A few months ago, I had a conversation with an ELA student teacher:
He said, “I read the first few books but didn’t get why the series was so popular until I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
I said, “It felt like that listening to The Beatles. Their early works were good and I could see the appeal, but they didn’t start showing what they were capable of until Revolver.”
He nodded enthusiastically. “Yes, Goblet of Fire is like Revolver!”
“And Order of the Phoenix is like Sergeant Pepper! And Half Blood Prince is like The White Album!”
“Wait. Which album came out first?”
“I don’t know. I guess that makes The Deathly Hallows like Abbey Road.”
Okay, we got a little carried away.
It got me thinking, How else are the Harry Potter books and The Beatles alike and how are they different? Alas, this informative post. I’d argue our two British imports have more in common than you’d think.
How do you reconcile The Beatles having 4 members while Harry and friends only make 3?
True the numbers seem off, but if you throw in Neville, who’s key a couple of times, I think you see the similarities. I would’ve said, Ginny but then I’d have to count the twins and it would muddle this up. So, Neville is Ringo.
How can you compare the Beatles to a literary trio that doesn’t sing?
Also true that Harry, Ron, and Hermione don’t sing, but let’s not discount the warblings of Celestina Warbeck. And the movie theme music is pretty kickass.
Who is Harry’s Yoko?
Not Ginny. No way. She’s so cool and un-Yoko, it’s not even funny. Don’t hit me, but I might have to say Dobby. He does muck things up in Book 2. And that whole boring S.P.E.W. side plot in Book 4 is really annoying, but that’s Hermione’s fault. I’ll have to go with Colin Creevey. I know, he doesn’t actually break them up or anything, but he’s annoying. (Though maybe he’s more like Oliver in The Brady Bunch. Wait, how did The Brady Bunch even factor into this?)
Maybe since Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione were all important characters, it avoided a touchy Yoko situation. The only way a Yoko-type could interfere with the trio is if Harry fell in love with a Death Eater. Or imagine if he hooked up with Bella from Twilight? Her whining and lack of ambition would ruin everything.
If The Beatles did drugs and Harry Potter books are drug-free, how can you compare the two?
I agree there are no hardcore drugs, but don’t forget a few odd items floating around: butterbeer, love potions hidden in chocolates, filex felicis, polyjuice potion, and didn’t Ron get poisoned and need to take a Bezoar?
And don’t forget Hagrid had a periodic problem with alcohol consumption as evidenced by winning an illegal dragon and passing out after Aragog’s funeral.
Do The Beatles have antagonists like Harry and Co.?
Absolutely. While there aren’t clear villains like Lucius and Draco Malfoy, The Dark Lord/He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named/Voldemort, and Is he/Isn’t he? Snape - The Rolling Stones were some fierce competition for The Beatles. And more recently, the band Public Enemy sampled “A Day in the Life” and “Getting Better” by The Beatles in their song, “Who Stole the Soul?” Sounds like Dementors are involved.
What about movies?
Good question. The Beatles made 5 movies, if you don’t count side projects. There are 8 Harry Potter movies, which is genius when you consider there are only 7 books. And just like The Beatles’ music is better than their movies, the Harry Potter books are better than their movies. (But the movies are pretty darn close.)
Do Harry and Ron excite female fans as much as John and Paul?
Umm… yeah! Neville got cute over time. See, he is Ringo. Or maybe he’s George Harrison. I secretly think George was the cutest. George looks a little like Sirius. Now I’m confusing myself. And if I think about the fact that there are two people named George, I’ll be even more lost. I love those Weasley twins.
Does being British play a role here?
Absolutely. The British have been known to invade the United States ever since 1776. However, the British Invasion in the 1960s was most welcome. And I like this Harry Potter import too.
And don't forget those sexy British accents!
What are their respective career lengths?
The Beatles released their first album in 1963 and their last in 1970 – 7 years. The Harry Potter series spanned from 1997-2007 – 10 years. Of course, both have continued on past their recordings/publications.
Were The Beatles or Harry Potter more productive?
In the 7 years, The Beatles released 12 albums in the UK. In the 10 years, J.K. Rowling published 7 books. But I’d argue Rowling’s books had more words than The Beatles’s songs. You can’t argue they were both prolific.
Is Pottermore akin to former Beatles’ solo albums?
Will both The Beatles and Harry Potter have long legacies?
The Beatles have already proven their longevity. As for Harry Potter, I have no doubt my grandchildren will read these books too.
How about you?
Spot any uncanny similarities between
The Beatles and Harry Potter?
tolerated loved this post, please scroll down to my PREVIOUS POST "Reverence for Rowling".
Think Hermione is the unsung hero of Harry and co? Me too. Read this SPOT-ON POST. (If you can handle the f-word.)
Please return on 07/28 for my interview at Michelle’s BLOG.
Happy weekend! xo