Book to Movie Popgeekery

Harry Potter and The Book Smugglers

Dearest Smuggler-Friends!

The end is here! After years and years of build up, the Harry Potter movie franchise comes to an end TODAY. Right now, we are equal parts unbearable excitement and devastated melancholy. The Harry Potter series – both the books and the movies – happens to be one of our favorites and for years has been a huge part of our geek-loving lives, so it is so very sad to see it all end today.

In honor of the end of an era, we’ve decided to see our childhood hero go out with a bang. We invite you to join us on a stroll down memory lane as we revisit our favourite things about the Boy Who Lived and his friends (and foes)…starting with how we came to know and love Harry Potter.

Ana:

It wasn’t exactly childhood for me as I was in my early twenties when I decided to read the first Harry Potter book. I was still living in Brazil at that time and it was a Uni friend of mine who suggested it to me. I had just started reading fantasy novels, having finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy and was searching for more in that same vein (it has to be said that Brazilian publishers back then did not publish a lot of Fantasy and I was a very frustrated reader at that stage). Enter Harry Potter: I read the first one and loved it so much, I ran to get the next three books which thankfully were already published.

Then came the nearly unbearable wait for the 5th book – a wait that was even worse for us in Brazil because there was usually a gap of 6 MONTHS between the official release and the translated work. But I couldn’t wait that long and I bought the imported copy (for so much money, you wouldn’t believe) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was the first ever book I read in English. What a milestone in my life and all because of Harry.

It was also the last book I read in Brazil – I moved to England a few months after that and was able to read the final two books in the series at the same time as everybody else and more than that: I participated in the excitement and build up that led to each book’s publication which added an extra layer of awesomeness to the proceedings. The last one was particularly important because Thea and I had our first read-a-long with it.

I have a more complicated relationship with the movies: I love watching them as visual embodiments of my beloved books but oh boy, they do frustrate me sometimes when they fail to convey some of my favourite things about the books. Having said that, I have waited for each of them anxiously, watched them on premiere night and many times after that.

I love these books. I love this world. I love these characters. I am a FANGIRL: I read all the books at least three times, I watched all the movies at least four, I went to Harry Potter World and made it to the Harry Potter Exhibition in NY. Quite often I get very morose and think that it has been a while since I felt such level of excitement and commitment to a series of books. I miss this feeling so much.

Thea:

Like many folks currently in their twenties, I kind of grew up with Harry, Hermione and Ron. True, I started the series a little late, before the first film came out (at the ripe old age of fifteen), at which point I rapidly read through the available novels, each one better than the last. By the time I read Prisoner of Azkaban, I was head over heels in love. Each passing year, Harry Potter would become a huge point of contention in my house, as my little sister, mother and I would fight over who got to read the new book first (the showdown over The Order of the Phoenix was EPIC). By the time of Half-Blood Prince, I was in university, and I fondly remember waiting in line at midnight for the book…and then having to go to my internship the next day. Not only was I exhausted, but I OF COURSE had that enormous, irresistible green-covered book sitting on my desk, beckoning me to read instead of work on spreadsheets. (I’m not too ashamed to say I gave in to that temptation.) And then…it was time for the grand finale. The pièce de résistance. The Deathly Hallows.

By this point, Ana and I were already online forum buddies (thank you, Lost!) and I very clearly remember the lead-up to the release of the final book. Ana waited impatiently by her mailbox, while I attended yet another midnight party at my local Borders, dragging along the poor boyfriend (who was completely mystified as to why i would wait in line at midnight with a bunch of kids and parents for a book I could easily buy at Target or something the next day. MEN! They don’t understand!). And then, both Ana and I had our books and it was ON. Both of us tore through the book, posting in our forum spoiler thread EACH HOUR with updates as to how far we were, what was happening, along with general ‘OMG NOOOOOOO!’ type of comments, and so on and so forth. It was beautiful madness.[1. In retrospect, Ana and I are freaking GEEKS. Seriously.]

