Reading slumps rarely hit me but, when they do, they last for months. I, of course, wanted to avoid this like the plague, so I picked up an old favourite: the Harry Potter series. Despite J.K. Rowling’s problematic views and behaviour, both politically and with regards to the wizarding world, I can’t help but love this series. It’s been a constant in my life, beginning with the movie adaptations and then the books (yes, I did it in reverse). I was late to reading the series, starting and finishing them in June to July 2014 but I sped through them in a month, soaking up this remarkable story. Harry Potter is just *very* magical to me.
Although I adore the series, I’m also very vocal about how much I dislike certain parts of the story or how idiotic Rowling’s constant milking of the series is. I can enjoy it but I can also be critical of it too. My biggest issue in The Philosopher’s Stone is Dumbledore. He is a character that perpetually irritates me (you’ll have to wait for reviews of the later books before I start bashing Snape). Dumbledore knew, full well, that Harry, Ron and Hermione would go looking for the stone – he said it himself. Instead of going with them, or, you know, instead of staying at Hogwarts in order to be there just in case, he leaves for a meeting in London.
Let’s unpick this, shall we?
He knew that Harry would have to face Voldemort – the most powerful dark wizard of their age, and the man who tried to kill Harry – alone. He purposefully left the grounds of Hogwarts, posing as a meeting he must attend, and left Harry to defend for himself. You may argue that he is teaching Harry to stand on his own two feet, but, may I remind you, he is eleven. A small boy, facing his enemy, without any help. It’s just cruel. It puts Harry in a position he shouldn’t be in at such an age. It’s neglectful, and the fact Harry goes on to name his child after Dumbledore infuriates me so much.
Despite this issue, The Philosopher’s Stone is a beautifully atmospheric and magical book that sets up the wizarding world of Harry Potter nicely. Re-reading it again, I’ve noticed a lot of foreshadowing for events that happen later on, and it’s nice to see how certain ideas grow and develop as Rowling writes the series. It’s evident, contrary to what she is like now with both The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts, that Rowling meticulously planned this series from the beginning. Everything threads together, creating this beautiful tapestry of the boy who lived. I can’t help but love it, despite the problematic characters and author.
Every time I watch or read this series, I am always reminded to be courageous and to stay true to myself. I constantly reminded of the love that the Harry Potter world instilled in me from a young age, and how that is still prevalent in my life today. For one, where would my obsession with witches be without this series? Who would I be without my love for witches and witchcraft? Who knows, but, regardless, I am so thankful for this series, and I’m so happy to be immersed in this world once again.
Now, I would like to ask you a question: who is your favourite Harry Potter character and why? Mine is Lupin, because, regardless of how awful he was treated, and how difficult he found his transformation, he took it on the chin and came out a better man for it. Lupin was also an amazing figure in Harry’s life and I’m still bitter that Rowling did him dirty. Let me know, though!
Thanks for reading, Lauren X
4 thoughts on “Re-Visiting The Boy Who Lived #1”
I love Luna. She stays true to herself and doesn’t care what others think yet she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. I think my ultimate favourite is Dobby though (sob).
Luna is my second fave – she’s amazing!
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I watched most of the movies before reading the books, too and your statements about Dumbledore are very valid. It’s hard to pick a favorite character, but I guess I’ll pick Neville. After re-reading book 1 last year I was reminded of how much I love him. He’s the underdog of the story and is always screwing up, but it makes him easy to relate to. He is also one of the bravest characters and one of my favorite scenes of the entire series is when he gets points for standing up to his friends. That scene always warms my heart.
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Yes, I love Neville! He has such an interesting backstory and is such a sweetie!
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