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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Character bashing

Rant cut for length


First of all, that many of you have no idea any of this is going on tells me this is truly an internal thing. But so be it. I'm inside.

The character bashing bothers me.

Not that people like or dislike characters, or even love or hate characters - that's all purely subjective - and certainly not that they talk about these opinions. I have characters I love and hate and I'm perfectly willing to talk about these opinions.

It's an attitude that *some* have that "I hate canon character that Author clearly wants me to like, and therefore I am cool. And here are the reasons, even though I made up some, or it's a visceral dislike to the actor in the film version or they are cruel to my favorite character that Author doesn't like or they are perfectly valid but taken out of context or even that they are perfectly valid and taken in context. And all those who hold different opinions are uncool or foolish."

So. Hate Ron. He *is* annoying, after all. Hate Hagrid for being a poor teacher (as Rowling herself has shown us.) Hate the good guys who are other than perfect, like the bad guys who may just be misunderstood - this is HP. There is a major character who *is* continually misunderstood. In fact, misunderstandings about characters a a big part of most of the books. Snape is good and Quirrell is evil. Neither Harry nor Draco are the Heir to Slytherin. Sirius is innocent and poor Peter is guilty. Harry is not an attention hog and Moody is not Moody. Neville is not weak or incompetent, Ginny is not shy and Luna sees more than she seems to - and Trelawney *is* a Seer. So it's entirely possible that someone *else* Harry thinks of as evil really isn't, or that a friend is really an enemy.

Just don't think that those who disagree with this point of view are being stupid or blind. They've read the same books and seen the same movies you have. They just put a different (and equally valid) interpretation of things - and they also include things just made up and things out of context, in the same proportion, and they shouldn't think you're blind or stupid, either. It does go both ways.

Comments
Wordy McWord of the Clan Word

I'm not on the "inside" of this particular issue, if there is one? But I couldn't agree more with everything you are saying here. Seeing characters different ways is what fandom is all about, but bashing is tiresome and misplaced. (Beyond my visceral reaction to the idea that anyone could hate Ron).

the idea that disparaging characters makes one "cool" is part of why I love hated_character. It has many posts on anime and game characters but there have been some excellent defensese of such misunderstood Harry Potter characters as Bellatrix Lestrange and (my few poor words on behalf of) Kreacher. And the rule is to defend, not to run on about idiot fanbrats.

i love ron. i think he's adorable. :)

Well said. I'm not in this fandom, so I haven't seen exactly what you're talking about, but I've sure seen enough of it in other fandoms. It makes me tired. Also cuts down on the variety of slash. Boring to be in a world with only a limited number of pairings allowed.

I'm not in that fandom so this has largely passed me by, but I agree with your rant. (People think this kind of bashing is cool? How sad.)

Polite disagreement :)

I don't think anything I do or don't say makes me cool. I just don't like some of these people. *shrug* The fact that the author is more or less TELLING us to like them makes this more annoying than less; if the authorial hand weren't so heavy, I probably wouldn't like them much, but it would be less annoying.

I do think some people miss things; for instance, the great outcry back June before last when James and Sirius were proven to be bullies--I'd picked that up a long time before OOTP came out and had been reviled for it in a number of places.

But you know, people stay with abusive lovers and spouses, ignore addiction in their own families--it doesn't surprise me at all, that when humans are so prone to see what they want to see in real life, that people miss things in books.

"misunderstandings about characters a a big part of most of the books. Snape is good and Quirrell is evil. Neither Harry nor Draco are the Heir to Slytherin. Sirius is innocent and poor Peter is guilty. Harry is not an attention hog and Moody is not Moody. Neville is not weak or incompetent, Ginny is not shy and Luna sees more than she seems to - and Trelawney *is* a Seer."


Great list, great point. :)

Which, of course, means we're going to see other new things before this series is over. :)