All his traits outside of Book Five are things like “selfless,” “brave,” and “loyal.” And unlike some brave, loyal, selfless characters such as Samwise Gamgee, Harry doesn’t have meaningful flaws to round out his character. Readers shouldn’t have to visit Pottermore to find out. While much of said of her scarlet fingernails, her penciled on eyebrows, and her blonde curly hair, she is also described as having large, masculine hands — the same as Pippa, perhaps — and an “”an oddly square-jawed face.” Rowling’s excuses for consistently supporting transphobes ranged from “I was holding my phone incorrectly” to “I accidentally pasted someone else’s tweet into my own,” despite the transphobia being sandwiched perfectly between the main part of her tweet and her Ickabog hashtag. By the time Harry faces Voldemort for the last time, the boy wizard has become further purified as a christ figure. The impact would have been greatly diminished otherwise. Predictably, neither contributes much in the end. Sadly, as we might come to expect from this author, she forgot to give Severus a redemption arc. If you thought that was bad, I’m sorry; it gets worse. Unfortunately, somewhere down the line, J.K. Rowling decided Snape was a sympathetic hero. I also have to critique Rowling for using a pseudonym to distance the Cormoran Strike novels from her more child-friendly persona. Let me say that again: Harry Potter is a slaveowner. They “wouldn’t know what to do” without slavery. The books make a big deal of every minor character’s death, and yet most of them only exist in relation to Harry. Another thing that’s incredibly important, and it’s something I’ve held close when it comes to both Harry Potter and Call Me By Your Name, is what Daniel Radcliffe said in his open letter to his Harry Potter fans through the Trevor Project. Viewed through this lens, it echoes the popularity of books like Atlas Shrugged. This includes Hermione. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore’s brother sends Dobby to rescue Harry and his friends from Bellatrix and the Malfoys. The character of Rita Skeeter, a “poison pen” journalist seen throughout the series, is curiously described. Instead, good slaveowner that he is, Harry Potter wonders whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich. Éowyn was Théoden’s niece, and Merry had formed a bond with the old man. The first few books were almost entirely episodic: stories about Harry repeatedly defeating Voldemort and preventing him from restoring his former powers. This blatantly contradicts the prophecy that the whole story is built on: The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…, born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…, and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…, and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…, the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…. The obvious twist would be if Neville turned out to be the real chosen one in the end. Rowling’s unwillingness to tell a coherent story across more than a single book makes the whole Harry Potter saga feel like something of a disjointed mess. In other words, the hero doesn’t have to get his hands dirty, because Voldemort does himself in. In December of 2019, Rowling defended a known TERF called Maya Forstater after a long time quietly liking tweets from other TERFs. We see ourselves in art, and seeing ourselves reflected back in our entirety, good and bad, is an important vessel for social and personal change. That’s what proper buildup and payoff can do for a story. I had been through this before; I think we all have been at some point. No one is saying that biological sex doesn’t exist; what scientists are saying is that a trans person really isn’t the gender they were assigned at birth. I had to re-evaluate my adoration of Harry Potter, the book series that raised me and shaped my identity, when JK Rowling showed her vile transphobia. Because, as it happens, Hermione Granger is black! Yeah… Voldemort ties by his own curse, so that’s out the window. We’ll leave the horrendous morality of Harry Potter till later in the article, but don’t worry; I’ll get to that. On many other occasions, Hermione is described as “white,” “very white,” and looking “like a panda,” after being hit in the eye. My opinion on the Rita Skeeter issue is that it was originally more of a case of casual transphobia (in the sense that trans women are Acceptable Targets seen as ugly and shady, rather than an existential threat) that has since crystallized into a more radical and virulently toxic form. In the entire history of the Wizarding World, not one wizard has ever questioned the rightness of slavery. Credits Our “hero” Harry Potter, for example, regards Hermione’s abolitionism as pushy and annoying, and it’s clear we’re meant to share his views and laugh at her pathetic idealism. #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill. I don’t buy it, given the consistency with which she