Root for the Underdog

So I started to tell you about my conversation with God where she asked me what I thought about Harry Potter, but then I got sidetracked on the issue of magic versus miracles.

Most of the conversation isn’t really worth repeating but I had one insight that I’d like to share. One of the most interesting things that Ms. Rowling managed to do, I think, is to preserve the sense that Harry is the underdog. Through his sort-of-captivity with the Dursleys and his status as Lord Voldemort’s primary adversary he gets to have the audience rooting for him as the underdog while still managing to cement his position as the most powerful student that Hogwart’s has hosted since Tom Riddle went there. He achieves feats the likes of which legends are made on, and still gets to be the long shot bet. It’s a pretty neat trick.

God allowed that it was a pretty good bit of literary legerdemain. She did however take the time to point out that there was precedent for such a feat. She pointed out the New Testament. Jesus Christ comes along. The direct son of God. The Messiah. The savior of all mankind. Yet he gets taken down by some mid-level bureaucrats who just want to stop the yammering of their subjects. A hero’s journey indeed.

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