Obviously I love the Harry Potter book series. But it's only now that I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that I realize one of the main reasons for my admiration for these books: the protagonist. I feel like Harry Potter as a character doesn't receive enough credit though he is a truly extraordinary protagonist who I can identify with.
Harry Potter is extremely talented
A protagonist has to stand out. Well, Harry had the label outstanding ever since the day he defeated Lord Voldemort as a baby. But this was not his victory. This just happened to him. What defines a person are the things he is responsible for, the choices he makes, the person he becomes and the abilities he gains. And say what you might, Harry Potter is an outstanding wizard because he is simply really good at what he's doing. People think that Hermione Granger is the the smartest one and this is probably true but she is smart because she reads a lot. Harry on the other hand is talented. There's a great difference. Harry in himself has the ability to do extraordinary magic like a powerful patronus or withstanding the Imperius Curse or actually killing Lord Voldemort. Some people say that Harry is only successful because of a mixture of luck and the help of his friends, but the truth is that he's successful because he's extremely good at what he's doing and I think he deserves more credit for that.
Harry Potter is complex
What I love most about the character Harry Potter is that he is not your typical hero, always doing the right thing, always helping others, never wavering. Harry in fact is quite the opposite. He constantly struggles with his dark side. He is extremely angry and reckless and at times pretty arrogant. Especially his anger is an interesting personality trait. Harry often feels mistreated. He yells at his friends. But now that I am older, I realize that most of the times he's right. He's the hero of these books but nevertheless noone, especially not Albus Dumbledore, bothers to tell him what's going on. People treat him like he can't handle the truth, though he has proven again and again that he can handle far more than most people. So yeah, sometimes he's stubborn and unfriendly and behaves like a child but it's only because everyone treats him like a child regardless of the fact that he's not. Nice, righteous characters are boring. Real people have edges and so does Harry Potter. The impressive thing is not that he's a good guy but that though he is constantly torn between good and bad, in the end he always chooses the right path. This is true strength.
Harry Potter cares
Harry had an aweful life, loosing his parents as a baby, growing up with his unloving relatives, being stimatized ever since he joined Hogwarts, loosing Sirius Black, the only family he ever had. A lot of people would become cold and heartless as a consequence. They have proof that life will do nothing but screw you over, so they shut everyone out. But Harry Potter didn't become this person. He still cares and this is one of his major personality traits. Harry cares about his friends, his family, he cares about the future of the world, about justice, and about surviving. He never stoped caring, though he always knew that caring leads to grief. In this aspect, he's a gread idol for me.
My favorite character is Sirius Black, but Harry Potter is a close second. And I think it's time that the world stops underestimating the popular book series' protagonist.