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SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Isn't it supposed to be a more weirdly specific thing about English classism where the muggle-born are the nouveau riche whereas the purebloods are either generationally wealthy or they're weird artifacts of the system that don't have much wealth left but still count as upperclass? And then it's very narrow and specific, since the other class divides in the wizarding world are portrayed as mostly cool and good.

I really resisted getting started on the books when I was a kid, enjoyed them for a little bit, and then started to hate the books towards the end when Harry was getting super angsty and I just started to realize that he wasn't very good at being a wizard and everybody would be better off if they gave the important responsibilities to somebody else instead of this dumb kid.

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SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I liked Snape better before the sixth book, when they had already done the plot where he seemed like a bad guy, but turned out to be an okay person who just kinda hated Harry on a personal level because he was a bit of a poo poo. Because maybe you can just not get along with somebody without it being some grand indictment of you as a person.

And then the books did the "Oh, is he really evil?" plot all over again, but with double the angst from bringing in Snape's tragic childhood, and a bunch of massive contrivances instead of just a series of misunderstandings.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I'll be honest, I don't really remember any of the abuse Snape gave aside from giving detentions and taking points from Gryffindor (which it's weird that the house system has the houses competing but also the teachers are part of the houses so they're directly motivated to cheat the system in their favor). My memory of Snape's tragic backstory getting picked on by Harry's dead dad is kinda just Squidward if he loved Sandy.

Anyway, Harry's best father figure is probably Hagrid, who is always there for him when he could be, but then Harry imprinted most on Dumbledore who is actually just kinda using Harry and isn't actually there for him most of the time, but he tries to make up for it by piling on a lot of unearned praise and making big grand gestures.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Sydin posted:

I still can't believe Wizard Hitler's motivation was retconned to him becoming Wizard HitlerTM in order to stop Real HitlerTM

Did those movies do well? Are we going to get a third so I can watch clips on Youtube of Jude Law and Johnny Depp having an incredibly awkward CGI magic fight that have a bunch of comments with 1K+ likes about how incredible and emotional the scene is?

Voldemort was wizard Hitler. Grindlewald was I guess wizard Stalin? Or some more obscure eastern European monster. He's not supposed to be well known in western Europe.

Although they're not so much tyrannical dictators as serial killers with cult followings, since there's so very few wizards and it's not like thousands of normal humans can die without somebody noticing.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Do the pocket dimension gated communities where wizards live so they don't have to consort with muggles have their own parliamentary districts? What are the wizard opinions on Brexit?

The whole secret world concept doesn't really work well if you put a lot of dramatic weight on it, especially when the crux of the story is a guy who is attacking the normals that they're not allowed to know about to defend against. It kinda allows kids to imagine that the secret world is just around the corner for them to fall into, but otherwise it just creates all these weird holes and workarounds.

The incredibly close proximity between wizards and muggles kinda intensifies things. Like if the secret world is another planet or dimension or a mile underground, it's a lot different. Also it's fine for a more chill story where they don't put a lot of drama about keeping the secret for no clear reason. But usually, with any story about some big magic fantasy thing, people want to know about the big magic fantasy thing and not how it doesn't change anything in the world around it. It's such a weird unfantastical premise.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I dunno, whenever I start going over Harry Potter in my head, I just start thinking of a bunch of other stuff that occupies the same space that I'd rather think about.

Like the contemporary series I preferred was the Bartimaeus Trilogy, which is about wizards being an aristocratic upper class of assholes who are overthrown at the end of the series, and the main viewpoint character is actually a magical spirit servant to the foolish child prodigy wizard.

I also remember having more fun with Artemis Fowl, although I dropped off the series after a while and I heard that it went downhill. It provided a more elaborate setting with magical creatures coexisting that I don't think any were human racial stereotypes. A whole lot of it is just a buddy-cop story.

More recently, I don't read children's or y/a literature any more, but I do read a lot of manga. Witch Hat Atelier presents a world where magic is common, but the way of doing it is a more closely-kept secret because back in the day there were big huge magic wars that they had to scale back from. The main character learns magic, but also the outlaw witches want to tempt her into using the forbidden arts (that are forbidden because they hurt people and ruin lives).

