After All This Time? (Part One)

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, is the eagerly awaited finale of the Potter franchise, gracing the shelves in many stores worldwide in 2007, and donned the silver screen in 2 parts, first in 2010, then again in 2011. The 7 part franchise comes to a climatic end within the pages of this book. Fuelled with romance, war and death, it is no wonder that the magical world continues to live on, years after its first publication.

As I have discussed previously, every instalment left the audience and reader wanting more, and this segment is no different. We begin with a blast from the past back at 4 Privot Drive, where Ron, Hermione and fellow members of the Order of the Phoenix have gathered to escort Harry to a safe house. This scene alone stands out, because of Radcliffe’s portrayal of all the characters within the scene but yet also because Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, Bill, Fleur, Arthur, Lupin, Tonks, Hagrid, and Mundungus Fletcher all are putting their lives on the line to protect Harry, led by Auror Moody. This is something we have seen many a time before within the pages and on screen, Harry’s friends going above and beyond but as Harry points out “becoming me” is literally giving their lives for him. By now the audience should know that trouble is never too far away, and a clash with the death eaters occurs. The loss of Hedwig within this moment is a devastating blow only minutes within the first movie. The white owl represents complete innocence and merely tried to protect her owner and yet was killed in an instant. Hedwig is the only link to Harry’s somewhat normal start to magical life, and was a gift from Hagrid the one person who led him into this world. This is also a reminder that anyone or anything can be killed during a war, whether you are involved or not and without harming the rest of the story, reminds the audience just how dangerous it is outside of Harry’s close circle, even with the protection of The Order.

During the Deathly Hallows we are reminded of the underlying theme that stems all the way back to the 2nd instalment, race and heritage. Voldermort and his followers infiltrate the Ministry of Magic and it is clear that they have one main goal other than finding Harry Potter and that is to rid the magical world of anybody muggle born. We see this literally through the interrogation of a muggle born witch, when Harry, Ron and Hermione sneak into the ministry to retrieve a Horcrux. The witch is accused of stealing her wand from another, implying somebody with her background could never be magical or superior like them who are. We also see a number of staff members working on slander and propaganda flyers highlighting that the complete discrimination against anybody without magical parents is very present and if Voldermort does take over fully, will be the new way of life.

The significance of Ron’s radio is extremely important. It is the trio’s only connection to the outside world, yet it also reminds us of the sacrifices they are making. Although Harry has no immediate family, everyone he has ever known is now at risk of being captured and tortured for information about his whereabouts. This includes all of Ron’s family. For the majority of the film, whenever we do see the radio Ron is the one with it. Intensely listening to see if any of his family’s names are called out in the list of victims and hostages taken by Death Eaters. This also reminds us that Hermione’s has taken it upon herself to remove any thought of her from her parent’s memories and sending them to Australia, in an attempt to keep them safe. She knows she couldn’t have run off and left Harry and Ron to try and save the day, so she has given up her only family to try and overcome Voldermort.

The moment Ron disappears is a huge twist within this book. Ron has never actively deserted the trio like he does within the Deathly Hallows. This is probably one of the lowest points so far, the trio are far from home, no where near finding the next Horcrux and with no plan how to bring down the dark lord. A big reminder that they are only 17 after all. The mood is being bought down heavily by the locket and now the trio are no more. Followed by an uplifting moment that was not in the book, Harry asks Hermione to dance. For the duration of just one song, they allow themselves to just be teenagers and smile and be carefree. For those who have not read the books, it does open the question “Do Harry and Hermione get together?” It is also represents the innocence of the teenagers, and what they are missing out on. Most teenagers do not have to complete a mission to save the world like Ron, Harry and Hermione.

Malfoy Manor is a dark, scary place. The Malfoy’s are incredibly different to how we first meet them in the first and second books. They are somewhat defeated and weak, after Lucious’ failed mission. The house is medieval like and cold much like its occupants. All death eaters and snatchers are in dark drastic clothes representing their actions, compared to the ordinary muggle like clothing that the trio are wearing. In this scene, we are rewarded with Ron being the hero rather than Harry. He is the first to jump to Hermione’s defence and burst into the room. He is also the first to leap to grab Hermione upon the chandelier falling. All that self doubt throughout the other 6 books is completely wiped away as Ron’s courage assists in saving Hermione and this represents the true Gryffindor within him.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part One is a journey where the audience joins The Golden Trio in their attempt to overcome the darkness that has hold of the magical world. It is a thrilling ride and shows the details within the first half of the 7th book. By the time we finish part one, the audience is really asking the question whether our favourite characters survive the war.

Liquid Luck!

