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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Harry as Spoiled Rotten

I just read post where someone said she didn't like Gryffindors, which is, of course, a matter of opinion.

But someone responding to her post said that Harry was a spoiled rotten brat, and, well.


I don't get it. I really don't get it. I mean, I'm not saying people have to like the character, but "spoiled rotten brat"? Brat is a matter of opinion, but "spoiled rotten"? The boy who lived in a cupboard until he was almost eleven? (I have to say, when I first saw "The boy who lived", I thought of it as meaning, "The boy who did nothing but live. Didn't hope, didn't dream, didn't care. Just lived." And, you know, that pretty well describes his pre-letter life.)

He was made the youngest Seeker in centuries and given a fancy broom. This is special, but A. he didn't ask for it and B. it wasn't personal. That is, McGonagall had a hole in her House Quidditch team roster. She needed it filled or there would be no Quidditch cup, and I'm guessing none of the second years qualified enough. She looked out a window and saw one of her Gryffindors flying spectacularly, and took action. It happened to be Harry. If it had been Neville or Dean or Hermione or Lavender who was doing that sort of flying, it would be one of *them* on the team, not Harry. If, on the other hand, there had been a decent Seeker on the team already, Harry probably would have lost some points. As it was, he managed to lose more points with McGonagall than Snape ever took off. Because he does get punished for his actions when he gets caught. And he doesn't protest those punishments, either. Not even in book five, when he should have.

He gets punished for Dobby's actions both at home and in the Wizarding world. He doesn't get punished in PoA for similar actions because Sirius escaped and he needed to be kept safe. And, yes, I do think that was because he was Harry, but *Harry* didn't ask for or expect such treatment. He expected to be expelled and wasn't even going to protest it. Because, you know, spoiled rotten kids never protest fair treatment.

When it comes to GoF - the only reason he got special treatment at all was because of Barty, Jr, and he'd have been extremely happy to not have gone through the Triwizard at all, thank you very much. He didn't want to do it in the first place.

As for OotP - he's left alone with those relatives of his after a major trauma - seeing a friend die, seeing Pettigrew maim himself, seeing his own blood being used to resurrect Voldemort and then fighting him, and let's not forget the ghosts of his parents and taking Cedric's body back to Hogwarts. And how is he rewarded? By being threatened with expulsion for saving his and his cousin's lives. Is he over the top? I'm surprised he didn't scream and shout so much in earlier books. In fact, he's remarkably nonviolent given everything - just loudness until the very end, and then he took all his anger and grief out on nonliving objects.

Comments

I'm either not seeing the 'me me me' thing, or I'm interpreting it a different way. I think in some ways Harry does tend to see himself at the center of things--but to me that feels more like being realistic than feeling entitled. Harry *is* at the center of a whole lot of things and it would be stupid and naive of him to pretend he's not. The one instance I can see of an entitlement issue is where he thinks he should've been the one to be named prefect and it's only a short while before he's embarrassed and ashamed of himself for his thoughts.

Okay, now I'm contradicting myself here, but on further thought I think I can see what you mean about entitlement issues, but I think it's a natural result of being the Boy Who Lived and the youngest seeker in a century and a parselmouth and a Triwizard Champion--none of them things he sought, but all things that changed his position in society and society's reaction to him. And I think he continually fights it with his innate modesty.

So far as I could tell, he felt he was entitled to information about the state of the world *and* to have honest communication with his friends. He wasn't as articulate as he could be about that, but, you know. Fifteen and not Hermione. For the first time in his life, he was asking questions.