Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still more comments inspired by Harry Potter

- I do not like the idea of Hermione or Harry working at the ministry. The ministry is run pretty shabbily and is not really a good organization. Hermione (mostly through Harry since he's the one that would have the most influence) and Harry could capitalize on their popularity after the defeat of Voldemort to get the public to demand reforms. They could change more things from outside the ministry via politicking and their celebrity status than they could in a department position where they would have to deal with people who would want to prevent them making changes and would want to limit their influence or out right steal their work (so that they can advance higher in the ministry and to prevent Harry/Hermione from doing so).

Harry being an auror is extremely stupid. He hates following orders (and isn't really that good at doings so) and the aurors are regularly required to do things they don't want to. For example Harry could be ordered to lead a prisoner to a Dementor to have his soul sucked (that is an order that a minster of magic had given which the aurors had to do) or arrest someone even if he knows the person is innocent (for example how Hagrid was arrested for supposedly opening the chamber of secrets). Harry becoming an auror would most likely result in Harry being fired or arrested pretty quickly. I don't like Ron being an auror either but the dislike of him becoming one stems more from I feel he would abuse the power it gives him over others similarly to how he did so as a perfect and how he is shown to do so during the epilogue (Ron used magic against a muggle to pass the driving test for his own personal gain as an Auror knowing it was illegal to do so.)

Hermione entering the ministry is really a major waste of her talents. Fighting for peoples rights (things like get rid of the extremely inhumane prison conditions, improve education, make house elves lives better, etc.) are things she should and would probably do but unless she manages to get pretty high in the government she is not likely to be able to do much working in the ministry other means would probably be more effective.

- I see often enough in fan fics to really annoy me it mentioned that Hermione is a poor liar but prior to the 6th book in the series that really isn't true. She lied successfully to people on multiple occasions such as to teachers (such as Umbridge and McGonagall) and in one of the books (Prisoner of Azkaban) she spent most of the book lying so as to keep her use of the time turner secret. Though Hermione's personality did under go some changes during the sixth book bigger than suddenly losing the ability to lie (were book 6 a fan fic I would have labeled her behavior as out of character since it felt that way to me). Here is a very true quote from a fan fic I recently read:

"Boy, you really don't know Hermione very well at all," he claimed. "She's broken more rules at Hogwarts than pretty much any student at the school! And she's been lying to teachers too, from McGonagall first year all the way to Umbridge just last month!"

- Saw mentioned in a fic Hermione thinking about how Harry taught her how to properly stand while dueling. First thing I thought upon reading that was that dueling is not the same as fighting and it is not something that she really needs to know. Though the major questions that came to me when I saw that mentioned was: Who taught Harry the stances and when did that happen? If it was taught in class then Hermione likely already knows them (unless it was during a class she missed like when she was petrified) and if it was taught outside of class than who taught him? Remus taught Harry the Patronous, Snape somewhat taught Harry how to protect his mind, and Dumbledore watched Riddle's life with Harry but none of them taught Harry anything to do with dueling. Personally I was finding it to be slightly out of character for Harry to teach Hermione anything since other than the Patronous charm (and I'm not even sure about that since Hermione probably read about it and someone mentioned to make the use of the usage of the timetuner a closed loop Hermione would have to have done one - it was an interesting article I saw on a site I visited about the movie Donny Darko) every other instance was Hermione teaching him (such as in preparation for the Tri-wizard tournament, planning the DA meetings - which was her idea not his and I only bring this up because I've seen fics in which Harry created it when Hermione wasn't in the fic and fics that stated it was his idea- and even in his thoughts like at the beginning of the last book, Deathly Hallows, he thinks about how he should get Hermione to teach him some healing spells).

- I understand using the mind control curse and would understand if Harry had used the killing curse but I really don't like or get why Harry used the pain curse particularly on the Carrows (for spitting on his teacher). Using the mind control curse makes sense since it is forcing the character to do what you need or want them to do and the killing curse makes sense since if they are dead they are no longer a threat and can never cause you problems again. The pain curse though is really the most evil of the curses since it really has no practical use and it doesn't make sense to use it since other than enjoying hurting someone a large number of other curses make more sense to use.

- It kind of annoys me when fics make muggles entirely helpless and completely ignorant about the wizarding world and what is going on in it. The main reason this annoys me is because it is likely that more muggles know about and have some type of access to the magical world and magical items than there are witches/wizards total. The reason I say this is because when you consider all the muggle relatives, squibs who have left the wizarding world, werewolves which go to the muggle world to find jobs because of the bigotry of the wizarding world, government officials and past government officials like the prime minister who are informed about the wizarding world, people who find out and aren't oblivated (because they don't say anything and leave the area for example), books and stories from before the muggle and wizarding world split, muggleborns who leave the wizarding world, etc. the number of muggles who know could easily exceed the number of wizards total. Also it is the wizards that are hiding from muggles not the other way around.