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince is the penultimate segment of this enchanting series. First published in 2005, and selling 9 million copies in the first 24 hours alone, there is no surprise that it is just as thrilling as the 6 other books. The film adaptation released in 2009 with familiar faces provides us with a further 2 and 1/2 hours of visual Potter head madness!

The first scene I want to discuss in this film is Weasleys’ Wizards Wheezes. This scene is full of fun, colour and chaos. It also provides some comic relief in what is otherwise quite a dark start to the movie. The scene in fact does exactly what Ron says shortly after it, “Fred reckons people need a laugh these days” this line truly resembles the previous scene that appeared only seconds before, it then leads the audience back to darkness. The bright colours of the shop, purple and orange are extremely bubbly and out there, almost representing the twins and their personalities, this is a big contrast to the rest of the deserted damaged Diagon Alley. The rest of the Alley signifies the rest of the magical world at that moment, depressing, scary and lonely. We also ‘meet’ new characters Lavender Brown and Cormac McLaggen, as well as learning that Ginny Weasley is dating fellow Gryffindor student Dean Thomas.

Another great scene within this movie, is the first Gryffindor Quidditch match. This is Ron’s time to shine, for years he has been competing with not only his siblings but also his two successful best friends. Although he is unaware that Harry has tricked him into believing he has drank liquid luck, his pure talent and strength win the game. He is hailed a hero upon his return to the common room and is the centre of attention, he even gets ‘the girl’ something we are lead to believe he has wanted for a while and links us back to his first year dream in the Mirror of Erised. This scene represents all young adults who not only feel inadequate but who doubt themselves. You really can do anything you want to, as long as you try. This is another great lesson that the franchise teaches its audience.

The final scene I want to talk about is the death of Dumbledore. I personally feel that the death of Albus Dumbledore is a firm end to Harry’s childhood. Although not the first death of the second wizarding world, he is one of the more significant as he is often refereed to as ‘The Greatest Sorcerer in the world’ and therefore if he has been killed and couldn’t stop it happening then really what hope does the rest of the magical world now have? As well as asks the question, how will Harry cope now his idol has gone? When the loyal students and colleagues gather around his body, and shine their wands to the sky, this highlights their innocence within all of this. All of them wearing varied brighter colours as opposed to the death eaters who flee the school and were all in black. This clearly shows the split between the now two very separate sides.

At the very end of this book and movie, we are again reminded of the relationships that Harry has with Ron and Hermione. They are really all he has left alongside his girlfriend Ginny. His presumption that he would have to continue to fight on his own proves how courageous he really is as a character. Ron and Hermione have no objection in joining him in continuing what Dumbledore started and this shows the ultimate friendship. A friendship we all have grown to love and want to be a part of!

Dumbledore’s Army

Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix is the fifth thrilling installment in the Harry Potter franchise. The book that was first published in 2003 with the film adaptation following four years later gives us an insight to Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts. Where he has to deal with a twisted and evil new defense against the dark arts professor, his examinations and the return of the Dark Lord.

The Order of The Phoenix is the longest book within the 7 part series. Within the pages of this book, we start to see the rise of Voldemort and his followers as well as the complete disregard the ministry shows for Harry and his welfare. Lord Voldemort has now taken physical form, and is getting stronger by the day. Potter and his friends take it upon their selves to strengthen their knowledge and skills in order to try and be better armed to beat the Death Eaters and their leader.

One of my favourite scenes from this film adaptation is when Ron defends Harry in the common room upon returning to Hogwarts. Harry has been kept in the dark by a lot of what has been said in the magical world over the summer, and when confronted by his class mates Ron jumps to his defense. This is a classic Ron trait and something we read about many times in the books and it is great to see a whole moment on screen dedicated to showing the length Harry’s best friend will go to. In this scene we also see a lot of the other Gryffindor students in the common room, all with their own unique style and take on their uniform. At this precise time in the film, the common room could be at any school anywhere, pop music is blaring, there is stuff scattered everywhere and an awful lot of noise from all of the students, another reminder that witches and wizards can be just like muggles.

Another scene I like within this movie is when we meet Professor Umbridge in her classroom. Our first impression is of a stout woman dressed head to toe in pink, this usually connotes sweet and girly however what sits below the frilly clothing is a patronizing, evil woman. Umbridge is power mad, and takes it upon herself to force her views upon her students. Within this scene we are also reminded of our golden trio’s traits, Hermione instantly opens the book that is handed out and observes that there is no spell work within the pages of it, highlighting her studious characteristic and eagerness to learn. Ron is curious by questioning the teacher in the most obvious way “We’re not gonna use magic?” he takes Hermione’s word for it and doesn’t check the book himself. This represents a lot of how he has got through school by copying or making her help him with his homework and assignments. Harry becomes the natural leader and speaks up on behalf of the class and answers back to Umbridge. This shows his courage and passion for proving not only his innocence in it all, but showing the teacher that he isn’t scared of her or what she thinks. He also demands that they are taught defensive spells because he fears they will come to harm soon, and how right he is. All in all, the three characters have not changed much since the beginning of the series, they still have their own unique traits and it is in key scenes like this that we are subtly reminded as to why they are our heroes.

