harry and uma are friends: a scene analysis
aka why you’re wrong about harry solely being around uma because she’s a “tyrant” and he’s a “brainwashed follower.”
i also thought of calling this “did you leave the room when uma rescued harry from the shark infested waters instead of going after mal?” or “uma brings harry food as soon as he steps in the door of her mother’s restaurant” but im not because im gonna focus on harry here.
harry cares about uma. not solely as a leader (“tell ‘em whose in charge so they dont forget”), but as a person and a friend. he doesnt want to see her upset like any normal friend would. not once do we ever see him tremble or appear intimidated by her. not once do we see him actually get scared when she gives him directions, i.e, when she tells him to stop taunting ben and leave him be. she does this twice when they’re on their ship. she tells him more forcefully the second time after she says she wants to talk to ben alone and his expression doesnt change once.
disney movies are pretty explicit about showing this power imbalance - henchman clearly terrified of the villains they work for - and none of that is displayed in uma and harry’s dynamic. like at all. “but uma’s so toxic!” the voices shout.
lets travel to some of the first scenes on the isle with uma, harry, and gil where mal is first brought up. mal’s on tv and uma is irritated. she takes food from harry’s tray which he doesnt mind her doing and she throws it at the screen. he laughs and uma calls her a poser. harry says shes a traitor. keep in mind, he says this completely unprompted! but uma has to tell the whole crew to join in and then they throw food at the tv.
“that little traitor who left us in the dirt.” - uma
“who turned her back on evil.” - harry
gil opens his mouth, “who said you weren’t big or bad enough to join her gang.”
bringing up the shrimpy nickname? thats fightin’ words. harry is maaaad. uma goes to hold harry back without even looking at him. she knows he’s gonna react, so she signals for him to *ahem* let it go.
(anybody remember the hyenas going to bat for scar? those two dudes standing up for cruella? no? hmm.)
mere seconds later, uma huffs at gil and turns back to harry telling him, “that snooty little witch who grabbed everything she wanted and left me nothing.” they proceed to stand there after that, staring at each other, while gil talks. neither of them are paying attention to him at all. neither even acknowledge him.
it appears harry’s trying to take uma’s mind off of the anger and hurt mal caused her just through his stare and it works for a second or two (look at her face. does she look mad anymore?) until their attention slides…
“…said that you could have the shrimpy shovel.”
and uma immediately turns to gil in annoyance:
even harry turns around irritated by gil (note: he doesnt speak to jonas, just quickly turns) because right after uma speaks to gil, he turns back around to talk to uma. to try to make her feel better. again. (it doesnt actually work because she’s got more ambitious goals but my point still stands.)
all of which is perfectly in canon with harry’s characterization from the books. here are some samples from it, rise of the isle of the lost, because i am a ho for using more than one source to support my pov if its available:
“MAL! you dont always get to win!” uma screamed in fury.
“i think she just did,” said gil. “didn’t she?”
“shut up, gil,” said harry, sighing as he put his black tricorn hat back on his head.
“listen, we might not have the trident, and we might not have a way off this island,” said harry. “but we’ve got a serious crew here.”
uma looked around at the pirates on the ship - desiree, jonas, bonny, even gonzo. they were hers. a real crew.
“we’ve got a lot to do,” said harry. “so much trouble to start, eh?” he slung an arm around uma, and another around gil.
[…] because harry was right. they might not have much, but they were each a part of a crew. and on the isle of the lost, that was more than something - it was everything.
“one day, when those bore-adon snobs least expect it, we’ll pounce,” promised harry. “they’ll make a mistake, maybe even wander into the wrong neighborhood. fall into our net! and you know what we’ll do then!” he said, making a slashing motion across his neck with his hook.
“um, what will we do?” wondered gil.
“we’ll have our revenge,” uma declared, her eyes glittering with malice. “mark my words. this isn’t the end of our story. its only the beginning.”
would someone who is only there out of fear
or bitterness do or say anything i mentioned above? of course not! he doesnt act scared because he’s not. they are real friends! each other’s oldest friend on the isle, as a matter of fact. its genuine canon. miss me with that “the books arent canon” comments i keep seeing when uma and harry’s friendship is brought up. if thats the case, then why does disney clearly base the movie’s sequel off of the events of the book?
harry is first mate of uma’s crew because he wants to be. he wants to be there. that’s all there is to it.