4 Movies That Followed the Wrong Character

#2. Harry Potter's ... Harry Potter

Warner Bros.

The Movies You Know:

A seemingly ordinary boy suddenly finds out that with absolutely no effort or training he's in fact a super cool and powerful wizard who instantly makes friends, is loved by everyone, and is destined to save the world from a nose-less magical Hitler.

But What If:

Let's be clear about the franchise's real selling point: magic. You don't see kids or adults reenacting scenes of Harry studying for his exams or being abused by his foster family ... I hope. No, it's all about casting spells and flying on broomsticks, so, really, you could have had any character introduce us to J.K. Rowling's world of magic and wonder ... like this random guy seen for 10 seconds in the background of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

Warner Bros.

Let me start off by saying that this isn't a joke.

This is a wizard spotted in the Leaky Cauldron pub as he's reading Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, which touches upon such lighthearted subjects as the beginning of the universe, black holes, and thermodynamics. Quite an interesting choice of literature for someone who can make the laws of physics his bitch with the snap of his fingers.

WHO IS THIS GUY? What are his thoughts about the science of humans? Is he just silently laughing his ass off at the hilarious misinformation laid out in the book? Is he fascinated by it? Oops, no time for that. The angelically good Harry Potter has to kill the monstrously ugly Voldemort. Gee, I wonder if he'll make it ...

Warner Bros.
"Once I defeat you, Harry Potter, I'll turn all of the world's candy into broccoli!"

But that's not all: In the few seconds that he's on screen, we see this nameless, background wizard stirring his cup with a twist of his finger, i.e. performing wandless magic, which in his world is like programming drunk in Malbolge. Wandless magic is performed only by the most skilled magical users out there, and one of them is just sitting in a dingy bar, reading a book about astrophysics, and we don't get to know anything more about him? Bull. Shit.

Harry's arc is boring. He begins and ends as the Chosen One. Snoozefuckingville.

#1. The Lord of the Rings' Sam and Frodo

New Line Cinema

The Movies You Know:

Two short guys (Sam and Frodo) and an anthropomorphic frogman with schizophrenia make one guy look like an asshole by managing to simply walk into Mordor and defeat an ancient evil.

But What If:

New Line Cinema

While I have nothing against Frodo and Sam, their role in LOTR did not extend beyond being the innocent foreground behind which the story of an armored, magical Lenin trying to take over the world shines even darker. And I get the need to do that, but I think the same effect could have been achieved with any human character, who in a world of elves, dwarves, orcs, and giant spiders, are about as frail and POV-worthy as any hobbit. And it just so happens that Sean Bean's Boromir, aka Mr. "One does not simply walk into Mordor," has the most interesting backstory of them all.

First of all, the man came from a messed-up family. When he was 10 his mother died, which caused his dad to go into full-on cuckoo mode, pouring all of his hopes and ambitions into the little kid, and asking only one thing of him: to become the greatest human king in history and defeat the evil lord Sauron, who just so happens to reside right next door to their kingdom of Gondor.

No pressure.

And so, to save his people from being devoured by an army of monsters that are amassing at his borders, Boromir sets out to Rivendell. But once he gets there, what does everyone propose to do with the One Ring, the source of Sauron's power? Give it to Frodo, a guy who's never held a sword before, and ask him to walk right up to the bad guy's front door and throw it into a volcano. Really put yourself in the mindset of Boromir: He has been living next to Mordor all his life, and his people probably know more about it than anyone else in Middle-earth, yet a bunch of dipshits who haven't been within farting distance of the place are now blatantly telling him, "Nah, bro. It can be done."

But fine, seeing as he can't convince anyone, Boromir agrees to join the Fellowship and carry the ring to Mordor. On the way, though, he becomes corrupted by the power of the ring and his righteous desire to save all the people of Gondor, and so he tries to take the ring from Frodo by force. And I say: fantastic. This is one of my favorite scenes in the first movie, because it makes Boromir look like a real, human character, and we need a protagonist like that, because Elijah Wood's Frodo feels like he was put there to justify releasing Hobbit plushies after the movie's premiere.

New Line Cinema
And to give fanfic writers something to work with.

Yes, I know the movies were based on Tolkien's books, but be honest: Who would you rather see more of on screen? A complex, vulnerable warrior who kicks ass and struggles with his convictions, or a guy with hairy feet whose most hardcore moment in the franchise is blowing up at his best friend because he thought Sam ate his bread.

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Cezary Jan Strusiewicz

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