Bookish Musings: Thoughts on the Harry Potter Series (Part 1)

 
 

I recently reread the Harry Potter series and shared a lot of thoughts on Goodreads and Twitter as I was reading, but those were mostly ponderings about how the HP world works, and I wanted to talk about some other things, and talk a little more in-depth, here. Especially since I have a massive book hangover and all I want to do right now is read and/or think about Harry Potter. This isn’t a review, just some of my thoughts on characters and whatnot. The post got really long, so I’m splitting it in two. This one will be about some general stuff and the younger characters who were students during the series. Next week I’ll talk about the older characters.

Oddly enough, I feel like a lot of this post relates to my discussions about imagining things from the POV of non-POV characters and why readers like characters who’ve done bad things, but anyway, let’s get to it!

*Note: I haven’t seen the movies, so this is based entirely on the books. I have no idea what differences the movies have.*

*Also note: The first two sections don’t contain spoilers, but the rest do.*

 

 

General Thoughts

At the time of writing this post, I’ve read the Harry Potter series three times—once as a kid/teen as the books were coming out, once in my early-mid 20s (which was almost like reading it for the first time since I remembered almost nothing), and most recently in my mid-late 20s.

One thing I wonder is how different the series must be reading it for the first time as a kid versus as an adult. As I said, my second time reading it was almost like a first since I didn’t remember much, and I did notice quite a few issues in my rereads (lots of logic flaws with the world and the plots, lots of suspension of disbelief), but I did still have that nostalgic feeling toward the series regardless. Honestly, had I read this for the first time as an adult, and had it not been super popular, I probably wouldn’t have continued past the first book. Middle grade generally isn’t my thing, and the first book, while entertaining and funny, isn’t particularly amazing.

The beauty of this series though, I think, is in the unique and lovable characters and the complexity of the story. But both of those things take more than one book to realize. I mean, you don’t even meet Sirius or Remus until Book 3, and they’re some of the most loved characters in the series (or at least, they seem to be, from what I’ve seen online)! And as much as I do love that third book, it was the fifth and seventh books that gave me all the feels. And honestly I don’t think I’ve ever read a better battle scene than the one that takes place in the final book. But I can definitely understand why some people are not impressed at first, and I do still wonder if I might feel differently toward the series had I read it later in life.

 

Adult Jokes

I’ll tell you one thing I’m not sure I noticed the first time I read the books, the few (potentially?) adult jokes scattered throughout.

“My own brother, Aberforth, was prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms on a goat.”
-Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 

Even his patronus was a goat. Honestly I’m concerned for all the goats Aberforth ever owned.

“Another one who thinks you’re barking,” said Ron, throwing a crumpled letter over his shoulder, “but this one says you’ve got her converted, and she now thinks you’re a real hero—she’s put in a photograph too—wow—”
-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 

“How d’you spell ‘belligerent’?” said Ron, shaking his quill very hard while staring at his parchment. “It can’t be B-U-M—”

“No, it isn’t,” said Hermione, pulling Ron’s essay toward her. “And ‘augury’ doesn’t begin O-R-G either. What kind of quill are you using?”
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

 
 

*The rest of this post contains SPOILERS for the entire Harry Potter series*

 

Deaths

On a more serious note… So many of the deaths happen in such a sudden, matter-of-fact way, some of them are even off-screen, and I hate that because I feel like I never even got the chance to properly grieve for my favorite character (since his was an off-screen one). I will say, however, that the deaths were shockingly realistic in the sense that many of them just happened without preamble or dramatics. For example, when Harry and Cedric touched the portkey after the maze and ended up wherever they were, Voldemort was just like, “Kill the spare,” so Peter did. There was no monologuing or hesitation, and neither villain paid any attention to Cedric’s body after that because he was nothing to them.

But when it comes to deaths in books, it’s usually not the death itself but rather how the remaining characters feel that gets me. So when Sirius died, yes, I was sad. But it was Harry’s reaction and, even more so, Remus’s, that got to me. I remember in my first reread that I had actually put myself into Remus’s shoes. Sirius was Remus’s best friend. They’d known each other since they were kids. Remus had just gotten him back, and maybe their friendship (or relationship if you ship them) wasn’t the same as it had once been, but you know they had to have still cared about each other. He was horrified and grieving at that moment too, and Harry’s reaction probably made it hurt even more because it really drove home how terrible it was, but he couldn’t even let himself have a moment to get upset and had to be the rational one and drag Harry away.

Then, of course, there was Fred’s death, and in that case it was Percy’s and Ron’s reactions that got to me.

But I find it really sad that Sirius didn’t even get a funeral. I didn’t understand the logic that, just because they had no body, they couldn’t have some sort of funeral ceremony, a gathering to at least say some words about him or something.

 

Harry

Oddly enough, I don’t have many thoughts about Harry, even though he was the main character. He was so sassy though. Seriously, I don’t know why anyone tried to tease him because he was so good at comebacks.

