Not like the movies

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The one that got away


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{003} Twilight vs. Harry Potter: A Debate (Part 1)
Friday, August 13, 2010 || 10:11 PM


Thank you Google Images.

I've been meaning to do this in a while but I wasn't sure where to post it. This is the unfortunate thing about having multiple journals for every little thing. Although this isn't a blog that is well-known, it's still an outlet right? Anyway, it all started about a month ago when I had just started moderating a community in Livejournal dedicated to reading the Harry Potter books. There was a "Free For All" post and one of the comments talked about the very famous debate: Twilight vs. Harry Potter. My hour-long obsession with the topic led me to a site that posted a debate between Twi-hards and Potter-heads. I read everything and had something to say for a lot of the things the Twilight team had to say. I will admit, I am a Potter-head and there's no denying the fact that this will be a Potter-biased point of view. Because of this, I apologize to the Twi-hard and "Neutrals" that may think I'm being narrow-minded or being the typical fan bashing the other fandom. I don't mean to bash a fandom, I'm just vouching for Potter. I can assure you, I've read both series and don't mean to snipe another's opinion. With that, I'll get started!

You can click on the question if you would like to read the responses of the fans.

Question #1: How does the development of the main characters in each series compare to one another?
The first fan talks about how the narration differences affect the reader's feel for the characters. To be honest, I don't think that had much to do with the given question but I suppose she had a point. Unfortunately, I believe her answer was rather rough around the edges. She mentions that Twilight was also full of characters with rich and vast backgrounds, who where fully developed at the beginning of Twilight. The question asked how the development of the main characters in each series compare. With an answer like that, I was expecting something that would explain how these fully developed characters may have changed throughout the series showing a new kind of development, different to the one we are initially told. Instead, she uses the example of Meyers including bits and pieces of Charlie and Renee’s private life, including their daily habits and funny quirks. The same could be said for Potter. Although the narration is different, we can still see their personalities as well as their daily lives. At the same time, we are able to see how these personalities can change and how it affects them as people. She says that the characters in Twilight seemed like real people. I suppose I can agree with this to a certain extent however, even a real-live human being is subject to change. The development of the characters in Twilight is very vague as Meyers continuously keeps up the same kind of personalities throughout each book. In Potter, you can see them grow up, learning morals and values that are actually useful in life.

The second fan's beginning statement is a good comparison, until she starts saying things like "I personally enjoyed reading about Bella's character developing rather than Harry Potter because Harry is just dealing with an evil wizard lord coming to kill him." Then she goes on to describe what Bella's ordeals are like and a few small trivial things a regular teenage girl goes through. The hookup, the breakup, the affairs. Throw in a few vampires and werewolves and you've got Bella's life! I can see how young girls can relate to a few of those things - minus the supernatural - but it's a very shallow kind of development. It's true that Bella has had only a short span of time to deal with so much at once but what exactly did she get out of it? A vampire child? Marrying at 18? In Harry's case, I would say he had a little more to deal with but in a longer span of time as the fan has stated. But unlike what the fan has said, Harry has a lot more to deal with aside from an evil wizard that is trying to kill him. Firstly, there's the realization that he will never be able to see or speak to his parents ever again. Barely the age of 1, he became an orphan and throughout the series he can only learn about them through other people. There is also his morals and what he treasures the most. Although Harry's done many brave things in the series, he does so humbly teaching the value of modesty. It is in that you can see a true character development throughout the Potter series.

The third fan briefly skims through the developments of each leading character in her perspective, there isn't much I can say. As for the last debater on the Twilight team, there is a bit that I disagree with when she speaks about Harry's character development. She says he still chooses to live under the limelight of being the savior of the school and his peers - why? Obviously because he likes the attention. Firstly, it's a little hard to step out of the limelight when so many events take place in your life. Secondly, Harry is a person who never really wanted the attention to begin with. He wants to be a regular (wizard) boy with a family and no dark wizard out to get him every second of his life. He is the "savior" not because he wanted to be but because it was how it was supposed to be. If you understand the depth of this magical world JKR has written about, then you would understand the complexity of the issue. I would just like to emphasize the fact that throughout all of this, he does not like the attention. His reputation was set in stone right from the moment Voldemort killed his parents and he even says that that's not something he'd like to be famous for. He gets frustrated when the media (aka the wonderful Rita Skeeter) calls him attention-seeking and what not.

Now I understand that Twilight has a few issues each character has to go through in order to fully develop their character throughout the story. I do acknowledge that there is a fair bit of character development in each respective series. However, there would clearly be more of a character development in Harry Potter and I do not say this because I am a Potter-fan, but because there's a much larger time span in between. In Twilight, the character development is rushed and sometimes not evident in parts of the story and this is because the story revolves around a one to two year time frame. All in all, I just feel that the comments made by the Twilight Team was a little unfair towards the Harry Potter series since they seemed a little too ignorant for my taste.

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Part 2 coming soon!