Another great scene in this movie is in the room of requirement when Dumbledore’s Army meet. The female students are really doing it for the girls. In the montage that appears with Harry teaching his fellow classmates, we see Hermione stun Ron in a duel, Cho perfect the levitation charm and Ginny blowing up the practice enemy when everyone else simply disarms it. Dumbledore’s Army is filled with students of both genders,all ages, all races and from a mixture of houses. However the representation of the girls in their skirts, with their hair and make up all done, as well as dressed more neatly than the boys means nothing. They are as skilled, if not more in Hermione’s case than the boys. This signifies that in the magical world it is not all about strength, but pure talent and knowledge. We see Neville learn and improve and by Christmas time, he is able to perfect the spells Harry has been teaching.

The death of Sirius Black signifies Harry’s complete lost opportunity to have a family. Black was the closest thing Harry had to having parents, and although he didn’t spend a lot of time with him you can tell from pages in the book, and the chemistry between the two on screen that the relationship was strong. The reason Harry ends up at the ministry in the first place is because Voldemort wants to lure him there and uses Sirius to do so. It is also represents the moment that Harry learns about his connection to the Dark Lord. This is also the first moment we see Dumbledore’s Army in combat, they are soon joined by the more experienced Order however they manage to hold their own for a while thanks to Harry’s earlier tuition. Although Harry has fought Voldemort many times now, this is the first time that his classmates have been fighting for their lives. The Death Eaters will stop at nothing to get what they need for the dark lord and that includes holding Potter’s friends hostage. The battle in the department of mysteries marks the first real battle of the second war.

Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoneix provides the audience with an insight into why Voldemort is after Harry. A segment that teaches us to stand up for what we believe in, as well as showing us that it is ok to do what is right, even if it will cause trouble. With a tragic ending, it only made me want to move onto part 6 immediately!

“Everything is going to change now isn’t it?”

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire is the fourth installment within the 7 book/8 movie franchise that is Harry Potter. With a maturing returning cast, this segment is darker than any of its former books.

Goblet of Fire begins significantly creepier than the three books and films prior. The book is also considerably longer than the first three, packed full of information and detail, a lot of which was left out of the film adaptation. The Screen Writer Steve Kloves has commented previously that there were talks of adapting the book into a two part movie, however they “couldn’t figure out a way to break it in two” resulting in a slightly different story but maintaining the main plot.

Within the first scenes of the film we are given a glimpse into the danger that the Dark Lord and his followers create. Previously the three films have shown Voldemort to be more of a danger solely to Harry, we have not seen this mass terror that the Death Eaters create anywhere before now.

We are offered a number of rich scenes during this particular movie. The characters are maturing and becoming fully fledged teenagers, hormones are running riot especially during a turbulent festive season when the students are invited to attend the Yule Ball with dates. When searching for dates Harry comments to Ron: “Why do they always travel in packs?” a classic boy comment but something I am sure most men wonder. Girls do tend to stick together and have close friendships with each other. Certainly when I was at school girls would have their group of best friends that they would hang out and be exceptionally close with; Hogwarts is no exception, neither is Beauxbatons. This is a true reflection of the muggle world entering the magical world. These scenes make the characters even more relatable to the audience, as we have all been in that awkward situation at school at that age, especially in the muggle world with prom and school dances. At the Ball itself, we see Ron slowly admitting some feelings towards Hermione, when speaking to Harry he implies that she wouldn’t have been able to find a date when in fact she attends with the most popular boy Victor Krum completely proving Ron’s assumption to be wrong. Immediately, I notice Ron is a lot ruder than Harry is towards the pair. Ron purely insults Krum, whereas Harry just observes the situation and frankly is not that bothered. This is one of the first moments, we the audience are shown that Harry only cares for Hermione as a sibling, Ron’s feelings go a lot deeper than that. This is a classic love triangle situation, and does provide some romance and light hearted humour to an otherwise quite dark story. We soon learn that actually Hermione isn’t all that interested in Krum and mainly just watches her study. Something I am sure Ron, probably isn’t too jealous about!?