“Not this brave at night, are you?” sneered Dudley.

“This *is* night, Diddykins. That’s what we call it when it goes all dark like this.”
-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 

[talking about broomsticks in the next quote]

“Shame is doesn’t come with a parachute—in case you get too near a dementor.”

Crabbe and Goyle sniggered.

“Pity you can’t attach an extra arm to yours, Malfoy,” said Harry. “Then it could catch the Snitch for you.”
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

 

Whispers of, “Hey, Potty, I heard Warrington’s sworn to knock you off your broom on Saturday,” far from chilling his blood, made him laugh. “Warrington’s aim’s so pathetic I’d be more worried if he was aiming for the person next to me.”
-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 
 

Draco

Draco is another character I know many people love, but I have mixed feelings.

All throughout the series he was a bully. He antagonized Harry and tried to get him in trouble. He insulted the Weasleys and Remus for not having a lot of money. He insulted Mrs. Weasley by calling her fat (not to her face, but to her kids). He called Hermione a Mudblood. He tried to get Hagrid fired. He tried to get Buckbeak, an innocent animal, killed.

I think part of that reason people sympathize with Draco is because how he was portrayed in Book 6. He was scared, crying in the bathroom, feeling alone, etc. But was I really supposed to feel bad for someone who did all those things I listed above? Who was excited and bragging about having a job from Voldemort because it would make him Voldemort’s new favorite? Who clearly didn’t care if other people died in the crossfire while he was trying to get to Dumbledore? Look, I get it. He was raised with parents who were Death Eaters, and he didn’t choose this job from Voldemort, and he was terrified to fail because Voldemort would kill him and his family, and he couldn’t bring himself to kill Dumbledore in the end. But I still don’t think that erases any of the other stuff. He was still a prejudiced jerk who was happy to be on Voldemort’s side because he felt pure-blood were superior. If he had been a nice person from the start, then yeah, I would’ve felt AWFUL for him being stuck in this terrible position of having to kill someone in order to keep his family safe.

However, we didn’t get to see much of his story after that, and we never got to see inside his head, so he may have eventually realized his mistakes and been truly remorseful. And he did pretend that he wasn’t sure if the captured people brought to his house were actually Harry, Ron, and Hermione (but he had to have recognized Ron and Hermione, even if he wasn’t sure about Harry’s face since it still had the stinging charm or whatever on it). And honestly? I do kind of like his character, or rather, I like the potential for who he could become. Despite his actions as a child/teen, he still has potential to change and be better. And in Cursed Child, he did seem to show some growth. And complex, flawed characters who’ve done bad things but are remorseful are often characters I love because they’re angsty and intriguing.

 

Percy

Percy is not the most-loved character in the series, I know. But… I can’t help but think that, if Percy’s family had been more respectful and supportive of him (well, I guess his parents were, but his siblings were always just making fun of him), he might not have turned against them and supported the Ministry. The more they teased him, the more he probably felt like he didn’t fit in and needed to prove himself in some way. So getting made prefect, Head Boy, assistant to Crouch and then Fudge (or whatever his job was), etc. were the praise and acceptance that he didn’t get from his family. Being a perfectionist, following rules, that was who he was. His family didn’t accept that about him, but the Ministry did, and then his dad was suddenly saying he only got the promotion because they wanted him to spy on the family (which, to Percy, felt like he was insinuating he wasn’t good enough to get the job on his own), so I can kind of understand why he sided with the Ministry. I’m not saying he was right, just that I feel like I understand what led him to it.

And you can’t say he didn’t love his family. During Book 2, he was the one who kept thinking of Ginny and trying to comfort her since she always seemed so scared. In Book 4, he ran out into the lake after the second event when Harry brought Ron up because he was so worried about Ron and wanted to make sure he was really ok. And yes, he turned on Harry too, but, before that, he always tried to help Harry out and give him advice. And anyway, he realized his mistakes in the end, apologized, and fought beside his family, and I’m glad. I guess I have a bit of a soft spot for him. He was annoyingly pompous sometimes, yes, but I too was that person who was usually trying to get my friends to follow the rules (aside from those few times when it was my idea to break them in the first place lol).

 

Fred & George

There there’s Fred and George. I know everyone loves them, and I like them too, but they weren’t perfect either. In fact, they were pretty much exactly the type of people I would’ve been annoyed with often had I gone to school with them. They were always pulling pranks, testing potentially dangerous products on unsuspecting people, and generally breaking a lot of rules. They could be a bit mean sometimes too, especially toward their siblings. But they were still lovable and funny and definitely brought a lot of fun to the series, and obviously I’m sad one of them had to die :-(

 

Everyone Else

I know there are lots more characters, and they’re great too (Ron and Hermione were amazing friends to Harry, Luna is super lovable, etc.), but that’s really all the ones I felt like talking about. (Remember, discussion about adult characters will be in Part 2!) But you can talk about the other young characters or thoughts on any non-character stuff in the comments if you want!

