Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings  [Indexed]

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Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings  [Indexed]

Postby gib88 » October 23rd, 2015, 11:50 pm


I'm new here. I wanted to do a comparison between the Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings series. I asked if this was acceptable in my intro and everyone seemed to think it was fine. The only trouble is, I'm not 100% sure where it should go. It was a toss up between here and the Hog's Head (please move this if it's in the wrong place).

Anyway, here are the top similarities that I've seen so far between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings:

1) Gandolf vs. Dumbledore - Old wizards with flowing white beards and grey hair. Spiritual/intellectual leaders of all the other characters in a sense.

2) Protagonist almost an exemplar of the "Good" - Harry Potter--risks his life to go back into the flames to save Draco, his enemy, from death. Frodo Baggins--Elrond speaks of Frodo: “The Hobbit has shown extraordinary resistance to its evil.” And both are fated to face an incredible evil all on their own.

3) The ring is a horcrux - Literally! The ring in Lord of the Rings is literally possessed by Lord Sauron's soul, just as the horcrux's are possessed by 1/7th of Lord Voldemort's soul (in fact, one of the horcruxes in Harry Potter is a ring!)

4) Lord Voldemort vs. Lord Sauron - like the motifs of the ultimate "good" that Harry Potter and Frodo represent, Lord Voldemort and Lord Sauron seem to represent the ultimate "evil".

5) Wearing the ring/horcrux as a necklace - the theme of carrying the necklace, representing the burden, is very prominent in both series, and once again, we see the ring literally being the weight of that burden at least in Lord of the Rings. In Harry Potter, the horcrux is a necklace, at least for a while. After Harry, Hermione, and Ron get the Locket from Umbridge, Harry wears it (until it is destroyed) as a necklace. And wearing it seems to allow some of the evil to ooze into the main character in both stories. Imperfection in this comparison: the Locket is not a ring.

6) The Wraiths vs. the Dementors - Just in terms of their looks.

7) Death and Resurrection - Harry Potter must die and come back to life in order to beat Lord Voldemort. Gandolf must die and come back to life in order to beat Sarumon (by way of exorcising him from King Theoden). Imperfection in this comparison: In the Harry Potter series, it is the main character who must die in order to vanquish his nemesis, whereas in Lord of the Rings, it is a secondary character who must die in order to vanquish his nemesis (is it fair to say that Sarumon is Gandolf's nemisis? Lord Sauron is already spoken for by Frodo). Interestingly, each antagonist in each of the series also has gone through death and resurrection. But in their case, the entire series begins with that having already happened, whereas for the "good guys" (I'm not going to say "protagonists" since as I just pointed out, that is not a common element), it is the climatic challenge they are destined to face.

8) Sidekicks - Both series feature a "lesser" character that acts as a "sidekick" to the main character--In Potter's case, that's Dobby, and in Frodo's case, that's Golem. <-- In the latter case, one might even say a "sickly" character. I would say that both have "masters", but again, there is an imperfection in this comparison--whereas Golem calls Frodo master, Dobby is a "free elf". He did have a master at one point, but it wasn't Potter, it was Lucius. But there remains this "lesser" character in both series who serve "masters". (I don't see where Sam fits into this as he definitely shouldn't be overlooked as a "sidekick"--I don't even think it's fair to call him Ron's equivalent since their characters are too different).

9) Wicked beards - Not just between Gandolf and Dumbledore, but between Gimli and Hagart. Just an observation. Though I don't think there is anything to this, I do think it's interesting that whereas Gimli is one of the shorter characters in the series, Hagart is one of the taller.

10) J. R. R. Tolkien vs J. K. Rowling - OK, this one's a stretch, but you can refer to them both as J.R. (and their last names sound kinda sorta the same).

Are these just coincidences or is there something to them. I think there's something to them, but I don't think it's some eerie hocus-pocus magic, I think that Rowlings was simply inspired by the Lord of the Rings series and got many of her ideas from that. I've done the same thing myself when writing stories. My best friend, when we were kids, made fun of my space saga story since it had so many obvious elements taken from Star Trek. So it happens. It's not that uncommon.

"The world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters. We have all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the power we choose to act on. That's who we really are."
- Sirius Black

"What is life without a risk?"
- Sirius Black

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