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All Things Harry Potter

Valka D'Ur

Hosting Iron Pen in A&E
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Every few years (or couple of decades, as the case may be), I manage to find a new fandom to dive into. In 1972 it was Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators (series of mystery novels). In 1975 it was Star Trek (the major one that led to the others, because without that, I'd never have been into science fiction or fantasy).

1982 was a triple whammy: Fighting Fantasy, Dungeons & Dragons, and Doctor Who. Then in the spring of 1986 I was invited to a Viking feast and that was the start of 12 years active in the Society for Creative Anachronism and a lifelong interest in medieval history.

It was awhile before the next major obsession, but that finally came in 1998, which was the first foray into the gothic/undead, with The Crow: Stairway to Heaven (and the movie it was based on). Without discovering that I can enjoy some stories about undead people (ie. Highlander/Highlander: The Raven TV series, watched voraciously in reruns), I couldn't have made it another 22 years to finally reach...

Harry Potter. Yeah, I know the first novel came out even before The Crow: STH. The first movie was just a few years later (but still 20 years ago, almost). It seems that most fandoms I get obsessed with are always years after everyone else.

But I finally made it, after the third time of making it through a movie marathon weekend on the science fiction channel. I've yet to see the movies one after the other in the correct order, given the ridiculous way they're shown here (blocks of 3, 3, and 2, shown 3 times each... not helpful for a newcomer who's confused by the information and sensory overload and hasn't read the novels).

I may be late to this fandom, but have been making up for lost time (no, that doesn't mean I went out and bought all the action figures and everything else... though there are a couple of items on the Etsy site I've been considering). It means getting the movies on DVD so I can finally watch them in the correct order. I've been reading dozens of fanfic stories (some full-length novels that are still going) and watching numerous YT videos that explain some aspects of the movies and novels that were confusing (actually there are some things I still find confusing; there are a lot of characters to keep track of). And I just recently finished reading the novels.

And then I wondered if there might be a thread here that I'd overlooked, and... surprise. There wasn't one. So now we have one. It's good to know I'm not the only HP fan here, though I'm likely the only HP fanfic fan here (naturally I've been getting some ideas for adding to the 800,000+ stories on fanfiction.net and the other millions on other sites - the world needs my take on it, too, right? ;)).

Anyway, as the title says, this thread is for All Things Harry Potter. Movies, novels, games (I understand there are HP games; that's one aspect of the fandom I'm unfamiliar with), fanfic, fan films, and so on.

So grab your brooms, wands, and the Marauders' Map, and let's go!
 
(Technically, the Cursed Child also takes place shortly after the epilogue but I refuse to acknowledge that pile of garbage as canon)
I agree with Professor Choxorn here, the Cursed Child is Terminator Genysis meets Nazis meets Harry Potter.
 
I agree with Professor Choxorn here, the Cursed Child is Terminator Genysis meets Nazis meets Harry Potter.

Just in general, a good way to enjoy the series is to just totally ignore everything JK Rowling has said about it for the past 10 years or so. The books and movies are canon, whatever else she's tried to add to it or retroactively change since then can be ignored.
 
There's an ongoing argument over on TrekBBS about what is canon, what is "fanon" (what fans generally accept or prefer; an example is Wolfstar vs. Remus/Nymphadora and Sirius/?), and what is "head canon. (what each individual fan prefers)." This is a common thing for many popular franchises. I'm not familiar with The Cursed Child, but have the impression that it's pretty unpopular with a lot of fans. Quite a few comments on the YouTube pages have said they'd have preferred a novel or movie about the Marauders era (even though we know what happens to all of them). There are a few fan films out there, but of course those aren't official.
 
Just in general, a good way to enjoy the series is to just totally ignore everything JK Rowling has said about it for the past 10 years or so. The books and movies are canon, whatever else she's tried to add to it or retroactively change since then can be ignored.
Sorry, sir, but I have to disagree on the grounds that I am a book-only fundamentalist: The films directly contradict and mutilate the original story. It's seven books plus a couple of hilarious reference books by Oscurus and that's it.
 
Sorry, sir, but I have to disagree on the grounds that I am a book-only fundamentalist: The films directly contradict and mutilate the original story. It's seven books plus a couple of hilarious reference books by Oscurus and that's it.
What are the most egregious contradictions and mutilations that you have found? Honestly curious.

