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21 February 2005 @ 08:10 pm
Now for something really different - a post about these books about some chap called Harry Potter...  

For whatever reason, today I realised that I don’t talk much about Harry Potter on my journal. Before you hand me the delusional pills, wait; I know the fandom crops up on here a regular basis, but the books themselves? I can’t remember ever posting something about them, so I hereby rectify this omission.

Most of the people on my friends-list probably have Harry Potter listed as an interest, and I could most likely name many of your main ship preferences and favourite characters. But I don’t know why you like the books. So, to indulge my prurient curiosity, I invite you - if you have the time - to tell me; specifically, to highlight for me where exactly in the books you fell in love. Below, I (for my own purposes, naturally) wrote out my favourite parts, but there’s no need for anyone to do that. *makes a resigned face* You won’t need to quote; I’ll know exactly which bits you’re referring to.

So go on. Bake my quiche.

 

‘- but I had a funny feeling he was feinting, and so I took the chance and flew left - his right, I mean - and - well - you saw what happened,’ he concluded modestly, sweeping his hair back quite unnecessarily so that it looked interestingly windswept and glancing around to see whether the people nearest to them - a bunch of gossiping third-year Hufflepuffs - had heard him. ‘And then, when Chambers came at me about five minutes later - What?’ Ron asked, having stopped mid-sentence at the look on Harry’s face. ‘Why are you grinning?’

‘I’m not,’ Harry said quickly, and looked down at his Transfiguration notes, trying to straighten his face. The truth was that Ron had just reminded Harry forcibly of another Gryffindor Quidditch player who had once sat rumpling his hair under this very tree. ‘I’m just glad we won, that’s all.’

(From OotP.)

Why I love this excerpt is difficult to define. Perhaps because it sums up the difference between Harry and his father. Perhaps because it pays homage to the literary idea of history moving in circles, so that Ron takes James’ place in another group of friends, whereas Harry seems destined for a role not unlike, perhaps, Snape’s, or at the very least Remus’. Perhaps because the thing with having dead parents is that they are so much more interesting than live ones and it lends an aura of bittersweet melancholy to all of the books - and is captured here - and is, I believe, one of the things that lends the series its charm.

The harkening back to the idea of a friendly dead is one that never fails to thrum against my nerves in a good way, and these two lines always choke me up, old sap that I am.

‘You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us? … Prongs rode again last night.’

(Dumbledore; PoA.)

and

And anyway, it’s not as though I’ll never see Mum again, is it?…You heard them, just behind the veil, didn't you?...In that room with the archway. They were just lurking of sight, that’s all. You heard them.’

(Luna; OotP.)

Just in case you didn't remember.

 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: 'Sand in my Shoes,' Dido
 
 
 
The Eminent Sage and Junkie: Tom kingdomstheladyfeylene on February 21st, 2005 12:17 pm (UTC)
For me, it was the world and the characters. I love the world that's been created, I love the mythos (what we know) and all the possibilities. I love the characters and how they're, for the most part, normal folks caught up in something big.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Bellescoradh on February 22nd, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC)
normal folks caught up in something big.

I always thought, and loved, that about the books. That Harry wasn't anything really special, just a victim of chance.

Until the prophecy, that is...!
Liz_eliza_b on February 21st, 2005 12:47 pm (UTC)
Dunno if it was a particular section...I just grew to love Rowling's sense of the ridiculous, and how sophisticated the books were, even if they were written for kids.

Or maybe when Hermione goes on that "free the house elves" rampage.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Canon hairscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
sophisticated the books were

Yeah - she uses big words! I love it.

I was just reflecting on the things people said, that are so different to my own likes/dislikes - I think Hermione is irritating at best, and the whole SPEW thing just had me facepalming endlessly - I love how everyone is so different, yet united. xD
(no subject) - _eliza_b on February 22nd, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 23rd, 2005 02:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
...: Don't Swing on Your Chair... // chowburgchowburger on February 21st, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
I've loved them since I was eight, but I think it's the slash fandom that's kept me interested this long. I mean, I discovered fanfic when I was about eleven, and slash when I was twelve (Ron/Draco was my first, I believe. I think I clicked on it by accident ><)

I love the speculation, and the guessing what's going to come next, and I consider myself extremely lucky to be around while the books are coming out - it'll be no fun for people who read the books in ten years. They won't get to stand outside bookshops at midnight to get the latest installment!

