It may seem that the fact i haven’t posted in two months is an indicator that I’ve given up on reading and blogging but the opposite is the case. I’ve spent the last two months entrenched in my post exam tradition of reading the seven Harry Potter books back to back. I started this tradition after completing my AS Level exams and continued it after my A Level exam and now my first year University Exams.
Harry Potter (for want of a less cliche word) is magical. It’s as simple as that, the characters are realized so perfectly that I feel like I could be firm friends with many of them. The reason that I think it has endured so well is not the plot, which does become slightly overwrought towards the end in my opinion (I was always slightly confused by the whole twin cores and soul splitting thing), but because of the characters. None of them are glossy and perfect, they all have their flaws. Even Harry, the hero of the series, is flawed which means that he relies on the help of his friends throughout the series even in the moments when he is most alone. The importance of friendship is the most endearing message from the series, Dumbledore would say Voldemort can be defeated because he cannot love. I think what this really means is that Voldemort can be defeated because he doesn’t value the importance of friendship in the same way Harry did.
I am not, like 2 million other people that brought it in the two days after its release, going to be rushing out to buy The Cursed Child. To me the most unrealistic part of the fantasy series that involved magic, dragons and the deathly hallows was that Ron, Hermione, Harry and Ginny all settled down with the person they met in what was essentially high school. In my rereading of the series this year I didn’t reread the ’19 years later’ passage at the end of The Deathly Hallows because I find it a bit of an anti-climax really. Many fans also debate Harry’s choice of names for his kids, especially ‘Albus Serverus’ – two many who essentially manipulated and abused Harry rather than treating him either as a young person or an equal. I know absolutely nothing about the plot of The Cursed Child so J.K. Rowling may atone for the unrealistic set up that all the star characters had normal middle class lives after Hogwarts in the play. To me Harry is an adventurer, a hero, a rebel, and I don’t believe he would have been truly happy to settle down and have a few kids.
I thought i finish this post with a ’30 days of Harry Potter’ challenge I found of Facebook (obviously I’m doing it all in one post on one day)
Day 1: Your fave book. Goblet of Fire
Day 2: Your fave movie. Goblet of Fire!
Day 3: Is there any of the films adaptations that have made you angry because they’ve ignored important parts of the book. I think that S.P.E.W. should have been included, the treatment of house elves by wizards was a really interesting sub-plot in the books and I think helped to reveal that wizards aren’t in anyway perfect.
Day 4: Least fave female character and why. Umbridge – duh!
Day 5: Fave male character and why. Sirius Black – I think he was the epitome of a Gryffindor – brave, loyal, and proud – he treated Harry as an equal rather than trying to protect him and I’m still sad that we never got to see Harry live with him.
Day 6: What house would you want to be in. Ravenclaw
Day 7: Fave female character and why. Luna Lovegood – she was unique, intelligent and creative, I feel like she is painted as just a token ‘quirky’ character in the films while in the books she is much more nuanced.
Day 8: What do you think would be your fave lesson. Charms – i feel like it involves the most stereotypical ‘magic’ if that makes sense.
Day 9: Least fave male character. Dumbledore – controversial i know but i feel like his treatment of Harry (keeping him in the dark about his connection with Voldemort, entrusting him with the Horcruxes mission, not telling him about himself) rather than keeping Harry out of danger was manipulative. Dumbledore seemed to simultaneously treat Harry like a child while thrusting very adult responsibilities on him
Day 10: Horcruxes or Hallows. Hallows – one of my absolute favourtie scenes in the film is the tale of the three brothers
Day 11: What character would you say you are most like. Luna Lovegood
Day 12: Fave ship.(relationship, eg – Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny etc) Bill and Fleur – one of my favourite (and most tear wrenching scenes) in the book is after Bill has been attacked by the werewolf and Molly assumed Fleur will not want to marry him anymore. Fleur’s defiance of the expectations placed on her by Molly really shows how powerful the connection, and love, is between Bill and Fleur.
Day 13: Least fave movie. Deathly Hallows Part 1
Day 14: Team Voldemort or Team harry. Team Harry
Day 15: Who would be your best friends at Hogwarts. (three only) Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Fred + George (they’re always together so they count as one)
Day 16: Fave professor Lupin
Day 17: Are you excited about The Deathly Hallows movie or scared it won’t do the book justice. Wow this challenge is old (and no i don’t think the movie did the book justice)
Day 18: Least fave book. Chamber of Secrets
Day 19: Do you prefer the books or films. Books
Day 20: If you had to meet one member of the cast, who would it be. Maggie Smith
Day 21: Out of all the characters that died, if you could bring one back, who would it be. Fred
Day 22: Pick a favourite quote from any of the books/films “Ask us no question, we tell you no lies” – Fred and George
Day 23: Any part of the books/movies that makes you cry. Seeing Neville in St. Mungos, post Bill’s werewolf attack, the ressurection stone scene before Harry’s ‘death’, Fred’s death, Tonk’s and Lupin’s death
Day 24: Any particular scene you wished would have been put in the movie but it wasn’t. I wish more would have been shown of Bill and Fleur’s relationship overall
Day 25: Nineteen years later. Are you happy how it turned out, or do you wish something was different, ie Neville married Luna. I wish it hadn’t happened
Day 26: If you could be able to work one spell without a wand what would it be. Accio – cos i’m lazy and i don’t feel like i’d really need many of the other spells in the non-wizarding world
Day 27: Would you rather own The Invisibility Cloak, The Resurrection Stone or The Elder Wand. The cloak
Day 28: Do you listen to Wizard Wrock, what do you think about it. No
Day 29: Did you enjoy A Very Potter Musical. Never seen it
Day 30: What affect has Harry Potter made on your life and how much does it mean to you. Harry Potter helped me through a very lonely summer holiday when i was 13 when i had few friends and little happiness, reading about Harry and his adventures helped me escape the unhappiness i was experiences. Allow since then i’ve reread the collection, it has never meant quite as much to me as it did that first time, when Harry was there to cheer me up, and make me face another day.