Harry Potter

Yes, you are reading that blog title right: I, hater and naysayer of trendy books (sometimes trendy things in general), have finally read the Harry Potter series about a decade after its original popularity.

Now BEFORE you start yelling about how you’ve told me to read these books for years (looking at you, Lean), let me clarify: I don’t recall saying I would definitely never read them, and I don’t recall saying I would definitely not like them. I just had to do it on my own time. (Speaking of time, I was sooo self-conscious about not posting a book review/updating my Goodreads for so long while I was reading these books, I worried you’d all think I stopped reading! I just wanted it to be a surprise!)

I don’t see the point in summarizing/reviewing all seven books as I am probably one of the last people on Earth to read them, so I’ll just share a few thoughts and reactions I had throughout my extremely enjoyable reading experience. (I also tried to re-watch each movie after each book, so I am just fully Harry Pottered UP now!)

The Sorcerer’s Stone

  • Neville Longbottom is way more important in the books than in the movies — why is that? He is an amazing fourth wheel to Harry, Ron and Hermione.
  • Ron is even funnier in the books.
  • At the end Dumbledore tells Harry about Snape’s beef with his dad, but that doesn’t get figured out until one of the last movies, right?
  • Also on the end, I’m still so bothered by how Harry defeats Voldemort because of love. LOVE? Come on! It would make more sense if Harry had a spell on his skin that burned Professor Quirrell/Voldemort, but just the idea of his mother loving him killed him/them? I don’t buy it.
  • I feel like the books take place over longer periods of time — i.e. full school years — whereas the movies move pretty quickly, or don’t properly express that they’re full school years. I like this because when Harry, Ron and Hermione are not fighting evil they are actually, like, in school, taking tests, doing homework, going to sporting events. Kind of like Buffy!

The Chamber of Secrets

  • I totally remember the Tom-Marvolo-Riddle-I-am-Lord-Voldemort thing, but I do NOT remember Ginny Weasley being his right-hand girl (not by choice, but you know what I mean)? But apparently that did happen in the movie and my memory is just fading at an alarming rate.
  • I just have a lot of freaking issues with Snape. I mean, WHAT IS HIS DEAL?! Oh, you were in love with some girl and she was in love with someone else, therefore you have to take it out on their SON over a decade after they were MURDERED? Makes a lot of sense, you know, morally.
  • Also having a lot of issues with Malfoy, who basically just deserves to be dead, like, at all times. Talk about your bullying for crying out loud!

The Prisoner of Azkaban

  • At the beginning, there is a lot of hoopla about that hippogriff, Buckbeak, and how to approach him carefully, but when they go back in time at the end he is quite cooperative. Weird, no?
  • This is where I start to get a little mixed up with the back story of Snape, Harry’s dad, Sirius Black, Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. Who is/was good and who is/was bad?!
  • I did not like this movie as much as the first two — different Dumbledore (R.I.P.), different director, different (read: worse) way of explaining what the F happened. Not a fan!
  • Sharing a quote from the book that stuck with me for obvious reasons:

You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us? You think we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in time of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him. 

The Goblet of Fire

  • ALSO having an issue with Snape’s treatment of Hermione — when Harry and Draco accidentally curse Crabbe and Hermione and her teeth grow and Snape says he “sees no change”??!?!?! Teachers can’t say that! Not even at Hogwarts!
  • I really like J.K. Rowling’s play on language — “abracadabra” is a silly word we use to describe magic, and “Avada Kedavra” is the most dangerous, deadly curse in Harry Potter world. I also like how she uses alliteration on people’s names and how their names describe their characters (i.e. Professor Lupin, who is a werewolf, and lupo = wolf.)
  • I already knew Cedric died from the movie, but still. Rough.

The Order of the Phoenix

  • My movie memory only went up to the fourth book, so this part of the story was completely new to me. Like, I’m wondering if I ever even saw this movie?
  • Harry and Cho Chang, and Ron and Hermione talking about Harry and Cho Chang, are just too adorable for words. That is, until they are both too immature for words and have trouble handling romantic feelings. Yikes!
  • Ok, so this whole Snape thing is actually a pretty integral part of the story. It actually kind of IS the whole story. It’s all coming back, it’s all coming back to me now…
  • Sirius dies?! I don’t remember that at all! First Cedric, now Sirius, and I know Dumbledore dies at some point (the next book is my guess). Sh!t is SO real!

The Half-Blood Prince

  • I saw this movie when it opened at midnight many moons ago because I lived with some serious Harry Potter fans at the time, and I remember laughing my @$$ off. The book did not let me down in that respect, at least in the beginning, mostly because of Professor Slughorn and the Fleur/Bill wedding discussions.
  • Completely forgot about the Horcruxes until Dumbledore mentioned them. It’s all coming back, it’s all coming back to me now…
  • The Weasleys remind me so much of the Walshes.

The Deathly Hallows

  • Ahhhh these books are so good I don’t want them to end!
  • So the whole thing about “love” protecting Harry against Voldemort gets really convoluted, TBH — Voldemort can’t touch Harry, then he puts Harry’s blood in him which actually backfires, samesies with the mental/soul connection, so that when Voldemort puts the killing curse on Harry, Harry doesn’t die because he can’t because of the love thing. It’s just a little hard to believe.
  • But, as it turns out, that prophecy about the two boys born in July really COULD have been about Neville Longbottom, because he is the one who actually destroyed the last Horcrux (Nagini). Right?
  • I almost don’t like that the book ended 19 years later with all their kids going off to Hogwarts, it almost cheapens the whole thing. Ending it right after the final battle with “I’ve had enough trouble for a lifetime” was probably all it needed.
  • Damn, these books were good.
  • I still hate Snape.

9 thoughts on “Harry Potter

  1. I’m in the middle of a reread with Zoe (I mean, I’m re-reading; it’s all new to her) so I’ll let you know how I feel when I’m reminded afresh of it, but I remember the whole “love” thing really bothering me – Lily Potter couldn’t be the only mother in the wizarding world who’d die for her son, right? Then I realized she was probably the only mother in the wizarding world who Voldemort would NOT have killed, except that he had to in order to make an attempt on Harry’s life.

    I think that considering the fan community, she had to have an epilogue about what they were all up to, but she didn’t seem to much like it, and wrote a kind of shitty one.

    Totally with you on Snape. I mean, seriously, dude. Lily liked James. Not you. Back in your Dark Wizard days, you AIDED AND ABETTED the murder of James, and of Lily, and the attempted murder of the one-year-old Harry. You think the best way of remember Lily is to be a jerkwad to her son? And everyone who isn’t Draco Malfoy, son of your Dark Wizard compatriot?

  2. As you probably saw, I’ve been re-reading this year too. I love your evolving reactions to Snape. I can’t believe the 7th book didn’t get a mention of how devastating all the losses were (this is the only book left in my reread yet). I am torn on the epilogue but you are definitely not alone on not enjoying it. Eeeee I’m so happy you loved them though! And it looks like you’ll have Zoe to share this with too 🙂

    Going from the earlier almost frivolous books, moving into more serious and moody and hormonal, and then into the devastation of war is part of what made these books so great. They start out children’s but do not end that way.

    Also can’t believe you didn’t complain about EMO Harry in OOTP! (OK it’s grieving and PTSD, but also hormones)

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