Columnists debate which fantasy series reigns supreme
Since the release of the “Twilight” series, and especially since the movie release, a debate has ensued about which series triumphs over the other, the beloved “Harry Potter” series, or the new contender, “Twilight.” Defending “Harry Potter” is senior Scene editor Allison Proite, and sophomore News editor Breann Schossow will defend her love for Edward Cullen and the other characters of “Twilight.” The Showcase editors,Tara Cegla and Frank Pellegrino, will determine the winner.
The question of which book is better, “Harry Potter” or “Twilight,” has been circulating since “Twilight” hit it big in the past year.
When “Twilight” started gaining momentum and a heavy fan base, many started saying this series was the new “Harry Potter.” I read the books; I was entertained but I don’t think any series of books can compare to the magic of “Harry Potter.”
The fans of “Twilight” love the romance and think that Edward Cullen, the book’s leading man, is the perfect boyfriend, vampire or not. But, there is so much more to “Harry Potter” than a hot guy with a Volvo and sparkly skin.
One of the best aspects of the “Harry Potter” series is watching Harry, Ron and Hermione evolve over the seven books. They go from precocious 11 year olds to daring and talented teenage wizards and witch.
As a reader, it’s so interesting to go back to the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and read Harry’s adventures as a boy wizard and then read the last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and watch him become an adult and defeat the one wizard who has tormented him his entire life.
The same goes for Ron and Hermione. Watching their relationship go from innocent flirtations and bickering to outward love was an amazingly seamless transition and such an incredible part of the series. I thought it was more interesting to watch them fall in love over the series instead of the two being in love within the first 50 pages.
One of the most creative people that ever existed is “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling. In her seven part series, Rowling created an entire world. Places like Hogwarts, Gringotts, The Burrow and Hogsmeade are also locations that Rowling created for her characters to go and interact. In “Harry Potter” the reader gets completely lost in a world unlike their own. In “Twilight” the reader can get lost in a world like Forks or Seattle. No real imagination needed there.
The “Harry Potter” series also sends its readers messages of respect, love, good versus evil and especially equality. Throughout the series, we are introduced to the word “mudblood.” Hermione is called one because she is not a “full blooded” wizard since she comes from two non-wizard parents. Did Rowling intentionally slip in the message that everyone is equal regardless of where they come from? Yes, she is that much of a genius. She knows that children read her books and can apply her messages to their everyday lives.
But besides the character evolution and the more creative aspect of “Harry Potter,” the fact still remains that everyone can read the series. I’ve had conversations with children, grandparents, college-aged guys and professors about “Harry Potter.” I can’t say the same for “Twilight.” If I even mention “Twilight” in front of a guy, most of them roll their eyes. The “Twilight” series has a much smaller demographic; just girls.
The “Twilight” series is romantic and are entertaining books, but they won’t be remembered like “Harry Potter” will. Fifty years from now, first generation “Harry Potter” lovers will be reading the books to their grandchildren while “Twilight” will be just a couple of books from the past. Sure “Twilight” is all anyone can talk about today, but “Harry Potter” will be talked about as long as there are books to read.
I remember the first time I heard of the “Twilight” series. It started when a friend informed me she had met someone over the summer who was just like me except for one thing – she loved the new book series by Stephanie Meyer.
Therefore, my friend thought that I was bound to love them too. But I wasn’t so sure because to be honest, vampire love stories had never made my reading list. I was skeptical.
But within the first few chapters, I, like all other “Twilight” fans, was bitten by the content – the impossible love story, the characters of Edward and Bella and of course, the side complications. The course of true love never did run smooth, which makes these books relatable.
I flew through the series, needing to know the ending. Naturally, I believed it had to end well. However, once captured by a series, readers are highly irrational people. The first time that irrationality occurred in my life was caused by the “Harry Potter” series.
However, after finishing the “Twilight” series, I found that I would rather read the four “Twilight” books on repeat (“Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse” and “Breaking Dawn”) than my childhood favorite, the “Harry Potter” series, for a number of reasons.
First of all, Meyer writes through the perspective of a character at all times, as opposed to the almost omniscient narrator of “Harry Potter.” It was simple for me to fall into “Twilight” through the eyes of Bella.
Up until moving to Forks, Wash., Bella was a typical human being. Her concerns included worrying about her mother and doing well in school, as opposed to Harry Potter, whose experiences up until going to Hogwarts have never been as feasible as the life of the normal human teenager.
While Meyer does bring the unrealistic into Bella’s world with Edward, a vampire, it always seemed more believable to me than Quidditch, invisibility cloaks and Avada Kedavra.
Yes, all of those things appealed to my imagination. But the “Twilight” series appealed to my sense of reality.
Second, the love story between Edward and Bella has captured the hearts of millions of readers. Who can blame them? Meyer gives both characters eloquent lines and a number of opportunities to prove that the way they feel is out of this world but realistic.
Perhaps the best part of this book is the creation of Edward, the character who feels he should be in a nightmare. However, as Bella narrates in the final book, the only place he belongs is in a fairy tale.
Just what many girls want, especially those who grew up with the Disney princesses.
At the same time, Meyer gave Edward a number of swoon-worthy lines that even reached me, Ms. Reasonable. My personal favorite happened in the second book, “New Moon,” when Edward compares the effect of Bella on his life to a meteor.
He says, “My life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars . And then you shot across my sky like a meteor . when you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black . my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything.”
As I pointed out earlier, I’d like to think that I’m too reasonable to swoon, but Meyer’s writing makes Edward into one of the most perfect characters for women to fall in love. He is a perfect gentleman and would prefer to save Bella from his life – all the while breaking his own heart.
Now, for the shallow but notable part. Edward may be one of the most gorgeous characters to leap off the pages of a book, especially in comparison to the star of the “Harry Potter” series. He may be today’s new Mr. Darcy.
It may be terrible for me to turn my back on a childhood favorite, but like a number of readers, I needed a new series to read at a new point of my life.
Due to the popularity that rivals that of the “Harry Potter” series, I’m obviously not the only one.
Despite Tara’s undying love for Edward Cullen, both editors have to side with Harry Potter on this one. The books create a fantasy world that readers can escape to, unlike the seemingly boring town of Forks. With the movie, “Harry Potter” well depicts the gorgeous castle of Hogwarts and all the wonder of each magical creature and spell.
Also, Frank thinks that the wonderful world of magic can be appreciated on a much deeper level than vampires and werewolves. The idea of anyone digging their fangs into a neck is just too much for us.
Proite is a senior print journalism major and scene editor of The Spectator.
Schossow is a sophomore print journalism major and news editor of The Spectator.