PS: Minor spoilers regarding the Harry Potter books. So, stay clear if you haven’t read any of the books from the series.
On July 21st, the magical world of Harry Potter created by J.K. Rowling comes to an end. And while I am glad that it is finally getting over and we can get to read what happens to our favorite boy wizard and his friends, I am depressed that we will not be getting to read any more about Harry’s adventures as he attempts to conquer Voldemort. Here, I am going to share how Harry Potter has engulfed me right from the moment I started reading The Sorcerer’s Stone.
A long time ago, I was completely adamant I will not fall into the Harry Potter hype. I had taken a silent vow that I will not read any of the books or watch any of the movies no matter how hyped to death they were. But on Jan 19th, 2007, Harry Potter joined another great world (namely, Star Wars) to have captured my imagination after I had loathed it at some point of time. I was well informed about Harry Potter around the time of the release of The Half-Blood Prince but even then I never got on the bandwagon, something just kept me away from it. But with all the hype The Deathly Hallows (which I knew was going to be a fitting finale), I decided to give it a go to see what there is and boy am I glad I decided to do it.
The first impression I got when I read The Sorcerer’s Stone was the world created by Rowling is possibly the best fictional world ever invented with the possible exception of Star Wars. And while there are many parallels that can be draw between both Harry Potter and Star Wars – like a young boy relatively inexperienced in their worlds being forced to take on people who have mastered the arts (namely, Luke and Harry forced to take on Vader and Voldemort) and the eternal battle of good vs evil – both worlds are the results of wonderful imagination on the part of their respective authors. I realized Hogwarts was a fun place filled with lots of magic, booby traps and wonderful monsters that were captured beautifully by Rowling’s bewitching writing and funny dialogues. The Sorcerer’s Stone really set the base for all of the main characters – like portraying Dumbledore’s warmth for Harry, the beautiful friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione and Snape’s hatred for Harry and Harry’s rivalry with Draco – as well as proving that Rowling can come up with some amazing twists in the plot.
The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban really had more of the same funny dialogues, character building, Hogwarts’ exploration and more twists to satisfy fans. Chamber of Secrets was also an important book to the series as a whole because it was in that book that we first got a glimpse of Voldemort’s past and the genius he was capable of at a young age as well as showing similarities shared by Voldemort and Harry. The Prisoner of Azkaban was the book in which we got to know more about Harry’s past, his father’s school life as well as his friends and getting warmth from the fact that Harry had a family of sorts in the form of his Godfather, Sirius Black. But the first 3 books never really opened up the story in any real form. The writing was at its best in the first 3 books to tell the truth, it combined all emotions into one, fun, sorrow, happiness and when Harry rode the Firebolt or when he realized the Firebolt had been given by Sirius, it was not only he who felt the warmth and happiness, rather as readers we shared every emotion he perceived.
In the next part, I look at the next 3 books in the series and also somewhat into The Deathly Hallows.