miccaeli miccaevelli / 21 / australia
trash, television, tags and askbox essays. talk to me about outlander and horrible otps

do you hate harry potter? or jk rowling? or think she's a bad writer/person?
asked by Anonymous

To get to the crux of it - no, I don’t think any of these things.

To get more tl;dr…. I think Harry Potter is an exceptionally well written series, and like many people my age who grew up with it, there’s a certain level of fondness and nostalgia I’ll always have when I think about it or talk about it. But just because I have those good memories doesn’t mean that, now that I’m older and looking back and I can see parts of the series that fall a little short, or don’t sit right with me, that I’m going to ignore them and brush them off.

An important part, for me, of interacting with media is to step back a little and ask myself - okay, how do I feel about that? And why do I feel that way? And when I was younger, and I thought the world of Harry Potter and wasn’t used to examining things I’d read or seen metatextually, I didn’t see any flaws because I loved it so much. But now that I’m older and am more used to taking things with a grain of salt, when I reread or reexamine I see things that seem glaring that weren’t obvious to me before. The hero worship and lack of acknowledgement of the damage Dumbledore did to Harry, and many others, is one of those things. The lack of complexity in most of the female characters in the series and the dichotomy and internalized misogyny in the ones that are is another.

I don’t think JKR is a bad writer, but I think there are issues with the way Harry Potter is written - like there is with every series, really. I think it just doesn’t get talked about as often with Harry Potter because it’s the series that so many people associate with their childhood and a time when they were really falling in love with fictional worlds and reading in general, and it’s held up on that pedestal where people just want to keep that idealised version with them forever. But I think for this very reason it’s even more important to look at the elements of Harry Potter that don’t stand up ten, fifteen years on - because it’s a text that is so well known and loved and a vital part of our generation and popular culture, it can be delved into and deconstructed in a way that a massive audience can interpret and benefit from.

There’s this idea that to love something and be a fan of it you have to just blindly adore it and think it’s perfect - I hate this train of thought. Like, really hate it. I think it’s beneficial and almost necessary in a way to acknowledge the faults in the things you love, hold them accountable for that, and know that you’re gonna still love them and enjoy them even though you know they’re not perfect. Because like NOTHING IS. There’s issues and things to discuss with every book, movie, comic, album - and for me, Harry Potter is definitely a part of that.

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