The Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga? Wizards or vampires? Some say comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. Some swear by the magical world of J.K. Rowling and others put their faith in the Forks-centered tales of Stephanie Meyer. Everyone knows their fair share of twihards* and maybe a few potterheads*, but perhaps the debate at Whitworth will finally be settled.
The Harry Potter and Twilight Saga movie series had very contrasting results from their critic and audience ratings, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
The Twilight Saga has received an average score of 38 percent from movie critics. It received an average of 82 percent from audiences. Not an incredibly impressive score when compared to the Harry Potter film ratings.
According to Bill GoodyKoontz, a top critic of Arizona Republic,“‘Twilight’ will doubtless thrill fans of the books, who have long waited for its release. And while it's not a failure, everyone else will wish that the film had, if you'll excuse the expression, a little more bite.”Potter vs Twilight GraphicPotter vs Twilight Graphic
Top critics rated the Harry Potter films with an average of 85 percent, while audiences rated them at a slightly lower average score of 82 percent. Not surprisingly, the last film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part II,” received the highest score of 96 percent from critics and 92 percent from audiences.
Despite the mixed film reviews, most people agreed the films were far less successful than the books.
"I've read both and seen both, but I like Harry Potter,” senior Whitney McClure said. “For one, it's written better, and for two, I've grown up with it for my whole life; I felt a camaraderie with Harry Potter.”
According to USA Today, the latest installment of the Twilight Saga, “Breaking Dawn,” is currently No. 20 on the bestseller list of 150 books.
"I liked the first book, but the second, third and fourth were over the top,” junior Erica Yoder said about t
he Twilight Saga. “It seemed like [Stephanie Meyer] was trying too hard.”
Other students responded in a similar way, noting that the literary quality of the Twilight books are lacking.
"I'm mostly indifferent, but they are not very well written,” McClure said. “The story was good, but the writing was not.”
In contrast to the Twilight Saga, 2008 was the first year, after 10 consecutive years, that the Harry Potter books were not on their best seller list, according to The New York Times.
"I've never read a book that completely takes you into a world and a reality like Harry Potter does,” Yoder said. “It's so intricate and imaginative, so it's the best thing to read."
"I think that the Harry Potter series gives a lot more moral values and intricate characters,” sophomore Rosie McFarland said. “They have personalities outside of their relationship with their significant others.”
Out of 100 survey responses, students had a lot to say about Harry Potter, and it became clear very quickly that it is a Whitworth favorite.
When asked about his pick of the two, senior Krister Johnson said, “Harry Potter, because I’m not a teenage girl.”
Some students agreed that the Harry Potter books are relatable to a larger demographic than just young women.
"It's something that everyone can relate to,” McClure said. “We all know the story and we can all relate to that.”
Students, such as Yoder, enjoyed going all out for Harry Potter releases by getting dressed up.
"I've dressed up for every book release and movie premiere that there has been,” Yoder said. “I've been Ginny, Hermione, Dobby, and a Hogwarts student."
But not all students have an aversion to the Twilight Saga.
“Twilight seems more appealing to me now because of my age group, just as Harry Potter was back then,” junior Josethe Schatz said, “Also, I like vampires more than young children with sticks."
Schatz is not alone in her appreciation of the series; others like senior Michella Sutherland would have to agree.
“Based purely on attractiveness, I would have to go with the vampires,” Sutherland said.
Though, in the words of the author of horror and thrill, Stephen King, “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
It appears that Harry Potter fans are the clear winners on the Whitworth campus, but there is always a twihard out there willing to disagree. Perhaps the debate will never be concluded.
*Twihard- “A human being who is a fan of Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight Series', consisting of 'Twilight', 'New Moon', 'Eclipse', and 'Breaking Dawn'. Twi-Hards are usually quite addicted to the series, and would be considered 'obsessed' by some. (Formerly known as 'Twilighters').”
*Potterhead- “An extreme version of a fan of the Harry Potter books.” [According to Urban Dictionary]
By Rachel O’Kelley Graphics by Maria Chumov