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Specky Clarke PM
Biography
Joined Oct '11

British male, 71 years old, married, 2 grown children.

Some of my thoughts about Harry Potter

Characters

Harry Potter: What is there to say? He is the main protagonist of the story and my favourite all around character. Part of what turns me off about JKR's writing (besides the juvenile tone which continued even though the later books became decidedly darker in tone, not to mention the substandard writing), is the fact that Harry won almost despite himself. I feel he was robbed by the whole deathly hallows idea, and while I don't dislike the hallows in general, I would have preferred it if Harry had been trained in his power and his mettle and become the hero I think he could have been. The ending of book seven was not only sad, but frustrating in that she took a great character and essentially made him into a patsy.

Book 1 he wins through having toxic skin. Book 2 he gets a lucky blow in on the basilisk. Book 4 his wand does funky thing—also in the second task, and this is the proof he really is just a Mr. Potato Head being tossed around by Dumbledor; and the rest of the cast alternately loving/hating him in turns. Hermione seems to be his only constant and Ron is a jerk of the highest order then JKR pairs the most intelligent girl with the basest moron; I really could not believe it.

Dobby gets him to the lake and gives him the Gillyweed, and when in the lake Moaning Myrtle points him in the right direction. In book 6 he gets to watch Dumbledore do things. Book 7 he wins due to a freak coincidence; Dumbledore did not plan for Harry to get control of the Elder Wand. I was acutely aware that the style of writing changed at the end of book 4 and 5 & 6 were a complete departure from the previous mood/timber/age group story. Children who could read books 1, 2, 3 & most of 4 and watch the films would not have been allowed to read or watch any further, especially 6 & 7. (In my opinion.)

Hermione Granger: I really like this character. She's not perfect—she's bossy, a bit of a know-it-all at times, and a little too trusting in authority figures, but she also has a good heart, is extremely loyal and willing to take on the world for what she believes—but reading about perfect characters is not a lot of fun. Hermione is THE girl and it does not make any sense to pair her with anyone but Harry. (Again. in my opinion.) I will NOT read any stories that pair her with Snape or Malfoy, that’s just sick.

Ron Weasley: More and more as I think about Ron's role in the story and how he was written, I liked him less and less as I read the books. In my opinion, he is an exceptionally annoying character. He is loud and uncouth, has a bad temper, shows a lot of jealousy toward Harry and is generally what I would call a fair weather friend, but even then only sometimes. Now there are certainly some reasons for his character to be as it is, but that doesn't make him any less irritating. Ron will rarely have a happy ending in my stories—much will depend on the plot of the story and what I need from him in a character. For those Ron fans, please note you have been warned—this is the only warning I will make.

Ginny Weasley: I'm sorry, Ginny who? Unfortunately, that's kind of what I see in her as a character. She's essentially invisible, other than the chamber of secrets incident, for the first five books, until her involvement in the Department of Mysteries fiasco, not to mention how JKR wrote her as a fan girl. I really don't like or dislike Ginny the way she is written—she's just not visible enough for that, even after the sixth book when she suddenly becomes "important". I think she has some faults, but with a little exploration, can become a generally likable and fun character.

Luna Lovegood: Evanna Lynch was the perfect casting for the Luna character. She played the part of Luna to perfection. I love Luna but I do not believe I can do her full justice in writing her.

Albus Dumbledore: JKR left this character WIDE open to multitudinous interpretations of his motives. When I got into HP fanfiction, I couldn't believe just how much anti-Dumbledore venom there is out there. Dumbledore certainly is not perfect—he is manipulative, has a tendency to believe he knows best and is overly secretive. Many consider him to be well-meaning and firmly light—someone who always tried to do the best he could, but made mistakes along the way. Some of the inconsistencies in the story make writing him as selfish and manipulative, or outright evil, very believable, as long as the filling of the gaps is handled properly. I can enjoy evil Dumbledore or overly manipulative Dumbledore, but only if it's believable. Above all Dumbledor comes over as a Pacifist, and I have no time for them. They will not fight to save their lives, worse they will not fight to save anyone else’s, even babies.

Severus Snape: Alan Rickman (RIP) was the perfect casting for the Snape character. I felt that he was a great actor (Die Hard and others). Snape portrayed in the movies by Alan Rickman was brilliant as he played a really great bad guy; a selfish, misanthropic, evil git; and made you believe it; thus hating him.

Draco Malfoy: Tom Felton was good as Draco Malfoy and he has appeared again in The Flash, good actor. There are so many possibilities with Draco, and most of them are bad. Personally, I think he has too much potential as a bad guy, that reforming him is a waste. Although I can deal with him being redeemed, there are certain things I do not like, and they generally revolve around who he gets together with—more on that later. I won't say never, but you generally won't find a sympathetic Draco, or sympathy for Draco, in any of my stories, as I much prefer him as an antagonist to Harry.

Ships

Harry/Hermione: First and foremost I am a fan of Harry paired with Hermione. In the context of the characters themselves, I believe pairing them together makes more sense than pairing either of them with any other major characters. His sense of fun complements her more strict and rigid attitude, whereas her calm rationality tends to deflect his impetuosity. Generally, I think they make a good pair, a formidable team. The largest reason I generally stick to Harmony stories, is because there are so many, that I can barely keep track of them, let alone foray into other ships—essentially, I stick with what I like best.

