Monday, February 3, 2014

Harry Potter

{started 2/12/12)
I like* Harry Potter. I read the first two books in a day each, about 7 years ago, when I was visiting my sister. I had heard about them but wasn't that interested until she said she'd read them and liked them. The first four were out, maybe the first five, and I had to wait for the last ones. I even went and stood in line at midnight for the last one.
Last summer, before the second part of the last movie came out, I reread the 7th book again. I was amazed at what I'd missed (and what I thought the movie got wrong that was in the book) - since I read it so fast, literally about 18 hours and some of that, but not much, was sleep). When I visited my sister and baby Lily, we watched the first 6 movies back to back (which was really fun, seeing the actors grow not just from kids to adults but also as actors).
Then I got the idea to read all the books again, in order, without starting something else in between (which actually ended up being something I had to stick to - I'd be in the middle of a HP book and think, what else should I start reading?).
So about the second week in January (2012) I started. I'm going to make a list of my thoughts and observations and if I end up with 10, I'll link up with top ten Tuesday (added 2014 - does she even do Top Ten Tuesday? I've been majorly absent from blogland. I like this list but don't know what else I was planning to add. I like what I've wrote, though).
1. The details are there. I was amazed at the movies, how intricate the castle was and interesting different parts were done - but the details are there. Like Dumbledore's stairs moving. JK wrote that.
2. Harry's relationship with the Weasleys is important. On the first reading, I was always thinking "why do the Weasleys keep popping up? Why is Harry always there?" But seeing it all together, the whole story arcing, I see how they're his surrogate family (duh, I know). Also his relationship with Ginny doesn't pop up out of nowhere, JK laid the foundation for it all along. George and Fred are jokesters but real friends and protectors and teachers. And Harry gives them his Triwizard winnings (who knew?).
3. Also, the horcruxes don't pop up out of nowhere. Again, reading the books the first time, and being so blown away by (spoiler alert) Dumbledore's death at the end of book 6, I was like, why is she popping this on us NOW? But Vol - he-who-must-not-be-named mentions it when he comes back at the end of book 4. Something about "the things I've done to ensure my return" or something (what, you want me to go get the book and be exact?).
4. In general, the first time around I thought JKR was making stuff up to try to fill 7 books. The first two books struck me as really similar: Voldemort trying to come back, Harry going deep beneath the school and defeating him. All neatly fit in to a school year, with a few passing references to the "house cup" or "Quidditch championship." Reading them all together, and knowing the end, I saw clues and foreshadowing all along (as is usually the case when you know the end). So now I'm more impressed that she had a plan and knew where she was going with the story.
5. I love the evolution of Neville. I was sort of aware of it the first time, but especially on this reading. In book 7, his grandmother sends him a letter saying she's proud of him and his parents would be to. I cried. Speaking of crying . . .
6. I cried a lot reading book 7 this time . . . George's ear; Dobby; Neville's letter; Harry walking with his parents, Sirius, and Lupin; Fred dying; "Always;" Nineteen Years Later; "Albus Severus" straight though to "all was well." . . . . too many to list. I am a little attached to them.
7. In book 2, when they have the "dueling club," Snape uses "Expelliarmus" on Lockhart when they demonstrate dueling. And "Expelliarmus" becomes Hary's signature - he uses it in the graveyard, when he leaves Privet Drive for the last time, and it ultimately is the spell that defeats Voldemort.
8. And another thing in the "maybe she did have a plan" thought line, in Book 2 Peeves drops a vanishing cabinet to distract Filch from punishing Harry. In Book 5, Fred and George stick someone in a broken vanishing cabinet. In Book 6, Draco fixes a broken vanishing cabinet to let the Death Eaters into Hogwarts.

{finished 2014}
*Did I really say "like"? I mean, am kind of obsessed with. I have Hogwarts listed as my education on FB. And there's this Pinterest board. I'd like to go to Platform 9 3/4 (who wouldn't) and have looked up Butterbeer recipes. I'm hoping Sam will let me do a Harry Potter birthday for his 11th birthday. Which he won't. They both seem to think it's my thing. Maybe I'll do the party for myself.