 
 
 

Talk to me!

Have you read the Harry Potter series?
Which book is your favorite, and/or which gives you the most feels?
What are your thoughts on the younger characters?
(I don't mind disagreements, as long as we keep it respectful!)

 

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  1. Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf

    What I love about Draco is the potential, so I tend to love fanfic Draco instead of book/movie Draco. Book/movie Draco is a bully and a prick. Fanfic Draco makes me think about what a foil he is for Harry and, if things had been different, how he would be. He has the potential for good. Harry has the potential for evil.

    As for Harry, I don’t think he’s given as much chance to be a sassafras in the movies. I know you haven’t seen the movies, but it’s one of my gripes. I forgot about some of those great lines, but I do remember his sassiness. It made the fights with Draco, Dudley and Snape more important and interesting, as well as distracting for the mysteries that Harry has to solve.

    I need to think about Percy more because I haven’t reread the series in years. I think I will have a different perception of him as an adult than as a child.

    Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf recently posted: Wonder Woman vs. Narnia Book Tag

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yes, exactly, he’s a jerk in the books, but he has potential for good. I’ve never read any Draco fanfic, but I think I’d rather read about post-Hogwarts Draco than a different version of young Draco. Like, a version of him that was a bully in the books but grew and changed and became better.

      I’ve heard he’s not as sassy in the movies. What a bummer! It did bring a lot of humor to what could otherwise be kind of dark.

      I do think you might see Percy differently as an adult.

  2. chucklesthescot

    I never read the books as a kid-the first time I read them was when I was nearly 30 and book five was due to come out. My favourite was book 7 as I loved the non stop action. Neville was one of my favourites because he went from being thought of as useless to the brave boy leading the rebellion at Hogwarts.

    chucklesthescot recently posted: Can't Wait Wednesday-Devil Sharks

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve seen a lot of people who didn’t try them until adulthood and then didn’t like them, so that’s good to know there are adult readers out there who DO like them. Yes, Book 7 is amazing! I was so proud of Neville! Especially when he killed the snake because he thought Harry was dead at that point, but he was basically like, “Harry might be dead, but I’m not giving up, and I’m gonna kill that snake since that’s what Harry told me to do, even if I end up dead too!”

  3. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    Oh wow, I don’t even know where to begin with this.

    – I re-read Philosopher’s Stone last year and yes I noticed things that my kid self hadn’t noticed and now I just went, but I guess it’s only natural, every time I re-read any HP book I get something else from it and, yes about the adult jokes!
    – Harry wasn’t nearly as sassy in the movies as he was in the books which is a shame because THE SASS!
    – I love Draco. I freaking love him and I’m not sorry. As a kid I hated him but reading/watching him was always a delight, he just brought something else into the series, he made everything interesting. Yes, he was an asshole most of the time but I still loved him.
    – I will never be over Cedric’s death. EVER.
    – Same for Fred.
    – Don’t get me started on Percy. I love the twins but they were horrible to him, same thing goes for Ron. With Bill and Charlie gone and the rest doing their own thing, Percy was kind of left to fend for himself and he was constantly mocked and kind of bullied. Yes he made a lot of mistakes but when it mattered he was there.

    I could write a whole book about these characters and the interesting thing is I got to know them as a kid and form an opinion but as an adult I see them in different light and honestly it’s a never ending discussion.

    Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews recently posted: Movie Review: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ok I’ll respond with your bullet points lol.

      – I think the best series are the ones in which we notice something new every time we read them.
      – I’ve heard he wasn’t as sassy in the movies, which is a bummer.
      – He does bring something to the series, it wouldn’t be the same w/o him, I agree with that.
      – Cedric’s death was so sad cuz he was a good person and it was so unnecessary :-(
      – Fred’s was sad too.
      – I’m so glad someone else noticed this stuff about Percy and the twins too!!! The twins really were mean to Percy especially, and also Ron (esp when he was playing Quidditch). Ron and Ginny weren’t really mean to Percy, but they didn’t stand up for him and be really friendly with him either. Even when Bill and Charlie were around, they’d be outside having levitating table fights while Percy was inside trying to work on a report, so he didn’t really fit in with them either, and who knows how they may have treated him when they were younger. So yeah, poor Percy was constantly mocked, but he wasn’t a bad person, so I felt bad for him. He did make mistakes, but he was there when it mattered. And he wanted to leave the Ministry sooner, but he couldn’t cuz it was too dangerous. I was really glad he came back to his family, that he got redeemed after that mistake.

  4. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    The first time I read the books, I saw zero flaws and was just in complete love with the magic and adventure. The 2nd time I read them, I was like HOLY CRAP how did I miss all this stuff that is making me so mad!! Don’t get me wrong, I still totally loved the books, I just didn’t see them with the rose colored glasses I was wearing the first time around.

