Friday, November 11, 2011

Harry Potter is a Wuss

Yep. You read correctly. Harry Potter is a wuss. And if he's the baddest-ass wizard (he beat Voldemort for the title of Champ 6-1 (7 books total, with wins for Harry at the end of all of them, but I count the death of Dumbledore in the 6th book a victory for the V-man); I wonder if Harry gets a big, gold belt) of his universe, what does that say for all of the other Rowling characters?

Think about it. They don't really do much with their magic. Only, they do everything with it. Does that make sense? Look, they can't even clean their own houses or cook their own food. Everything is done either by magic or by magical servants. And yet, what have they truly accomplished? End world hunger? Help the peace process? Make it safer for old ladies to cross the street? Nope. Nothing.

On that same note, though, they do have some pretty good spells. But that's what makes Potter a wuss. Take the "forbidden curses" thing. They could kill someone with a word and a motion. Or the torture one. Etcetera. Pretty powerful stuff, and I can see why they're forbidden. But is that the only way to kill/hurt people in their world? What's to keep an enterprising young auror from simply ending a death eater with a bolt of lightning? Or a fire ball? Or by throwing a small pebble through his brain pan? Not a single forbidden spell was used, but the job got done, right? Wouldn't that same tactic have worked for Harry? If he was such a bad-ass, why didn't he think of that? It would have ended his trouble a lot sooner (like three books sooner) if he had done something like that to Voldemort. At the end of book four, when Harry gets pulled to where Voldemort is, wouldn't it have just made the assembled death eaters s**t themselves purple if Harry had just blasted V-man to the outer rims, grabbed Cedric, and gtho? Cedric would have lived, the death eaters would have been all "Woah, that guy is hard core" and ran home to change their knickers, and the rest of the world would have thought twice about Ol' Harry Whatsitz. The end.

Also, why don't the wizards in Rowling's universe take muggles more seriously? I mean, C'mon. It's another reason why Harry Potter is a wuss. Even if he did use the forbidden curses of bad-assitude, there's no way that he could take on a muggle of similar life experience. Let's pull this away from the celebrity. Let's use people of similar profession. A Harry Potter Auror, versus an American Soldier (I know the Aurors were all British, it's just I know more about American Soldiers than I do about British). The wizard, let's give him the ability to use the naughty curses, pulls out his wand and yells, "Avada..." and that's all he can say, because the Soldier has used the time to raise his weapon and shoot the wizard in the face. Oh, but what if the Soldier didn't have a gun and the wizard didn't have his wand handy? Okay, let's say the wand and the gun are lying equidistant from the hypothetical combatants. Gotcha. The wizard holds out his hand and says, "AcioAHHHH! *glurk*" as the Soldier uses his training to realize it's a losing fight to go for the gun right away, takes the wizard's proffered appendage, breaks it while doing a hip throw, and smashes a fist into the Auror's windpipe. As the Auror writhes on the ground, choking, the Soldier gets his gun, decides the wizard was still a threat ("Yes, Your Honor, I believed he was still a threat. When it has been shown that one of his abilities can kill with a word, an operator can't take any chances with that word being the last the operator will hear, Sir.") and puts a round in the wizard's dome. But what if it's straight hand to ha... oh, nevermind. That's a dumb question. The Soldier wins. Ah. But what if it's a squad of Aurors versus a squad of Soldiers? Well, when the squad gunner opens up with the SAW, and the designated marksman puts a round through the Auror Squad Leader's eye, and the grenadier puts a 40 mm in their midst for good measure, all before the Aurors can even draw their wands, well, it's a moot point.

Can you imagine what a real shooting war between wizards and muggles would be like? It would be bad. For the wizards. Not so much for the muggles. Let's go conventional warfare to start off, line against line, like in the last book. All the wizards would be all, "Stay together, now. Ready your spells." While the Soldiers would just be about the grim business of death, which, by the way, IS IN THEIR JOB DESCRIPTION. The machine guns would open up first, and wizards would start dropping like flies ("NO! NOT RON! YOU ANIMALS!" screams a distraught Harry, tears pouring down his face and fogging his spectacles.) At first the wizards would be confused, but then someone, probably Hermione, and not El Wusso Supremo Potter, would gain some modicum of control. "Stay together!" she would yell, bringing a heart-wrenching rally of wizards to her. "TO ME!" she says, waiving a Gryphondore flag. And then the mortars would start falling. Did I mention that clumping up on a modern battle field is a bad, and dumb, idea? Scenes like that would play out across the world, with Soldiers dishing out their particular brand of gumbo to any and all wizards. SOF teams would rappel from helicopters into the ministry of magic, taking out the wizards' political heads probably before hostilities even kicked off on the battle field. Percy Weasley would cave at the first sign of interrogation (dang it, we don't even get to water-board him), and spill where all of the hold outs are hiding. Now, not every wizard will die in the initial fighting. They can teleport, which would come in handy to get them out of the initial kill zone. But as fighter-bombers light up their hidey holes, things will only go down hill. Eventually, all of the wizards left will be holed up in Hogwarts. The power will be out and it will be cold. Most of the building has been bombed away, so all of the survivors are in the one little part of the school that is still protected. They huddle around a small fire, pitiful moans filling the night. Someone has manged to steal a car battery and hook a muggle radio (an ancient Werlitzer that had been in the Muggle Studies classroom until it was needed now) to it. They figured they could use it to listen in on muggle broadcasts. It's fuzzy, but it works. They hear one of the muggle talking heads describing how a class of people that can kill, torture, or enslave with a word is just bad for the populace as a whole. They hear how a momentous, and sad, decision has just been made by multiple heads of state, recently gathered to discuss the issue. The last thing they hear is "May God have mercy on our souls," before the battery dies and the radio goes silent. "Harry," says Ginny. "You grew up with muggles. What's a nuclear bo...?" and that's all she would say, for the wizarding world would end with a flash of blinding, white light and a mushroom cloud.

Okay, so not fair. But what if we compared Harry Potter to another universe's wizard? Would he still be so wussy? Well, for the sake of argument, let's go Harry versus Harry. Harry Potter against my main man, Harry Dresden. Knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred, street fight. Any friends, weapons, and spells are legal, that the characters would have access to. The answer? No contest. Harry Dresden by a landslide. It would come down to the fatal weakness of Rawling's wizards when it comes to firearms. Dresden uses guns. Effectively. He has friends, with guns. Okay, let's say magic only, right? Dresden still wins. That whole thing I was saying about just throwing fire or lightning with lethality, Dresden does that. Potter points his wand, Dresden points his staff (much cooler foci, by the way). Potter says "Avada...," and then no more, because Dresden has already incinerated him. The end.

So, we see, in all possible situations but the one in which he was written, Potter comes out on the bottom. Which is probably where he would be if he ever got sent to prison. Because he is a wuss.


  1. My sentiments exactly, which is why I like the fanfiction Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality so very much.

    I'd be absolutely fascinated to hear your reactions when you get to the part about the armies fighting.

    Please please blog your reactions to it in this same exact vein.

  2. Ah, but Harry and buddies are in jolly old England, where the subjects are disarmed. That wand won't match up against an M-4, but against an umbrella they're much more terrifying. Teleporting, shapechanging and levitation are also quite handy in combat situations - that cockroach could be dangerous!
    I'm curious - would that invisibility cloak of Harry's show up on IR? Certainly his footprints would!

  3. Hogwarts is invisible to Muggles.Which suggests that i may well be proof against Muggle tech, like nukes.