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If Harry Potter Was Made Now

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Agent, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. Agent

    Agent Professor DLP Supporter

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    So let's pretend that JK Rowling was born about 20 or so years later and she decides to publish Philospher's Stone in 2020 instead of 1997. From there, the rest of the books come out in the same order in the same number of years apart.

    Philospher's Stone: 2020

    Chamber of Secrets: 2021

    Prisoner of Azkaban: 2022

    Goblet of Fire: 2023

    Order of the Phoenix: 2026

    Half-Blood Prince: 2028

    Deathly Hallows: 2030

    What would be changed in the books because of the change in year? Let's assume that for the next ten years, there aren't any major advancements/discoveries in the world (No discovering aliens, no personal robots, etc).

    One thing I think that Rowling would probably incorporate is the Wizarding equivalent of a Smart Phone. Perhaps something like the Mirror Sirius gave Harry except with perhaps a few more features. Rowling might forego being able to speak through the Floo since that was meant to be the equivalent of a Landline.

    She might make one character openly gay rather than saying it after the fact though I still doubt if it would have been Dumbledore. Perhaps either Percy or Neville or another tertiary character.
     
  2. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

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    Hermione would have been black.
     
  3. Agent

    Agent Professor DLP Supporter

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    The correct term is African-American.
     
  4. Agayek

    Agayek Master of Death DLP Supporter

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    Poe's law strikes again. I am legitimately unsure if this is a joke or not.
     
  5. Mestre

    Mestre Seventh Year

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    The blood conflict between muggle-borns and purebloods would be diluted by racial politics, Voldemort would also be orange instead of snakelike and Harry would be a girl. I can't see Hermione becoming black because she is J.K. Rowling´s SI.
     
  6. Silirt

    Silirt Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    Students don't carry wands, perhaps there are practice wands in certain classrooms that can only cast specific spells, but when they graduate they'll never touch one again unless they're in law enforcement or become Death Eaters. Extensively monitored wards are the analogue to surveillance cameras and licensing. To have a broomstick, for example, there's a fee for an official to ward it. Apparation and unregistered portkeys are completely banned, but no one can do it wandlessly, so it's not like that matters.
     
  7. Gaius

    Gaius Second Year

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    Interesting question, Agent.
    So this opens up a few questions for me. Obviously social, cultural, & historical context have some sort of an influence on an author, but can we reverse-engineer what Rowling wrote because of her current situation and technology? The problem here is trying to suss out authorial intent, which I think is very difficult. How do we divorce contemporary influences on Rowling from literary influences that predate her situation (or the 2020 hypothetical in the original post)?

    I can see this. Maybe magical mirrors become more ubiquitous for calling people. Decrease in Owl Post except for deliveries and official/government correspondence. Mirrors may be more expensive upfront but not as expensive as Floo.

    This technological influence on the world of HP is important to your question. Perhaps Rowling would not have thought of Floo because of the decrease in use of landlines in 2020, but witches are often depicted as having roaring fires. Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, is very important for the center of the home and Rowling is indebted to classical myth and culture. Would Rowling not have used the Floo or come up with it even with these other influences?

    Likewise, Floo offers the service of immediate transportation that takes no skill. I imagine Hermione's Muggle parents or Ms. Figg could use the Floo. Or less skilled wizards. So maybe the Floo would look the same despite technological progress since 1997.

    I could see that. As you seem to suggest, I think it may be downplayed, not because of any controversy factor but because sexuality is downplayed in HP. e.g. We might get a passing reference to Cho rejecting Harry for the Yule Ball not because of Cedric but because she's going with a girl.

    So this comment seems to me to equate guns to wands and the panopticon of CCTV to methods of surveillance in HP. For the former, access to wands is only restricted for those of a certain age (11) and those who have been charged with a crime or have been expelled from Hogwarts (Sirius, Hagrid). [edit: and nonhumans like centaurs and goblins] The restrictions we do see, however, are on spells. The Unforgivables are straight-up illegal. So maybe the restriction wouldn't be so much on wands but on spells and kinds of magic like Dark magic, offensive battle magic, poisons, and dangerous potions. i.e. guns are dangerous and therefore restricted :: certain kinds of magic are dangerous and therefore restricted.