    I defintiely remember wishing that Draco had his “moment”. Rowling has said Draco is a bad guy and that fans shouldn’t romanticize him, and I agree, but he definitely had so much potential to come around. I think that’s the only part of THE CURSED CHILD that I did like– that Draco’s son fulfilled his dad’s unused potential.

    I had a strong dislike of Percy– and I hold grudges, so I still don’t care for him. I can’t wait to see what you think about Snape– is that in the next post?

    The most surprising thing about me reread was that it left me with really BLAH feelings about Ron. The first time around I LOVED all 3 of the original gang. The 2nd time, I started seeing all of Ron’s flaws and immaturities and insecurities, and I really wanted Hermoine to dump his ass.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I agree, I still love the books, but they have an awful lot of plot/logic flaws and things that don’t quite add up or that require you to suspend your disbelief a lot. But as I said, the beauty is in the characters, so I’m willing to let a lot slide.

      Yeah, I suppose it would’ve been nice for Draco to have his moment, but in reality a lot of crappy people don’t change, so I guess it’s realistic that he didn’t. Or maybe that it took him a while to do so. Honestly I’m not really sure if he was all that changed in Cursed Child or not.

      Noooooo, you should give him a chance! Next time you read it, try to see from his POV and how his siblings treat him. Oh gosh, I think my section for Snape is the longest one (spoiler alert: I don’t like him lol), but yeah that’s next week.

      Ron is def flawed, he had a lot of insecurity and no tact and was therefore a bit mean sometimes. BUT I noticed in this latest reread that, aside from a couple instances, he was an amazing friend to Harry. Not really sure how I feel like he and Hermione dating though :-/

      1. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

        I don’t think Draco really changed at all in TCC either, but his son was the boy he could’ve been if he would have had his moment. I don’t know if I can get behind Percy– I hate when people stick up their noses or think they are better than other people, and that’s kind of how he felt to me. I HATE SNAPE TOO!!!!!! And Ron leaving them in the camp in the last book was my last straw with him. I don’t forgive him for that (even though I probably would’ve left too because–camping!!). Oh and the jealousy crap– I don’t play with jealous dudes.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Ah, I see. Yeah, Scorpius was a sweetheart. That’s fair. Tbh idk if I would like Percy if I were to know him in person, but I still felt bad for how Fred & George treated him and how he didn’t fit in with his family. I don’t like jealousy in books either :-/ But seriously, I wouldn’t last a week camping, haha.

  5. Lola

    I have read the whole series (in dutch) and even watched all the movies. Book 2 and 3 were my favorites always and I re-read those the most. I love that moment when they figure out what’s causing all the problems in book 2 and the whole scene at the end of book 3 was so intense with lots of revelations, but without there being a big battle. I never really cared for the time travel part, but I never liked time travel. I also can remember less from the later books as I didn’t re-read those at all or only once, so maybe that’s also why book 2 and 3 always stick in my head as my favorites.

    I do think you have a good point there that for those who read Harry Potter as a kid it will always be so nostalgic. And I do wonder if I would’ve experienced the story differently if I only read it as an adult. And indeed book 1 isn’t the best book, it gets much better later in the series. And the whole magical feel the series has is great. Although there are a lot of plot holes or things in the world building that don’t quite make sense or get fully explained.

    I do agree with you that the death’s were all pretty realistic, although i still felt the whole death of Sirius was a bit off with how he just fell through a curtain thing that just happened to be there. It just felt so lame? But maybe that’s the whole point.

    I never really warmed up to Draco either, although maybe if you get his point of view it would all make more sens,e but for the most part of the series he is just a nasty kid. I also probably would’ve been annoyed at Fred and George if I had gone to school with them, but in the books they did add some well placed comical relief and although they took some risks they did stay likeable characters. I am looking forward for your part 2 post!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I also love that scene in Book 3 with all the revelations about Sirius and Remus and Peter. It was a different kind of intensity than a battle. I normally don’t like time travel, but I was ok with how it worked in that book since it was like the things they did when they went back in time had already, if you get what I’m saying?

      Book 1 really isn’t the best one, and I think we notice those plot holes and things more as adults, so I do wonder how diff it is to read them for the first time as an adult. I wonder if I’d have been willing to keep giving the series a chance to get better.

      I don’t really have a problem with how Sirius died (though it was weird because I get that he fell into the afterlife or something, but what actually happened to the body?), I just think it’s sad that they didn’t even give him any sort of funeral.

      Draco was def a nasty kid. I just wonder if maybe he changed as an adult. Fred & George did add some comic relief, even if they would be annoying in real life lol.

  6. Angela

    I read the books for the first time as an adult, so I’m not sure how I would have reacted had I read them when I was younger. Sassy Harry is basically my favorite thing, he really does get some good zingers in there.

    Draco is an interesting character; he acts tough and he’s definitely a product of his upbringing, but I feel like you can see instances where he knows what he’s doing is wrong and he has second thoughts or some remorse.

