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General opinion on authors writing Harry as handsome?

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Reiku, Jan 4, 2015.

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  1. Reiku

    Reiku Second Year

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    In stories (usually, but not always) where Harry grew up different, or is older at the start of canon (Harry Potter and the Veela) Harry is often written as handsome, gorgeous, downright sexy, with a smile that could send any woman into a stuttering, blushing fit.

    Is this okay if done right, or an overused cliche?
     
  2. pidl

    pidl Groundskeeper

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    Handsome, sure, he does look a lot like James.

    His smile making women blush or stutter: Fuck no.
     
  3. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I think Harry being handsome is moderately canon. He looks like his father, who was said to be handsome, and Hermione tells him that he's highly fuckable in HBP. She used those exact words, I'm sure of it.

    Of course, "handsome" does not mean "buff". Harry's body type is not hugely muscular. And while he isn't short, he isn't super-tall either. I can't see him as being over 6 feet. So if a fic turns him into an Adonis I'm highly sceptical and likely to quit unless the fic is otherwise great.
     
  4. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Confidence is attractive. The way a man holds himself, etc. It won't make up for someone who is entirely hideous in the looks department, but it can make someone who is average into someone you'd call handsome.

    I view Harry as short for a man, and not buff at all, but otherwise attractive. Throw in some clothes that fit and a dash of confidence and I have no issues imagining that many would view him as handsome.

    As Taure said that is NOT the same thing as being an Adonis.
     
  5. Dark Minion

    Dark Minion Bright Henchman DLP Supporter Retired Staff

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    Actually, a Harry with a different upbringing should, perhaps even has to look different than canon!Harry, as his upbringing has a huge effect on his mental and physical development. Canon!Harry with his baggy clothes and unkempt hair appears a bit or – with his broken glasses – even a lot like a hobo. Despite handsome canon!features he probably never cared for is appearance.

    A Harry loved by the Dursleys might appear like a second coming of Dudley, fat, spoiled, arrogant, violent; another Harry who grew up with the Malfoys might appear more elegant and handsome, but also with an arrogant stance; a Harry growing up with Moody might be more sportive but with less incentive to care for his appearance; a Severitus!Harry might never wash his hair.

    Just think of the way another pair of glasses changes a face. Canon!Harry was lucky to have a pair, Malfoy!Harry would have spent hours to choose one to underline his handsome face.


    As I am kind of an expert on badfics...

    The problem is that it is often overdone. Some, or rather a lot of authors are writing under the impression that to deviate from canon means to turn over everything JKR has written. In addition they project their own wishful thinking on their main characters. Thus they create a Gary Stu who or rather which is ridiculous. Typical elements are long hair / ponytail; overly muscular body with a sixpack visible despite wearing robes; a huge package down below, visible despite wearing robes; pheromones which affect even Centaurs; etc
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  6. Knoq

    Knoq Temporarily Banhammered

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    By Wizarding Britain's standards. Which are almost Welsh basically.

    He isn't that hot, he isn't, and every time I watch the movies now, I giggle at the fanfics I have read that make him ab arse stomping badass motherfucker in the early years. The actor just looks so bullyable. Dude's average, James, (the actor) looked average, not ugly or hot.
     
  7. Zennith

    Zennith Pebble Wrestler ~ Prestige ~

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    I like how you're stating definitive things about a fictional book character. Please, tell us how you know these things despite a lack of canon evidence (and no, the movies aren't canon in this regard).
     
  8. Knoq

    Knoq Temporarily Banhammered

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 ~ Prestige ~

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    This.

    Harry in my fic has a ponytail and is pretty buff . . . but that's over a long period of time where he just doesn't give a damn about spending time getting a hair cut and is working with others to prepare to go back to a ravaged Britain and fight—including physical conditioning.

    But not once, thank God, do I mention "sixpack."
     
  10. Zennith

    Zennith Pebble Wrestler ~ Prestige ~

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    Clever response. Well done, mate. You'll notice that in the OP he's talking about stories, about writing, about fanfics. As much as he may be associated with it, Daniel Radcliffe does not have to equal Harry Potter in our minds, especially not when we're, you know, reading.
     