Then of course there's Remus/Sirius...
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Why to livescoradh on February 22nd, 2005 02:46 pm (UTC)
Wow! I discovered the fandom when I was seventeen; I probably wouldn't like them so much if it weren't for the fandom. It makes it so much...more than the sum of it's parts, or something.

Yes, I love feeling a part of something. Something I can share with people I don't even know...and can't with people I do. *sigh*

*g* And Lily/James, and Harry/Draco, and Harry/Luna, and Harry/Snape, and Remus/Snape, and Draco/Zacharias...xD
(no subject) - chowburger on February 22nd, 2005 03:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 22nd, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
gabbysun on February 21st, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
*g* You know, up until about a month ago I didn't have Harry Potter listed in my interests. Then I realized that I couldn't function without my daily glut (is that even a word) of fanfiction and had to add it in.

And I don't really like the books that much. For serious, I'm not even going to buy the sixth book the day it comes out. We plan on getting it at a local food warehouse a few days after when it'll be 40% off. It's the people in the fandom that did it for me; otherwise I suspect I'd still be paddling around in my little comic/book/cartoon fandoms. The only thing I might regret about getting the book late is the fact that everyone on LJ will be discussing it and I will be all :(. xD
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Helen Kellerscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC)
up until about a month ago I didn't have Harry Potter listed in my interests

How serindipitious for my post that you did!!

Glut is a word, yes.

I think I will, just to keep up the trend; I've bought the last two on the days they came out. But then 'bargain' and 'books' never meet in my world...

I was meaning to ask you, as my local computer whiz, a few paid journal questions...whenever you have a min to answer, I'd love you. Even more, that is. xD

1. Where do you find custom mood icons? Like Scrubs, or Discworld?

2. How do you upload custom mood icons?

3. How do you make and upload a banner?

So, I didn't want to wham this all over my posts, but any hint I would be pathetically grateful for!!
(no subject) - gabbysun on February 27th, 2005 07:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on March 1st, 2005 03:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - gabbysun on March 2nd, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lord Marmaduke Newbrycatsmeat on February 21st, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
Bet you couldn't name mine, deary!

I liked them up to Prisoner, but that book clinched the proverbial deal.
Jaximadra_blue on February 21st, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
*stares at your icon in wonder*

I can't decide if I want to run away in fear or stare at it in fascination some more.

Points for being interesting.
(no subject) - catsmeat on February 22nd, 2005 02:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - snarkophagus on February 22nd, 2005 02:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catsmeat on February 23rd, 2005 03:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 22nd, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - imadra_blue on February 22nd, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - imadra_blue on February 22nd, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 22nd, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - imadra_blue on February 22nd, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 23rd, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 22nd, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catsmeat on February 23rd, 2005 03:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 23rd, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catsmeat on February 25th, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 26th, 2005 01:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catsmeat on February 27th, 2005 03:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 27th, 2005 01:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catsmeat on February 28th, 2005 02:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on March 1st, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catsmeat on March 2nd, 2005 03:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on March 2nd, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catsmeat on March 4th, 2005 03:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - catsmeat on March 5th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Goddamn Wolf Womanslythwolf on February 21st, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC)
Everything.

Bloody everything.

Really.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Stashscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC)
*eyes uncertainly*

Even...Grawp?
(no subject) - slythwolf on February 22nd, 2005 08:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 23rd, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jaximadra_blue on February 21st, 2005 03:19 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to quote because I'm too lazy. But PoA was why I fell in love. TEH BACKSTORY! TEH LUPIN! TEH SIRIUS! That whole book is fascinating.

However the fight with Harry and Draco on the Quidditch pitch? That made me OTP them.

My favorite quote thought is: "Yes, but the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters," Sirius said with a wry grin.

A-fucking-men.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Tactscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC)
Heh, look what else you have in common with catsmeat!!

