Kay sez Harry Potter is Mary Sue
. And so is Bella, of TWILIGHT.
there was a reason I didn't like the little twit.
I don't want to be "that person" who points useless information like this out, but I think Hermione is much closer than Harry to being a Mary Sue for many reasons.
This will either stir up a storm of debate, get me laughed at, or both.
Bela is really obvious as a Mary Sue because it's the female-female ratio (and the end game of that series really plays to some of the authors viewpoints).
The point of a Mary Sue (by definition) is that they're the person that everyone loves and/or wants to date. They're the person that - at the end of the day - is so UBER AWESOME COOL OMG that they kind of make you sick...
By that context it's... really Harry.
Harry isn't a Mary Sue. If you read any fanfic, you'll notice that a Mary Sue is someone who's not only attractive, but also puts everyone around them in the shade and makes them envious. Rowling isn't a foolish writer, and Harry would have become dreadfully tedious if she'd written him this way. In fact, there are long passages in which he's extremely unpopular and suspected of being dangerous, evil or crazy, and he's not especially handsome or sexy either. For that matter, Hermione is no Mary Sue either - she's not all that attractive and she's a bit of a pain in the ass a lot of the time. Mary Sues are about wish-fulfillment, and although reams of fanfic have inserted that kind of thing into the Potter saga, it wasn't written into it by Rowling.
I agree about Harry, but Bella, not quite so much. Although she is generic, she is clumsy and kind and calm and easily embarrassed. Some of her friends don't like her so much.
I think Edward is modelled on Mr. Darcy. He falls in love, against all his struggles, with a woman he at first detests and who is out of his class.
I read Twilight skeptically, and ended up feeling conflicted. The vampire stuff - ridiculous - it would need its own post. But, there was something in the Bella-Edward relationship that my X chromosomes enjoyed immensely. Something beyond wish-fulfillment and having a blank slate for me to jump into.
FYI, the leaked partial draft of Midnight Sun, available for free on Meyers' web site, is alot about Edward trying to figure out Bella's character.
I may have a garbled understanding of fanfic literary theory, but to me, the greatest marker of Mary Sue-hood is a total lack of *explanation* for how great/beloved/admired she is.
For this reason, I think Harry dodges the bullet a bit, but Bella is PROFOUNDLY guilty as charged. In the books, her one (lightly discussed) talent is for school work. That's it. She also cooks for her dad, but that's not really an *accomplishment* per se. Both of these are MIA in the movie, stripping her down to a wet blanket whose dialogue is littered with whiny declarations like "I don't surf," "I don't dance," "I hate anything cold and damp."
In a movie and book series with many, many structural problems, to me this is the most grievous, and the most unforgivable.
The marker of the "ideal" Mary Sue (or the one that is often cited) is that it's a self-insertion fantasy for the author.
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