Harry Potter fans are the dog people of fandom. I want to go on record as saying that. I have rarely seen a fanbase as zealously protective of the thing they love since I heard a girl call someone mentally handicapped for not wanting to domesticate a drooling dumbass that chews on balls, whines if you won’t play with it and shits on your neighbor’s lawn. Dogs aren’t as clever as you think they are, guys. The case is often made that dogs are more intelligent than cats because they do as you say, even though NOT following commands is precisely what makes cats smarter. Or any creature for that matter.
Harry Potter fans are similarly obstinate. In their eyes, the seven books long story of the scarred boy wizard does so many things right and is so perfect in every way that disliking it for even the most legitimate of reasons is impossible. These people are everywhere, sucking the good vibes out of whatever corner of the Internet they can find like a Dementor on turbo crack. I read a post on Tumblr about a girl who broke up with her boyfriend because he hadn’t read the Harry Potter books (the telling part was its high tally of notes and supportive reblogs). This Tumblr post was purportedly a joke, and yet experience tells me it probably wasn’t.
I’m not saying I personally have a problem with the Harry Potter movies, or J.K. Rowling’s source material. What I am saying is that I’m not blinded by any childhood nostalgia that causes me to go into shit fit mode whenever someone critiques or makes fun of something I grew up with. I want to say “at least not when it comes to the Harry Potter franchise”. But there are several things I do love since childhood and I don’t particularly tend to turn into a territorial victim player when somebody points out that Back to the Future doesn’t make physical sense or that Cow & Chicken was probably written by a retarded proboscis monkey.
It’s not just that they’re stupidly trying to defend their favorite wiz franchise from any and all criticisms, though. They also get sad when something isn’t about them. Here is a Facebook meme from a Harry Potter fan page that dates back to when The Iron Lady took home the Oscar for best makeup:
Fair point, guys. Except for the fact that slapping an unusually advanced Halloween mask on Ralph Fiennes’ sexy face is a bit different from transforming Meryl Streep into an almost flawless replica of a real person who existed.
The point is that pretty much anyone in Hollywood can make a decent-looking monster with spooky fangs and a flat nose. Recreating a previously existing person is a more remarkable feat, regardless of how impressed we truly are by the final result in The Iron Lady. So the correct response to anyone who asks why the Harry Potter movies didn’t win more Oscars would usually be: “Maybe they aren’t actually THAT fantastic and you’re just being a blind fanboy about them?” ¹
Besides, one of my favorite comments on the aforementioned fan page post was a link someone posted to a collage of all the intricate costumes and masks Doug Jones has worn during his time as an actor. Come back to me when Fiennes has caught up with this and you can color me amazed:
It isn’t too surprising that they think Lord Voldemort is the hight of makeup artistry, however, particularly if you consider how easy they are to astonish when it comes to jokes – that is to say, obviously, jokes that somehow relate to Harry Potter.
Potterheads are so impressed with both themselves and anything Harry Potter that they still make each other cackle like hyenas when someone says, hey, remember that scene in the book where Dumbledore asks Harry Potter calmly if he put his name in the Goblet of Fire but roared it out like a madman in the movie version? Wasn’t that hilarious the first 300 times I mentioned it? Great, I’m sure you’ll love it the 301st:
And don’t get me started on the Potterheads who still get proud of each other when they drop a zinger with a punchline that somehow pertains to Voldemort’s lack of a nose or Harry’s dead-as-a-Potter-joke parents. I wrote about how tired this played-out horseshit was 4 goddamn years ago. If this didn’t have anything to do with Harry Potter, I doubt anyone would pretend it’s still funny.
But then again, did you hear the one about the Titanic actor who didn’t win an Oscar until, like, 2016?
The Harry Potter movies are fine, people. Sure, I haven’t actually read the books (apart from one that my cousin read to me when I was tiny) and I never gave enough of a shit to watch all the movies in their entirety without a RiffTrax commentary but that’s irrelevant.
Either way the films aren’t shielded from criticism and many of the parts you find amazing only seem that way to you because of the nostalgic connection you have with them. There’s absolutely no reason to call people out on having “wrong opinions” for not being a part of your fan club. Nobody else is laughing at your weird puppet shows or stupid “I’m being Sirius” jokes for the exact same reason as why people don’t want to see pictures of your dog.
That’s all for now, folks! Always know where your magic wand is!
¹ Or the old white dudes who run the show simply decided they didn’t like them as much as you.