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My Harry Potter Journey

Right now I’m at a stage of life I’d like to call “Post-Potter Depression.”

Post-Potter Depression: finishing the Harry Potter series and feeling bamboozled as to how you will ever read another book again that will compare. Seeing people with red hair and automatically calling them a “Weasley” in your head. Flipping a light switch while thinking “lumos.” You can’t look at a broom the same way. When you have a really good day, you think someone might have slipped some Felix Felicis in your drink.

(For anyone reading this who hasn’t read Harry Potter, I will not give any spoilers unless I warn you in a big way first. So feel free to read on until you see my big warning.)

How it began:

I hopped on the Harry Potter train way later than most of the world. I fought every step of the way not to have the ending spoiled for me…or each book for that matter! Do you know how hard that is in this world with such a popular series? I plugged my ears and averted my eyes many times along the way.

I decided to read the books because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I felt really silly though every time I walked into the library and walked directly (with purpose) to the little kids section…it’s been humbling. I felt like I wanted to announce “I promise I can read big words!”

Movies vs. Books:

I didn’t know anything about the Harry Potter world! I just never took an interest in it when it was popular…I never even saw the movies! I’m a big believer in reading the books first. I like letting my imagination work and then watching the movie after to compare what I pictured to what they actually made. So I decided to read a book then watch the movie that went with the book. I did that with the first two books and then I got mad.

I got mad at my own mind! I pictured an entirely different world in my mind than what the movies looked like, but once I started watching the movies and then moved on to the next book, I found myself picturing scenes from the movie version, instead of the Kelly version. I hated that! So I decided I would stop watching the movies and not see any more of them until I was completely done. (I still have yet to finish the movies!)

I started reading the first book in October 2013 and just finished in March of 2014. I was going to try to read the series slowly and take breaks in between each book to read something else…but it pulls you in! Every time I tried to start reading another book I kept thinking, “I’d rather be reading about Harry…. I wonder whats going to happen to him?” I devoured each book like it was my job.

Themes:

Now that I’m able to freely search the internet to see what people have said about the books, some have said the theme is death, going against authority or getting through adolescents. But I got something totally different. To me, the books are about loyalty, the power of friends,  and doing the right thing even when everyone goes against you.

One thing I really loved is the relationship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Whenever something would happen to Harry, he would almost immediately confide in his two best friends. Their bond was so strong, they were willing to follow each other into the most harrowing circumstances and stand bravely because they believed in Harry.

Loyalty is also a big theme throughout the series. Characters are loyal to either Dumbledore and Harry or Voldemort. The loyalty was so strong, they were willing to die because they wouldn’t turn their back on the leader.

Characters in the book were also faced with moments where they could have taken the easy road or used a circumstance for personal gain, but instead, they chose to do what was right, even if it meant they were standing alone.

My Favorites:

I really enjoyed these books because it was fun to watch the characters develop. The stories were fun and it made you want to just sit for hours and read because you just had to know what happened next.

My favorite books in the series are The Half Blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows and Goblet of Fire. These three had the best story lines and were the ones  I couldn’t put down.

Favorite character: Dumbledore. I loved his relationship with Harry and the way he always knew how to fix everything, there were no secrets that could be kept from him and he always had an answer. He reminded me a lot of my dad, so I felt like I actually knew Dumbledore.

SPOILER ALERT….ALERT! ALERT! I was really surprised to find out about his weaknesses at the end of the series. He wasn’t as perfect as he seemed. Even though I hated this realization…I loved it because it shows that we’ve all got weaknesses and nobody is perfect.

Whatever I read next has big shoes to fill. What will I ever read again that I’ll be this excited about? Getting the next book in the Harry Potter series was an exciting part of my week and now it’s over!

If you have any suggestions for some good books or a good series…let me know!

Ok, for those who haven’t read these books…now is the time to stop reading. I’m about to say some things about the ending.

The End:

*Spoilers ahead!*

*Turn back pre-potter readers!*

*Don’t look!*

*Close your eyes!*

…are they gone?

The only thing I didn’t like about the ending: I wanted to know what everyone ended up doing for a living!

I’ve read interviews with Rowling where she says she thinks Harry became an Auror….but I really didn’t think he would.

In the last sentence of the “present day” part…Harry gets rid of all the hallows because he doesn’t want them to fall in the wrong hands and he doesn’t think anyone should have that much power. He says he’s had enough trouble for a lifetime. To me…that means he is done dealing with the dark arts and doesn’t want anything to do with fighting them anymore.

Rowling also came out recently and said she thinks Harry and Hermione should have ended up together. No way! She would have had to write the books totally different! From early on, she eluded to the fact that Ron and Hermione had a thing for each other. I think it would have been awful if she all of a sudden made Harry and Hermione end up together. When throughout the book, you are rooting for Ron to get the girl (at least I was) I’m also really glad Harry ended up with Ginny…he deserves happiness and to have the family he never had.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the series! Did you like the ending? What themes stood out to you?

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