The Boy Was A Puppet

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Title: The Boy Was A Puppet
Creator: fabella (wistful_fever)
Date: 2006
Format: digital vid
Length: 4:31 minutes
Music: "All That I Am" by Rob Thomas
Genre: gen
Fandom: Harry Potter
Footage: the first 4 Harry Potter films
URL: vid announcement
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The Boy Was A Puppet is a Harry Potter fanvid by fabella.

Vidder's summary: "One day Harry will be a real boy."

Vidder's notes: "The Boy was a Puppet" fulfilled my wish to drop the 'world on [Harry's] shoulders' anvil, and I focused on his sort of love/hate relationship with the wizarding world. From the inside looking out, this time, he keeps trying to please, to make a place in that world, but he's a puppet on strings for most of them, even the ones that love him, and that will probably get him killed eventually."[1] The vidder also discussed the vid as part of the Vid Commentary Interview Series on September 17th, 2010.[2]

The vid was first shown at the 2006 Vividcon "Color Explosion" vid show and then later that same year at the Bascon vid show. In 2007, the vid was played during the Eastern Media Con vid show. In 2010, the vid was used as part of the course materials of University of Florida's "Writing About Adaptation."[3]

Reactions & Reviews

  • "Trying to choose some vids out of Fabella's body of work is like pulling teeth. She is amazingly creative and each new vid is sure to mark some hitherto-unknown territory. This is hands-down the best Harry Potter video I have ever seen. The use of metaphor, objects and movement is plain astounding, and the video delves deeply into its subject matter. An extremely insightful and sensitive look into the inherent tragedy in Harry Potter as a character..."[4]
another banner for the vid
  • "the other of my top two harry vids. this one is pretty near perfection. uses beautiful imagery and tells the haunting and sad story of harry's life, absolutely stunning. the music helps as well!"[5]
  • "This vid sums up all that Harry is going through, all he's been forced to endure as a puppet of those around him (Dumbledore, Voldemort, the Ministry). It puts a very stark face on what Harry is going through."[6]
  • "The Boy Was A Puppet...uses as its source the four Harry Potter films released as of 2005, examines the titular character and his position in the wizarding world through an elaborate associative chain. In this vid as in others, constraints make, rather than inhibit, meaning: given a limited amount of source footage, three different directors, and aging child actors, all of which would constrain a more linear and context-based vid, the vidder anchors hers in objects that work both metaphorically and literally to suggest a dangerous environment and a populace in peril, whose only hope is a young man destined to battle evil. Rather than following the narrative progression of the four films, The Boy Was A Puppet circles around objects that are significant to the films, and that symbolize Harry Potter's condition. Though the vid focuses specifically on the fourth movie as its most consistent "present," it points backward to establish portents and associations, as well as toward an irrevocable future, especially given the knowledge that readers have of what happens to Harry in the fifth and sixth books. The layers of context that create a vid are especially visible here, given that the viewer must draw on her knowledge of all four then-current films, six books, the differences in their interpretations of common events, and on fannish conjecture about the story's end. The Boy Was A Puppet traces a particular take on Harry's mission that relies on these layers in order to present a likely meaning, one that can only be confirmed retroactively, at the end of the series. The use of evocative objects also adds a level of complexity to what could be perceived as heavy-handed lyrics, such as "I breathe so you breathe/let me stand so you'll stand/with all that I am".[7]


  1. ^ vid announcement post dated April 9, 2006; WebCite.
  2. ^ WebCite for Interview Series 2010: Fabella.
  3. ^ Writing About Adaptation course syllabus.
  4. ^ obsessive24's Favorite Vids; WebCite.
  5. ^ tearful-eye vid recs.
  6. ^ mhalachai's Nothing To Report Except These Vid Recs dated May. 23rd, 2006 .