The lake scene really portrays Harry’s moral compass. He refuses to leave the four hostages under the lake, even though realistically no harm will come to them. He chooses to sacrifice his win, in order to help the hostages. This really shows how much he cares and how badly he wants to be a good person. The other competitors don’t think twice of grabbing what is theres and going away again. They don’t stop and assist Harry other than Diggory who merely points out that time is running out to Potter. This could also denote that Harry doesn’t have much time overall until something bad is going to happen to him as we find out later in the movie. Realistically, Harry could have grabbed Ron and returned to the finish point, even when threatened he still chooses to act the hero, grabbing the last remaining hostage when he realises nobody else is coming for her. Harry then goes on to sacrifice himself to save Ron and Gabrielle, he pushes them to the surface whilst he is dragged to the bottom of the lake by the mur-people. This is a true reflection of a moment within the last book/film when Harry sacrifices himself to save everyone from more hard and accepts he is ready to die when he meets Voldemort. Ironically, Voldemort is rebirthed at the end of the fourth book and film and tries to kill Harry, yet again!

The graveyard scene, in my opinion is one of the darkest scenes of the franchise so far. Apart from seeing glimpses of it in Harry’s dream, we the audience are now present in a spooky graveyard where the sky is as dark as the events occurring below it. The cloaked figures who turn out to be Death Eaters look similar to dementors, creatures that we have already met and have been shown how bad they can be. We have also witnessed the Death Eaters terrorising the Quidditch World Cup camp harming muggles in the process. They represent darkness and fully obey their leader Voldemort by returning to his call immediately. The Dark Lord himself, is almost as ugly as his actions, he dons black cloak like robes, however not ones we are familiar with in the magical world, they are also extremely un-muggle like. His clothing signifies just how un-human he really is. He tortures Harry before dueling and attacking him, he shows no mercy for the 14 year old boy. We are reminded in this scene, just how suddenly death can occur. Voldemort orders Wormtail to kill Diggory upon seeing him, having no use for a ‘spare’. This takes us back to the very beginning of the story, where innocent people were killed to fuel the Dark Lord’s power.

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire signifies the start of the second Wizarding War, and symbolises how bad things are going to get. Cedric’s death marks symbolises the many innocent lives lost, during the second war with the Dark Lord. This segment ensures you will return for the 5th installment of this thrilling franchise.

“Mischief Managed”

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban is the third segment within the Harry Potter franchise, it was first published in 1999, with the movie adaption following 5 years later. Both the book and film open up a completely new storyline and angle of the magical world to us, with the addition of new characters this is an extremely informative installment you don’t want to miss.

Prisoner of Azkaban teaches us a lot about what actually happened to Harry’s parents during the First Wizarding War. It also opens our eyes to two new very much adored characters, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Upon re-reading this book and re-watching the movie I always learn something new which is why it is one of my favourite books out of the entire franchise.

One of my favourite scenes, within this installment is the first defense against the dark arts class with Professor Lupin. Up until this point, defense against the dark arts professors have been nothing short of interesting. This particular scene shows the reader/viewer some of the characters biggest fears and also does give us an insight to Lupin as a person. In the book, there is a lot more detail to this scene however I feel the movie adaption captures it beautifully. We are well aware from the second book about Ron’s fears of Spiders, and Neville’s fear of Professor Snape is probably quite obvious. However in this scene, we see a Boggart (something that turns into a person’s biggest fear) turn into the moon for Professor Lupin, our first hint that not all is as it seems with him.

The role of Remus Lupin within this segment is very important. He is a close friend of James and Lily Potter and watches out a lot for Harry and his friends, an enlightenment to later on in the series. He even offers Harry private lessons to combat dementor attacks. At that time he is the closest thing Harry has to a proper connection to his parents, seeing as the Dursley’s are not pleasant to him at all. We find out that Sirius Black is in fact Harry’s godfather and is presumed to have told Voldermort where to find the Potters so ultimately being the reason they were killed.

Another scene I am fond of, is Fred and George Weasley passing on the Marauders Map. This is an iconic scene and section in the book for many reasons, ultimately they are helping out a friend. However as the biggest pranksters of their generation they come across as the new ‘Marauders’. James and Sirius were best friends and infamous for pulling pranks and joking around, it is now ironic that Fred and George pass the ‘Marauders Map’ created by James and his friends onto James’ son. The map later on proves extremely useful to Harry over the years. In this particular book it allows the truth of how You Know Who found the Potter family, and the truth about Peter Pettigrew’s supposed death to come out, therefore proving Black to be innocent. As always, things are not what they seem in the magical world. Therefore I like to view this scene as the Weasley twins passing on the baton to Harry knowing he will put it to good use.

