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n/a
deleted

1483 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2006 :  14:49:49  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Without a doubt, Harry Potter is the hero of the story. He is, after all, The Boy who Lived, and he supposedly possesses a power that the Dark Lord knows not. However, take away the events at Godric's Hollow the night Voldemort fell, and how would Harry's innate talents and abilities truly measure up?

Is Harry, as many believe, a wizard of average abilities and intelligence, who has gotten by so far mostly on sheer luck and the help of his friends? Or is he truly talented and powerful in his own right, a diamond in the rough and a worthy adversary of the Dark Lord? Or is he a little of both?

I've seen thoughtful and detailed arguments both ways. What do you think?

MrBen
Barmy

Australia
284 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2006 :  16:52:38  Show Profile  Visit MrBen's Homepage  Send MrBen an AOL message  Click to see MrBen's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Certainly he's lucky, which is exceptional in itself. No amount of practice will give you The HP's level of luck. (Ignore the quote, "I found that the more I practiced, the luckier I got.") In the real world, luck is just an ignorance of all the variables in an equation, but perhaps here it is something more.
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2006 :  17:46:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would say my answer to that hinges on one critical plot point - how much magical power did Voldemort transfer to Harry when he was a baby? Harry has exhibited extraordinary magical aptitude throughout the books, but it is unclear to me if those were a portion of Voldemort's inadvertant "gifts" to him.

However, one thing Voldemort definitely did not give Harry - his desire to do good and help other people. That, and not his magical powers, is what make Harry the hero. So whether he is a naturally powerful wizard or an average wizarding Joe doesn't really matter (to me) in the long run. He is a worthy opponent of Evil because of his character, not his magical ability.


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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2006 :  18:55:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AMC

... one thing Voldemort definitely did not give Harry - his desire to do good and help other people. That, and not his magical powers, is what make Harry the hero. So whether he is a naturally powerful wizard or an average wizarding Joe doesn't really matter (to me) in the long run. He is a worthy opponent of Evil because of his character, not his magical ability.
It has been a very long time since I've said this AMC, but I agree with you 100%! Harry's magical ability is entirely beside the point. It's his choices, not his abilities that matter.

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MrBen
Barmy

Australia
284 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2006 :  20:43:50  Show Profile  Visit MrBen's Homepage  Send MrBen an AOL message  Click to see MrBen's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Bleaugh. If magical ability was beside the point, magic would never cause bad things to happen to good people. You can't take magic out of the equation. It's his abilities as a wizard that force him to make those choices. HP has the ability to shape the field of play. He does not simply act as a pawn in the game (except in HBP, where I hope he learnt the lesson).
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2006 :  23:40:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrBen

Bleaugh. If magical ability was beside the point, magic would never cause bad things to happen to good people. You can't take magic out of the equation. It's his abilities as a wizard that force him to make those choices. HP has the ability to shape the field of play. He does not simply act as a pawn in the game (except in HBP, where I hope he learnt the lesson).

Ben, I'm having one of those moments where I feel like you're addressing some invisible posts that I've somehow missed. No one ever said that Harry was a pawn. But IMO, it's his choices that shape the field of play, not his abilities. That doesn't mean that magic doesn't matter. But it's only a tool, just like a gun that the hero totes in the average detective novel. And it's not his abilities as a wizard that force him to make these choices, it's the fact that LV murdered his family and has been trying to kill him.

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MrBen
Barmy

Australia
284 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2006 :  02:32:19  Show Profile  Visit MrBen's Homepage  Send MrBen an AOL message  Click to see MrBen's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
quote:
But IMO, it's his choices that shape the field of play, not his abilities.
But without those abilities he wouldn't be able to make those choices. If he didn't have the abilities, Voldie, the DEs, home and school life would have obliterated him and we would not be discussing choice (or anything about HP really), just his inability to prevail against such odds.

For example, a friend of mine back in high school put all her efforts into becoming a professional basketballer. She dropped out of school to practice and try out, but she didn't make the cut. It was not her choices that caused her to fail, but her ability.

