Thursday, August 10, 2017

Discussion: I Reread The Harry Potter Series, And I Have Thoughts

Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts At Midnight host the 2017 Discussion Challenge.


One of my goals for 2017 was to reread the Harry Potter series and re-watch all the movies. I did it! Here are my thoughts. If you don’t want spoilers or opinions, back away from the computer now. You’re about to get a faceful of them.




Random Harry Potter Thoughts









Rereading didn’t ruin anything. I reread the whole Harry Potter series before the 7th book came out, but that was 10 years ago (!). I was terrified that the series wouldn’t be as much fun as I remember. I shouldn’t have worried. I loved the books as a teen, and I love the books as an adult.







Except Cursed Child. Cursed Child is awful. I know that the Cursed Child play takes place many years after the series ends, but the characters don’t seem like themselves in the play. I much prefer the book characters.











So much foreshadowing. Have you guys noticed how much foreshadowing is in the series? It’s not something you notice unless you’re reading with hindsight, but there is a lot of it. J.K. Rowling’s organizational skills must be intense. How did she keep all those characters, and plotlines, and tiny details clear in her head?







So much angst. As a teenager, I must have had a much higher tolerance for romantic angst. There were times near the end of the series where I wanted to shake the characters and scream, “A dark wizard is trying to murder you! Ignore your hormones for five seconds! If you’re dead, none of your romantic relationships will matter!” The angst didn't annoy me as a teen.










The movies did a pretty good job. Those books are massive. I think the movie people did a pretty good job of deciding what to keep, what to change, and what to ignore.











My favorite scene in the movies is when Harry and Hermione are dancing in the tent after Ron leaves their Horcrux hunt. It breaks the tension perfectly.








Why are wizards so hard to find? Why is it so hard for the Ministry of Magic to find Sirius Black? Hedwig the owl has no trouble finding him to deliver Harry’s letters. Why can a bird find somebody but the whole wizarding government can’t? (That’s probably a metaphor for real-life governments.)







Order of the Phoenix needed editing. I never realized how saggy the middle of that book is. Phoenix was always my least-favorite, but when I was younger, I didn’t know why. Now I know. It seriously drags in the middle. Also, Harry needs a prescription for chill pills.












It’s always who you least suspect. My favorite part of the series is that is shows the problems with making snap judgments about people. A bad person can have good motives. Good people make mistakes. If you’re blinded by hatred, you’ll miss what’s happening in plain sight.







Dumbledore is complicated. I loved learning more about his past in the sixth book. That book humanized him. Before the sixth book, he was like a mythological figure.









Draco Malfoy. People on the Internet seem to love him. I don’t understand why. He’s a spoiled bully. What’s so appealing about him?













Ginny Weasley. When the series was still coming out, there was a lot of Ginny hate online. Do people still hate Ginny? I like her. She’s tough and funny.








Ron and Hermione. Am I the only one who doesn’t think they make a good couple? Their relationship feels forced to me. I usually don’t give a crap about the romantic relationships in books, but this relationship just never seemed right to me. Ron and Hermione are such different people. They’re great on their own, but together . . . ? They must argue constantly.








Severus Snape. I think he’s one of the most interesting characters in modern children’s literature. I hate him, but he’s interesting. The author keeps the reader guessing about his true motives for the entire series. I could never love an adult character who bullies children, but he sure made the series more suspenseful.









Let’s discuss: Have you ever reread a book you loved as a kid? Did your opinion of it change?







19 comments:

