Reed Books: Harry Potter


Jess Reed, Staff Writer

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is widely regarded as one of the most iconic fantasy series of all times, especially after its success as a movie franchise. However, do the books still hold up with newer, younger audiences? And how does Rowling herself fit into the hype around her novels?

One of the most interesting aspects of these books is the controversy around the diversity in them (or lack thereof). When published, there were next to no characters of color in the series, save for a few stereotyped side characters. For example, the only clear Asian representation in all seven books is Cho Chang, one of Harry’s love interests. However, there is much controversy surrounding her character, especially the name; Cho is not a typical first name in Asian cultures, mostly used as a surname instead, so many readers are angry about the inaccuracy and tokenism of her character. There is also controversy surrounding the lack of queer characters in the novels, since Rowling has called herself an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, but failed to write in any queer people. When confronted with this, Rowling claimed that Dumbledore, headmaster of the school Hogwarts, is gay. However, many readers are angry about this as well, because there is no mention of his sexuality in the series, so they see Rowling’s claim as a way to claim diversity when there is none.

Overall, the Harry Potter franchise is a well-written fantasy series, but the controversy surrounding it has made the enjoyment of it decrease. Whether Rowling will let this franchise die is up to time.