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06 February 2011 @ 08:33 am
discussion the first  
Hiya kids! Posting this a little earlier than planned cos I ran into some technical difficulties. Hope you don't mind. This here is our first discussion post for our little re-read, and in some cases a first read, of Harry Potter and his Crazy Life. I'm not sure how far along everyone's gotten this first week, but I'm a little more than halfway through and wow, I've come to appreciate the messages Rowling was able to put out there. I read these for the first time when I was just out of high school yet I never really stopped to appreciate these books beyond summer reading fluff with which to entertain my geeky mind. This new frame of mind/approach makes me giddy so, let's start.

Obviously, Harry is meant to be the Jesus figure in this story, what with the guiding 'star' and three old wise 'men' being filled by Dumbledore, McG and Hagrid, respectively. I love the varying degrees of concern that all three show about and for Harry's welfare. McG is loathe to leave him there because of her first hand witness account of who and what the Dursley's are. It's almost as if she were willing to take him in herself. I'm sure there's fic about Harry McGonagall floating around somewhere in the ethernet.

Hagrid's emotional outburst of howling in pain? Oh. Gosh. That could SO be something comical and lighthearted because it's a children's novel but it kinda made me tear up a bit. I'm not sure if that's because I know the rest of the story or if it's because that moment is such an honest display of emotion. Just, damn, I love a man who's not afraid to cry, no wonder I love Hagrid.

Finally, Dumbledore's seeming non-chalance at the entire situation much to Minerva's ire til she realises The Bigger Picture that Albus slowly leads her to. I love their interactions. You can tell that not only are they colleagues with a great deal of respect for one another but they're probably really good friends who genuinely like each other outside of work. You won't mind if I call them, along with Hagrid and/or altenately Snape, the Platinum Edition Trio of the Potter verse?

The text is also rife with the themes of identity and self-worth. Harry's quick study of 'don't ask questions' as a survival tactic also explains a lot of his anger and frustrations that play out in the latter books. Also, the wolfing down of his breakfast just in case Dudley lost his temper? Yeah, ABUSIVE HOUSEHOLD. I'm so glad this issue is tackled in fandom because it seems to be glossed over in canon, but c'mon, kids pick up on this stuff. Address it Rowling. However, I thought that, at the very least, Rowling kept that anger & frustration borne out of being ignored and pushed aside consistent in this boy.

On a shallower note, Dudley's blonde?!

I also appreciated the innate curiosity Harry has. This trait may be supressed by his upbringing but it's never snuffed out. It reminded me of that lyric in Timshel, 'and it will steal your innocence but it will not steal your substance'. The integrity of this boy, no matter how lost and damaged he is, remains the same. Never change Harry, never change. The kid however, is gonna get whiplash from all his new found attention. He goes from being ignored to glorified in seconds when Hagrid takes him to Diagon Alley.

Draco's subtle introduction was particularly awesome. Then his later official introduction and Harry's already formed opinion on this kid is pretty much carried out throughout the entire narrative. Honestly, hands down, fave interaction is on the train when Harry says he'll be making up his own mind about his associations thankyouverymuch you elitist snob. The humour in this story can go from being so broad and down right ridiculous to subtle and barbed with sarcasm on a dime. LOL.

I've taken all the riddles and songs littered throughout the book to be Rowling's direct statement of morals and values to the reader. The goblin's riddle of greed and stealing. The Hogwarts song of being eager to learn and choosing how to go about doing so (IE: you get to pick your own version of the school song instead of a standardised version that all must conform to). Stuff like that.

Another shallow note, Hagrid is a hoarder (pockets full 'o stuff) who knits?! Trying to subvert the ideals of womanly hobbies are we Rowling?

Okay, this brings me to a biggie. My boy Ron. Or more correctly how my boy is treated by his mother. It's quite obvious that preferential treatment & favourtism is how Molly Weasley rolls. She even so much as goes to the lengths of placing Harry, A STRANGER, before Ron when she sends her kids through. Doting on Percy, who is such a prat but he's prefect so he gets special attention and can do no wrong. At least the twins have found a way to navigate around the family politics. I'm sure it's easier for them to muddle through the obvious with humour because they have each other. And yeah, I understand sending four of your seven offspring to school is stressful, but this is HIS FIRST TIME away from home, you'd think she'd at the very least pack his lunch special seeing as how he's the one of her children who loves food. I think Ron uses food as a coping mechanism for being invisible.

Also, why does Molly not know where the entrance to the platform is? I mean she's sent ALL of her children to Hogwarts for over ten years at the very least you'd expect her to know where the hell it is! Yes, Rowling had to facilitate the need for Harry to overhear this bit of info to get his ass on the train but way to make the first mother figure Harry comes into contact with look like an utter fool of a took! Why couldn't it be Neville's gran or Random Wizard Who Is Lost? I don't know about you sometimes Rowling... >____> joanne

The twins! Oh boys, I love you SO much. Despite all their teasing and putting people on, they really do care. They reassure Ginny by sending her owls! Awwwww, BOYS! The fact that they were also so severely underused in the movies kinda makes me sad. They were friends with Harry too y'know!

