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The 'Powerful!Harry' Debate

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sir Snuffy, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. Sir Snuffy

    Sir Snuffy Third Year DLP Supporter

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    Coming across a lot of fics, you see a lot of authors turn Harry into a virtual God overnight. It's that, or some bullshit excuse where Harry gets very angry in a particular scene and 'something snapped' - thus releasing this big block of power inside of him which instantly boosts him up to Dumbledore/Voldemort status in terms of power.

    One fic I came across (can't remember the title), made Harry train himself from when he was like 3 in the advanced art of basically everything. By the time he went to Hogwarts, he could do mad shit like conjuring storms with wandless magic and all that cool stuff.

    Another bunch of fics had the cool old 'Harry goes to Gringotts and finds out he is the descendant of pretty much every single great Wizard that has ever existed'.

    So, what's the worst plot related to a God Harry that you've ever come across and what do you think is the most plausible way of him getting powerful enough? :sherlock:
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  2. Pure Infinity

    Pure Infinity High Inquisitor

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    You don't need to figure out a way to give Harry a power up. He just needs to discover the block Dumbledore placed on his magical core.

    I mean seriously, it's completely obvious. Did you even read the books?
     
  3. JuniorAL

    JuniorAL First Year

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    Whenever i wanna write a god Harry i change the whole thing, if you're looking for something plausible then you would have to make big changes in continuity. A simple way of doing this is to change his personality to something like the young Riddle, after he noticed that strange things tend to happen to him he starts to try and control these effects and his emotions, to get food, to not be bullied anymore, and so on.

    He does not necessarily needs to be evil, but with these simple changes everything else would follow, he would have discipline and wouldn't be satisfied being slightly above average with a talent here and there .. no, he wants to be the best and prove his name, Harry Potter is not just a boy that got lucky, he is extraordinary and Harry knows it, and now he wants everyone else to recognize him.

    The one i wrote he was sorted into Slytherin because the hat told him that he could be great, and that's all he ever wanted, with power no one else would bully him, no one he cared about would ever die if he could prevent it, his parents were so brilliant therefore something out of the ordinary must have happened to get them killed, for this reason he was always prepared. Of course it takes a lot of storytelling to make him find out about the stone and meet Quirrell/Voldemort, but i have a lot of fun doing it and thats why i write this kind of story, for the challenge of making something better and not using the exact same concept that has been used before by me or someone else. The rest is up to you :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  4. Sir Snuffy

    Sir Snuffy Third Year DLP Supporter

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    That may explain his motives, but how does he get these powers? Self-training? Rituals? Magical Blocks :)nyan:)? We may know how powerful he could end up being in the end, but it's the road to this power that's insanely hard to write, especially if you want a Harry vs Voldie showdown at the end.
     
  5. JuniorAL

    JuniorAL First Year

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    Power is directly related to intelligence, creativity, confidence, practice, emotional control, and so on. Depression, lack of confidence, oppression, as well as "negative emotions" are traits that makes you weaker, however anger can be channeled and some people consider this to be a negative emotion, nevertheless it takes emotional control to use your anger and at the same time do the logical thing, just because you want to blast someones head off does not mean you should do it, the key is to use that emotion but in a split second make the decision where you simply stun your target with extraordinary force.

    So Harry could learn all of this, magical theory and a lot of rule breaking to develop his powers, he is going to do everything he can do. Hide his invisibility cloak inside his pants after the 1st year so he can sneak around and study, he will use potions often to make him stay awake and to bewitch the Dursleys, he will do everything he can do. Again, he does not need to be evil, but the changes i suggested would make him a full Slytherin.

    Or perhaps in Slytherin You'll make your real friends, Those cunning folks use any means. To achieve their ends. - Sorting Hat .. Thats why i love this house, Slytherin and proud <3
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  6. generalbattle13

    generalbattle13 Squib

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    The fics that have harry become a god overnight are all generally hard to read because they just piss me off at the start, but the ones that are the worst in my opinion are the ones where he randomly wakes up one morning after being possessed and suddenly he has all of Voldemort's memories.

    Every time I read one of these I get flashbacks of my 4th grade self talking to my friends saying, "We shouldn't have to go to school, they should just invent a helmet we could put on and absorb everything we need to know in like a few hours." If possession gave someone all your memories and you have the ability to remove memories why wouldn't you just remove the personal ones and then give someone all of your magical memories so you didn't have to deal with a bunch of 11-17 year olds all year long.

    I think the best way to write a god harry fic is just to write it, ignore how he became powerful completely. If you want him to be a god after fifth year then write only after he becomes a god and diverge from cannon as needed for your individual story.
     
  7. Sir Snuffy

    Sir Snuffy Third Year DLP Supporter

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    Ignoring his road to power is quite neglectful, wouldn't you say? Part of the charm of reading a fic (at least for me) is to see how the character becomes what he is in the end. Making Harry an extremely powerful and knowledgeable Wizard outright, especially when he is still at Hogwarts, is instantly one of the newbie mistakes people make. The character instantly becomes flat and 'not-unique' because he is already at the high point in his magical power.

