Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Then and Now: My Feelings on Harry Potter

Then and Now is a feature I have to thank my lovely readers for suggesting! I was struggling with how to reflect the change in my taste in books in my reviews. They brought up the idea of linking back to my old posts or comparing my old feelings/reviews to my new ones in one post. I decided, however, that before I did a Then and Now for a review, I would do it for a popular series to see what people thought. Testing the waters plus talking about Harry Potter. The best of both worlds, eh?

Harry Potter! So much to discuss, and so many books to discuss, so I will separate this into more organized sections. If you haven't read Harry Potter, watch out! There may be spoilers.


The Main Trio:

From: http://jinnycalderone.deviantart.com/art/harry-hermione-dancing-162196409
Then: Harry/Hermione shipper. All the way. I loved the best friend dynamic. (I still do; I think the idea of being able to talk to your partner about everything is wonderful.) And hey, when I saw Part 1 of the seventh movie, with Dan and Emma dancing to the radio, I definitely thought: Stop crying over Ron! Look at you two. Would Ron ever think to cheer you up this way? Psh.

Now: Wish that none of the original trio got together. Harry, Ron, and Hermione should all have separate partners. It seems sad that being great friends ended in some romance among them (though I am also glad that Harry and Hermione did not end together, because then that might imply guys/girls can't be best/good friends. Also because best friends becoming more than friends is sometimes awkward.). Plus, I was never a huge fan of Ron/Hermione and Ron in general. He was good comedic relief, and I understood a lot of his middle child syndrome-ness, but I still don't think he's as well developed. Yeah, he's a sidekick, but his motivations always seemed less clear to me than those of Hermione and the others.

I don't think my feelings have changed about the other couples. Harry/Ginny? Meh. Tonks/Remus? Adorable. Lily/James? James, I'm glad you grew up because of Lily. Lily/Snape? Aw, you poor boy, etc.

Favorite Book of the Series:

Then: Seventh book. SO MANY FEELS. The end of childhood. The deaths of awesome characters. The tests that push friendships. The loyalty, the love, the FIGHT. AH. Harry is so not perfect, and I love him for that. (And J.K. Rowling for including such an integral children's fairy tale within another fairy tale of sorts~!)

Now: Not sure. In my children's literature class, we discussed how the deathly hallows could represent the holy trinity, and that's not something I'd thought of before when reading the series. I actually think that the book has become more layered, with that reading and with me conscious of the Christian themes in the series. I may be more prejudiced toward the seventh book! So much to dissect about death and friendship and love and life. But!!! The sixth book. Dumbledore. *sigh*

Favorite Secondary Character:

Then: Hermione or Sirius. Hermione, because I'm somewhat like her. I wish I was as dedicated as her, but I'm not. I'm not really doing her justice, so you could visit the YA Sisterhood Heroine Tournament in which Hermione was championed. I agree with most of what was said. And Sirius! He was always such a fascinating character to me, probably all the more because he's so flawed. Oh! Wait, I should also include Dumbledore. Does that need any explanation ;)?

Now: I think I appreciate the twinsies, Fred and George, more. When I think about the humor of the books... well, let's say that Harry Potter wouldn't be Harry Potter without that humor! (That's not to say that Hermione and Sirius and Dumbledore aren't still included~!)

Favorite Moment of the Series:

Still the scene where Harry faces Voldemort in the seventh book. I have that scene almost entirely memorized. AND ARGH, THE MOVIE KILLED THE SCENE. I cannot watch Part 2 without getting upset that my favorite, favorite scene was RUINED. So, so RUINED.

Anyway, there's just something about that moment. In terms of writing, yeah, it's almost all exposition, and we learn what Harry learned from his chat with Dumbledore, and yeah, we know how the battle will end... but even so, I love it. And I really can't tell you why. The defiance, the courage, the bated breaths of the audience? The intelligence? The symbolism? The joy? *Sigh.*

What about you? Have your feelings toward Harry Potter changed? In what way? Who is your favorite secondary character? What's your favorite moment, your favorite book? How about your favorite couple?


