• Tue, Nov 13 2012

Twilight vs. Harry Potter vs. The Hunger Games: Which Series Will We Remember?

Twilight vs. Harry Potter vs. The Hunger Games fandom staying power book series franchise

In just a few days, the Twilight series will mark the end of an era: There will be no more new material put out into the world for fans to consume, the whole story will have been told. (That is, unless Stephenie Meyer goes ahead with the Jacob/Renesmee book.) Harry Potter hit this point last year, and by 2014 The Hunger Games will have, too. These series all have a clear shelf life (heh), and yet the beauty of fandom is that they’ll still love the books and movies long after the authors and actors have moved on to new projects.

But which of these franchises has the most staying power? Will they eventually be abandoned to collect cobwebs, nostalgic treasures that no one ever cares about? Or will kids still be cosplaying wizards, vampires, and tributes after we colonize the moon? Using super-scientific methods gleaned from our observations on the various fandoms, plus our individual love for and issues with each series, we’ve tallied up the numbers and chosen a winner.

Age Range of Fans: The biggest argument I hear for certain subsets of people not being fans of Harry Potter is that they simply weren’t the right age for it. My generation grew up with the books, but our older peers found the first few too childish, and our younger siblings/friends started too far into the series to really develop an emotional attachment. By contrast, part of the original Twilight phenomenon was that soccer moms were reading the same books as their kids (and crushing on the same heroes). I don’t think we can quite nail down a demographic for The Hunger Games yet; sure, it’s varied, but not guaranteed. Winner: Twilight

Edward Bella kiss GIF Twilight better than Harry Potter The Hunger Games

via theappleisthefruit

Stories Left to Tell Through Fanfiction: It’s difficult to go just by the numbers, since sites like Archive of Our Own and LiveJournal have replaced Fanfiction.net for being the most reliable archives. And yet, it was also one of the original havens, and the numbers are impressive, so we’ll include them here. Being the youngest fandom of the three, The Hunger Games (26,582 stories on Ff.n) likely attracts the largest number of new fans itching to write the untold stories from the novels. With the Fifty Shades of Grey shitshow and other fics being published, I’d say thatTwilight (202,746) fanfiction is pretty played out. Harry Potter (618,191) is still the reigning champion in numbers, but are people just retreading worn ground by now? Winner: The Hunger Games

"I volunteer" GIF The Hunger Games better than Twilight Harry Potter

via iamburdenedwiththisgloriousname

GIFs on Tumblr: I imagine that someday there will be proper criteria in place to evaluate GIFs from different fandoms, but all I can do here is weigh the strengths of each. Twilight GIFs are so ridiculous that they’re infinitely usable as reaction shots or great descriptions of your mood at a certain moment. Because a lot of the Harry Potter GIFs start out so innocent/young, they’re the most ironic and equally silly. But there are also a few that tug at your heartstrings. However, The Hunger Games has the highest incidence of dramatic GIFs, though individual actors have inspired some truly WTF ones. Winner: All of them!

"later bitches" Snape GIF Harry Potter better than Twilight The Hunger Games

via pootterr

Costumes: Assuming that fans will be dressing up as these characters for Halloween and/or cosplaying at conventions, we’ve got to take into account who you most want to look like. Twilight is out because it’s just Hot Topic crap. I’m tempted to give it to dystopian fashions, but if you think about it, they’re the same in every movie. Nothing matches the wizard robes, color-coordinated scarves, and wands that we immediately associate with just one series. Winner: Harry Potter

Twilight Edward Bella kick GIF

via buildyouanempire

What Society Thinks of the Author: The clear winner is J.K. Rowling, because she has the best rags-to-riches story. Hell, we’ll read stuff likeThe Casual Vacancy just to experience new writing from her! Do I need to even address the others? OK, I will. Suzanne Collins is well respected for coming up with the dystopian world of Panem, but no one really knows anything about her. I’ll be curious to see if she becomes more of a public figure once Catching Fire comes out. And of course, it’s so easy to project all of our derision onto Stephenie Meyer even as we love reading her books. Winner: Harry Potter

"give fandom a heart attack now" GIF The Hunger Games

via with-true-grit

How the Fandom Responds to the Actors: With more YA series becoming movie franchises, this is an important factor to take into consideration. The Twilight cast seems checked out, from the Robert Pattinson/Kristen Stewart drama to folks like Ashley Greene setting up countless new projects. The Harry Potter kids regard their series more tenderly, but they have to separate themselves from it since they grew up with it and need to experience something else now. The Hunger Games has Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, ’nuff said. Winner: The Hunger Games

Weasley twins leave Hogwarts GIF Harry Potter better than Twilight The Hunger Games

via dnjkewfnbkwej

Ability to Pass on to Our Kids: Here’s the real challenge, making these books accessible for the next generation(s). The Hunger Games‘ reality TV commentary is incisive, but it probably won’t resonate as much with our kids because they’ll have grown up in a world where it’s all they know, whereas we remember a time before reality programming. Twilight will be so awkward to pass on to our kids, because how do you tell them that the reason everyone loved it was because it was about sex? Honestly, it’s difficult to adequately explain the appeal of it now. But Harry Potter is a classic, timeless tale. And because there will be some distance from the franchise, the kids will be able to grow up with the books and movies at their own pace. Winner: Harry Potter

There are probably other factors, but these were the most pressing, in my mind. Looking at all the evidence, here’s how I would rank each series’ chances for staying power:

1st place: Harry Potter
2nd place: The Hunger Games
3rd place: Twilight 

Agree? Disagree? Take it to the comments!

