Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Potter & The Repackaging of Old Tales

I went to go and see the new Harry Potter film on Saturday; Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Now I know they say there are only 7 tales to be told, and all stories originate from the seven basic stories. Harry Potter it seems, is no different.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not finding out what happened in the endless saga through the medium of film, I did read the books, but the way in which they depicted parts were far from what I had conjured up in my head in terms of what things looked like. But, I suppose this is to be expected.

Anyway, that was not my issue with the film what-so-ever. While I was sitting through it, it suddenly hit me how many similarities there are between several other tales, both fiction and non fiction.

For example, Lord Of The Rings. These similarities are endless! When either of the three main characters bears the weight of the locket horcrux around their necks, it has a power over them, and a negative effect. Now, what does that sound like to you? I'm going to guess you came to the same similarity as I did - Frodo, and the other hobbits bearing the ring. Griffindors sword that they uncover, which is used to destroy horcruxes - sounds a lot like the sword in Lord Of The Rings that glows blue when Orcs are near. It's supposedly one of a kind! 

Furthermore, Dementors and Death Eaters - now these are almost identical to Ringwraiths. Death Eaters search for Harry Potter (and any horcruxes he may have). Ringwraiths search for the Ring. Dementors are cloaked spirits, neither alive, nor dead. They swoop in and suck the soul from you. Sounds strangely like a Ringwraith to me. Albeit there are slight differences, Ringwraiths travel on horseback etc. - however they are very similar. Then there's the giant spider in both. And I'm assuming I don't have to mention Dumbledore V. Gandalf. 

There are other similarities but I shant go on too much - these are just a few I thought of off the top of my head.

A different aspect is the Nazis, and the way in which the ministry was taken over. The statue in the centre of the ministry during the film is what first made me think of it. It was of muggles being crushed. When the ministry is taken over by Voldemort and his minions, their main policies involved killing and removing muggles, mudbloods, and other impure beings. They used forms of torture in dungeons on people who were thought to know valuable information and the like. Sounds rather like the Nazi Regime - with Jews being replaced with muggles and mudbloods. The uniforms the guards wear in the film highlight this even more. It's like some kind of Wizard supremacy. 

So I took it upon myself to do a little digging about this online - to discover
"The Legend of Rah and the Muggles" and "Larry Potter and His Best Friend Lily" by Nancy Stouffer. These were published in the 1980's. Now, we don't even have to discuss whats similar from even just the titles.

Star Wars also seems to crop up quite often in terms of claimed plagiarism, with the general plot being scrutinised. A y
oung boy discovers his powers under the tutelage of a bearded man and battles an evil lord, while the girl falls for his best friend. Yeah I suppose, I'll give them that one.

o all these together, even with small parts being questioned, it seems Harry Potter is not so original. 

I'm not sure if J.K. Rowling deserves to be the richest woman in the UK. 


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