You can't throw away The HP's ability as a wizard. If he was suddenly without his powers, he'd be crushed like a bug.
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2006 :  10:12:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excuse me here, please, but I was under the impression we were discussing which was more important-- not necessarily exclusive of the other.
quote:
However, take away the events at Godric's Hollow the night Voldemort fell, and how would Harry's innate talents and abilities truly measure up?
Take away the events at Godric's Hollow and we would still have a boy with magical ability (and a family and a drastically different story so let's just take away the transfer of power bit). Magic is a part of Harry, so is his past. It all comes into play in shaping the person he is and the choices he makes-- including the choice to use magic and which spells. Harry has some strengths both magical and otherwise. Divorce one from the other and it wrecks the balance. There's no way a non-magical being could triumph over the most powerful dark wizard of the age. I'm sure that's not what Theo is proposing. But just being magical isn't enough either, otherwise anyone could and would have done it before now.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2006 :  21:02:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Agreed Siobhan. To put it another way, victory in the battle between Harry and LV won't depend upon which of them is the better wizard, but upon which is the better man.

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MrBen
Barmy

Australia
284 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  20:29:11  Show Profile  Visit MrBen's Homepage  Send MrBen an AOL message  Click to see MrBen's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Can I again say "bleaugh"! Statements like this put no value in the choices made because there's a foregone conclusion that HP will win because he's the "better man". Now, even if his choices are wrong they're right because he's the better man. Since ability no longer matters and choice is now a subset of "better man", what's left?

Bleaugh!
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MrBen
Barmy

Australia
284 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  21:35:53  Show Profile  Visit MrBen's Homepage  Send MrBen an AOL message  Click to see MrBen's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
To expand on this, let me remind you that Harry Potter is a piece of fiction. He does not exist in a reality outside the imagination of JKR (fanfiction aside). She's had a goal in mind from the very beginning. As I understand it, the ending was one of the first things she worked out. Everything written is in aid of that ending and not the other way around. While HP may win, it's not nessesarily because he is the better man, but because he's been written to win. That you assign better man to the winner may well turn out to be contrivance of factors that we - without knowing all the variables - call luck. Such is the way of writing.

I don't recall anyone saying that Voldie was a better man when he killed The HP's parents, but when the same logic is applied, he certainly was. Just because you agree with HP's position does not make him a better man. Lily and James chose to be "good", but it didn't make them better, just dead. I'm saying that the result had nothing to do with who was a "better man" (or woman), just who died.

You've framed "better" as a moral decision. The question of who is "better" has already been decided.

Edited by - MrBen on 08/24/2006 21:38:31
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  10:49:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
To expand on this, let me remind you that Harry Potter is a piece of fiction. He does not exist in a reality outside the imagination of JKR (fanfiction aside). She's had a goal in mind from the very beginning. As I understand it, the ending was one of the first things she worked out. Everything written is in aid of that ending and not the other way around. While HP may win, it's not nessesarily because he is the better man, but because he's been written to win. That you assign better man to the winner may well turn out to be contrivance of factors that we - without knowing all the variables - call luck. Such is the way of writing.
I believe we are aware of that, MrBen. We are, and have been, discussing the possibilities here-- not saying such and such will happen but that it might happen. Some assumptions have to be made and not everyone will agree with those assumptions. That does not make the point invalid.

Better morally (bleaugh or not) is not the same as better able.
quote:
I don't recall anyone saying that Voldie was a better man when he killed The HP's parents, but when the same logic is applied, he certainly was.
He was better able in a sense. He was better able to gain information as to the family's whereabouts. He was better able to show up in the night, blast away a door, and kill two parents attempting to protect their child. That does not make Voldemort better morally, nor does it erase the poor judgment he displayed in acting precipitately. Voldemort marked Harry as his equal when Neville was also a candidate-- not one of his better moves.
quote:
Lily and James chose to be "good", but it didn't make them better, just dead.
It did make them better morally. Being better morally does not mean one always wins or even survives.
quote:
You've framed "better" as a moral decision. The question of who is "better" has already been decided.
So there's no point in discussing the possibilites, then?

