Harry is the main character in the Harry Potter series (obviously), and sure, he gets recognized a lot overall, even from people who don’t know much about the series, but within the fans of the series, I really don’t think he gets as much love as he really deserves. Maybe it’s strange, since he’s the main character and surely gets a lot of attention overall, but does he really get enough? I personally don’t believe he does!
Most of the time, when you ask someone who their favorite character is, they’ll say someone like Hermione, Luna, Draco, Snape, Sirius, etc. but it seems to be rare for someone to say Harry. Yes, people still like Harry, even if he’s not their favorite (I mean, he’s not my favorite either), but I still feel like it’s strange that so little people have Harry as their favorite. It’s not wrong to have another character as your favorite of course! The main character shouldn’t be everyone’s favorite, but too many people seem to purposefully avoid having him as their favorite because they think it’s “too mainstream”, but at this point, I think Hermione and Draco are way more mainstream (at least the movie/fanon-versions of them and the reasons people like them (I’ve already talked about my issues with Draco fans, and I’ll definitely write more about that since he’s MY favorite character)). Overall, I think Harry deserves to be more people’s favorite, or at least, more loved, and there are even people who strongly dislike/hate Harry, and I feel like a lot of the reasons people don’t like him don’t make a whole lot of sense.
Harry may not be my favorite character, but he is one of them, and I love him because of the way he was written as the main character. Overall, he’s a very nice person, and he went through some horrible things: his parents deaths, the Dursleys’ terrible treatment of him, and the whole thing with Voldemort, not to mention other people he cared a lot about dying. He always persevered through his problems and did the best he could to make things better. He has such a pure heart and has good intentions and wants what’s best for everyone, but he isn’t perfect. He has flaws and shortcomings, because he’s still human. Being the chosen one doesn’t change that.
Sometimes, I think it’s easy to make main characters too “perfect”, especially when they’re meant to save the world (or some part of it), and they’re part of a prophecy and are all around a nice person. Harry is all these things, but he still isn’t perfect. He was able to be a good character with flaws, even though he’s still a good person all around. Harry is a good example of a good person who’s also a good character.
I really don’t see a whole lot of actual hate for Harry, other than for things like him not being super smart like Hermione, and I do find that a little strange, because in the books, while Hermione may have been overall the “smart one” of the trio, Ron and Harry each played their own part as well. They all balanced each other out. Harry and Ron have their own ways of being intelligent, even if they don’t outright appear to be intelligent like Hermione. People say that Ron and Harry would’ve been dead in only the first book without Hermione, but isn’t the same true for Hermione needing Ron and Harry? They did save her from the troll, regardless of why she needed to be saved in the first place. They also all used their own talents and skills to get through the underground chambers. (In the book, Hermione didn’t immediately know what to do when they got tapped in the plant. Ron helped her there.)
Harry can also be reckless at times, but I already talked about the fact that he has flaws because he’s a human, and on top of that, in some of the situations he was in, he just didn’t know what to do to get out. He wasn’ very old when he went through all the things he did throughout the whole series, only being 11-17, and there were times when he really did need to make rash decisions in situations where he and others were in danger and were going to be either way. There were also times where he was brave – there is a line between bravery and recklessness. There were some things he did which were both brave and reckless but ultimately ended up being good (I’ll talk about that later).
Of course, some Draco fans don’t like the way he treated Draco, and some people think he should’ve accepted Draco’s offer of friendship. Here’s the thing- Harry first met Draco in a robe shop. He didn’t say anything to Draco until Draco started talking to him. At first, what he was saying was pretty normal, and Harry responded the best he could (without really having a lot of knowledge of the Wizarding World), but then, Draco went on with things like “I don’t think they should let the others sort in” and “Imagine being in Hufflepuff. I’d leave.” That’s when Harry started disliking him. Even though he didn’t know exactly what Draco was saying, he could tell it wasn’t good. He didn’t judge Draco right off the bat. He let him show who he was before Harry decided that he wasn’t that great of a person. What really upset him was when Draco started insulting Hagrid – the one person who showed that he cared about Harry since his parents died, so of course Harry didn’t have a good impression of Draco, especially not after that.
Then they meet again on the train to Hogwarts for their first year. This time, Draco knows that he’s talking to Harry Potter, and is notably more interested in him now. He introduces himself as Draco Malfoy and offers Harry “friendship”, telling him that he doesn’t want to make friends with the wrong people, such as Ron Weasley, who Harry had already gotten along with well, so of course Harry didn’t want to be friends with Draco now, and I think he turned down the offer quite well for an 11 year old. He didn’t make a huge deal about it. He just “cooly” said “I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself, thanks,” which made Draco freak out (a bit).
