Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reflections: Harry Potter The End of the Series

At this point I have finished the Harry Potter series, having read nothing else (apart from research) for the most of January and February. I know when I first started I discussed how reading it now was different from reading it when they first came out. I think I have mentioned this before, but I will again. I grew up with Harry. With each new book I was his same age. Harry was a peer and a friend. I found the books amazing and magical (and I sill do, but more on that in a minute). Now, I am different and reading them has been a different experience. So, for this post I thought it might be cool to look at how reading the series has been different this time around, and how it's been the same

Different

  1. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I think that my professor is right; the use of magic in this series is almost too easy. No, don't carry your suitcase when you can just have it levitated up the stairs. Sure, who doesn't want that choice? But I really like the concept of balance in the magical world. Like in the Wizard of Earthsea books... calling upon the storm to stop tossing your boat around the ocean might just cause a horrific storm elsewhere - somehow that balanced approach to magic makes it a bit more believable. 
  2. I like a lot more of the "minor" characters now. I say minor in quotation marks because in many ways these characters are not minor ones in the least, but they just aren't major ones. For example: Hagrid (he'll be getting his own post at some point), Ginny, and even Cho. With the exception of Cho, these characters are just amazing. (Cho I hated when I first read the books, now she doesn't bother me at all). Ginny and Hagrid give Harry strength and are just such real and well developed characters - I totally overlooked that the first time through. Sure, I liked them, but now I think I love and respect them.
  3. I can't read an entire book in a day. This probably has more to do with me having a job and reading these books for a paper, but once-upon-a-time I could fly through these books with no sleep and just love it.


The Same

  1. I still cry at the end of books 5 and 6 and pretty much the entire way through 7. I actually had to stop reading the 7th book at my local Starbucks when I was getting close to the Hedwig bit because I knew I would just start crying - and that would be kinda weird in public. 
  2. I still want to go to Hogwarts and study there. I would even consider teaching there. It would be awesome!
  3. I still want to be best friends with Harry, Ron, and Hermione OR Sirius, Lupin, and James
  4. I still hate Umbridge with a fierce passion and find Lockheart super annoying. I think it's totally because of those two characters that the 2nd and 5th books are my least favorite of the series.
  5. And finishing the series is still like saying goodbye to an old friend. It's almost like they've died - sure you can reread the books and relive the memories (like watching old movies and looking at photographs) but these characters will never do anything new again... and that's a bit depression.

I don't know. It's hard to remember just what it was like reading the books for the first time. All I know is that when I was done with one I was hungry for the next which I would devour as soon as I got my hands on it. It's not like that now. I think this time through I was looking more for specific things - things that would support my argument of my paper. I was looking more at Voldemort and how he and Harry would fit into this box I'm trying to build.

I know I won't do it for a while, but I would love to read these books again and just enjoy them. Read them for fun. I have learned in this process that reading a book you love for school can be almost as bad as reading a book you hate for school. I want to read them and pay attention to how Rowling captivates readers of all ages. I want to see how she makes her characters feel so real and have them grow. Those are the kind of riddles of Harry Potter I want to unravel. 


I was going to end my post there, but it just didn't seem right. It seemed as if there was something missing. Something more I wanted to include.... I found this video after I'd written the original version of this post a few weeks ago. Back then I hadn't finished the series yet and wanted to get some ideas out before I lost them. So, right before posting this I found this clip. Sorry for the quality, but I think it's a fantastic note to end on.



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