August 13, 2009
10 Reasons Why Harry Potter is Better Than Twilight
Ever since the book series Twilight became wildly popular a few years ago, tweens everywhere have been debating over which series is better: J.K. Rowling’s magic-inspired Harry Potter or Stephanie Meyer’s vampire drama Twilight?
I have read all of the books in each series, so I feel pretty qualified listing off reasons why I find Harry Potter to be much more substantial than Twilight! Sometimes I’m surprised this debate even exists. Beware: there are some spoilers in this article.
10. Harry Potter is not afraid to face the dark side.
J.K. Rowling is not scared to startle the reader with something unexpected, like death. In Twilight, the bad guys always get what’s coming to them, like death or justice. Where’s the suspense?
Even in Harry Potter’s world full of magic and fantastical creatures, there is still vulnerability to the characters. The characters are open to more realistic conflict which sometimes ends in their untimely passing. I may have been saddened over the deaths of characters in Harry Potter and wish they had never happened… but at least I wasn’t bored.
9. J.K. Rowling > Stephanie Meyer
Both Rowling and Meyer have fine imaginations but, when it comes to the art of expression, Rowling trumps Meyer in every way possible. The characters in Harry Potter are exciting, smart, stupid, ridiculous, anxious, and awkward: a.k.a. realistic. They are age-appropriate and J.K. Rowling never tries to pass them off as flawless characters.
In Twilight, Meyer takes a condescending tone, like a loathsome school teacher on my bad side. Meyer makes it obvious that she really wants me to know that these characters are smarter than me without trying, prettier than me without wanting to be, and just better than me in every way possible. Thanks for the self-esteem boost, Steph! And, don’t forget the sparkles!
8. “Twilighters” claim that Twilight is better because it is an “Epic Love Story”
Okay, so it’s a love story. Big deal! I understand the argument: by the end of Breaking Dawn, we see just how much love there is between them because Bella allows Edward, for the first time, to see into her thoughts and he realizes no one has loved him as much as her, blah blah. That’s the most emotional scene in the entire series and it’s literally at the very end. Wow, what an original concept!
Bella and Edward are just flaky teenagers, but so many people are trying to pass it off as an epic love story. We may as well call them Heidi and Spencer! No? Tom and Katie? Miley and What’s-His-Face?
7. Harry Potter characters have depth.
It’s not as if we need to know everything about everybody. But with Twilight it isn’t so much that Meyer is leaving our imagination to cook up the mystery; it’s that there is no mystery.
Every Harry Potter character has a back story. We know a character’s personality, and know what is “like him” or “like her” and that is enough. At least Rowling gives us a creative mosaic to work with; Meyer’s is more like a brown paper bag – pretty drab. While reading Harry Potter, so much is left to our imagination that when we see it on the big screen, it’s almost a let down. It looks differently from how we imagined it in our mind. With Twilight, there is no let down because there is very little imagination involved in the first place.
I don’t have the books (from either series) in front of me, but I have enough lodged into my brain to remember that J.K. Rowling used something that Stephanie Meyer didn’t even think about: synonyms. Harry’s anger would be described as “angst,” “frustration,” “fury,” “rage,” and so much more. Stephanie Meyer had one word for Edward: “beautiful”.
I didn’t perform a count myself, but the blog not overburdened with subject did this analysis: In the first Twilight book alone, there are 165 references to Edward’s “beauty”. We are hit over the head so many times with the same words. It’s exhausting; beautifully exhausting.
In fiction, why not let your imagination run wild?
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book, the obstacles at the end of the story are more exciting than anything in the entire series of Twilight. In the climax of the vampire-centered novels, you would think there would be an epic battle, right? From what I remember, the ultimate climactic “fight” resulted in epic…conversation.
There are no battles. No fights. Just talking and talking. Oh, and more talking! They should have called Dr. Phil, so maybe this “epic conversation” would have taken less time!
4. Ginny is a badass. Bella is worthless.
Girls swooning over Harry Potter and Edward Cullen are angry over Ginny and Bella, respectively. I’m not going to lie, when I was 15, I was jealous of Ginny. In the book Ginny is described as smart, pretty, and charismatic. She also holds her own in every single fight or battle since she isn’t afraid and she isn’t helpless.
On the other hand, Bella can’t do anything for herself. She’s smart and she’s pretty, yet all she does is sulk, whine and gripe about her horrible life even though about five guys are interested in her (simultaneously). She breaks down constantly and her only “flaw” of clumsiness is just another sign of her uselessness. It’s not cute! Be strong, Bella!
Speaking of Bella, her clumsiness is an attempt to pass her off as imperfect, right? But this is completely inconsistent with everything else I’ve mentioned. Guys at her school are all over her, she is very often described as pretty, and every vampire wants her, too. (We know this because Edward tells us. It’s so convenient that he can read minds!)
We are constantly reminded of her mortality (probably another reason why she is “clumsy”) to show that she is human, and Edward is vampire. However, we know that Bella isn’t normal, either. There is something special about her all along that makes her inhuman, and therefore much less relatable: Edward can hear everyone’s thoughts except Bella’s.
Either she’s delicate and human or she has special powers that make her more than human. WTF! Make up your mind; it can’t be both.
2. In Harry Potter there aren’t as many unintentional “LOL” moments.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve ever read Harry Potter and, in your mind, replaced the word, “wand” with the word, “wang,” the books will make you laugh out loud so much that it hurts. With Twilight, you don’t need to change anything for the silly prose to have that same laughter-effect.
Lucky for me, the blog not overburdened with this subject helps again: he has comprised a list of laughable lines from the first Twilight book. I’ll just list a few here:
Because, through the heavy water, I heard the sound of an angel calling my name, calling me to the only heaven I wanted.
I could smell the unbearably sweet fragrance coming off his chest.
Because chests smell oh so fruity….
Bella: “So what you’re saying is, I’m your brand of heroin?”
Edward: “Yes, you are exactly my brand of heroin.”
Forget about Dr. Phil; let’s call Dr. Drew!
1. The fans.
Harry Potter fans and Twilight fans are both annoying and obnoxious. However, there are different degrees of annoying, and Twilighters take the cake.
It’s probably a little unfair to criticize Stephanie Meyer so harshly, but the fans have made this series what it is today. They make it out to be something more than it is and take it way too seriously for their own good. They scream, they pick fights, they cause problems, and they are extremely annoying.
It’s great that the Twilighters are excited about reading, but give them something with some real substance, like, I don’t know, Harry Potter? Fans and journalists alike seem to agree, disagree and ride the fence! What do you think? Let us know on Twitter! Use hash tag #hpvstw to follow the conversation.
Posted by Shaane at 6:36 am