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  • SPRING flower

    I agree. I wish always that harry potter wins I love it soooooooooo much it’s the best at all and stay like this

  • Tribute of Panem

    Hey guess what stupid pottr heads…The hunger games outsold u guys and it is the most amazing revelution in the world!!!!!!!!!!!
    THe HUNGR GAMES IS WHAT ID LIVE FOR AND DIE FOR
    THE HUNGR GAMES HAS A 2 TIME OSCAR WINNER TO PLAY KATNISS
    THE HUNGER GAMES HAS ITS BEST MORALS OF ANY ELSE BOOK
    THE HUNGER GAMES HAS THE MOST REALISTIC CHARACTER
    THE HUNGER GAMES ISWHAT MAKES U TAKE THE WORLD SERIOUSLY
    THE HUNGER GAMES IS AMAZING
    THE HUNGER GAMES IS OUR FUTURE
    THE HUNGRBGAMES IS BETTER TAHN ANY OF THESE AND BEAT HARRY POTTR AND TWILIGHT AT PEOPLES CHOICE AWARDS AND THE KCA AWARDS

    • declan casey

      the hunger games came no where near outselling us. Look up obvious information. Harry Potter is the highest grossing movie franchise ever.The only field people say THG outsold us in is Amazon, which hardly counts, because people have to go through pottermore to order the books, the harry potter books were completed way before internet sales were a big thing, and harry potter arrived on amazon way after the hunger games

      Response to your dumb diatribe:

      1) You would die for such a mediocre series?
      2) Harry Potter has Helena Bonham carter, Kenneth Brannagh, Ralph Fiennes, John Cleese, Maggie Smith, Emma Watson, and almost every other british academy award nominee or academy award winner that you can think of. HP has way more highly acclaimed actors than the hunger games does.

      3) Definitely not. Harry Potter’s morals contain deep messages about fascism, prejudice, fighting in the face of adversity, love, and death. THG simply tries to show us the ugliness of reality TV.

      4) Katniss is more realistic then Bella, but not more realistic than Harry. Harry potter was an extremely layered character. He has to deal with very human feelings and emotions, and behind every fantastical crisis he faces, there is always strong symbolism to some extremely relevant human problems.

      5) You are taking this book series way to seriously.

      6) That’s your opinion

      7) Definitely not. Now I know you’re taking this series WAY too seriously.

      8) You seriously think winning a kids choice award means anything?

      Short answer: The Hunger Games is mediocre at best, and hasn’t come close to the level of fame Harry potter has. Does THG have a theme park in Orlando, Hollywood, and Tokyo? Does it have a studio tour in london, and almost every piece of merchandise you can think of? Harry Potter has been sold in more than 73 different languages including ancient greek and latin, and has been sold in more than 200 countries. Each harry potter book broke the record for the fastest selling book in history, and deathly hallows part 2 is the 4th most highest grossing movie ever. The franchise itself is the highest grossing franchise ever. I could list a whole lot more of Harry Potters achievements, but I’ll stop there. Harry Potter has been considered a classic. The Hunger Games simply does not compare.

    • senlav

      ebook sales mean nothing. comparing hunger game sales to HP sales is like comparing Taylor swift record sales to Mariah sales. HP came out in the 90, hunger game out in the digital age so in digital sales yes it will out sell HP but overall NO WAY.
      HP over sales is at 450-500m. Hunger games only beat HP on amazon.
      Please let talk substance. JK Rowlings mind and creativity is far superior to Suzan Collins. JK Rowling created a new fictional world. Collins shamelessly ripped off battle royale.
      HP is timeless and timely. Hunger games would be forgotten after the films are over.
      HP actually has had a impact on pop culture and the world. hunger games is another teen fad.
      The HP books are one of the modern fantasy books that has been contanly put on par with LOTR and Nania.
      Hunger games does not have that type of critical acclaim.

  • declan casey

    I’m sorry, but did you seriously say Twilight had a wider age range then Harry Potter? Absolutely false. I know almost zero moms who would want to pick up any of the twilight books, leaving the age range of the books from about 12-mid 30 year olds. However, harry potter’s age ranges from about 8 or 9 years old and up. The books offer gritty violence and romance, while the earlier books offer more comic relief and childish situations.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      I better not say what I was reading when I was 12 and 13. No one censored my reading, except one librarian who wouldn’t let me take out adult best sellers and gave me teen trash instead. I read it for a few weeks and then found my way around her censoring.I’m getting this one for myself and my mom wants this one. Learn to lie to bureaucratic minds.

    • declan casey

      I’m not sure what you’re implying. Are you saying that Harry Potter is censored? Are you saying that twilight wouldn’t appeal to those age ranges? The twilight series audience largely consists of tween/teen girls, and the occasional adult.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      No. Obviously it does and did.

  • luke campbell

    I am a potterhead i love harry potter and the hunger games is a great series and i have read them all but J.K. Rowling has a history for main charecters and small charecters alike she also has made spin off books and theyre coming out with a movie for fantastic beasts and were to find them SM compared herself to william shakesphere (sorry if i spelled that wrong) and J.K Rowling has made a book that has mde websites helped kids and has brooms robes wands hats and not to mention a theme park