Thursday, 7 July 2016

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Re-Reading Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling - When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

These new editions of the classic and internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning series feature instantly pick-up-able new jackets by Jonny Duddle, with huge child appeal, to bring Harry Potter to the next generation of readers. It’s time to PASS THE MAGIC ON …
From Goodreads.

I've been having a tough time lately, and needed to read something comforting. I decided on re-reading the Harry Potter books because I've been wanting to for such a long time. I haven't before now because I've already reviewed most of them, and it felt like by doing so I'd have nothing to post. However, because of things that have been happening in my life lately, until recently, I hadn't posted in weeks. So I decided it wouldn't make much difference, and that I should read for me. And I needed Harry Potter; to me, the books feel like being snuggled up in bed, a hug, and home all wrapped up in one.

However, when I was re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, I noticed a few things that I felt like talking about. Mainly plot holes that didn't exactly fit with what I've read in later books, so I thought I'd right a post!

First of all, I want to talk about the cover! I have the whole series in the original hardbacks, but when the editions with the Johnny Dudle covers were released, I fell in love. I decided to buy the first four because they're so pretty (and we're a bargain at the time), and paperbacks are lighter, so I can drag them around with me. But really it was for the covers. I absolutely love Johnny Duddle's style, and I think the cover for this book is just gorgeous! I love how bright and colourful it is, and how it shows the students seeing Hogwarts for the first time, before rowing across the Great Lake. In comparisson with the hardback cover, although Harry first seeing The Hogwarts Express after making his way through to platform nine and three quarters is a pretty awesome scene, I think the first sight of Hogwarts holds a lot more weight; it's when Harry and us readers first see the castle that became our home for so many years. I think it's beautiful! And the map! These editions come with a map of Hogwarts' grounds, illustrated by Tomislav Tomic, and it's wonderful! I have had these editions for maybe a year now, but I never knew about the map. It made me so happy!

Now to a few things I spotted in my re-read. Harry is the youngest Quiddith player in around a century (I've forgotten how many years exactly). Fred and George Weasley are Beaters in the Gryffindor Quiddith team, and were the previous year. But aren't Fred and George only in the year above Harry, Ron and Hermione? I guess I'm thinking out loud, and will be reminded as I read on, but  that's what I've always believed. I thought, in Order of the Pheonix, they left Hogwarts when they only had one year left after their current year, and Harry, Ron and Hermione had two years left to go. If I'm right, that would mean Fred and George became Beaters in their first year, surely? It made me ponder.

Also, Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback. When Ron arranges to have friends of his brother Charlie, who works with dragons, to take Norbert in when it becomes clear Malfoy is going to get Hagrid in trouble for having a dragon, Charlie's friends fly to the highest tower on broomsticks. And yet, in The Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore has to remove an enchantment that surrounds Hogwarts when he and Harry make their way back from getting the Horcrux locket. So how was Charlie's friends able to bypass the enchantments? How'd they get to the tower?

I also got to thinking about the obstacles the three had to get pass when they were trying to go after Snape - so they believed - when he was going after the Philosopher's Stone. Obviously, these are fun and exciting stories for children/teens, and there have to be things for Harry and co to overcome, but I was thinking, these obstacles are there to stop people getting through, and yet there are ways to do so. The correct winged key is amongst the others - it's there, you just have to work out which one and catch it. There is the riddle with the potions, a riddle that can be worked out. And so on. I was just thinking, if you really wanted to keep things out, why leave obstacles that can be overcome. Why not enchantments that would just lock people in a room without being able to get past at all? Or something like it. Something that couldn't be solved or worked out, or got past in some way. The story wouldn't have been the same if there weren't these obstacles, there wouldn't be anything for Harry, Ron and Hermione to do. But it just seemed a little odd.

I say all these things, but of course, I still absolutely love this story, and it's complete perfection for me. These things would never ruin something that's come to mean so much to me. I just thought it was interesting that I had spotted/thought of these things, and it would be fun to discuss them.

Do you guys have any thoughts on the points I've brought up?

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  1. I haven't reread The Philosopher's Stone in literally years, but I love it so much! My boyfriend just bought me the illustrated edition, so I think I'm going to read that soon. I know what you mean about it being comforting - the Harry Potter series just takes me back to my childhood!
    You make some good points though! I've never been quite sure how much older the twins are than Harry, Ron and Hermione, and even if they became Beaters in their second year, that still makes Harry joining the team in his first year not that amazing! It's only a year's difference! And I think the idea of three eleven year olds getting through all them obstacles in the first place if kind of ludicrous when you think about, but I love the HP books so much I'm willing to overlook a few plot holes! Great post :)

    1. Isn't it awesome how re-reading HP just feels so nostalgic and GOOD? I love it!
      It turns out Fred and George are actually two years older than Harry! So they did join the team in their second year. But yeah, it's just a year's difference, so what's the problem? Lol.
      I agree! It's a little unrealistic, but the HP books are too amazing not to let it slide! :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I was curious, so I did an internet search, and everyone seems to agree that Fred and George were two years older than Ron and Harry (they were 7th years when Ron & Harry were 5th).

    No answers for the other questions, though - and I think you make very good points! I especially agree with you about the obstacles - it makes for a good story, but doesn't make a lot of logical sense!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Yeah, as I read on in the series, I realised Fred and George are two years older.
      Right? Those obstacles should have been for prevention, not "There's a way through this, but you've got to be clever to do it!" That's just not very good protection, ha!

      Thanks for stopping by!