  1. I reread Harry Potter every spring(I'm in the middle of my re-read right now, actually), and each time my feelings change on things! I was always really glad that Harry and Hermione didn't end up together. I like Ron & Hermione, but I'm still not sold on Harry and Ginny. The 7th book has been my favorite since the moment I read it, and I don't think that's changed, but Prisoner of Azkaban always runs a close second. Favorite secondary character? Hermione, hands down. I love others like Neville, Serius, and Luna, but Hermione was one of the first characters I really found something in common with, having a liking for the rules and a giant appetite for books and knowledge.

  2. Wow! I'm impressed. (All 7 HP books in the spring?) I'm rereading the 7th soon for my class. Me neither on Harry & Ginny. I think it's because she stays in the background until she's needed; i.e. random points in 5th, then a huge role in the 6th. Also didn't love the cliche best friend's sister thing, but J.K. Rowling pulled that off well. And yes!! Hermione, I think, is one of those of characters who a lot of people are immediately drawn to. I love that she's so smart and isn't afraid to hide it :)

  3. I'd love to reread these. After I finished the 7th book I just started it all over again and then when back to the 6th, etc. I completely agree about the final battle and hoe it was done in the movie. I was really let down. I wanted Harry's reemergence to be POW! And then to feel all the feels that fight scene gives you. The movie kinda took away from that by trying to make it more complicated and span too much space of the castle. But I still love the movies and the books. :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  4. My feelings towards Harry Potter are still; FANGIRL! Nothing can spoil my love for Harry Potter, because I've read those book so many times. I always try to re-read them at least once every 2 years. My favorite characters has always been Snape - and he still is. His complex and tormented character <3 My favorite book is part 5, but I love them all. And I REALLY hate how they spoiled some of my favorite parts in the movies. The killing scene was horrible :(

    And I don't like Harry/Ginny. And I hate James. I love Remus. He is so adorable with Tonks. I've always wanted to be like Hermione. Having two amazing friends, smart, loyal, strong, I like her and I could identify with her. Always studying and trying to get good grades, homework finished in time, reading books :D

  5. Yes!!! But even more so than expanding the final Hogwarts battle... the last fight between Voldemort and Harry - that fall? I'll take you down with me?? Say WHAT? That was so weird! Like Voldemort would have waited and let Harry get so close that he could tackle them both to the floor below.

  6. hahahaha I WILL ALWAYS BE FANGIRL OVER HARRY POTTER. I nerdily insert comments from Dumbledore, for one, as advice to my friends... which I also do with Yoda comments. :D

    Snape was a wonderful anti-hero~! Admittedly I've never been his hugest fan, but I certainly admire the complexity of his character as per J.K. Rowling's skill. I'm surprised you like part 5! (Is that in any way related to Snape's revelation?) Most of the people I've talked to have groaned over Harry's teenage-ness in OotP,

    Me too on Harry/Ginny, mostly because I never really got to identify with Ginny until she just showed up, all badass... whereas Harry...<3. And Hermione. Yes. Yes. Everything you wrote.

  7. I absolutely agree with you -- they ruined the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort! I could not believe how badly they botched it. Like you, that was my absolute favorite....I could see it in my mind as I read it. And they killed it! (The same can be said about Molly and Bellatrix....it didn't live up to my expectation in the movie!)

  8. I think it was because the movie was trying to do TOO much. In my mind, at least, the final battle had a lot going on, but the focus was more on Harry v. Voldemort + Bellatrix v. Molly... which I don't think the movie conveyed as well.

  9. You're right...there was too much in that last movie. I loved how they conveyed Snape's memories. But they just dropped the ball in the end.

  10. yes (re: Snape's memories), and Alan Rickman is brilliant. I nearly cried when he died, and I didn't even like Snape that much / don't cry very often in movies.

  11. This is SUCH a great idea. If I ever get around to rereading, I might have to use this. Then again, I think that's a long way off. :-p

    Gah! I was so a Hermione/Ron shipper. Also, if you like fanfic, there is a GREAT one that does Harry/Hermione. I super don't ship them, but she convinced me, at least for her alternate version. It's set after book four, I think, so parts of it are QUITE different.

