Posted by: Amelia | July 12, 2007

The Redemption of Harry Potter: Epilogue

I think I will see the Order of the Phoenix film tonight at the Uptown. No doubt many of the details I mentioned in yesterday’s essay will be cut; at 2 hours and 18 minutes, the fifth film is actually the shortest of the series. Almost certain to be cut is a tiny, throwaway detail that marked another positive development of Book 5. At the beginning of the book, Harry is moping around at the Dursley’s house. He has plenty of reasons to be upset, one of which is the still-recent death of fellow student Cedric Diggory. When Harry briefly mentions Cedric to his cousin Dudley, Dudley disparagingly asks if Cedric is Harry’s boyfriend.

Why is it a positive development that the only time the Harry Potter series even alludes to homosexuality it is through a homophobic sneer? Well, it’s all relative. I’m hard-pressed to think of any popular works of fiction aimed at youngsters that even acknowledge the existence of homosexuality. So often when writers imagine a sci-fi or fantasy universe, the gays have mysteriously disappeared. A denizen of Middle Earth or the starship Enterprise would never insinuate a sexual relationship between two men because the whole concept of same-sex attraction is absent (on the surface, anyway – homoerotic subtext is quite a different matter). Book 5 confirmed that the concept does at the very least exist in the Harry Potter universe. And by having the insult come from the mouth of a noted bully and bigot, Rowling gives tacit disapproval to homophobia. Now if only she were brave enough to have included a gay character or two – wouldn’t THAT cause some book-burning parties!

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Responses

  1. For the record… that scene is in the movie… almost everything else is cut though.

  2. I thought that the movie was done fairly well, compared to the fourth. I went to see it at the IMAX in 3-D. It would definitely be worth goin to see it again in 3-D if you get the chance.


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