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Harry Potter and the Stolen Plot Devices 'Coincidence'... yeah, right.

#1 User is offline   Helena Icon

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 01:59 PM

This had occured to me in the past, but I'd never really thought about it before now. The basic plot of the Harry Potter series:

An orphan boy, brought up in humble surroundings by his aunt and uncle, dreams of freedom and escape. Unexpectedly he discovers that he has special powers and needs to be trained in their use. His new mentor, a kindly but secretive old man, also tells him that his relatives have been lying about his parents' death - they were actually murdered by a powerful Dark Lord, a former pupil of his who turned to evil.

The boy sets out to fulfill his destiny by defeating the Dark Lord, only to see his mentor murdered by the forces of evil. He is aided in his quest by two companions - one male, one female - who end up romantically involved with each other.

Sound familiar? wink.gif
QUOTE
The sandpeople had women and children. We know this because Anakin killed them how could he tell? The children might be smaller but I never saw a sandperson with breasts. Did they hike their skirts and show him some leg or something?

QUOTE
Also, I can see the point of wanting to kidnap a human and use her as a slave, but they didn't. They tied her to a flimsy easel for a month. It's assumed they had to feed and give her water. What for? Was she purely ornamental? I can understand them wanting the droids, you can sell those for a lot of money, but a chick who's only skills are finding non-existand mushrooms and getting randomly pregnant, you're not going to get much.

- J m HofMarN on the Sand People
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#2 User is offline   Storm Icon

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 07:35 PM

Yes, that thought occured to me as well.

I think it would be hilarious if in Book Seven there was some event which turned Harry into a dark wizard. A scene might be like this:

SCENE ONE

VOLDEMORT: First I want you to go to Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Eliminate all wizards. Do what must be done, Lord Potter. Do not hesistate, show no mercy. Only then will you be strong enough to see your parents again.

HARRY: Yes, my master.


SCENE TWO
Harry is marching up the stairs into Hogwarts. At least 200 death eaters are following behind him.


SCENE THREE
Harry enters the Griffyndor Common Room. Several frightened first year students are awake and relieved to see Harry.

YOUNG WIZARD: Harry. There are too many of them. What are we to do?

HARRY: AVADA KEDAVRA!

This post has been edited by Storm: 30 October 2005 - 07:35 PM

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#3 User is offline   Zatoichi Icon

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 11:31 PM

And it took her what, 10 years to write it. That's just lazy if you ask me, esp. if you rip something else off tongue.gif
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#4 User is offline   Lord Aquaman Icon

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Posted 31 October 2005 - 07:44 AM

I think it's one of those "hero journey" plot devices that have been around for ages - long before Harry Potter or even Star Wars came along. Star Wars was undoubtedly ripping off someone else (or a number of someone elses).
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I'd like a qui-gon jinn please with an obi-wan to go.
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#5 User is offline   Helena Icon

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Posted 31 October 2005 - 07:54 AM

It was a joke, obviously (though I still think Rowling's books are very far from being either original or good). But the number of similarities you can find is amusing.

All we need now is "Harry, I am your father..."

This post has been edited by Helena: 31 October 2005 - 07:58 AM

QUOTE
The sandpeople had women and children. We know this because Anakin killed them how could he tell? The children might be smaller but I never saw a sandperson with breasts. Did they hike their skirts and show him some leg or something?

QUOTE
Also, I can see the point of wanting to kidnap a human and use her as a slave, but they didn't. They tied her to a flimsy easel for a month. It's assumed they had to feed and give her water. What for? Was she purely ornamental? I can understand them wanting the droids, you can sell those for a lot of money, but a chick who's only skills are finding non-existand mushrooms and getting randomly pregnant, you're not going to get much.

- J m HofMarN on the Sand People
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#6 User is offline   xenduck Icon

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Posted 31 October 2005 - 10:00 AM

thank you, thats what ive been trying to tell HP fans for years. i laughed out loug when i read the first book.
pretty much anything is a copy of something else: for example, byron once criticized goethe for ripping off one of shakespear's sonets, to which goethe replied, "wehter i have taken it from life or from a book, that's all the same; what matters is merely that i should have used it well...why should i exert myself to invent one of my own, when shakespear's was just right and said just what was needed?"

of course lucas was borrowing old motifs, what writer isnt? but i read see lucas speaking openly about his influences all the time; kurosawa, campbell, jung and such, copola and even goethe himself. thats why the borrowing doesnt bother me, he acknowledges it, embraces it. but what about rowling? i admit, i havent read any interviews, but has she spoken about her influences? and even if she did, what matters is that the books suck, they are not done well.
and of course, there are any number of rip offs, not just lucas's, like the giant spiders and the grim reaper looking dude are right outta LOTR. its no wonder her books are so popular, she has stolen from hundreds of years of classic literature.

