Monday, August 06, 2007

Sometimes I Think We Sort Too Soon

OK. It's time to talk about Harry Potter. I know you want to. I will get things going with random observations and comments so that everyone feels comfortable making their own random observations and comments. Before we start, you need to know--the only thing I hate more than cursed horcruxes that make Dumbledore cry like a baby is people who think they are too good for Harry Potter. Neil and Melissa, Chris Clark, and Jim Faulconer, you know who you are. And I know who you are because I used to be the same way, but I got over it after Book 1 because it's all just so awesome and fun. Spoilers, coming up.

It took me a while to get through Harry Potter 7 because we read the whole thing out loud. We all had to be there and we all had to be awake. It took us about a week. The best part of the whole book was finding out about Snape. I always believed Snape was pulling for Harry but I started to feel horrified when lots of smart people on the internet (are there any other kind?) were predicting that Snape was just plain bad. Would I have liked some kind of interaction between Snape and Harry at the end? Yes. But Harry named his son after him and that was good enough for me. I have always maintained that Snape was in love with Lily Potter, but the silver doe totally surprised me. And touched me.

COULD NOT BELIEVE FRED DIED! Sad. But when Hedwig dropped pretty early in the book I knew Jo wasn't messing around. The deaths of new parents Tonks and Lupin were almost too much. Collin Creavey? That was too, too much. I can't help but wonder how much the casting in the movies affects Rowling's writing. For example, she describes Aunt Petunia as horselike in Book 6. Is she thinking of the actress who plays her? Did Collin Creavey's cuteness affect her decision to kill him off in the end? For the record, I think I could have handled it if Hagrid had died. But he didn't.

I feel really relieved when I see Daniel Radcliff in his own clothes acting like himself because I sort of don't like him. He's kind of a twerp. This relieves me because when he is Harry Potter I love him. He's quite a bit younger than me, you see, so I'm glad that I just love the character and not the actor. Especially when you watch The Sorcerer's Stone and see what a tiny little boy he is. It's enough to make middle-aged women like me ashamed of themselves.

I just LOVE Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort, especially when he wears the black suit and tie in Harry's visions. That is menacing. I don't especially like his bare feet when he duels with Dumbledore in Harry Potter 5 (the movie) and I'm not crazy about the shoes they came up with for Dumbledore in that scene either. Gandalf has the same problem but I like his boots a lot better than Dumbledore's Peds. His hat is better too. That is how Rowling reminds us that he is Dumbledore and NOT Gandalf. She also kills Dumbledore off for good whereas Gandalf comes back. I like Gandalf better in that way. The best part of movie 5 is when Sirius punches Lucious Malfoy in the face. Old School! Do we all like Sirius better when he wears a shirt? He must be really, really proud of his chest.

My favorite line in the whole book is from Dumbledore to Snape, "Sometimes I think we sort too soon." So true. I would like to have seen Slytherin House really stand up and choose sides in the final battle. I think Slytherin has redeeming qualities--or why would they even have that house? I also would have liked to see a bit more about how Lily fell in love with James. But I can imagine it if I have to. I loved that Sister Weasely (I call her that) KILLED the wretched and nasty Bellatrix LeStrange. Bellatrix scares me and I'm glad she's dead.
I also love that Neville killed Nagini. Way to spread the heroics around, Jo!

Harry Potter is enriching all aspects of my life. For example, a couple weeks ago I was teaching Sunday School and we talked about Peter cutting off the guard's ear in the Garden of Gethsemane. It made me think about George getting his ear cut off by Snape (SYMBOLIC!) and then yesterday in Sunday School we were talking about Simon and how he was into sorcery and liked to bewitch people and it made me think all about Harry Potter in general and I love it. I know you love it too. Do you love it this much?


  1. Thank you for this. Personally I get the chills every time I see H.B. Carter screaming in Azkaban, touching her Dark Mark. I also loved Ray Fiennes and he gave me the creeps too, like he could never quite get a full breath in. Ever.

