Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Harry Dresden: growth?

I finished the fifth Dresden Files book by Jim Butcher last night.

With each book I wonder how in the world Butcher is going to top what just happened to Harry. But Butcher is great at coming up with new ways to torment Harry, so amazingly he does keep outdoing himself.

For the last book or so I've been speculating that part of Harry outdoing himself each time will probably include some personal growth in the magical abilities department.

minor spoilers

In the first couple books Harry was able to handle anything that came his way. Sure, he almost got killed a few times, but in the end he was always clearly better than anything or anyone else that he faced.

Then we started to see others who are his equal, or perhaps betters that he defeated by luck/ingenuity...and in Summer Knight we found out that there are a bunch of wizards who are not only more powerful and more skilled than Harry, but who also speak Latin better. (And they're dressed better than him.) Then things gets worse in Death Masks when someone else has to come Harry's aid to save him from something that he was pretty helpless against.

Even though Harry emerges triumphant in the end of Death Masks, he's still weaker than some of those he's gone up against. Weak enough that he's had to stand aside and watch others rescue him at times. And although that's awesome (it wouldn't be good for Harry's ego to always be the best) I don't see someone always being there to rescue him when needed, especially since he keeps going up against worse and worse monsters.

Hence, my prediction that he's going to have to learn some more, become more skilled and perhaps more powerful as the books progress.

I realize there are currently 10 (11?) more of the Dresden Files books out. So no one tell me if I'm right. I'll find out by reading them, then probably revisit this post and see if I was right. :)

Death Masks book cover

By the way, I've already seen other forms of growth in the books. (And no I'm not talking about the sex scenes!) But that's a subject for another post.

3 comments:

Magaly Guerrero said...

One of the things I love most about Jim Butcher is that his characters never get too big for their own pants. I get tired of (and annoyed by) characters who start as a bit special and by the third book in their series are close to godhood.

Sarita Rucker said...

There's not much point if the characters win the fight without any real effort.

Sarita Rucker said...

Revisiting this post...I do want to mention that there's one series I know where the main character gets so all powerful (well, close enough) that people do start comparing him to a god. But that somehow works, partially because it's examining religion, and how religion/gods are formed. But it only works because of how it's handled, and because the hero still has to work at things.

It's a series I want to revisit later this year and write about that aspect of things on this blog.

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