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Harry Potter combines so many existing tropes and ideas from folklore and other works of fiction, there's very little that's original other than how it's all combined. JKR is really good at ripping off or syncretizing other works, depending on how generous you're being, into an accessible whole. If something feels familiar to the world of Harry Potter, chances are it first appeared elsewhere.
Ursula K. Le Guin on JKR and Harry Potter:
“When so many adult critics were carrying on about the ‘incredible originality’ of the first Harry Potter book, I read it to find out what the fuss was about, and remained somewhat puzzled. It seemed a lively kid’s fantasy crossed with a ‘school novel’, good fare for its age group, but stylistically ordinary, imaginatively derivative, and ethically rather mean-spirited.”

"I didn't feel she [Rowling] ripped me off, as some people did though she could have been more gracious about her predecessors. My incredulity was at the critics who found the first book wonderfully original. She has many virtues, but originality isn't one of them. That hurt."
 

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Ursula K. Le Guin on JKR and Harry Potter:
Le Guin was absolutely spot-on, particularly re: Rowling's deeply ingracious and indeed rather horrible behaviour in the early years of Pottermania. Rowling gave multiple interviews in the very late '90s where she took a dump on fantasy writing as a whole - her usual line being that fantasy was something nerdy teenage boys and no-one else read (seriously), and claimed Potter "wasn't fantasy" (LOL yeah and James Bond isn't a spy thriller, and The Expanse isn't sci-fi). Then, slightly later she did backtrack a bit on it being "not fantasy", but insisted she had originated the entire "magic schooldays" concept (I believe she later backed off on this too, but why ever claim something so ludicrous)?

Personally as someone who was raised on The Worst Witch and A Wizard of Earthsea, as well as numerous other "British schooldays" books (and of course I went to a school which had "houses" and so on), I was utterly perplexed as to why people were excited by this, let alone calling it "original". As Le Guin says, no matter how much you might like HP, one thing it ain't is "original".

Ethically mean-spirited is also a good point. There's a weird kind of nastiness to the HP books which was ultimately a lot of what put me off them, not just directed at the "bad guys" but a lot of the "good guys" or neutrals get judged pretty harshly by the books in a way that's not earned.
 

Ursula K. Le Guin on JKR and Harry Potter:
Given what J. K. Rowling has said about the fantasy genre (she doesn't like and doesn't read it) Rowling probably never read Le Guin, certainly not before she wrote Harry Potter.

You can kind of detect "doesn't even know they are plagiarising". I've seen it in some stuff by Michael Creighton (Doctor Who) and Robert Harris (X-Files).

I guess in the geek bubble it's quite easy to assume everyone is intimately familiar with Earthsea, Doctor Who and the X-Files...
 
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Given what J. K. Rowling has said about the fantasy genre (she doesn't like and doesn't read it) Rowling probably never read Le Guin, certainly not before she wrote Harry Potter.

You can kind of detect "doesn't even know they are plagiarising". I've seen it in some stuff by Michael Creighton (Doctor Who) and Robert Harris (X-Files).

I guess in the geek bubble it's quite easy to assume everyone is intimately familiar with Earthsea, Doctor Who and the X-Files...
The thing is, no-one was zinging JKR for being unoriginal on release, at all. On the contrary, people were saying the opposite as noted. Sure that was irrational, but it wasn't like fantasy authors were wading in to critique her. Indeed, the few fantasy authors I saw discuss her work at the dawn of Pottermania were pretty positive and excited that a new voice was getting fantasy noticed, and not picky about it.

It was JKR who did repeated bizarre interviews where she really rude about fantasy as a genre and asserted she was totally original. The interviewers were often at least somewhat familiar with fantasy, and would try to be positive and put JKR's work in a context of fantasy, in a good way, and she'd be like "NO!!! THIS IS NOT FANTASY! Fantasy is dumb stuff for dumb teenage nerd-boys!" (and yeah pretty much that vehement - I used to have a link to an interview from like 1999 or 2000 which just like blistering...). Always kind of funny given Harry is totally a teenage nerd-boy that teenage nerd-boys loved.

So eventually all the trash JKR had been talking got back to Le Guin and Le Guin was, rightfully, unimpressed. She's a lot more polite than I'd have been!

See also: That time the NYT's main TV reviewer (not entirely dissimilar to JKR in personality/background) saw the first episode of GoT and decided to explain, in her review, that all fantasy (including GoT) was dumb stuff for teenage boys, and the no self-respecting woman had any time for. Great work New York Times lol.
 

I dunno that I would ever describe LeGuin as "polite", but she definitely could've been (as has been) a lot more scathing.

Nothing is truly original. But to claim TOTAL ORIGINALITY, even out of ignorance, is just dumb for any adult. Like claiming you are totally rational, or totally consistent in your behavior, etc.
 

Your post does a good job of illustrating how being a clone is indeed a bad thing, because you show how the creators clearly had interesting ideas and just buried them under a deluge of cloned stuff which Dark Sun did better, and, I would suggest, to a lesser extent, crude attempts to be un-PC/edgelord-y.
'Twas the purpose, but it seems a lot of people missed that!
 

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