Monday, July 31, 2017

Could there have been a different Chosen One?



Could there have been a different Chosen One?

I've been sitting on this post idea for nearly three years and I never got around to publishing, because 1. I wanted to be fair and impartial and 2. I didn't want to offend anyone who might not agree with my thought process.  Finally I just wrote it all up in a blur last week and decided to post today, for Harry Potter's Birthday.


Now for those of you who know me, you've likely already guessed my answer here^^ but I wanted to discuss it nonetheless LOL. I've often come across posts on the internet about how a lot of people think that Hermione for example could have done a much better job at defeating Voldemort than Harry did. Or how the Prophecy wasn't clear if The Chosen One would be Neville or Harry so this means that Neville could have been The Chosen One too.  And as Harry Potter's biggest fangirl, my automatic response is to get defensive, despite how much I adore and admire both Hermione and Neville. Given my knee-jerk response to the whole idea, I wanted to delve into it a bit more logically and also see what my fellow Potterheads think.

So let's start with the apparent favorite. Could Hermione have been the chosen one? Now I love Hermione to bits and I share a lot of similarities with her, as many nerds and bookish people do. Obviously I think she's brilliant, there's no denying that. She's capable, skilled and she knows every spell, jinx, hex, incantation known to wizards and witches. She's also undoubtedly brave so she possesses many of the traits that got Harry so far in his questing. BUT...(you knew there was a but coming up right?) But... you have to admit that she's somewhat closed minded. She's infallibly logical but at times her logic and lack of instinct can be a hindrance.  She refused to believe Malfoy was a Death Eater.  She refused to consider that there was a Horcrux hidden at Hogwarts. And most importantly, She refused to believe in the Deathly Hallows. Her logic inevitably got in the way of all the clues that Dumbledore left, or to mounting evidence to the contrary.



Beyond that, book Hermione specifically rarely wanted to take many of the risks that the trio needed to take, especially during her first 5 years at Hogwarts. She was always fighting against Harry's instinct and better judgement.  Don't get me wrong, Harry got a fair share of things wrong too - namely in suspecting Snape (then again who wouldn't have?) and in thinking Sirius was in the Department of Mysteries (again, after how many accurate visions he'd seen, who could blame the guy) but more often than not, Harry was right.  Hermione would not have gone after Quirrell. She would not have kept the Marauder's Map and therefore found out what she needed to know about Sirius. Hermione might have succeeded with the Triwizard's Tournament, but I doubt she could have handled Voldemort returning any better than Harry did. Hermione's refusal to believe that there was a Horcrux hidden at Hogwarts OR to believe in the Deathly Hallows at all would have meant game over for the quest...if she ever got that far to begin with. It was because of Harry that she went out on all those adventures. Granted she saved his butt more than once but she still wouldn't have even been there if not for him.

Now on to Neville. Could Neville have been the chosen one? Now Neville is a true hero, just like Hermione is. Neville is brave, selfless and a true Gryffindor. The bravery he showed in his first year, standing up to Harry, Ron and Hermione comes from himself and no one else can take credit for that. But people forget that Neville never would have found his bravery if Harry Potter hadn't been around. Harry, telling Neville that he was worth 10 Malfoys. Harry, standing up to Malfoy himself, not to mention Umbridge, Snape and Voldemort. Neville himself admitted to Harry that seeing Harry stand up to Umbridge and the like was inspiring and that's what made him stand up to the Carrows in DH. So had Neville been the Chosen One, who would have inspired him to go out and do what's necessary? We can't assume he would have gotten that inspiration otherwise. He needed Harry to bring out his inner heroism.



On the other hand, Neville's heroics are, in a way, more significant than Harry's. Harry was never truly afraid of much. Sure he felt fear, but it never really overcame him. Neville however, always seemed terrified whenever he took up something daring or dangerous.  For Neville to risk 1.fighting Malfoy, 2. training in the D.A., 3.Infiltrating the Ministry, while being so horribly frightened shows that while he feels fear strongly, he's inspired to overcome it. But there's no denying that Harry is the one to inspire him.

Now what of Ginny Weasley? I read an AU (don't ask me where, I can't remember) where Harry dies at Voldemort's hand in the Forest and Ginny is the one to face The Dark Lord in the end and defeat him. And do you know what?  I can actually see this happening -as much as it breaks my heart - because Ginny was possessed by Tom Riddle once before. She knows what she's up against more than anyone and the loss of Harry would certainly be motivation enough for her to step up (not that book Ginny needs help in that department). But the scenario resides on the fact that Harry does most of the legwork and when he dies, his Horcrux is destroyed too, so Ginny need only face the weakened Tom Riddle in the end. In this instance, Harry remains the Chosen One to me but Ginny certainly fills his shoes nicely.



