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My experience reading Harry Potter for the first time

After a month-long marathon listening to the seven Harry Potter books, I can finally state my thoughts about it. It had been an experience way longer than I imagined but I finally did it.

As I mentioned in my post about the Dursleys, my knowledge on Harry Potter came only from the movies. I read the first two books when I was little but then I quickly lost the rest of the saga in the tide of things that being alive requires me to do (mostly school) and for years I put the endeavor back but then, I found the audiobooks online and I decided to give it a go.

Please note that for how I am, I read the whole saga together so, at least this post, won’t be an analysis of single books but the work as a whole even though I will say a few words on single installments.

Harry Potter is a magic kid that finds himself closed between the boundaries of a project and he spends all his youth to walk on the path of victory against a dark lord that precisely chooses him as an equal. This is the main topic of the saga.

Saga that can effectively be divided into two parts and I agree that those may not be official but I remember that, after The Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter wasn’t the same anymore. Voldemort came back and this put me into an uneasy spot, everything was different now.

At the beginning of The Order of the Phoenix, Harry is way more adult than people likes to admit (And Dumbledore admit it at the end of that very same book)

Now is time to prepare for the upcoming war that is just a few months away and here you start to see the main topics of the series: Death.

Harry is not a kid anymore and the series shows this as every single year from the night in the graveyard, Harry loses somebody. Cedric, Sirius, Dumbledore, Snape, all go away leaving Harry with nothing to do that grown up and understand what is at stake.

There is a dark shadow cast over the wizarding world, a shadow that is somehow invincible due to powerful dark artifacts that keeps Voldemort from dying. There is a veil that must be protected between the wizarding world and the muggle world and it is an understandable attack as well because of the nazi like blood supremacy that the bad guys cast upon everything we know.

But this is just a quick intro into the Harry Potter world and the series is so famous that it doesn’t need any more presentation.

I’d like to speak about my experience reading the books from the perspective of somebody who saw the movies first and here is my take: the movies are shite.

There are many things that I understood just by reading the books that were utterly unclear in the movies. So there are relationships that have been killed or even forgotten in the movies.

Relationship between Harry and the Dursleys

© Warner bros

I wrote a whole post about this but in sum there is a whole chapter in The Order of the Phoenix that creates the best point in the relationship between Harry and Petunia in particular that the movies criminally forgot.

Relationship between Harry and his father

I know that the first thing you will think is the story of the marauders but this is just gibberish.

I’m referring to the occlumency lessons in which Harry discovers that his father was a bully and this changes his perception toward him and toward Snape mostly.

He even confronts Lupin about it but with no avail and, the last time we see this is in the pensive at the end of The Deathly Hallows where Harry learns he have to die and he finds himself again in the same memory.

Relationship between Harry and Neville

The relationship between Harry and Neville is so freaking important. It is in fact intertwined into the project itself since both Harry and Neville were the possible choice but Voldemort ultimately chose Harry.

But most importantly, because of this, Neville’s parents had been tortured to insanity because of a choice about them both and Harry is and feels partially and indirectly responsible for this.

He knows the truth and this, I think, cements their friendship even more.

Relationship between Dumbledore and Snape

© Warner bros

In the Prince’s tale we get teleported into Snape’s mind and we discover one sad truth. The relationship between Snape and Dumbledore is way different that the one decided in the movies.

In the movies there is a sort of respect between the two but in the real story they hate each other and only through deception Dumbledore (who is a very villain figure at this point) is able to create loyalty even after his death.

And this is underlined in the same chapter when he had to give information to Harry through Snape and it hid every meaning of it leaving Snape bemused by the fact that he had to relay half information about things he doesn’t understand but Harry does very well.

Harry immediately understands that Nagini is a horcrux when Dumbledore says that Voldemort will keep the snake close and he immediately understands why he himself has to die when Dumbledore speaks about what happened in Godric’s Hollow.

Relationship between Harry and Ginny

I have a theory about this. I think that was the love potion from Slughorn’s lesson to drive Harry and Ginny but now how you think.

Ginny didn’t give him the potion but I think that when Harry smelled the perfume and then he smelled Ginny’s perfume, there was a click in his mind, a click that the perfume was an indication of what he loved.

It is almost like when a friend tells you that that girl is in love with you. You have never considered that person but now you know that there is something more to it. You just needed the right push.

But beyond this, the movies depicted a relationship that was incredibly difficult to watch but here, in the books we have something that is way different. Cute even.

I am pretty sure that this is the whole thing. This is the panoply of differences between movies and books that made my reading experience way better than I could imagine.

So. If I have to choose my favorite, I’ll maybe too cliche or too naive but I think that the last one, The Deathly Hallows, is close to perfection. It have the higher number of great chapters (in my opinion) and is packed with action and plot twists. It is amazing.

The least favorite is probably the Prisoner of Azkaban. Just I didn’t like it much. Boring in my opinion.

-ldmarchesi


Related posts:
I understood the Dursleys
I am addicted to audiobooks

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