I have been a big fan of Harry Potter ever since they the first books came out, I read all of them, watched all the movies and even took my Pottermore quiz and everything.
I’m a true-blood Potterhead and I absolutely love the universe that J.K. Rowling created, however, the only thing that bothered me was how I was actually not able to relate to the main 3 characters of the series at all.
This revelation actually came to me after the second time of reading the books and I was bit taken aback when I look back at how the characters of Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger and Ron Weasely were not exactly relatable to me at all.
Don’t Lead Characters Have To Be Relatable?
Almost all books or movies have to follow the fundamental rule of making their characters, and their leads especially, since they will be the constant ones throughout the series.
Without relatability the readers/audience will not be able to connect with the characters which will further not have them invested into the series as much as the creator would want them to be.
Emotional connection with one’s characters is one of the best ways to have your work succeed and gain mass recognition.
However, the thing that I experienced with Harry Potter was how not-relatable the 3 main characters were.
Sure I could somehow identify with 1 or 2 personality traits, like the average nature of Ron or the bookworm part of Hermoine, but Harry without a doubt was the most difficult to relate.
Which brings to me the thought that, perhaps the main characters don’t have to be as relatable as we thought them to be.
Main Characters Are Inspirational
The conclusion I came to was that, main characters don’t have to always be someone we can identify with.
Often times they are inspirational more than relatable and they are meant to be an escape route for your mundane life, that allow you to glimpse into their exciting and adventurous life since most of the times their earlier life was similar to our, boring and routine. But something happens and bam, their entire life changes and they find out they are meant for something special and bigger than anyone.
Going with the Harry Potter works only, instead of the 3 main characters, in fact, I identified more with characters like Neville Longbottom or Luna Lovegood, since they are much closer to the way people commonly are.
With main characters, it is less about relatibility and more about how much connected the audience is with them and cares about what happens to them. That matters more and the other background characters can then be created for the readers to see themselves in.
Also, according to a piece in the Huffington Post, the whole ‘relating to the main character’ is a relatively modern notion that came sometime in the early 19th-century.
Apart from Harry Potter, you can take characters like Sherlock (the BBC adaptation), who isn’t a character you’d instantly relate to, but nonetheless, it is an extremely popular one.
We also must take into consideration that often times, it is the people themselves that don’t want a relatable main character, since where is the fun in that. What fun is there watching an average person who is not that crazy, is less extraordinary and overall less interesting dealing with stuff?
That is why, according to myself, main characters do not necessarily need to be relatable or like the average human for a book, show or movie to work.
Image Credits: Google Images