So the bottom line is this for me: even if I try to approach this topic critically, I can still only imagine Harry Potter as the Chosen One. I'm sorry, I tried but I remain Harry Potter's ultimate fangirl. Some people see his character as a 'special snowflake' but I see him as a boy who knew love briefly as a child and then suffered incredible losses but through it all, he retains an inherent need to save his loved ones from further harm at the hand of Voldemort.  Harry is lucky yes, he has amazing friends that do indeed save his life.  But doesn't EVERY hero have those friends?  And don't those heroes remain THE one true hero despite that?  Harry Potter is the Chosen One. No other character could have been so brave and fearless. No one else went out of their way to learn skills that would protect them and the ones they loved. Harry purposefully sought out how to produce the Patronus Charm, and a host of other DADA spells. He was put in extreme situations and adapted to survive. Sometimes he was lucky, yes but through it all, Harry Potter remains the hero that Dumbledore knew him to be. That every single person who met him knew him to be. And no one will ever convince me otherwise #sorrynotsorry



That's just my 2 cents on the matter.  Now it's your turn! Tell me: do you think any other character could have been the Chosen One? Why/Why not? Even though I'm set in my answer doesn't mean you have to :)

10 comments:

  1. I think its also important to note... that Neville could have been the chosen one had Voldie chosen differently BUT we don't know that Neville's Mom would have acted the same as Lily and it could have ended right there ALSO if Neville is the chosen one Snape never flips sides because Lily remains safe and as much as I am not a Snape fan, his flipping was a major part of Voldie's downfall... so basically I'm with you Harry is the chosen one if for no other reason than all the pieces fell into place making him the chosen one.

    Awesome post!

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    1. EXACTLY! We can assume that Neville's mom would have likely done so...had she been there. Had the set up to the final showdown been EXACTLY the same...but what are the chances of that? And the whole Snape/Lily dynamic would have never existed either. I'm like you: not a Snape fan but man we needed him on the right side for things to work!

      Thank you!! :)

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  2. You're very persuasive on this one! And I'm glad you posted this- awesome post! Even if i don't know all of these details lol. But I'm convinced- sounds like JK got it right in the end. :)

    Teresa's point above makes so much sense, often things are a result of a cascading series of events and if someone ELSE were the Chosen One, there are probably all kinds of variables that might have gone wrong.

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    1. Thanks Greg! I hope that one day you'll read all the books and then you'll know all the details too LOL!

      Exactly! I needed to happen exactly as it happened.

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  3. I completely agree with your analysis. As much as I love Neville, personality and disposition has something to do with Harry succeeding in defeating Voldemort. Neville grew into being a hero, but he would have had the same experience growing up and instead of failing to live up to his parents he would have had the added pressure of being the boy who lived. Instead of having great expectations put on him by his family it would have been the entire wizarding world looking at him. Harry had enough trouble dealing with the expectations at 11 and older, Neville would have always been surrounded by it. I don't think he could have dealt with it. I also really like what you said about Neville being the hero he is because of Harry. It shows that support and encouragement really can change a person for the better and help them grow, which is a beautiful sentiment.

    While Hermione is amazing, she's not the chosen one. I really can't it. You're right that Harry has instinct and follows his gut more than Hermione who tries to do everything by the book. Again, it's a personality thing.

    I think Ginny could step up and defeat Voldemort if Harry had fallen, but I think that could also be said of so many other characters: McGonagall, Hermione, Ron... maybe even Hagrid or George. Basically anyone who loved Harry would have had the drive and the power of love to destroy Voldemort.

    I'm glad you got around to writing this post! It's really well thought out and covers pretty much every point :)

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    1. I completely agree with your analysis for Neville!! It would have been too much pressure for him on top of everything else and he never would have found his bravery like that. He truly NEEDED Harry to be there to help him be braver :)

      And Hermione's tendency to do everything by the book disqualifies her instantly to me. There was a lot of instinct going on with taking down Voldemort and she just didn't get that.

      You're right too: many other characters could have stepped up, had Harry fallen in the Forest^^

      Thank you ♥

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  4. I have never done a character analysis before to answer this question, but I can stick to some facts of the universe. The Prophecy applied to both Harry and Neville until Voldy tried to kill Harry. He picked the baby he considered the greatest threat, which was apparently the one most like himself, a Half-Blood. He also accidentally made Harry a Horcrux, which further disqualifies Neville.

    I hadn't thought about who would take over confronting Voldy. I'm not sure that Ginny would take on that role, but Ron and Hermione would continue working against the Dark Lord.

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    1. On a side note, I don't know if you noticed, Micheline. I tagged you in the Ilvermorny House Bok Tag: https://catonthebookshelf.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/ilvermorny-house-book-tag-original/.

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    2. Personally I tend to stick to the facts of the Prophecy like you just did, BUT SO MANY people seem to ignore that stuff and just go right to: Neville could have done a better job OR Hermione could have done a better job. I wanted to postulate IF the situation had been different COULD anyone else have done a better job than Harry? And my answer is no ;)

      Oh and no I didn't know^^ thanks for the tag :)

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  5. Amen. I've never truly understood why people think another character could have been the chosen one. So it was interesting reading this and seeing you getting into the heads of those people (and shutting them down in the process, heh). Long live Harry!

    So another HP Month has come and gone without me getting to participate :( Ah well, maybe next time. I was able to follow it from the sidelines, and it seems like it was another success. And it sounds like you've been busy too with moving into your new home!! I'm very excited for you - congrats :D

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