    After that, all that's left to is wait for him to breeze through things and wait for Voldemort to go poof.
     
  8. generalbattle13

    generalbattle13 Squib

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    I disagree with that, for instance you could write a story where he's been dumbledores apprentice for years since he was a first year, and just start it off with a turning point. Say you ignore books 1-3 and start it in book 4 with an au harry whos been trained by Dumbledore. Write him facing danger for the first time, better prepared in the triwizard tournament finally without Dumbledore to guide him (because Dumbledore isn't allowed to help and he actually plays by the rules). And then you could lead up to Voldemort coming back, and have harry be extremely powerful but still below Voldemort and write him coming into his own life starting to make decisions for himself, and just use the elements from the chamber of secrets and the prisoner of Azkaban as part of the war. That way you can create character growth in other things but magic.
     
  9. JuniorAL

    JuniorAL First Year

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    I agree with you, personally i like to read detailed stories with a reasonable and well developed background. To write something like that you would need to convince the reader and at the same time make something interesting and compelling to read. Its quite a challenge, and its one of the main reasons why god Harry stories in general suck, but when you get it right is amazing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  10. Sir Snuffy

    Sir Snuffy Third Year DLP Supporter

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    Don't get me wrong, I don't mind someone starting the story when Harry is older and more powerful. In fact, I prefer those stories over all the others.

    It's the scenario that you gave me. Starting of a Harry in fifth year, who basically has above Auror-Grade skills with no backstory is what grinds my gears. The whole Dumbledore-Apprentice thing is great (although it has been butchered by so many writers), there is a reason for the greater skill he has than his fellow students (in consideration).

    This whole thread is about why he is more powerful by his peers, how does he become as powerful as he is. It's to outline ways in how to make a Harry vs. Voldemort/Dumbledore battle a reality without it being over the top.

    Simply slapping a massive plothole aside and going 'just make him powerful for the lols' is a sign of lazy writing.
     
  11. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Everything depends on the execution, I guess. If you go Indy!Harry and have him become the Bitchslap Sorcerer over the summer, then I'll thank you and leave.

    Voldemort's/whoever's memories: not at all opposed to this trope, provided that there is a process. If it's like Harry is a Tesla car and just downloads an upgrade in his sleep and has all of Voldemort's knowledge and skill just like that, I'll thank you and leave. I used this trope myself in my fic and I like to think I've done a passable job with it, though I'll be the first to admit it's not as good as I imagined it would be. Then again, my writing rarely meets my imaginary standards.

    Basically, if you want to make Harry powerful, I need to see a process. I'm not saying I require 400k words of slow progress. You can do it in a oneshot - it has been done that way before and done well. One example is The Last Enemy. I'm too lazy to provide a link typing from my phone, but it's in the Library, under Dark Arts I believe.

    Another way is to skip the process entirely, or go AU and only show the already powerful Harry.

    How powerful Harry becomes is a whole different pair of shoes. If he's in school, or a young adult, I will most likely not buy a Dumbledorean Harry unless your justification for putting him up on that shelf is something that appeals to me. I can absolutely get behind him being a badass able to take on small armies, but wizards like Dumbledore and Voldemort are in a category that should be practically out of reach for most people. By most I mean all but maybe several others. If your Harry is in his fifties and has studied magic all his life, always pushing himself, then okay. I guess.

    In the first version of my fic I went full retard and had Harry conjuring lightning and killing Death Eaters within a few months. The last three years have greatly changed my perspective on HP fanfic and writing in general. I still have that first version on my computer and look at it sometimes to cringe at how utterly bad it is. Three years ago I was writing the worst kind of indy fic. I'm glad that's behind me.

    Good example of a school-age powerful Harry is in Renegade Cause. Good, not great (I have some minor gripes with it, but that's true for most fanfic I read), but it hits all the right milestones. Harry is motivated to get better and does get better, but not at every kind of magic. He progresses in fields he focuses on and remains perfectly ordinary in others.

    Hogwarts Battle School is another good example. Harry is very good at dueling for his age, and I buy his continued development throughout the story.

    A great example of a powerful Harry who nonetheless isn't Dumbledore is in Circular Reasoning. Harry starts off already powerful and I don't need to know in detail how he got there, because what backstory is there makes sense to me and doesn't leave me grimacing.
     
  12. Sir Snuffy

    Sir Snuffy Third Year DLP Supporter

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    Stemming from our mutual agreement that Harry should not just instantly gain access to Voldie's memories overnight, learn how to manipulate the elements on a global scale during the summer etc. etc. What plausible ways would there be for Harry to become as powerful?

    I've had vague ideas of rituals, maybe even potions that are taken over time. In the end, it has to be something unique to Harry himself, I believe. A special circumstance that allowed Harry to become as powerful as he is.