The manga Flying Witch is just a peaceful slice of life about a witch in high school. She doesn't really make an effort to keep magic secret, even though the setting is just the real world. It doesn't matter. It's fine. It's fun.

The Ancient Magus's Bride has a girl get whisked off to a world of magic and learning to value herself in between learning and fighting monsters. No actual romance involved. The series even recently has moved on to her going to a school to learn alternative forms of magic. It's not exactly clear how secret magic is from the "normal" world, but it doesn't really seem to matter much.

There's also Fullmetal Alchemist, which is just really good all around.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


galagazombie posted:

Like 70% of Harry Potter "not making sense" or whatever is just non-British people not understanding British cultural touchstones.

Most British media leaves out a lot of their particular weirdness, but when you get a story that goes deep into it, it can feel like it takes place on mars.

Hodgepodge posted:

i don't know anything about the ancient magus' bride, but based on the artwork the ancient magus is like a badass wendigo or some poo poo so i was really hoping the bride part was actually 'apprentice' and not '4-chan poo poo' but wasn't holding out hope because anime will betray you on that one

It does basically mean apprentice.

So far as I've read, there's no typical awful anime fanservice or skimpy tight clothes or implied sexuality, although maybe the anime added some in for all I know.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I guess since Harry was a horcrux, he was going to have to be involved in the killing of Voldemort one way or another, but I only remember it seeming like Dumbledore had some plan for Harry in the first book. Otherwise, he just kinda leaves Harry alone until after Voldemort gets fully revived corporeally, but in an abstruse way that left wiggle room for whatever JK Rowling decided after the fact.

Sodomy Hussein posted:

One thing at a time, as I always say. Setting up a child as part of a Rube Goldberg machine to kill the Fascist Wizard Antichrist is enough work as it is.

Should've just gone with a Rubeus machine to kill Voldemort with an army of magical creatures.

Did Hagrid ever get his wand rights reinstated after Harry cleared his name?

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Hogwarts is also kinda depicted stupidly huge in the movies for only having a few hundred students, with a layout that doesn't really seem to reflect how the story is written, with a bunch of disconnected building. The marauder's map must be a pain to use on buildings over 10 stories tall.

Like there's room for a whole wizarding university to be there without the children ever meeting the grad students.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


josh04 posted:

Hogwarts is maybe a touch more grandiose, but:



Hogwarts has a fairly larger footprint and goes more than twice as tall.

Eton houses more than 4 times as many students.





Although admittedly it's pretty normal for fantasy castles to be wildly out of scale for what they need to be.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Ashsaber posted:

People think he is a good person, why?

Because that was the thesis the story was trying to present.

Especially if you checked out on caring about the characters in the final two books where everybody's an rear end in a top hat anyways, and didn't bother to pay much attention to JK Rowling's shallow and petty backstory that she came up with later. The first book in the series was all about how despite Snape picking on Harry on a personal level, he was a good guy with good intentions doing good things, and the final two books spent a pretty hefty chunk of time trying to tell the same story about him, where he does the worst thing possible, but then contrived an elaborate explanation where it was the right thing to do and he was doing the right thing all the way up to the end. I don't think it really worked well at telling the story it wanted to tell, but that was the point of Snape even being in the story at all. Once again, Harry's (and the reader's) first instinct about a person was still wrong. What a twist.

And then Snape's character background being about carrying his high school experience way too far into adulthood is just kinda how Rowling writes. Most of her characters had all their formative moments in high school, and it's why everybody married their high school sweetheart, including Bill who married a girl he met at a high school event. Even Voldemort we see with firm roots in his childhood and high school.

Ashsaber posted:

And then he spends over a decade helping encourage Slytherin to be a racist cesspit by rewarding them unconditionally and keeping them from facing consequences, while taking out his rage on the jock house because his own poor decisions pushed his crush away from him and he didn't think she cared about her baby enough to die for it.

I mean that one's just the fact that the house system encourages the teachers who are at the heads of houses to indulge in the same sort of arbitrary rivalry.