Of course I can’t write about Prisoner of Azkaban without mentioning the shrieking shack and what we learn within it. Ron’s rat Scabbers turns out to be an animagous who is Peter Pettigrew. The truth comes out about how he faked his own death and betrayed the Potters, proving Sirius Black to have been falsely accused. However Pettigrew manages to escape, meaning Black’s innocence is still in question. Within the pages of the book, we learn more background information that Snape, Lupin, Black, Pettigrew and James Potter all were at school together. However the latter were not best friends with Severus Snape this is why he presumes Lupin was assisting Black and lets slip about Lupin’s condition meaning the defense against the dark arts teacher has to resign. A devastating blow to Harry, as he has just had to say goodbye to Sirius who is now on the run again. This scene represents Harry’s life in a way, being given relatives for a short period of time and then losing them again. Think how much Harry’s life would change, if he was able to live with his godfather in the magical world rather than back at the Dursley’s.

Overall, the third installment probably opens more questions than it answers, but it is an important tale to the final narrative. Within this segment of the 7 part franchise, nothing is what it seems and the magical world is more complicated and surreal than most probably imagined. I adore the third book, and always look forward to watching the movie as for me, it seems like it is the start of things to come. It may be the only part without Voldermort present, but we learn that he relies heavily on his followers such as Pettigrew to make what he does possible.

“Let Us Hope That Mr Potter Will Always Be Around To Save The Day”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the adored second installment of the Potter franchise. The second book published in July 1998, provided a further look into Harry’s school life at Hogwarts. The film, released in November 2002, with the same returning cast, became the second highest earning film of that year. Initial production for this film started a mere few days after the release of the first film Philosopher’s Stone. The second film went on to break records set by its predecessor only a year before.

As we quickly learned in the first book, nothing is as it seems in the magical world and chaos quickly descends on the young wizard’s life. We begin again, back at the Dursley’s house, where Harry is receiving slightly better treatment from them, he is now in Dudley’s second bedroom as opposed to the cupboard under the stairs but other than that life seems to be very hard for him. This is until a house elf shows up in his bedroom and makes things even worse. Although the second book continues a similar path as the first with the trio searching for something hidden within the school, we also see a number of extra themes within the pages. Rowling allows the reader to have a deeper insight into the heritage, background and families of some of the characters. There are also a number of elements within the pages of this book, that may not be important now, but further along in the series, get picked up again. I feel this is why JK Rowling has been so successful with her writing. Not only is it a fantastic story, and an incredible idea, but she clearly knew from the beginning how and where she wanted it to go.

I have re-watched Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, and below I have chosen a few scenes which I feel are the most important to the story. As mentioned before, if I had my way, each of the Potter movies would be 6 hours long with every single detail from the books included but I am an equal fan of both page and screen.

The first scene I would like to discuss is the Weasley’s rescuing Harry Potter. Let’s face it Ron, Fred and George risk a lot in order to save Harry from the Dursley’s. Not only do they sneak out of their home, they then fly an illegally enchanted car across the country, and then essentially breaking and entering into 4 Privot Drive to get Harry. Upon their return Mrs Weasley scolds her three sons “You could have died, You could have been seen” however she is extremely relieved to see Harry as it is also mentioned in the book her and her husband were getting concerned for him. This scene highlights for me the moment the Weasley’s all decide to do anything for Harry as well as treat him as one of their own. After this installment, Harry becomes a regular face in The Burrow and never far from The Weasley family. This scene also reiterates the notion that the ginger clan are not a well off family, yet they offer Harry anything that they would offer one of their own. The Burrow is a mismatched house, with no added luxuries. This is mentioned by Ron upon showing Harry into his house “It’s not much” and Harry responds “It is brilliant” we are subtly reminded in this moment that although Ron doesn’t have the piles of gold that Harry has, he has a loving family in a cosy environment, whereas Harry is a loathed outsider when staying with the Dursley’s and constantly reminded of that fact. I certainly know where I would rather be!

Another important moment within the Chamber of Secrets is the story of Salazar Slytherin and his beliefs. This is told to the audience in the film by Professor McGonagall and in the book by another Professor. It allows the audience to hear about the ideologies that some wizards believe in, for example The Malfoy family. This is shown in a number of ways, first of all Lucious Malfoy in Diagon Alley lecturing Arthur Weasley because he was “associating with muggles” and then later on when Draco calls Hermione a ‘MudBlood’. This is a racial slur in which Hagrid informs us in the film means dirty blood. Slytherin believed that Hogwarts should be more selective of their students, as he did not trust muggle borns to keep the secret of the wizarding world. Yet within the moments after the ‘Mudblood’ scene we are reminded that Granger is fast becoming the brightest witch of her age despite her blood line “An’ they haven’t invented a spell our Hermione can’t do” says Hagrid. In the book we are also reminded by Ron, that Neville although a pure blood “can hardly stand a cauldron the right way up” so really does a Witch or Wizard’s blood line have anything to do with what sort of person they become?

