From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harry Potter Countdown...3: Favorite and least favorite Harry Potter characters

In honor of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part II which comes out on Friday, (I will be at the midnight showing. Of course.) I would like to do a sort of Harry Potter countdown. It is undeniable that this movie brings to pass the end of an era. Without Pottermore coming out in October, it might feel more like the end of the world instead of just the end of an era, but as it is, I don't feel that this event can pass without making a big deal of it here.

So then, here's the schedule for the next 3 days.
#3(Today): Favorite and least favorite Harry Potter characters.
#2(Tomorrow): Writing lessons from the 4 Hogwarts houses.
#1(Friday): Review of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part II.

Sound good? Good.

So. Favorite and least favorite Harry Potter characters. Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time will be extremely unsurprised at my favorite:



Severus Snape, of course! Why? I've said this before but I'll say it again. Snape is complex, layered, and human. He's a very interesting iceberg character, where the viewable tip is rude, unappealing and even, we think, treacherous. Then as time and pages go by, we see more and more of the iceberg, and see that he really isn't treacherous, and is in fact extremely loyal, intelligent, misunderstood, mistreated, and brave. We admire him for that loyalty and bravery, and feel sorry for the misunderstood, beaten little boy he is inside, who just wants to be accepted. That is something we can all relate to, and so he becomes a relatable character too. In my own writing, my goal with characters is to write them as complex and sympathetic as Rowling wrote Snape.

And now, least favorite:

Ok, so maybe saying Harry Potter is my least favorite character in Harry Potter isn't really allowed, and I'm not trying to say I don't like Harry, but let me explain. Of course there are HP characters that I would like much, much less as actual people. Umbridge for instance. Or, you know, Voldemort. Even Snape would probably be a less pleasant friend to have than Harry. But I'm talking character. Of course we all hate Umbridge and Voldemort, but its in a love-to-hate kind of way, isn't it? They're fantastic characters to read. Whereas with Harry, we're supposed to love him the whole way through, and we do, but at least for me, there are moments every once in a while (like book 5) where I feel like he gets annoying, preoccupied and kind of angsty. Almost, dare I say, flat as a character. Really, he isn't a flat character, my point is that all the characters around him are just more...interesting. Complex. Of course you may not agree, but I read Harry Potter more for Dumbledore and Hagrid and Lupin and Ron/Hermione (and of course Snape) then I do for Harry himself. The thing is, it totally works that way. It works for Harry to act as a sort of nucleus that the rest of the characters revolve around. It keeps the story going and cohesive. Those are my thoughts and opinions, anyway.

Now its your turn. Favorite? Least favorite? Why?

Sarah Allen

22 comments:

  1. Never ask a Libra girl a loaded question. Confusion will settle across their faces and they'll sink themselves for days into deep thought.

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  2. It's so hard to choose - Jo created soo many really good characters in this series. I have to say Hermione as a favorite. Maybe because of how the character is written, there's something I can connect with and admire. I tend to be more emotional than logical about these things. :) I love the balance and forethought Hermione brings to Harry's (and Ron's, too) life. Like Dumbledore, there's just such trust in what she says is true and honest and you don't question it because she's so intelligent and clever.

    (Also, I agree with you about Snape. I always knew there must be more to him - even, in the hype before book #7 came out, when there was a big campaign to declare if Snape was Good or Evil - I always felt he had to be a good person deep down.)

    Least favorite... this is so tough because I feel as if all of the characters were written so well to work together, weaving in and out of each other's lives and stories. I feel that Jo put so much into the whole story that none of the characters were forgotten - they all had their intended levels of development. If that makes sense?

    If I had to pick one least favorite, perhaps Sirius? I always felt he was never integrated into the story line - he was always looking in from the outside. And even though Harry felt a bond with him, I never got that connection - there wasn't enough time to build it up before he was killed.

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  3. Favorite Character: I would have to say that it is a tie between Snape and Dobby. With Snape I always felt that there had to be a reason for the way he treated Harry and in the end, I ended up feeling sorry for his truly misunderstood character. As for Dobby, well, need I say more? I was so happy for him when he stopped working for the Malfoys!

    Least Favorite: My least favorite was Cho Chang. I sort of found her to be annoying and I was always really upset that Harry was with her and not Ginny. I don't know, I just didn't like her.

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  4. Snape would probably be my favourite for his conflicted-ness. I never liked Ginny that much; she throws a few hexes at the bad guys and then Harry loves her and they get married. I didn't feel like I got to know her that well before I was being told to like her because everyone else did.

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  5. Sirius has always been a favourite of mine. But Snape is up there as a character. Early in the series I deduced he would end up good. I was right, in a sense.

