On Harry Potter – Shipping and Favourites

This has been sitting in my drafts for a while now, and I’m not entirely sure why. I’m pretty sure that it was extrapolated from a favourite Harry Potter book survey, and possibly a discussion about fanfiction vs. canon. The opinions I have here still stand true to what I believe, so I’m posting it 🙂

As a teenager who came into the Harry Potter scene a little late – I refused to read chapter books until about Year 5 – I think I’ve had a slightly different experience than those who grew up with the books, so I thought I’d share my view.

First, in regards to “which book is better?“: Well, it really depends on what you enjoy reading, and at what age you are, because at the age of 8 – 10, you’d probably think that Philosopher’s Stone is the best book ever, but if you were older, you might read more deeply into the book and discover that there isn’t too much to read into yet. Because J.K. Rowling developed her world over time, the latter books will be more sophisticated by the nature of the knowledge that she has backing them, whereas the first books will seem quite stereotypical in some areas. I think that’s actually one of the things that appeals to fans: they can see the quality of the writing and narrative increase over time. But, as I said, when people say “favourite book“, it doesn’t necessarily mean “book written the best“, in fact, it usually means “book that I am most emotionally attached to, because of the circumstances I first read it in and what happened afterwards“. Hence, I think quite a few people will say that the first book is their favourite, because it started everything for them. On the other hand, polls generally show that the last three books are the most popular.

Secondly, in regards to shipping. I am quite abnormal, in that I don’t ship. At all. But I think that people need to realise that fanfiction is completely different to the canon books. It was not logical, in the books, that Dumbledore and Harry have a romantic relationship. And, to be perfectly honest, if that were to have happened, how many people would have read the subsequent books? Not many. The purpose of fanfiction is to entertain yourself and others in the fandom by thinking “what if?” and following a different train of logic to J.K. Rowling’s, or to continue it in a new direction, or to stretch it acroos the 19 years that are missing in between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and its epilogue. What has happened is that, over time, people have abandoned that idea of a logical alternate plot, and instead focussed on creating fics with as much PWP as possible. Which, I think, is in contrary to what fanfiction is (should be) about. Therefore, I don’t have particular ‘ships – I enjoy reading stuff that has a good plot, and involves interesting and new ideas. If that ideal fic IS a Dumbledore/Harry fic, well, then so be it!

Plus, you can always scroll over the parts that are more explicit that you wish to read.

What are your thoughts? I’d be especially interested in hearing how you chose your favourite books, and for what reasons!- Let’s call me Lily


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