This post has been edited by xenduck: 31 October 2005 - 10:02 AM

Officer! officer! quick! all my money was stolen by a man in flannel!
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#7 User is offline   Despondent Icon

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Posted 31 October 2005 - 10:45 PM

I was sitting around a campfire the other night and the SW PT came up. One fellow, my age or a little older and full of sh!t was going off about how George Lucas and Joseph Campbell had spent so much time practicing fellatio on each other...

...So I burst in, shouting at the guy, "They should have spent less time (expletives) and more time on the (expletive) prequels!

I'm usually not that brash with strangers.

The debate continued, and I felt like I was bullying up on the guy.

So that's what it feels like.

QUOTE
(Helena) though I still think Rowling's books are very far from being either original or good
tongue.gif
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#8 User is offline   barend Icon

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Posted 31 October 2005 - 10:48 PM

the HP stuff steals heavily from LOTR too... (as did SW:OT)

also i saw a preview for Brothers Grim. look's like they've taken their plot straight from the Three Amigos.
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#9 User is offline   WalkingCarpet Icon

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 11:15 AM

QUOTE (barend @ Nov 1 2005, 04:48 AM)
also i  saw a preview for Brothers Grim. look's like they've taken their plot straight from the Three Amigos.


Surely you're not suggesting that's a bad thing?!? biggrin.gif
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#10 User is offline   StarWarsIsUs Icon

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 06:32 PM

There are parallels. Harry Potter is a good series, guys. These days, its hard to come up with something completely original. JK Rowling did a fair enough job.
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#11 User is offline   Storm Icon

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 11:45 PM

I'd say she did a good enough job up to the sixth book. The Half Blood Prince was just totally dull. And I'm just waiting for the totally unrealistic situation in the 7th book where Harry Potter defeats Lord Voldemort in a 1 on 1 duel.
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#12 User is offline   barend Icon

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 08:55 PM

QUOTE (WalkingCarpet @ Nov 1 2005, 11:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Surely you're not suggesting that's a bad thing?!? biggrin.gif


no, that made me want to see it more.
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Posted 10 November 2005 - 09:04 PM

QUOTE (Storm @ Nov 1 2005, 09:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd say she did a good enough job up to the sixth book. The Half Blood Prince was just totally dull. And I'm just waiting for the totally unrealistic situation in the 7th book where Harry Potter defeats Lord Voldemort in a 1 on 1 duel.

At first I thougth Rowling jumped the shark with book 2, but then she rebounded with book 3, and then books 4 and 5 were just really overlong and then there was that whole prophecy crap in #5. Book 6 was okay, though the only exceptional part was.... I'm not saying for those who haven't read it.
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I'd like a qui-gon jinn please with an obi-wan to go.
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#14 User is offline   SouthernRonin Icon

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 01:48 PM

QUOTE
the HP stuff steals heavily from LOTR too... (as did SW:OT)



Yeah, but if you look back at it, LOTR steals from old Anglo-Saxon and Nordic mythology. A lot of what you see in LOTR has already been done before, but the authors have been dead too long for us to remember it. Tolkien was an Oxford scholar and a master of languages. He had generations of material to pull from. Even something as simple as his famed languages are based on real ones: I mean, "Shilob" comes from "Shi" and "lob", both words for "spider" in different languages. Major borrowing.

To be honest, and I know it's been said before, but there aren't a lot of great stories that DON'T borrow from great stories of the past. That's not a mark against them, because crafting these stories in a fresh way is still a remarkable skill. If everyone could do it, they would.

This post has been edited by SouthernRonin: 30 November 2005 - 01:49 PM

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 04:17 PM

QUOTE
At first I thougth Rowling jumped the shark with book 2, but then she rebounded with book 3, and then books 4 and 5 were just really overlong and then there was that whole prophecy crap in #5. Book 6 was okay, though the only exceptional part was.... I'm not saying for those who haven't read it.


DUMBLEDORE DIES!

It was pretty much already stated anyway: just trying to bring feelings out into the open guys. Let's be OPEN about the truth. cool.gif HEheeehee
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