I have to admit that having seen the movies first, it's hard to wrap my head around all the descriptions of Sirius Black as having black hair and grey eyes, when I'm used to a man with brown hair and blue eyes.

And what is the official word on the names of James Potter's parents? Fanfic is all over the place, including his mother's ethnicity (Indian in quite a few stories, which made me wonder wtf... since neither Daniel Radcliffe nor the actor who played James in the flashback scenes match that description).
 
Sorry, sir, but I have to disagree on the grounds that I am a book-only fundamentalist: The films directly contradict and mutilate the original story. It's seven books plus a couple of hilarious reference books by Oscurus and that's it.

the films are easier to digest, and they're largely held back by rowling herself

plus the film version of prisoner of azkaban is really well-made

What are the most egregious contradictions and mutilations that you have found? Honestly curious.

I haven't consumed any HP media in years, so my memory is pretty rusty here, but I remember Quidditch taking up a far more prominent presence in the books than the films. I remember Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix and Half Blood Prince also being somewhat incoherent too since the books are so long (Prisoner of Azkaban has 300-400 pages, Goblet of Fire has 600-700). Ginny also had much less chemistry with Harry in the films than in the books, though I never really liked them being together in either.

And what is the official word on the names of James Potter's parents? Fanfic is all over the place, including his mother's ethnicity (Indian in quite a few stories, which made me wonder wtf... since neither Daniel Radcliffe nor the actor who played James in the flashback scenes match that description).

I don't recall any of Harry's grandparents appearing in either the books or the films
 
I haven't consumed any HP media in years, so my memory is pretty rusty here, but I remember Quidditch taking up a far more prominent presence in the books than the films.

Definitely true, the movies cut out the games that aren't plot-relevant beyond "we're playing a game, maybe we could win the Quidditch Cup"

So like, in the first book there's parts dedicated to the Gryffindor team playing all three of the other houses (though of the three, one ends in about a minute and another happens while Harry is recovering in the hopsital in the last chapter so we just read about Dumbledore describing it to him), but the first movie only shows the one against Slytherin where Quirrell is trying to kill him.

For examples from other movies, there's also the 5th one completely cutting Quidditch from the movie and the 4th one basically totally cutting out the actual game of the Quidditch World Cup, just showing the main cast arriving and leaving the stadium and giving a brief intro to Viktor Krum.
 
The Quidditch World Cup game being cut was the most egregious imo, that would've looked incredible on the big screen and given a better introduction to some important characters
 
The Quidditch World Cup game being cut was the most egregious imo, that would've looked incredible on the big screen and given a better introduction to some important characters
There might be a YT video explaining that choice (there are plenty of analytical videos dissecting all the movies to see where they differ from the books), but for now it wouldn't surprise me if the reason they didn't show much of it was due to budget (and time constraints, of course). The amount of green screen/FX in the movies is a lot, and part of the reason why some of the actions sequences confused the hell out of me.

I don't have the capacity to absorb a lot of computerized action movements in movies anymore. It's information/sensory overload and I just end up tuning it out... and later find myself in the situation of wondering "wtf" when a character refers to something that happened in the action sequence I tuned out.

It's too bad we didn't get to see the Hogwarts kitchen, with all those House-Elves. Dobby is one of my favorite characters.
 
It's too bad we didn't get to see the Hogwarts kitchen, with all those House-Elves. Dobby is one of my favorite characters.
And there you go, for a classic example of the films cutting out "extra" stuff that contributes to the overall arc.

In the books, Dobby shows up in CoS, GoF, OotP, HBP and throughout the first half of DH, and has frequent interactions with Harry and co. (for example, he — and not Neville! — gives Harry gillyweed in GoF, and tells the gang about the Room of Requirement in OotP).

But movie-Dobby only shows up in CoS — and then in DH Part I, just in time to get knifed by Bellatrix, and leave Harry distraught. Which makes little narrative sense if all someone's seen is the movies, because the last time movie-Harry saw movie-Dobby, was 4–5 years earlier, while Dobby was being an utter inconvenience to him for almost the entire year.

Sure, that inconvenience turned out to be for a good reason, but it's still a little strange to go from "Yeah, OK, I now realise your heart was in the right place, so you're forgiven for stealing my letters, blocking access to the school train, and breaking my arm — but don't ever try and 'protect' me again" to "Oh my god, this poor elf (who I haven't seen in over 4 years), for some reason sacrificed himself to save me and my friends, so now I must bury him all by myself, woe is me".

