Harry Potter and the Surfeit of Blog Posts

July 16th, 2007

The final book in the Harry Potter series will be released world wide this coming weekend.

In the leadup (and afterwards) I’d expect a few thousand million posts on Harry Potter and related issues.

Never let it be said that this blog is afraid of a bandwagon…

I’ll put up a few posts on various elements of Harry this week. To start, a few comments on why the people who think “Harry Potter is for children” are wrong to mock those who read them.

I enjoy reading the Harry Potter novels. They are not, objectively, very well written. Even the plots are threadbare, relying too often on recycling and the ‘idiot plot’1. Where I enjoy the novel is in the characters and the world building. JK Rowling has built a fascinating parallel world of wizards which, if not plausible, at least fires the imagination with potential. What child (or adult…) has not occasionally day dreamed about having mystical powers.

But the real strength is in the characters. While there are plenty of one-note characters in the series, most of the major characters have real depth. Malfoy can have his moments of doubt in between his normal villainy, Snape has depth and complexity that eludes the viewpoint characters, and even Harry is painted as being a far from ideal individual.

So while I’m keen to see how the plot is bought to a conclusion, I’m far more interested in seeing how the characters develop through the final book. That’s the real magic of Harry Potter.


  1. My term for the plot that relies on characters who are not normally idiots ignoring or failing to follow up on some critical development. For instance, Harry in book 5 forgetting that he has a means to contact Sirius before he runs off to try and rescue him.