- How does anyone know what happened when Harry's parents were killed? Heck how does anyone even know that Harry survived the killing curse since Harry was the only survivor (it is mentioned repeatedly that he was the only survivor) and wasn't able to talk about it. Why doesn't everyone just assume that it was Harry's parents that banished Voldemort and Harry had nothing to do with it. Who told people that Harry went to live with his muggle relatives and his having a scar on his forehead?

- People were coming up and shaking Harry's hand prior to the first book according to the first book and when Harry had barely set foot in the Leaky Cauldron for the first time he was immediately recognized by all the patrons. How did they recognize him? Since Harry was in the muggle world cut off from the Magical world none of them should have known what Harry looked like and yet there is an entire industry with comics and books about the Boy Who Lived.


Three Headed Dog said...

Some of my comments I posted on a board but feel fit here:

Fannon is that Hermione doesn't read dark art books and will get upset with others doing so - annoying since she is the only one of the characters we know for sure read them. Heck we are told that she read these two: Secrets of the Darkest Art and Magick Moste Evile by name and she states that she's gone through every book in the restricted section in the actual books. She'd be against using many of them though since some do have consequences for the castee such as how the use of unicorn blood curses you and the death curse splits the soul. She'd also be very wary of using spells that don't explain what the curses do and that can't be confirmed by multiple sources after all the curse could be something like a suicide curse killing the caster in the casting (remember dark arts practitioners are the type that would put those types of curses in books).

Shield spells are easy and block everything. First they didn't learn them until the fifth book, second it is stated in the books that the average witch and wizard can't cast them which is why the Twins shield hats sold so well, and third of the members of the DA only three of them had managed to actually do that spell by the end of the book - Hermione, Harry, and Neville (which emphasizes that it isn't that easy since the other members didn't yet master it). This annoys me because fics set in earlier years will have the characters cast the spell and others imply it would be easy to do using it as an auto win against say a muggle.

A rather annoying cliché is for the story to cut to Hermione having her be working on her homework. While it is true she went and did extra credit work and went above and beyond the requirements for homework (she gets scores like 112%) she seemed to to have spent most of her free time on extracurricular reading and research not actual school work (we see her spend a lot of time doing things like reading history books, spell books not related to class like those on memory charms, looking up wizarding laws to try and help buckbeak, brewing non class related potions, etc.).

A cliché that really annoys me is power being the only thing that matters in duels/fights. Not things like reaction time, spell knowledge, anticipating opponents actions, tactics, etc.

Will readings are clichéd and annoying. Too often the point is for it to say do not leave Harry to the Durlseys. Wills of Harry's parents pretty much assume that their partner died but Harry lived. James will for example should have everything pretty much left to Lily and then a clause for if she died as well but that doesn't happen. Occasionally Harry's dad's Will will leave stuff to Sirius, Remus, and Peter but Lily would leave nothing to anyone. You'd think Lily would have some friends of her own to leave stuff to as well.

Three Headed Dog said...

Harry finds out he is the richest person on Earth. I've seen this a number of times and I never got as to why fics would have this in it. First what is the point? He's rich fine why bother making him the richest person on the planet he isn't going to need anywhere near that much money. I also find it hard to believe that there are any wizard billionaires they don't have a large enough population to acquire such wealth and do not sell to muggles or own things in the muggle world (the wizards just don't have anything like the supply and demand or the number of people buying and selling to have anywhere near that much money).

Another one. Dumbledore has been secretly stealing money from Harry to support the order of the phoenix and the like. This cliché doesn't really bother me much considering how Dumbledore is in the books (the way he is displayed gives you a lot of leeway on his characterization since he was more of a plot piece than a fleshed out character and a lot of the stuff he did only makes sense in that it was to move the plot and falls apart when looked at to closely).

Hermione swore she would not fly again, hates it more than anything, and flies poorly when forced to do so. I really dislike this one. Hermione doesn't enjoy flying as much as the others do but she can and has flown quite a bit. She for example flew on a broom at the end of the first book to try and get the key along with Harry and Ron, later in the same book she flew on a broom through the school to try to get to an owl, and she had joined in pick up Quidditch games before like in the beginning of the sixth book.

Harry or sometimes Ginny suddenly act like Hermione. Things like Harry deciding that he has to read ahead in his school books, make potions in preparation, study whatever in the library, plan out things, Harry suddenly reading faster than Hermione, Harry deciding to take runes or arithmacy and catching up with Hermione in some incredibly unrealistic amount of time like over the summer vacation, etc. I don't get why the fics that do that don't just use Hermione in the first place. Why bother changing a character to be like a character that already exists they might as well just use the other character. I like a smarter Harry but I don't like when it is at the expense of other characters or done in really unrealistic ways.

Hermione's parents are like the perfect parents (most commonly given the names Dan and Emma). Fics often have her parents be extremely understanding and let Harry stay with them, take him shopping, etc. I dislike that mainly because I view them as being not very good parents - if they were then why would Hermione spend so very much time away from them - including the summer and holidays in most of the books and she never talks about them - we learn a lot about say the Weasley family including extended family like the cousin who was a Squib that became an accountant or Molly's deceased brothers but nearly nothing about Hermione's even though there were times in which it would have made sense for her to mention something about them.

