Harry Potter continues to be an endearing franchise. What thematic elements make it so loved years after the books and films have been completed?
I think it has to do a lot with the fact that the books were famous before it became a movie and the kids who grew up reading those books are now adults and thus, they encouraged their younger siblings to take interest in the movies and read the book. Not to mention that some of us read the books as adults, (like me) and encouraged our children to take an interest in the franchise (both in books and movies). (at least that is what I did).
– Nilab Ferozan10 months ago
I have see how popular the topic is on the Artifice itself. – Munjeera10 months ago
This would be a super read! I think it's important to consider the books and the films as separate entities , but also compare their success at some point in the article – LilyaRider10 months ago
Harry Potter has this certain nostalgic appeal that leads to people feeling a connection with the series, and the desire to pass it on to younger traditions. Aside from fantasy, the series deals with issues of friendship, loss, families, hope, struggles, etc., which allows for a multitude of viewership. Due to these numerous facets, this series has the ability to reach readers/viewers in at least one area of human emotion. – danielle57710 months ago
It's the characters. There are so many characters or parts of characters that each of us can identify with or want to be. I started to read these books as a teenager, and yet older than the targeted audience. I wanted to get my letter telling me I was a wizard (or witch) and would be swept away into this magical world that exists alongside of our muggle world. Even as an adult it is wonderful to believe that somewhere there is magic or this alternate world that could exist. The core story of love and friendship endures past the books and films. And even as I re-read the series I laugh and cry at the same moments that I read in the first reading. And am sad when it's all over that I need to re-read and re-watch. It's one that shall continue to endure. – therachelralph10 months ago
I agree that it's the characters because the characters are thought out to such an extent and written in such detail that they can easily be imagined as real people instead of just imaginary people from a book. They also cover a wide range of types of people and do not stick to hard stereotypes. The good characters have flaws. The bad characters have good somewhere inside them or backstories explaining why they are how they are. The booksmart Hermione doesn't always have the answer and brought new depth to the 'nerd' and 'bookworm' characters. All the characters have an amazing depth to them that is actually surprising considering just how many characters there are. Even small characters that you hardly see or ones that didn't even make it into the movies have complete characters. None are hollow characters just there for the furthering of the plot, instead being fully-formed people. I would say that the characters are the main reason the series remains relevant. The magic doesn't hurt though.
Essentially, the series creates a world perfect for the imagination of all ages to explore and young fans just get to know the world and the characters in new and deeper ways as they get older. It doesn't just fade away and get forgotten because there's always more to experience and enjoy. – AnisaCowan10 months ago
It's the appeal of the alternative reality: this rich and amazing world that is just around the corner, if only we know how to look for it. I'd also say it was how well Rowling constructed her universe and how rich and detailed it is. Just the care she put into naming her characters, it reminds me of Tolkien.I think another part of the appeal is that we can all imagine ourselves in that world. If not as students, then as teachers or at least as a denizen. In that respect, it reminds me of Star Trek. – LisaDee9 months ago
Someone please formulate what Rowling did. I need the money. – Tigey7 months ago
Many people have mentioned the characters and I agree that is a huge part of it. JKR has called them "character-driven" books and after reading that quote I was immediately like, oh, yeah. It got me thinking. Technically all books are driven by the actions of characters, but some plots don't require you to know the characters on a personal level to be entertaining. JKR takes character to a whole new level; as people have said, it's like you know them (not just the main characters--almost all of them) and could predict what they would do in any situation. And her dialogue is fun, witty, and personal to each of her characters. It makes her writing more fun and truly exceptional, and the story so much more dimensional than the plot of defeating Voldemort.