Really? I was sort of surprised at Harry, to be honest - and even more so at the twins. Never knew they could be so - violent. What made me ship them is, I guess, Draco wanting to be friends on the train. *shrugs*

Me being me, I'd disagree with Sirius. The world is split into bad people and Death Eaters...that was sort of uncommonly mature of him, don't you think?
(no subject) - imadra_blue on February 22nd, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 22nd, 2005 03:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - imadra_blue on February 22nd, 2005 04:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - galindaupland on February 22nd, 2005 05:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - denial_girl on February 23rd, 2005 11:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 23rd, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - galindaupland on February 23rd, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 24th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
denial_girl: Faramirdenial_girl on February 21st, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
The first book. In the order of my favourites in the series, it's all been downhill since the Book One (which I blame on editors being too afraid to tell J.K. when she's being a bit wordy and my personal little annoyance that J.K seems to be shoe-horning in old characters, like Lockhart in OotP, just for the sake of bringing them back, with no real reason. Kinda like that last crappy season of Angel). I know Book One the simplest and shortest of the series but it's a nice, straitforward, tight story. And maybe I'm stupid, but I sure as hell didn't see Quirrel coming at the end.

Anyway, I think it was the atmosphere in the very first chapter -- the suspense of Uncle Vernon missing the owls at his office, the tension waiting to see why that crazy guy was putting out the street lights, the unexpected pay off of the lurking cat turning out to be a woman. Plus, there's certain little lines I love, like at the end Dumbledore looking away discretely while Harry wipes his eyes seems so much better than just writing "Harry was crying."

And Hagrid. I <3 Hagrid.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Life exceeds expectationsscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC)
Wow. You have to be the most original person here!

I quite liked Lockhart coming back, and I can see why she used him; how else would the lads have got into the Closed Ward, and seen Bode? *shrugs* But I totally didn't see Quirrell either. I only read the books because I was insulted at all the attention they were getting. I snorted derisively at the 'Boy Who Lived' title...

...four years later, I'm indoctrinated into the as-many-variations-as-the-fandom-can-provide trend. Life is wierd.

I'm intrigued; what do you mean by JK being too 'wordy'?

HAGRID? Omigod, you arespecial. You and JK must be the only ones...xD
(no subject) - slythwolf on February 22nd, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 23rd, 2005 02:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - slythwolf on February 25th, 2005 12:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 25th, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - slythwolf on February 26th, 2005 09:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 26th, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - scoradh on March 1st, 2005 11:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - denial_girl on February 23rd, 2005 11:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 23rd, 2005 02:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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henbock on February 22nd, 2005 12:51 am (UTC)
I just love it!
I like the fact that eventhough they are meant for children they are not written for children. There is too layers in the books and adults and children see different levels of complexity. I like them because they also give us a look into our own society and its hilarity!! I love the mystery surrounding the magic and its power and wish I had those powers. How wonderful life would be!. I could make you forget about tony and you wouldnt even notice!!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Village idiotscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC)
Re: I just love it!
I like them because they also give us a look into our own society and its hilarity!

Yeah, and all the prejudice too...good call, my son.

And right back at you.

OBLIVIATE O'DONNELL!!
Re: I just love it! - henbock on February 23rd, 2005 12:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I just love it! - scoradh on February 23rd, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Minnowminnow_53 on February 22nd, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
The very first sentence in the very first book. And I never fell out of love with the books for a second. They never let me down, though sometimes they hurt me.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Scrubsscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC)
And I never fell out of love with the books for a second

Yeah, TOTALLY! I'm the exact same. I came to the fandom and everyone was shaking their heads going 'The series is going downhill...awful, awful awful' and I was like WTF? NO!

*loves you*
NumberNine: crowley/aziraphale by linnpuzzlehappyreaper on February 22nd, 2005 04:30 am (UTC)
There wasn't actually any actual part which made me fall in love with it, it was more...gradual. But the real things I fell in love with were basically the characters in the Marauder-Era, and its rich detailed world and story, which sparked my imagination on their dynamics. And fandom, of course, with its brilliant fanfiction, especially R/S and L/J.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Helen Kellerscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)
I really gelled with the Marauders in OotP; I think introducing the love/hate between Lily and James really clinched it and brought it to another level. (I couldn't write them if they were all soppy and that.)

The fandom makes it, really. Nuff said.
(no subject) - happyreaper on February 22nd, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 23rd, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Insufferable, man.: scarboycynicalpirate on February 22nd, 2005 10:27 am (UTC)
Angry Harry in OotP. Most Unintentionally Hilarious.

'What happened last night is a huge secret, so naturally, the whole school knows' - Dumbledore, words along those lines.