Throughout the first five years, it was always Draco who instigated the fights with Harry and picked them. Harry was mostly on the defensive side of things, defending himself and his friends from Draco’s bullying. He never went out of his way to pick a fight with Draco like Draco did with him and others. In the sixth book, Draco isn’t as focused on bullying him (aside from some of the things he did at the beginning, but he doesn’t go out of his way to bully people, like usual). This isn’t a Draco essay, so I’m not going to talk any more about that, but there’s a scene in this book that is kind of controversial. It’s another thing people like to attack Harry for.
Harry used the sectumsempra curse on Draco and caused him to bleed out and almost die. If it hadn’t been for Snape, he would’ve. Harry did not intend for that to happen to Draco, and he was really upset that it did. He hadn’t known what the curse would do, and it might’ve been stupid for him to still use it, but he was in a situation where he had to think quickly. Before Harry had done anything, Draco turned around and started firing spells at him. Harry responded by firing spells back, then he slipped on the floor, and Draco started trying to use crucio. It was in a moment of anger, and he had been having an emotional breakdown moments before, so maybe he didn’t mean it and it wouldn’t have done much, but Harry was still scared and only had a split second to react, and the first spell that came to his mind was sectumsempra. The second he realized what was happening, he felt horrible about what he had done and was extremely upset. He sat next to Draco desperately wishing he could undo the spell. Of course I’m glad that Snape came in to save Draco, but I don’t think Harry deserves hate for what happened. However, earlier on, he was thinking about using the spell on Cormac McLaggen, which would’ve been bad, but I still don’t hate Harry because of that, either.
Going back one book to Order of the Phoenix, some people don’t like how Harry acted in that book, but I personally think it was a really good aspect of Harry’s character: how he dealt with grief. Harry has been mistreated by the Dursleys for years, and nothing’s really changed that much. He saw Cedric, a person who he liked and might’ve considered a friend, get murdered, as well as Voldemort’s return. Over the summer, he still had to deal with the Dursleys, and he had a hard time processing what had happened to Cedric and Voldemort’s return. No one would even tell him anything about what was going on, even though it concerned him. He was angry and upset. He was only 15 years old, and he was having to deal with horrible things! Of course he was angry. Some of his actions weren’t justified, but overall, he was understandable. The way that he acted throughout the book was very real, believable, and human. He later has to deal with more grief after his Godfather, Sirius, gets killed. People may see Harry as an “angsty teen”, but really, he’s just a broken boy who doesn’t deserve to go through such pain!
Okay, now onto a lighter note, I’m going to talk about some things in Deathly Hallows, going back to things that have to do with Draco. Harry saw Draco being mistreated by Voldemort, and instead of being happy that a person he didn’t like was being treated badly (although he hated Voldemort way more than Draco, anyway), he felt bad for him. When he saw Voldemort threatening Draco to do something, he was “sickened” by how Voldemort was using Draco as a tool and not treating him like a human. Harry didn’t like Draco, but he still didn’t like what he was having to go through, despite the fact that Harry himself had been through horrible things (and was still having to go through them).
Later on in the book, in The Room of Requirement, Harry was trying to find one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, and after he finds it, Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle show up to try and stop him. As Draco loses control over Crabbe and Goyle (mostly Crabbe), Crabbe starts a fire with the fiendfyre spell, and it goes out of control, and Crabbe can’t control it (which results in his death). Harry, Ron, and Hermione get to brooms to get to safety, but Harry doesn’t want to leave anyone behind if he can help it, so he goes back (Ron and Hermione following) and frantically searches for Draco or anyone else, until he finds Draco and Goyle stranded on a stack of desks. He goes down to rescue them and helps Draco get onto his broom after Draco helps get Goyle onto Ron and Hermione’s broom. Harry chose to risk his life for Draco, even though he didn’t particularly like him (this is the specific thing I had in mind for “reckless” but also brave things that Harry did that were ultimately good in the end). Harry also saves Draco again later on when a Death Eater is about to kill him. Harry doesn’t just let Draco die because he doesn’t like him – he saves him out of the goodness of his heart.
Harry is a great character because, overall, he’s a good person, but he’s still a human being with flaws. He’s realistic and fleshed out, and he has one of the purest hearts.
None of the art belongs to me!