Yesterday, I watched Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows: Part 2 for the second time and saw a great degree of parallels between the beloved HP and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Both of them, regardless of the gender of the protagonist, focus on the idea of being the Chosen One: Harry as the “boy who lived” and Buffy as “the Slayer.” Although the Harry Potter series starts with Harry slowly discovering his identity as the Chosen One and learning to cope with the responsibilities (such as fighting the Dark Lord and bringing hopes to people and such) as he identifies himself as the “boy who lived,” Buffy series also demonstrate the Slayer’s maturity as the girl who saves the world, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally.
Both Harry and Buffy confide in fatherly figures (Dumbledore and Giles, respectively), who help the Chosen Ones to choose the right paths in their lives and guide them fulfill their goals of defeating the evils. Even though Harry’s nemesis is more centralized on a character (Voldemort) than Buffy’s, the stories both handle the struggle against social discriminations pretty significantly. Obviously, in Harry Potter, being a muggle-born in the magical world works as a huge discriminating factor and causes violence against them. The tension between Slytherin, the house that only chooses the pure bloods, and the rest of Hogwarts as well as the use of the word “muggles” to accentuate the differences between the magicians and the non-magicians in a pretty demeaning way shows the discrimination that exists in Harry Potter. Harry and his friends fight against the discriminators, whether it is Slytherins or the Death Eaters. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” also presents discriminations. When Willow comes out as a homosexual, Buffy and Xander do not know what to do with Tara or Willow’s transformation at first. However, the TV series worked to build Willow’s character as a caring, intelligent, amiable person, and through the episode “Family,” it shows that the Scoobies accept differences and embrace each other for being who they are.
Also, Harry’s two best friends, Hermione and Ron, are very similar to Buffy and the Scoobies. Ron is a truth-sayer, like Xander. Both of them are not the most intelligent; however, they trust their guts and add humor to the story lines through their blatant honesty and unrefined comments. Willow and Hermione are pretty similar, too. They are both subject to discrimination for being different (one being homosexual and socially awkward and the other being a muggle-born); however, despite the challenges, they function as the brain power of their respective gangs. Although Hermione comes off as more of a tomboy than Willow, they both provide responsibility and reliability to the dynamics of the three.
Moreover, both stories focus on the importance of self-sacrifice of the Chosen One that ultimately saves the world. In “HP7: Part 2,” Harry as the last horcrux makes his death inevitable, and when he learns that he is a horcrux, he bravely chooses to die to save others and put a proper end to the evil. Similarly, Buffy chooses to sacrifice herself by jumping into the opening of the hell. The episode where she chooses to do so is called “The Gift,” and this highlights the idea that fate of being the Chosen One includes the glorious death.