  2. That poem was touching. I love it, but I don't think I love it that much.

    I was kind of disappointed that Hermione and/or Hagrid didn't die. I wasn't all that emotionally vested in Fred. Hedwig, yeah, that was sad. Dobby, sad. Mad-Eye, sad. Lupin and Tonks, sorta sad, but they died together, and that's okay. I would have liked for Ted to have been raised by Harry.

    I agree with you about unfinished business between Snape and Harry. Poor Snape. Who's he going to hang out with in heaven?

    I also thought the conclusion re: the Malfoys was muddled. Yes, the Mrs. lied to Voldemort and saved H's life, but Lucius was rotten and Draco was mostly rotten, and they should have been made to show some gratitude or SOMETHING redemptive in the end.

    Do you think Snape getting G's ear in the beginning was a foreshadowing that he was on the good side, doing Dumbledore's bidding? She kind of decided to throw in some Christian allusions here in the end of the series, i.e., scriptures on the tombs. Did she decide that needed to happen to go down in history next to Lewis and Tolkien?

  3. Hannah--You mean LICKING her dark mark? Gross.
    Emily, I like to think if I wrote a timeless young adult series it would be rife with Christian imagery--some intentional and some not. And it would sell lots of copies, too.

  4. Yike-o-rama!
    Where in the world were you surfing that got you to that poem? I like the idea of everyone coming up with their favorite line from the book. I'm going to have to read it again so I can participate.

  5. I LOVE YOU! Especially because you love Harry Potter! I could talk about it all day, every day...and my husband just thinks I'm a geek. I too was very sad that Lupin & Tonks died...but kinda okay with it since they made Harry godfather.

    I'm just so sad that the book is over. I think she should do another series...about Ron/Hermione/Harry/Ginny's kids. Would be cool to see 3rd generation come through (Lily/James/Sirius as 1st, R/H/H/G as 2nd, and the kids starting Hogwarts as 3rd. I'm just not ready for Jo to be done yet!

  6. You know what I love almost best? I love that Dumbledore has a checkered and questionable past. He's done some things that make people wonder. But Harry is loyal to him even though he learns the truth and then Dumbledore is sorry, etc. It makes me feel better about the possibly questionable things in people like Joseph Smith's past. Am I stretching here? But when I read that, I was like "it's ok that there are some weird rumors about J.S. Dumbledore has them, too, and what's good enough for Dumbledore is certainly good enough for J.S." It brought me strange comfort and settled a lot of questions that have been cropping up lately, as an unfortunate result of Mitt Romney's campaign. NOT TO GET INTO POLITICS! But back to Harry Potter--I could have handled Hagrid's death, as well. I had no feelings for Collin Creevey. Fred, Tonks, and Lupin were too much. I would have liked to have seen Neville and Luna married. We'll talk...

  7. I like it--a lot. I read the book twice in three days. Sick-o. I'm sad you're not in el stako parkway anymore--boo-hoo, but at least we can still meet in the virtual world. Ellen is beautiful. Congratulations.

  8. People who think they are too good/too mature/too whatever for Harry Potter also claim to have never liked Star Wars nor The Lord of the Rings. Personally, I am starting my kids early. You can bet I am indoctrinating them into the world of Harry, Luke, and Frodo through the soundtracks, movies, books, toys, etc.

    I loved how book 7 ended. Tears galore over Dobby and Snape, especially. I too knew Snape was a good guy. Just felt it in me bones.

    Someone smarter than myself, such as you Kacy, should blog about the similarities between Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. The elder wand/ring, Dumbledore/Gandalf, Frodo/Harry. Just leave out Gollum. I hated him throughout it all. I digress...

  9. I love the part where Frodo and Sam leave the Shire and meet up with Pippin and wait. That's not Harry Potter is it?
    Just never could get into HP, but talk about LOR and I'm right there with you.

  10. What they should have done was time the release of book 7 with movie 7 so that we could read it and watch it at the same time and not have to wait a million years for the movies to come out when we already know what's going to happen because now we just have to watch it knowing we are going to bawl our eyes out. Thanks a lot.

  11. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Snape's my favorite. Always has been. I cried (NERD!) during the chapter recounting his memories. My new favorite line: "What's good enough for Dumbledore is certainly good enough for Joseph Smith."


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