The Lack of Romance in Harry Potter Helped the Franchise Succeed

It’s important to remember the ongoing controversial statements by the creator of the Harry Potter franchise. CBR supports the hard work of industry professionals on properties fans know and love, and the wider world of Harry Potter that fans have adopted as their own. You can find CBR’s continuing coverage on Rowling here.


Summary

  • Harry Potter‘s lack of a main love story sets it apart from other fantasy sagas like Twilight and The Hunger Games, allowing it to focus more on the themes of good versus evil and the power struggle.
  • The underdeveloped romances in Harry Potter, especially in the movies, are often seen as a weakness, but they work to the franchise’s advantage by allowing for more depth in side characters and a stronger focus on action and mystery.
  • Harry Potter‘s lasting legacy is not dependent on its love stories but rather on its detailed world-building, captivating action, and engaging mysteries that continue to draw readers and viewers back to the saga.

Harry Potter is among the most successful and long-lasting fantasy sagas ever. Throughout the seven novels and eight movies, fans follow Harry and his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, as they grow up and fight against Voldemort to save the magical community. Yet unlike most fantasy sagas like Twilight or Shadow and Bone, Harry Potter doesn’t have a main love story for fans to root for from the start.

The younger age of the main characters from Harry Potter compared to the protagonists of other popular sagas plays a big role in this storyline difference. At its core, Harry Potter is a story about good versus evil, about power and what people are willing to do for it. The love stories within Harry Potter aren’t crucial to the saga, and some can even say they lack development. This is one of Harry Potter‘s biggest weaknesses for many, as the romance isn’t fleshed out or detailed. Yet others believe that the lack of a main love story is the reason why Harry Potter was able to stand the test of time.


Most Book Sagas Are Love Stories

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Fantasy sagas like Twilight or Shadow and Bone, or even dystopian book series like The Hunger Games, have a main love story at its core. They usually feature a love triangle that develops throughout all the books within the saga and has devoted fans rooting for their favorite couple. This makes Harry Potter lack romance development compared to the rest, as it doesn’t have a main love story or love triangle to root for throughout the saga. Other sagas like Twilight follow the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob, and The Hunger Games‘ main focus is Katniss and her relationships with Gale and Peeta. And while these love stories are the reason why fans become devoted to these sagas, they can also work against them.

Harry Potter‘s lack of fleshed-out romances or a detailed love story to invest in is something many fans believe is the saga’s biggest weakness. The love triangles in sagas like The Hunger Games make fans feel deeply invested in these characters’ love lives. The love stories are developed, have conflict and drama, and the romance between the characters moves the story forward. However, it can also hurt the saga if the ending isn’t satisfying. Many fans are still divided about whether Bella should’ve ended up with Edward or Jacob or if Katniss belonged with Gale or Peeta. In some cases, fans might even think that some love stories are controversial or problematic afterward. This division within the fandom can create conflict and even turn the fans away from the saga altogether.

The Romance in Harry Potter Lacks Development

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is, without a doubt, a children’s book. The first three novels and movies in the Harry Potter saga are very much catered to children. For this reason, the story feels different from other fantasy and dystopian sagas that reached international success, like Twilight or The Hunger Games. However, as Harry grows older and the series progresses, the later books in the saga become more mature and could be considered part of the Young Adult category. Yet even when the Harry Potter novels introduce new love interests for Harry or little moments between Ron and Hermione, they never fully develop the romance.

The relationship between Ron and Hermione is one that many fans discuss still today. Hermione is a strong, intelligent, and independent girl. Ron, on the other hand, is more childish, reckless, and a bit insecure. The Harry Potter books have a little more detail and subtle signs about this relationship than the movies. But even then, there are not many swoon-worthy romantic scenes that make fans root for the couple or even understand the attraction between them. Most of the evolution of this relationship happens in the background without giving much insight into the characters’ feelings. The same could be said about Harry and Ginny’s relationship, which lacks depth. The movies, in particular, do a poor job of depicting the chemistry between the characters, something that left more than one fan disappointed. However, focusing on the action and magic of the story helped the Harry Potter books and movies reach a bigger audience.

Harry Potter’s Weak Love Stories Work to Its Advantage

How Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak Might be Tied to the Veil in the Department of Mysteries

The lack of depth and development of the love stories in Harry Potter makes the story move forward. Sagas that center on romance have to create conflict and drama to keep the main couple apart for as long as possible, which can be tiresome and sometimes unrealistic. Other fantasy sagas might not provide much character development for side characters, choosing instead to focus only on the protagonist and the main love story. And if the love story doesn’t have a satisfying ending, it can divide the fandom. Harry Potter, on the other hand, has many unique characters with intriguing and fleshed-out backstories that make its fantasy world richer and more detailed.

By not dwelling on the romances of the saga, Harry Potter was able to expand on many side characters. It also let its main villain shine, providing a very real and very dangerous nemesis for Harry. While Voldemort is not a character anyone would want to root for, his past is explored in depth and makes it easy for fans to understand how he became the villain he is. The Harry Potter movies almost ignore the romance altogether. Harry’s interest in Cho Chang feels very out of the blue in the movie adaptations, and his relationship with Ginny doesn’t translate well to the screen. However, the movies chose to focus on the action and the mystery of each Harry Potter novel, something that many believe is the reason why Harry Potter was able to stand the test of time.

Harry Potter‘s legacy is one-of-a-kind and remains relevant even almost 25 years later. The saga turned millions of children into avid readers and created a rich, magical world many still call home. The underdeveloped love stories in the saga, and particularly in the movie adaptations, are one of its biggest weaknesses. But it’s one that some say works to its advantage. Regardless of whether fans believe Harry and Hermione should’ve ended up together, the outcome of the romances in the saga isn’t crucial to the main storyline. Instead, Harry Potter‘s strength relies on its detailed world-building, action, and mysteries that keep readers and viewers coming back to the saga.

Harry Potter 8 Movie Collector's Edition featuring all movie art

Harry Potter

The Harry Potter franchise follows the adventure of a young boy introduced a whole new world of magic, mayhem and darkness. Traversing the obstacles in his path, young Harry’s rise to heroics pits him against Lord Voldemort, one of the most dangerous wizards in the world and all his minions.

Created by
J.K. Rowling

First Film
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Latest Film
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2

Upcoming TV Shows
Harry Potter

Cast
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon

Where to watch
HBO Max

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