Harry Potter the third

14 Aug

First off, let me apologize for my lack of posting this summer. Oh, to be lazy and eight months pregnant. I’ve entered a kind of head bubble that apparently only allows for thoughts about the baby, how I feel about the baby, how the baby will feel, etc. I’m boring even to myself. But it’s clearly some biological preparedness process since I’ve never been one to be super into babies, so I’m just going with it. Blogging is supposed to be something I do for fun, to keep me writing, and to share some of my nerdier thoughts with anyone who wants to listen. The moment I start forcing myself to blog is the moment I need to back away from the computer. I figure that sooner or later, my brainwaves will free up to encompass more thoughts than how I still need to buy a Diaper Genie, and that’s when my blogging will pick up again. 🙂

Now, on to the third installment in JK Rowling’s world-famous Harry Potter series. My leisurely re-read of the series was suggested to me and it was a fabulous idea. Clearly, my friend is a genius. The Prisoner of Azkaban seemed to stand out in my memory as my favorite of the series, and with good reason: it introduced Sirius Black. I lurve Sirius. He is an awesome, awesome character, so seemingly sinister but with a heart of gold. And can I just say: Gary Oldman? Just…magnifico! Perfect casting choice, movie peeps. Plus, I think this may be the last book where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are just kids. Is it the fourth book where teenage hormones come into play and Harry in particular starts acting like a little, pubescent snot? God, I’m old – I don’t identify with the kids anymore.

In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry faces a threat besides the most evil of evil, Lord Voldemort. Sirius Black has escaped from the infamous wizarding prison Azkaban and is being hunted down by dementors, sort of ghostly, tall things that sucks all the happiness out of you and can even steal your soul. Yikes. What Harry finds out pretty quickly is that Sirius was his father’s best friend and was imprisoned for killing 13 people after his allegiance to Voldemort was discovered. Also, he betrayed Harry’s parents and was the reason Voldemort was able to find them and kill them in the first place. Poor Harry must live under the onus of being stalked by one of the most dangerous criminals the wizarding world has ever known, all while striving to win Quidditch matches, sneak into Hogsmeade, pass exams, and just generally survive his third year at Hogwarts.

I do love this one. You get to learn a ton of backstory about Harry’s father and his three best friends, which is always fun because you get some Hogwarts history and learn more about the vast world JK Rowling has built up around Harry. Rowling is masterful at weaving subplots into the whole, so Professor Snape’s character also is illuminated while Harry has adventures with the Marauder’s Map and Whomping Willow. You always get the sense that she’s building to a crescendo, and that no detail or backstory is trivial or unnecessary. Snape is just so venemous and, well, mean most of the time, but in this third book you start to get an idea of why he holds such a grudge against Harry. Draco is just as horrible as ever, and Hagrid just as good-natured and bumbling. And I don’t want to give anything away to the 2 people worldwide who have yet to read this book or watch the movie, but something good (in a “family” way) happens for Harry and my heart just melted for him. More please!

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2 Responses to “Harry Potter the third”

  1. Rebecca Chastain August 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    You’ve planted the seed of the need to reread this series. The first time I plowed through it and didn’t take in the nuances of how the story was woven. I guess I never thought of Rowling as being a particularly good author, just well read, which isn’t always the same thing. Though, now that I think about it, I think my opinion is based in my own prejudices more than reality.

    • Amanda August 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      You know what’s funny? I had my own prejudices way back when I bought the first book. It had very little buzz at the time, and I picked it up because it sounded interesting, only to figure out when I got it home that it was a…gasp!….KID’S book. (As you can see, my horizons have burst wide open since I had that silly prejudice.) I think it took a lot of persuading for me to read it after that, only to realize that I LOVE young adult books. So yay for overcoming prejudices! I don’t particularly think there’s a ton of depth to these books, but I am amazed at the web she wove over seven books and how connected everything is. To me, that takes a tremendous amount of discipline and focus and is deeply impressive.

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