"Harry Potter" vs. "Twilight"

The Irish roots behind the vampire craze: CLICK HERE

Irish Luna Lovegood talks 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince': CLICK HERE

IrishCentral has established the Irish links to both the “Twilight” vampire craze and the “Harry Potter” phenomenon.

Several Irish actors have starred in the “Harry Potter” series, including Brendan Gleeson as the dark wizard-fighting “Mad-Eye” Moody, Evanna Lynch as the wacky Luna Lovegood and Devon Murray as the quirky Seamus Finnigan.

Meanwhile, the “Twilight” series and Van Morrison wannabe Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen wouldn’t exist without one Irish masterpiece: 1897’s “Dracula” by Irishman Bram Stoker, which introduced the world to the now iconic modern day conception of vampires.

Both series are wildly popular, and “Twilight” has been called the new “Harry Potter,” and author Stephenie Meyers the next J.K. Rowling.

So now, through green-tinged lenses, we take a closer look at the two phenomena and ask: which epic series is better?

Let’s start with “Twlight.”

Stephenie Meyers insanely popular young adult series made up of four books and one movie (so far) is chiefly about two things: vampires and “true love.”

The modern day, fantastical romance-saga tells the story of two soulmates: one human, one vampire.

Bella (human) is a girl who moves to a small, rainy town in Washington called Forks to live with her dad. She soon meets Edward Cullen, the impossibly perfect alpha male, who she falls madly in love with.

But then she finds out that crap, he’s a vampire.

The series is about how these two crazy kids try to work out loving each other and being couple, while dodging the “bad” vampires and werewolves and avoiding the quite plausible possibility of Edward sucking his girlfriend’s blood.

On the other side of the world you have “Harry Potter,” an adventure series that follows the life of young British wizard Harry. Another fantasy series, the plot of the seven-book epic revolves around Harry’s struggle against the evil dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed his parents and aims to take over the wizarding world.

Both “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” gain points for attracting readers of all ages, and making books “cool” for kids and young adults.

Both series allow the reader/viewer to “lose themselves” in the story, providing entertainment for children and a nice little escape for angsty teens.

Both series are bestsellers, and though “Harry Potter” was won many more awards than “Twilight,” but awards aren’t everything. And to be fair, “Harry’s” been around much longer, and has a better write behind the wheel, which gives it its advantage.

But the winner in the “Twilight”-“Potter” contest is clear when viewing the attitudes and values expressed in the stories.

“Twilight” keeps in step with the sexist Victorian way of thinking that prevailed in Bram Stoker’s time. The female character is useless, except when it comes to moping around about her tricky love life and pining after her sparkly vampire (that would be Edward).

The lack of strong female characters, and the weakness of “Twilight’s” main heroine, are major blows to the series’ point value.

“Harry Potter,” on the other hand, features empowered wizard women, such as logical, street smart Hermione and her counterpart, none other than the faithful, doesn’t-care-what-people-think, Irish Luna Lovegood. These characters serve as great role models for kids. They go to school, work hard and don’t worry too much about boyfriends.

 “Twilight” seems to be setting a bad example for teenagers, and not just for girls. Meyers places a huge emphasis on Edward Cullen’s looks, and makes him out to be “perfect,” though he is often controlling and aggressive with his lady friend, Bella. Not a great way to teach guys to treat their girlfriends.

Harry, the hero of the “Potter” series, goes through awkward teen angst moments as well, but the focus sure isn’t on his good looks.

In fact, if you go on looks alone, Harry is an unlikely hero; the bespectacled wizard is small and rather “ordinary-looking.” And he certainly doesn’t sparkle in the sun. (Yes, if you don’t know, vampire Edward Cullen is sparkly in the sunshine. Meyers attributes this to the fact that vampire skin is made of crystals. Nevertheless, this bugs me, and only further justifies my argument that “Potter” is way better.)

So while “Twilight” rocks because it’s Irish-influenced, and gets kids to read and all that, in the end, “Potter” is better. It brings books to the hands of young people, and gets them wrapped up in a fun fantasy story, while still promoting empowering values of hard work, dedication, faith, loyalty and such.

Plus, it’s great for the Irish economy. After all, the “Potter” movie series has employed a bunch of Irish actors.

Okay, “Twilight” fans and "Harry Potter" haters, let the bashing begin. Leave your comments here on why you think“Twilight” is a better series, or if you agree that "Potter" rules.