And that’s just the books! The movies added another layer of awesomeness to the Harry Potter experience. My significant other and I met my first year in college, and I remember dragging him to watch Prisoner of Azkaban for a midnight show (I almost dressed up, but I didn’t want to scare the poor guy off). Though he hasn’t read any of the books to this day, he has become a proud Potter fan and we’ve enjoyed each subsequent movie together.

I guess that’s the thing about Harry Potter. Harry’s not just a brave young man that saves the world, or a bestselling, multimillion dollar brand. Harry Potter embodies so much more because he’s a generational icon. Like so many other young adults around the world, I grew up with Harry. And now, my twenty-odd year-old self is so very happy to see Harry finally conclude his adventures – but it’s a bittersweet farewell, since it means growing up, myself. I love you, Harry Potter. And I’m going to miss you more than I can say.

And now that we are done with the dramatically emotional opening here are a few of our Favourite Things about Harry Potter….

Favorite Book:

Ana: This one is easy peasy: it’s a tie between Prisoner of Azkaban (for its awesome plot) and The Deathly Hallows (for the emotional impact).

Thea: Prisoner of Azkaban was my first and truest love, although The Half-Blood Prince gives Sirius a run for his money. The revelations! The HORCRUXES! My mind. It exploded.

Favorite Movie:

Ana: Prisoner of Azkaban by far: I love the photography and the colours in that movie and of course since it follows the book pretty closely, it has the coolest plot and ending of all books so far. Mind you, this might change tonight.

Thea: Word. Cuaron’s take was one of the most loyal and seriously – one of the hardest books to translate to film. Plus, DUDE. Sirius Black played by the phenomenal Gary Oldman. There’s no contest.

Favorite Main Character:

Ana:That would have to be Hermione Granger, who is one of my favourite heroines of all time. I also love Emma Watson so she is my favourite character in the movies too.

Thea: Ahh, this is tough. I love Hermione so much, that insufferable little know-it-all with a huge heart. But my favorite character has to be Ron Weasley. He’s hilarious, he’s brave, he makes blunders but finds a way to fight back and redeem himself.

Favorite Secondary Character:

Ana: This is a tough one, I love so many characters in this series. I think I would have to go with Sirius Black. No. Wait: Neville Longbottom. Yes, because he has one of the best arcs in the entire series and for one moment there, I actually thought he was more important than the title character (yeah, I know. I was delusional).

And this is one of my biggest gripes about the movies: that Neville didn’t get a lot of his backstory there.

ETA: OMG what I am saying? Of course my fave secondary character is Severus Snape. And may I add that I totally, completely KNEW that he was on the Light side of the Force from the start? I totally did.

Thea: I am one of the few that wanted Snape to be eeeeeevil – not that I’m complaining because his arc is so touching. But for secondary characters, DUH, Sirius Black. Poor Sirius has to go through so much, losing his best friend, being framed for their murders, being despised by his godson, and then he shakes off all that ugliness and reconnects with the one person in the world that truly matters to him…and then it’s all taken away. I’m getting emotional here.

The other secondary character I have to give a shoutout to is Luna Lovegood. Not only is she a fantastic character in the books, but her portrayal in the films is perfection. Gotta love Loony Luna.

Favorite Non-Human Character: (We are totally cheating with this one, so that we can pick more characters!)

Ana: Easy: Dobby.

Thea: BUCKBEAK, FTW! He got to beat up snotfaced little Malfoy. ‘Nuff said.

Most Devastating Moment:

Ana: Another tie: there are many devastating moments in this series but the one that has stayed with me the longest is that one moment in Prisoner of Azkaban when Sirius Black invites Harry to go live with him and then for a few hours Harry thought he was free from the Dursleys forever as he would be living with someone who actually loved him and he was so happy and then and then the whole thing happens where Sirius has to go on the run and Harry has to go back to Privet Drive. It kills me every time. This scene was not very well done in the movies at all – it lacked all the emotional impact from the books.

