It seems as though there are at least a couple of things that both Jim Butcher and JK Rowling agree on when it comes to magic, and something a little deeper than that.
In both series’, these two things are brought up:
- The importance and power behind a Name.
- The power that Love has as a driving force on the side of Good against the greater Evil.
I’ve just (now) finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and in the very last chapter I came across two quotes from Dumbledore that made me smile, because they reminded me so much of TDF.
First: “Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
Of course, this does seem a little opposite The Dresden Files, at first glance. In TDF Harry is often cautioned to use names very wisely, especially when around certain beings (mostly nonhuman). But Harry also often mocks and makes fun of the names of beings he’s facing up against, in a sense putting down who they are. There is a lot of strength in a name in both series’, whether it be for fear or for knowledge.
Second: “Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign…to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed, and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good.”
Again, it should be very easy to see the connection between this and TDF. The White Court of vampires is completely unable to even touch the skin of anyone who has felt true love.
I’m sure some people would use things like this to toss around the ‘who stole who’s idea first’ thing, or something like that. But I would rather enjoy it. I think having those two similarities in the books are beautiful, because they’re somewhat true to real life. When reading one book series and understanding something like that, you may say ‘okay, cool, he came up with this as part of this magical world of rules and facts’ but when two different series’ hold the same truth, it almost gives a kind of realism to the world that maybe wasn’t there before.
Anyway, this has been a great writing appreciation post. Sorry there isn’t more to it, but I wanted to share this with all of you, even if you had previously made the connection yourselves. I hope everyone is doing well and continues to do so. <3
I love looking at magic systems in different fictional universes, I can’t believe I’ve never thought about comparing the use of Names between these series before! Applying some principles:
What the Wizarding World would do:
- Harry Potter -> The Boy Who Lived
- Voldemort -> He Who Must Not Be Named
- He Who Walks Behind… I think someone got here first
- a skinwalker -> [let’s not think about this, it wouldn’t improve anyone’s life]
What Harry Dresden would do:
- Harry Potter -> Hey, kid
- Voldemort -> Snake-Boy Jr
- He Who Walks Behind -> “I know you are but what am I?”
- a skinwalker -> Shagnasty
In other words,
Fandom, you’re doing it right.