Seeking Harry Potter in the Light and Dark
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Seeking Harry Potter in the Light and Dark

Why Harry Potter is the hero we all should look to.

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Seeking Harry Potter in the Light and Dark
Stuffpoint

I got into the Harry Potter books when they first came out, closely followed by the movies. I scrambled to read them when they were published and dressed up as the characters on more than one Halloween. As I visited Harry Potter World and watched all the movies this weekend, I got thinking why people love Harry so much.

I remember reading an interview with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) where he got upset when the interviewer mentioned fans idolizing him. In this interview (that I can’t find, so I possibly imagined it), Daniel tells fans to find a hero in Harry, not the flawed Daniel. Harry is the hero we can all look up to while not failing us.

Harry Potter is growing up while just trying to make his world a better place. A feeling I know all too well nowadays. Rewatching the movies I kept thinking of the time Harry says “I never wanted any of you to die for me.” I realized how many times Harry must have been thinking that throughout his life.

I don’t know about you but I look for true empathy in my heroes and Harry Potter has it, evidenced in his blind compassion for anyone who suffers. It’s made a big deal that he never utters the Killing Curse. He refuses to let Pettigrew be killed because Harry’s dad wouldn’t have wanted his friends to become murderers. For Harry, it’s not about just winning the war; it’s about how it’s won.

I think about this in the world we’re living in today. It’s not about how we go about winning the war, or I guess how we go about surviving this world. It’s about how we do it. Watching Harry’s character made me think of the 12th Doctor’s last words when he regenerated a few weeks ago (mild Doctor Who spoilers ahead):

“Never be cruel, never be cowardly…Remember – hate is always foolish…and love, is always wise…Always try, to be nice and never fail to be kind.” This is a formidable sentiment for any hero to utter and Harry captures the same idea when he angstily worries if he’s a bad person. I can’t put it better than Sirius Black so here’s his response:

"I want you to listen to me very carefully, Harry. You're not a bad person. You're a very good person, who bad things have happened to. Besides, the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters. We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.”

Light and dark, that’s a comforting response to anxiety.

A comforting response to seeing so much evil infiltrate what we hold to be good.

A comforting response when faced with the overwhelming desire to change the world, without a clue how.

Harry Potter will always be my hero. His kindness only grows while his enemies demonstrate their cruelty. And it’s exactly for that kindness that he brings peace to his world. But if all of these reasons don’t convince you to reread the books, here’s one more: Hermione Granger.

Don’t let the Muggles get you down, Happy New Year.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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