardly a unique objection and I happily apply it to other series such as The Lord of the Rings, which many Christians praise (which I think might be more dangerous because it is so often blindly accepted and supported by Christians that very few of them read it with any level of criticism). Dumbledore sharply critiques this empty attitude towards life: “As much money and life as you could want! The last three volumes deal with Harry’s increasingly desperate battle against Voldemort, and his fight to remain steadfast even as the world spins into chaos around him. While Harry is certainly not Christ himself, he is the books’ “Christ figure”, willingly enduring a sacrificial death in order to save others from evil. It operates according to certain rules, just like gravity, and there are both good and bad ways to employ it. There are certainly moments in the “Harry Potter” series disturbing enough to put the books off-limits for sensitive readers. When Harry confronts Voldemort and suffers death at the Dark Lord’s hands, he awakens to find himself in a limbo-like state between life and death. Book 7 successfully unites all these elements into a dramatic, triumphant finale. TVTropes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. There, he sees the mutilated soul of Lord Voldemort – an affirmation that souls are ultimately held accountable for their actions, and that the material world is but the precursor to something more. What’s more, disputes over the “Harry Potter” series have led to other, more subversive material being overlooked. On the one hand, she was scared of Umbridge (and her mother worked for her, which added to the pressure), and Hermione's secret spell seemed rather cruel and, Cho Chang herself gets some for defending Marietta Edgecombe for betraying Dumbledore's Army, and Harry (understandably) breaks up with her for it. However, this is perhaps the most interesting and uniquely symbolic element of the entire seven-book saga. However, Book 7 finally provides the full story. On another level, Book 7 also serves as a metaphor for the relationship between God and His people. dismiss everyone else's problems as unimportant. This dark desire leads him down the path of villainy, transforming him from a disturbed orphan boy into the living incarnation of evil. As a Christian, I don’t want to cause anyone to stumble by what I say, nor do I want to simply stir up dissent. Weigh in on the scripts yourself with a collection of Harry Potter’s previous movie scripts: 1. However, the true significance of this theme does not emerge until Book 7. But when, Its founder, Salazar Slytherin, is not painted well in the books - he was known to have built the Chamber of Secrets, which housed the Muggle-killing Basilisk, and he did have a falling out with the other founders over whether or not to accept Muggle-born students. Esteemed precedent. Of course, there have been plenty of criticisms of the “Harry Potter” series as well. Was she just infatuated by his celebrity status? Death is seen not as an end, but rather as a beginning. What to make of his relationships with the other Marauders? I am glad I’ve read the books and watched the moves. Criticizing something one knows little or nothing about is unwise. Harry explicitly states that he doesn't want to learn from Snape and doesn't see any real point to it, while Snape was even more of an abusive jerk to him than usual during those lessons. The issue was never raised or alluded to in the novels themselves; thus, for the purposes of this commentary, this will not be under consideration.). This isn’t to say that there aren’t other themes in the books. In all honesty, advertisers erred in marketing this series to a preteen demographic: although the early volumes are filled with childish innocence, the story matures along with its protagonist. ( Log Out / The situation may be summarized thusly: Harry, a bearer of evil that is not his own, must suffer death at Voldemort’s hands. The Sorting Hat itself seems to characterise Hufflepuff this way at one point, almost as if to discourage anyone from wanting to be sorted there; maybe they just don't want kids who feel a strong need to "fit in" with any given group. While Harry lives, Voldemort cannot truly die. He may have been so different from his family and desperate to fit in with them that he steered himself into Gryffindor when he would have been better suited to another House. As a Christian, I choose to recognize that the “Harry Potter” series may be a modern “altar to an unknown God” – a means by which we can share our faith with the world. This will necessarily be a fairly long discussion – after a brief summary of the series, this commentary will explore the three predominant motifs in the seven books before responding to a few of the foremost anti-“Potter” objections. The other Weasleys were very prone to making fun of Percy and had little respect for his interests. It is not practiced by any of the main characters, but it is referred to several times as a means of determining the future. Did Snape actually like, Do the movies change anything? ( Log Out / I can appreciate the concerns of individuals who point to the Bible’s condemnation of witchcraft as sin. Devoting that much of ones time, energy, and thought to any one thing (with the exception of the Bible), is, I believe, excessive, obsessive, wasteful, and ultimately dangerous. Careful readers may note that I’ve frequently referred to the seventh volume of the series in exploring these issues; however, these ideas are developed throughout the series as a whole. Dabbling in these areas, which is very easy, is a common way that people become involved with the occult. Of house-elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. She clearly had a schoolgirl's crush on him in their first year. Throughout the book, Harry, Ron and Hermione have successfully located and destroyed the six Horcruxes, magical objects bearing fragments of Voldemort’s essence. Voldemort is obsessed with the concept of living forever, no matter what the cost. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. For starters, the only “real-world” occult practice employed by “good characters” is divination (reading tea leaves and crystal balls in an attempt to predict the future). To complete the Christ metaphor, Harry is resurrected from the dead, defeats Voldemort once and for all, and saves the magical world. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Script (2002) 3. There is nothing in the series that will corrupt a mature Christian, and it borders on slander to make harsh accusations without knowing the facts. Snape, a longtime admirer of Lily (Harry’s mother), was forced to watch as she married a man Snape deemed reckless and immature. These rumors are strikingly similar to arguments leveled by those antagonistic toward Christianity. He helps Harry wage his battle against Voldemort, providing counseling and insight throughout the series. How she looks in the films. In the books Snape is shown as having a lot more baggage than in the films (possibly due to, What to think of Harry's dad James? Voldemort’s deadliest weapon, the “Killing Curse,” rebounded when he used it against Harry, shattering the Dark Lord’s power. Harry doesn't learn much about what Tom's diary did to her; he suspects it, One hot-button issue among the fandom is her relationship with Harry. “Harry Potter” magic is similar to a genetic mutation – some possess it, others do not. Some suggest that he was just different in personality, being smarter but more rules-oriented and more willing to think of the consequences of risky actions (unlike his siblings, some of whom are legendarily impulsive). He and Grindelwald held great aspirations to help bring wizards and witches out of hiding and put them at the top of the food chain, and if an unknown number of Muggles had to die in service to this dream, it was all ", Dumbledore's treatment of Snape is particularly concerning to some fans, who saw him as manipulating Snape into doing his bidding by exploiting Snape's trauma at losing the only woman he ever loved. He chooses to lay down his own life to end the evil caused by another. Canonically, people like him, and his friendships are, Ron Weasley is one of Harry's most loyal allies, but that doesn't stop the fandom from interpreting him as, What was the nature of Ginny's relationship with Tom Riddle in her first year? I will make an open request to all individuals who are still concerned about “Harry Potter” after reading this review: please do not argue that “Harry Potter” is evil/Wiccan/Satanic, unless you have actually read the books for yourself. The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”, In contrast, Harry and his friends are unafraid of their own mortality. Harry Potter is a series of seven Doorstoppers with Loads and Loads of Characters - but even they don't always tell the whole story. Harry doesn't know much about him, and only later does he discover that his father wasn't. When he got a job at the Ministry, he got pretty close to Minister Fudge and became a. This is for sure one of the better positive critiques I’ve read about Harry Potter from a Christian. This, perhaps, stuck out to me having attended Patrick Henry College with lots of studious people, but seriously, with the exception of Hermione almost none of the students (at least the ones that are even slightly important characters) actually cared about their studies or spent time doing school. With more than 400 million copies sold, the books have impacted popular culture in a massive way. Clearly, the question of “Harry Potter” is a complicated one. Snape loves Lily (he is not just an admirer) and this love means he cannot ever give himself over to Voldemort or Dark Magic; in fact his love empowers him to successfully hide his true self from Voldemort. Voldemort also attempted to kill Harry, but his attack rebounded on himself, severely crippling Voldemort’s power. When Harry is only fifteen months old, Lord Voldemort murders his parents. If JK Rowling might read this I wanted to tell her I love this book. Voldemort is obsessed with the concept of living forever, no matter what the cost. However, it has been argued by fans that many of her predictions are at least, With a few exceptions, such as Dobby, they, The other question is what to make of wizards who seem okay with this sort of thing. During his journey to face Voldemort and die at the Dark Lord’s hands (a sequence clearly inspired by the Garden of Gethsemane), Harry never questions Dumbledore’s authority or his command, but sincerely wrestles with issues of grief and loss. Later in the series (after the Dark Lord’s return to power), Voldemort attempts to “possess” Harry (yes, in the biblical sense) but cannot due to the contrast between Harry’s soul and his own. I also appreciate that since I have read the series I can converse with others, Christian and non-Christian alike, intelligently and knowledgeably about it. The curse that originally failed to kill Harry struck Voldemort instead, blasting away a piece of Voldemort’s tainted essence…which in turn bonded to Harry. It’s a fairly simple story arc, but the intricate web of plots and subplots grips the reader’s attention. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Script (2005) 5. Would he have granted Snape's request that he not kill Lily? (Note: In order to evaluate the complex themes of this series, the following commentary contains spoilers). I enjoyed them, but there are a great many other series that I have enjoyed much more. Harry must decide whom he trusts: Dumbledore, who is no longer directly there with him, or those who criticize him. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Script (Dialogue Transcript) (2001) 2. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I’d been mistaken: the books were adventure stories in the style of Roald Dahl, with a layer of fairy-tale magic added on. Did it matter that his friends Sirius and Lupin might still have been behaving like assholes even after James had grown out of it, or was James able to convince Lily that they were cool even if they hadn't "grown up" yet? It isn’t a perfect analogy – for instance, it’s not as strong as the Aslan/Emperor-over-the-Sea allegory found in the “Narnia” books. Many Death Eaters don't exactly share in Voldemort's fervour to, Draco Malfoy's most popular interpretation, Did she truly support the Death Eaters when they took over, or did she just go along with them to save her own bacon? But one interpretation is that she's, Her behaviour may be a defense mechanism, especially considering the fact that her dad runs a conspiracy paper. I’d read plenty of books about the “occultism” of the series, and heard all the anti-“Potter” arguments. Each of these deserves thorough evaluation. Nice analysis. The magic employed in “Harry Potter” is purely instrumental. Did she really understand Harry, or was she, On a somewhat Meta level, some readers have argued Ginny gets too much, The Weasley twins: Are they good-natured pranksters who target people who deserve what's coming to them? Was his love for Lily real, or was he just a, How did he get in with his Death Eater friends?
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