Ron/Hermione: I can't even begin to articulate exactly how much I loathe this pairing. They have nothing in common, Ron's favourite pastime (after Quidditch, chess and food—not necessarily in that order) is belittling Hermione and making her cry, and I like to believe that Hermione would not be stupid enough to saddle herself with him. They are so wrong for each other on so many different levels that it would be a major undertaking to even scratch the surface of it.

I do not believe that Ron has any feelings for Hermione other than irritation, and I just don't see Hermione ever feeling more than the same for Ron—they are just too dissimilar and fight far too much he could not possibly make a good match with Hermione, they would probably kill each other without Harry there, or considering how useless Ron is Hermione would kill him.

Harry/Harem: I enjoy this kind of story, if it meets two criteria: Hermione has to be a part of it (a major part) and the purpose of the harem cannot be simply to give the author an excuse to write gratuitous sex. Also, the number of girls should be kept to a minimum—it gets a little unrealistic for Harry to have fifty girls in a harem all clamouring for his time. A well written, well thought out, thought provoking harem story can be just as good as pairing Harry with only Hermione. Other characters I like to see included are Fleur (obviously), Luna, Daphne, Susan and sometimes Ginny, as long as the lesser used characters are fleshed out properly.

Harry/Other: If Harry is to be paired with someone else, I would generally prefer it to be Luna, Daphne or Susan Bones. My main problem with any one of these pairings, is that Hermione usually gets stuck with Ron—something that I cannot abide.

Crackships: I am ambivalent in regard to crackships. Some that I have read make me want to puke but some are hilarious, Bobmin365 for instance Making sense is certainly not a consideration when it comes to crackships, its not meant to be, is it?

Likes

Good writing: Well written, well thought out stories, which do not HAVE to be believable in the context of the universe in which they are set, it is after all FICTION. I also tend to like longer stories with substantially sized chapters. Chapters that are less than 1,000 words are not worth reading. I detest poor spelling and grammar and for the majority of cases unforgivable as nearly all word processors, especially MS Word, show incorrect spelling and changes the word for you, only a little attention is required. Using ‘preform’ instead of ‘perform’, ‘quite’ intead of ‘quiet’ and mix up ‘then’ and ‘than’ is a major irritant and as it happens so often I cannot believe they are simple mis-types. Do these authors even know what the words mean?

A friendly word to American authors. Please learn some English. I have read stories by authors whose first language is not English and they have a better grasp of the English language than you do (at least most of you).

Romance: I like good solid romance in my stories I think it gives the story some life and brings out the emotions more. An awful lot of authors seem to love angst, I cannot abide angst. I have abandoned reading a good story just because it has too much unnecessary angst.

Violence: The magical world as portrayed by JKR is a violent place and in my opinion fanfic stories should have at least SOME fighting in them otherwise boredom may ensue.

Sex: Sex is part of life, even more so in the case of teenagers. I do not like the darker porn type sex and I cannot abide the denigration of women by the terms whore and slut etc. A well written sex scene when it is part of the story and depicts the way a great many people live is as entertaining as any battle scene.

Def: Whore, Prostitute; A female that is paid for sex.

Slut; A female that will have sex with anyone, anywhere, sometimes anything.

I don’t particularly like the word ‘fuck’. It’s origin is a legal term; For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, but it’s meaning has been altered in so many ways. The same way ‘Gay’ has been kidnapped by the Homosexual people. ‘Gay’ the original meaning to be ‘happy/excited’. Sadly the dictionary has adopted the ‘new’ meaning.

Dislikes

I don’t much like overly wordy stories that go into depth about history or what a character may or may not be wearing or thinking to the cost of the story through boredom. Further, I personally dislike having to wait sometimes months for a chapter only to find that I have forgotten what went on before and having to re-read the whole story again. And I hate getting to the end of the twenty-something chapter of a really good story just for it to have been abandoned by the author; e.g. The Fifth Element and H.P. and the Curse’s Cure and many, many others. If you can’t finish it, don’t post it. If you have started it and can’t finish it, remove it from the site, or mark it ‘UNFINISHED – available for adoption’.

Why, oh why does everyone insist on Hedwig having a cage. She is an extremely intelligent owl that can find anyone anywhere, especially Harry. She is not ever going to ‘escape’ and fly away. Some authors even have her flying into her cage. If this was at all possible, the door would have to be at least 18 inches wide making the cage simply enormous, not carry-able, difficult to get through a door and impossible to get through a window as in book 2.

I dislike stories that have Harry as a female, it just isn’t right. I hate any story that portrays him as homosexual, this applies to Sirius and Remus as well.

Draco/Hermione is my definition of a crackship indeed ANYONE/Draco without being forced is beyond my imagination. Please people, why would Hermione ever fall in love with a bigoted, arrogant scumbag who treated her like dirt all the way through school and believes she and others like her should be euthanized? And even if you could force Hermione into a believable change of feelings for him, you have to get past the fact that she is lower than dirt to him. Radical idea: let's make a little sense in our pairings.