That goes along with the idea of world creation. I hate comparing HP to things like Twilight and The Hunger Games because it blows them out of the water from a writing, literary, and overall goodness standpoint. But a comparison serves to make my point--Stephanie Meyer and Suzanne Collins created worlds within or in the future of our world. They added new rules and created some creatures, devices, and spaces that are purely the products of imagination. But J.K. Rowling created a Wizarding world that, while occasionally intersecting with the muggle world, is a space all it's own. She doesn't even rely on the existence of technology. She invented hundreds of spells, animals, laws, backstories, places, histories. It's mind-blowing. – katybherman5 months ago
J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series helped change my life as a child. Being of the Harry Potter generation I grew up reading the books, waiting in lines at midnight to get the books and skipping school the next day to barricade myself in my room to read it in its entirety as soon as possible. J.K. Rowlings taught me lessons about hardship, friendship, bullying and life with her stories, for that, I will be forever grateful. Literature to me is going on an adventure. No matter the genre, fiction or non–though I am partial to fiction. By opening the pages of a book we can be transported into a new world, learning and living through characters in the world created. We study and write about it for many different reasons, some to learn, others to simply enjoy. Literature has no bounds, it is not limited by the past, present or the future. It's the relatability of the characters and their progression through growing up learning about, life, love/lust, friendship, bully, and loss that allow us to connect with them, breath with them and even grieve with them. The world of Harry Potter is so much more than one boy with a scar on his forehead or simply words on a page. – RoyalBibliophile2 months ago
Check out Sarah's recent post, pending approval, as it addresses Harry and enduring popularity. – Paul A. Crutcher2 weeks ago
This purpose of this article is to determine whether or not the recently published rehearsal script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child should be considered as a new addition to the Harry Potter canon. In other words, this article would focus on the mixed reception from fans, J.K Rowling’s involvement in the project (or lack thereof) and argue for or against the play as part of the overall Harry Potter story timeline.
Does reception decide what "canon" is? Or is the fact that JK Rowling an author already confirm its legitimacy?
Keep in mind that it is a theatrical play. – Christen Mandracchia3 months ago
Fan reception does not dictate what is and is not canon. Canon is decided by whoever owns the creative rights. – Steven Gonzales3 months ago
Alright, I see both of your points. In some ways I agree and disagree at the same time. While I think canon is determined by the author, I also believe that an individual's 'personal' canon (the fan perspective) is valid and worthy of study. However, that's just my opinion. – AlexanderLee3 months ago
This is interesting, because "canon" is typically whatever the original author claims it to be. However, Cursed Child uses any number of ideas embraced by the fandom community long before the Cursed Child was written (friendship between Albus and Scorpius, Albus being in Slytherin, etc). Does the relationship between author and fandom change what the "canon" is? Does it give the fandom more ownership of the material? – sophiacatherine3 months ago
There are a bunch of articles on this topic. The writer may want to look at these articles, some including actual quotes from J.K. Rowling, to enhance their own thesis. – Jaye Freeland6 months ago
Perhaps they should have. But their relationship was primed from the beginning to represent a sibling like arrangement, while conversely Hermione and Ron always bickered like a married couple. – mynameisreza6 months ago
Despite receiving mixed reviews from fans, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child can be referenced for this topic since it gives some insight into the married life of Ron and Hermione and their parenting. In the play, Ron serves as a character mostly for comedic relief, but perhaps this compliments nicely with the immense pressure of Hermione's career. – AlexanderLee3 months ago
Ron is in more need of Hermione than Harry. When you watch all the movies, with this question in mind, you notice immediately that Harry and Hermione don't go well together at all. Hermione is a strong-willed and able leader in her own right, and being matched with Harry, who is also the leader type, is awkward. Can you imagine Hermione taking a backseat to anyone, even Harry? Ron on the other hand compliments her much better because he is not a leader, and is in the backseat throughout the movies. – MikeySheff3 months ago
The Harry Potter Generation is still as enthralled with the series as they ever were. With many moral messages included in the book, could you make the argument that they really taught their readers something? Consider the backlash when "The Cursed Child" cast a black actress to play Hermione. Can any connections be made between Death Eaters and Extremist Right-Wing political groups? Are there links between the Harry Potter Generation and the left-leaning Millennial generation?