Especially compared to the way Harry essentially shrugs off Mad-Eye's death, despite having been taught by [someone doing an exact Polyjuice impersonation of] him for the entirety of GoF, and also having had more recent contact with him (beginning and end of OotP).

/Rant

*takes deep breath*
 
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What are the most egregious contradictions and mutilations that you have found? Honestly curious.

I have to admit that having seen the movies first, it's hard to wrap my head around all the descriptions of Sirius Black as having black hair and grey eyes, when I'm used to a man with brown hair and blue eyes.

And what is the official word on the names of James Potter's parents? Fanfic is all over the place, including his mother's ethnicity (Indian in quite a few stories, which made me wonder wtf... since neither Daniel Radcliffe nor the actor who played James in the flashback scenes match that description).
I don't know about the elder Potters.

The films have a lot of content and characters cut out (resulting in plot holes and lack of motivation and clear character paths, see an example below) and some actors miscast, too. The colour of Harry's eyes is actually a major plot point if you spot it, but hey, who cares.
A lot of the symbology is cut out and simplified because the films appear to have been made by the type of person who thinks that children are idiots and so things should be simple and easy.
the films are easier to digest, and they're largely held back by rowling herself

plus the film version of prisoner of azkaban is really well-made
Actually it was a nearly decent film. Of course, it just strays from the book to no end:

Hermione Granger didn't properly become an Action Girl until the fifth Harry Potter book, and even then she was still inexperienced. In the films she gets Xenafied two stories earlier by riding around on the Whomping Willow (and somehow being able to use its momentum to throw Harry through the hole), being able to throw a pumpkin seed several feet through a kitchen window to break a sugar bowl, blast a cage door open, and perfectly imitate a werewolf's call to save everyone. In the books, the most she does is kick Sirius in the head to get him off Harry (oddly enough the film left that out). Also, her Armour-Piercing Slap to Malfoy was changed to a punch.
(courtesy of TVTropes)​

Which means, basically, that it's another story.
 
I don't know about the elder Potters.

The films have a lot of content and characters cut out (resulting in plot holes and lack of motivation and clear character paths, see an example below) and some actors miscast, too. The colour of Harry's eyes is actually a major plot point if you spot it, but hey, who cares.
I have to ask: Why? What difference does it make to anyone what color Harry's eyes are? In the books and fanfic there are a bazillion references to Lily's green eyes and Harry's eyes that look like hers.

But why is the color green so critical? Please don't tell me it's because green is the Slytherin color and Harry can talk to snakes.

Some day I hope to run across a crack!fic in which somebody tells Harry (for the millionth time), "You have your mother's eyes" and Lily Potter jumps up and says, "Yeah, and I want them back! Use the eyes you were born with, brat!"

Actually it was a nearly decent film. Of course, it just strays from the book to no end:

Hermione Granger didn't properly become an Action Girl until the fifth Harry Potter book, and even then she was still inexperienced. In the films she gets Xenafied two stories earlier by riding around on the Whomping Willow (and somehow being able to use its momentum to throw Harry through the hole), being able to throw a pumpkin seed several feet through a kitchen window to break a sugar bowl, blast a cage door open, and perfectly imitate a werewolf's call to save everyone. In the books, the most she does is kick Sirius in the head to get him off Harry (oddly enough the film left that out). Also, her Armour-Piercing Slap to Malfoy was changed to a punch.
(courtesy of TVTropes)​

Which means, basically, that it's another story.
I like the movie because it shows the grounds of Hogwarts, and where everything is in relation to everything else. It's not just actors on an indoor set.

One criticism of the movie that is absolutely valid is that whatever Remus turns into, it's not very wolflike.

Hermione used a spell to break Sirius' holding cell open, so that's not a stretch. My understanding of how effective a spell is, depends on the strength of the will and intention of the caster (and knowing the mechanics of it). Hermione absolutely intended to get Sirius out of that cell, so the window went BLAM! and the job was done. She doesn't have to be physically strong to do that.

I've read the criticisms that a lot of Ron's lines and actions were given to Hermione simply because the director liked the actress better than he liked the kid who played Ron.

I asked about Harry's grandparents' names because there appear to be two competing sets of names: Charlus and Dorea vs. Fleamont and Euphemia (Fleamont usually being given the nickname "Monty"). Gotta say I prefer the second combination, as "Charlus Potter" just doesn't have a good ring to it.

When does she kick Sirius? I must've missed that.
 