    My favorite book has always been Prisoner of Azkaban, but who knows if that would be different now. I really need to reread the later ones, because the deaths broke my heart and I could not handle it.

    My favorite characters: Sirius, Lupin, Fred, George...notice a theme here? Rowling hates me.

    Hmmm. I have no idea what my favorite scene would be. There are TOO MANY.

  12. Alan Rickman was brilliant...through the entire series. I'm still amazed at that story line. Every time I reread the books and rewatch the movies, I'm amazed at JK Rowling's ability to write such a complex character. And I see no one but Alan Rickman as Snape...even when Ii read the books.

  13. Oh yeah, fangirls for life! :D

    No, this book has nothing to do with my strange obsession for Snape. I just love the part where they go to the ministry. But Snape's revelation is by far my favorite scene from all the books <3 That was just *tears in my eyes* When I read that I had that feeling of OH YEAH!! See! I was right about him.

  14. Me too! Even with the chapter headings of Snape with the greasy, oily hair.

  15. OH YEAH, the ministry scene. And afterward with Dumbledore. Ah, near tears whenever I read that. Snape's revelation was unexpected for me, even though I'd read all those theories about him. I was always like... nah! Not Snape. But he's all the better for it.

  16. Hold on, I'm totally fangirling over this post right now!

    I was kind of like you-- I was a total Harry/Hermione shipper all the way through. It was such a foreign idea to me that the main character wouldn't catch the heart of the leading female. I thought all books were supposed to be like that. Now, after re-reading the series several times after, I'm glad Harry and Hermione weren't an item. I, however, am happy that Hermione and Ron got together. I think they're a sweet couple, and I loved how Rowling drew out their relationship. I mean, it took six books for them to admit that they liked each other. It's so nice compared to most books these days where the main characters fall in love in an hour or so.

    My favorite book used to be The Prisoner of Azkaban. I remember reading it the first time, and it was so full of twists and turns. The ending caught me completely surprised. And I loved Remus and Sirius and Crookshanks and the Mauraders' Map! Oh! And going to Hogsmeade for the very first time! I've read this book so many time that the pages are literally falling out of the book. Interestingly, my favorite book now is The Order of the Phoenix, which I remember not liking it when I first read it because Harry was so angsty. I thought his rage was out of character. After reading it again though, I fell in love with it. It seemed so grown up compared to the previous books. It was darker, and it showed the wizarding world in a much wider scope. I loved reading more about the Ministry of Magic. It was the first books where I actually felt the imminent threat of Lord Voldemort.

    Sirius is definitely one of my favorites. And Hermione of course. But, I always had a soft spot in my heart for Neville. Who knew he was going to turn into such a badass?

  17. The TBR grows ever longer, but even still your feelings may change! One blogger had said something about how the more dystopians she read, the more she feared she had been harsh on earlier ones for world-building.

    HAHA YES. I would love to read :). I don't generally read fanfic, but if it's that good...

    PoA seems to be a fan fave for a lot. The deaths were really hard... Rowling knows how to pack a punch, though I'm kind of glad she did not hold back. I'm sorry about all your fave characters. Only Hermione and George survived for me too :P. Cruel author alert?

  18. Yeah, it is nice that Hermione and Ron's relationship was developed over the course of several books rather than insta!love (though, in some ways, because it took them so long to admit their feelings... having that/only a kiss between them before the epilogue was kind of off-putting. But the epilogue in general is a huge thing to debate.)

    POA is so full of twists and turns~ I loved finding out about Sirius and the lot, even when I knew it must be inevitable Harry meet him, still wasn't expecting that.... OoTP - haha, yes, I've definitely heard people rant about Harry's angst, but I actually really liked the dark and wide scope of the novel too. And finally LV acts against the rest and shows himself as a clever, manipulative villain.

