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James Potter ( Harry's dad) - what an odious character

(53 Posts)
shoppingbagsundereyes Tue 25-Mar-14 07:00:15

Reading the Order of the Phoenix with ds and really struggling with what a nasty bully Harry's dad is. Does he redeem himself in later books?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 25-Mar-14 07:08:51

I don't remember him being a bully. What did he do?

DrankSangriaInThePark Tue 25-Mar-14 07:11:47

Total bully. He bullied Snape, Viva.

He was utterly vile. I've said all along that he is another of JK's characters (along with Dumbledore) that is just wrong.

And Lily (who was as drippy as bloody Ginny from what little we learn about her, complete waste of pages) would IRL and in my head, have run for the hills with Snape, or at least Sirius rather than nasty nasty James Potter.

InspirationFailed Tue 25-Mar-14 07:18:00

I've always thought James was a bully and an idiot, I've never thought much of Sirius either, he was still a bully even all those years later, he was irresponsible, hot headed and smug. I don't like Lily Potter, how cruel was she to Snape! She watches James and co bully her best friend for years, the drops Snape as soon as he puts a foot wrong even though he begs forgiveness and is truly sorry, and runs off with the man who makes his life hell. Then he has to spend his entire life protecting her son, who looks like the bloke that made his life hell (and has no respect for the rules, doesn't listen and is a little sod) risks his life every day and - I won't finish the sentence seeing as you haven't finished reading the books! But it's no wonder Snape is bitter!

Plus he has to work for Dumbledore - a man who adored James Potter and co, took their side over everything and uses Lily Potter as a guilt stick to beat him with constantly. I'm not a Dumbledore fan - why the hell would you hide a philosophers stone in a school? That's just asking for troubd - why not transfigure it into something and hide it in a secret kept house? And he left an innocent baby with abusive careers - did he ever check up on him or make sure he was ok? It wouldn't have taken much to make sure he had decent clothes, food and a proper place to sleep, he could've used magic to ensure a Harry couldn't be hit etc

tribpot Tue 25-Mar-14 07:29:25

Lupin felt bitterly ashamed about the way they'd treated Snape at school - although bear in mind he was no saint himself. Sirius was too arrogant to be able to accept he'd got it wrong, esp as he despised Snape as a Death Eater. James Potter, though, was a bit of a non-character by comparison - I wonder if Rowling found him and Lily difficult to write because she lost both her parents in adulthood; her mother died in 1990 and she and her father haven't spoken in about 10 years according to Wikipedia.

I suppose as a plot device, Snape was only ever meant to be redeemed in death, which implies he had to be wronged in life.

I think Neville's parents sound far more interesting than the Potters - and Neville himself more interesting than Harry. Somewhat the fate of the hero to be the least interesting character (cf Luke Skywalker).

As to keeping Harry with the Dursleys, it was necessary in one of those don't-prod-the-logic-too-hard ways of Rowling magic that he remain with blood relatives, or the Weasleys would have taken him in like a shot.

Hogwarts is part school, part fortress, with old magic that is never fully explained. I don't think keeping Fluffy there was the smartest plan, would fail a risk assessment that's for sure, but also where Dumbledore was strongest.

DebbieOfMaddox Tue 25-Mar-14 07:38:05

Part of the point of it is that Harry idolises his parents and his dad in particular. Learning that he had feet of clay and that no one is as unequivocally great as Harry had built him up to be in his imagination is an important part of Harry's growing up in the books.

IIRC we only see the schoodays from Snape's point of view, so James probably had some redeeming features.

OsMalleytheCat Tue 25-Mar-14 07:57:04

Erm....mercilessly bullied....we see one or two incidents in which James is horrible to Snape and one of them was a result of calling lily a mudblood which is akin to calling someone the n word so of course lily dropped him!

Also James and the marauders may have had their flaws particularly when it came to Snape, but the comparison....bullying your peers when you are 11-17 or bullying being a TEACHER and bullying your brand new to the wizarding world 11 year old students!!

Also say what you like about James but he tried to protect Lily and Harry from the most powerful dark wizard in the world without his wand.

Sorry bit of a potterhead.

OsMalleytheCat Tue 25-Mar-14 08:08:15

Also (sorry but....)

There's a passage in one of the books when Harry asks Sirius something like "but how did they get together she seemed to really hate him" (talking about James and lily-after lily had been shouting at James trying to protect Snape...presumably not a one off!)
And Sirius replies something like "they got together in our 6th year when James had grown up a bit and stopped being such a tool"

So James did grow out of it.

InspirationFailed Tue 25-Mar-14 08:09:21

I think Dumbledore failed Snape massively, he was abused at home by his father, he was disadvantaged and wore clothes that were shabby, had a difficult time in school, it's no wonder that he turned to the death eaters, after spending his life feeling so powerless against those who hurt him and looked down to him it must have been a massive temptation, especially being in Slytherin and being judged right from his first day in Hogwarts.

I think Dumbledore is very manipulative, raising Harry as a sacrifice, keeping information to himself, he knew he was dying and still didn't give Harry any more than a vague hint of what needed to be done.

InspirationFailed Tue 25-Mar-14 08:11:46

I like Hermione, feel sorry for her being married off to Ron though

OsMalleytheCat Tue 25-Mar-14 08:18:52

What!? No! Hermione needs Ron....she's too tightly wound she needs someone who will make her relax.

