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Why Harry Potter Fans Are So Conflicted Over James Potter

The "Harry Potter" franchise is, obviously, a treasure trove for magical adventures featuring fantastical characters. But arguably, what makes the movies and books so fascinating is their mystery elements, which permeate the very DNA of the entire franchise. Each story introduces a mystery for Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), to solve by the end of the movie or, in some cases, the end of the series.

Most of the "Harry Potter" story is told exclusively from the point of view of Harry himself, so there's a lot about the world that fans aren't aware of. That also goes for certain past events, including a lot of the history of Harry's family. The films reveal glimpses of James and Lily Potter's lives but not nearly enough to get an overall accurate picture of who they were. This has led to something of a mixed reception when it comes to Harry's father, James.

James Potter's bullying is a point of contention for Harry Potter fans

One Reddit user laid out exactly why they like James Potter and made some fairly good points. Their critique boiled down to the fact that James befriended those without friends, married a Muggleborn even though it wasn't popular at the time, and sacrificed his own life to try and protect Harry and Lily from Voldemort. However, the post sparked a big discussion in the comments over how good of a person James was.

U/DarkDNALady pointed out that James and Sirius Black bullied Severus Snape because of his hair and lack of wealth when they were children. Another commenter, u/pecky5, pointed out how James tried to convince Lily to date him by promising never to bully Severus again, which is a pretty abhorrent thing to do, even if he was only 15 at the time. U/Grogroda believed that adult James had become an entirely different person and was inspired by his wife Lily to change.

However, a Wizarding World feature argues that fans should cut James a break for his bullying years. They state that his wealthy parents never instilled boundaries, which led to James acting out the way he did. They also believe that because he befriended people like Lily and Remus Lupin, he was able to mature and become a better person. It's tough to say how good or bad of a person James was because it's never really shown save for a few flashbacks, but it's clear that fans still have a divisive opinion over the character.