The return of Voldermort from Tom Riddle’s diary is an extremely important scene within this book and the entire series as it is the first opportunity to see Voldermort as a real person, who had been preserved in a diary. Although he chooses to act through somebody else, (Ginny Weasley) he makes his intentions quite clear with the messages he had made Ginny write on the walls “Enemies of the heir beware”. This retells to the audience and reader, the ideology that not only Salazar Slytherin had, but gives us an insight to what Lord Voldermort wants to achieve. In the Chamber, he then goes onto reveal his disgust of Harry surviving the killing curse on the night he killed his parents. The Dark Lord now makes it his sole aim to kill Harry so that he can continue his quest, however Potter manages to survive, and then destroys said diary which therefore destroys the memory of Riddle. This gives us the first opportunity to know that before Tom Riddle became Lord Voldemort he took an extreme measure in his teenage years to make sure he could return to the school and continue his quest of ‘cleansing’ the attendance of certain students.

Overall the second installment, is as thrilling as the first and provides us with a lot of information to take forward when the further books were published. The 2002 film is full of iconic lines and scenes and the book provides excellent detail of important elements to the main story. It also makes me really want to be-friend a house elf like Dobby!

“You’re A Wizard Harry”

The first book of the phenomenal franchise hit the shelves in 1997. However the successful first movie adaption didn’t hit theaters until November 2001, where it became the highest grossing film of the year.

JK Rowling has mentioned in a number of interviews over the years that she was nervous about even talking to film people, let alone allowing them to make her book into a movie. Obviously there are glaring differences between the book and the films however I am an equal fan of both. I understand that parts have to be cut, scenes have to be adapted and sub plots left out, because otherwise we will all be sat round watching a 6 hour movie, something true Potter Heads would love but I am sure would not appeal to the masses.

Of course I can’t discuss the first movie without mentioning the very first scene where we see the beloved Golden Trio together for the first time. Harry, Ron and Hermione (Played by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson respectively) grace our screens together for the first time aboard the Hogwarts Express. We see Hermione, taking charge demanding the boys change into their robes, Ron attempt to impress Hermione for the first time, and Harry observing quietly and almost shyly introducing himself. I feel this is a true representation of their characters and these are attributes they carry through the entire series. In this scene, we also see a more in depth portrayal of the three of them, Hermione Granger is already in her school robes, looking extremely neat and tidy, Ron Weasley is in rugged clothes, has an un-tucked shirt and has dirt on his nose (that Hermione gladly points out to him.) Harry Potter has his infamous scar on show, messy “James” like hair, and Dudley’s hand me down muggle clothes on. This not only shows the audience a glimpse of the main three personalities and later their attitudes towards school, but it also shows the audience a little into their backgrounds. For example, The Weasley’s are infamous for not being very well off, with their many offspring sharing school supplies and robes. This also reiterates Harry’s tragic situation of being an orphan, and living with muggles who despise him. We aren’t offered a lot of information about Hermione’s family, but later in the series learn that they are dentists. This can be a fairly well paid middle class job within the muggle world and with her being an only child, there is the expectation that she probably is no where near as poor as Ron. I love this scene because, if you are watching for the first time, it doesn’t hold much significance compared to others within the film, yet after watching and reading the entire franchise, the nostalgic feeling of re-watching 11 year old Harry, Ron and Hermione never gets old.

I also do have a soft spot for the Troll in the Bathroom scene. This highlights one of Harry’s first heroic moments of the series. Harry is the first hero in this scene, he notices that Hermione is not aware of the invading troll and convinces Ron to help find her. Upon entering the bathroom, he immediately tries to help Hermione, then charges at the troll himself. Ron on the other hand takes some coaxing to get involved, whether this be through lack of knowledge or whether he is just in shock with what is going on, he doesn’t lack the Gryffindor courage when he is the only one left able to help. “What are Friends For” As Ron says to Hermione when they head back to the Gryffindor common room, granted he did insult her earlier that day leading to her being in said bathroom at that time, but him and Harry did just save her from a troll. This is one of the few moments within the franchise, that we see Granger portray a ‘damsel in distress.’ Yet, within this situation, she still manages to be the brains of the trio by guiding Ron before he attempts his charm “Wingardium Leviosa”. This is something only hours before he was not impressed by and she then goes on to cover for the boys by lying to the teachers and not letting Harry or Ron get into trouble. I really like this scene, because it signifies to me that these three will now do anything for each other and really are great friends. It also is one of many moments throughout the franchise, where they end up in a ridiculous situation, and barely staying out of trouble.