DrankSangriaInThePark Tue 25-Mar-14 08:20:29

The Weasleys, Ginny aside, are well written, as are the Longbottoms.

I remember going oooooooooh, when it was revealed that it could actually have been Neville who was the subject of Trelawney's prophecy.

It is a shame that JK felt impelled to churn out huge doorstops one after the other (presumably to satisfy a) the film companies and b) to keep up with her original (and clever, but ultimately unworkable) idea of following a generation of readers through high school with 7 books one after the other keeping in with her readers' ages. If she had taken more time, and realised that quality is to be prized over quantity, then I don't think there would be the gaping plot developments and poorly written characters.

The Chamber of Secrets- my absolute favourite, is a teeny book in comparison with the later ones, and it's perfect.

My Room 101 characters are: Ginny, Cho Chang, Tonks, Lily'n'James, Dumbledore and erm, Harry himself. But that has more to do with the plank of wood that goes by the name of Daniel Radcliffe. His Nimbus 2000 has more varied facial expressions than he does.

InspirationFailed Tue 25-Mar-14 11:34:57

I think Hermione needs someone who she isn't constantly having to teach, Ron is quidditch obsessed, she needs someone she could have a proper conversation with, who has table manners and doesn't sulk for months over stupid things. I think she would get sick of him once the exciting stuff has died down.

I've read to much fanfic that puts her with Snape

I love the Hermione/Draco fanfic, I think they would be really good together, once he got over his pure blood thing. He was on the right side in the end.

NigellasDealer Tue 25-Mar-14 11:38:51


DrankSangriaInThePark Tue 25-Mar-14 13:00:52

Did you say something Nigella? You appear to have dropped a sugary snack there?

Draco was a good character (in the sense of being well written) but the best of all was Bellatrix.

And HBC was fabulous.

BobbyGentry Tue 25-Mar-14 13:20:29

James Potter and Snape are diametrically opposed, they create an hour glass shaped composition where the reader begins thinking James is good and Snape is bad then finishes with the reader's opinion completely turned over. Without Lilly's eyes, Snape would have never shown the best of himself.

Nocomet Tue 25-Mar-14 13:27:33

James was the school 'queen bee' they always have good and bad points as Debbie says learning this is part of Harry growing up and moving away from totally hero worshiping his dad.

Dumbuldore is well aware of James' failings and snake back story, but to tell Harry would have endangered him and Snape.

Also Snape would have put an evil curse on Dumboledore, because he genuinely doesn't much like Harry. (Or students in general).

I suspect JK had a very grumpy chemistry master.

NigellasDealer Tue 25-Mar-14 13:36:28

You appear to have dropped a sugary snack there
oops silly me!

InspirationFailed Tue 25-Mar-14 13:45:23

She really was perfect for the part, I thought Alan Rickman played Snape really well too.

InspirationFailed Tue 25-Mar-14 13:48:00

I always felt a bit sorry for Peter Pettigrew too, not much mind. Could they not have used Lupin for a secret keeper because he was a werewolf?

StabInTheDark Tue 25-Mar-14 14:14:39

I love book Ginny! She's feisty and full of spirit and constantly rebelling against the 'baby of the family' label. And I can totally see why Harry would love her.

film Ginny on the other hand... dull dull dull sad

shoppingbagsundereyes Tue 25-Mar-14 14:37:12

Pleased to hear he grows out of it. Will remind ds how he risks his own life to protect Harry. Ds is only 7 and thoroughly enjoys the story but has found some of the social/ emotional stuff difficult to handle. He knows it is wrong to tease other children and is really upset that Harry's dad does that to Snape.
Agree about how Snape was failed by his school. The teachers all do very little to protect the children from Umbridge too.

tribpot Tue 25-Mar-14 14:50:08

I can see why Rowling has questioned her own decision to have Ron and Hermione end up together. I could see Ron becoming an awesome SAHP like Molly Weasley whilst Hermione zooms around being high powered and amazing.

I don't get the impression they ever really liked Pettigrew, just let him tag along with them because he hero-worshipped James and Sirius. Seems odd they would therefore trust him over Lupin.

HBC and Rickman were indeed both amazing. If they had played Lily and James, a spin-off called 'Hogwarts: the Early Years' would be much more appealing!

DrankSangriaInThePark Tue 25-Mar-14 15:10:52

Peter Pettigrew is bad casting. There is no way that group of cool blokes would have had Barroy from Auf Weidersehen as their mate. Much less trusted him with the secret.

David Tennant would have been better as PP, and TS as BCJ.

I may have over thought this over the years grin

Thumbwitch Tue 25-Mar-14 15:19:13

But he looked far more like a rat, or possibly a fat hamster, then David Tennant does, DrankSangria.

James Potter was an arrogant arse at school, but apparently did grow out of it in time for Lily to decide he was ok.
She was ok, stuck up for Snape up until he turned on her and called her a mudblood as well, then she left him to his bitterness.

I always get the feeling that, despite the apparent timeline of the books, they were actually set in the 1950s, when school bullying would pretty much have been the norm - "character building", dontcha know. And come to that, home bullying/abuse wasn't that uncommon either.

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