There are some movies and TV shows, like Star Wars and Lost, that have seriously influenced popular culture. However, I would say that the Harry Potter series has had the most influence on society and how its citizens actually live their lives.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “What would Jesus do?” Well, now there are T-shirts actually asking, “What would Dumbledore do?” Of course, Dumbledore is no Jesus, but I haven’t heard anyone ask, “What would Luke Skywalker do?” or even “What would Gandalf do?” Harry Potter has provided people with role models to follow, characters that embody courage, bravery, and friendship. Harry Potter even addresses that despite these fine qualities, no one is perfect. You don’t have to be a perfect Mary Sue character in the scheme of life. I think that people who admire the characters in Harry Potter can take some comfort in the fact that not only do they have role models to follow, they have someone who has also made similar mistakes and turned out all right.
One of the main themes of Harry Potter is prejudice. In the second movie of the franchise, Harry just learns how other people view what are called Muggle-borns. Watchers of Harry Potter can look to Hermione as an example of how to overcome prejudice and prove that they are worth something. In addition, another theme of the movie is death. Now, not only has the movie’s theme helped people cope with it, the entire franchise’s incredible story itself has stopped death. Looking online, you can see that there are messages people have created saying, “I didn’t kill myself because I had to know how Harry Potter ended.” Well, I don’t know any other story that has so entranced its audience as to actually inspire them to keep on living.
There is a lot of controversy around Harry Potter, I admit. At its beginning, parents were concerned about their kids wanting to practice occultism because that’s what Harry Potter characters did. However, Harry Potter is all about how all things have light and dark inside, no one is purely good or purely evil. Magic can be a force for good, just like people.
Out of all the movies, franchises, and TV shows there are, I have to say that the magical Harry Potter series has had the most direct influence on society.
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