Firdaus Tarmizi

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

On Sticking My Wand Up His Sparkly Vampire Ass

In Books on July 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm

WARNING/NOTE:  This entry might contain spoilers to the Harry Potter and Twilight series.  And I am writing mainly in regards to the books, not the movies.

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I had just watched the last Harry Potter movie with my wife, and it has been our tradition to diss the Twilight series each time we went to see a HP movie (or any other movies, for that matter).  As a commemoration of the ending of the HP book/movie series, I’m just going to join the Harry Potter vs Twilight debate that has been going on so fiercely on the Internet.

Actually, I’m not so much joining as wondering why there is even a debate comparing HP vs Twilight in the first place.  It’s like comparing The Iliad to Lagenda Budak Setan.  Like comparing Pamela’s hotcakes to Pelita’s roti canai.  Like comparing the strategy playbook of FC Barcelona to the play-style of Felda United.  All of them could be appreciated due to differences of taste, but HP is on another level of complexity and maturity as compared to Twilight.

Hey , I am not saying it’s wrong for you to like Twilight.  You can even like Twilight over HP as a matter of taste.  Yes you can enjoy Twilight as a harmless bit of fun (I’ve read them all while doing my number 2 anyways) and as filler between better books.  What is unacceptable is if someone would actually think Twilight is better than HP in terms of plot line, character development and overall literary standards.

So, without further ado, here are my 3 main reasons why I think HP trumps Twilight:

1.  HP is known for its complex plot.  There are connections between the whole series, culminating to an explosive ending.   Every minute detail has a significance, and something seen as just a small plot device in the first book, came back as something imperative in the end.

As for twilight, there a HUGE deus ex machina at the end of the series, along the line of “Hey, here’s someone out of nowhere who will stop everybody from fighting and save the day!“.  Not to mention: “Hmmm how do I defeat beings with powerful supernatural powers?  I know!  Have a power that is actually BETTER than all those superpowers!“.

It’s as if, in the Battle of Pelennor Fields in LOTR, Gandalf just straight away came out, waved his staff, and turned all the orcs’ swords and spears into cotton candies.  Yes, that’s kind of how the ending “epic” battle at the end of Twilight was solved.

A quote from Stephen King sums it all:

“Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

 

2.  HP transcends gender and age.  This is a short, simple argument.  HP franchise can be read and appreciated by children, men, women, grandmas and grandpas alike.  Its artistry and style has a universal value to it.  Far from being just a story of good vs evil, it is a classic telling of growth, sacrifice, love and also comedy.

Twilight?  The picture below sums it all.

TW Fans- from fanpop.com

OMG OMG OMG OMGGGGGGG!!!!!

 

3.  Lastly, the portrayal of female character.  I’m too lazy to dig up what I’ve read before, but a lot quite a lot people pointed out how the Mary-Sue ish character of Bella sets feminist movement a few decades backwards.  In an age of female empowerment, Bella is the worst embodiment of strength and independence.  She pines for her man all the time, was unable to function when dumped and tried to kill herself because of that, and, in one of the book, half of the plotline is about how excited she is to pop Edward’s 100-year-old cherry.

Compare that to the awesomeness that is Hermione Granger.  Don’t know how to break into and out of Gringotts?  Hermione’s got the answer.  Can’t for the life of you remember the spell to defeat an evil wizard?  Hermione’ll come to the rescue.  She’s the brain behind Dumbledore’s Army’s secret operations, and she even led a whole movement to free the downtrodden and the weak house elf (albeit not that successfully).  And, when dumped (temporarily) by her man, what did she do?  Did she mop around and curl up to die?  No ma’am!  She just kept on with their quest in finding the Horcruxes and even nearly died in the attempt!

Hermy - from fanpop.com

And SHE'S the one who'll do the poking, thank you very much!

 

If you ask me, between the two, which series I’m going to let my children read, I think you should know the answer by now.  Well, maybe I would still let them read the Twilight series, but only as an example of what to stay away from.

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P.S:  I am not saying HP is the best series out there.  This is just strictly a comparison between the two series.

P.S.S:  Below is an example of how to engage in intellectual debate.  Even if it is about two books, great points were made, with evidences and examples to support them.

Let me be evil a bit, but isn’t it weird that the HP team is made up of nerds who excel in logical reasoning, and the Twilight team is , well, formed by girls who uses “like” more often than the times I fart every day?  And I fart, a lot.