There's more to the solution to Voldemort than just magic. JKR has already told us through Hagrid that magic doesn't effectively solve big problems. She has also told us through Dumbledore that our choices are more important than our abilities in shaping who we are. Having magical abilities is not a choice, but how one uses them is. So whether we like it or not this story is about good vs. bad. That's about as "moral" as you can get. If we agree Harry will win, and that good will win, then Harry must be good, and the "better man" in abilites and morals.

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U-No-Poo
Addled

133 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  17:12:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was arguing about this the other day with a friend. He felt annoyed that Harry was such a mediocre wizard. Maybe he just wasn't used to it. In other works of literature about wizard apprentices, the heros are said to possess great power from the very beginning and the story is about them learning to use it eg. Merlin, The Wizard of Earthsea, Timothy Hunter, Raistlin (Dragonlance). Makes sense, since that's what makes the stories interesting. Actually, HP begins in the same way. Hagrid tells him his parents were really good wizards and he'd surely turn out the same, Ollivander tells him that great things are to be expected from him. Then, Harry goes to school where he can't answer Snape's questions or turn match into a needle on the first day. JKR gives him exceptional quidditch talent, but that's about it. PS/SS is a showcase of the themes that are handled throughout the books. One of the most important ones is the way Harry manages to triumph in the end, despite being outmatched magically:
- Willingness to sacrifice himself to bring Voldemort down; he knew what might cost him when he resolved to go through that trapdoor.
- Ron and Hermione to put in their talents where he is lacking.
- Selflessness and pure intentions; was not waylaid by the temptation of wealth and immortality, but stayed focuse on his goal of defeating Voldemort.
- Bravery and luck
- He was marked by love, and Voldemort could not stand that.
He did not utter a single spell in the final battle. It was those five things that allowed him to win back then, and will come into play again in book 7 (yes, including nš5... remember Dumbledore's gleam of triumph!).
Later on, Harry was able to do the Patronus charm. For the first time, he was showing great magical capability. Or was he? Being able to conjure Patronuses seems more mental than magical. Harry could do it thanks to his immense willpower. The same skill allowed him to throw off the Imperius charm when no one else could, accio a faraway broom, apparate back to Hogsmeade with Dumbledore and defeat Voldemort in the Priori Incantatem scene ("All that training for the Triwizard Tournament, and he used Expelliarmus!", my friend exclaimed, exhasperated). Harry is not a wizard of outstanding power, but the aforementioned qualities make him an exceptional wizard, nevertheless.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  18:46:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think you're too rough on Harry.

Being able to produce a corporeal Patronus requires more than willpower - it's quite advanced magic and requires substantial ability as well as desire.

Harry did fight off Grindylows and defy Merpeople in GoF (haven't read it in a while but I belive he needed Magic in the maze as well). Yes. he has consistently "won" his contests due primarily to good luck and courage but the tests he has undergone have been well above what any student his age should have had to face, so you really can't expect him to have had lots of fancy spells ready at hand. He used his basic abilities and tools well and that's the essence of success.

Now other students at his age probably had far more complex curses and spells at their command - both James Potter and Severus Snape, for example. But Harry has never wanted to be a "Great wizard", it may be his fate but it isn't his heart's desire. Harry wants to be a normal wizard, he wants some family, a girlfriend, some fun and a decent job. That's what makes Harry so likeable - he really doesn't want this great destiny, it's just his. Trouble finds him, he doesn't need to go looking for it and challenges come his way, whether he's prepared or not.

If Harry was shown as a wizarding "machine" polishing his skills day and night to find new ways to defeat the forces of evil, he'd certainly be more of an effective warrior - but perhaps less of a hero. Harry is fighting Voldemort despite his inclinations because he knows he must - that's far more heroic than someone fighting because they love the idea of being the biggest, baddest wizard in town.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.


Edited by - AMC on 08/25/2006 18:47:15
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MrBen
Barmy

Australia
284 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  18:53:39  Show Profile  Visit MrBen's Homepage  Send MrBen an AOL message  Click to see MrBen's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan
We are, and have been, discussing the possibilities here

Actually, I don't think anyone has said anything about possibilities. Nobody has even taken a firm stance on HP's abilities. It's all very wait and see and "Harry will make the right choices" guff. :)

quote:
Voldemort marked Harry as his equal when Neville was also a candidate-- not one of his better moves.

