Blessed with an abundance of time on my hands after PotterWatch (thankfully) no longer needed managing, I thought I might lend my commentary to this silly March Madness-style bracket (above). VOTE HERE.
Who’s a sleeper? Who will the glass slippers fit; who are the Cinderellas of the Yule Ball? WHO WILL WIN IT ALL? I’m breaking down the field, the regions, and predicting the potential upsets in this massive tournament. Refrain from using Love Potions on me, if you can.
“The Chosen One(s)” Region
1. Harry Potter vs. 16. Cornelius Fudge: I don’t even think Percy would vote against Harry in this one. PREDICTION: HP.
8. Peter Pettigrew vs. 9. The Dursleys: It’s a battle of pure suck. Is there a third option here? Pettigrew betrayed Harry’s parents, essentially dooming them to die, and then was undercover as Ron’s rats for years, and returned as a bumbling, sniveling henchman of You-Know-Who. The Dursleys also sucked, ruining Harry’s childhood, but at least didn’t do so magically. PREDICTION: THE DURSLEYS. Not that it matters. Harry will make either of them disappear like our Ten-Second Pimple Vanishers (now at the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes) in the second round. I’d rather have a rash of pimples than the Dursleys for in-laws anyhow.
5. Mad Eye Moody vs. 12. Mundungus Fletcher: Moody’s creepy eye could take down MunDUNGus.
4. Bellatrix Lestrange vs. 13. Griphook: Bellatrix will have no trouble dispatching the slightly nice goblin, setting up one of the more intriguing Round of 32 matchups: Moody vs. Bellatrix, for a chance to fight (and lose to) Potter in the Sweet 16. Early on, it appears that HP fans are overwhelmingly on the side of good, but I think the love of Helena Bonham Carter knows no bounds, even though her character kills everything wonderful in this world. Unfortunately, a Bellatrix vs. Neville matchup seems far-fetched, given how (poorly) this region is constructed.
6. Hedwig vs. 11. Fawkes: I think Fawkes will put up more of a fight than one might expect, since he’s a bloody badass, loyal Phoenix with powerful tears. But Hedwig is a sleeper for the Sweet Sixteen, as the world’s third greatest owl will win a battle that ornithologists would cream their pants over.
3. Draco Malfoy vs. 14. Oliver Wood: I’ve never gotten the love that Tom Felton gets, or the weird sect of people who identify with Draco Malfoy and love his pissant character. He’s the worst. But, he is one of the biggest and most recognizable characters from our world, however, and the pale, dickhead look is popular, I s’pose…but Oliver Wood, the Keeper blessed with an Accent minted by the Gods, and the man that discovered and nourished Harry Potter’s love of Quidditch, makes me POP POP. I think Oliver Wood has the potential to be the biggest upset in the first round, and considering his popularity among the female crowd, he has the legs (those legs) and talent to be more than a one beater wonder.
7. Cedric Diggory vs. Barty Crouch Jr.: This battle may very well turn into a duel between actors, since Robert Pattinson and David Tennant might have fans crazier and more devout than ANYONE in the Potterverse. Of course, there’s innumerable backlash for Edward Cullen and TWILIGHT, while everybody loves DOCTOR WHO, and Tennant is the best Doctor ever. Unfortunately, Barty Crouch Jr. is a bit character in the series (or at least, we only see Tennant’s face as Crouch for like a scene or two), whereas Diggory is one of the more heroic characters in the entire series.
Diggory wins, though it might be close…setting up a wildly entertaining second round match up against…
…Neville Longbottom (#2). Crabbe and Goyle (#15) won’t know what hit them, and should be thankful they even made it into the field (I’m not sure how they made it to the right pitch without someone helping them).
This bracket certainly sets up pretty nicely for Harry on the front end, as the only problem he’ll face before landing gently into the Elite 8 is either Mad Eye Moody or Bellatrix Lestrange. I could see the latter posing more of a threat (and I expect Bellatrix to be the one Harry faces), but Harry should waltz into a battle with none other than Neville Longbottom for a chance at the Final Four, if Neville is able to weather the upstart sleepers on the bottom half of the bracket. Oliver Wood, Hedwig and Cedric Diggory all have rampant and undying followers, after all. BUT:
It’s Neville fucking Longbottom.
I will be shocked/inconsolable if Neville loses before facing off against Harry in the Elite 8, a battle that should be epic. But I think after 7 books and 8 movies hailing Harry as the Chosen One, the fans might rewrite the remake, here and now. I predict Neville getting out of this region (from a Sweet Sixteen field that includes Harry, Bellatrix and Hedwig).
BRACKET BUSTER? Of course, maybe Cedric Diggory will shock the world and take out Neville, and march on for a rematch of the real Triwizard Tournament against Harry in the Elite 8.
Voting starts tomorrow.