  1. I first read the Harry Potter books as an adult, and I've reread them a couple times now. They do hold up very well. There's just so much going on that I still find new things. Haha, why ARE wizards so hard to find? You'd think someone would be able to come up with a spell for that. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Why isn’t there a spell to find wizards? You’d think that would be useful.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  2. I have read this series twice because I buddy read them with both of my kiddos, so I was definitely an adult when I read them! :) However, I would like to read them again at some point. Harry Potter is one of the few series that I enjoyed reading just as much as my kids. Another entertaining post AJ!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! As soon as I finished rereading them, I wanted to reread them again. It’s great that they hold up to so many rereadings.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  3. I didn't actually mind the relationship angst as a lot of it was funny. I honestly didn't like the dancing scene in the films as they made it look like they were going to kiss and that would never happen so it bugged me! I enjoyed the Cursed Child a lot and hope there might be another play script. I never saw Ron and Hermione as a good couple and she would have done better with someone smart like Cedric. The Order of the Phoenix was way too long and Harry was such a self obsessed brat in it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never thought about Hermione and Cedric together. That would have been perfect! Yes, I think she would have been better off with someone smarter and more serious than Ron.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  4. I'm glad you still enjoyed them! I always worry about that when I think about rereading the Harry Potter books. I've reread them before, but not for years, and I'm always worried they won't live up to my memory of them. I may have to finally reread them soon though! :)
    Oddly I always liked the Order of the Phoenix best. I think I just liked all the Dumbledore's Army stuff, and them hanging out at the Order of the Phoenix headquarters. I was definitely never fully sold on the whole Hermione-Ron couple thing either though. They literally bicker throughout all seven books from what I remember, and there's no hint of them liking each other until the sixth book, so it just seemed like a weird jump!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! The constant Ron/Hermione bickering got on my nerves. The DA stuff in Order of the Phoenix was my favorite part of that book. Harry annoyed me, though.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  5. Now you've got me wanting to re-read them. I've only read them once, and it was right around the time the last book came out. Maybe I'll read the with the boys.

    I don't have a blog for you to visit but you're welcome to come in person... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn’t know you read my blog. :) I’d love to visit in person. You just live too far away.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  6. I just read them this year (late to the party I know). I can't wait to reread them with my kids. I s hated her more than Voldemort!! I had no love for Draco. Snape was so complicated and he kept me guessing about him - I loved it!! I thought the movies were pretty good too. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My friends and I went to a trivia night and named our team 'The Cursed Child Doesn't Count'. We got a lot of cheers for that. I did notice the foreshadowing during one of my rereads! It's one of the things that amaze me about JKR's skills. As for Draco, I think people love him because Tom Felton is so good-looking, and there seems to be this tendency that when the jerk is good-looking, people either think he's just misinformed or want to save him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, that’s hilarious about Cursed Child. I was so disappointed in that play. That’s kinda sad about Draco. Jerks are jerks no matter how pretty they are.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  8. I've been haphazardly re-reading and re-watching Harry Potter with my kids over the years, after first reading and watching it all as an adult the first time. I've NEVER had any patience for whiny Harry of the teen angst. Ginny always seems somewhat blah to me, maybe because she's such a blushing child when we first meet her, then gets sucked in by Tom Riddle's diary so easily. I definitely agree with a previous poster that the only reason people love Draco is because the actor that portrays him is good looking and comes across as personable in interviews. Book Draco is a turd. I also agree with another poster that the dancing scene always makes me cringe. When I watched it with my husband, who's never read the books, he totally assumed they were now a couple.

    I love how cohesive the books are. Rowling really is amazing. I totally enjoy the movies, but do think many characters get short shrift and are only beloved because people know them from the books already. I have always been annoyed at the fat-hating around the Dursleys (although my single favorite line may be Uncle Vernon, chin dripping with egg yolk, sneering, "Do I look stupid?").

    I am so glad you shared your thoughts--I was looking forward to this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see how the dancing scene would be misleading. I think I love it because it signals that Ron’s “Nobody pays attention to me” drama is over. The teen angst in the books/movies is a bit much for adult-me. When Ron left and Hermione stopped being sad about him leaving, I was like, “Finally. We can get back to important stuff.”

      I also noticed the fat-shaming when I reread. I didn’t notice it when I was a kid. Maybe because I wasn’t fat back then. I planned on saying that in this post, but I didn’t write it in my notes, so of course I forgot.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  9. I still need to read these books for the first time. I do love to re-read my favorite series though. It is always a surprise at how much foreshadowing is there.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Okay so I read the first three books for the first time last year (and haven't gotten any further, yet) but I couldn't enjoy them. The foreshadowing is so overdone that I can predict the whole novel from the get go. And it's kind of really ruining the experience for me :/

    ReplyDelete

I do a happy dance every time I get a comment. (You should be grateful that you’re not around to witness this dance. It’s truly horrifying.) Leave a link to your blog so I can visit you.