Harry Potter versus Lord of the Rings – Mysteriousness versus Normality (?)…


With a former collegue I sometimes have discussions about our favourite movies. Maybe it is because she is female and I am male – no, no adjustments to the ‘new’ gender recommendations here! – that our tastes seem to be so different from each other.


I also read somewhere that the differences between feminine and masculine being so fundamentally engrained in our physio- and psychology, there is bound to be a stark difference of opinion regarding such a thing as movies. According to that research, men are more into systems and into things in general, while women are, again in general, more interested in humans, a not so difficultly observable fact in esp. young girls and boys, where they have not yet been pressed into conformity by our society so as to show unashamed the qualities of femininity and masculinity respectively, albeit in their fundamental, unrefined, unschooled forms. Not to say that there are no, what we call by lack of a better name, feminine traits in boys and masculine traits in girls, because it is quite obvious that there are. So let it be clear that we are talking mostly about masculinity and femininity, where both of these quite distinct qualities can be found in both men and women.

Jung, the famous psychologist, also has written about these distinctions and about the mixture of both -inities in bots sexes, since a woman has an inner man and a man an inner woman, their more hidden qualities of which some signs are most easily perceived by looking in the eyes of a person.

In this light it is not surprising that husband and wife have different favourite tv-shows and often express the desire to have two telivisionsets in the room, one for the man and one for the woman.

If the smalltalk in the bup after some tongueloosening beverages comes to the subject of movies, this general difference in male and female movietaste becomes quite apparent.

Men in general tend to enjoy a good actionmovie, where things get tough for the main characters and there is a need to show one’s metal, to express one’s inner hero in order to survive and rescue loved ones, while women in general lóve a movie about… lóve, a movie that shows the inner emotions, loves and fears, of normal, unheroic civilians that have no choice but to adapt to the status quo and try as best they can to get deep into a socially demanding communicative lifestyle while at the same time trying to talk themselves out of the continuous mischief they have perpetrated as a result of the opposing powers of love versus self-love, a primal force that sweeps even the strongest off their feet into the arms of the ones they should have steered clear of.

Both kind of movies are, of course, about love where most of our dear ladies are less than men into the grand and heroic, broadly orchestrated noisily and bloody war-actions as expressions of love and more into the modest and honest shów of love through mostly words, hugs and kisses.

In a certain sense I think one could say that women are more into the Now, experiencing this present moment with great precision and subtlety, much greater than most men ever could. Whereas most men are Future-based in their outlook, always striving for something that is not there yet, thereby easily losing track of the present moment in their passion for the realisation of their vision, a vision of which many would say would be utter nonsense, until the grand finale where the focus of the male hero makes the day and he creates, say, a washingmachine or a refrigerator, simply because he believed it was possible and useful where all bystanders did not. Would there be no masculinity in the world, with its interestedness in systems, things and the material laws of nature, than our women would most probably still be washing their clothes in the rivers…

For most of our citizens it will not be so very difficult to enumerate some really masculine and some really feminine movies, as the archetypes of male and female are intimitely engrained in our very DNA. Movies like ‘Wuthering Hights’, ‘War and Peace’, ‘The adventures of Gwendolin in Paris’ and ‘How the Prince met his Beloved’ will most certainly fall in the feminin section, while titles like ‘Batman does it again’, The new suit of Superman’, ‘We gave them hell’ and ‘Journey to the alien planet’ will easily be recognized as trueblooded boyz stuff.

Of course, there are in real life a lot of overlappings, where also movies are designed to be interesting to both of the sexes, as to incorperate something of both ends of the spectrum. Many of our greatest movies of all times fall into this third categorie of being more or less balanced in their masculine and feminine energies, as to more precisely follow life as it ís or could be if you take the real nature of life as your prerogative.

The real nature of life is both feminine and masculine, where sometimes the one and sometimes the other is more predominantly on the foreground. Sometimes it is winter, sometimes summer… Life is a balance of extremes and this makes life strong and adaptable.

Just to mention some of such movies, where the ever changing balance of opposing forces is depicted with both expressions of strength and gentleness in good measure, here a short and personal list of some of my favourites, that I think wil resonate with many other earth inhabitants:

  • Star Trek (it may surprise you, but mány women love this series)
  • Star Wars (acc. to Joseph Campbell a valuable depiction of the Great Myth of our time)
  • Harry Potter movies (the álmost best selling movies éver, liked by boys ánd girls)
  • Lord of the Rings (who would have guessed that Tolkien would be ever so famous?)
  • MadMax FuryRoad (a feminine hero that shows her balls but remains 100% woman)

Many times, when women or men say that they don’t like one of the upper mentioned movies, it will be because ór they don’t really know these movies, ór they don’t want to lose face with their friends, but deep inside in all of us, there lives the hero, waiting to come out and the lover, waiting to show with honosty what is valuable. I remember a saying ‘Only true lovers can be hero’s’ and in the long list of my favourite movies this quote holds true.