More of a logical query, is the Hogwarts express used only once a year? Cos that seems like a total waste of resources. Just sayin'.

Now on to the genesis of the epic bromance of Potter! I love that Harry and Ron's relationship is based on curiosity and acceptance but in that boy way of we have feelings about being ignored and neglected but we won't really talk about them instead we will have candy and start card collecting (MORGANA!), so all was well.

Hermione. Hello bossy little girl who likes to be a know-it-all because it gives you sense of worth. Jeez these fucking kids have loads of esteem issues, no? Shit, no wonder they cling to each other so hard. Hence, the Golden Trio was born.

And Neville! Oh, son! I forgot how integrated you were within this story! You were the fourth leg of this stool of friendship. How were you so neglected in the movies! *pets him* Your character arc is one of my favourite metamorphosis(i?) in these books.

Ending on a shallow note, Peeves isn't a ghost? Please explain to me the scientific nature of a ghost V poltergeist?
Current Mood: stressedstressed
gigi_tastic: keep calmgigi_tastic on February 7th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
I always thought Dumbledore was god. Then again I don't really do religion. On this reread I came to the AWESOME conclusion that he is a TIME LORD. AND MAY BE THE DOCTOR. Also I think you would LOVE to read the sadly now done Mark Reads Harry Potter. I'm rereading it with the book. I highly recommend it. Come for mark being awesome and stay for the epic pictures in the comments. Why yes i got an account just to comment. fun times.... Also after the reread I say we all watch A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel. the best thing to come out of my state since.. ever.

Sunny: DW Void Stuffsunny_serenity on February 7th, 2011 08:40 am (UTC)
Ahahahahahahahahahaha! Dumbledore is a Time Lord! Love it. Donna is my fave Companion ever.

Oh, thanks for the link. I will most def be checking that out.

That's a great idea. I will never say no to another year at Pigfarts.
gigi_tasticgigi_tastic on February 7th, 2011 11:13 am (UTC)
Sunny: DW Fangirl Runsunny_serenity on February 8th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
ladysophiekitty: HHR hand in handladysophiekitty on February 7th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
The beginning of the book is always so difficult for me to read, because of the Dursleys treat Harry. In fact, I wish that JKR had addressed it more, because when you lock up a CHILD in a closet (not to mention all of the other stuff) that's going to leave a lot more damage than they showed in the series.

But what I love about it is that even with all that has happened in his early childhood, Harry is still willing to put himself out there and trust and love people. Plus there's still the way that he managed to stay curious, even when the Dursleys hate it when he asks questions.
Sunny: HP handssunny_serenity on February 8th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
Yes please! Spend some time on explaining why Harry is so fucked up when it comes to emotion and expression of self. Give us some meat to understanding his difficulty of putting his feelings into words. The boy has a messed up understanding of love and there. are. consequences. to this. Gah. I hate that it was so glossed over.

Harry is still willing to put himself out there and trust and love people

Oh. This. Yes. This is why I love this boy. He's a big damn hero and he doesn't even know it. He's much braver than I remember my first go round.
borg_princess: emma-omg2borg_princess on February 10th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC)
Um, your icon? Whee is that from? IS it int eh movie? I don't remember this! (I'm guessing...GoF or OotP?)
Sunny: HP handssunny_serenity on February 11th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
GoF, between takes or something. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaands and they fill me with feelings of immense proportions that will kill me. You fill me with feelings that will end my life! No really just get married already and fill the world with rainbows and babies because Emma you totally love Dan.
borg_princess: hermione-harry-comfortborg_princess on February 11th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
OMG, that is amazing! I love how touchy-feely they are! I've never seen this before, so awesome! :D

God, the best thing for H/Hr was the casting of Dan and Emma. ♥
Sunny: HP lovesunny_serenity on February 11th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
You cannot tell me that there wasn't/has been /will be something more between them cos there are interviews (can't remember where) that they both hint towards periods of raging hormones and being in love with people whose circumstances didn't allow happiness. But there's also stuff commenting about the two of them being different together and apart from the rest of the cast & crew since the time of PoA. Like Rupert being older than the two of them so he was naturally closer to the other kids. Also, I think Rupe ships it if you listen/read his interviews too, almost like they use him as the fall guy for a lot of the personal questions stuff cos he knows how to dodge those kinds of interviews... IDEK about this anymore. Serious, it feels like Brad & Angelina for me.

I think if they knew the natural chemistry these two would have the casting might have been different. Thank gods it didn't happen that way.