    I appreciate that Rowling included so many deaths; even though these books are meant for kids, she doesn’t shy away from tough subjects. I think it would have been unrealistic had there not been any deaths.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Sassy Harry is great, haha.

      Draco is interesting, and maybe that’s why people like him so much. He is a product of his upbringing, but I feel like you can still break free from that, especially once you’re in a school like that and away from your parents and exposed to other opinions and form your own about things. But he does show some second thoughts eventually.

      I agree, it would’ve been unrealistic had no one died, so I appreciate that aspect too.

  7. JJ @ This Dark Material

    I haven’t given it much thought until now, but I agree with you on how death was represented throughout the series! I think reading that as a kid, especially, can help frame loss and mourning in a helpful way. As readers we were allowed to feel sad over the death of characters and it was normal to grieve them; I can’t help but think that has a positive impact on how we cope with similar circumstances in our lives and those of our friends and family :)

    JJ @ This Dark Material recently posted: book review: seven pillars of wisdom

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s true, it’s a good thing to have in a MG/YA series because we do learn from books, and it does frame death and mourning in a helpful way and give kids some experience with it in a way that’s less intense than real life.

  8. Greg

    I’ve only read the first book and seen the first movie, so what do I know? I *almost* feel like I know certain characters though from all the talk on the internets about these books. But I like posts like this because this is what I love about book blogging- talking about the books in depth! So – it’s funny you say that about the first book, and whether you’d continue if you first read them as an adult- that’s exactly my thing. I just read the first book a few years ago after I started blogging and it was good, but I wasn’t dying to grab the next one, ya know?

    I know very little about Sirius, obviously, but I’m very curious! Kinda the same with Snape. Fred & George sound fun and yes maybe a little irritating if one had to go to school with them. :)

    Fun post.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s the thing if you’ve only read the first book. It’s like, do you stop because the series just might not be for you? Or do you trust the people who say it gets better and spend even more time on it in the hopes that it will? But I mean… it definitely does get more intense and emotional and complex. Still might not be for everyone though.

      If you’d like to know Sirius’s life story, that will be in next week’s post lol. Lots about Snape too.

      Thanks :-)

  9. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Oh, I love the Harry Potter books. I grew up reading them, so I do think that brings some extra magic and excitement to them. My favorite book is the third, so yeah, it does take a bit to get really exciting, which is why people should definitely push through if they’ve never read the books. My other favorite is the sixth. I find the sixth book kind of hilarious. Harry is SO sassy, and the movies don’t actually show this much which is a bummer. The books are a lot funnier than some people realize if they’ve only seen the movies. I agree about the Weasley twins. I’m sure they would have annoyed me a bit if I went to school with them, but I did think they were funny and generally good guys. I’m one of those people that love Draco, but I understand that he’s a very complicated character. I think he’s a jerk for a long time, but a lot of that IS how he was raised and not trying to move past that – plus, Harry denied his hand in friendship and I think that bothered him a lot. I do think he grows though and realizes that’s not evil, and he doesn’t want to be. One thing that people don’t usually comment on is Draco is kind of funny in his own right…sometimes when he’s trying to be mean, he’s just amusing. LOL

    Fun discussion! :)

    -Lauren

    Let's Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted: Heat Trap by J.L. Merrow

    1. Kristen Burns

      You’re always sharing HP related stuff! I love the third, but I feel like that’s honestly mostly because it has a lot of Remus lol. I’ve heard the movies don’t show how sassy Harry is, which is a shame! Yeah, the twins would absolutely have annoyed me had I gone to school with them, but I agree they were generally good people. The way I see the thing with Draco is that you don’t HAVE to be like your parents just because you’re raised a certain way. Sirius was raised by prejudiced purebloods, and he wasn’t prejudiced. Maybe it did offend him that Harry didn’t want to be friends though. But yeah, he started to maybe change a bit in the last book. I specifically saved one quote when Draco said something about how awful the blast-ended skrewts were because it was funny and honestly I agreed with him lol.

      Thanks!

  10. Maria John

    Fun Fact: Dumbledore’s Death was the first character death that made me ugly cry while reading a book. I had such a weird attachment to him for some reason. Fred’s death was the worst – for me it was definitely Percy’s reaction seeing that he had ignored his family for years, and then when he was able to see the error of his ways – his brother dies. I probably related because I have a sibling.
    Great post! Can’t wait for Part two?

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think it’s fair to have an attachment to him. His death was definitely sad! But YES, the fact that Percy had just gotten his family back, and then the way he screamed and was clinging to Fred’s body… It’s always the remaining character reactions that get to me! Thanks, can’t wait to see what you think of the adult characters :-)

  11. Daniela Ark

    haha I never noticed those jokes either! That’s why I love watching the movies every year because every time I do I noticed something new. Such a vast story, plot, characters and world wise! It’s like is always new to me! I remember being shocked by the deaths in HP too! It is quite dark for a MG book! Maybe that’s why I adore it :) I really dislike Draco. He is not a hero or a villain. He is really so BLAH

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s great when books/movies are complex and there are always new things to notice! The series does get really dark though. Like, I was legitimately emotionally affected while reading the last three. But yes, that’s why I adore it too XD Draco is kind of in between I guess, but I suppose that’s realistic.

