Be aware that I'm in rant-mode.
Just these past days I had a discussion on some lj-community about facts in Harry Potter. What is considered to be canon? There's of course the famous HP-Lexicon
, *the* source for every important and not so important fact pertaining to the HP-world. To be honest, though, while I appreciate all the effort that goes into this lexicon there are inconsistencies. Let's just take the "How old are Charlie and Bill Weasley"-question. I think I already mentioned my reasoning in an earlier entry, so I won't get into the whole thing again. I just want to point out that the date of Charlie's entry at Hogwarts given in the lexicon (September 1984) does *not* correspond with the facts given in the books. I know that JKR said so in some chat, and I also know that when someone asked her about the inconsistency she said that she's not good at maths... but quite frankly, we are not talking about difficult differentiation or probability-calculations here, not to mention that it was she in the first place who gave the hints to Charlie's age.
I'm sorry if I come across as overly critical, nitpicky or just outright bitchy. However, I'm sick of being attacked just because I dare point out such inconsistencies. I don't understand why it's considered a crime to disagree! In that discussion I was accused of thinking that JKR has to be perfect, that I simply don't appreciate the pressure she's under what with writing the books, dealing with her young children etc. But is it really so much to ask that she herself gets her own facts straight? Is it so much to ask of her that she doesn't reply to questions unless she's sure of the answer, that she simply stays consistent with the facts she's given? I don't understand why the fault lies with me instead of with those who demand those answers of her, who want to know every little detail instead of just reading between the lines or (dare I say it) using their own imagination.
I adore the HP-series, well at least the majority of it, and I think that my life has been enriched by these books because they brought back some of the magic I remember reading of and loving in my childhood. But I think to be a fan doesn't equal to take anything that an author, director, scriptwriter etc. publishes for absolute truth. It is entirely within my rights to form my own opinion and to voice criticism. It is my choice to read the HP-books and it's also my choice to like or dislike them. It's no secret that I think the editors of the HP-series haven't done a very good job since GoF in fact. Let's just take that Priori Incantatem-mess in the first edition of GoF and the lengths one had to wade through in both books 5 and 6 to actually arrive at the scenes that move the plot along. I'm not sure, though, why voicing those thoughts in some communities is considered a sin, why some people take a criticism to heart and act personally offended that's not even directed at themselves but at a person they most likely have never met. I do realize that it's sometimes difficult to swallow a negative comment about something or someone you adore. On the other hand, how you react to people with contradicting opinions is most telling of your character.
It's not even the discussions that annoy me - I *love* discussing Harry Potter, I even love heated discussions. What I absolutely despise, though, is people who repeat other people's words without actually thinking first. I was given the advice to just go with the majority and practically accept the lexicon as holding the truth. But why should I just abandon my opinion? I'm not one and hopefully never will be one to join the masses, clap whenever one urges me to and attack others because I'm told to or because everyone else does. And quite frankly, I wouldn't change a thing about that.