What Stories Did JK Rowling Read to HER Children? If I had to take a guess, I’d say fairy-tales. Let me tell you why… Disclaimer, my mind can jump around quite a bit.
Earlier tonight, I was thinking about Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom. Particularly, what their parents did that “thrice defied” Voldemort, as stated in the prophecy. Then my mind got carried away with the books and I was thinking about all sorts of questions I have about them. Eventually, I came back to the prophecy. What stuck out in my mind was “and he will mark him as his equal”. Then I was reminded of something.
Recently, I watched one of my favorite Snow White film adaptations, Snow White: the Fairest of Them All, featuring Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) and Miranda Richardson. Miranda Richardson (who, coincidentally, played Rita Skeeter in the Harry Potter films) plays the Evil Queen and Kristin Kreuk plays Snow White. The film follows the relationship of Snow White and the queen from the Brothers Grimm a lot more closely than other adaptations, though it’s not quite as dark as Snow White and the Huntsman. In this adaptation, the queen has a magical brother who is somewhat responsible for making her who she is. It is this brother that came to my mind when thinking of the prophecy in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In Snow White the queen’s brother says to her, “She was never a threat to you until you imagined her to be”.
And then it hit me.
SNOW WHITE AND HARRY POTTER ARE THE SAME STORY. In the same way that Frankenstein and My Fair Lady are the same story, anyway. How did I not see this before? Was I blind? Snow White focuses on what women stereotypically covet: beauty. Harry Potter focuses on what men stereotypically want: power. In both stories, the antagonist is so desperate to have something that the protagonist really has no interest in. Both Voldemort and the Evil Queen marked Harry Potter and Snow White as their equals.
Hence, my belief that JK Rowling often read fairy tales to her children before she began writing Harry Potter. Or maybe she just like the story of Snow White and it subconsciously made its way into her novels. Either way, the theme of the fairy tale was in her brain as she began writing on napkins.
I find it quite intriguing that I realize this when all of these movie and television producers are making their own Snow White adaptations. Oh wait, that’s probably the reason I even noticed in the first place. Oh oh oh! Now the television show, Once Upon a Time, HAS to have some Harry Potter character make an appearance. If that happened, my life would be complete.
But seriously, this is what I love about novels and stories. There is always something to connect them to one another and there is always a character to relate to. It may not be obvious at first, but digging a bit deeper into the story is half the fun anyway. So thank you JK Rowling and Brothers Grimm, for bringing these stories into my life.