Spoiler Alert! If for some crazy reason you have not read the books or seen the movies, you might not want to read any further. Now get out from under your rock and go read them!
So, I have heard so many people making comparisons and drawing parallels between the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series. Having read both series (a few times each) and enjoying both of them immensely, I felt the burning need to compare the two and draw my own parallels and highlight the differences. These compairisons relate to the books only.
First the parallels. Both are series. Both have magical beings and involve keeping the truth about their existence from “normal people” (ie. Humans, muggles)
That’s it. That’s all.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s where the similarities end.
First of all, though I adored Twilight and would recommend it to anyone and will probably read the series through again sometime (or six), overall, I have to say that the Harry Potter series was completely and totally better written than Twilight. Potter was also much better thought out. All you have to do is read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to realize that fact. There was so much throughout the first six books that set the stage for the last book. Rowling took her time. She laid out all seven books and they all connect to each other and they flow so well.
Meyer is a great writer as well, she caused me at the age of 33 to have a slight…okay huge crush on a 17 year old vampire. But I found that the story just sort of flowed through the four books, from beginning to end. There was no looking back while reading Breaking Dawn and realizing that there was a passage in any of the previous books that foreshadowed any event that took place.
I always feel that if a book evokes emotion, it has done its job. Most people on a whole are somewhat visual, therefore crying at the end of a movie is a common thing – especially for me – because we have had the whole story laid at our feet. It didn’t really take any straining to see the story because it was right there. Characters are developed, we see what they look like, how they talk, how they dress, carry themselves, etc. In a book, you must do some of the work yourself. Everything is there for you – if it’s written right – to develop the characters in your mind, and make them your own. If a book is written well enough, it will evoke some kind of emotion within the reader. Any kind of emotion is good.
Both Rowling and Meyer have succeeded in doing this in their novels, though in vastly different ways.
I have experienced so many different types of emotions while reading the Potter series. Between plot and character development, Rowling has made the story come alive through her words. I have never hated a character the way I hate Bellatrix Lestrange. She makes my skin crawl when I read her in the books. Listening to her goad Harry in OOTP in the Ministry scene, imagining her screaming high pitched voice in my head, made me want to reach into the pages and pull her hair out. Rowling also did a great job of this with Delores Umbridge, though for me, not with the intensity that she did with Bellatrix.
When reading a book makes me cry, I feel like the author has done their job. Not that every book I read I want to make me cry, but if it has, I feel like it has made me think, and been descriptive enough for me to know that this was no second rate bit of fiction.
Potter has made me cry. I cried when Dumbledore died. Like really cried. Bawled, in fact. I really didn’t see that one coming. I had to re-read those last few chapters a few times in order to believe that what I read was true.
There were several instances in DH that I let loose. I always loved Hedwig! I know that her death was supposed to symbolize the loss of Harry’s innocence, maybe that’s part of the reason that it affected me so bad. That and how it happened – so quick! Another time where I had to re-read several paragraphs over again until it sank in.
DH was full of tearful moments. Can we say:
Mostly though, the final walk that Harry took out to the forest to meet his fate with Voldemort. Passing Hagrid’s hut, all the memories that went through his mind, knowing that he was going into the forest to die. Bawling, bawling, bawling, through the whole chapter. I think the reason for this is just that Rowling had turned Harry into such a monumental character. Reading all the books, you watch him grow, feel like you’re growing with him. You see his goodness, see his insecurities. Relish in his joy, feel his pain. Losing his parents when he was so young, his burning desire to have them back in his life, it was heartbreaking to watch him look into the Mirror of Erised, to see the glimmer of hope after seeing them in the graveyard in GOF, admitting to Ron and Hermione in DH that the hallow of his choice would be the resurrection stone. You just feel so bad as he takes that walk, because you wonder how this could possibly be the end for him, after he has been through so much.
Twilight made me feel like a teenager again reading it. I enjoyed the story – all four books – it made me laugh in some places, especially where Emmett was involved. Made me swoon in others, always where Edward was involved. I know that this story is far from realistic, but the fact that Bella and Edward were absolutely, totally irrevocably in love with each other after such a short time was a bit for me to swallow.
With Twilight I was able to push aside any parts where I felt like rolling my eyes and just allow myself to get lost in the characters and the plot. It’s a sexy series, the whole vampire thing is easy to get caught up in. How the fundamental properties of Edward’s being makes him a deadly predator, yet the way he lives his life – or should I say his existence is in direct contradiction to that. Just because he is technically a monster doesn’t mean he has to be one. It’s all sort of tragic.
Overall, I loved both series, though I loved Harry Potter leaps and bounds more. Everything about it was just better. Even though it was a lot tamer in the love scene department, it doesn’t change the victory dance that I did in HBP when Harry FINALLY realizes his love for Ginny. Now that is fiction. On a whole other level.