    The surveillance could dovetail into this kind of restriction of spells instead of wands. The Trace can tell what kinds of spells are performed even if it can't tell who does them (e.g. Dobby's version of a Hovering Charm does make sth. hover even if Harry didn't cast it). Aurors and/or Ministry officials could appear for any use of a restricted spell or even use the Taboo for certain spells which break all protections like the Killing Curse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  8. Agent

    Agent Professor DLP Supporter

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    Well, despite living in the UK, as a kid I had a tendency to think of black people as "African-American" because that's what they were called on TV (Which I mostly watched American shows on). Nearly made the mistake of calling someone that once before I realised it's stupid.
    Completely forgot that you could use Floo for transport. So she'll probably only use it for Transport and not for communication.
     
  9. Silirt

    Silirt Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    Hate to reference every single dark Harry fic, but it's not just offensive battle magic that can be used to kill people. You can drop things on people with the levitating charm, you can transfigure living things into nonliving things, and you can banish people's broomsticks out from under them. Like, sure, you can keep banning more and more spells, but there's not a static list of them written down somewhere, and new ones can be made up, apparently by Hogwarts students.
    Guns are analogous to the killing curse, not wands in general. Seemingly random objects that could theoretically be used as weapons are analogous to most spells, and I suppose 3d printers would be analogous to spell creation. The wands could also be used to remove the wards, and they can cast disillusionment charms and summon brooms to aid in escape from the authorities, so yes, they would be banned. No one would be out in the streets protesting to keep their wands if all they could cast were the color change charm.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Gaius

    Gaius Second Year

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    hmmm...

    yes i didn't think through the dark harry use of regular spells like wingardium leviosa to kill people (or trolls as in PS). you're right.

    i follow your line of thought but not sure i would agree. if guns are to AK (and not wands), that makes sense why AK needs to be restricted (and not necessarily wands). wands can kill via other means, but, as with the objs. you posted in the photo, you can still use non-lethal spells with wands or buy those objs. like a bike wheel for their intended purpose.

    i get the logic. (i actually find myself in a strange situation advocating for fewer wand restrictions since in rl i'm in favor of gun control.) my resistance is mostly coming from my feeling that it would make the world less magical, so i'd like to think Rowling wouldn't write HP that way even if written in 2020 bc. that was what was so special about the books. do others have thoughts about this?

    this kind of regulation would make the world very dystopian. it would be an interesting idea for a fic--reads sort of like Bobika's Beyond the Curtain or NMB's Skitterleap where wanded people have much more power and can manipulate government, runnings of day-to-day life more effectively (and forcibly) than unwanded people. or also Mira Mirth's On the Way to Greatness where Harry learns that one pureblood position is more about ministry regulation of magic than necessarily blood politics. this would be i suppose more of a dystopian fic a la 1984 where it's an overbearing, overly-restrictive government that causes this situation instead of an authoritarian, rightwing regime.
     
  11. Zombie

    Zombie Lo-fi Snake Jazz Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Hermione is already black. White skin doesn't turn white with fright, they grow paler.
     
  12. Scry

    Scry Muggle

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    I wonder if Rowling would still make Harry the subject of a prophecy. A lot of the series would have to be changed, but chosen one troupes are disparaged these days.

    Or it's possible that the release of Harry Potter contributed to a heightened awareness or sensitivity about the troupe, and if it were released this year it would seem like less of a cliche.
     
  13. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    On the topic of racial diversity, I'm pretty sure that in 2020!HP, Voldemort is an Arab.
     
  14. Quiddity

    Quiddity Order Member

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    Why? Is this implying Voldemort draws from Irish terrorism of the 90s, and Rowling would draw from different influences?