I feel like if the story were supposed to be about people growing up and maturing, we'd find out at the end that there was actually no big differences in the houses and all of the stuff about Slytherin was just Harry's perspective on his arbitrarily designated house rivalry that he discards with age, but the series is more about holding onto the past.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


It's such a failure of the franchise that all of the extra material after the books intended to expand the franchise just makes it feel smaller.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


There's the fact that every zone outside of Hogwarts covers at least double the population, and there's the fact that it's unclear what the franchise has to offer aside from the fantasy of going off to a magical school. What's significant about the setting?

The original Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book (which was tiny) was all about all the sorts of crazy creatures could be inhabiting the magical world, but then the movies decided to be more about another evil wizard rising and falling.

I don't think there's been many elaborations of what wizard adults do out in the world, which'd be necessary for if they want to keep the people who grew up with Harry Potter, and they haven't really shown any signs of trying to court the target market of current-day kids and adolescents with the franchise's newer works, so I have no idea what they're really trying for. All I know is that it's the IP that WB has that I see the most merchandise for.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


What if Mao killed most of the wizards in his area so there's only a small remnant living in hiding.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Hagrid was expelled from school for crimes he didn't commit (but was an easy fall guy for because of his ethnic heritage) and can barely function in either the wizard or muggle worlds. Filch was born without magic and had a wretched life.

I don't know if wizards have elementary schools, but it seems like one of the things Hermione has going for her is just a much better education going into Hogwarts than anyone else. It feels like the vast bulk of the characters in the books were just born into the wizarding world, you never hear about anybody else living a normal muggle life or having nonmagical parents.

Would Hogwarts even be academically accredited if it didn't have magical backing?

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Death of the Author is usually talking about the dismissal of authorial intent, so people should've already figured out Death of the Author back when JK Rowling was making all these extra clarifications about the story and world that weren't in the actual text.

It also is about allowing readers the freedom to interpret meanings of a text that may have even been contrary to the author's intent, but actually supported by the text. There were some people arguing that the text supports, or at least doesn't exclude the possibility of Hermione being black, which is a fine thing to put forth, but very obviously JK Rowling had no problem with casting 3 white kids when the movies were being made, as opposed to how she broke from Disney when they turned down the idea of building a train for a Harry Potter section of Disneyland.

I don't think that it's supposed to be a theory justifying the consumption of material whose author you wildly dislike and disagree with on a personal level. Although I guess that sort of reinterpretation would be the result of the death of the author of Death of the Author.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


It was the only cartoon I've seen that directly featured the Vietnam War, both in the veteran's day episode where Gerald's dad was proud of doing what he could doing the war despite never fighting, and with Mr. Hyunh having been separated from his daughter in those famous pictures of the American evacuation around swarming crowds of refugees. Not really examining the politics of the whole thing, but definitely acknowledging it.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


The first Hey Arnold movie was about the kids having to band together to fight against gentrification.

There was one episode where Helga has to assassinate a parrot that has memorized her love poem to Arnold.

One time, Arnold and Gerold accidentally intercept some kind of organized crime money dropoff.

Oh yeah, off topic, but some parents are gaslighting their daughter into thinking that she's a wizard in order to give her a revelation to atheism.

https://twitter.com/kittynouveau/status/1276249791966720003

Since Arnold's kilt is actually a long flannel shirt, how hot does it get in the summer?

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Helga's not cool for most of the show. She's a bully because that's how her father taught her to deal with the world. It's only rarely that something better shines through.

Although we are constantly assailed with her inner monologue about how conflicted she is about what she's doing.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Isn't Helga's mom an alcoholic?

There's also the added joke that Bob's fortune is in beepers, which at the time, just seemed kinda stupid even when they had a valid purpose, but now are just entirely irrelevant.

Lemniscate Blue posted:

Snape invented his "cut a motherfuckers" spell in wizard high school but I don't think the books talk about that process.

You have to be smart or clever or in some way good at magic to make your own spells, and we never hear about how it works because Harry kinda sucks at magic and just sticks to a few basic tricks he learned early on.