General thoughts on the movies.

I generally enjoyed the first two movies then they started mangling it all. Of course the special effects were amazing, and the story was generally fairly well told within the limits of what is possible and the constraints of the film length time available, shown by making Deathly Hallows into two parts. The one thing that totally pissed me off, just like a many films, TV series etc, was the dark (without lighting) effects. You simply cannot see what is happening and in some cases is ridiculous, i.e. very dim conditions where people are supposed to be reading or writing reports. The ‘background’ music is becoming so loud in most movies that you cannot hear what the actors are saying. Between not being able to see and not being able to hear it’s often not worth the bother of watching. I wish someone would get this message back to the Directors etc.

Ron is a git. The more I've been around this fandom, the books, and the movies, the less likeable I've found Ron. He was absolutely useless in the Horcrux hunt, and came across as an even bigger jerk in the movies than he did in the book. All he does is whine and moan the whole time, before the ultimate betrayal when he leaves. How the hell do they accept him back? It baffles my mind.

Watching Ron and Hermione get all lovey-dovey throughout the movie was difficult, but I had to resist the urge to hurl when they kissed. They are just about the worst pairing in the history of literature.

Although the movies were well done in general, what was up with the four of them at the end? That was a really poor job of making them look older, with the possible exception of Ron's old-man jacket. Seriously, was giving Ginny a horrible sixties hairdo the best they could do to make her look older, with all the makeup and special effects they have available? Pathetic.

I'm not a fan of the Harry/Ginny pairing, even after the movie made it more acceptable. This is primarily the work of the actors, especially Bonnie Wright, who I though played the character very well, especially at the end when she thought Harry was dead. The thing that probably made the most impression on me, though, is the beginning when they kiss, and there's none of that stupid "give you something to remember me" thing. That just made her seem like a possessive bitch—the movie was somewhat better done.

Was it just me, or did the movie suggest that Neville and Luna were on the verge of becoming an item at the end? That would be a serious shift from canon and a really nice pairing. Why couldn't they have done that with Harry and Hermione?

I personally found Riddle's demise a little gruesome, not to mention a little incomprehensible. Their wands lock up, and Harry pushes the beam of light to Riddle, and then he just kind of disintegrates? Especially when Harry had only cast an Expelliarmus. Still, it was better than the "I won't hurt my master" deus ex machina with the elder wand in the book. Harry destroying the wand was a nice touch too.

I've always wondered why Harry didn't push back a little when Griphook demanded the sword. There are quite a few instances where Harry is just a little TOO naïve.

I just about split a gut when Neville was taunting the werewolves on the covered bridge. OOPS!

The plan to remove Harry from Privet Drive is just about the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Seven Harry's splitting up and hoping that no one gets hurt when they know that Death Eaters are out there waiting for them? Come on, JKR, how stupid do you think we are? How about this: Harry puts on his invisibility cloak, walks down to the bus stop, gets on a bus and heads out somewhere far enough away, then is met by someone from the order, and Portkeyed or Apparated to the Burrow. I came up with that in about thirty seconds, and it's a hundred times better than the supposed Master Auror Moody's "plan." Would have saved Hedwig too. Though that may have been another way for JKR to punish Harry.

Speaking of stupid plot points, Ron imitating Harry to get into the chamber is right up there. Let me get this straight—Parseltongue is a magical language which you either can speak or not, and yet a doorknob who most certainly cannot speak it is able to imitate the sounds and get the door to open? You have to be kidding me, right? Personally, I think JKR threw that in there to help make Ron look a little less like a moron. Newsflash: it didn't work.

Well done on Nagini. She was absolutely chilling and frightening, not to mention completely evil.

McGonagall going postal on Snape, and taking out the Carrows for good measure, was pretty cool.

Alan Rickman was an amazing actor. I really liked how he looked at Dumbledore when he revealed that Harry had to die. It was like he was thinking Dumbledore was just as bad as Voldemort, if not worse. It never struck me so strongly as at that point just how much evil Dumbledore himself committed in trying to vanquish evil.

Participated in the final battle or not, the Malfoys still deserved punishment for what they did. I still think it's a huge travesty that they got away without any consequences simply because Narcissa didn't tell Voldemort that Harry was alive.

Thoughts about the concept of magic and its use.

Arithmancy. A lot is written on how this is used in both the books and fanfic, but there are inconsistencies and contradictions. Logically, I feel that arithmancy can only be applied in potions and rituals. Spells are something that the Wizard/Witch mentally forms by their imagination and knowledge then calls on their Magic to commit/perform/create and depending on their core power causes the spell to be cast. Of course the sharper the imagination, intent and control of one’s own mind makes the spell more powerful. Thus arithmancy cannot be used for spells or indeed enchanting as this is also imagination, mental acuity and power.

That's pretty much my thoughts; I actually borrowed this from another author, with permission of course, and have modified it to suit my own thoughts. He did a much better job of it than I could have. Unfortunately I have forgotten the authors name, thank you again.

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