Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harry Potter Week: Lee Jordan Speaks to Us

Kady's pick for this week is the voice of Hogwarts Quidditch, Lee Jordan:

 image from Thai420
Lee Jordan's magnified voice is my single favorite thing about the Harry Potter world. Let's be real, the Quidditch matches in the first three books had the potential to be the most tedious, boring parts of the series. They're action-y without any real stakes and since I kinda skimmed over the rules of Quidditch in the first place, the scenes are always really confusing. BUT THEN, out of nowhere, comes the genius and irreverent commentary of one Lee Jordan and all is right with the world again. As a minor character, and one that is always in Fred and George's shadow, the Quidditch matches were Lee's chance to shine. From his complete lack of objectivity when it came to hating on Slytherin, to his back and forth with Professor McGonagall and his unabashed crush on Angelina Johnson, everything that Lee Jordan said in all capital letters made me laugh.
When I looked at the list of characters other people had chosen to write about this week, it gave me pause. Do I really know enough about Lee Jordan to call him my favorite character? And then I started thinking about Lee Jordan outside the context of Quiddtich and it occurred to me that this one character acts as a mirror for the entire series.
image from Patr0nus

In the beginning, when Harry Potter is just about a boy finding his footing in an exciting new world, Lee Jordan is a part of that world. He tries to sneak a spider onto the school train, he gives excellent Quidditch commentary, and he finds secret passages that the Weasley twins found years ago. All of this stuff is daring only in a school boy way, dangerous in a non-threatening way and completely, 100% entertaining. In the fifth book, when Harry and his friends begin to realize that they need to mobilize but aren't quite sure how, Lee Jordan is there, levitating Nifflers through Professor Umbridge's window and inadvertently making everything worse. He's also the only character besides Harry to suffer through a detention with Umbridge's blood pen. By the seventh book, Lee has graduated from Hogwarts but he still makes his presence known. In the same way that his Quidditch commentary brought much needed clarity and tension relief to the school matches, Lee's work as River, the underground radio correspondent, brought comfort, familiarity and reliable news to the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore's Army. And there he was during the Battle of Hogwarts, doing his part to avenge the death of Fred and take out that stupid, awful death eater Yaxley. As Harry Potter the series progressed and matured, so did Lee Jordan. No one would have expected at the beginning of the series that this sidekick to Fred and George would rise to take his place amongst the heroes of the greatest wizarding war of our time, but then again no one really expected Harry to defeat Lord Voldemort either.

So there you go Lee Jordan, even thought Angelina eventually marries George and not you, you'll always be first in my heart. And in my funny bone.

No comments: