My Thoughts on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series

Friday, July 1, 2016



   Hello, lovely people! Today I thought I would address a topic that I have been keeping to myself since the beginning of this year. I have been keeping it quiet mostly because...well, I'm an opinionated person. Very opinionated, actually. And I've discovered that sometimes in life it is better for everybody if one lets their private ideas remain what they are--private. *cheeky grin


   However, seeing as my blog is basically nothing but me sharing my thoughts/opinions with you guys, and I've had plenty of time to mull it over, I think it's finally time to ramble on this topic with you, because apparently someone out there likes what I ramble about? I mean, page-views & comments don't fib, right? (Seriously, you guys amaze me when you continue to come back.) 

   So today I'm going to tackle a sticky topic, which you've almost definitely heard of in one way or another (unless you live under a rock. Or in a lovely Hobbit hole. In which case, please invite me, sometime? I'd love to join you!).  And this infamous topic is simply known as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series... (Disclaimer: I am referring to the books in this post. I have yet to see the HP films, so don't let me confuse you on that point. I can't judge the films, but I've heard that they stick pretty closely to the books.)





   But first, some backstory.....

   Growing up, my parents decided against allowing Harry into our house. I have great respect for my parents & looking back, I believe they made the right decision. Harry Potter is a dark series, and it only gets darker as the story progresses. It involves death, suffering, emotional abuse, magic/sorcery, werewolves, ghosts, and numerous other dark things... And my parents believed that my young mind shouldn't be exposed to that. They wanted to protect me from things that might harm me---mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And understandably so!

   And I 100% agree with them. 

   But... The same thing happened with the Lord of the Rings series/films. If you look, there are actually many similarities between the two tales. Darkness, magic/sorcery, death, horrific creatures, & just all-around evil running rampant... My parents shielded me from those images as well. And, again, I agree with their choice! But when I was 14-15, my parents finally decided that I was finally ready to experience the amazingness of LOTR. 

   It changed my life.

   And I'm not trying to exaggerate here. The Lord of the Rings opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. The spiritual symbols, the themes of loyalty and friendship, the wonder of the adventure, the splendid characters... It was a defining moment for me. I had not only stepped into a new realm of symbolism & creative genius, I had crossed over into the very beginnings of young adulthood. 





   By the time I turned 18, had my driver's license, was in the process of getting a job, and was finishing my final year of school, my parents had entrusted to me the ability to make my own decisions. And that included the films I watched & the books I consumed. That's just a lovely part of growing up! (There are lots of nasty things about growing up that I could mention, but I won't.)

   Up until this point, I had heard both sides on the whole Harry Potter debate... I didn't stand anywhere because I didn't know enough to formulate how I believed on the issue. But it seemed like everyone was on one side or the other.


"Christians shouldn't watch/read it because of _______."

OR 
"There's absolutely nothing wrong with Christians watching/reading it; it's perfectly acceptable."


   Now before you get offended, let me state that I stand with neither side of this argument. To be honest, I think debates like this are silly & that our energy would be better served elsewhere. Plus, I believe that trying to project personal convictions on someone else is wrong. Thus, I don't publicly "take sides" on situations like this. (I also hate conflict, but that's another story.) However, I do have opinions. But having an opinion & making your opinion a rule for others to follow is entirely different. So I'm not going to encourage/dissuade you into reading/not reading the books in this post. And I'm not trying to convince anyone of how they "should" feel about them. All I am going to do is state how I feel about the books & why. Because that's what I do. *wink*

   I know what you're thinking... "Come ooonnnnn, Hannah! Get to the point. That's the whole reason I clicked on this totally controversial post. Did you like them or not??"



Just kidding...


   I liked them. And here's why...



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   1.) Writing-Voice

   Rowling's writing-voice was pleasant, quirky, & extremely enjoyable to me. She managed to create vivid pictures in my mind with her lovely descriptions. In some ways, it reminded me a little of Charles Dickens and Roald Dahl in the sense that she embraces the ridiculous & the absurd, yet manages a dry sense of humor at the same time. It's a splendid combination, really! 




   2.) World-Building



   The Potterverse amazes me every time I think about it. Rowling created an entire culture, complete with an official government-system, fantasical creatures, amazing delicacies, and a universal sport. I want to visit Hogwarts & Diagon Alley & the Ministry of Magic. And I desperately want to try Butterbeer & Pumpkin Pasties. And can I please meet Dobby? Please?




   3.) Loveable Characters



   From courageous protagonist Harry, to spunky side-kick Ron; intelligent Hermione, to gentle Neville; wise Dumbledore, to motherly Molly; curious Arthur, to hilarious Fred & George; kind Remus, to intense Sirius; quirky Luna, to soft-hearted Hagrid... There was wide cast of characters through these 7 books, and I loved all most of them. The thing I liked most about Rowling's cast is that she creates a balance. Almost all of her characters have good & bad qualities. This makes them not only more realistic, but also more relate-able. 

   (In case anyone's wondering, Ron is my favorite!! Remus Lupin comes at a close second.)





   4.) Humor 



   One of my pet-peeves is when stories have no humor/comic relief. Especially if the tale is a rather dark one. I have to be able to giggle and smile once and a while. This story certainly had that. Actually, there were parts that I had to reevaluate over and over because I was laughing so hard at them the first time. The sarcasm & the sass ALONE was enough to make me fall in love; everything else only made it better. (Plus, Harry is such a sassmaster!! Heavens above...)




   5.) Makes Me Think



   This story dealt with many relate-able issues throughout the course of the seven books, and I appreciated the fact that they were included. While I haven't experienced all of these problems, they are issues that I know exist & it brought a sense of realism to the books that wouldn't have otherwise been there.

   • Harry struggles with being an orphan without a loving family. 
   • Cliques develop in Harry's school.
   • Friendships come & go.
   • Teenage insecurities are addressed.
    Diversity is often ostracized.
   • Poverty is a present issue.
   • The wizarding world is divided into social classes based on their blood-status/heritage.
   • Politicians crave/grasp for more power.
   • People are lost in the rage of war.

   This is only to name a few. These are issues that make me think about the real world & how I would/will deal with those problems in the future. If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I adore books that make me think about things & ask hard questions. 

   Thinking formulates ideas. Ideas nurture opinions. And opinions aid in making unique individuals.




   6.) Positive Messages/Themes



   The entirety of the series revolves around a clear cut good-versus-evil conflict. But within that umbrella theme, there are many smaller messages that stood out at me.

   • Loyalty
   • Friendship
   • Courage
   • Family
   • Sacrificial love
   • Standing up for what's right
   • Embracing uniqueness
   • Your age/race/status doesn't matter

   These books wrecked my feels (in the best way) & built them back up & crushed them repeatedly. AND THE ENDING... Oh my word. Wonderful undertones. I thought it was splendid. BUT THE ENDING.




   7.) It Challenged Me



   When I was finished with this series, I felt energized in a similar way that I did when I finished watching LOTR for the first time. I felt like I had just consumed a piece of creative genius. Not because J.K. Rowling is well-known or because the books are popular, but because it challenged me to try something new & encouraged me to embrace my quirky writing style. Now I am a little more free to write my stories with a quirky flair that I didn't feel as comfortable with before. And it feels good. 




••••••



So tell me, lovelies... Have you read Harry Potter? Who is your favorite character? Did you see any symbolism/undertones in the stories like I did? (No spoilers, though! Lol!) Leave a comment & we'll talk.




Currently Reading: Siren's Song by Mary Weber
Just Finished: Siren's Fury by Mary Weber
Listening to: (Starting soon) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer via Audible.com











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