Okay, so I am 20 years old if we want to call that ‘adult’, but the last time I read the Harry Potter books I was 16. Definitely due for a reread, I started the first one in mid-April. I’d probably read a third of Philosophers Stone when I realized that I’ve changed a lot since I read them last. I’m not a child or a teenager reading these books anymore. So I decided to collect some thoughts about rereading the Harry Potter series as an adult. I do want to preface the following list by saying that I also started listening to the Witch Please podcast (if you haven’t, you should!). So the list may have been influenced by that a bit.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
- There is a lot of focus on the actual theory and lessons part of learning magic. I’d almost forgotten. In the later books there is so much going on, lessons are mentioned less and less.
- After Harry catches Neville’s Remembrall, Professor McGonagall takes him to the Defence Against the Dark Arts room and asks to ‘borrow Wood’. Harry is worried about being punished, and immediately he thinks that ‘Wood’ is something he’ll be beaten with. Poor thing is conditioned to think he’ll be severely punished and beaten for everything.
- During or prior to this novel, Hagrid wins/has won two highly dangerous creatures from two separate strangers in a pub. Never happens again, that we know if. Did Hagrid learn his lesson? Did restrictions on selling/buying dangerous creatures increase? Did all the witches and wizards who illegally trade dangerous creatures stop coming to Hogsmeade?
- Voldemort shares Quirrell’s body in order to survive. We know, because of later books, that only a small part of his soul remained. So Voldemort literally latched himself onto Quirrell’s soul like a parasite. I never gave much thought to the man with two faces before.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- How did I not think about the fact that house elves are slaves? Literal slaves who are forced to punish themselves by magic if they do something wrong. Which also shows how much Dobby cares about Harry, he keeps punishing himself to try and help.
- Do wizarding children know how to drive? At this point Fred and George are in their fourth year, 14 years old. Ron is two years younger! Maybe lack of lanes, traffic and road rules in the sky makes it easier… but I still think they are far too young to drive.
- Ron is so lucky that the exams were cancelled because he would have failed with that wand.
- Lucius Malfoy planned for it all. He slipped Ginny Weasley the notebook, his house elf knew about the plan and even Draco knew bits of information about the chamber. This means that he chose Ginny, the daughter of someone he knew, who is a student at the school where he’s on the board.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Hermione is taking every class possible. Not a good idea, I mean I know she has a Time-Turner but still.
- Although, I love that Ron is the only one that notices. How he hears her talking to other professors and asks other students about her classes meanwhile Harry is described as not having the energy to care about Hermione’s mystery.
- When the three of them go and see Hagrid after their first Care of Magical Creatures lesson, he’s drunk. Meaning, students with a teacher and staff member while he’s intoxicated. Not okay on so many levels.
- What’s the story with the two first years and one fifth year who stay? Literally everyone else leaves because of the dementors and Sirius Black, so why do they stay? Were they also orphaned and live with awful muggle families?
- Ron and Harry getting angry with Hermione about the broom is so, so petty. Then again they’re 13. Also is having better/ faster brooms then other players and other house teams unfair?
- When I was younger, I used to get pretty concerned about Ron and Hermione’s big fight. Now I just think they’re young and getting all their feelings confused, because they’re starting to like each other. Even if I hadn’t read this before I think I’d see that now.
- To this day I do not know what Arthrimacy is.
- I can’t imagine how Ron would feel with the betrayal from his childhood pet. 12 years is a long time to love a family pet before finding out it’s actually a man who is responsible for your best friend’s parent’s death.
This will be a three part series – so stay tuned! Let me know what you think, did you notice the same things I did? Do you agree/disagree? I’d love to know!