“We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter’s the one

and Voldy’s gone mouldy, so let’s have some fun!”

Over the past month, I decided to re-live my childhood (and teenage years for that matter) and I read the Harry Potter series from start to finish.  Which, believe it or not, I’ve never actually done.  Because why actually read a series in order, right?  And while Harry Potter is, of course, essentially a fantasy book for children, damnit, I had a blast re-reading them and finding out all of the little secrets you only truly pick up when you start at the beginning.

Oh yeah, I’m cool.

For those who have essentially been living under a rock, or worse, live in a fully functional society and just failed to pay any attention to the highest-selling book of all time, Harry Potter is, in a word, a boss.  He’s a teenage wizard who is expected to defeat the greatest dark lord of all time, who is almost, quite literally, unkillable.

Unfortunate.

Anyway.  As previously mentioned, most people have read the books, and the people who haven’t have probably stumbled onto the wrong blog.  Hey!  Welcome to Set In Motion!  So, instead, I’m going to list my favourite three things about Harry and his wizarding world, and please, if you do or do not agree, let me know below!

Family ties:

While one of the main themes of Harry Potter is that love will basically save the day, power of the heart, love thy neighbour and so forth,  I particularly liked the recurrent theme of the importance of family.  For example, although it wasn’t a major aspect of the last novel, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, I loved how J K Rowling depicted the Malfoys.  Lucius, Draco and Narcissa are not nice people; they support Voldemort, they despise muggle-borns and they look down on people who don’t have money, but at the end of the day, what they care about, above all else, is that they’re safe.  Narcissa doesn’t care that Voldemort is almost at the peak of his power, she is more concerned with whether or not her son is still alive.  For such a fantastical world, I thought Rowling really hit home with this one bit of reality.

The other, of course, is the relationships that Dumbledore has with his family, and Harry himself.  When I first read Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, I was about eight and I couldn’t really comprehend wanting anything more than candy.  Reading the book as a 21 year old, however, it really struck me how terribly sad it was for Harry, an 11 year old boy, to want nothing more than to be back with his family, to feel connected and a part of something.  And when you finally find out, seven books later, that Dumbledore essentially saw the same thing?  Heartbreaking.  It does, of course, make you ponder what it is you would want above all else, doesn’t it?

Strong female characters:

While I wouldn’t consider myself to be an outspoken feminist who hates men, it does sometimes irk me that novel after novel, film after film, is released with strong, MALE leads.  While Harry Potter does, of course, have strong male leads (Dumbledore, Harry, Voldemort), the leading females are just as strong.  Professor McGonagall, strong, fierce and powerful; Hermione, the smartest character in the book; even Bellatrix Lestrange; she’s absolutely batshit crazy, but she is also incredibly smart and powerful.

However, it isn’t until the seventh book, that Mrs Weasley shows her strengths.  Throughout the series she is considered, while highly likeable and able, to be a generic housewife who appears to be good at having lots of children.  And then…she shows her true colours.  While this may say a lot about my preferences of people, I absolutely LOVED it, when she took down Bellatrix Lestrange because she threatened her daughter.  Amazing stuff.

My favourite female character though?  Luna Lovegood.  She’s eccentric, unusual, unpopular.  But she also, as we discover, been through some pretty horrific stuff, and has come out smiling on the other side.  I think there’s a lot we can take from Luna, even  if her fashion choices (radishes anyone?) aren’t one of them.

The connections:

“I wonder how the Bloody Baron got covered in blood?”  Check.

“Why did Voldemort want to kill me?”  Answered.

Every. Single. Question. You ever had about Severus Snape.  Why he disliked James.  Why his memory of calling Lily a mudblood is considered his worst.  Everything.  Even, of course, why he is always so unhappy.

While there are aspects that never get cleared up, overall, it’s pretty awesome to start from the beginning, and have questions that are answered so much further down the track.

What are your thoughts on Harry Potter?  Over-rated?  Under-rated?  Let me know!

Harr Potter

The Harry Potter Series-(image taken from http://www.afreckledlife.com)

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