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Harry Potter and The Legacy Virus - A Recovering Physicist's Apology

About Harry Potter and The Legacy Virus

Previous Entry Harry Potter and The Legacy Virus Aug. 14th, 2007 @ 02:21 pm Next Entry
This contains spoilers about the last Harry Potter book. Read beyond at your own peril


I lost a lot of respect for Marvel Comics when they introduced the Legacy Virus. A veiled analogy to AIDS or cancer that allowed comics to talk about a serious issue. Normally I go gaga over this kind of commentary, but the reason I hated the Legacy Virus is because rather than kill main characters it seemed to target really interesting secondary characters only. By the time the Legacy had run its course it had claimed the lives of countless really fascinating second tier characters: leaving the world devoid of substance. Meanwhile the top guys lived as if nothing had happened. It felt so slapdash and left the world so hollow. Which leads me to the Deathly Hollows.


I admire the fact that J.K. is willing to kill characters, particularly given this is a children book. All too often war is portrayed with this happy go luck blue lasers vs. red lasers, heroes win, bad guys loose, and their isn't a drop of blood (let alone a fatality) to be seen. It is all so sterile and gratifying. It is therefore nice to see someone that shows war as something with horrible consequences. Yet, J.K. really seemed to go out of her way to destroy every good secondary character that existed in her world leaving her top people pretty much unscarred as it where. Perhaps I am a little bitter because I love secondary characters more than mains. I dislike Harry, and despise Hagrad (whose character amounts to, I swear, "I'm big and stupid!"). The two toughest deaths for me were Mad Eye and Dobby. Mad Eye I was happy with. He died a hero: fighting for Harry. He was always meant to die in battle. It was the way he would have wanted to die. But killing Dobby really upset me. Particularly when Hagred was allowed to live. I hate Hagred.

The world felt lessoned a great deal after the Deathly Hollows. I mean look who is gone: Mad Eye, Dobby, Tonks, Lupin, Colin, Fred, Snape, and probably more that I have missed. Who is really left? Not a whole lot. It just kind of felt like she built them all up to kill them off for Harry, EXACTLY as Voldemort said. Perhaps I always sympathize with villians.

All in all, I did really like Deathly Hollows. It was a fun time from start to finish. Yes it would have been better if Hagred had been killed and Dobby had lived, but these things happen. I enjoyed the Potter series a great deal. Though, like most of my friends, I am not sold on the last epilogue bit. It seemed tacked on with a "see I didn't really destroy my universe! life went on!" kind of feel to it.

Despite my disappointments, I am most definitely a Potterhead, and I loved the series. I'm tempted to start it over again and read them all, back to back to four more backs!

I wonder what JK's next project is?
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From:biggrumpy
Date:August 15th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
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Yeah you got the flaws of the big Two. Marvel does all this really cool events that end up not changing anything at all but LOOK like they will (Civil War, Legacy, The Scarlet Witch's "No More Mutants" thing). And then there is DC that has these lame world events that end up destroying the universe (figuratively or literally). I mean Super Boy Prime hits a mirror or some crap and now Jason Todd is back alive in Batman... what?

That's why I like the Ultimate Universe because THUS far it doesn't have forty thousand reboots and is fairly consistent with itself and they haven't done anything to "shake it up".
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From:stovelkor
Date:August 15th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
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you're a potterhead who dislikes harry? that doesn't make any sense ;)
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From:biggrumpy
Date:August 15th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
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Come on, can you honestly say you love Harry? Especially when he is being that moody prick that he can be? I like him enough, but he's no Snape.
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From:stovelkor
Date:August 16th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
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That's the thing, though, Harry's not supposed to be a hero...he's you and me, he's every little kid that's reading the book...he's nothing special, it's everything that's happened to him and the cause he represents that makes him special. i think she goes out of her way to illustrate that fact. it's kinda like Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane when he's asking God why does it have to be him? That's the same kind of position Harry's placed in; I think that would make us all a bit moody and prickish. He just wants to live a normal life. That said, there are definitely more fun characters she plays with...but I think that's just the way characters in a story work...the main character is often the least fun to play with because they have to be all things to all people...the side characters usually are defined by more limited characteristics and simply doing the few things that make them who they are is enough. There's far more risk with the main character. I always thought Sisko suffered from main-character syndrome on DS9, whereas Kira was always on about the plight of the Bajorans, Worf was always on about fighting and honor, etc., Sisko had to be all things, perfect, and so development of his character was slower and hard to enact because what they could do with him limited by his status. I think HP is kinda the same way.
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