    My least favourite . . . probably Umbridge. I agree she was a very good character, but she was so well-written that I actually disliked her.

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  6. Oh Sarah, how can I pick? These books are known for their memorable characters. But...I do wish I could go hang out with Hagrid when I feel sad, have Dumbledore help me sort out my problems, and take the infant Harry Potter home and raise him myself.
    I cannot stand Filch, Sirius gives me the creeps, and I find nothing lovable about Voldemort, even though antagonists are supposed to have some good qualities.

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  7. I hate to go with the crowd but Snape is probably one of my favourite characters, not just in HP but in literature. I always hoped there was going to be more to him than what we saw but wow, when it came, it was massive.

    Least favourite character? Rita Skeeter - far to true to life!

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  8. Hands down, favorite character is Snape.

    But since he seems to be the crowd favorite, I'll also add a less talked-about character. Luna. There's just so much bubbling beneath the surface.

    Least favorite: Draco Malfoy. He's always seemed a bit flat to me.

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  9. Impossible for me to choose. I just got done reading the series for the first time a couple months ago. For me, it's a problem of too many favorites!

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  10. I could not choose my favorite!! I love me some Snape, Luna, and Neville. They're all rockstars!

    I'd say if I loved to hate someone it would be the Malfoy family - especially Lucius... after all he's such a fabulous villian - is he not?

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  11. Remus Lupin is my favorite. He is both noble and tragic in the series. A tortured soul worthy of a Shakespeare play.

    Petunia Dursley is my biggest disappointment. She had epiphany potential but remained two dimensional.

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  12. Favorite: Sirius Black.

    Least favorite: Ginny Weasley.

    I have to defend the way that Harry is written, as well. I really admire Rowling for letting him grow up just the way a child in his position would - warts and all, so to speak. She allows him to be self-centered and imperfect and to make mistakes. Too many authors get so caught up in keeping their good guys good that they forget to let them be human. And at the same time, he's "normal" (or at least unflashy) enough for us to feel centered in this wacky wizarding world she creates. It's really well done.

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  13. I just think that allowing your protagonist to become even temporarily unlikeable is a big risk. It takes guts and a lot of finesse to pull that off, which she does.

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  14. I liked Lupin and Sirius Black. Hated The Dursleys.

    :-)

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  15. My favorite character in the Harry Potter series is Harry Potter. On the one hand he's got a tender heart, a tremendous capacity to love, a deep devotion to his family and friends and a respect for humanity in general; on the other hand, though his bent is "soft," he's fierce, fiery and brave. I love his impulsiveness, too, his hot blood, his reliance on instinct over logical calculation, his inability to disguise himself, to stuff his feelings or to express anything but what is honestly on his mind. I love that he has trouble controlling his emotions. I loved that he was crap at Occlumency. Most of all I love his selflessness, his self-sacrifice, which I do not view as self-glorifying or as an attempt to be martyred or canonized in his head but as genuinely noble. That locked-off room in the Department of Mysteries, which contains "love" -- Harry has arguably more of it than any other character in the series.

    I think you overrate Snape. He loved one person in his life; Harry loved hundreds, if you count every student in Hogwarts, for whom he was willing to die.

    I take everything back. I totally forgot about Dumbledore. He's my favorite. But that needs no explanation.

    Least favorite character: the portrait of Phineas Nigellus.

    --Sheerah

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  16. I have to agree with you on this one. I think with Umbridge and Voldemort we were supposed to hate them. I love how J.K. Rowling makes harry the blandest hero of all time. she flips the script. instead of the hero saving the town the town is saving the hero. Harry would have been dead if it weren't for the help of those around him... I thought that was just brilliant...

    Snape has to be the best character beacuse we were convinced he was rotten. She again flips the script in the end and shows that he is just a victim of circumstances...

    I could go on for days..probably years.. but you're soooo right Snape is my fav character..harry not so much

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  17. Harry as your least favourite character is definitely allowed. I find that the main character is usually my least favourite; their much bigger because they have to carry the story, so their personality can often be grating. Harry often annoyed me; not sure if he's my least favourite, but he's definitely not my favourite.

    My favourite is Hermione; she's just such a strong female character, yet the typically underrated girl. As for my least favourite, that'd be Ron.

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  18. No! It's Dobby! I hate Dobby. Kreacher is way cooler.

    I love Kreacher :)

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  20. Hate Kreacher! if it wasn't for him, sirius would still be alive :(

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  21. It's been a long time since I've read the series (I finished the last book about ten days after it was released, and I'd read all of the other books beforehand), but I remember really liking Luna as a character.

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