Another favourite scene of mine, is Christmas morning at Hogwarts, this is where Harry receives proper Christmas presents for the first time. It is no shock that we learn within the pages of the first book and the first scenes in the film, that the Dursley’s do not treat Harry as their own. In the book he receives a 50 pence piece from them for Christmas and in the film there is no mention of the Dursley’s sending him letters or parcels, let alone christmas gifts. However on this occasion, Harry gains an invisibility cloak, and a “Weasley” jumper knitted by Molly. Although Ron doesn’t seem keen on his new attire, Harry quite clearly loves it as it doesn’t just represent a gift, but it is a sign that somebody truly cares for him and regard him a part of their family. This is a classic Weasley trait as they don’t have much to begin with, yet they still reach out to Harry in this kind way and all continue to do so throughout the rest of the series. Another reason I love the Christmas scenes is because of how extra magical it all appears. Of course, all of us Potter heads would love to go to Hogwarts no matter the time of year but seeing it at Christmas gives it even more sparkle for me and really makes it one of the most magical times of the year.

My final favourite moment within the first film, is the chess scene. This is such an important scene for me because it really is the start of my admiration for the golden trio. They each play their part so well, and after seeing Hermione use her knowledge to save them from Devil’s Snare, and Harry using his broomstick skills to grab the key, this really is Ron’s time to shine. He then goes on to willingly sacrifice himself in order for them to win the game. A courageous act which is a typical Gryffindor trait. This was always an important chapter and scene for me, because it really made me realise that together they can do anything, they all need each other’s talents and strengths in order to fight the unknown. Something they do over and over again until the final battle.

Overall, I love watching the first film and reading the first book over and over again, it re-opens the door to the magical world, and welcomes us Potter Heads home to Hogwarts time and time again. Please let me know your favourite moments from the first book or film in the comments below!

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends” – Albus Dumbledore

All the Ron Doings.

Ron, the youngest Weasley son and best friend of Harry Potter provides the reader with some much needed comic relief, especially during the later books and films. Ron is a clumsy, loveable boy next door, a character adored throughout the Potter fandom. You only have to do a quick search on social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter to find the many pages dedicated to Ronald Bilious Weasley.

The best friend of the chosen one is a hard role to fulfil, and whilst perhaps in the first three books, Ron loves being Potter’s sidekick and getting involved in all the adventures that brings, it is glaringly obvious come the fourth book that there are some underlying issues going on.

Ron is the brother that Dudley should have been for Harry. He also leads Potter into the magical world, helping him adapt and teaching him what it is like to be a magical child. Though these moments are few and far between with Voldermort returning and then later hunting down Potter and his friends, you never forget that Ron and the rest of his family welcomed Harry with open arms as one of their own.

The Youngest Weasley son makes a lot of poor decisions throughout the series. The first being the ridiculing of Hermione. “She’s a nightmare, No wonder she doesn’t have any friends” is this classic 11 year old playground behaviour, or is this the first sign that Ron has a crush and doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings? We’ll never know. As the series grows, and so do the characters, the decisions that Ron makes get bigger too especially when turning his back on his so called best friend. Harry is chosen to compete in the Tri-Wizard Cup and although Ron initially comes across as jealous of Harry’s success, he soon tries to make things better in his most clumsiest boisterous ways. This is shown both in the book, and the film and for me is a real ‘Ron moment’. He doesn’t have a way with his words, sometimes he does think before he speaks and most of all he really does lack self confidence, and just wants to be liked for being him. Not the younger Weasley brother, and not just “Harry Potter’s Best Friend.”

In my opinion the biggest character growth in Ron, was during Deathly Hallows, he struggles to hide his affection for Hermione, and really wears his heart on his sleeve during this time. Whereas Harry is the strong sometimes independent one with a mission to complete. Hermione is crucial in assisting with the mission and adding her logic and expertise. It is easily forgotten that Ron is the one who has had to flee his family home. Doing this he is leaving the Weasley’s behind to most likely be interrogated and tortured just for being friends with Harry and Hermione. Throw in, being injured, wearing a Horcrux for 12 hours a day, and being cold and hungry, it is no surprise that he feels the need to walk away. The best bit of his character is that he comes back, he realises his mistake and he returns, because he needs them as much as they need him.

I believe that we all have a bit of Ron within us. He makes mistakes, he sometimes over reacts, but he realises this and tries to fix things in the most Ron Like way. He has a heart of gold, and is loyal until the end. In the words of Ron, BLOODY HELL, what a character.

I’m Hermione Granger, and you are?

