harry potter series highlights


before i say anything about anything related to the harry potter series, there will be spoilers. a lot of them. this is essentially a list of my favorite parts of the books, why the series rocks my world, and a chance to ponder some of the finer points of the story of the Boy who Lived. i am taking absolutely no care to prevent vital information from leaking out...so if you haven't read the series yet, do not read on - you have important work to do by going and purchasing and reading the series asap.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (book 1)
things i loved:
- the writing is so clearly and unabashedly for children.
- the humor in descriptions (calling Dudley a pig in a wig made me laugh out loud for too long...)
- the Mirror of Erised. so clever and a great insight into the heart of our characters. and foreshadowing, naturally.
- Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. okay, so we don't know his full name at this juncture, but i do love him so. his introduction to the series, and to our hearts, of picking your favorite tune to sing the Hogwarts School Song or otherwise being silly, yet firm, struck me immediately as someone i would grow to adore.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (book 2)
things i loved:
- the sorrow and challenges at Privet Drive continue. i really appreciate that despite finding a place where he belongs and having friends and people who care about him, Harry still has the nasty family to go home to. it kept him rooted and prevented his head from getting too big as well as providing him with how NOT to act and how to appreciate others who love him even more. plus, it gives more opportunities to visualize Dudley Dursley as a pig-in-a-wig.
- Dobby. oh Dobby. speaking of those who love Harry Potter...mostly i love this as a intro into the world of the house elves in the wizarding world. i must admit, i am still challenged by the idea of the house elves liking being slaves and genuinely not wanting freedom.
- the burrow. FINALLY Harry can live in what a home is supposed to be and feel like. also, theWeasley's are so dang awesome. and the de-gnomeing scene is another laugh out loud moment for me.
- the ridiculous that is Gilderoy Lockhart. oh that pompous ass of a man. how i love him and his over the top Witch Weekly award winning smile.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book 3)
things i loved:
- Fred and George Weasley. this is not unique to book three, but when they razz Percy for formally greeting Harry and about his whole stint as being Head Boy (or humongous bighead), more laughs ensued.
- Remus Lupin. his clear love for students and treating them more like peers, but not in an inappropriate way or too friendly.
- Sirius Black and Harry having another loving adult in his life. FINALLY. we all knew that Harry couldn't be doomed to have nasty living family members forever, right? seriously, finding out that Sirius was his godfather (and a good guy) was like the most heartwarming moment of the series up to this point.
- Dumbledore. yep, again. he gently guides while encouraging. and he's omnipresent, which is so cool.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (book 4, and my FAVE of the series)
things i loved:
- the opening chapter sets the tone perfectly. the transition from children series to young adult literature is clear, but the story and the characters and the writing stay true.
- Viktor Krum. from Ron's man-crush to his clear dislike for the spotlight (a la Harry), i just liked this heavy browed, crooked nose fella.
- the many layers of plot. this was the first time i felt like Rowling put in TONS of red herrings. seriously, the bad guy could have been just about anyone with the way she wrote it, but it still made sense that it was Barty Crouch Jr. clever. and the backdrop of the tournament was fun to read too.
- the tone is significantly darker. i like that.
- the emotional toll. you're so deeply invested by this point in the series that the writing and characters feel deeper and richer than before.
- how the Diggory's react to the death of Cedric with Harry. they show such maturity and understanding with him and genuinely do not blame him for what happened to their son...they also are one of the few who believe Harry immediately.
- Priori Incantatem. such a cool idea.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (book 5, and my least fave)
things i loved:
- how Dumbledore's relationship with Harry is finally expressed by the man himself. next to discovering Sirius is Harry's godfather, this is the most heartwarming part of the series for me. Dumbledore wholeheartedly cares for Harry and has made some mistakes due to his love. precious really.
- Grimmauld Place number 12. what a creepy, spooky, dark, and awesome to read about place. from the troll leg umbrella stand to the shrieking portrait of Mrs. Black...it was all sorts of dark awesome.
- St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. so THAT's where wizards go when they get hurt. we see Gilderoy Lockhart still alive and kickin, which is pretty funny. and i also love that when trying to figure out ways to put Arthur Weasley back together that an intern tries the muggle remedy of stitches...much to Molly Weasley's horror.
- Neville's backstory. So we all knew that this kid must be important somehow, and we learn more. from discovering his parents alive in St. Mungo's, to his keeping the little gum wrappers from his mom (tear), and learning that the prophecy could have JUST as easily been about him is both clever writing and emotionally taxing.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (book 6)
things i loved:
-Horcruxes. okay, this is one awesomely creepy and scary piece of magic and wizarding lore brought into the story. it just is.
- Harry and Ginny. this felt a little forced to me, considering he never gave her a second glance up until now really...but cute none the less.
- Lavender Brown and Ron Ron. YES. Ron Weasley is probably my 2nd favorite character of the entire series (next to Severus Snape) and his snog-fest with Lavender is hilarious and marks a serious turning point in their maturity and growth.
- the House of Gaunt. the story finally starts to come together through their journey's in the pensieve (which, by the way, is another rockin magical object). we learn about Tom Riddle and his transformation to Voldemort emotionally, his back story, his family history, etc. it was what i had no idea i had been waiting for until we started getting tastes with the first memory...then i just couldn't get enough.
- this quote: "It's going to be all right sir," Harry said over and over again, more worried by Dumbledore's silence than he had been by his weakened voice. "I am not worried, Harry," said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. "I am with you". (578)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book 7)
things i loved:
- Dumbledore and Harry at Kings Cross. how beautiful, poignant, thoughtful, and insightful. one of the most creative and memorable scenes of the series.
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione's (as well as many other wizard's) life is chiefly outside of Hogwarts, but it comes back to it in the end.
- Snape's backstory. oh my drama - so many tears with this. while Dumbledore wore his endearing characteristics on the outside and kept his darker characteristics on the inside, Snape was the opposite. when we learn that he and James Potter really didn't look too drastically different in appearance, other than James clearly being adored and cared for as a child, my heart broke. his undying love for Lily Evans and playing the hardest role of all.
- Harry using the resurrection stone on his way to face Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest. so many tears! and this related quote: "'You'll stay with me?' 'Until the very end' said James." (pg. 700)
- in the end, Harry only destroyed one of the seven Horcruxes. turns out, you do need others to help you with the big things in life. even if you don't intend it that way.
- NEVILLE IS A PROFESSOR AT HOGWARTS! yes please.

