A long time back when the Harry Potter craze was everywhere I had bought the HP book set. It was finally this past month that I found the time to read them. So by then I had already a fair enough idea about the plot, the main deaths, the fan favourites, etc. After a read I found my opinions were quite different.
Before reading, in my opinion it was a thing of great pride to be a Gryffindor in all those house quizzes which we find on the net. And so you can imagine my great disappointment when nearly all quizzes put me in Ravenclaw. Now after reading I am glad I am NOT a Gryffindor. Though I would have preferred to be Slytherin, Ravenclaw is any day better than Gryffindor. I just do not find bravery without brains attractive. So yayy to not being in Gryffindor ever. Now that that is out of the way…
- The first five HP books were a good read, the best being the first one itself when life was simple for Harry & readers alike. We were discovering the wizarding world, Voldemort was yet a thing of the past, Harry was a famous guy but not the HERO of the entire universe, and things in general made more sense.
- The last two books were utter shit, the Half Blood Prince being far worse than the Deathly Hallows. A person would expect that a book which is called the HALF BLOOD PRINCE would have more about the HBP than about Harry Potter. In this book Harry all of a sudden realizes how HAWWTTTT Ginny Weasley is & starts dreaming about her all the time. Of course the girl has to fall for Harry too. It is not everyday that a national hero falls for you. Another thing which irritated the hell out of me was Harry’s constant hatred of Snape. WTF! I just did not understand what he was angry about? Sirius died because of you dear boy, not Snape. Voldemort was getting closer & winning because you cannot master Occlumency. His irrational hatred of Snape was just annoying & distracting. Also, I spent more time reading these two books than the other five. Once I put the book down I just felt no particular urge to pick it up again & there it would lie for a time when I had absolutely nothing better to do. In the end I finished the books because I had vowed to complete them this time round.
- I never truly understood even at the end about the power of love which Dumbledore kept talking about. So Lily threw herself in between her child & a monster like Voldemort in order to save him & this sacrifice of hers protected him throughout his minor life. So if love has such a great power, what about the power of hate, ambition, cruelty, evil? Are we supposed to believe that love & sacrifice can shield a person but the combined force of all the negative energies in the world which was basically Voldemort cannot harm this shield?
- The Order of the Phoenix is supposed to be this great secret society which is fighting Voldemort. What exactly did they do in all the books? Have secret meetings? YES. Make plans to infiltrate the ministry & Voldemort’s inner circles like Voldemort did? NO. Spread awareness about Voldemort? NO. Recruit new members who weren’t the progeny of the previous Order members? NO. Try (and more importantly succeed) to convert the Centaurs, Giants, other magical beings to their cause? NO. (Sending idiots like Hagrid to the Giants doesn’t count!) Kill any death eater before the final battle? NO. What precisely did the Order do other than get killed? Nothing!
- The complete seclusion of Muggles & their techniques baffled me. Muggles have invented some small little things like knives, bombs, guns, reliable spying devices. Now I realize that a swish of the wand is more trendy in the wizarding world than all these muggle inventions, but hell a bomb under the Malfoy manor might have done some wonders. J K Rowling says that wizards were humans with special magical powers. So they can be killed by these things right? After all Bellatrix did kill Dobby with a knife?
- The holier than thou attitude of the good people made me sick. If I remember it correctly these saints of the Order never used the Avada Kedavra spell. Why? You give yourself some fancy names but cannot kill someone who is wreaking havoc. And even then you claim to love muggles & half – bloods? The funniest thing was right till the end Harry never used Avada Kedavra. Rubbish!
- Harry as a character is too stupid. He lacks common sense, doesn’t listen to sense & always acts first thinks later. He ignores things which he finds inconvenient; like what a douche his father was; and idolizes people who worship him & his parents; like the members of the Order. As Snape puts it correctly, Harry is just an average kid. He is brave but then that is not the same as being clever. He would have died a long time ago had Rowling not made Dumbledore & Hermione love him so much.
- When I hadn’t yet read the books I was a huge shipper of Harry & Hermione. But now I am glad that Hermione ended up with Ron. Shallow people like Harry & Ginny deserve each other. I whole heartedly approve of Ron & Hermione now.
- The complete & total vilification of Slytherins was shocking. Not a single, normal kid there? There is a huge bias against the Slytherins. If only we had a sorting hat in real life to sort out the Slytherins in the real world. But alas! Rather than acknowledge the brilliance of some past Slytherins, the books just make them sound like monsters. And if there is every chance that every Slytherin is a villain then why not just throw them in Azkaban right after the sorting? Silly really to generalize things like good & evil based on houses alone.
- The theme of hero worship is nauseating. So many titles…The Only One that the Dark Lord Feared, The Boy that Lived, The Chosen One, the boy who is more important than the muggle PM, etc. We are just supposed to worship Dumbledore & Harry without question. Dumbledore at least sort of becomes more human after his family stories spill out but Harry…he is a saint from start to finish. The only time I thought he was human was when he was (mentally only) mocking the Dursleys.
- James Potter was a pathetic man. I have read posts saying he changed in later years but since there is no textual evidence about it; other than his group members who were partners in crime saying so; I am not going to believe it. Bullies with a sense of entitlement as high as James Potter do not change. They may tone down a bit to get what they want but in their hearts they remain the entitled jerks they always were.
- How come the ministry has a list of Animaguses but not a list of Patronuses?
- Voldemort & Tom Riddle were brilliant. And I loved Tom’s rise to power. What was sad was to see a boy with no wisdom but enough bravery, a boy who was just plain lucky every time kill this genius. A brilliant mind like Voldemort shouldn’t die that easy. Also, since Voldemort & the death eaters were the “only” evil in the wizarding world, does that mean that there is no evil left now? So the position of Auror is pretty useless now which is what Harry is, isnt it? Some things just don’t change!
- The reason of why Harry needs to find the Hallows instead of Dumbledore just telling him was silly. This was war we were talking about for heavens sake!
- The whole He- Who – Must – Not – Be – Named thing made me want to bang my head against a wall. Not mentioning an evil person’s name because of hatred is one thing, but not mentioning him out of fear quite another. It becomes more pathetic when teachers & the Order members practice it. Their fear of the name bordered on near respect & devotion. The Death Eaters called him the Dark Lord, the rest of the world He- Who – Must – Not – Be – Named & to be honest both sounded a way of giving respect to Lord Voldemort.
In the end a few things which I did like about Harry Potter:
- Hermione Granger, Fred & George Weasley
- The Marauders Map, though I don’t know how it managed to show various floors on a single map
- Dobby; dramatic but cute
- Severus Snape
- Tom Riddle