Let’s Chat: Is James Potter a bully?

1174922_1359538274196_fullToday’s Let’s Chat is a little bit of a different one for me. This is something that I have done on my blog before. As a Harry Potter fanatic, both the books and films, but there is something that has always bothered me. James Potter. Almost all of the snippets of James’ life, specifically his time at Hogwarts, he comes across as a bit of douche bag. At least in my opinion.

This was one of the most problematic aspects of Harry Potter for me. James and the other marauders clearly bully Snape and that issue is barely addressed. Although I will say that the others have many more redeeming qualities that James appears to have. Maybe that’s because we got to know them as adults? Who knows. Anyway, no wonder Snape is a bit miffed with Harry. I mean, you would be too if someone’s father had hexed you for no other reason than they could, wouldn’t you? And of course since James passed away, I guess Harry is the outlet for Snape (not that I agree with this either mind).

This is something that I have been thinking about for sometime and have never really entered into a conversation with anyone about it. That is my reason for posting this, I am hoping that it will inspire you to leave you opinions in the comments down below so that we can have a discussion about it. Surely, I can’t be the only one that has problems with this?

Peace and pages

14 Replies to “Let’s Chat: Is James Potter a bully?”

  1. Richard says:

    I understand this view, he and the marauders definitely bullied Snape. Like you said, with Lupin and Sirius we got to know them better and they had evidently matured into decent adults. With James, we don’t get he chance to see what he was like as an adult, we only hear about him through other people in the standard way “you’re just like your father, Harry”. Perhaps, if Rowling had given us some more examples of what he was like as an adult, bar defending Lily and Harry at Godric’s Hollow, we might have had reason to form a different opinion. Sadly though, all we see of him as a student is that he was friends with the marauders, played as a seeker…and bullied Snape.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tomeswithtea says:

      I would have loved to get to know him a little more too. It’s a shame really but it all left me feeling a little disappointed. Maybe one day J.K. Rowling will write a little short story about him. I do wonder if he would have grown to be more like the other marauders, whom I love very dearly. No wonder Snape turned out to be so bitter, I still don’t think he should have treated Harry the way he did….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Richard says:

        The Potterverse is crying out for a tale about the Marauders! But I have feeling it would be set during their schooldays rather than adulthood, so the question would still go unanswered. Snape is another controversial character 🙈 I think it boils down to whether you think his actions in the end outweighed the pettiness and his bullying towards Harry. The debate goes on…

        Liked by 1 person

      • tomeswithtea says:

        I would read an entire spin off series following them through their school year right to the very end. I would actually adore that! Honestly, as someone that has witnessed what bullying can do to kids, I see where it has all come from even if I don’t agree with his action. I liked that we got to know the story before he died, it gave a little context to his behaviour. The debate will go on forever hahaha

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Richard. Had we had time to see James develop /repent for mistakes further, I feel I’d like him more than I do, but my view of him is that he was good at heart. However, I also don’t think Snape was blameless (though James of course shouldn’t have bullied him) as he was pretty awful to Lily at points and did retaliate against the Marauders, and I certainly don’t agree with him bullying defenceless children as an adult.
    Amy x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruby's Books says:

    YES!!! I recently watched a fan-made movie with the Marauders over on Youtube, and I had that exact same thought. I think if we could have seen James as an adult we probably would have had an understanding to why he was seen as a role model for so many, but to me he was always a bully. I remember the scene in The Half Blood Prince when Harry invades Snape’s mind and the first memory he sees is of James torturing Snape. I always wondered why that is the thing that Harry sees in Snape’s mind. At the same time, and this is something that bothers me, as an adult reader, to Rowling’s work, I’m not sure I completely trust the story. Because we know she is a writer that lets her life influence her writing, she even said so herself when she talked about why Ron had such a dark arc towards the end of the series, and that she at one point intended to kill him. Add to that the fact that she redeemed Snape just by showing us that he still loved Lilly and that he was a mole within Voldemort’s army, when he’s been nothing but a bully himself to most students, so my trust is slightly… off. So I have to ask if that memory is… I don’t want to say real, but if it wasn’t something that she wrote just because she intended to redeem Snape. Yes, James and his friends were bullies, but it’s always bothered me that the first thing that Harry sees in the mind of a powerful wizard was his weakest moment. It doesn’t fully make sense to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my, I’m surprised the question of James Potter being a bully would even be debatable! He definitely was. The unfortunate thing, though, is that JKR never gives him a chance to be much else. Every other Marauder gets to grow into himself, for better or worse, while James died young. And, like you point out, most of what we see of James is either negative or filtered through the view of his closest friends. That doesn’t mean he was incapable of maturing, feeling remorse, or even trying to make amends for some of what he did. We just don’t get to know; we can only speculate, like how it goes in life sometimes.

    (And as a side note from a Snape fan, I don’t think James’ bullying of Snape in any way justifies how Harry gets treated at school 11 years later. I can understand the impetus behind his behavior, but it still boils down to a fundamental character flaw in Snape, rather than any kind of logical and permissible justification for it.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bookishluna says:

    I always thought the same thing and I thought I was the only person. Some of the stories and memories we see/read really bugged me and I thought he was a bit of a jerk and I honestly questioned why Lily picked him. She seemed to educated and god hearted to fall for someone who treats other people like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lois says:

    Confession, I’ve never read the Harry Potter books and the only time I watch the films is when they’re used as background noise. However, I do think this is a really interesting topic to discuss. It’s one of those situation where in the case of Sirius and co we can see how they matured as adults, but we don’t get that luxury with James and go by only the memories and words of the people that knew him. Obviously having not read the book I don’t know if you get more character snippets with James, but from what I can gauge I think teenage James was the definition of a douche and a bully.

    Liked by 1 person

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