    Oz
  11. Warburg

    Warburg Seventh Year

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    I like le epic may-mays and rage faces as much as the next guy but I'm going to have to side with Zennith here. Daniel Radcliffe might have somewhat looked like HP when he was eleven, or he would if he had green eyes, but I doubt he was chosen because of his looks and more based on his acting as much as it pains me to say.
     
  12. Odran

    Odran Fourth Champion

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    He offered to wear appropriately colored contact lenses, despite having some form of allergy to the material they're made from which would have fucked up his eyes quite a bit, in order to give people what they read about so often (You have your mother's eyes, etc.), but the adults around him told him it was no biggie in the end.
     
  13. Darth Disaster

    Darth Disaster The Waking Sith ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    No.


    Which was the right decision for him, personally. Radcliffe did a fine job, blue eyes don't really change that significantly.

    On Canon!Harry's looks:

    Lets look at the facts here. Canon!Harry doesn't really care about his looks much. His hair is messy, his clothing is outsized, he's fairly frequently rumpled and ruffled. His glasses are ugly. He's fairly quiet, private, often sullen and not particularly socially gifted..

    And yet, girls still like him. Girls still flirt with him. They touch him casually fairly often (Big Sign, that), they make it clear they're attracted to him, they make eyes at him when he's looking and when he's not.

    Removing Dress and Demeanor as factors, that leaves only Reputation and Appearance. Of course, a large amount of his draw is the fact that he's fucking famous. That's a powerful draw, but being famous isn't enough to make girls of quality call you 'fanciable' (which translates, as Taure stated, to Fuckable. SiriusRaised!Harry would have put James and Sirius to fucking Shame with his womanizing). One almost has to imply that he's fairly handsome.

    None of which makes any goddamn sense, in retrospect, considering that JKR wrote him as possessing the romantic and sexual maturity of a recently neutered puppy for the vast majority of the books.

    Which is especially confusing, because Seamus, Dean, Ron, Viktor etc all prove that she CAN write teenage boys with at least semi-realistic reactions to the fairer sex, she just chose not to with Harry for god only knows what reason.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  14. Warburg

    Warburg Seventh Year

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    I was already aware of this though didn't really find it relevant for the discussion we're having but maybe you can enlighten me? By the way, it's fine that he has blue eyes in the movies but it also makes him look less like book Harry which was why I used it as an example.
     
  15. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Because Harry isn't a normal teenage boy, despite his hormones.
     
  16. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 ~ Prestige ~

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    Makes complete sense. There's a plethora of information about the effects of neglect, and the inability to make attachments or having interpersonal attunement to body signals is common.

    Note - it doesn't make him asexual, just unable to see/know how to act in such a situation.

    Of course, we could also be dealing with a derivative of the myth that "all teenagers are sexually active" and have sex when, in fact, about half are, and half aren't (in the US, at least).
     
  17. Jjf88

    Jjf88 Auror

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    I see Harry as probably verging on 6 foot. 5'11. I always had this image of Harry broadening to a decent standard in the later books. He's not Bruce Wayne, of course, but he's just naturally broad. I don't think there's any canon evidence to support it, that's just how I see it.

    Also, tall in the 90s would have been 5'11 ish, I think. Nowadays 'tall' in Glasgow is 6 foot +
     
  18. Averis

    Averis Don of Delivery ~ Prestige ~

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    Anyone think Rowling just didn't feel like making her protagonist a Cassanova?

    I mean, he was eleven when she started, and by the time he reached an age where a relationship with the opposite sex would have been acceptable for the "target" readers, she had limited his options so drastically that its no wonder she barely touched on that aspect of the story (which, to be fair, should have barely been touched on).

    Extended breakdown:

    Characters of significance he could have been attracted to: Hermione (occupied), Ginny (occuped for most of that time), Cho (never had a chance to see her), Luna (likewise). Females from Gryffindor in the same year that she could have fleshed out during earlier years (but, for the most part, didn't) are: Angelina (Weasleys), Alicia (unknown), Katie (unknown), Parvati (dated Harry, failed spectacularly), and Lavender (Ron).