    I think it's easy to overplay the differences that technological change would make. There would be some, but Rowling already ignores, for instance, television as a huge cultural influence that had been a daily part of people's lives since the 50s or 60s - there's no real analogue for it in all of Harry Potter. (Whilst there are 'moving pictures' in newspapers and portraits, these fit a entirely different role from sitcoms or the 6 o'clock news.) Would there be a smartphone equivalent? Maybe, but it's by no means guaranteed.
     
  15. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    Dudley probably would have had an Xbox of some variety as opposed to a Playstation. More development of magical equivalents to instantaneous communication provided via phones or the Internet might have appeared in the series. However, I don't think the core thrust or themes of the story would change overly much.
     
  16. Psychotic Cat

    Psychotic Cat Headmaster

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    I imagine goblins would be much less subtle and a real big hit with the alt-reich.
     
  17. Seratin

    Seratin SwoleTroll ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I now subscribe to Taure's notion of Jafar! Voldemort with a talking parrot.
     
  18. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    TBH Harry Potter and the Wizarding World was always somewhat divorced from the Muggle World. I doubt that JKR would have changed the Wizarding World much within itself. I can see her making mention of things like cell phones and their cameras however, or other similar high-tech devices, as things that Muggles have (either mentioned in a positive or a negative manner).

    But I don't see that she would have had a need to change much of anything about the Wizarding World she created. She already established that most tech doesn't work there, and it's more fun to write a story without a cellphone equivalent, so no reason for her to add/change anything outside of comments about what Muggles have/can-do.

    ...however I will readily accept that I'm wrong about that.
     
  19. DrSarcasm

    DrSarcasm Unspeakable

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    Rowling was born in 1965, so in this scenario she would have experienced her formative years in the mid 90s to early 00s. Which places her firmly with other millennials.

    Going through Rowling's wiki page, here's some differences that may come about as a result of the change in circumstances:
    • The UK switched to decimalization of currency in 1971, and the bizarre exchange rates or pre-decimalization were what the wizarding currency system was based on. With this now happening a decade and a half before she was born, Rowling likely wouldn't have used the version we are familiar with.
    • Rowling wrote fantasy stories as a child for her sister and she had some unhappy teenage years where she was distanced from her family. She ended up retreating into books, and she based Hermione on herself from this time period. Combine the 'writing stories' and 'retreat into books' and add in the access to the developing internet, and we have Rowling the messageboard fanfic writer. This might improve her writing ability due to peer review or it might harm it due to posting into an echo chamber. Either way, Hermione might not be so bookish but still super knowledgeable.
    • A childhood friend's Ford Anglia inspired the flying car from the books. A different model of car would likely have been used.
    • Due to growing up in the age of cell phones, there would be a drastic decrease in the importance of Owls and mail. While there would (hopefully) not be smartphones, something along the lines of flip phones (probably those magic mirrors from OotP) would be around. However I could also see them being banned or restricted at school for some reason or another, so that they can't interfere with the narrative.
    That's about all I can immediately think of when reading through. I have to assume most other parts of her backstory would remain the same, with all other relevant people in her life being aged up and making the same decisions. It's also hard to tell how the lack of Harry Potter in these years would affect the landscape, such as not causing the explosion of YA fantasy books that tried to ride on HP's coattails.
     
  20. Othalan

    Othalan Auror

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    I think you're reaching a bit when you equate wands with weapons. It's a tool - a fantastically versatile tool - that is made to be used for so much more than destruction. Yes, a weapon is a type of tool, but it's a very specialized tool designed for the sole purpose of causing harm to a living body. That's why a degree of regulation on weapons makes sense. You almost literally can't do anything but harm with one.

    A wand, however, is more like a wrench or a car. Sure, a certain number of people will misuse either to harm or kill, but that is a perversion of their function, not what they're made for. That's why you'd still only have more or less the same restrictions (or lack thereof) as canon, with the focus being on what you do with the tool, not on restricting the tool itself, just like in the real world.

    TL,DR: Wands =/= guns.

    One thing's for sure though: in a #MeToo era version of HP, dosing someone with love potions would put you in Azkaban.
     
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