Harry Potter Turns 20 || Harry Potter and Me

Monday, 26 June 2017

Harry Potter, probably one of the most recognised names on the planet (probably after Jesus), is turning 20 today! This day, June 26th, 1997, Harry Potter and The Philsopher's Stone was first published. Which means that 18 years ago, I found out about Harry Potter.

I first became aware of Harry Potter, The Philospher's Stone and J.K. Rowling when I was in Primary Seven, I had just turned 11 years-old and one Monday mid-winter, my Headmaster took my class after lunch and read from The Philospher's Stone. I will admit that I'm not the best when it comes to imagining things from something being read aloud and I doubt that I remembered much from what he said as he read, but all I remember was that I wanted to get that book and read it for myself. 

A week or so later, (he had read to us the following Monday too but never finished it), my Mum and I were in Easons in the town and I found it. I got home and I read it. I remember enjoying it greatly but unaware that it was going to be a series. This was before the Internet was a thing and I could find out everything. 

It wasn't until a couple of years later that I picked up the second book in the series, The Chamber of Secrets. I borrowed it from my high school's library. However, I didn't get through it fast enough and I had to return the book early without finishing it. From that moment, that's where my interest in Harry Potter kind of dwindled. 

I watched the movies as they came out. I didn't see them all in the cinema. I only went to see The Half-Blood Prince in the cinema with my brother. Don't fret, friends, I did pick the books up, however late.

At the start of this year, there was an offer in a local supermarket to get two books for £7 or £4 individually. All seven of the Harry Potters books where included in this offer. So, I did the mathematics in my head. I could get six books for £21 and the final one for £4 bringing my grand total to £25. (Plus the fact that I get 10% discount because I work there...). The regular retail price for each books is roughly £8.99 (depending on where you get them) which brings the total to approximately, £63 (give or take a copper or two).

I started all over again. I read The Philsopher's Stone again, I finished The Chamber of Secrets and read The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix for the first time. My favourite so far has definitely been The Goblet of Fire. It's my favourite out of the movies and so I loved the new things that I discovered from the book and how different and informative it was because the books are usually better than the books. 

With the movies, though, I will say that at times, the movies had made a better decision to change who said certain lines. In the books, Ron or Hermione would say a line that a secondary character would take in the movie. Sometimes I preferred that and sometimes I didn't like it. Another thing that the movies did that I was a fan of was that they took them out of the robes. In every single situation, J.K. Rowling had them wearing robes. When Harry was swimming in the Goblet of Fire as part of a task, he was wearing his robes. Going to the Ministry of Magic to get the Prophecy, guess what they're wearing? Robes. It's like they never packed normal clothes with them. 

Honestly, after reading The Order of the Phoenix, I had to take a break from the Harry Potter universe and by that I mean that I had to take a break from Harry Potter, himself. In all honestly, I don't like Harry. I like practically every other character in the books but Harry. In the books, he whines and moans so much that I couldn't support him or like him anymore. It took me longer than I anticipated to get through the Order of the Phoenix purely for this reason. In every chapter, he moaned and groaned about something. I get it, Harry. Okay. I get it. It was just a struggle.

Another confession; I'm not a huge fan of J.K. Rowling's writing. Don't get me wrong, the world that she has created is phenomenal and I'm by no means trying to take that away from her. However, the way that she keeps using people's full names when the characters are the sole ones with that name is pointless. For example, there is only one Neville and I don't need to know that it's 'Neville Longbottom' every single time he's mentioned. I can understand it when a teacher is involved, but not when the kids are involved. At times, it makes it tedious to read. At times. If it was simply to get to the required word-count, then I think taking out the surnames would've added about 100 words that could've gone to something else. 

Nevertheless, I do love the universe that J.K. Rowling has created and I enjoy the vast majority of the characters. I love Hermione and Luna. Ginny is less annoying in the books as she is in the movies. I'm not the biggest Ginny fan. I loved the backstory of Voldemort and history that you get with the books. They explained more than the movies did (naturally). I should continue with the series soon because I only have two more books to go.

I joined Pottermore a couple of years ago and was sorted into Ravenclaw (which I managed without even having to cheat), I love my wand, (12.5 inch holly wood with a Phoenix feather core) and my Patronus is a swallow. I was beyond excited that my Patronus was a bird because what that quiz came out, I was obsessed with Miss Peregrine from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Naturally, when the twentieth anniversary House editions came out, my priority was to get the Ravenclaw book in the hardback cover. My house. I have priorities. I then added to my collection by getting Slytherin in paperback. I may get the Ravenclaw version in paperback. Maybe.

In my Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone collection, I have four versions. My original copy that I got in 1999 (and it's still in remarkable condition, even though I wrote my name in it and put a Star Wars sticker on the inside. I was 11 and stupid, okay), a more recent printing that I got in January 2017 and the newly published twentieth anniversary editions.

I adore the Harry Potter realm. I would love to add to my Funko Pop collection and Luna Lovegood is the top of my wishlist. I would love two wands, Luna Lovegood and Fleur Delacour specifically and my own house badge. I got the Slytherin one for my brother because he's evil as most big brother's are.

How has Harry Potter effected and affected your life throughout the past twenty years?

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