Why So Many People Hate James Potter and Love Snape-Meta
So I’ve been mulling over lately why so many people hate James Potter, and here’s all I can think about: The movies literally erase every positive thing the dude did, show the worst thing he did, and never mention that he changed. (I’ll get to Snape in a minute)
- For example, James becoming an Animagi and risking prison for Remus. Not to mention the books bring up that “Animagus transformations can go horribly wrong, which is why the Ministry keeps tabs on wizards attempting it.” Implying that he risked disfiguration for Remus.
- James’ general loyalty to his friend is never brought up, such as Remus telling Harry in DH he’s “A lot like James” because James never would have believed a friend would betray him.
- In GOF, Hagrid mentions that Harry did by surviving, giving witness, and bringing back Cedric “as much as James would have done.”
- Harry has a line in the shrieking shack that he’s only saving Wormtail because “His dad wouldn’t have wanted his friends to become killers for Wormtail.”
- The bullying scene with Snape is shown, but the movies do not show the scene with Remus and Sirius telling Harry that James changed.
- Although the movies do show James in the Order, his hatred of the Dark Arts is never mentioned.
I’ve also been thinking about why people love Snape, and refuse to acknowledge his complexity as a character, and it hit me while I reread POA last week: Snape’s worst scenes are left out of the movies:
- In the books, Snape tries to poison a 13 year old’s pet toad.
- His fascination with the Dark Arts is incredibly downplayed.
- The scene were Hermione’s teeth are enlarged, and Snape says “I see no difference” is left out.
- The Prince’s Tale totally leaves out the part where Snape tells Dumbledore he told Voldemort to spare Lily, but not Harry and James. The movies erased that he basically didn’t care about the fate of a baby.
There so much more I could include, but I’m sure you get the gist–James’ character was assisinated in the films, and Snape’s was glorifed, doing both of those complex characters an exetreme injustice, either leaving them with no redeeming qualities, in James’ case, or downplaying flaws, in the case of Snape. Neither option allowing for rounded out characters.