The generation of people being raised right now is obsessed with pop culture. Music, television, celebrities, fashion, movies, and books all have a significant impact on this generation. This generation’s morals and personalities are being shaped by the pop culture that surrounds us. Years from now, people will still be a product of two very popular book and movie series that have greatly effected our pop culture: Harry Potter and Twilight.
Both have brought new fashion and trends to the world and it is not uncommon for you to hear references to the books on a day-to-day basis, but more importantly, both series have brought extremely different examples of love to this generation. Even though the Harry Potter series is better known for its adventurous side, it contains more and healthier examples of love than the Twilight series. The Harry Potter series is a thrilling set of seven novels or eight movies that tell a story of a young boy who is a wizard and begins his journey in the wizarding world by attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizarding.
His life becomes conflicted when a dark magic wizard, named Voldemort, attempts to take over the wizarding world by killing anyone who gets in his way including Harry’s parents when Harry was just a baby. The series presents Voldemort’s gain of power and Harry’s attempt to stop the dark wizard; it ends in the thrilling Battle of Hogwarts where it is decided once and for all who the greatest wizard of all time is. The Twilight series, on the other hand, is four novels or five movies about a young girl, Bella, who moves to live with her father and falls in love with a boy; the young boy, Edward, turns out to be a vampire.
The novels display their love story and the trials the couple share such as Bella’s friend Jacob falling in love with Bella, Bella’s will to become a vampire for Edward, and the vampire royalty disapproving their relationship. The Harry Potter series presents several different types of love such as love between couples, parents, siblings, and friends. Not only that, but JK Rowling has an amazing way of letting the reader feel the love the characters have for each other, and she allows the reader to love (or hate) the characters almost as if they were real people.
In Twilight, Bella Swan meets Edward Cullen and falls in love with him almost immediately, and the other couples in the series are together before they are introduced in the story line. Even when Bella meets Jacob, he already has feelings for her; therefore, we never truly see the progression of falling in love. However, in the Harry Potter series, the audience can see and feel the love grow between the characters. For example, in the first of the eight Harry Potter movies, Ron Weasley is annoyed by Hermione Granger and reacts the way a typical twelve-year old boy would towards a girl.
In the fourth movie, the reader sees Ron grow jealous as Hermione grows close to another boy and goes to a ball with him rather than Ron; reciprocated, in the sixth movie, Hermione grows jealous of Ron when he gets a girlfriend. Finally, in the last movie, Ron and Hermione kiss in a heroic scene showing their true love for each other. Even farther than that, JK Rowling adds Ron and Hermione’s marriage into the epilogue of the series.
She also allows the reader to witness love grow between many other characters such as Harry and Ginny Weasley, Cho Chang and Cedric Digory, and she even includes a wedding between Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour, two characters that are single in the fourth movie but gets married in the seventh. Seeing love grow between two characters is much more emotional then a character meeting someone, and five minutes later the characters declare their love for each other. Watching the relationship grow allows the audience to feel more emotionally involved.
This gives the message to the reader that love is not something that automatically happens, it is a strong bond that grows over time. This relationship is much more healthy than the couple who rushes into things. Not only that but it is also more realistic and, therefore, easily related to. Not only is the love between these couples shown in a progression, but they are also shown in a healthier aspect. In the second of the Twilight series, New Moon, Edward breaks up with Bella for her own protection and her response was an attempted suicide.
What is this teaching the reader? This is clearly demonstrating complete dependence on another person; while losing someone can be traumatic, and certainly painful, ending your own life is not a reasonable solution. In the Harry Potter series, we have a situation very similar to this one. Harry Potter breaks up with Ginny Weasley for her own protection, but instead of Ginny becoming nothing but a shell for months and attempting suicide, she starts a small army to fight against Voldemort’s followers and fights in the Battle of Hogwarts to defend her school.
This is a much healthier example of a relationship. Even though Ginny is hurt and scared, she stands for what she believes in, is strong, and independent. Furthermore, love in Harry Potter is displayed in many different ways. For instance, love between families is very evident in many ways throughout the series including Harry Potter’s, Ron Weasley’s, Hermione Granger’s, Draco Malfoy’s, and even Lord Voldemort’s relationships they had throughout the series. The love Harry’s parents had for him allowed him to live through a killing curse.
