Journalist From 'The Irish Times' Considers Harry Potter A "Bad Role Model" For Kids

Journalist From 'The Irish Times' Considers Harry Potter A "Bad Role Model" For Kids

Monday mornings aren't the greatest part of anyone's week. However, I did not expect to see the title  "Harry Potter: Is There A Less Appealing Fictional Character?". The article, written by Ed Power, considers HP to be a "bad role model" and, perhaps, the epitome of a millennial.

A millennial, in Power's words, is viewed as "sensitive to the touch and arguably has a greater tendency to see the world in black and white. Who better embodies this outlook than our very special Harry?"Although Power may consider me 'triggered', another supposed aspect of millennial culture, I have to disagree about Potter.

Firstly, we'd appreciate if there were fewer comparisons of Ron Weasley and Ed Sheeran in the world.

Imagine being trapped on a slow train from Platform 9¾ with Hermione Granger and Ed Sheeran-prototype Ron Weasley? Twenty minutes in and you would be ready to swear fealty to Voldemort for life.

Perhaps the biggest issue I have with Power's piece is his assumption that Harry Potter isn't a hero. Harry, in Power's words, is a whining millennial a "striving nobody, ascending to greatness through toil and humility".

...He has no winning attributes yet, having escaped the ghastly clutches of his working-class English family (a slur against the toiling masses for which middle-class Rowling has never endured any pushback), is fawned over endlessly.

Overcoming adversity is what the Harry Potter and the HP series is all about. It's not a millennial guide for wanting the world to consider you special. Obviously, Power has never read the Harry Potter books to completion. Any fan of the books knows Harry never once wants to be considered special or have greatness thrust upon him. Much like the Millennials that are considered "spoilt" or overly "protected", Harry wants nothing more than to live in a safe space, spend time with his friends, find love, finish his education and follow a career path that suits his interests. What's so bad about that?


In reference to Lord of the Rings, Power draws similarities between Sam Gamgee and Harry that do not make sense.Don't get me wrong, Sam Wise Gamgee is a crucial sidekick to the ring bearer Frodo Baggins and his return to Hobbiton and family life is well deserved after the treachery of Mordor. With that being said, family life for Sam Gamgee and for Harry Potter are entirely different ends of the spectrum. Harry literally struggles to find a home from birth until the end of the final book. His family and home are destroyed, he lives with the Dursleys who detest him daily and he spends the remainder of his teens fighting an evil that does not entirely make sense all whilst trying to find some notion of what a home is, not a resemblance of a home, considering Harry never has one, to begin with, and Sam does (book Sam).

Power's main question throughout the article is whether or not you should issue your family into the "Cult of Harry". Should you allow your child to feel that they are special or born for greatness? Yes, introduce your children to the world of Harry Potter - a world full of endless possibilities, and, dare I say, magic.

Let us not forget that the world of Harry Potter and JK Rowling's ability to deal with LGBT and mental health issues from the get-go was unfathomable in a children's story. Not only did the Dementors symbolize mental health issues but the lovable Dumbledore was a gay man whose sexuality did not need to be at the center of his storyline.

Yes, Harry might annoy you, but he or the Harry Potter universe is definitely not a bad role model in a world full of Trumps.

Also Read: The Trailer For Netflix's Latest Hit Show Will Be Of Special Interest To Irish Viewers

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Garret Farrell

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