Twilight and Harry Potter are not compatible!
Sure, they made a butt load of money from merchandise and box office sales, but outside the financial arena, they have no similarities aside from both series jump starting Robert Pattinson’s career. I won’t mention the uses of characterization, mythology, or narrative skill in either of these stories, because this rant would be several pages longer. So, I’ll explain the illegitimacy of the great debate in 3 key components: demographic, scope, and stakes (and no, not the ones Buffy uses.)
Harry Potter began as a children story then slowly progressed into young adult. The protagonist is a young male and the story pertains elements that cater to the mind of young males, such as magic, creatures, battles, etc. The events in the story are external, with enough action and spectacle to fuel the imagination.
Twilight is and always was a young adult book that focuses heavily on the romance between the two main characters. The story is told through the point of view of a female protagonist where most of the events are internalized. Female readers can relate to her character in an emotional level and identify with the fascination of first love.
Both stories address relationships, but Harry Potter deals with the companionable and maternal depth of love. Twilight addresses the thrill of infatuation, the dark internal longing of romance, and the seductive powers of youth and beauty, concepts that typically appeal to females.
(Food for thought: as far as heart-throbbing love interests go, Harry is too available to the reader. The reader knows his ENTIRE backstory: his abusive childhood, his leap into puberty, his first kiss, etc., because they were right there with him. It’s like watching a son or a little brother grow up before your eyes. That kills the sexy mystique a bit, IMHO.)
This applies to the world-building element to each story, which is as different as night and day.
Harry Potter can easily be considered high fantasy due to the intricate world that surrounds the story. It has the rudimental components of any civilization: economy, currency, recreation, government, education, historical event/leaders/ monuments, news/communications, etc. All that’s missing is its own language, and the spells can arguably be viewed as dialect. So much focus is put on this world; the contemporary ‘Muggle’ society is almost completely left out, to the point where the decade in which it takes place is obscured.
Twilight easily falls in the paranormal category, the abnormal co-existing with the normal in plain sight. It is set in current times, adhering to conventional concepts such as science, and using technology that the reader can easily recognize. The vampires purchase goods with local currency, obey the laws of the land as well as their own rules, and they use the same modern conveniences as normal people, like cars and electricity. This angle of fantasy has a powerful, psychological impact, as the bizarre can happen in the normal realm of existence, where the weird follows you home.
This is the big, BIG tie-breaker for me, the primary reason these stories are not on the same playing field. Whether it’s becoming immortal, or defeating a dark wizard, each main character has a goal they intend to meet at the end of the series, a theme that reoccurs in each book. It comes down to one simple question: What happens if they fail?
Harry’s failure to defeat Lord Voldermort could result in a global shift where the wizarding world would be exposed to the Muggles. All Non-magical people would be enslaved and tortured. Harry’s allies would be hunted down and killed, and the sacrifice of his loved ones would be in vain.
Each goal involves struggle and sacrifice in their own right, but its magnitude is what sets these two stories apart. It amounts to the overall tapestry and how far it reaches, how grandiose the setting, and how dire the circumstances of each quest.
So there you have it. I’ve presented my case as to why this war is stupid and it should stop. These are two separate tales on two completely different levels. Feel free to use these claims if you ever come across a rabid fan from either canon. It’s not the most thought provoking argument in the world, but it’s a hell of a lot better than “vampires don’t sparkle.”
The more you know.