  12. Cee @ Dora Reads

    I think that a lot of stuff in Harry Potter has class-structure under-tones that isn’t necessarily obvious to people outside the UK, where the class structure is still v. much in place – for example, the feeling that Percy ‘betrayed’ everyone by working for the ministry in the way that he did seems kind of reminiscent of the miner’s strike in the 1980s, where it was v. much the establishment vs the trade unions, and there was a huge distrust of the police in particular. Draco is clearly an upper-class twonk, but he’s the sort that’s been *made* into an upper-class twonk by the way he was raised. He has clear moments of seeming to inhabit the same planet as everyone else, unlike a lot of the other Slytherins, who seem pretty interchangeable.

    I think, with Draco, if we had more of his POV throughout, people would probably get why he is the way he is!

    1. Kristen Burns

      You’re right, that’s something that’s not obvious to me. I’m not clear on where you stand about the Percy thing though? About Draco though, the thing is, yes, he was raised that way. But I think you can still break free of the opinions you were raised with, especially if you’re away at school and exposed to all different types of people and opinions. I mean, look at Sirius. He was also raised by a pureblood, muggle-hating family who thought they were superior, but he was nothing like them. I do think Draco’s POV could be interesting though and probably would make him a little more understandable.

      1. Cee @ Dora Reads

        I’m sorry Kristen, but I can’t *stand* Percy. He’s the sort who puts himself ahead and is happy to do anything that benefits the higher-ups as long as he has that slim chance to be one of them.

        He’s like the obnoxious kid in school – not ‘cos of the rules thing, but because he thinks he’s better than everyone else, and is ashamed of the people who’ve worked damned hard to get him where he is. He’d rather save the order of things, and bow and scrape to the upper-class toffs in the hopes that they’ll let him have the scraps off the table than fight for what’s right – for equality and fairness and a world where the workers are equal to the employers.

        *Ahem* Sorry. I’m actually quite moderate and chill, but I’m Welsh; I’ve literally met more Communists than Conservatives. XD

        1. Kristen Burns

          I see your point, but I’m not sure I entirely agree. I’m not sure he thinks he’s better than everything else. Kissing up to the higher-ups regardless of whether what they’re doing is really ok or not, maybe. Honestly, I feel like I don’t know enough about his actions or beliefs to truly know whether I’d like him or hate him. But I still think his actions were due at least in part to how he was treated. Not that it makes sitting back and letting inequality happen ok, but still. And it’s the fact that he owned up to and apologized for his mistakes that makes him easily forgivable for me. We’ll just have to agree to disagree about him, I think.

  13. Lindsi

    I’m just going to say I love this post and I really need to re-read this series asap. It’s been too long! If I tried to comment on everything, we’d be here all night. ;)

    I will say that I do feel like I read it differently as a child than as an adult. Different things stick with me at the end, and new things will pop out at me when I’m reading. I love that the books seem to grow with me! I always enjoy revisiting the world and still wish it were real.

    Do You Dog-ear?

    Lindsi recently posted: Here So Far Away by Hadley Dyer

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t care if we’re here all night, you can comment as much as you want!

      We definitely experience books differently as a child vs. as an adult. In a way we experience books differently every time we read them, I think, regardless of age. It is kind of the like the books grow with us!

  14. Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    Re: Reading as an adult, I agree! If HP wasn’t popular, I don’t know if I would’ve kept reading. I DID read it for the first time as an adult, but I’d already seen several of the movies and knew I would read the whole thing before I started. I agree about the deaths also. I’ve never really thought about it, but there’s something very genuine about the way it just HAPPENS and then it’s over. Interesting about Percy. I always felt that his parents were extremely supportive of him, but that his siblings poked fun at him in the way that siblings usually do. I never got the feeling that his family was unsupportive. I’ll have to keep this in mind the next time I read it and see if my mind changes. Great post!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, it’s weird to think we might not have continued had circumstances been different, right? Yes, exactly! The deaths feel genuine. You don’t see them coming, they’re not overly dramatic, they just… happen. And it’s terrible. What I meant was, his parents were supportive, but his siblings weren’t, and the twins especially were jerks. The way they treated him seemed pretty harsh, and it wasn’t like the other siblings ever stood up for him. Percy clearly loved his family, but he just never fit in with any of his siblings it seems. And then one of the people who was supportive, his dad, was saying he only got the promotion the Ministry wanted him to spy on the family, so that probably made him feel worse. I could be wrong, but I just feel like all that might’ve been part of the reason he sided with the Ministry at first. I’d be curious to know your thoughts when you reread! Thanks!