But still, as the title of this modest little article says, the innate duality of life is a persistent one that expresses its opposing qualities everywhere for us to learn from. Where we cannot and better not deny the truth of the matter that most of our dear women like esp. a ‘normal’ life, where they will adapt to the existing situations as best and as fast they can, to settle in and start hugging. Women are, says a famous contempory psychologist, are by nature adapters. They wánt to adapt, to adjust, to fit in – this as a result of them having more feminine qualities than masculine qualities. Most of our dear men, on the other hand, says the same psychologist, do nót want to adapt! They want to find out who they are, irrespective of the society, and what they have come here to do. They want and need to excel in something, do something that is really difficult and hard, so as to prove themselves in the harsh environment of opposing forces. Even in the old, primitive cultures it is always the boys that have to go through some heavy ordeal, because, if they don’t … they will remain mother’s boys all their lives.

In movies like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, we can therefore see the main male character going through some really heavy times, where they have no choice but to give an answer to the situations that impose themselves on them and do as best as they can the thing that needs to be done, even if it is fucking hard to accomplish this task.

Maybe that is why so many man in the present age have problems with depression, because they don’t know anymore what to do to prove themselves to themselves. Their life has become a routine, a drag, that does not seem to go anywhere heroic.

This need of the masculine force in men (and women) to do something difficult and follow a higher vision to an envisioned non-existing future is a real fact of life, a fact that by our denial becomes a psychological and social problem.

Anyway, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, both movies about real-life heros that didn’t ask te be a hero, nor even wanted to be one, but.. they needed to be one. And in both movies it is Love that made them step onto the heroic path. Whereas most fans of the fantacy genre of movies will like both these series, the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings series, I have still noticed quite a difference in adoration by many fans that absolutely like the one over the other. And that was, as said, what me and my former coworker were discussing about. How come that some fantasy fans like the Harry Potter series much more than the Lord of the Rings series and vice versa??

Well,… I have started to believe that it is the same old feminine-masculine dynamism that is responsible for this like-dislike.

As we have concluded earlier (háve we? Oepss..), and to say it in a concised way, femininity results primarily in adaptor-lovers and masculinity in creator-lovers – the Force of Love working in fundamentally different ways that support each other and give a society flexibility and stability. And as we saw, this translates into a desire for ‘normality’ in feminine people and a need for personal ‘differentiation’ in masculine people.

Now, when I look at my own reactions to these two movie-series and to the books that inspired them, I get a distinct feeling with these four, the Harry Potter books, the Harry Potter movies, the Lord of the Rings books and the Lord of the Rings movies.

I have read all of these books (all ten, or better, eleven of them) and I saw all movies made of these books. And what I absolutely love in both the HP-books and the LOTR-books is the deep sense it gave met when I read it the first time of mistery. Personally I love a good mistery, because this world is far to normal for my personal taste! And these books provided an outlet for my supressed emotions that transported me to another world. Still I get this same feeling sometimes of mistery and suspence when I walk in a forest or when I listen to a certain kind of music.

But now the movies…..

In my appreciation there is a huge difference in experience between the HP- and the LOTR-movies: Harry Potter on the big (or small) screen gives me the same sense of mistery that I had while reading and remembering the books. The LOTR-movies, in all their beauty and reasonably good acting, does nót. The first time I saw LOTR on the screen it was OK-ish, but the second time I was bored to death, whereas the third time, I switched off and rather read the book some more.

In the beginning I was really wondering why I perceived this big difference in the two series.

My collegue on the other hand had a very opposite evaluation: she found the HP-movies rather childish and the LOTR-movies more for grown-ups.

After much deliberation I have come to the temporary conclusion that … TaDaa… here it comes… the LOTR-movies are for the more ‘normal’ minded people, where everything must remain in the realm of normally understandable stuff, just plain down-to-earth orks and elves and people without too much real and creepy mistery, a bit like the crimi’s on the German telly: it can deal with some pretty dark things and stuff, but never shall cross the boundery of the Really Weird and Outworldliness. Harry Potter on the screen succeeds in giving me the feeling of weird mistery that also the books gave me. HP-movies are more for the ‘not so normal’ kind of people, maybe a childish quality that I actually am proud of not to have lost.

And yes, my collegue is a woman… in her case, struggling to be as normal as possible…

Question remains, how did they dó that to these movies? That it feels so differently to different people? I guess it has a lot to do with the character of the filmdirectors. In the past, filmdirectors just came out of nowhere and started directing films, inventing the whole directing-thingy out of creative scratch, but nowadays filmdirectors come from the filmdirector-school where they learn to use a whole array of trick and ticks to make a movie appealing to the modern audience. This resulted in an enormous mess of modern movies that are all alike: you’ve seen one, you’ve seen most of them. To make a movie where people féél things in a way they did when they read the book, needs a special kind of director that directorschools have not invented yet and never will.

Another thing that is in my humble opinion the most important thing in the movie-business… is the music! The music for Harry Potter was mostly done by the very famous composer John Williams, the guy who ‘did’ numerous films and also took care of the Star Wars series. His music is great to such an extent that you can just listen to his music and relive the whole movie with eyes closed. It has however been said by many on many occasions about the LOTR-movies that they were really lacking in the field of music, something I absolutely must agree with. Apart from the openingmusic, they made a boring mess of it for most of the time and … a film without good music is an upportunity lost!

Well, I rest my case and my hands… it is out of my hands anyway.

Auteur: dromenvanpapier

Tarotist, Fotograaf, Schrijver en fantast

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