Today’s post will be a longer one (it’s okay, I’ve got lots of pictures). In case you couldn’t already guess (and those of you who know me at all will easily guess) today’s post will be on the most successful book series ever and therefore my favourite. Harry Potter.
Harry Potter was one of my first book series that I read all the way through. The first book was published in the same year I was born, and when I was old enough to understand longer books, I read it with my mum. I think I was about 4 or 5 at the time. So I could say that I grew up with it. And it with me, for as I grew up, so did Harry, Ron and Hermione throughout their years in Hogwarts.
When the first film came out I was so excited. I was only 6, so I hadn’t had that much experience with the cinema. At the end of the film, when Neville wins the 10 winning points for Gryffindor to win the House Cup, I stood up and cheered. Yes, I did. I stood up and cheered in the middle of a public cinema. Where apparently most people looked at me as if I was just the cutest thing, apart from two Asian guys, who looked at me as if I was the devil’s child. (I don’t actually remember this, but my mum has described it to me quite a few times).
As this is a whole series of books, not just one, I can’t really describe the plot. However I can describe the premise (as if anyone really needs me to, if you do, I apologise but where have you been, living under a rock? Not knowing about Harry Potter, phoa!) There is this magical world that is hidden from us Muggles (non-magical humans/creatures) where witches and wizards and magic exist. And what happens to the kids of these witches and wizards? They go to school. Hogwarts’ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to be precise. There they will learn all the skills they need to use their magic wisely, and become good witches and wizards. There are lessons in Defence Against the Dark Arts (DADA), Transfiguration, Charms, Herbology, Potions, History of Magic, Muggle Studies, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination and many more I am sure. The school is headed by the renowned Professor Albus Dumbledore. Each book describes one year of Harry’s life in Hogwarts. The order of the books is, with each title beginning with ‘Harry Potter and the…’, Philospher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Askaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Halfblood Prince, and lastly, Deathly Hallows.
Now, I haven’t really mentioned the whole point of the series, which is Harry Potter and his fight against the most evil wizard of all, Lord Voldemort. This is what the movies concentrate on, and the books tend to have some more intricate subplots as well as the main plot arc.
The main characters are Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Harry is the leader, the one who normally drags the rest of them into it, but has a slight hero complex. Ron is the joker, who is extremely loyal. Hermione is the smart girl who’s intellect can blind her to things without proof. There are a few other important secondary characters as well.
I have so many memories of the Harry Potter books from reading my copy of the fifth book so much that it now has no hard-back cover on it to holding my personal record of reading the three last books in about 4/5 hours in the bathroom on summer holiday (at this point the book did not have its cover). From playing potions with my cousin in the bathroom as very young girl to (most of my friends can attest to this) the huge wall hanging poster in my room from the first premiere in Edinburgh with Ron and Hermione on it, and of course endless games of harry potter and rereading the books in time for the next film to come out.
In recent times there has been some outcry from statements the author JK Rowling has made about the characters, including the fact that Dumbledore is gay and that she should never have put Hermione and Ron together, and that they would have needed marriage counselling. I think that although these statements do made sort of sense (the clues are all in the novels) as a reader I can choose to interpret them in whatever way I want. As a romantic, I like the idea of Ron and Hermione staying together, so I can choose to keep them together in my head. If JK chooses to have them break up, she can, but in order to keep this in reality, they are just characters in a book series, so don’t take it too seriously. There has also been announcements that a new series of movies are being discussed based on the spin off book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will be based in the wizarding world, but before the events of the Harry Potter series. I look forward to seeing what they do with it.
Nowadays, as it has been over a year since I last read the books, I almost don’t need to because I know them so well (I may start again after writing this post) so I still think I would choose it for my mastermind topic ( that, or FRIENDS episodes). Comment below letting me know what you think of Harry Potter, and whether you are looking forward to the new movie series.