One of my favourite characters out of the entire 7 books is Hermione Jean Granger. I believe she is the perfect role model for girls everywhere. Her dedication, loyalty and intelligence provides a welcome change to a lot of what we are and have been exposed to over the years.

During the course of the 7 books, Hermione moves from a nerdy know it all classmate to an essential and adored friend of Harry’s whilst still keeping her core characteristics and beliefs. Even when the trio essentially go on the run, she insists on carrying her books round with her, in order to study and deepen their knowledge of anything that may help them along the way. Granger’s strength and courage is the perfect representation of a true Gryffindor.

In an interview in 2011, JK Rowling admitted she was very much “A Hermione” in her younger years, and the character is loosely based on her own experiences. She also mentions she wanted the character to be somewhat of an ugly duckling. Of course this interpretation changed, once the beautiful Emma Watson was cast as Hermione.

Watson portrays Hermione in such a way, that allows the viewer to always be reminded that she is very much a pretty girly girl, but is also not afraid to get her hands dirty. We are subtly shown this in many ways in both the book & on screen but the most obvious being that her two best friends are boys. We rarely see or read about Hermione “hanging out” with other girls. (Moaning Myrtle not included) and perhaps this is why female readers are delighted that Granger becomes one of the main heroes. Hermione can clearly do everything the boys can, if not more, which makes her the perfect role model, for girls, and women alike.

We are of course constantly reminded of Hermione’s background, and how she is not “Pure Blood” and that she is “Muggle Born” some characters even tarnishing her with the despised label of “Mudblood” which means dirty blood. However, Granger quickly earns the respect of most of her peers by being called “The brightest witch of her age” which symbolises, that no matter your background, no matter your heritage, you really can be anything you want to be. This also is a mirror, of Lily Evans, Harry’s late mother who was “Muggle Born” too and an incredibly bright witch. This makes it crystal clear as to why Harry is drawn to his best friend, and will always defend her status.

The above is just a few reasons, as to why I love the character of Hermione so much. There are layers and layers of emotions, and typical issues that most girls face, but sometimes never conquer. Hermione Granger shows us that it is ok to be different.

Perfectly normal, thank you very much…

After recently watching all 8 Harry Potter Movies in 48 hours, and reading all 7 books in 7 days I tweeted my thanks to JK Rowling, for not only creating but sharing this magical world with us all. “There won’t be a child in our world, who doesn’t know his name” and for the most part, this is in fact true, as confirmed to me with the floods of comments, retweets and likes that my message gained in less than 24 hours alone.

The so called “Harry Potter Generation” is still going strong 22 years on from the publication of the first book, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. A tale of a young boy who learns that he is a wizard. We follow Harry’s adventures as he navigates his first year in the magical world and attends the prestigious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but all is not as it seems when Potter learns about the true circumstances surrounding his parent’s death. It is easy to see why this story would be a thrilling read, let alone keep the world hanging on to every word throughout 6 further books.

For somebody, who doesn’t follow any other fantasy, magical series or franchise, why has the Harry Potter bug captured my head and my heart?

Firstly, the unknown. Sitting down to read the first book, for me, was many many years ago. I was probably classed as a late starter because I would have only been aged 4 when the first book was published yet it is the first book I ever remember appearing on my bookshelf. I have always had an overactive imagination and been interested in literature, so the fact I was reading about a potential secret world thrilled me and still does to this day.

The characters. Everybody loves a hero. Of course we do, Harry being our ultimate hero by saving the world year after year, however what is a hero without his trusty sidekicks and advisors? Hermione Granger proved to all girls whether they be muggle, magical or anything in-between, that books and cleverness are as important as friendship and loyalty. Ron Weasley is the easy to love, kind, funny and boisterous best friend, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a soft spot for the youngest Weasley son. Combined with the rich supporting characters we find and soon learn to love or hate, who make up Harry’s friends, teachers and enemies, it is extremely hard to pick just one favourite which for me, makes the story even better. Each time you return, you pick up new traits, and interpret things differently allowing the characters to grow and change.

The Power, this tale provides you with a whirlwind of emotions. Unlike some plots, Rowling mirrors the troubles we have in every day muggle life, with difference of opinions, race issues and power surges, but reflects them in such a way that keeps us interested with magical alternatives until the very last moments. A swish of a wand, and one of your favourite characters could be gone, forever. A pain we all live through in a number of the books and in real life but minus the wand for the majority. 

I hold my hands up and proudly claim that I am huge “Potterhead” and adore not only the 7 books but the 8 movies created alongside Rowling’s supervision. Whether you opt to fall into the magical world through word, or screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

“I Solemnly Swear, That I Am Up To No Good”

Fred and George Weasley