This is a very interesting topic, and one that seems especially big in its scope. It might prove to be quite difficult to show the connections between "Harry Potter" and the political attitudes of the majority of its readers. I'm not sure whether you could find any surveys related to such, but this would certainly require a lot of background research.
In addition to finding research to support your claims, you would have to point to the presence of such ideas within the literature itself.
Another thing to consider would be whether "Harry Potter" had a hand in creating the progressive generation or whether its success was merely symptomatic of the generation's already-present political attitudes. – Farrow1 year ago
I wonder if J.K. Rowling would even answer something like that on Twitter. It would certainly be an intriguing question to ask. Maybe it would help the writer of this topic to look at her life and education and try to connect not just the plot and characters to our life, but her life, as well. – Jaye Freeland1 year ago
There's many topic possibilites here. Focusing on the Harry Potter Generation could be a good foundation. As far as paralleling or contrasting it with the left-leaning Millennial generation, consider at least 3 specific topics or points to express the ramifications. Examples could include faithfulness in friendships, culture of British teens in HP and those of America, forced vs. independent interest in school (using Hermoine's passion, or Harry's interest in potion from "Half Blood Prince" or even Lovegood and the dead), civil rights interests, sacrifice, etc.) The examples are endless. – margorose1 year ago
I think Rowling said at one point some comparison between Death Eaters and Nazis, so maybe pointing to that may help the point when going for moral compass of Harry Potter. – SpectreWriter1 year ago
Can you be more specific about what generation is the "Harry Potter generation"? Do you mean the first generation that grew up with the books? (as an example - someone who was around HP's age when the books were published would be people in their early 30s now?) – Katheryn1 year ago
The titular main character is often overshadowed by his luck and the accomplishments of his friends. Though Harry is the Chosen One, he rarely shows his so called "incredible" wizarding prowess as is stated that he possesses outside of his ability to catch a small golden ball. Does Harry Potter, the incredibly well known franchise that took the world by storm, truly deserve its fame when its main character is overall just an average wizard?
I partially agree with this, only because there are so many talented wizards without whom Harry Potter would not be Harry Potter. But who is a man (or a woman) without the people who helped him/her? HP was kind of pushed and dragged into being the Chosen One; he never really wanted it. His parents' legacies were what created this image of HP being the one to save all the wizarding world. He never really got a chance to choose his place in the battle. I think he doesn't deserve all the fame, but he should get some credit. It takes a lot to be what everyone wants you to be, and then to execute the prophecy that was placed on him at age 15/16. – madigoldman5 months ago
I think that is precisely one of the reasons Harry Potter IS so successful. Harry Potter, this so-called Chosen One, the one whose name everyone knows, is an average boy. He's an average boy that has to prove to the world and himself that he doesn't belong in a closet under the stairwell, that he is important. This message is possibly the most important message to send to young adults, that you are special and if you are determined you can be great. If Harry were some amazing wizard and flaunted his powers every chance he had, average readers wouldn't be able to connect as well with him. It's this idea that even the life of an average person is great one that is the ultimate appeal of the Harry Potter series, other than the magic of course.
