(#HarryPotterBookNight this 6 Feb, I’m reading at Expeditie-E!)
I was leaving High School when the Harry Potter phenomena struck. The hype repelled me and some Christian background flagged “witchcraft” as skip.
Fast forward 20 years. My kids’ school sends a letter urging parents to mind “trends and hypes,” characters with magic or super powers like Elsa and Superman came under fire.
Between kids crying or chastising others for unicorn shoes, and parents pondering how to clear a Frozen closet, I tried to channel concerns I heard to the Director, and wrote a heated blog (Busting Religion) in the process.
Don’t superheroes demonstrate self-sacrifice and care for good over personal gain? Aren’t those “Christian” values? And btw, isn’t God just a teeny bit Supernatural?
My religion allergy flared up (“don’t do this,” “must do that..”) and despite the school retracting a bit, I nabbed a Harry Potter book at the Bieb while in full-rebel mode.
Book 3, “The Prisoner of Azkaban” Floored. me. I laughed, cried, wanted to shout. It lowered my blood pressure (apparently books do that bc we’re focusing on one thing. Doh).
Harry Potter opened a door to Wonder I didn’t even know I shut.
I devoured the flicks, spin-offs, hosted a #HarryPotterBookNight, started an app group, became a regular in the YA (Young Adult) book section..
But I realized soon in that HP was special.
Some stories get deep in magic and spells. HP, imho, wasn’t about the magic.
Real life themes like sacrificial love, courage, social justice, surviving bullying, depression, the value of Friendship.. this was the heart of HP.
Here are 3 reasons you might want to check the stories yourself.
- “Magic” is a vehicle, not the main event.
It’s easy to chock HP into some witchcraft story, but it’s not. It’s more about surviving and thriving through real life problems. Harry and other characters navigated oppression, depression, being misunderstood, unloved, unwanted, prejudice, poverty, and race- , class- even birth-ism. Harry himself experienced severe neglect and verbal abuse at home. Real Life.
Magic and fantasy also help the reader fathom the power of eg (sacrificial) love, bravery, and the corrupting effects of close-mindedness or power-seeking. Plus, leave it to other-worldly creatures to expose very real issues of social justice and equality.
Werewolves were social outcasts and victims of prejudice who couldn’t get jobs and lived tattered existences. House Elves had power beyond the wizards who ruled them, but thought little of themselves and accepted their lowly status, succumbing to domination and maltreatment.
Hey, how’s your self-talk and mental health these days?
2. Love is Stronger than death (serious spoiler alerts!)
Harry exists and survives so long, in part, because of (WHOA SPOILER) the sacrificial love of his mother. When dying to save him she inadvertently covered him with an almost indestructible protective charm.
On earth we can barely fathom the depth of love of a parent, friend, maybe even stranger. But via HP we get to taste and see. And not just in the act of Harry’s mum, but e.g. the sacrifice of Regulus Black who repeatedly drank a poison of horror to keep a seriously bad piece of jewellery (wink) away from a dangerous wizard. And arguably Snape, Dumbledore…
Through magic we get to glimpse that Love truly is stronger than death.
3. Don’t Shy Away from the Epic battle of Good vs. Evil.
We all know a story with Good vs. Evil. From believing in yourself and not confining to social pigeonholing (Divergent), or defeating the evil wizard who forged a ring to oppress all (Lord of the Rings), or take the red pill and join a rebellion (Matrix), fight the Empire (Star Wars), silence the White Witch (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), or Gallbatorix (Eragon).. the list is infinite.
Aren’t these all real world conflicts in other forms? Injustice is real, oppression is real, persons wishing to rule others, at the expense of well being is real.
And freedom is always a key. No matter how bad we are, or jacked our choices, Thanos CANNOT use the Gauntlet!
Isn’t this the heart of the God? Without freedom there’s no real love.
But oh the horrors we can do with our power of choice..
If battle lines are drawn, where do you stand?
Harry Potter is a simple YA story. Sure, the fan base spans generations, cultures and languages, but at the core it’s simply an intricate and well-written tale that covers themes we can all relate to and be inspired by.
If you could use a little fun or fire in your heart, Book 3 may be a good place to start. *6Feb. is #HarryPotterBookNight, see you there! <3
© @JasNotes, thisisheartinformation.com
Hey, I’m Jasmine, coffee done and wondering, what’s your favorite thing about HP? Or, are you convinced to check it out now? Post a comment below and feel free to share the blog.❤
Related (Geek) Posts
– The One Thing Snape Maybe Got Wrong and Voldermort Right.
– WWVD??! 9 Beautiful Life Hacks from Voltron
– Busting Religion: Why I let My Kids Play with Elsa, Batman, Ninjago..
– Don’t Make God a Bear (Disney’s Brave)
– 5 Lessons from Frozen I Didn’t See Coming
*And because there’s so much BS in the US re. “Christianity,” :
–God Wouldn’t Fly First Class – 3 Surprising Reasons Streets are Gold in Heaven.
*I use He & His as simple pronouns for God, but fully recognize God with male and female “identity” (for lack of a better word), as demonstrated throughout the Bible and most blatantly through humanity. Related post, Transgender God here, or love letter to a Transgender Teen on Spirit Day here.<3
First post of the year, hope you’re still stoking your fun, sparkle and hope from the New Year!