The Power of the Protagonist

As any reader or writer knows, the protagonist of a story is a pretty significant piece of the narrative. For the reader, the protagonist is the character they journey with throughout a novel or series. There is a weight to this character because he or she is the one whose story is directly told in the work. For the writer, there is perhaps an even greater weight to such a character because in the unfolding of the protagonist's story, he or she is responsible for communicating the greater narrative, messages, and themes the writer wishes to convey to readers.


Every book ever written would be vastly different from the original had the author chosen a different protagonist. Think about it. What if Harry Potter had instead been Hermione Granger? Knowing Rowling's work, it would still be a book and series I would want to read, but it wouldn't be the Harry Potter story we've come to know and love. To mix it up even more, what if Rowling had chosen to follow Luna or Draco? Dumbledore or Ginny? Yes, many of the themes and messages Rowling wished to convey through Harry Potter's narrative could have been communicated with other supporting characters as the main character, but would the story have been as effective?


I can't speak for Rowling, but I think she would agree when I say no, the story would not have been as effective because as we know, she made the intentional choice to center the entire world she created around the story of a young orphaned boy with magic.