Also:

Zeether posted:

There's a vinyl Hey Arnold soundtrack coming out and even though I don't own a record player I'd totally buy it just because it's been a long time coming.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Honestly whenever I think of what would make a great Harry Potter game, I end up jumping towards just taking the basic concepts that are attractive about the franchise and just building a new IP around those, because most attempts to expand the franchise have turned out badly.

Which doesn't seem to fit with how drat successful the merch of Harry Potter has been, Barnes and Noble is covered in the stuff. I think it may be the most merchandised property that Warner Brothers has going for it right now, and they're desperately clinging to it as their one salvation against the Disney machine.

Well, I guess it sure was fun flying around Hogwarts in the Chamber of Secrets game.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


It would be a cooler series if there were a bunch of snakes in the forest that Harry hung out with occasionally. Or if when Harry was fighting the basilisk, he could just talk it down instead of slaying it.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Do you really need to jack off every time you see your dick?

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I think I remember reading something where in the world of Harry Potter no magic folk died in witchhunts and they used a protection from fire spell that made the flames only tickle.

I liked Harry Potter more before they all hit puberty and had to act like the wizarding world was very serious.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


I don't remember being spoiled on anything, but I do remember successfully guessing that Harry was a horcrux, which seems more plot-relevant than the grab bag of background character deaths.

Breakfast Burrito posted:

Yep it sucks massively. My partner got me tickets to the cursed child for my 30th and while it was p much bad fan fic I had a great time and it tickled my nostalgia bones in just the right way, and now I just feel annoyed and sad thinking about it

I'm a little surprised at how harshly people have taken Rowling's later in life turn, and how much they're letting it affect their feelings to the work she finished over a decade ago. I don't think she's the only creator of some well-loved work to take a bad turn later in life.

I know that she kind of built some kind of longer-term authorship thing over her work where she kept retroactively adding bits and pieces on twitter, and the franchise as a whole was running strong and Warner Brothers was trying to make it into an equivalent of Star Wars (which it's neat to see that start to fall apart), but the old work as you remember it is still in the past and unchanged.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


amigolupus posted:

They're really just going to ignore technology because it's "cultural". Wizards are so loving stupid and lacking in innovation that they should've died out already.

Their society is kept purposefully archaic by the people at the very top: the author who wanted them to seem all old-timey, possibly out of nostalgia for her own youth, in the way that so many makers of content for children tend to depict their own childhood.

And of course, most of wizarding society that we know about is just about school, sports, and a couple parents' houses, because the work really wasn't made with that much depth to the world beyond school. Harry doesn't have a point where he has to consider college or entering the actual workforce, or anything a real teen ready to graduate has to deal with. Instead of figuring out what the real world after school would really be like, he goes off to live in the woods.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Harry Potter is Batman without an Alfred to shepard him around the world to amazing tutors to make him the absolute best at everything, but it's still hard to feel like he's the underdog when he's so rich and famous just from luck beyond his control, despite the really bad thing that happened to him.

Although it's easily possible that there just plain aren't expert wizard tutors out there to learn from. It doesn't seem like there's that high of a bar to become the greatest wizard in the world, everybody's pretty bad at stuff.

Maybe that's why the Ministry of Magic gave Hermione a time machine to help her take all the electives at once. It's just so drat rare a wizard gets motivated to be the best they could be.


See actually I love that. Not the large prime number exchange rate between denominations that's just a joke on pre-decimalization british currency, but just the fact that they care enough about their fictional currency to goddamn give it a name and give a name to the various denominations rather than going with the lazy fantasy thing of just calling it "gold, silver, copper". Commodity money is for losers. Debase that poo poo!

It's just some nice background detail for texture.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Did he have any particular motivation for killing people with a snake at school?

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


The horrifying things that exist as a consequence of living in a magical world are all shoved into little rooms where they can hopefully be ignored.

Maybe they're more widely known about, and that's why the wizarding world is full of weird useless goofballs, because that's the only way to cope with the horrors.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


They made a big deal of them being the "unforgiveable curses" when they were first introduced, but in the last book, all the heroes are just throwing them around like nobody's business instead of doing weird creative spells to solve their problems, so it feels like they're pretty fuckin' forgiveable.

Like they should be doing a bunch of weird goofy spells to fight back against the deatheaters instead of just shooting the same bullet spells back at them. I've seen a whole lot more interesting magical combat than that.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Sydin posted:

I'm sure it's covered in Mr. Binn's class but he's a joke character who puts anybody he lectures to sleep so I guess we'll never know lol

It's best not to learn about history if you plan to repeat it.

amigolupus posted:

There was a bit in book seven where Harry goes to the Ravenclaw common room with Luna and uses an Unforgivable on one of the Carrows to protect McGonagall from a back attack. He could have used a disarming or knockout spell, but he chose the mind control one instead. The others don't really react much to that fact, and Harry defends himself by saying Carrow was about to sneak attack McGonagall. It was such an ACAB moment.

All Cops Are Unforgivable.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Don't forget Hagrid's kickin' rad motorcycle that he got from Sirius.

Did apperating appear before like book 5? It seemed a lot like one of those things that was added later that totally ignored all the joy and wonderment that the earlier books were built on to just be boring and functional.

ZZZorcerer posted:

People playing quidditch in real life will never cease to amaze me (it's beyond dumb)

This is the only real life quidditch I will accept.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Ror posted:

This too. Love potions seem to be all-powerful and highly immoral in HP world and Polyjuice potion is waaay too effective to be as unregulated as it is. There is a lot of hosed up magic out there. Now that I think of it though, if you could only learn one segment of magic it seems like potions is where itís at for power and variety.

I don't know if it's ever said that polyjuice potion is unregulated. Hermione stole the book on how to make it from the restricted section of the library. Possibly it's a felony to actually create.

Love potions are hosed up but they're also one of those traditional magic things, so they kinda have to exist in the franchise meant to be a pastiche of traditional magic folklore but also old fashioned but modern england.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Do real english boarding school dorms declare themselves to have one certain special random trait?

Do they have 3 different ones that declare themselves to be the evil dorm?

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


The main thing I remember about Lion King 2 is the song that they're singing when they're kicking out male lead lion for some misunderstanding, which was very angsty and resonated with me more than Harry's angstiness in the later books where he's kind of just an rear end in a top hat for not much reason.

I guess since he was from Scar's secret family, the whole romance was between first cousins, which is probably better than Simba gettin' with his half-sibling. There's a reason why male lions generally find a new pride.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Ghost Leviathan posted:

Also I think Harry's meant to be a jerk in later books basically just because he's a teenager

I know, but I still hated it. I don't think I ever really had the patience for that level of y/a angst, and by the time I was in like middle school I was pretty much done with fiction written for teenagers.

Which I guess I was weird, but I wonder how old you were supposed to be when you first got into the books to still be into some of the most insufferable teen angst when they finished 10 years later.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Zore posted:

I think in book 6 it's Ron and Hermione who have the massive blowout while Harry remains on good terms with both (read: has Hermione continue to do his homework and hangs out with Ron).

Ron did get really mad at harry for pretending to use the luck potion on him, and Hermione was really angry over Harry and Ron using somebody else's notes.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


It makes sense for them to try going back to doing things with Hogwarts, since that's more interesting than the main cast's kids or Dumbledore or the Ministry or Grindlewald or whatever the Fantastic Beasts movies were supposed to be about, but I still feel like it's weird that they never seem to dip back into the fantasy of just a normal person being whisked off into the world of magic.

It's really not easy to expand a franchise past its initial work to start making new works that can stand on their own and add to the franchise in their own right. Warner Brothers has a lot invested into Harry Potter and it really wants to keep it rolling. Of course, they could just try investing into new properties to build up something new, but they really don't want to.

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.



Seems like isekai is better when it's actually another world instead of just a world that refuses to associate with the normal world.

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SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Honestly, it's kinda generous to assume Rowling gave any thought at all to the background details of the setting, because the whole reason why there are all these horrible implications if you think about anything at length is because you're giving more thought to anything than she did.

Which is a big part of why Harry Potter isn't a solid foundation for expanding into a wider franchise.

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