If we start talking long term success then moral superiority is the only thing that matters, because on a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. (Really, you think that if HP failed Voldie would actually live forever?)

quote:
So there's no point in discussing the possibilites, then?
In the moral war, HP has already won. So, no, there is no point in discussing that. (Well, not with any great insight.)

quote:
So whether we like it or not this story is about good vs. bad. That's about as "moral" as you can get. If we agree Harry will win, and that good will win, then Harry must be good, and the "better man" in abilites and morals.
The HPverse is a microcosm that we look into. Our reality is a superset of it and we are the ones who decide who is the victor, and on a moral level we already have. That is why, live or die, kill or forgive, HP has already won. That is why the question is irrelevant.
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  19:02:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well you're right Ben - the question is irrelevant to the plot, so I guess the issue goes back to Pixie's original query - is HP average or exceptional? I'd say from what we have seen of his abilities he's exceptional.

Personally, I wonder if some of those exceptional abilities didn't come from Voldemort as it would create a perfect dilemma for the last book - if HP's scar is the final horcrux then to choose to destroy it also means Harry must risk losing all of his magic... but that's just speculation.




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MrBen
Barmy

Australia
284 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2006 :  01:07:57  Show Profile  Visit MrBen's Homepage  Send MrBen an AOL message  Click to see MrBen's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
It would indeed be cruel to think that Harry, born of skilled magical parents, had no skill but that which was given to him by Voldie. They must have some legacy beyond his looks!

A spell that would cost all of his magical gifts... would be one of the most depressing endings to the series possible, so let's hope it doesn't come to that. To be the saviour of that which you love and to be expelled for that love...very harsh!

I do fear an ending in which HP's magical abilities (and choices blah blah blah) mean that Voldie does a Spiderman Villain trick and kills himself so that HP remains morally pure. I'd like to see The HP beat Voldie by using a little of the darkness inside, but not let the darkness control him. I find that an interesting choice.

Voldie, in his inhumanly evil frame of mind, is incapable of comprehending a moral victory, so the name of the game is still ability. Harry can't beat Voldie's magic with simply morals. Begin good is not enough. He must have exceptional the abilities - as he's shown time and time again - to allow him to counteract the trials Voldie has set. Of course the best course of action is to turn those trials on their head, make the playing field his own.
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Newguise
Barmy

United Kingdom
269 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2006 :  09:32:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I cannot believe how much everyone on this thread is underestimating Harry's ability! Most wizards of his age turn mice into teacups in their lessons, charm objects within the safety of their classrooms, write about it for homework, and rely on Madam Pomfrey to take care of any mishaps.

Harry has found himself facing death many times and he has coped with that by keeping his head and using the tools he had to try and get himself out of danger. Look at how the other students see Harry with regard to DA. They see the teacher in him, they see the experience, they reap the results of his ability and instruction. Harry think he is normal, and that he has been lucky because the boy is fundamentally modest. He doesn't see what he has done to be as remarkable as it really is. We share that view because we hear his thoughts.

So he didn't get 12 Outstanding O.W.Ls. Percy did, and who would you rather have fighting in your corner? Harry has a real knowledge and understanding of magic and how to use it when you are being threatened by some seriously nasty and nastily serious people. That is far more valuable than academic knowledge. Harry doesn't have to produce a three foot essay on how best to defeat the Dark Lord, he has to get out there and do it! Have you forgotten the point of Umbridge? All that stuff about how DADA need only be theoretical because the only goal is to pass an O.W.L. Arse! Your outstanding O.W.L. result is inconsequential if you get blasted to smithereens by a D.E. Hermione makes the same point in the first book. She recognises that Hary has something more than the ability to memorise page 312 of a textbook of your choice, and that it will carry him far further. Comparing Harry's performance to any of his contemporaries is pointless because we don't see them using magic in the same arena. His classmates may get better marks than him, but they haven't fought Voldemort.

Dumbledore our greatest wizard was seriously impressed by Harry's achievements. The Ministry began to fear him because of the things he has managed to do. Look at the adults' responses in his world - they understand that he is managing things that are exceptional.