1. Ron Weasley vs. 16. Seamus Finnegan: Seamus is lovable, in a pompous git sort of way. But Won Won will win win.
8. Bill Weasley vs. 9. Fleur Delacour: Bill’s kind of the boring dud of the Weasley family (Charlie is the sexy mysterious Indiana Jones-type), though becoming scarred by Fenrir Greyback adds a nice level of sympathy to his character. Fleur’s gorgeous, but super annoying until the DEATHLY HALLOWS, where her maternal instincts prove a salve for Harry and company’s grueling undertaking. This is a coin flip, but when in doubt, go with a Weasley.
5. Ginny Weasley vs. 12. Cho Chang: They both have strong supporters, and also a lot of backlash among die hard fans, and I think this is one of the more intriguing match ups of the first round. People will see it as a battle for Harry’s heart, or who is the best fit (besides Madam Hooch) for Potter. I have a sneaking suspicion that the flat acting of Bonnie Wright might crush her chances, and let Cho Chang spring the upset. Plus, the alliterative name helps.
4. Molly Weasley vs. 13. Narcissa Malfoy: I actually thought Narcissa became an interesting character in the final books, as she truly is the foil for Molly, a loving mother on the wrong side of the battle. She loved Draco as much as Molly loved her children, and thankfully didn’t go to a Cersei Lannister place, instead giving up on Voldemort and the Death Eater movement, willing to give it all up to find her son. She also saved Harry’s life. That said, Molly Weasley will DESTROY HER, because like Dorothy Mantooth, Molly Weasley is a saint, and could even wipe the floor with Ron to get into the Elite 8. She won’t, but that’s how BAMF Molly Weasley is.
6. Arthur Weasley vs. 11. Lucius Malfoy: Lucius was one of the better villains of the early books and movies before becoming a train wreck. Arthur Weasley is the kind, bumbling, heart of gold father we all want to have, and should win in a blowout. Arthur taking on my boys in round 2 should prove very interesting indeed.
3. Fred & George Weasley vs. 14. Charlie Weasley: I’m biased, but there’s no way Fred and George don’t steamroll Charlie here.
7. Percy Weasley vs. 10. ME (Lee Jordan): Look no further than me as an upset pick in this first round, ladies and gentleman.
WeatherbyPercy is the world’s biggest prat. He missed Bill’s wedding. He made Molly cry. As Ron said, Perce “wouldn’t recognise a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing Dobby’s tee-cosy.” He did rather triumphantly return to the fold, making amends with the Weasley clan in the middle of the Battle of Hogwarts, but I suspect the lingering resentment could help the bold, bodacious and sexy Lee Jordan to stroll into the second round. If you need any further convincing:
2. Sirius Black vs. 15. Buckbeak: Buckbeak might be the best #15 seed in all Hogwarts, but the love of Sirius Black should be strong. Unfortunately, it’ll likely be enough to beat me in the second round, though if I managed to take out Sirius, I don’t know if there’d be an upset of greater Magnitude in the whole bracket.
Ron vs. Molly is a heartbreaking matchup in the Sweet 16, but I think Ron will win, if only because Molly couldn’t bear to lose to any of her sons, and because Rupert Grint.
Arthur vs. Fred and George is another match that doesn’t have a purely correct choice, but it’s Fred and George, and I suspect they even take down Sirius in the Sweet 16, preparing us for a Ron Weasley vs. Fred & George showdown for the Final Four. Right now, I think Ron will win…but I have to pick my best friends, the hilarious and lovable Fred & George, to take over this bracket.
BRACKET BUSTER? Aside from me, that is? I don’t see any but the top 3 seeds making it into the Elite 8 (with Molly, Ron, Sirius and Fred and George in the Sweet 16), though if someone else emerges, it’d likely be the leaders of the Weasley clan, Molly and Arthur Weasley. They created the greatest family in the world, after all.
“It’s Levi-Osa” Region
1. Hermione Granger vs. 16. Dean Thomas: Dean Thomas is hot (though he has a neck that’d make a Giraffe jealous), but it’s Hermione Granger, who might win the entire thing. Sorry Dean.
8. Gilderoy Lockhart vs. 9. Rita Skeeter: Two of the most successfully annoying characters of the novels, both played by British luminaries in Kenneth Branagh and Miranda Richardson. They’ll both be vanquished in short order by The Beautiful Bushy Haired One, but I think Lockhart will win, since Branagh is the bigger name.
5. Dolores Umbridge vs. 12. Firenze: Firenze should have an overwhelming amount of sympathy, since Umbridge is a vile, racist pig, but she’s also one of the best villains of the entire series. Firenze certainly plays a larger part in the books though, and nobody likes pink. I won’t be shocked by a Firenze upset, but I think an Umbridge/McGonagall fight might prove too enticing for voters.
4. Professor McGonagall vs. 13. Professor Trelawney: Against a weaker opponent, I think the idiosyncratic Sybill (played with gusto by Emma Thompson), could spring an upset. But Maggie Smith is an elemental force to be reckoned with.
