I was browsing the MyDramaList website and I stumbled upon an article about what would a Chinese version of Harry Potter look like. Of course, this is MDL and the focus was not on the possible plot changes and character quirks that could be introduced, but on what the casting of the movies would look like. I liked the original premise suggested by the title of the article: What would a Chinese version of Harry Potter look like?
I would imagine it would have a lot of drama. Harry would have to constantly argue with Hermione, and they would have fallen in love about half way through the movie series. Harry’s grandma would have been an anti-half blood and opposed to Harry marrying Hermione and so on and so forth. You get the picture.
But if Harry Potter was made into a Thai BL, I imagine a very different plot than the original plot. In fact, it probably wouldn’t look much like Harry Potter.
The Main Conflicts in a Thai BL
What drives conflict in a Thai BL? In a previous post about Tale of a Thousand Stars, I discussed how conflict can be external or internal. In most Thai BLs, the conflict is driven by extrinsic forces. I think a case can be made that in each of the following series, the factors that drive the couple away are external to the couple: Lovely writer, 2Moons2, ATOTS, Tonhon Chonlatee, TharnType, 2Gether The Series, My Tee, and many others. I don’t think this is unique to BL. In romantic drama, it is much easier for a writer to imagine the lovers being forcefully separated against their wish than it is for them to imagine the lovers simply falling out of love, feeling conflicted about love, etc. If Harry Potter were made into a Thai BL, most likely the conflict will be external. Perhaps an ex-girlfriend gets in the way of Ron and Harry’s relationship?
Oh, this brings us to our next topic…
Voldemort: The Big Baddie
Who is the “evil” character in a Thai BL? Usually, the role of evil character falls onto a woman. Usually that woman is either the mother or, more frequently, a conniving and devious girlfriend. Oh yes, Voldemort would have to be a woman. In the BL version of Harry Potter, Harry is accosted not by a megalomaniac wizard bent on wiping the non-magical folks out of the Earth but an ex-girlfriend hellbent on getting between him and his true love. In line with previous BL, she will come up with the most stupid plan which will work at first but will blow up miserably on her face.
How does Ron fall for Harry?
There are a couple of basic ways that male leads come together in a Thai BL. First, there is the fake boyfriend that has been used so many times, I have lost track of it (Lovesick, My Tee, 2Gether). Second, there is the “forced” love, in which the Seme forces the Uke to like him, (Fish Upon The Sky 1st Couple, TharnType). Lastly, there is the BL fairy dust in which the couple magically and against all odds comes together even if they dislike each other (Make it Right, Why R U?, Fish Upon The Sky 2nd Couple, SOTUS, Oxygen). Well, to be fair this trope has a name, “Enemy to lovers” but at least with Why R U? we know some super natural forces are at work, because Zon ends up living the same events described in her sister’s novel.
Because Harry Potter is about wizards and magical beings, I imagine a Thai BL version of Harry Potter would choose to go the route of the BL dust with Ron and Harry as the most likely candidates BUT I can also see it working with Draco Malfoy and Harry. They would be the perfect Enemy to Lovers.
Uke vs Seme
We know that in every Thai BL story, there is an Uke and a Seme. I don’t think Rowling’s had such anachronic ideas about masculinity in mind when she developed her characters but if we apply Thai BL logic to her stories, one would have to surmise that both Draco and Ron would be Ukes: They are more easy to scare and tease than Harry. Harry Potter on the other hand is confident, brave and popular. He would definitely be the Seme. I personally think that the Draco – Harry ship is the one with the most potential for fireworks.
In the original story we know that Ron ends up with Hermione. A lot of Thai BL, especially the older ones, had a straight couple. In fact, heterosexual couples still show up in Thai BLs occasionally (Oxygen, The Shipper). Thus, I had stick with Ron and Hermione as one of the heterosexual ships.
