Harry Potter vs Lord of the Rings

How they are alike?

They both deal with defeating a difficult foe, a self-defining journey and magic of different sorts. Harry Potter (HP) and Lord of the Rings (LOTR) have been rivals especially since the movies came out. There are many people around the world that only like one or the other. Good and Evil is one of the main themes for both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Though some would say that love, political overtures, oppression, overcoming imposing odds, self-discovery, hope, fate, free will, despair and survival were themes that differed from Lord of the Rings, but I believe different. I think that these are some shared themes between both Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.  Both protagonists in the book series have to risk life and limb as well as endure other consequences and risks in order to save their perspective worlds.

In both book series, there are close advisors or friends that betray the protagonist, such as Wormtongue (LOTR) and Wormtail (HP). These men are influential in the decision making or plot twists throughout parts of the books. Both of these stories have mythical and wonderous creatures as well as the ones that are created from nightmares. First, it is the large man-eating spiders that are depicted in both the Lord of the Rings novels and Harry Potter novels. One is Shelob who attacks, Frodo, the protagonist in Lord of the Rings. The other is Aragog, that originally belongs to Hagrid when he was a student at Hogwarts that now resides in the Forbidden Forest. Other dark creatures include the Nazgul (LOTR) and the Dementors (HP).

Both include a long bearded older wizard that does good which would be Dumbledore (HP) and Gandalf (LOTR). There are even sentient trees that attack people when threaten. Those would be Ents in Lord the Rings and the Whomping Willow in Harry Potter. It is a fact that the Tolkien and his works have impacted every aspect of the fantasy genre no matter how small. There are some aspects of Tolkien’s work in every other work in the fantasy genre. 

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Harry Potter: Differences?

Harry Potter was written in the 90’s by J.K. Rowling with 7 books in the series. The series is part of the young adult fantasy genre. It’s story while fantasy is also based in London, in the real world, with a dash of a different world thrown in with the wizarding world. Harry Potter is very much about witchcraft and navigating through the twists and turns of the story. In the world of Harry Potter, Magic and power are encouraged to be used for the most part throughout the entirety of the series. There are only a few times that it is discouraged to use magic such as when the students are not at school until they are of age and then when Umbridge is headmaster.

It is intertwined with the world we know, the real world, with her fantasy tied throughout. It is a fantasy with danger hidden throughout but it is a series that focuses on the hardships of growing up and dealing with the world surrounds them. In this series, they are able to manipulate the reality that they are living in and are encouraged by the adults to do so. This is a book that is great for many different ages while following Harry, primarily, throughout the story that has been set up by J.K. Rowling. Rowling keeps the wording throughout the book straight forward, easy to read and follow along throughout the series.Themes throughout that differ from that of Lord of the Rings would be growing up and normality. 

Lord of the Rings: Differences?

Lord of the Rings was published 40 years before that in 1954 by J.R.R. Tolkien with 3 books in the series. Though the trilogy is part of the fantasy genre, it is part of the Epic High-fantasy genre. This trilogy is one that is more relevant for older audiences than that of Harry Potter. The language of the book reflects the audience for both Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series.

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The wording throughout the Lord of the Rings trilogy is slightly long winded at times and has an almost poetic tone to the writing of Tolkien. There are other books that give background and other information about the world of the Lord of the Rings as well such as the Hobbit and many others. Tolkien created an entire new world with all new mythology based within that world. Lord of the Rings is filled with adventure, danger at every turn and a little bit more of a medieval feel with the weapons and clothing choice. The wizards are part of the sub-plot throughout the books. But they do not use wands, they use staffs. Gandalf may be called a wizard, but Tolkien makes it seem like he is no ordinary wizard or being. Neither are the immortal beings that are called elves in the Lord of the Rings.

They are also magical beings that are able to use magic through incantations and such. Though, the characters better understand the link between actions and consequences in their story. For the character’s reality is actually real and the actions that are performed do have real consequences. This is understood better in this world than it is in Harry Potter sometimes. Also, when it comes to the evil power of the one ring, those in middle earth and all of the worlds that Tolkien created were told that they should avoid such power. The themes that differ from Harry Potter would be the journey, death and immortality, as well as knowledge with enlightenment.

The story plot for Lord of the Rings is immense with many different story lines that one follows throughout the book. Many of these stories are parallel to one another especially when it comes to Frodo and Sam then the other members of the fellowship of the ring.  But those are not the only story lines that are followed throughout the book trilogy.

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