Yes, it's shocking but true... there are
still people out there who haven't read Harry Potter. I guess they just... wake up every morning and go about their day without knowing that Regulus Black betrayed his family to steal a horcrux from Lord Voldemort? And they're just fine with that? Look, it's not the kind of life I would choose, but to each his own. If you (a sane Harry Potter fan) happen to know one of these confusing individuals, you should respect their right to live their own sad, Potter-less lives. And you should also ask them detailed questions about the series, because their answers will almost certainly be hilarious. Here are a few questions to ask someone who has never read Harry Potter if you want to be endlessly entertained.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't think we should mock people who haven't read the books.
My own dad is only halfway through the series right now, and it's a lot of fun watching him discover the story for the first time (although I'm a little worried that he's three books in and "doesn't know what a Ravenclaw is"). But if you want to have some gentle fun with your non-Potterhead friends, here are a few questions that they will valiantly try to answer: 1 What is ‘Harry Potter’ about?
Harry Potter is such a huge part of modern pop culture that
everyone knows something about it, however vague. But it's surprising how many people can't even state the basic premise of the series. Most people know that Harry is an orphan kid with a scar, but after that descriptions start going off the rails. As the people in this incredible video put it: "an owl flies to his house and tells him he's going to be a witch?" or "one day a monster comes into his room and puts a 'Z' on his forehead." 2 Can you name the four Hogwarts houses?
To be fair, "Gryffindor" and "Hufflepuff" and so forth are not actual words, and therefore not that easy to remember if you haven't read the series. Ask your poor, unsuspecting non-Potterhead friends to try to pronounce the Hogwarts house names, and see what they come up with.
3 Can you describe the characteristics of the four Hogwarts houses?
You'd think that people would pick up on the different house traits after years of seeing their friends post house quiz results on Facebook. And yet, after reading the first three books, my father can only tell me that the Slytherins "seem mean" and the Hufflepuffs wear yellow in Quidditch games.
4 What is Quidditch, and how do you play?
Even a true Potter fan might need a minute to recite the exact rules of Quidditch. But try asking someone who's never read the books, and see if they even know that it's a sport played on broomsticks. And if they
do know that much, can they recite the rules? Do they know what a snitch is? How do they feel about Bulgaria's narrow defeat in book four? 5 Who’s this guy?
I'll bet you anything that someone out there thinks this is Gandalf (or maybe even Merlin).
6 Who are Harry's best friends?
A fair number of people who haven't read the books can still name Ron and Hermione. And a shocking number of people firmly believe that Harry and Hermione are in love.
As one non-reader put it, Harry "becomes entangled in a love triangle with his two best friends... becoming jealous at Harry's natural wizard abilities, the redhead conspires with Severus Snape to kill Harry." 7 What’s a Muggle?
Alternatively, you could ask "who are the Dursleys, and why are they terrible?"
8 What’s a No-Maj?
If there's anyone out there who doesn't know what a Muggle is, but
does know what a No-Maj is, you have my permission to stop being friends with that person (I mean, don't actually do that... but I think we can all agree that "No-Maj" is a terrible Muggle alternative). 9 Who is Voldemort and what does he want?
Voldemort might be the main villain of Harry Potter, but quite a few non-fans
mix him up with Snape (Snape wishes he was that charismatic and charming). I'm willing to bet that most people who haven't read the book know that Voldy is a bad guy... but what do they think he's after? 10 Why doesn’t he have a nose?
I would genuinely like to know the answer to this one. I mean... evil people don't have noses, Jo? What gives with that?
12 What is the soicio-economic status of the house elves?
...or, if this question is a bit much for them, just try "what's a house-elf?" or "who is Dobby?" or "what's this thing?" and see how many people say "Gollum."
13 Who does Harry marry?
Do non-readers know about Ginny? Do they really all think that Harry marries Hermione? Do they think that Ron winds up with Neville?
What's going on in their non-reader brains? 14 What’s a Weasley?
If they know with full confidence what a Weasley is, then go ahead and ask them to name all the Weasley kids...
in order. 15 How do Harry Potter fans feel about Snape?
There's honestly no succinct answer to this one (he is either the MOST ROMANTIC HERO IN LITERATURE or a HORRIFYING MONSTER WHO TRIED TO KILL NEVILLE'S TOAD), so it might be nice to get a (very) outside perspective.
16 How did Harry get his scar?
one non-fan put it confidently, "Harry Potter was born with a lighting bolt on his forehead, therefore signifying that he is a special wizard." Another one claims that, "he got that scar when Voldemort kicked him in the head or something when he was a baby." Uh...not quite. 17 Why haven’t you read ‘Harry Potter’?!
Try not to scream this one in their face, if you can. But really...
why? Ask them why they haven't read the books yet, and then promise you'll stop asking them annoying questions when they finally pick up The Sorcerer's Stone.
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