i am more than interested to hear your thoughts on the HP series. please share!

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

5 comments:

  1. LOVE IT! I'm so glad you did this post. Of the people around me only two of my close friends love HP and it is *so* nice to see how others react to the series. Obviously there is a huge fanbase, but I'm not in direct contact with those people. It is disheartening to make a reference to the books and have people look at you like you are crazy because they don't understand! Great post, but I would love to see one with the things you didn't love as well! As much as I love the series there are just a few things that make me grrr when I read them!

    ~Chelle

    ReplyDelete
  2. i agree - there are few things more disheartening than making a clever and witty HP reference only to have it fall flat. i feel your pain!

    hm, things that made me grrr about Harry Potter. well, the Ginny+Harry relationship felt contrived as i briefly alluded to before. also, i felt like book 5 was largely a waste of time. and, really, i find it highly unlikely that any of Harry's close friends were able to remain unscathed in the whole series. aside from Fred (tear) and Tonks and Lupin...who weren't exactly peers.

    what say you?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmmm, I love the series so much, but things that bothered me? Well, I hate that every adult that Harry loves (minus Ron's parents) ends up dead. It would be nice if he had someone left standing at the end. The epilogue was just strange. I agree that it is most unlikely all of his pals would end up a-okay in the end. I hate that Fred had to die. I hated Percy being an ass, even though he came to his senses in the end. The Ginny/Harry relationship was a little out of left field, I wish that there had been more of a lead up. I was not a fan of book 5 (or the movie) either, it was almost like filler space and the only useful thing we learned was the prophecy. Grawp, that was weird all the way around. I also hate all the Ron/Hermione angst. You love each other, we get it, stop being jerks

    Oh, but I loved Neville being all hardcore at the end of book 7 and Luna Lovegood! Her quote "it was almost like having friends" as well as the painting in her room were both fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Hey you! What do you have to say?