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Keeping the cauldron boiling with a Harry Potter popularity poll

May 17, 2011

J.K. Rowling in Harry glasses.

With no new Harry Potter books coming, ever, U.K. publisher Bloomsbury must be desperate to renew interest in the seven existing titles. Voila! A reader’s poll to find the most popular character in the Potterverse, with J.K. Rowling playing along.

According to the Guardian, Rowling says the character she’d most like to have dinner with is Dumbledore, the kindly but powerful mage and headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

“Now that I have finished writing the books, the character I would most like to meet for dinner is Dumbledore,” Rowling says. “We would have a lot to discuss, and I would love his advice; I think that everyone would like a Dumbledore in their lives.”

But that’s not the same as her favorite character, who Jo reveals to be none other than –ta-da! — Harry himself.  “I believe I am unusual in this, Ron is generally more popular (I love him too, though),” she says.

Uh, Jo, are you sure about that? Ron’s a fine fellow, loyal, brave and true and all that, but Harry’s the freaking hero of the story, for Pete’s sake. Just because Ron lands Hemione, the principle female character, doesn’t mean he’s more charismatic than Harry.

That’s like saying Watson’s more popular than Holmes, or Robin’s got Batman beat, or Jimmy Olson trumps Superman, or Patroclus puts Achilles in the shade, or Falstaff is more popular than Prince Hal, or the Captain bests Gilligan, or Spock tops Kirk…

I predict Harry will win in a walk.

Meanwhile, speaking of Hermione — who I think will come in far ahead of Ron, by the way — Rowling has said in the past that Harry’s brainy gal pal is based at least partly on her own girlhood experience.

“I have often said that Hermione is a bit like me when I was younger,” she writes on her website. “I think I was seen by other people as a right little know-it-all, but I hope that it is clear that underneath Hermione’s swottiness there is a lot of insecurity and a great fear of failure (as shown by her Boggart in Prisoner of Azkaban).”

As a card-carrying contrarian, I consider it my sacred duty to scorn the Big Three and comb among the wealth of additional characters — the poll at the Bloomsbury website allows you to vote among a Top 40. Lessee, lessee…Ah! Here she is.

Although I admire Snape, Sirius Black and the werewolf, Remus Lupin, my true favorite is the relatively minor character Nymphadora Tonks, a grown up witch and Auror whose gifts include, among other things, the ability to change her hair color merely by thinking about it.

I admit my fondness of Nymphadora comes mostly from the appeal of the actress who plays her in the film and involves thoughts not altogether pure that probably ought not be discussed in connection to a children’s book.

I think I just disqualified myself from this game. At least I’m not a creep. According to one Potter fan site, Tonks is 36,  while the Harry Potter Wiki pegs her age at 25. So no Humbert jokes, thank you very much — the obvious Nabokovian connotation of her first name notwithstanding.

But you can still play! So who’s your Potter fave — Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dobby the poor put-upon house elf or Peter Pettigrew, the villain who turns into a rat?

To vote visit Bloomsbury’s Harry Potter page. And share your favorite here with the rest of the class.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2011 11:51 am

    Luna Lovegood, definately… “I enjoyed the meetings too. It was like having friends.”

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      May 17, 2011 2:54 pm

      I admit a bit of fondness for Rita Skeeter, even though she is a lampoon of my profession, if only for the hilarious and onomatopoetic name.

  2. May 17, 2011 12:35 pm

    I like Hermoioe. A bit in all of us. Especially when we were younger. Now not so much as we understand life a bit more as we get even younger.

  3. Vicki permalink
    May 17, 2011 7:37 pm

    I voted for Luna Lovegood, but only by default because I couldn’t cast a vote for Fred-and-George Weasley, which are my favorite character. The stupid poll split them into two and I have no idea which one to vote for. They are interchangeable, a two-in-one character. I can’t tell them apart. But when they show up on the page, I’m always glad because they never ever fail to make me laugh.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      May 17, 2011 9:40 pm

      Don’t you love it when a book’s publisher doesn’t understand some of its best parts?

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