My choice of actors for this BL version of Harry Potter is pretty much based on my own personal taste in Thai BL actors. I think Earth Teerapat would make a perfect Harry Potter, but the problem is that he is such a good little Uke, that I just can’t imagine him as the Seme here. Chimon on the other hand could probably pull off the mix of nerdiness and confidence that we see in Potter. But actually, I think the best candidate for this role would be Khaotung Thanawat. I am convinced he could play a very credible Seme, yet he has the softer physical characteristics we attribute with the scrawny Harry Potter.
Ron Weasley was always a bit chubby but grew to become a pretty handsome guy. He plays best friend to Harry and is both a bit hysterical and a bit of a nervous wreck. I think White Nawat would be a great candidate, though I admit I am not too happy having to hook him up with a girl in the end.
Draco Malfoy, our enemy turned lover, seem to physically be this long, skinny, boy with a very serious face. Malfoy is also a complex character, starting as Harry’s foe but slowly growing fond of him and eventually falling in love with Harry. I can only see one person playing this character: Captain Chonlathorn.
Let’s not forget about Neville Longbottom. Oh, what a name for a BL character to have! He will definitely be an Uke. Neville was disorganized and eternally scared. I think he should be played by a good comedic actor. Neo Trai Nimtawat would probably be my first pick, though I am admittedly obsessed with Neo’s legs to the point it is not healthy (Have you seen his legs?). Neo’s comedic timing is impeccable. My second choice here would be Sing Harit. He has some of the physical features I associate with Longbottom and he has good comedic timing. Oh, the choices! I think I had go with Neo if we can somehow have a separate plot for his legs. Like, maybe he drinks a potion and all we see are his legs all the way up to his thighs. That’s a movie I would watch. Sorry, I digress. Yes, let’s pick Sing Harit so I am not tempted to find new ways to show Neo’s legs.
So, who plays Hermione? Your pick. Just choose one of the many female BL actress that we sometimes forget. Or if you want someone unforgettable, choose Sammy. Everyone loves Sammy.
For Lord Voldemort, I have only one person in mind: Jennie.
Ok, so in my version of Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy wants to play a prank on Ron and Harry so he asks Neville to get him the right herbs to make a love potion (OK. This was already an entire BL series but never mind). Of course, Neville tells Harry who then tells Neville to give Malfoy the wrong stuff. Harry convinces Ron to act like he is in love with him in order to trick Malfoy into thinking his potion worked. Ron starts suspecting Harry is gay when Harry tries to kiss him with the excuse of “we are playing boyfriend” while Draco is away at home. Ron gets more suspicious when he finds himself naked in Harry’s bed after they came back late from an all-nighter parting at Diagon Alley. Harry tells him, “You were very hot, so I helped you take your clothes off”. What Ron doesn’t remember is that all night, Harry just kept talking about Draco and how much he hated him. Hermione picks up on it, “Harry, are you in love with Draco?”.
Voldemort is actually Harry’s former neighbor, who had a crush on him. She stalks Harry around Hogwarts and devises a plan to get Harry to fall for her instead of Ron. She enchants Harry and makes him fall asleep. Everyone thinks he is dead. Except Hermione, who surmises it is a spell. “He can only be awaken by true loves kiss”, she reads out loud from her book.
“Oh shit, I have to kiss Harry?” is the first thing that comes from Ron’s mouth. Everyone is petrified. Ron goes for it. Nothing.
Draco shows up, concerned about Harry. Everyone is surprised. When has he cared for Harry? Is he in cahoots with Lady Jennie, I mean, Lady Voldemort? He offers to kiss Harry, and everyone’s mouth goes straight to the floor when Harry wakes up after Draco’s kiss!
In post-credit scenes, we see Ron and Hermione kiss (argh!). We also see that Neville finally hooks up with another guy at school (random school guy, played by Drake).
Jennie is shown fuming over what has happened. She disappears and becomes the “Angel of Death”.
PD I promise my next blog will be a serious one 🙂