I never, ever, thought the Harry Potter books were destined to become classics. This commenter at Castalia House gets it:
I started reading Harry Potter in 2004. I devoured the 5 books in less than 6 months, and followed the release of the last two books. Harry Potter was the fever of my teenage years. What I think made me like HP was not exactly the characters themselves, but the universe created by JKR. I liked to imagine myself inside that universe, being a witch like Harry and studying at Hogwarts.
Of course, as a teenager, I knew very little about other fantasy works and literary classics, so back then I really believed that Harry Potter was a genius story and JKR was the best writer in the world. Today I recognize that this is far from being true. JKR’s characters are mostly shallow, static and stereotyped. Voldemort is part of the villain trope I least like, an irremediable psychopath who was born evil and died evil, remaining eternally static, and without any trace of humor. There are villains who are irremediable but at least they have a vein of great humor, like Joker. Voldemort is nothing like that.
In addition, I think JKR made some bad decisions and wasted a lot of interesting characters on the books. I’ve always found it a shame she’d never delved into such treacherous characters as Wormtail / Peter and for example. Traitorous characters can make great stories, but instead of going into a story of redemption, she decides to put him in the shadows of the story with a death so irrelevant that it does not even appear in the film’s adaptation. Game of Thrones does a much better job with Theon Greyjoy for example, giving him more prominence and a arc of his own.
Talking about her bad decisions… I never liked JKR’s decision to make Ginny be Mrs. Potter. In a universe where we have unique and fantastic female characters like Luna and Hermione, why did JKR make Ginny the Mrs. Potter? The romance between Harry and Ginny was poorly written in the books, and extremely cringeworthy to watch in theaters. They make the most insipid and generic pair of literature, IMO. Luna Lovegood would was the best choice for Harry’s romantic pair, imo. Or if Harry finished the story with no one, it would not be bad either. I just think Ginny / Harry was hideous.
I’m not saying that the HP series is horrible and unimportant. Quite the contrary, it was part of my adolescence and in a way, it is nostalgic. The fact is… the Harry Potter books lose more and more appeal to me every time I revisit them, and today, I do not feel like reading them any more.
Rowling’s one skill was creating vivid and compelling characters. But that’s not enough to create a classic capable of withstanding the erosion of time.