by Madelyn Carter| Editor-in-chief
As you probably know from your “blown-up” newsfeed, overheard Peeta vs. Gale debates, and tired students in Friday’s first period, the all-anticipated Hunger Games came out this past weekend. Its extensive and obsessive fan base is comparable to those of the Harry Potter and Twilight phenomenons, and rightfully so as all three are teen-addicting books turned into motion pictures.
The devotion that groups of our generation have shown for these series surpasses anything that’s ever quite happened to literature and film alike. Each has its distinct differences and similarities, but which saga takes the cake? This will be a sensitive debate for some, (Twilight fans may want to stop reading now), but I’ve at least dipped into each of these three, and have dissected their fan bases, over-analyzing them using time that could have been spent curing cancer or learning Mandarin Chinese.
We’ll start with the first, longest, and most intricate heptalogy of our time. Harry Potter first took it’s books to the big screen in 2001, and the last was in 2011.
FANS:This saga captured the hearts of girls and boys from upper elementary school age to college kids, and even their parents.
CONTEXT:‘Potter’ serves up themes of bravery, sacrifice, and the battle of good vs. evil.
RELATIONSHIPS: Love is a major theme of the HP series, but not just boyfriend-girlfriend love; it’s mostly sacrificial love, fatherly/motherly love, and friendship love. Ron and Hermione’s relationship is the only one that’s really substantial in the series, and they only get together at the very end.
WHY IT’S SO APPEALING: The Harry Potter series created it’s own magical world. Hogwarts, Quidditch, the Whomping Willow, things we’ve never imagined before. There are so many characters in ‘Potter’ that it’s almost impossible not to connect with at least one. Also, author J.K. Rowling, (who is awesomely British), didn’t just dream her series up and write it down, (I’m looking at you Stephanie Meyer), but took the time to use Latin and other languages to name spells and characters, (Lumos-Latin for light, Remus Lupin- named after a mythological founder of Rome who was raised by a she-wolf). This addition makes the series more than words on paper, or faces on a screen, but provides an intricate world for Potterheads.
WHY PEOPLE DON’T LIKE IT: People who don’t like Harry Potter probably aren’t a fan of magic (lame). That’s the only legitimate reason I can think of, everyone and their mom has at least seen the movies, but I’d say the true (elite) fans are those that have read the books as well.
For those who like Twilight and are still reading this, I know you’re thinking, “OMG the only reason she doesn’t like it is because she hasn’t read it, *kisses Edward Cullen poster.*” Well, I read the first book and saw the first movie, so shh.
FANS: Twilight’s fans are middle school to middle aged women.
CONTEXT: Twilight’s theme is ‘love’. Yep, that’s it.
RELATIONSHIPS: Ugh. The whole dang saga is about Bella Swan and Edward Cullen’s obsessive, desperate, and unnatural love for each other. Jacob the werewolf ‘loves’ Bella too, but he’s really no match for the ‘attractive’ and ‘uncomparably romantic’ sparkling vampire (this is me trying not to be biased).
WHY IT’S SO APPEALING: Well this is quite simple: girls think they want to marry Edward Cullen. They want the cheesy romantic lines, the protector, the devotion. It’s all so sadly unrealistic. I mean come on, try to tell me that Twilight fans love the books/movies because of the action scenes and message of justice… yeah that’s what I thought.
WHY IT’S UNAPPEALING: This is even easier than the previous: because it offers no actual message, meaning, or feelings other than a sense that a girl must vow not to go on living without the ‘love’ of her ‘soulmate’, (Oh yes, I read the first part of New Moon.) And honestly, some Twilight fans make me hate Twilight. It’s just so superficial and immature. Dang I hope no Twilight fans are reading this or I’m going to walk outside and have 15 year old girls scratching at me with their new sparkly Ke$ha nail polish.
The Hunger Games
This is the freshest off the big screen (and also my biggest obsession at the moment).
FANS: Hunger Games fans are middle school to college boys and girls, as well as some adults.
CONTEXT: ‘Games’ holds themes of justice, bravery, discernment, hope, love, and all around beast-ness (that was horrible grammar, but let me have my moment).
RELATIONSHIPS: Katniss’ relationships with Prim and Rue exhibit sisterly love, while a love triangle of her, Peeta, and Gale exists as well. Now, if you’re thinking, “Hmm, Twilight has a love triangle too, they must be similar.” NO, STOP THINKING THAT AND NEVER SAY THAT OUT LOUD. BLASPHEMY. The love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale is completely SECONDARY to the true plot of The Hunger Games, which is destroying a totalitarian government and conquering injustice.
WHY IT’S SO APPEALING: ‘Games’ is in a post-apocolyptic America with violence and emotional scenes coexisting, which is why boys and girls can be Hunger Games fanatics.
WHY IT’S UNAPPEALING: People who don’t like ‘Games’ either 1) don’t like to read 2) are too ‘cool’ for the hype or 3) are illiterate because it literally is so easy to enjoy.
So which saga is the best? Well Twilight is out, get out of here, go back to your forest and sparkle.
The Hunger Games trilogy is amazing, but it’s really like a shiny new toy. Whereas, Harry Potter is a timeless classic that outlasts temporary obsession. #GoGoGryffindor