  15. Luna & Saturn

    1. This post brings back so many memories. We’ve read the entire Harry Potter series and re-read the most of the series until HP & The Order of the Phoenix. The last two were a bit too difficult for us because we were quite young when we read the series, and yes, the deaths were realistic (probs not Sirius, it was so odd that the curtain thing was there). Still, all the deaths were heartbreaking. We can see your point, Fred and George would be annoying in real life, although we have a soft spot for them (it’s most likely because they’re twins too). We remember seeing a fan-art and the caption was so sad – that every mirror George looks into is the Mirror of the Erised because he wants Fred back.

    2. Yes! Finally someone says it, Draco is definitely flawed and way too romanticised. We agree that readers end up sympathising for him because he was quite vulnerable in the Half-Blood Prince, and that readers are meant to understand that he was young and impressionable so he was influenced by his family when he did a lot of cruel things. True, he redeemed himself afterwards although the end of the last book gives the sense he is still quite proud and not 100% remorseful (so still not forgivable), although that is really human. He seems super human in the sense he doesn’t completely change his character so that’s a really good part of his characterisation.

    3. Yep, we sympathise with Percy too, though we don’t like him too much when we were younger because ended up betraying his family. But, as you said, Percy truly loved them and we all make mistakes. We liked him more growing up because we could understand the complexity of his character, whereas when we were younger, it was more of the simple you’re-either-bad-or-good-and-that’s-all-there-is-to-it mindset.

    The comment’s a bit long, but great post! <3 Can't wait until part 2.

    ~ Luna & Saturn @ Pendragons

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, the last three get pretty intense. The last book didn’t come out until I was about 17, so I kind of grew up as the books grew up, and it worked out well that way. The deaths were so realistic. The curtain thing was a bit odd, but it was still realistic in the sense that it happened so suddenly. Totally understandable to have a soft spot for the twins—they’re still great characters! Aww, that caption thing did just make me sad :-(

      Yeah, I’ve seen people talk about how you get to see in the 6th book that he’s just this lonely, scared boy, but I feel like that doesn’t excuse all the decisions he made and how he bullied people. He did redeem himself some in the last book, but I agree that he still seemed to think himself superior for being a pure-blood. But ooh, that’s a great point! It wouldn’t have been realistic for him to do an immediate 180 degree and become a perfectly good character. So the way he only maybe changed a little IS good characterization.

      Glad to find more Percy sympathizers! We do all make mistakes, but he owned up to his and apologized, so I can forgive him. But I agree, I think I kind of disliked him as a kid. We do see things as more black-and-white as kids, and he wasn’t funny or anything, so he’s a character who doesn’t really appeal to kids, I think.

      Thanks, can’t wait to see your thoughts on Part 2!

  16. Jennifer | Book Den

    LOL. I didn’t remember that bit about Aberforth. :) I love the HP series, and I’ve read them all several times. My favorite out of the bunch would have to be Azkaban. That’s the one that finally pulled me in and made me a fan of the series. The fact that they got darker and darker as the series went along was a big bonus.

    Jennifer | Book Den recently posted: Recent Updates and Currently Reading | March 18

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol the goat thing just kept coming up, and I was concerned. It’s such a great series! Yep, I love the 3rd! But honestly a large part of the reason is cuz that one has the most Remus lol. But yes, I also love that they get darker and really suck you in emotionally!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Wow, that’s a lot of rereading! But it is such a great series. I agree, they’re not perfect, but the good things make up for the imperfections.

  17. Stephanie Jane

    I read the first few Harry Potter books as an adult (late 20s), but I don’t remember actually finishing the series. I owned a second-hand bookshop at the time. We had to wait ages to get the full set and I think I just got distracted with the delay after book three or four and forgot to go back to reading them all. Maybe it would be worth starting again because I am sure I did enjoy the books I read!

  18. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    This is a whole heap of thoughts on a much-loved series. I admit, I probably wouldn’t enjoy the HP books as much now if I hadn’t read them (a lot) as a child. They are my biggest childhood obsession and I will never not adore those books… even with some of the flawed logic cracking off in it.

    I admit part of my love for those books is the world itself outside of the characters. I will always want to go to Hogwarts and experience that life. Sure, I didn’t understand why there weren’t more lessons for all students on both the wizarding and muggle world. I want to know how wizarding households live, not just the Weasleys, who were quite poor. I want to always know more about how they work and live. Do wizards have muggle jobs as well? Do muggles unwittingly work in the wizarding world?

    I admit, some characters are well-liked for bad reasons. I think part of the love for Draco is the potential to explore is the character in fandom. No one hates a person they don’t know without reasons and so people like making him misunderstood, you know? And I’m totally with you on Fred and George, I adore them in the books, they’re fun and interesting, but damn would I have hated them if they were at school with me.

    I could write a whole eassay of thoughts on thsi series and I haven’t read half the books in ages. I just really really love it.

    Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity recently posted: Sunday Summary // 18.03.2018

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I feel like I might not love them as much… but then again, I pretty much didn’t remember anything, and I still ended up loving them both times I reread, so who knows?

      I never even thought about they should probably have more than those few classes, but maybe that explains why the wizards are pretty much hopeless at everything but magic lol. They don’t even know how to dress like muggles, so I highly doubt they have muggle jobs, unless maybe they were raised as muggles.

      Yeah, I think that’s fair, that there’s a lot to explore with Draco in the fandom, kind of how he could’ve turned out, or maybe making him more sympathetic. Right? I love Fred and George in the books, but I’d be annoyed with them 90% of the time if I went to school with them.

  19. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

    I love the HP series! I also love how you broke this down…I don’t think I can do this! LOL My fave books in the series are Sorcerer’s Stone, Half-Blood Prince, and The Deathly Hallows.

    One of the things I don’t like in this series is Ginny and Harry. I don’t get it. I just don’t.

    Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA recently posted: My Go-to Comfort Reads

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s interesting the first is one of your favorites, I feel like I don’t see a lot of people who choose that one. The Deathly Hallows was so crazy intense though!

      Idk, I feel very meh about all the pairings to be honest.

  20. Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

    It’s been about 4 years since my last HP reread (I’ve probably read the entire series all the way through at least 4-5 times) but I’ve been staying away from it recently because a) I have less time for rereads now that I’m a blogger and b) I think the who cursed child/extended universe through pottermore thing has gotten a bit out of control. HOWEVER I loved what you said about Harry- he is so sassy and I loved how angsty he was in book 5 lol.

    Cristina @ Girl in the Pages recently posted: February 2018 Month in Review

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s weird cuz I reread more now that I’m a blogger lol. But I get it. Honestly, it has gotten a bit out of control, but I still love it, so I’ll take what I can get! And yes, his sassiness is awesome!

  21. Di @ Book Reviews By Di

    Wow! Awesome post! I loved some of your tweets etc while you were reading!!!

    You are soooo right about the deaths. Cedric I could forgive, but when Sirius was killed? I couldn’t believe it. It was like a total betrayal of all I thought the Harry Potter world was going to be! I didn’t get any warning or closure or ANYTHING. And again, as you said, it’s the character’s reactions that get to me too. Harry made me ugly cry about Sirius. And Dumbledore too later on. I love that though – being able to connect and feel what the characters are feeling.

    I was pretty meh about Percy to be honest and I have never sympathized with Draco… Just saying. Of the youngsters Ron both infuriates me but I get it in another way, IYKWIM? He was constantly in Harry’s shadow and as an angsty teenager… Yeah, I can understand it. He was still annoying though – as was Harry at times, but it all fit with their coming of age.

    I actually feel like one of the most underrated characters in that series was Fleur… People dismissed her because she was so pretty etc. but just being at the triwizard tournament meant that she was one of the best students! Plus, she loved Bill – she really loved him and even when he was mauled and his whole look changed, she stood by him! The same way she stood by Harry loyally after he saved her sister – she risked her own life to save Harry when she disguised herself as him to move him in DH. I liked Fleur. She was who she was.

    Di @ Book Reviews By Di recently posted: Review: Fireblood - Elly Blake

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks!

      I guess I never really thought of Sirius’s death like that. That it was the first time, as the reader, you realized even the important and beloved characters weren’t safe. And the poor guy didn’t even get a funeral. But yes, I love when the other characters react emotionally because I love being able to connect like that, and I feel like it gives me more of a chance to grieve. As opposed to Remus, for example, who died off page and got like a one sentence mention :-(

      Yeah, Ron was definitely not perfect, but I felt the same way as you. I could forgive the annoying things he did because they weren’t terrible, and he was still a teenager, and he *was* always stuck living in everyone’s shadow. I try to cut teen characters some slack.

      Hmm, I think I feel about Fleur the way you feel about Percy lol. Not because she was pretty, but because I felt like she was judgmental and kind of annoying. But you’re right, she was intelligent, and she did risk her life to help Harry escape that night.

  22. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I love this post, and I find that I actually agree with you on almost all points, even though I don’t remember thinking about them at the time I read the series. I especially never thought about Percy, but I totally agree that he sort of got the short stick in his family (and Fred and George would annoy me in real life, but they’re great characters).

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted: In Her Skin by Kim Savage: Review & Giveaway

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! It’s weird how sometimes you don’t really realize something until you see it pointed out, and then you realize you agree. Yeah, Percy was pompous and made some bad decisions, but he did get picked on a lot and never really fit in with his family, so I felt bad about that. And yep, Fred and George were great characters, but I’d def be annoyed by them lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      You know a series is good when you notice more and more each time you read it! I agree, I think it’d be nice if Draco could realize his mistakes and become a better person as an adult. Have you read Cursed Child though? Cuz I’m not really sure if he was changed much or not.