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Rape, sex reassigment, bestiality — should Harry Potter be slapped with an X-rating?

September 6, 2011

Well, hello there, Jo...

I thought (hoped!) I had written about Harry Potter for the last time, but now some wise guy claims to have found seriously dirty sex scenes in J.K. Rowling’s children’s fantasy series, and unlike the fundamentalists spying Satanism under every Hogwarts stone, he’s right.

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My skepticism going into this was extreme. First, the story is found at Cracked.com, the website for the venerable humor comic book I’d always, growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, considered a second-rate imitation of Mad magazine. Then I saw the title of the piece, “The Five Most Depraved Sex Scenes Implied by ‘Harry Potter.'”

Implied? Implied? Implication is in the eye — or the dirty mind — of the beholder, and, despite my admiration for the use of that slightly old-fashioned word “depraved” (oooh!), I prepared myself for some tired and tiresome foolishness. And yet by the time I got through the analysis of the first implied depravity, I had to admit this guy had done his homework.

“This guy” is Jacopo Della Quercia, who sounds like a character out of Pinocchio, or a (heh-heh) 14th-century Italian sculptor.  I say “heh-heh” because there really was an important Renaissance sculptor by the name of Jacopo Della Quercia, so I assume this is a pen name.

In any case, not only has he read the Potter books closely, but he’s familiarized himself with the relevant mythology Rowling makes use of in each X-rated instance. For example, Della Quercia opens with the claim that villainous Dolores Umbridge, who certainly merits all kinds of come-uppance, is gang raped by centaurs.

What? I don’t remember that scene, in either the book or the movie. But Della Quercia reminds that at the climax of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Umbridge, who has been up to all kinds of fascistic mischief as temporary headmistress at Hogwarts, is seen being dragged into the woods by a band of centaurs.

“What you have to realize is that there’s a reason Rowling made sure it was centaurs who snatched Umbridge, rather than any of the countless other dangerous creatures in the forest (like the giant spiders),” Della Quercia notes. Why? Because in classical Greek mythology, “Centaurs rape human women— that’s what they do, that’s a central part of their mythology.”

Della Quercia goes on to cite some pretty persuasive examples, leaving me to admit: The guy is right!

While none of the other examples carry quite the punch of this one — Della Quercia notes that when we next see Umbridge, she’s clearly suffering post traumatic shock — they are equally convincing: “Magical date rape drugs are legal and sold in the open;” “Polyjuice potion and gender sex reassignment;” “Dumbledore’s brother got busted for bestiality;” and “Hagrid’s father banged a giant.”

If you don’t believe me, read Della Quercia’s explanations for yourself.

But two caveats: First, these are frank, adult discussions of the implications involved in Rowling’s clever manipulation of mythology, both classical and her own invention. I’d say: No one under 12.

Second, the page is full of links to other Cracked features, like “5 Major Cities That Are Going to be Destroyed,” or “6 Mind-blowing Ways Zombies and Vampires Explain America,” “6 Terrifying Sci-Fi Predictions (About the Year 1997).” I can tell you from hard experience, these tend to be well-researched and funny and can result in more lost time than an alien abduction.

Back to Potter: What does all this mean for the devoted Harry Potter reader? Well, for this adult reader, who drank the Kool-aid at about the third book, it can only deepen my admiration for Rowling’s genius.

As Della Quercia proves, Rowling obviously knew exactly what she was up to, sex-wise, in each of these cases. She rolled this fairly detailed sexual content into the story in such a skillful way that no child — and not every adult — will tumble to it, leaving the Harry Potter series as that rarest of achievements, a literary work that functions equally well as a thorough-going children’s entertainment and a fully adult work of art.

 

 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2011 8:11 am

    giant earthquake california##

  2. November 24, 2011 5:34 pm

    Never read anything so far-fetched and ridiculous in my whole life. If you look far enough in to most works of literature you can find unintended descriptions, people can twist all sorts round to their ideas ‘when we next see Umbridge, she’s clearly suffering post traumatic shock’. No, she’s not. If you actually had done your research and knew the symptoms of post-traumatic shock you would find that you are quite wrong in suggesting this. Some people are truly pathetic.

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