5 Reasons Harry Potter is a Great Character

Harry Potter is one of the most underrated characters in his own series.

I have never heard anyone say that Harry is their favourite, and a quick Google search of ‘Harry Potter is a bad character’ (or something similar) shows no shortage of people who think he’s the worstWhile I must admit that he isn’t my favourite (Ron has that spot reserved — another underrated character I might rant about sometime), here are five reasons Harry is a great character, inspired largely by the unjustified hate he gets from others. Warning: spoilers ahead.

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Sympathy

I used to think that things were quite simple in a story: you sympathise with one character, despise (or at least slightly dislike) another and root for the one you feel sympathy for. Although ‘good’ and ‘bad’ characters may not always be entirely discernible all the time, and even though characters may well be a mix of both, there is generally a character the reader favours more than another (I am guessing that most people would feel more sympathy for, say, Harry Potter than Voldemort).

But in some cases, this simple principle seems more difficult to apply.

In English class, I recently read Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Throughout the play, I felt sympathy for the protagonist, Willy Loman, whereas some people in my class commented that he seemed annoying. I felt bad about his need to control the direction his life is moving in and his failure to do so, about his shattered hopes and dreams. Moreover, I disliked his older son, Biff, for being so hostile towards his father.

However, a twist in the plot revealed near the end of the story turned my whole viewpoint topsy-turvy.

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Writing Prompt: Quote Me

This year, I am trying The Daily Post’s 365 Days of Writing Prompts to ensure I write at least a little bit every day. I will be posting some of the results here. This is the one from today (4th January).

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

I’m an indecisive person. Whether it’s a choice of ice cream flavour, or an essay question of many, or even an example to demonstrate that I’m indecisive, I generally have a hard time choosing. So, of course I have had difficulties choosing a favourite quote, since I have a few more than one. After spending some time thinking about it, I managed to bring it down to two. Of course, I couldn’t choose between them, because they are both quotes that I find myself thinking of if someone asks for my favourite.

1. “Being fearless isn’t being 100% not fearful. It’s being terrified but you jump anyway.” – Taylor Swift

Although it may seem typical or cliché for a teenage girl to quote Taylor Swift, this quote has genuinely stuck with me since I read it. It has reminded me that being fearless isn’t always about being completely brave or totally free of any fears. Just because someone is scared doesn’t mean they can’t be fearless, if they dare to push themselves despite those fears. I think this is a more human description of being fearless and reminds me that taking a jump, even one that may seem small to everyone else but is terrifying to me, is still an achievement because I managed to push aside my fears to take a chance.

2. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”  – Albus Dumbledore / J.K. Rowling

When things go wrong, it is sometimes easy to become lost in the darkness. I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by the amount of assignments, exams and other tasks I have ahead of me, and when the stress level gets too high, I feel like an enormous wave is engulfing me, while the tide whisks me away further from the shore and sharks are circling me, asking me what electrophoresis is. Even though the workload of a twelfth grader may not seem like much to others, it constitutes the majority of my life right now, and it becomes easy for me to get lost in all the work. When things start to go downhill, this quote reminds me that all is not lost. It helps me to gain a more positive outlook, and to remember that happiness is just harder to see in the darkness, and can be found within arm’s reach by just turning on the light.