The Harry Potter fandom is that group of people who are fans of the Harry Potter books and films. This fandom contains some of the most rabid 'shippers in the known universe, believed to be surpassed only by Pokémon (and maybe Sonic the Hedgehog). They are also some of the most ardent in defence of their fandom, in the most extreme cases perceiving any slight against their favourite characters as a personal attack (surpassed in this perhaps only by Twilight).
However, that is not to say that all HP fans are completely insane. The fandom has such a broad range, from very young to very old, that the average fan works out to be your normal, everyday person. The strength of the fandom's loyalty may have something to do with the fact that the majority of fans grew up with Harry and the others, in a sense, or watched their children do so. Something like that leaves a lasting impression, like the house you grew up in, or your first pet. The series will always have a special place in the 'first fandom's' heart for that reason.
Controversy in the Fandom Edit
Such a large fandom will naturally disagree about certain things. Some more strongly than others.
Shipping Wars Edit
Perhaps the biggest division in the fandom is the vast chasm between Harry/Hermione 'shippers, or 'Harmonians,' and Harry/Ginny 'shippers. This did not change when the Harry/Hermione pairing was finally refuted by the canonical marriage of Hermione and Ron (and the equally-canonical marriage of Harry and Ginny). Some Harmonians have been known to re-write the entire series to support their 'ship.
Other fans are vehemently for or against Harry/Cho, Harry/Draco, or various other pairings for the Boy Who Lived, as well as non-"boy-who-lived" yet still wildly popular pairings such as Remus/Sirius.
Snape's Allegiance Edit
This disagreement has been well and truly resolved. I won't say how, just in case there's anyone who still doesn't know, but I WILL take a moment to say 'Ha ha, I was right, so there!'
Throughout the series, Severus Snape is portrayed as mean, nasty, suspicious, and possibly evil, but although Harry always suspects him of being up to something, he is never specifically the villain—as Hermione repeatedly points out, he is a Hogwarts teacher, and Dumbledore would never hire someone he didn't trust. Naturally, the fandom divided itself along one side or the other of this conundrum, believing either a) Snape is an evil Death Eater secretly working for Voldemort, or b) Snape is actually not evil, despite actually being a Death Eater, who is secretly working for Dumbledore. Opinions about his personality and hygiene vary on both sides—some believe it's just an act, some believe he really is that way with a sliding scale of responsibility attributed to him or outside influences, some believe a little of both.
Though this debate was not as heated as others, with well-supported points on both sides, it did divide fans into distinct sects. In true Rowling fashion, however, once the truth was revealed, the evidence for it was overwhelming.
Fandom Achievements Edit
Being the loyal and industrious fans that they are, the HP fandom has created monuments of labour to their canon. Some of these include the following websites:
- The Harry Potter Lexicon - a glossary of everything Potter.
- MuggleNet - a general fan hub.
- The Leaky Cauldron - a news site.