    The reason behind this is simple - what's to stop another person from using the same way to get to power? If all it took was a multiple compartment trunk, a time turner and a bunch of books then how come Tom Riddle, a genius in his own right had not thought of it? If making Harry super powerful, enough powerful to at least hold his own against the like of Voldemort and Dumbledore, took a seemingly simple method then it raises a lot issues, at least in the way I see it.

    If Harry is to be as powerful as the like of those two, then there must be some special catalyst for this change. It's the how, what and when that's difficult.
     
  13. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    The answer you're looking for is time.
     
  14. JuniorAL

    JuniorAL First Year

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    Oracle, just because someone is powerful they don't necessarily need to cast fireballs left and right. In the Hp World you can't be one of the best and at the same time do stupid shit, spells can rebound and stuff, if you cast something without thinking about it first you might get hit by it. "And a Death Eater's dead, he got hit by a Killing Curse that huge blond one was firing off everywhere" - Ginny HbP

    So what this means is while you can make a powerful Harry, he can't do silly mistakes, while he does not need to be able to stun Fluffy in his 1st year, he can't just go there completely unprepared and with little knowledge of magic. I think we can all agree that he would have died to the Devil's Snare if wasn't for Hermione. The process is fairly simple, if he actually tries to be the best then he will be, you can only get so far with study only but i believe that Harry had a spark in him that would allow him to be at least as good as his parents.

    If you want to make him even more powerful, then i suggest you to make other characters just as powerful, so if for some weird reason you decide that he can transfigure a room into pure lava, then assume that Voldemort would be able to do this but in a much larger scale, perhaps the whole house and with little effort. Remember that even Voldemort traveled for about 10 years to expand his knowledge and do his thing before he revealed his true self to everybody. Dumbledore, Voldemort and Grindelwald are the apex, its a level that requires time and effort to achieve. A reasonable yet powerful thing Harry could do is the ability to become invisible just with his wand and non verbally, and use this with cleverness. So if his enemies think that he needs a cloak, then he can pretend that he has none and surprise them with a sneak atk. Thats talent right there, dont reveal everything you can do and be practical, if you need to stun someone then just do it, there is no need to show off with a complex spell to melt the ground and prevent them from moving. I really think that my interpretation of what power means is rather different than yours. Anyway its your story, do whatever makes you proud after its done.

    Edit: I agree with ScottPress, i would have liked his post but i am not allowed to. Apparently he posted while i was typing :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  15. DerHesse

    DerHesse High Inquisitor

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    You should read the following fics.

    On the Way to Greatness
    By: mira mirth

    -necessity

    Forging the Sword
    By: Myst Shadow

    -pain/past mistakes

    Harry Potter and the Boy Who Lived
    By: The Santi

    -desire to prove himself and honest enjoyment
     
  16. LateStarts

    LateStarts Disappeared

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    If You're a Lazy Writer find a place in the fandom where the cliches won't bore us

    I agree with the afformentioned opinion, these plots are hackneyed. And at best reworked, but it's still the same old shit. That being said, unless the writer feels like writing a 300,000 plus words detailed expose on Harry's long, hairied and sometimes down right frustrating road to magical prowess and greatness, we have to compromise for the narrow minded: wham, bam, thank you mam' Harry is now a badass storyline.

    It's a plausible storyline if we, the reader are willing to take into consideration the ridiculous ammount of work one would have to put into an 100% original and realistic plot line.

    However, I don't think we should excuse these over-worked boring plot lines that all blur into one angsty abnoxious story after a while. I'm saddle with the belief that if you feel the need to write a Badass Hary story, you should A.) Recognize the previous stories in the genere and notice the shortcomings of each plot and B.) Breath some new life into it, not copy a bunch of cliches into one story because it worked in various YA novels Barnes and Noble recommended. :facepalm
     
  17. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    The Lesser Sadness is the only powerful!Harry fic I can tolerate. And he's not fully Harry anymore.
     
  18. Darthlawyer

    Darthlawyer First Year

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    The worst Powerfull Harry fics that i have read are Sunset over Britten and Surprise surprise. In Sunset his Magical core gets super powerful out of the blue and in Surprise he just has superpowers for no reason at all.

    Super power Harry is extremely boring because every situation can be resolved using those powers and the writes creates the struggle by making him do dumb things lose self control or get hurt all the time. Only in stories where he becomes a better wizard through effort and school work (not training in the RoR or having Sirius dreams or a time turner of even the painting of Slytherin) make for a compelling read.
     
  19. blueeyedsidhecat

    blueeyedsidhecat First Year

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    I remember one fic where Harry used ritual to triple his magical core. It included having sex. And because he had sex with Hermione and Luna, his magical core enlarged nine times.
    It also included omniscient manipulative Dumbledore, rapist Weasleys ( yes, plural).
     
  20. Sir Snuffy

    Sir Snuffy Third Year DLP Supporter

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    You have a link to it? I'd love to have some suicide-inducing material on hand.
     
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