Harry has tremendous personal abilities that do not relate to being able to speak Parseltongue, and other 'gifts' that may have been passed on to him. That is an added advantage that gives him some access to Voldemort that others don't have - it gives him an edge, but the access to V's mind, and understanding Snake-lingo alone would not give him what he needs to defeat Voldemort. How does he use parseltongue? His uncontrolled magical ability frees a snake in a zoo because his immediate thought is that it must miss its home. That is what makes Harry exceptional.

Harry is exceptional, for reasons of his own making and his own doing. Dumbledore recognised that Harry had the abilities required for this job, and they had nothing to do with the prophecy. Harry and Dumbledore have that very conversation in HBP. Dumbledore becomes animated - says Harry has misunderstood, when he puts too much emphasis on Trelawney's words. It isn't the prophecy which puts him in this position of being Voldemort's ultimate downfall - it is his own choice to succeed. It comes down to him and his determination. He wants the outcome enough, and he is in a position to achieve it. He has made the friends who can help him, he has the courage to do it and the ability to make the right decisions at the right time.

Newguise xxx
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2006 :  12:19:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Go Nuggy Go! Go Nuggy Go!

A stirring defence of our Hero.



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Newguise
Barmy

United Kingdom
269 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2006 :  16:56:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks. Good to know I'm not the flying the flag alone here

Nuggy xxx
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MrBen
Barmy

Australia
284 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2006 :  17:30:57  Show Profile  Visit MrBen's Homepage  Send MrBen an AOL message  Click to see MrBen's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Hey, I've always been on the exceptional side. Yay Nuggy for saying it better than the rest of us.
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2006 :  11:08:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Harry is a mix, for me. He is exceptional in some areas of magic, no question (I do not believe all his ability or the amount of it came from Voldemort's attack). Everyone has strengths and limitations. Can Harry be Dumbledore's equal?-- possibly, given time, study, and experience.
What's that line from Spiderman? "With great power, comes great responsibility."

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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2006 :  14:38:48  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I would agree that Harry is an exceptional wizard, but as has been pointed out, Harry doesn't want to be. He wants to be normal. He is tired of sticking out and being set apart. So this makes Harry a bit of an underachiever. Necessity forces him to perform up to his capacity, but it seems to me that much of his capacity is instinctive. He's not a scholar, like Hermione, and he doesn't learn well on his own. He needs a good teacher. Thus, he learns the patronus charm at a very early age with Lupin's help. Hermione teaches him the summoning charm for the Tournament, and once Harry learns it, he can summon his firebolt from quite a distance. He doesn't learn occlumency, because he doesn't want to learn anything from Snape, but Snape is able to teach him potions when Harry doesn't know who the teacher is.

This would lead me to conclude that Harry will eventually become a powerful wizard, but not to the level of Dumbledore or Voldemort, or maybe even Snape, because he really doesn't do independent learning. Harry will defeat Voldemort because of a combination of raw talent, good teaching, the help of those who love him, the life debt of Pettigrew, sheer determination to rid the world of evil, and luck. Then, he will happily go on to try to live a fairly unremarkable life and have as many children as possible!

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Bee
Mediwizard

846 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2006 :  17:02:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sunsethill

Then, he will happily go on to try to live a fairly unremarkable life and have as many children as possible!



Will he though? The life of an auror doesn't strike me as a particularly unremarkable one (I assume he'll become an auror if he manages to survive Book 7). And then there's the issue of what Hermione calls his "saving-people thing". Do you think Harry is capable of leading an unremarkable life? Do you think he even really wants to, deep down?

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U-No-Poo
Addled

133 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2006 :  18:18:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've often wondered about that. I think that if Harry lives, given his troubled relationship with the Ministry, he won't be an Auror. Maybe after finishing off Voldemort Harry will find he still has work to do (I don't think all evil will end with Voldie) and will try out going solo. On one hand I imagine Harry desperately tempted by a quiet life with Ginny in the countryside, but I reckon he'd find himself incapable of doing that. He will feel that he has an obligation to continue doing stuff. He could be like Dumbledore, who wasn't an Auror but set off to bring down Grindelwald all the same. I see Harry becoming a great wizard in the future.

