With Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix due soon in theaters and the book release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows imminent, children, pre-teens and functionally retarded adults across America can sigh with relief: Their favorite boy wizard is back. But are kids, young adults and the mentally stupid Potter's target audience anymore? Both the films and their source material, J.K. Rowling's book series, have increasingly started to incorporate dark, violent subject matter. In the place of fantastical creatures, childhood wish fulfillment fantasy and schools of fatherly wizards, we now have hideously deformed and fanged dark lords, soul-stealing wraiths and parents murdered on-screen.
Was it always like this, and we just didn't notice? Below, six reasons why the popular children's series has always had its dark side.
Moaning Myrtle, a ghost who haunts the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, is clearly meant to be adorable: She talks in cutesy baby-talk, wears big nerdy glasses and seems to harbor a quiet crush on our hero, Harry Potter. Aww.
She's so adorable, in fact, that it's easy to forget that we're talking about the tormented specter of a child who's doomed to exclusively haunt middle school bathrooms. Assuming she's into it, you've got a pubescent dead voyeur watching school-age boys use the toilet. Assuming she's not, you've got a murdered child who's forced to hang out in a smelly-ass bathroom for all eternity.
Either way, holy Hell, is that some dark shit. Children who read this book will probably have difficulty using public restrooms for the rest of their lives, forever looking over their shoulders while dropping deuces, fearful that they're being scrutinized by an underage poltergeist with a weird bathroom fetish. Thanks a lot, Rowling. We'll be sending you our psychiatrist bills.
Not to give too much away, but as the Harry Potter series progresses, Harry-our lovable Everyman protagonist-starts dating his best friend's sister. Granted, if our experiences were any judge, it's not like most of the douches you meet in college need J.K. Rowling's approval to start seeing your sister or girlfriend behind your back. Nonetheless, that's a little creepy. It's difficult to imagine wanting to help your best friend defeat Voldemort when you know he'll be celebrating afterwards by casting "Disapearro Clothesimo" on your sister.
To her credit, Rowling tries to temper the example set by Harry by teaching us that your best friend's sister is almost always secretly possessed by some manner of dark lord. Still, we're pretty sure there are subtler ways of teaching children who to date than suggesting that a crush on their pal's kid sister involves getting roped into a creepy three-way with a noseless Ralph Fiennes.
Quidditch is a dirty, filthy game that should not be viewed by anyone at all, let alone children. Let's start with the obvious: The game is played by having each player climb on top of a long wooden shaft. Then everyone rides their shafts around, trying to "beat off" the other shafts flying all over the place and chasing balls around the field.
There's also something called the golden snatch-excuse us, "snitch." A few talented young boys try to find this special tiny thing, which is hard to find, but makes women squeal with delight when you grab it. What kind of author is J.K. Rowling that she'd try to convince impressionable children that the mythical G-spot actually exists?