Three Headed Dog said...

Harry going on a shopping trip. Very much a cliche though given what we are told in the books, taped up shoes clothing that doesn't fit and the like, he really should have done so. Additionally considering how little there really is to do in the wizarding world shopping is pretty much all there is to do when they visit the only wizarding town.

Harry buys a trunk with multiple rooms inside of it and various powerful magic items. Annoying only in that if he could get it pretty much every death eater and a significant amount of just ordinary wizards would have those things as well.

Ginny and Ron using love potions on Harry and Hermione. Is cliche but does make some sense in that love potions are in existence, the Ginny/Harry relationship was very abrupt, Ginny's mom Molly mentions that she had used love potions (in the third book), Hermione and Ron seem to have very little in common having near opposite personalities, etc.

Harry finds out he is a lord and the Potters have a manor house. What annoys me about these fics are if a lordship really helps and has all kinds of perks why didn't Harry's dad use them? Quite often there will be some kind of magical protection or hidden place to live that Harry can use but there isn't an explanation as to why his dad didn't make use of those types of things

Harry finds out he is the heir to some powerful or famous person. Instead of just being an interesting factoid like most people who do genealogy would find it had they found they were related to someone famous this usually includes all kinds of perks either magical or political. Political perks I'm okay with given how wizard society, particularly purebloods are, but for it to have magical perks just pisses me off since it somewhat justifies that bad guys position of blood mattering.

Hermione can't cook and Harry is a great cook. I have no idea as to where this came from. I've read the books and I don't recall Harry cooking or it mentioning him cooking ever - his Aunt Petunia did all the cooking that I can recall while at home (for example she was frying bacon before he even woke up in the first book and in the fourth book the Dursleys were already sitting at the table being served food by the time he even got down). Hermione though made advanced potions that took months to brew and were difficult to make even early on and for some reason during the seventh book in which they spent in a tent she did all the cooking.

Harry Potter doing wandless magic and it being a big deal. This annoys me since besides accidental magic the only wandless magic he had done was to light his wand while it wasn't in his hand (which still involved the wand). Though what is more annoying is that sometimes the writers would remember that Dumbledore and Voldemort would do some occasionally but forget that Hermione did some as well and was shown actively practicing to get better at it. If going by the books she purposely jumped out of trees and slowed her decent wandlessly trying to learn to levitate and if going by the movies and video games she could do the confundus charm wandlessly.

Three Headed Dog said...

Fics have a tendency to downplay Hermione's abilities and actions. I was recently reading a fic and it seriously nerfed Hermione a lot. In the books Hermione is highly skilled, powerful, and actively does a lot. I'd go so far as to say she actively does more than Harry who in several books just goes with the flow, learned the minimum he could get away with, was lazy like wasting months without even trying to solve the egg while lying to Hermione that he did whenever she asked, and was beyond lucky. For an example of downplaying her contributions a lot of fics make it out like it was all Harry's idea and that he did everything in Dumbledore Army. Yet in the books it was Hermione's idea to make a study group, she and Ron went and recruited people, she organized and set up the first meeting, Hermione wrote the contract and came up with the protean charm to communicate between them, and if you look at the spells that were mentioned being taught during the DA all but two of them Hermione taught Harry in the first place (disarming charm was taught in class which Hermione may or may not have helped him with at some point and the patronus which Lupin taught him all the rest that are mentioned were taught to him by Hermione in earlier books).

Fics assume that a duel between Harry and Hermione would be Harry's win. Harry had a tendency to use the same spell all the time the disarming charm as his first move in a duel and was pretty predictable. Most of the battles he won were flukes - wands locking up, curse backfiring on opponent, etc. Hermione's style was creative and unpredictable, mixing non-combat spells along with more conventional combative spells to overcome her opponents and she would magically manipulate objects around herself to incapacitate or evade others. As for reflexes Hermione's were not shown to be worse than Harry's after all she was able to draw her wand and placed a Shield Charm between Harry and Ron when they were quarreling before either of them could even draw their wands and when the trio was spotted by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, she was the first to react before the other two even fully realized what was happening.

Fics often give Harry the ability to do wandless and non-verbal magic? Especially annoying when it has no bearing on the plot at all or when Hermione is extremely impressed by him doing so. Hermione was shown to be the best at non-verbal spells and was actively practicing at wandless magic in the books. Additionally annoying since Harry outright admires Hermione's spell work and says she's better at spells than he is in the books.

Being the owner of a wand and wands being compatible was a big deal in the last book yet Ron used a hand me down, Nelville used his dads, and Draco's mom went and got his while Draco was in the clothing shop. If wand compatibly mattered why is it that so many people seemed to not know that when you'd would expect them or their guardians to?