How Harry Potter Ruined and Revived Fantasy

I know, the title alone sounds like I’m about to go into how Harry Potter is stupid and lame, right? Well you’re wrong. Harry Potter was awesome for a lot of reasons. The books are timeless stories that get better and better with time. They play on lots of classic storytelling ideas in eventually well written ways.

Harry is the forever pure good guy. He has problems like anyone else, but he’s a good guy. Voldemort is pure evil in every way. They fight. In it’s most simple form many people can enjoy it for what it is, a fight between good and evil.

I remember reading the first book a long while back and thinking “Wow, this is kind of cool. I mean it’s also a little bit ridiculous, but in a sort of practical way.” The Harry Potter books started picking up lot’s of steam by the third book especially, The Prisoner of Azkaban. By then there were rumors that they were going to start making them into movies, seven movies!

SEVEN?! There’s no way they will be able to keep the same kids throughout all the movies. They will be like 35 by the time they are done. Who will believe that Harry Potter can grow a beard?!

Well believe it! Soon after book four came out, The Goblet of Fire, the first movie came out. And this is about the point when it became okay and sometimes cool to read Harry Potter, wear a Hogwarts shirt, use your wand in public…

Maybe not the last one. But still, Harry Potter started looking like something parent’s could get behind for its wholesome storytelling to explain to kids that guys who have snake-nostrils are bad guys, and good guys wear glasses.

The stories got better too!

Each book revolved around a single year of Harry’s life, so it was like growing up with Harry for most kids. As he got older the writing got more mature and more realistic. The world started to open up and Harry started getting exposed to the realities of life. Death, loneliness and magic wands. The three things all children must come to terms with eventually.

At this point I’m sure you are thinking, alright sure, Jon, you are praising the crap out of Harry Potter for being awesome or whatever, but the title said he RUINED fantasy as well.

Well you are right.

Harry also ruined the fantasy genre

The genre of fantasy is a broad one, but if you ask someone to name a fantasy story, they’ll probably say Harry Potter, unfortunately the next thing they will probably mention is Twilight.

You might also start pointing out that the stories in Twilight are nothing like the ones in Harry Potter. Well you are right about that. But this is the thing with Twilight

Many people started reading the Harry Potter novels as they came out. This meant that when the first three books came out, a vast majority of fans were young, very young. They grew up with the stories and stayed the major audience. Sure as the later books came along younger people started reading them, but the core audience of Harry Potter has always been the people who started reading them as they were originally released.

By the sixth Harry Potter book, the audience was all in their teenage years. They were young, impressionable, and looking forward to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Price. It promised a book filled with teen problems they could relate to while still having tons of awesome magic and fantastical elements.

At this point, the fans I’m talking about are predominantly girls. The female Harry Potter audience is the focus now, they were really the biggest bulk of the young Harry Potter audience, and still are.

So Imagine you are a teenage girl. You are looking for some more teenage fantasy. You just blew through the sixth Harry Potter novel and want MORE! Well lucky for you that there just happens to be a teen fantasy novel that JUST arrived in bookstores everywhere. It’s even getting rave reviews! Maybe its time to check it out!

You buy Twilight and immediately find that your teen-fantasy fix has been fed. You don’t have to wait two or three more years for the next Harry Potter, there’s something else to read RIGHT NOW! And it’s from a girl’s perspective! And she is just like you!

Here is my point, Harry Potter left alot of its core female audience vulnerable after the release of The Half Blood Prince. These girls got a bit of fantasy and even more teenage kissing and problems. They wanted MORE and the most popular outlet was Twilight.

Twilight‘s main character is fairly generic. If anyone reading this had read the Twilight series, try remembering how they describe how she looks. They don’t really do they?

Stephenie Meyer knew what she was doing. By making the main character Bella quite formless and non-descript, she manipulated all of the hungry female fantasy readers into thinking THEY were Bella!

Now these girls are completely hooked on the idea that they can fall in love with a glowing fairy.. or vampire.. nah he’s really a fairly. How else can he glow in the daylight?

Once Stephenie Meyer sucked people in by tricking them into thinking they were all Bella, she then had her way with them and forced vampirism to seem like the best thing in the world. Now all former Harry Potter fans were being seduced by shiny, glowing vampires and rugged, handsome werewolves.

After the seduction process, these original Harry Potter fans became the first of the ever-increasing teen fantasy romance genre.

Now the genre is being flooded by the same crap stories over and over again. Vampires, werewolves, fairies, flying witch doctors. Name any fantasy creature and there is guaranteed to be atleast 200 novels about the creature making it the most attractive creature ever, sucking the life out of teenage girls everywhere.

This is where Harry Potter ruined the fantasy genre. Now if you ask someone to list a few fantasy stories, they are bound to say something depressing like ‘Oh well theres Harry Potter, OH and Twilight! And then theres [insert 1000+ random vampire or werewolf stories currently flooding the market]

And to think, the whole thing might have never happened at all if Stephenie Meyer hadn’t released Twilight right after all those Harry Potter fans were left feeling vulnerable and exposed, having to wait another two or three years for Harry to start kissing Ginny or for Ron to finally kiss Hermione.

About Jon Q Public

Jon Q Public can blend into any crowd. He is tallish but not too tall, he probably has a light beard or a 5 O'Clock shadow. He wears nice slacks with a fancy jacket. He's your average American Taxpayer: Mr. Jon Q Public.