Harry Potter Archive

In August 2010 started re-reading the Harry Potter books to get properly hyped up for the release of the seventh movie.  This created a three-month Harry Potter Renaissance whichhas certainly been productive of posts.  I thought I’d gather them all together here for easier browsing if anyone’s interested … since I’m also getting a lot of incoming searchers with Potter on the brain. If you like what you’ve read you can find more book breakdowns, character analyses, movie reviews and random commentary on the books and the world here.

Book Reviews

“Harry, yer a wizard:” Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“As celebrity does:” Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“I’m not going to be murdered:” Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“Reducto,” “Impedimenta,” and “Priori Incancatatum:” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“I think I’m feeling a bit rebellious:” Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Character Studies

Poor Little Rich Boy: Draco Malfoy

Raised by wolves, the poor kid isn’t ever given much of a chance to change his mind about who’s right and who’s wrong.  Its not that I like bad guys … I’m just not convinced that Draco actually is one.

Oh … you’ve forgotten something: Neville Longbottom

The un-sung hero of the books – who knew in Book One that round-faced, toad-losing little Neville Longbottom was going to be the Chosen Alternate and kill a Horcrux before all was said and done … well, maybe anyone who read the first book carefully enough.  Check it out.

“I’ll Join you when hell freezes over:” Neville Longbottom

When we revisit Neville in Book Seven what a transformation has been effected.   But how much has he really changed?  Sure he’s grown up, stutters less, knows more spells, has a new wand.  But I think he’s largely the same person all along.  Still slightly self-effacing but ultimately ready to get the job done.

The Oh-So-Unstable Triumvirate

A triangle is the strongest shape and a three legged stool wont wobble but a three person friendship is pretty much guaranteed to leave one person on the outside every time.  Harry, Ron and Hermione on the rocks, through the books.

That Hard, Blazing Look: Ginny Weasley

One of my favorite characters.  She’s got a mean bat bogey hex up her sleeve but she’ll only use it if you try to hurt her friends … or if you pester her with too many annoying questions.


Mysterious Ticking Noise

Best. Fan video. Ever.

Where Dwell the Brave at Heart: Houses at Hogwarts

Are you a Slytherin? Or a Griffindor?  Nobody much seems to care about the Ravenclaws or, certainly, Hufflepuff. I’m really not sure the Houses don’t do more harm than good. Singing in Yoda-like inversion, the Sorting Hat itself seems to agree with me at the end of its Order of the Phoenix song:

Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it’s wrong,

“When in doubt, go to the library”: Books at Hogwarts

Those Hogwards kids … they know how to study and I love ’em for it.  Hermione isn’t the only one; Harry may procrastinate with the best them and Mr. Roonil Wazlib may not be able to spell his own name but even they spend hours paging through dusty tomes in the school library.  Thank you, J.K., for making research essential to magic success.

I guess I owe Chris Columbus an apology.

A minor retraction of my Anti Chamber of Secrets movie rant because one small part of it wasn’t AS FAR from the writing as I thought it was.

The Very Secret (and rather evil) Diary

Watch out for that thing!  Its a Horcrux.

Hogwarts Math: How many wizards are there?

Seriously!  Its actually pretty open to debate and so here I demonstrate my absolute and total nerdiness by exploring some of the calculation options.  Geek out here to your hearts desire.

The Trademark Three Part Harry Potter Ending

We all know it.  We all love it.  First there’s the dramatic climax but the book never ends there.  We still need to stop by the Hospital Wing for a little healing up and some detailed re-hashing of the plot thus far.  And then there’s the train ride.  Everybody get your wands out and lets all jinx Draco Malfoy before going back to the Dursleys.  Cue the music.

Fan Fun

How to celebrate a Harry Potter opening: make English pub food for dinner, pumpkin pasties for desert and a delicious mixed drink called the “Strong Neville.”

Wanted: Dumbledore’s Army

Some really great fan art: wanted posters for the big six, perhaps as during the 7th book when every single one of them was on the run by the end.  Check it out!

Movie Reviews

From Best to Worst: the Mixed Bag Movies of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

It does the job: kicks off the series and isn’t nearly as crass as Home Alone II or as DREADFUL as Percy Jackson … so we can all be grateful that Chris Columbus did his working-well-with-young-actors magic and left the plot alone!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

This one turns Ron into a bully, Malfoy into an idiot and casts a 40 year old woman as Moaning Myrtle.  If you want a rant about how terrible this movie is, click the title above and you’ll get it.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Yay! They saved the franchise by finally making it not suck!  The sets are stunning, the cinematography is beautiful and the kids can finally act.  Plus Hermione kicks ass and saves the day … almost more than she does in the book.  (Full disclosure: this post is a love song to Alfonso Cuaron).

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

More a setup for the inevitable video game than a movie – this one is a plot packed place holder.  Here’s my punch list of what makes me crazy including what they change from the book, what they add, the stuff they just screw up, the gratuitous action sequences and the continuing presence of freaking Myrtle.  Blech.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

This one has its points.  I have friends who love it but I’m a little more “eh.”  If you want and anti-Cho rant … read this one.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

This is a great one – beautiful filming, even-more-beautiful musical score.  The romance is note-perfect and hilarious but the overall tone is nicely dark.  I can’t wait to see what comes next!


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