Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and The Last Unicorn: Can the Supporting Characters be the Hero? College

In almost every fantasy book or film, the major protagonist is represented as a hero who must struggle to overcome life-threatening obstacles and potential defeat. Peter Beagles novel The Last Unicorn published in 1968, and J. K. Rowling’s novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone published in 1997 are two vastly different stories, yet they share a copious amount of similarities regarding heroism. Harry Potter and The Last Unicorn share a similar ideology of what is a hero, in the sense that a hero is portrayed as a single entity. It is common nature to read a fantasy novel and depict the major protagonist as the hero; however, when looking at Harry Potter and The Last Unicorn, the supporting characters show far more heroic qualities than the major protagonists themselves. Harry Potter and the Unicorn are the major heroes of the novels, yet it is the supporting characters who aid in giving them their sense of heroism, which subsequently leads the supporting characters to becoming heroic themselves.

When comparing both Rowling and Beagles novels, it is obvious that there is a major protagonist — that being Harry and the Unicorn, or Lady Amalthea — and other supporting characters, such as Ron, Hermione, Schmendrick, and...

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