|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?