Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to Hogwarts Week: Why Quidditch Matters

Warning: This contains spoilers for the Harry Potter series. Read at you own risk.

Why Quidditch Matters
            I know plenty of people (my sister included) hate reading about Quidditch in the Harry Potter books because they think it’s boring. I, on the other hand, am a huge Quidditch fan. I can’t help it, I love reading about the games and Lee Jordan’s commentary and I will confess to tearing up a bit when Gryffandor finally wins the Quidditch Cup. If you look at it Quidditch is everywhere in the Harry Potter series, the practices, games, people talking about it, the world cup, and so on. Why does it even matter? Well, I am here to tell you why.

-It gives Harry something that he's good at: Flying is a skill that comes naturally to him and introduces him to Quidditch, which he excels at. Harry doesn't show any amazing talent in any of his subjects until The Prisoner of Azkaban when he beats Hermione at the Defense Against The Dark Arts practical exam. Quidditch gives him confidence and it gives him a place at Hogwarts. The skill has also helped him out of a few scraps like getting the key to the door in The Sorcerer's Stone, and getting past the dragon in the Tri-Wizard Tournament in The Goblet of Fire.

-Great World Building: Every culture has its favorite sports that it gets into. Our own muggle world has plenty: Soccer, Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc. It makes sense that the Wizarding world would have a favorite sport as well. It gives the students at Hogwarts something to focus on besides their classes. Even Neville and Hermione (who are not a fan of flying) enjoy watching the sport and cheering on their fellow Gryffandors. Everyone has their favorite team. For example, Ron’s is the Chudley Cannons. Personally, I’m a fan of Puddlemere United since Oliver Wood plays for them.

-Lee Jordan: He's awesome. His hilarious and biased commentary is my favorite part of the Quidditch match. Commentating on the matches also gave him plenty of practice and allowed him to run PotterWatch, the rebel wizard radio station for those who are against Voldemort in The Deathly Hallows.

-It provides tension: Seriously, how many fights have there been between Harry and Draco or Gryffindor and Slytherin all because of a Quidditch match? There's been a lot. Before a big game the Gryffindor players have to watch out for hexes coming their way. And we thought we couldn't hate Doloras Umbridge more than we already did... and then she banishes Harry, Fred, and George from playing Quidditch ever again in The Order of the Phoenix. SHE IS SO EVIL! Quidditch provides a lot of tension and also motivation. It is a large part of the reason that Harry worked so hard to learn the Patronus charm so he wouldn’t pass out during a game because of the dementors.

-It helps move the plot along: Harry saw the Grim during the match against Hufflepuff in The Prisoner of Azkaban which turned out to really be Sirius Black, when Draco skips a game in The Half-Blood Prince Harry knows that something is going on with him, Hagrid takes Harry and Hermione to meet Gwap during a the final match in The Order of the Phoenix, it shows how much of an idiot Gilroy Lockhart really is when he fails to fix the arm Harry broke in a game and instead removes all the bones in The Chamber of Secrets, in The Goblet of Fire the dark mark is revealed at the Quidditch World Cup signifying the return of an old era, and Harry kissed Ginny after Gryffandor won the Quidditch cup in The Half-Blood Prince. All of these are key plot points and have some connection to Quidditch.

Next time your reading the Harry Potter series and run across a Quidditch match don’t groan and be tempted to skip ahead, be thinking about how this popular wizarding sport changes the world inside of these books.

1 comment:

  1. I agree 100% As much as I'm not the biggest sports fan in real life, I've ALWAYS enjoyed reading about Quidditch. It amazes me that JKR was able to create an actual wizarding sport, from nothing and make it as exciting as she did. It certainly helps Harry fit into Hogwarts straight away, considering how good he is at it! And it definitely played it's part in the world-building for he series, not to mention the tension it added to things! I know some people got bored with Quidditch but I never did :)