Bill. And Norbert.

Any interaction between Harry and a Weasley, especially when they're teaching him about the wizarding world.

The story of Hagrid and Maxine in the mountains.

After the first task, when Harry and Ron made up and Hermione ran off crying.

I never realised this until now, but the first book is my favourite. I think I loved all of it, except...

...the bit when Harry found out he was a wizard and had to go to wizarding school. *gasp shock* I thought that that was the lamest plot twist ever. I hadn't read the blurb, so I had no idea that Hogwarts was coming, or that Hagrid was a giant. I didn't even twig when McGonagall turned back into a human from a cat and Dumbledore used the Put-Outer and Hagrid flew over on the bike, how thick was I?

Very.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Crabbe angstscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 03:07 pm (UTC)
Oh. MAN. Dumbledore is SO cool.

I reckon I know why, too. *nods emphatically* He is - wait for it - The Gill! In disguise!

I was so disgusted at the start, before I'd even read it, that when I did I was all there, 'Petunia has a NECK! Oh, wow. BRILLIANT. NOT.'

You liked Hagrid's story?! Ew, why? I hate him and Grawp. If they were cut out entirely I would cheer.

I love the way they're so pragmatic about magic - oh yeah, we have it, the Ministry's crap too, what's so different?

Lame explaination for why Muggles can't know about magic, though. LAME.

The Light Snarktastic: Emo snugglepusssnarkophagus on February 22nd, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
QUICHE!
I'm not really qualified to speak. They're just decently written stories with decently written characters. I have to admit I didn't read the first one until I was forced to do so for work, and then devoured two, three, and four the same day.

And then OotP came out, and I was irritated that everyone was so edgy and pissy all the way through. ¬.¬

I've not ever been in the fandom, though I know a couple of people who are. I deliberately try not to get so involved, so as to save some re-read value, since I forget most of what I've read five minutes after reading it anyway.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Stashscoradh on February 22nd, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
Re: QUICHE!
I deliberately try not to get so involved, so as to save some re-read value

*facepalm*

When the sixth book comes out, I'll be so totally corrupted by the fandom I'll be there 'Where is the slash? Where was Remus' and Sirius' wedding? Why aren't Harry and Draco shagging? WHERE ARE THE MAKEOVERS?'

I'm so lame.
passionate trousersgalindaupland on February 22nd, 2005 04:55 pm (UTC)
For me, it's the base of it all. Sure, Harry Potter is a very well told story, and it has depth that few stories have, but it's basically like one of those connect the dots pictures. All the dots are there, but you have to connect them, and put them together, to get the full story. Rowling gives so many clues, and so much information, that you really have to dig to get to it. For me, that is one of the best parts of it all, just, finding out new things each time I read the books, and trying to put together what happens in the end. I don't think I've ever gotten quite as attached to characters as I have to the people in Harry's world, and I don't think I ever will again.

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Life exceeds expectationsscoradh on February 23rd, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
Everyone here keeps highlighting things I feel the exact same way about! And you've summed up exactly how I feel about the books; she's a very tricky writer. Almost a criminal mind, I'd say...xD

I don't think I've ever gotten quite as attached to characters as I have to the people in Harry's world, and I don't think I ever will again.

Phew, me neither! I don't think I could handle it!
denial_girldenial_girl on February 23rd, 2005 11:25 am (UTC)
I'm probably the only person you'll meet/know on the internet that thinks GoF and OotP are too long. **ducks tomatoes** Like the whole thing at the Quidditch World Cup. I know there's a lot of importat plot stuff there but I still think it could have been much tighter. [/future self-righteous editor]

Oh yeah, and that stupid S.P.E.W. plotline drove me friggin' insane!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: I believe I can flyscoradh on February 23rd, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC)
Me - well, the longer the better, because it took me about eight hours to read the first book. That does not constitute satisfaction for me, or indeed value for money - it's practically a Sweet Valley High novel. The more information I get about the 'verse the better - but obviously GRAWP MUST DIE. OR BE CUT. ONE.

Does spew have any point in any way whatsoever, except to highlight that Hermione can be a self-righteous stubborn hag as the mood takes her? I ask only to in the name of enlightenment.
(no subject) - denial_girl on February 24th, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on February 24th, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)