6. Dobby vs. 11. Kreacher: Dobby is a love-hate character, especially early on in the books or movies, but you have to be a Grinch not to cry when he sacrifices himself for Harry and company in Deathly Hallows. It’s one of the most powerful, emotional scenes of the entire series, and Dobby is one of the most loyal friends Harry has. I also love Kreacher, and the journey his character takes, and like Trelawney, thought he got the short end of the stick with this opening round match up. Dobby is a contender for the entire region, folks.
3. Remus Lupin vs. 14. Fenrir Greyback: Loony Lupin should get his revenge here, in spades.
7. Horace Slughorn vs. 10. Lily Potter: Horace Slughorn is a big part of Half-Blood Prince, and a pretty great character, with a mix of comedy and his dark secrets and regret. Jim Broadbent rules, but Lily Potter embodies purity, love and everything Harry missed in his childhood. It’s an impossible draw for Slughorn, as Lily should spring the upset that won’t really feel like one when it’s said and done.
2. Hagrid vs. 15. Aragog: I feel like Hagrid was the original fan favorite…and then he lost his shine and luster as the books went on, mostly because he receded into the background, but for awhile, he was my favorite supporting character in the series. He’ll have his hands full against Lily in the second round however, if it comes to that.
Dobby vs. Lupin in the second round? Hermione vs. McGonagall for a shot at the Elite 8? Hagrid vs. Lily Potter, Harry’s two great protectors, in the Round of 32? This region has a bevy of enticing matchups potentially on the docket, and has the most potential for Cinderellas to run rampant over the competition.
BRACKET BUSTER? Lily Potter, as a 10 seed, could feasibly take out Horace Slughorn, and if she knocks out Hagrid, might have the momentum to topple Dobby or Lupin. But, I think it’s Dobby who has the biggest staying power, and could take out Kreacher, Lupin and Hagrid, before ultimately falling to the Region’s presumptive favorite, Hermione. I anticipate a Sweet 16 group of Hermione, McGonagall, Dobby and Hagrid, but I have the least confidence in my foresight in this region than any others.
“Dark Arts (And Defense Against Thereof)” Region
Voting begins tomorrow.
1. Severus Snape vs. 16. James Potter: James seems like a dick, am I right? Snape wins.
8. Nearly Headless Nick vs. Moaning Myrtle: Moaning Myrtle may have given me more nightmares than anyone else in the series, which says a lot about me, I suppose. But John Cleese almost always wins, and I expect NH Nick to get the last laugh in this battle of phantoms. Neither has more than the one victory in them, however.
5. Nymphadora Tonks vs. 12. Garrick Ollivander: John Hurt rules, but Tonks and actress Natalia Tena has one of the biggest followings in the world of Potter. She’s badass, alternative, loves a werewolf, is funny, and has constantly changing hairstyles. Plus, we got to see her naked in GAME OF THRONES, which has to help.
4. Luna Lovegood vs. 13. Viktor Krum: Viktor Krum (above, yuck) gets some women warm in the loins, and he’s an interesting upset pick…normally. But Luna Lovegood is awesome, with or without nargles.
6. Kingsley Shacklebolt vs. 11. Rufus Scrimgeour: In this battle of more competent Ministers of Magic (both blessed with terrific names), the mysterious badass Shacklebolt should prevail, though Bill Nighy is the man.
3. Voldemort vs. 14. Nagini: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named will crush his horcrux snake.
7. Filch & Mrs. Norris vs. 10. Aberforth Dumbledore: There’s a lot to Aberforth that was left beyond the page, and that intrigue could help him, especially if people want to see him take on his brother in the second round. But…I think everyone’s odd love and fascination with Filch (Alan Bradley’s role in GAME OF THRONES should also prove oddly helpful) and his awful cat wins out.
2. Albus Dumbledore vs. 15. Gellert Grindelwald: A lover’s quarrel to round out the first round. It’d be an epic battle and a lot closer in “reality,” but in this bracket, Albus will win easily.
Voldemort, Dumbledore and Snape are LOCKS for the Sweet Sixteen in this region, and a Voldemort/Dumbledore matchup should be huge (but end in an Albus triumph). It’s a toss up between Luna and Tonks for the other spot. Do we want whimsy or awesome? Whomever it is (I’ll say Luna) might be the only character that could feasibly take Snape down en route to the Final Four, but I doubt it. SNAPE should find himself standing over Dumbledore, this time for real, heading into a duel with Hermione Granger for the Championship game.
BRACKET BUSTER? I could see Shacklebolt taking out Voldemort if people are allergic to voting for the Dark Lord, and Luna or Tonks could potentially overcome Snape, but I just don’t see that happening.
FINAL FOUR PREDICTIONS: Neville Longbottom, Fred & George Weasley, Hermione Granger, Severus Snape
Who makes it to the finals? No idea, but I’ll go out on a limb and say Neville Longbottom vs. Severus Snape, with NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM crowned the champion of the Harry Potter March Madness Triwizard Tournament.
If I’m wrong, blame Professor McGonagall.