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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2008 :  17:59:54  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've been thinking about this topic again and realized that we never revisited it after DH. Based on the last book, where does everyone fall now in their conclusions about Harry's level of magical ability?

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
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Posted - 02/27/2008 :  18:33:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Magically speaking, I don't remember any great leaps and bounds in his abilities.
If we were talking about him as a person being average or exceptional, I'd say he's exceptional. His life supplied him with experiences that made him live up to Dumbledore's expectations (regardless of the manipulative aspect).

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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2008 :  10:54:17  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

Magically speaking, I don't remember any great leaps and bounds in his abilities.

It almost seemed to me that he went backwards. He was supposed to be the DADA whiz and yet Hermione was the one saving everyone through the whole book. The only spell Harry seemed to be able to do anymore was Expelliarmus--unless it was an Unforgiveable. Could be argue that that shows raw magical power?

And I agree perfectly that Harry shows a wealth of ability to forgive and care about others in his character. It's why I've always loved Harry as a character and wanted the best for him.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2008 :  15:55:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
By the end of DH, Harry had definitely been reduced to an average wizard, magically speaking. He showed no exceptional ability in that regard at all.

As to his character, that's a bit harder to judge. Harry showed great bravery and selflessness in DH, but he's by no means the only one to do so. Everyone fighting on the Light side demonstrated these same qualities. Yes, Harry had the unique duty to go and lay down his life without a fight to defeat LV, but how many of our heroes and heroines wouldn't have done the same? The alternative was to run away and let LV win, which was no kind of choice at all. Given those two options, does anyone think that Hermione wouldn't have willingly gone to her death, head held high? How about Neville, Luna, Remus or any of the Weasleys? Heck, even Snape would have done the same. So bravery and selflessness don't make Harry excepional either.

Forgiveness? I think we're getting closer with that. Harry does seem to have an large capacity for forgiveness, though I would hesitate to call it unique. I'm sure that Dumbledore (It is my mercy, Draco...), Remus and Hermione could give Harry a run for his money when it comes to compassion and forgiveness. I suspect that Neville, Luna and Ginny could, too. But the biggest problem with Harry's forgiveness is that we only glimpse it, mainly through inference. We aren't shown Harry's heart in this respect. We don't see him struggle with his hatred and make the hard choice to let go.

This question points out what I consider to be a weakness in DH. Harry possesses "the power the Dark Lord knows not" and everyone spends an inordinate amount of time looking to this kid to be "The Chosen One" as if he - and only he - could defeat LV. But this was never true. Anyone could have defeated LV, because just about everyone except LV possessed that special power, too - the willingness to die for others.

In the end, when all was said and done, there really wasn't anything exceptional about Harry except for the expectations everyone else placed on him. And maybe that's the lesson in this. Average people are capable of being exceptional when the situation demands it.

I will say this, though. I do believe that the prophecy was correct. Harry and Neville both possessed one quality that made them uniquely qualified among their classmates to defeat LV. They were both leaders. Forget love, bravery, selflessness, etc. It was the ability to lead and inspire others in war that made these boys special.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 02/28/2008 16:14:27
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 02/29/2008 :  14:43:41  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
By the end, I think Neville might have been a more natural leader than Harry. Harry was so reluctant in his leadership in many ways. But I agree that he had finally accepted the necessity of supplying leadership, especially within the Trio.

I think maybe we are shown Harry's ability to forgive more with Kreacher than with the humans in the story--just as we are shown Harry's ability to grieve with Dobby more than any other humans. I hadn't thought about that before, but it's a little surprising. I wonder what the literary point of that was?

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Wizard from Milan
Barmy

236 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2008 :  12:27:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think that in general Harry's magical abilities were average. His talents were uneven, better at some things than others. He was lucky (i.e. JKR wrote him) in that some of his strengths fit his needs (e.g. he was good at patronus charms).

He was exceptional in many other ways: he was exceptionally nosy, had a very high tolerance for risk, very determined...

Some people would say he was exceptionally good -- I am still thinking about that.
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