    Neville!! He had such awesome character growth, but it was off stage, so I found it harder to relate to him because of that... but definitely Sirius & Hermione forever :D

  19. Since I just read this series for the first time last year, I can't say that my opinions have changed much. I love Hermione and Ron but I'm not a big fan about Ginny and Harry, mostly because I just don't like Ginny. She always seemed kind of bland to me. But, Hermione is possibly my favourite character from those books, because she's so strong and I want to be like her. Also, I love Emma Watson so that doesn't hurt. And Ron I've always loved because he's just such a good guy. My fave book is definitely the last one, but I also love the fourth for some reason. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the first.

    This was an awesome post!

  20. Ginny was always in the background... until she was needed. And then it was just like, BAM, she is tough and Harry has a crush on her and she knows how to play Quidditch and stands up for herself, etc. etc. Emma Watson was a great Hermione. The fourth book is dark and taut with tension, so still a great choice ;). And yeah, if I read the first book, without knowing about the rest, well... I'm not sure I would continue with the series, however sad that seems.

  21. I'm in the middle of re-reading the series (I'm on Goblet of Fire). I sorta agree with what you said about none of the trio ending up romantically paired. I was never a fan of Hr/R, and though my preference is for them to just be friends, I think I would've been more okay with Hr/H. I've always liked Fred and George and I appreciate the humor they bring to the series even more this time around. My favorite in the series has always been the sixth, because in my opinion, it's the one with the most character growth for Harry and there is nothing I love more than seeing growth. I wonder if that will change by the time I'm done though.

  22. Me too, about character growth! And it may change in time, depending on how you view the character growth in the other books. I think, later on, with Harry's angst, it's easier to notice how he changes.

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  24. You know I always thought Harry and Hermione should have been together because she was so smart and Harry was so powerful. They could have been a power couple!!

  25. Interesting. I don't think I ever thought about it that way. But at the same time, Ron is pretty powerful too, at least in terms of the trio dynamics...

  26. Sad to say, I first knew Harry Potter through the movie. I remembered vaguely that it was my 10 years old birthday when my mum brought my sister and I to the mall to watch the show. I started on the chamber of secrets movie first, hence it was a bit too confusing for me when I watched the chamber of secrets. However, it was still enjoyable to me at that time. I wasn't any shipper too at first. I was too young to think about who i want Harry to end up with. Laughs. That might explain the reason why I was shocked when my friend spoiled me with the news that Ron and Hermione got together, as well as, Ginny with Harry. Yet, one day when I have just finished my tuition at my cousin's house, I scanned through his shelf and saw the first book of Harry Potter. I was glad I did, because I was hooked the moment I picked it up. That is also the reason to why I re-watch the movie all over again and understood better about the whole story. I would say every moment is a favourite of mine, but the most memorable part is still the part where the toilet is turned into a path leading into the chamber of secrets. I was fascinated by it at ten years old till now. :)

    My favourite secondary character would probably be Dobby. Even though I found him quite annoying at first but he was considered as an adorable character. I cried at the part where he died. ):. I can't comment any further though, I last read Harry Potter at 2006 or 2007 after my final examinations, so most of my memories about it was blurred. I have borrowed the last book from my friend again and it is in my cupboard lying peacefully but somehow I don't have the urge to read it for now. I guess I will take out some time in the future to read it on the train again to know my love for it have changed or remained the same. :)

  27. Oh, I don't think I've read a HP book in full - not just select scenes, which is what I usually do - in years. Still have changing opinions though, just 'cause it's talked about so often and the movies only recently finished. I too learned about them from the movies. The second one was about to be released, I think, and my brother was talking about Tom Marvolo Riddle and I remember saying, That's Lord Voldemort, right? Must've read them around then just to spite my brothers hahaha. The Chamber of Secrets scene definitely gave me goosebumps with the movie. And Dobby is such an adorable character~! I almost cried when he died, which says a lot.

    And nooo, you can't let your memories of HP get buried ;P.

  28. Hahas I certainly won't let it be buried! :D. It's an enjoyable book that must never be forgotten. I used to mix up Tom Marvolo Riddle and Lord Voldemort. Laughs. End up, my friend laughed at my silly knowledge. When I read the book, I then realised they were actually the same person! It's not often talked about within my circle of friends, maybe because they are not into books as much as I do? I thought I was the only one who did not read HP book in full though :).

