A look at Norman and Harry Osborn in the Raimi Trilogy

A few weeks ago on my Raimi Spider-Man fan tumblr I created this gifset, and upon completing it I thought what I often think on completing Spider-Man Trilogy gifsets: “Man, Sam Raimi is a damn good director, isn’t he?” He’s not considered to be a very subtle filmmaker but I think the way he compared and contrasted Norman and Harry throughout the trilogy was subtle and all the better for it.

The house

Hire a horror director to do a superhero franchise and this is the sort of creepy haunted-house goodness you get. Norman sees the room start spinning while Harry sees a door open, enticing him.

The drinks

Harry’s substance abuse issues aren’t gone into much throughout the Spider-Man trilogy, which is a shame since it forms such an important part of his character in the comics. Interesting how Norman’s got a “manly” drink while Harry has the kind of one Norman would probably sneer at. Also, you see that blurry female figure in the portrait behind Norman? She’s everywhere the Osborns go.

That’s got to be Emily, Harry’s mother, the one Norman calls a gold-digger direct to Harry’s face. Perhaps she’s haunting Norman as he descends into madness.

Harry’s own blurry background figure is, of course, Peter.

The mirrors

I love so much about this juxtaposition. I also love that in the scene where Harry sees Norman in the mirror (and in most scenes of Harry in the Osborn home actually) he’s wearing a very familiar blue shirt.

Norman’s shirt! But, and I always liked this very much, in Spider-Man 2 Harry’s shirt is open displaying the white inside, very symbolic of course-

-and it’s only later in Spider-Man 3 (just before trying to kill Peter) that he has it buttoned up, like Norman wears his.

The city

This was actually pointed out by tumblr user devoutlywished, how the people of New York hurl things at Norman but clap and cheer for Harry. As someone who counts “New York” as one of her favourite characters in the Spider-Man Trilogy, I approve.

The gratitude

A early bit of foreshadowing for Harry’s fall to the dark side. Norman tells Peter “Thank god for you” and may or may not have really meant it. Harry says the same thing a couple of scenes later, and did mean it, although not for long.

The hands

My favourite juxtaposition in the entire trilogy. (Well, one of them. I could talk your ears off about these movies even more than I’m doing now.) Peter rejects Norman’s hand – quite rightly, as it turns out – and Norman retaliates by trying to stab him with the glider. Two movies later Peter accepts Harry’s offered hand, and Harry ends up taking a fatal glider stab for him.

(For bonus point, Peter’s left eye is visible during the Norman scene, and his right during the Harry scene.)

The deaths

Norman’s moment of treachery and Harry’s moment of sacrifice are filmed the exact same way, and it only serves to highlight what different men they are. As does everything else I’ve made a note of here, of course.

The sheer amount of care this trilogy took with most of its characters, oh man, I’ll never be over it. Love these films forever.

(I do have a plan to turn all these gifs into a video one day, watch this space.)

2 thoughts on “A look at Norman and Harry Osborn in the Raimi Trilogy

  1. Same too, pal, same too 💕💚 Just I have a dpubt, in some wiki I found the name of Harry’s mom (supposedly in that earth) was Carol, even when we know Norman’s wife was called Emily since forever 😕

    Liked by 1 person

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