Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Curious Case of Mr. Harry Potter

I had seen the first installment of the Harry Potter series when it came out in the theater in 2001. It was a good movie, but not a great one--and not being caught up in Potter-mania I didn't bother to see the other films based on the J. K. Rowling books when they were released.

Until recently when I started Netflixing them to catch up on the series. I am now all caught up having just watched The Order of the Phoenix--which in my opinion is so far the best of the lot by far! Say what you want about Voldemort--I think Imelda Staunton's portrayal of Dolores Umbridge is one of the scariest villains EVER! Unlike the overlong and meandering previous installments, The Order of the Phoenix clocks in at just over two hours and is a taut and fast thrill ride!

Watching the entire series, it seems to me that Emma Watson's acting has gotten WORSE, Daniel Radcliffe is slowly improving and Rupert Grint is consistently the most natural and likable in his portrayal of loyal sidekick Ron Weasley. And although I'm not particularly attracted to redheads, he is becoming quite a hottie as well.

I can't help but wonder about some things after viewing the films. No doubt the answers are found in the more extensively developed plots and backstory of the books...

1. Why, if Harry's relatives hate his so much, do they work so hard to keep him from leaving for Hogwarts? Wouldn't they be happy to get him out of their house and hair?

2. By the same token, why doesn't Harry just stay with the Weasley's over summer breaks?

3. What is the purpose of magic and its instruction? Do witches and wizards have any goals? Right now it just seems like magic for magic's sake...

4. Starting in The Goblet of Fire and continuing in The Order of the Phoenix, Harry has witnessed Lucius Malfoy as part of Voldemort's retinue. Yet, there hasn't been any backlash of Lucius or his snotty son Draco for colluding with the Dark Lord. What's up with that?

5. There are ghosts wandering all over Hogwarts. Why are students so afraid of Moaning Myrtle that they avoid that bathroom?

6. What's the point of casting the amazing Emma Thompson in a role where she is barely on screen?


  1. Hai! I found your site via Elisabeth. I don't how serious you were about wanting answers, but what kind of HP geek would I be if I didn't help out?
    1. As much as they hate Harry, they hate magic more, because it completely changed Petunia's family when Lily became a witch.
    2. In order for Harry to be safe from Voldy (for his mum's protection to still work), he has to reside with the Dursely's for part of the year until his 17th birthday.
    3. Good question--mostly just keeping the muggles safe from the harmful aspects of magic.
    4. The Malfoy's are kind of like the Hilton's of the magic world. No one likes them, but they've got power, money, and dark magic on their side.
    5. Myrtle is enshrouded in myth, plus she's almost a peer to the students. She's the creepy dead girl. And freakin' annoying. I'd avoid her, too.
    6. I don't think anyone knows the answer to this.

  2. Thanks for the scoop! I knew there was much more in the books that didn't make it on screen. Now I'm all set for The Half Blood Prince!