– sastephens5 months ago
I agree with sastephens and would like to add that one of the bigger reveals in the books is that Harry only ended up the Chosen One by chance. Neville also had the potential to become the Chosen One and the only reason it was Harry was because Voldemort chose him. Harry could have been just another ordinary wizard who excels at certain subjects and is rubbish at others and that is one of the things that makes him a wonderful and relatable protagonist. – Rxage5 months ago
I think sastephens says it well. That ordinariness is a big part of his destiny. His archetype wouldn't work any other way. But, I do think that he doesn't exhibit any extraordinary magical skill or even a dynamic personality. However, I think an argument can be made for the overarching theme of the franchise, which I believe is choice. The one thing I can commend him for is his choices. While he isn't particularly charismatic, he does seem to make even-handed and noble choices despite his cursed inclination toward the Slytherin yoke. And, without having much guidance in how to act nobly, he seems to have an extraordinary sense of right and wrong. I think it can be summed up in the most pivotal decision-making scene that basically drives the rest of the story, when Harry declares "I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself." That choice, alone, sets Harry apart as remarkable. – wtardieu5 months ago
To add on to some of these well-written thoughts, that ordinariness to Harry Potter is a large reminder to young teenagers and even older adults why we are capable of great things. We want to cheer on that character who isn't perfect but who are doing the "right" thing. If we look at the main characters of other great films such as Frodo from "Lord of the Rings," Luke Skywalker from "Star Wars," and Katniss of "The Hunger Games," they are all relative average individuals who get pulled into this unexpected adventure--whether that is fighting evil, overcoming odds, or leading a revolution. Why are are they so revered? They were quite ordinary in their own way, and in many ways, weren't perfect, talented individuals. None of these characters were the best fighters, warriors, or incredible geniuses (like Dr. Strange or Tony Stark). But we could root for them because of what they stood for. That these imperfect human beings can potentially help save the world... even when they don't seem like the perfect candidate to do that task. – kittycataddy5 months ago
Now that is has been a while since it’s release a well rounded consensus can be established. Disregarding the overall quality of the execution of how the story was told, did it have a reason for existing? Did anybody feel that the book justified its existence by providing a well needed chapter of emotional development missing from Harry Potter’s character arc?
Maybe an approach could be, what does Harry Potter and the Cursed Child add to the universe and understanding of Harry Potter that wasn't there better in just the books, films, and cult followings? – Kevin5 months ago
It is important to note that Cursed Child is a piece of theatre co-written by two other people. It brings HP to the stage while still presenting something new. It is completely different and it definitely has a reason for existing, as evidenced by the tickets sold out from now until eternity. – Christen Mandracchia5 months ago
This is a difficult topic to approach because, technically speaking, there is no reason any form of art should exist. It might serve a good function but it serves a constructed one, either through the artist's vision or through society's desires. When looking at the latest installment in Harry Potter, I would keep the facts strictly true and twist the discussion toward a more interesting one, which might be: does an author have the right to promulgate or continue a story even if it is to the story's detriment? Perhaps this isn't a question worth answering, but it is worth considering especially with the possessive nature of fandom today. – atiku5 months ago
Was "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" a worthy continuation to the Harry Potter series? I actually think this a very interesting topic to explore. It's true that it is a piece for theatre above anything else but it still continuing the story of the novels. I also have the question of whether the story should have been told in novel form verses in stage form. Why continue the story in a different format? – MatthewSimmons5 months ago
I believe that this is a very interesting topic that would make a great read. It is quite arguable whether or not there is a valid reason for it's existence. I'm sure some feel as if it was a wonderful continuation, while others find it just a way to extract more money from devoted Potterheads. I personally would take this on by writing how The Cursed Child helped you learn more information about your already beloved characters. – jccrockett5 months ago
The Cursed Child has a reason for existing insofar as it brings Harry Potter to a new medium--the stage. Though A Very Potter Musical exists, JKR had never been part of a theater adaptation of the series, and by creating the play, an opportunity for a new audience to experience the series, and long standing fans have a chance to experience the series in a new format.The actual story, however, didn't seem to be a worthwhile addition to the canon. In the sense of continuity, the characters did not read the same in the play as they do in the books or movies. And then in the sense of fiction practice and ethics, characters should arguably let free after a series has finished--the author has already constructed a story that should leave the audience with distinct enough impressions of the characters for readers to determine for themselves what comes of their lives. – mrgawlik5 months ago
I myself am very contradicted about this. I go back and forth about it a lot. Overall though, I think I've come to the conclusion that it was great to see how Harry's kids turned out. I would've never thought Albus would actually become a Slytherin. I never thought that people would think Scorpious would be the son of the dark Lord. It was fun to see these new characters go through their own adventure, especially since i was so enthralled with them after reading the epilogue – Jenae5 months ago
I think its better to question if Rowling should have allowed others to (in my opinion mar her legacy) interfere with her works. Did the co-authors do justice to the series or was it more of a money making attempt. Was the character development and style what fans came to expect from Rowling, how has The Cursed Child helped or hurt her readership or how her fans view her now as opposed to before The Cursed Child came out? – ADumbuya5 months ago
With the newest book in the Harry Potter universe coming out soon, and considering the new movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" entering theatres in November, discuss the different ways in which the Harry Potter universe has attracted millions of fans. Consider the writing style of the books, the movies, the theme parks, and all of the things that make Harry Potter what it is today. Discuss where you expect the wizarding world to go, and how it has impacted our world.