    Females outside of Gryffindor in the same year very rarely appear, and even then, only in passing. You have Dumbledore's army members: Susan, Hannah, Marietta, Padma, Romilda Vane, Leanne ?, Luca Caruso and Alice Tolipan (this is from HP Wiki so I honestly have no idea who the last three are or where they came from).

    You also have Ravenclaws, Su Li, S. Fawcett, Penelope Clearwater (god that has epic potential), Mandy Brocklehurst, Morah McDougal, Lisa Turpin, Orla Quirke.

    Hufflepuff: Eleanor Branstone, Megan Jones, Laura Madley, Rose Zeller.

    Gryffindor: Victoria Frobisher, Demelza Robins, Patricia Stimpson, Natalie MacDonald. Clever deduction by the HP Wiki says that there are also two girls in Harry's year in Gryffindor that were never introduced though they faced the Boggart in 3rd year.

    Slytherin: Millicent Bulstrode, Tracey Davis, Daphne Greengrass, Pansy Parkinson. Astoria is the only other mentioned female Slytherin.

    So, all of these things point to the fact that Harry simply did not care about girls all that much until he developed feelings for Cho, which were reciprocated though she had already been asked to the ball. He obviously didn't like Parvati as she was the embodiment of all the things Harry dislikes. Hermione and Ron have already showed some of their feelings for each other by this point, and you can't expect Harry to want to come in between that and risk losing his two best friends and all the Weasleys.

    That leaves the only romantic options as: Ginny, Luna, Alicia, Katie or 6th year surprise. It's no wonder Rowling had him pick Ginny (considering she had already built up some reasonable background for the girl liking him) and, when Harry couldn't take Ginny to Slughorn's party, he went with Luna, who would have been the 2nd most obvious. Rowling knew not to pull a chick out of the blue, but she hadn't given herself a lot of options, and so probably decided to keep the romance to a minimum. It's a wise decision, as we can all attest, given that the vast majority of fanfiction written is because of this reason, and the movies/books don't get overly emotional towards the end when Harry thinks he's gonna die/Ginny sees him die/he's revived etc etc.

    TL;DR, I know. Now, regarding the OP, I don't think Harry should ever be written as handsome. Likeable, loyal, strong-willed, friendly, quiet, well-mannered, noble, but marginally good looking at best. The story loses all of its credibility when Harry's muscles are mentioned, no matter what the author did to create them. Women do not stop to stare at him because he is handsome; instead, its because they are afraid of or impressed by his accomplishments and fame. He wears hipster glasses before they were cool and sags because these are all the clothes he has, however, mentioning either of those two things should condemn you to a brutal review at the very least.

    I'm all for description of a characters looks, particularly in the case of women, but the protagonist shouldn't consider themselves sexy no matter how they are perceived by others. Unless they are conceited, in which case, who wants a conceited protag? Its like writing from Draco's POV.
     
  19. A.K.$J6-J5

    A.K.$J6-J5 Seventh Year

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    I like how it's portrayed in demons feign, merlin pain
     
  20. AmerigoCorleone

    AmerigoCorleone Seventh Year

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    Eh, it's a myth created by people who grew up in stability that people who grow up in neglect totally isolate themselves.

    Having lived in many communities where neglect was high, and having done my own personal studies on the matter, the more neglected someone is, the more desperate they usually are for affection.

    So all those stories where Harry is some isolated, blank faced moron are very innacurate. And yes, I've also known people who grew with very similar childhoods as Harry, and none of them were isolated.

    They were socially inept, sure, but they grabbed onto all affection they could find. Friendship, familial, sexual, etc.

    __

    As for Harry Potter? In the end of Deathly Hallows, he is described to be the same exact height as his father, who was described as tall. So, I imagine Harry at 6'0, maybe 6'1 if you're pushing it.

    The author of the series once said in an interview that Harry inherited both of his parents good-looks, so I also imagine him to be handsome.

    I suppose comparing him to a young Tom Hanks would be reasonable, but when you start comparing him to Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt... maybe you're just taking things a bit too far.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
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