dehumanizes the trans community. All things considered, he’s really just a manipulative bastard who went from being a teenage Nazi to a puppetmaster willing to plot out the deaths of children years in advance. Every Slytherin in the text of the books has sided with Voldemort, with Horace Slughorn as the only possible exception. Now, in some stories, the hero refusing to kill the villain is in service to some theme or other, but not here. The most important of these is his lack of compassion for Gollum. Rowling presents us with nearly all the arguments put forward by slaveowners in the American South and then asks us to agree with perhaps the worst institution in human history. We don’t get to decide how art impacts people. Rita Skeeter is a journalist for the Daily Prophet and an unregistered Animagus who would often turn into a beetle and snoop around to learn people’s secrets for her articles. He makes few meaningful choices, as Dumbledore arguably planned out his whole journey for him. Hermione’s skin is actually described as brown at one point in the books: They were there, both of them, sitting outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour — Ron looking incredibly freckly, Hermione very brown, both waving frantically at him. Harry embodies a sick, twisted power fantasy, which readers can revel in. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Unlike her white classmates, Hermione comes from a background where she’s had to live with the consequences of white people having enslaved her ancestors. Throughout the Harry Potter series, characters and concepts are routinely introduced just before they become important. J.K. Rowling’s (questionable) talent as a storyteller seems strongest in stories like Philosopher’s Stone or Chamber of Secrets. The main characters, whom we’re meant to identify with, regard trans people as deluded. Without a doubt, they will find videos by alt-right personalities defending Rowling—people like Carl Benjamin and Blaire White. All of this art is problematic, or it was created and influenced by problematic people, and that is a conversation that we need to have. Sirius Black is built up as an important character over three books. She also has written four detective novels under a pen name, Robert Galbraith. In the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, when the Witch-King killed Théoden, there’s a reason it was Éowyn and Merry—not Pippin and Beregond—who battled the Lord of the Nine, avenging the king. A central theme in The Silkworm is that a family that includes a trans person is not a real family—only a pathetic imitation of one. As I said earlier, he’s literally the most important person in the magical world. Let’s start with the first of these problems: lack of buildup and payoff in the Harry Potter series. Severus Snape, when all is said and done, is an even worse character than Sasuke from Naruto. If you’re used to TERF rhetoric, it should come as no surprise that Maya Forstater wasn’t fired for saying that “Sex is real,” whatever that means. While much is said of her scarlet fingernails, her penciled on eyebrows, and her blond curly hair, she is also described as having large, masculine hands — the same as Pippa, perhaps — and an "an oddly square-jawed face." J.K. Rowling is a transphobic bigot who tweets TERF rhetoric at children. This said, it seems suspicious in light of her attitude toward transgender people, that there existed a Robert Galbraith Heath, an American psychiatrist who pioneered a lot of what is now known as conversion therapy. Harry Potter owns a slave. In other words, the One Ring was destroyed as a direct result of Sam overcoming his own greatest flaw. I’ve always wondered as to the point of this bit. As a result, his death feels manipulative. The author, main character, and wise mentor all condescend to a black woman for hating slavery, because “slavery is good, and the black woman who wants to abolish it is just being bossy.”. Instead, she said “Dumbledore is gay” in an interview, and then the author wrote a screenplay where Dumbledore is never shown to be gay. Both are characters whose arc supposedly ends in their redemption, but neither one is redeemed in any way. Also, the goblins are greedy bankers with large noses who only care about money, and they have a different concept of ownership than we do. Now that we all know what J.K. Rowling is like as a person, it’s time to take a good, hard look at her magnum opus: the Harry Potter series. This was made into a film a year later by Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, so much of the story happens off-page that it becomes difficult to care about what one is actually reading. No one has a problem with these – most say that the skill of the art outweighs the problematic notions. I realize now that the worst of Rowling’s crimes against literature began in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and the books had some truly vile themes from Book One.