  29. Oh yeah, I love rereading, and I used to do it all the time. I just don't really have time with my review schedule at the moment. That's definitely true for dystopian novels. Most of the ones I read now I can tell what elements of the others they've combined into a story.

    Here's the fanfic: http://www.fictionalley.org/authors/lori/. It's the chaptered ones. Just remember that it's set in the post book four (I think) universe, and that years have passed.

    For real. Though I know a couple people who don't like Harry Potter because she didn't kill off one of the main three: HP, RW or HG. I didn't mind that, though, since they weren't my top favorite characters. Harry's actually fairly low down my list, though I do like him when he's not obsessing over Cho.

  30. I'm so glad you decided to try doing this feature -- I think it is perfect for sharing how your thoughts and feeling have evolved instead of just editing or removing the old review. awesome :)

  31. Yeah... it's such a huge fan base that it seems like everyone's read HP, but that's not true. (Psssh make your friends get into HP :P)

  32. Thanks, Christine :). If it weren't for you and the others, I wouldn't have this feature~

  33. It's sad how that happens. (I say that as if I have a huge review schedule lol). Do you ever feel overwhelmed by that? I think it would not make me happy if I couldn't reread or decide on what I wanted to read for a while. Even the title of 'review copy' would get to me as I chose among those which I wanted to read.

    Yay, thank you!!

    lol. I tend to forget about the Cho thing. Psh.
    Really?? I haven't run into anyone who's upset about that. I do know some people thought she held back / gave into the fanbase for the last book, but I didn't think that was a part of it.
    It's amazing that he, the protagonist, is low on the list for you, yet you still love the books. Her characterization was just that great.

  34. Laughs. I have tried but they told me it's not even a page before they fell asleep. Same for my sister. ):

  35. What a fabulous idea! It's true that things change. Some books I didn't like as much when I read them, but I like them better now and vice versa. As far as HP I like the three of them together, but I don't know that I like Ron with Hermione now that I think about it. My favorite secondary character is Professor Snape.

    I just found your blog and I just wanted to say that I really like what you have to say, so I'm following you and signed up for emails too. :)

  36. Why thank you, Tressa. I admire your choice; Professor Snape was a wonderfully complex anti-hero :).

  37. Oh noes~!!!! My ears are bleeding from such SACRILEGE >(

  38. I don't really like to analyze my feelings for a book. If I really like it then I just leave it alone, there are people who are going to critique the books I love no matter how good they are(doesn't mean I'll agree with them).
    As far as Harry Potter series go, I still love them to unconditionally. I liked how the relationships developed and my favorite secondary characters still are and always will be Sirius and Remus. My favorite couple was Remus/Tonks and I was devastated when they died... My favorite book of the series is Prisoner of Azkaban and second favorite is the Deathly Hallows.

    The thing is, I wasted my childhood doing everything but reading so I didn't get to enjoy these fabulous books until my late teen years so my opinion of them hasn't changed yet.

    I watched the movies first (not all of them but at least 4 movies were out already) and I loved them so when I picked up the books I just end up liking the story even more.

  39. Critiquing books doesn't necessarily mean that the person dislikes them :(. I critique books here, even when they're my favorites! Like HP, which I've started discussing in my children's lit class, and I love it all the more for how complicated it has now become.... Sirius and Remus were so admirable, though admittedly I was kind of disappointed by Tonks and Remus getting together :P. Prisoner of Azkaban. *Sigh*. .... And was it wasted? I mean HP is lovely and my favorite series and it sounds like you enjoyed it as well, but there's always the flip side of... well if you didn't read then, you were doing other things, which were presumably worthwhile as well.

  40. I don't have a lot of people around me that read the same books that I do so I don't really have anyone to discuss the books I like. That's why I never really learned to express my feeling for a book(good or bad).

    And you may criticize even some of your favorite books but some people just use that to give a negative review...

    As for what I said about wasting my childhood, well I didn't read then and now that I do I see how much I missed. That pisses me off because it's not only HP series that I missed but a lot more.

    So in my eyes, yes, it was a wasted childhood because those things that I was doing instead of reading, well I don't remember almost any of them.


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