But why is the color green so critical? Please don't tell me it's because green is the Slytherin color and Harry can talk to snakes.
Spoiler :
Snape
 
But WHY? Couldn't Lily and Harry both have blue eyes, or purple eyes, or plaid eyes?

I read that they did consider having Daniel Radcliffe wear green contact lenses. They opted not to, which was probably a relief for the kid. It's not anything that was a dealbreaker for my enjoyment of the movies.
 
I've read the criticisms that a lot of Ron's lines and actions were given to Hermione simply because the director liked the actress better than he liked the kid who played Ron.

Book Ron: Bit of an oaf at times, but also the grounded, street-smart one who knows his way around the Wizarding World better than the other two because he grew up in it instead of not finding out he was a wizard until he was 11, bit immature, jealous, and mean at times but not really more so than a typical teenager and mostly decent at the heart of it all

Movie Ron: Douchey High School Jock who couldn't do crap without Hermione's help, sometimes a decent fellow but that's hidden behind layers of snark and the dickish parts of his personality are bigger than in the book

Fanfic Ron: Literally Satan, there's even a Trope about it
 
But WHY? Couldn't Lily and Harry both have blue eyes, or purple eyes, or plaid eyes?
The whole point is
Spoiler :
that the fact that Snape keeps looking at Harry, always in the eye, throughout all seven books and, in fact, dies looking straight into his eyes, once you know why, really changes your interpretation of the entire character
 
I have to admit that I don't really like Ron. Actually, I'm not terribly fond of any of the Harry-generation of kids (exception: the Weasley twins). I tend to seek out Marauders fanfiction, and have found some real gems - some that have me giggling, and others where I just sit here and bawl. And J.K. Rowling can just STFU about Sirius and Remus. Some fans like Wolfstar and others are determined to pair Sirius with Marlene McKinnon (have no idea why; she's just part of the original Order of the Phoenix picture that Sirius shows Harry).

There are some really good Wolfstar stories, but I've found a non-Wolfstar story with a female original character whose narrative weaves in and out of a retelling of the novel events, as a "this is what happened when the camera wasn't looking" story. It's something like 170+ chapters by now.

People have written stories about characters I never noticed. There's fanfic about the cat characters - Mrs Norris, Crookshanks, and McGonagall's animagus form.

I even found a fanfic or two about the Sorting Hat. Clearly this franchise has sparked some odd bits of creative effort from a lot of people, and that's not a bad thing. Most of the stories I've tried have been at least adequate, though some have been absolutely awful - either poor writing skills, or a good idea in the hands of an inept writer. And then there are the really good stories that are just abruptly abandoned and will never be finished. That's annoying, and one of the risks one takes in getting invested in any story on the fanfic sites that isn't marked "Complete."

As for my own fanfic aspirations... they're strictly crossover parody.

The whole point is
Spoiler :
that the fact that Snape keeps looking at Harry, always in the eye, throughout all seven books and, in fact, dies looking straight into his eyes, once you know why, really changes your interpretation of the entire character
Yes, I get that. But why does the color matter? As long as they have the same color eyes, why are people so damned upset that Daniel Radcliffe didn't have green eyes? Just match the eye color between Daniel Radcliffe and the actress who played Lily, and call it done.

There are times when I swear this is the YT fans' version of the "what color are the warp nacelles in every version of Star Trek" controversy. It doesn't matter.
 
I even found a fanfic or two about the Sorting Hat.
I bet you five internet cookies that one of the fanfics is a demonstration of Rule 34.

There are times when I swear this is the YT fans' version of the "what color are the warp nacelles in every version of Star Trek" controversy. It doesn't matter.
I thought the Federation was consistent in red bussard collectors and, when present, blue on the body of the nacelles. Klingon and Romulan was green instead of blue, and some Klingon ships had red bussard collectors.

Though a lot of the alien ships got rather lazy about having distinct nacelles as the show went on, which I'm mildly grumpy about. At least the Vulcan annular warp engine was cool looking.
 
I have to admit that I don't really like Ron. Actually, I'm not terribly fond of any of the Harry-generation of kids (exception: the Weasley twins).
Well, teenagers are not that likeable to anyone other than their immediate family and/or coetaneous. In that they're portrayed quite accurately. Especially with them being a few hundred magically capable idiots cooped up together with, e.g. no sexual education or any sort of emotional support after being wrenched from their families, which is a type of damage victims of the boarding school system have to endure IRL.
 
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