I have found that when I tell people I’m a nerd, they begin to assume I like certain things. For instance, they may assume I like super heroes or Harry Potter. I can’t blame them. After all, it is a logical assumption. What follows after my denial of liking whatever it is I am supposed to like is an inquisition lasting longer than I care for. A simple no won’t suffice. No. They must know why, mostly because they themselves like superheroes or Game of Thrones or et cetera. If my reasons don’t suffice, they pick apart the weaknesses in those reasons telling me that I have no real reason to dislike their favorite thing and that I just haven’t given it a chance. I am not complaining nor am I trying to be militant about this, but having picky nerdish interests as I do, I have ran into conversations like that which I related above. Thus, I have felt compelled to write a series of blogs called “I’m a Nerd but I Don’t Like…” adding the thing most people assume I’m interested in. In a previous blog I talked about superheroes. Go check it out if you haven’t already. In this blog, I tackle the reasons why I don’t like Harry Potter. Also, take note that I am not using the word hate. I don’t seethe with rage at these things; they just aren’t my cup of tea. I also am in no way insinuating that Harry Potter is inferior to my interests. With that established, let’s begin.
1. It’s so Magical
Too magical. I know it’s a book series about wizards, but I just do not prefer fantasy constructs where magic is the central focus. Too much magic is a dealbreaker for me in any fantasy series. It often creates sharp class divisions making magic-users superior to non-magic-users. Magic, in my ideal fantasy construct, should have obvious advantages but should also be equally rivaled by more physical means of combat. An author can get carried away with the extent a character’s magical powers extend. Lastly, I may be wrong in this assertion, but magic in Harry Potter creates somewhat of a role reversal. Physically weak individuals can be magically powerful. Those who can’t use magic are lowly “muggles.” Rather than foster a sense of interdependence between magic-users and “muggles,” Potter creates what seems to me a role-reversal where the physically adept are now the inferior ones which is the opposite of what real life is like. The upside as it empowers the less-physically adept individuals who read the book. The downside is that it may create an “us versus them” mentality. I realize I may be way off base with this last point. All I am saying is I prefer a balanced marriage of magic and physical combat in my fantasy.
2. It’s Low-to-Medium Fantasy
This is probably more of a nit-pick, but I don’t like low-fantasy (fantasy the incorporates the real world). Though much of Potter occurs outside the real world, the incorporation of the real world spoils the series a little to me. While is funnels people who don’t usually read fantasy into a world of fantasy, I prefer to dive right in to completely fabricated world. Low-fantasy has its perks like building off familiarity. This is good for some readers who needs fantasy to be somewhat grounded. For me, though, I prefer to soar off to a completely different universe.
3. Harry Potter is Everywhere
Okay, I realize it is unfair to dislike something because it is popular, but the fact that Harry Potter is everywhere and has remained so since it’s rise decades ago does bother me. Let me just say first that I think it deserves many accolades: it got a lot of youngsters (and oldsters) to read, it is well-written, and it has turned many people into fantasy fans which in many cases means more people are giving the fantasy genre a chance. That being said, it can be frustrating to be immersed in Potter culture when I don’t want to be. Friends, family, and Facebook friends of mine frequently, albeit inadvertently, plunge me into Potter-mania with their discussions and posts. By goodness that is their right. I wholeheartedly respect that freedom. That doesn’t stop me from grumbling from time to time because I’m left out of the party…the, uh, Potter party (teehee). I guess I get jealous a bit because I have no immediate friends to talk anime with. Again not Harry Potter’s fault but a point of contention nonetheless.
So, as it stands, I don’t Harry Potter chiefly due to the almost purely magic-users world, a little because it is low-fantasy, and somewhat because I seem to surrounded by people who love the series. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, kudos to you for getting to the end of this. I hope I didn’t offend you as that is not my intention. I simply wished to state definitively and clearly why I do not prefer to read the books or watch the movies. I don’t always get to do this to my satisfaction when I talk to people who don’t understand why I don’t like the series. Now I can simply point to this blog. This may not satisfy their curiosity, but it will at least be more informative than what I can accomplish in a face-to-face conversation.