Ron’s family fought together to protect each other, and when one family member was killed the grief the family felt was evident through the reactions in the family. It goes into great detail about George’s mourning over his twin brother’s death, and later in the climax of the story, Molly Weasley (the mother of the family) avenges her son by killing his murderer. Hermione made her parents forget she was alive in order to protect them; the pain she went through was obvious, but she cared for them enough to protect them rather than doing the selfish thing and leaving them at risk.
Draco Malfoy’s mother lied to Lord Voldemort, the most powerful and dangerous wizard alive at the time, in order to protect her son. Finally, the most important, yet less obvious example of the importance in love in families is through Lord Voldemort. As a child, Lord Voltemort had no family; he was an orphan and JK Rowling presents the lack of love in his childhood is what brought him to his evil ways. In Twilight family does not seem to be important to the characters. For example, Bella’s parents are divorced, her mom travels with her new husband and she makes Bella move in with her dad against her will.
On top of that, Bella chooses to never be a part of her family again so she can become a vampire. None of those details display the importance of love between family members like the Harry Potter series do. Continuously, love is shown the matter of friendship throughout the Harry Potter series. The main example being the friendship shared between Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. This is presented in Ron and Hermione’s fierce loyalty to Harry throughout the series. This is especially true when terrible events in the wizarding world begin occurring because of Voldemort’s return.
Multiple times Ron and Hermione selflessly sacrifice themselves for Harry because they love him. In an interview with Emma Watson, the woman who plays Hermione in the films, she discusses how key friendship becomes in the fifth movie of the films. She states “I think in all of the books…I mean… in a way they are all about friendship, but this one, it’s definitely the key theme which is the importance of friendship… The important thing it gives Harry in the end is it actually gives something Harry to fight for” (ReelzChannel).
This truly displays how friendship and love is worked into the series. Because of the loyalty and friendship Hermione and Ron show Harry, he has the courage and strength to fight against Voldemort. In Twilight, all of Bella’s friends are either completely left out of her life, or madly in love with her. The Harry Potter series shows a true friendship and the strength it can give a person. Many Twihards will probably believe that the Harry Potter series simply does not have the drama and emotion that Twilight does; however, the majority of Potterheads would disagree.
While the Twilight series has an amazing starcrossed lover twist to it, JK Rowling displays another kind of love: unrequited love. What brings more emotion than love that is unreturned? Not only does this show devotion, but it also displays unconditional love. JK Rowling utilizes a character that seems to be the least capable of love to show how deep love can be. Severus Snape meets Lily Potter as a young boy, and he never loves anyone in the way he love Lily. Even though Lily never returned Snape’s, love after her death Snape dedicated his life to looking after her only son, Harry Potter.
Snape put his life at risk continuously by pretending to be a servant of Lord Voldemort’s, and killing a close friend of his to convince Lord Voldemort his loyalty to protect Harry. Throughout the series, mysterious events happened to Harry that seemed to be as if a guardian looking after him such as a Patronus charm coming to save Harry from dementors, a book with tips for potion class, and the sword of Gryffindor showing up unexpectedly. These were all thanks to Severus Snape. The only thing Snape received in return for being Harry’s guardian was seeing Lily’s eyes through Harry.
This love story was told in one chapter and was hidden from the reader until the last book. It was told in the emotional time of Snape’s death, so he was never properly thanked for looking over Harry for years. JK Rowling took one of the most hated characters, and turned him into the most loved in about twenty pages. If this story of love is not emotional, I do not know what is. Conclusively, Harry Potter may have more adventure and thrills than Twilight, but that does not make Harry Potter any less of a love story. In fact love is one of the key points in the Harry Potter series.
Love as a theme is really driven home in the books when Harry Potter says to Voldemort, “You’re the weak one. And you’ll never know love or friendship, and I feel sorry for you” (Rowling, 424). Stephanie Meyer created a beautiful story about the love and passion a young couple share, but JK Rowling did more. JK Rowling created world where characters grow to love each other, and the audience grow to love the characters back. If a character dies in the Harry Potter series, it is easy to cry, lose yourself in the sorrow the other characters feel, and let yourself feel as though someone you knew really did die.
When you are done reading the Twilight series, you are glad they have a happy ending, but when you finish the Harry Potter series, you’re sad to see your friends, the people who you have seen grow and learned to love, leave. Twilight may be more sappy sweet, but Harry Potter shows you to love is to be loyal, caring, and selfless. Harry Potter shows you how to love, and that is the meaning of a true love story.
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