In J.K. Rowling’s acclaimed series, there is a clear separation between good and evil. The reader is aligned with Hogwarts and the ‘good’ wizards, and Voldemort and his followers are clearly characterized as evil. Dementors and Death Eaters are continuously attempting to invade the walls of Hogwarts, and are willing to kill anyone who gets in their way of securing power. If J.K. Rowling drew upon World War II for the series, can that view be shifted to how the series can now be read in relation to terrorism? Analyze the ways in which Death Eaters resemble terrorist organizations. What does this say about our culture? How can we learn from the series using this lens?
As an idea the Death Eaters exemplify terrorism but at it's core it's really hard to say/argue. I feel like they are the embodiment of terror because the books make it a little too easy for us to see them as people. They don't get character development, like Bellatrix a lot of them come off as just wanting to watch the world burn. On that note, there is always Draco. A good angle this article could take is: Draco Malfoy helping people sympathize with children in radical families. Death Eaters aren't brainwashed by religion like modern day terrorists but as the books point out in a lot of cases they are pressured into it, feeling like they have no other choice, and that it's submit to Voldemort or die. – Slaidey1 year ago
Are you aiming to explore Death Eaters as "weapons" or terror as as state sanctioned vehicle to spread fear of terrorism or a way to control it. It might be a more effective argument to take Death Easters as weapons of fear and control, given that they are operated under the "state power" which in this case would be the ministry. For example as one of the comments above has suggested here, Death Eaters are clearly not brainwashed but rather, it is their nature and function to spread fear. – aferozan1 year ago
I'm actually going to go ahead and take this topic up. It seems like an interesting topic to discuss. It's pretty well established that Rowling drew inspiration from the Nazis, but puritan ideology exists even today, and future generations may look back at this series, coming as terrorism becomes a real problem in the world, and may very well assume that was its inspiration. – Adnan Bey1 year ago
Looking forward to this article Adnan. – Munjeera10 months ago
There's a pretty interesting (and amusing) video that Cracked made a couple of years ago that might shed some light on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz88P6tL9wc – ProtoCanon8 months ago
There has been a lot of debate over the newest installment in the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, particularly from the Native American community. This is shocking to a lot of people, mainly the hardcore Harry Potter fandom who eagerly await the movie. Most fans are unsure whether this dissent from the Native American community is valid. A well-written article should address both sides of the argument and clearly lay out the issue.
Rowling recently released the house mascots of her new American Wizarding school. These mascots are based off of mythological animals in Native American culture. They are: The Horned Serpent, The Thunderbird, The Wampus and the Pukwudgie. These ‘fantastic beasts’ are steeped in traditional Native oral histories and I think it could be fun to delve into their stories and examine what they mean to Native culture.
This seems like a very interesting topic. As an aid Harry Potter fan myself, I would absolutely love to take this article up. But, I think I'd hold off until I've actually watched the movie. In my opinion, this is much better written once the movie has entered the cinematic world and the official Harry Potter canon. If, by that time, this topic is still open, I'll be back. – Adnan Bey11 months ago
I agree with the above. When we've seen what place and role the 'beasts' have in the film, then there'll be much more to discuss and chew over. – J.P. Shiel11 months ago
When it comes to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, are the techniques used to develop the plot potentially hiding the protagonists’ fantastical identities from the rest of humanity? Also, is there a significance of diegetic and non-diegetic sounds that help explain how the characters identities are hidden throughout the series?