The other one that I loved so much, was the Snape-is-not-a-villain-look-into-my-eyes moment. I always KNEW that Snape was one of the good guys but that scene slayed me when it became clear of what he went through….for luuurve.

Thea: In the books, I think the entirety of The Order of the Phoenix counts as devastating. Harry is so ANGRY that entire book, and I am sad that the film didn’t really capture his rage and sense of impotence. Having to live with the Dursleys, being ignored by Dumbledore, having to deal with the fact that Ron and Hermione were picked as prefects while Harry is left alone…it’s so hard to read that book. And then of course…there’s Sirius. The entire battle in the Department of Mysteries is plenty devastating.

In the films, that moment where Harry and Sirius are fighting back to back Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries and then Harry gets one and Sirius says, “Nice one, James!”

And then Bellatrix comes in and… *SOBS* I can’t talk about it. Good GOD, my Sirius. I was sobbing when I read that part in the book, but I sobbed even harder in the film. David Yates did a brilliant job choreographing that emotionally charged scene. And that “Nice one, James!” gets me every. time.

Coolest Fist-Pumpy Moment:

Ana: It is a tie. I will never forget when George and Fred left Hogwarts in all their awesome glory in Order of the Phoenix in retaliation to Dolores Umbridge. It was such a fist-pumpy moment. And then of course, Mrs Weasley’s showdown against Belatrix Lestrange in the last book: Not my daughter you bitch!

Thea: Oh my GOD Mrs. Weasely’s moment is so freaking awesome. But I HAVE to concur that Fred and George tearing up shit and leaving Hogwarts in a blaze of magical firecrackery glory is absolutely the most fist-pumpy moment.

Favorite Villain:

Ana: Dolores Umbridge, although Bellatrix Lestrange comes in a close second. I always thought that Voldemort was a tad ridiculous.

Thea: Bellatrix, without a doubt. She’s CRAZY, people. And Helena Bonham Carter is freaking perfect for the role. I’m not saying Voldemort because, come on, that’s easy.

Favorite Spell:

Ana: Ooooo. Interesting one. I love the sound of the majority of the spells in the series. I would have to go with Expecto Patronum though. I have a t-shirt and everything.

Thea: Can I say polyjuice potion? I know it’s not a spell, but it’s such an important potion in the overall series. For a traditional, wand-waving spell, I don’t think you can overrate the importance of Expelliarmus. On a side note, can I say how awesome it is that the books and films have preserved a great sense of character and reality with the spells? Of COURSE these Hogwarts students wouldn’t know complex spells beyond what they’ve read in books or learned in classes, and thus they go back to old standbys 99% of the time (hence, expelliarmus). That is really cool. My least favorite spell is Petrificus Totalus. AKA, the cause of SO MUCH HEARTACHE.

Favorite Romantic Couple:

Ana: Of course I rooted for Ron and Hermione through the series and of course I was happy for Gin and Harry in the end but really, the best romantic couple has got to be Lupin and Tonks *crai*

Thea: Ron and Hermione! Ron and Hermione! TINY BALL OF LIGHT! Bwahahaha!

Most Memorable Death:

Ana: OH MY GOD. I was stunned when Sirius Black died not only because Rowling actually went there but because it was so…uneventful. One minute he was there, the next…he wasn’t. I was sad about Dumbledore. I was devastated by all the deaths in the end but dudes. DUDES. I never sobbed as much with a character death as I sobbed when Dobby died. I was a total, complete mess.

Thea: Since I’ve already mentioned Sirius so many times, what about Harry Potter himself? When he goes, marching to his own death (ok, sort of death), I was crying my eyes out. The bravery in the face of oppressive, impossible hopelessness…

Although I will say Dobby’s death gives it a good run for its money. Actually, it’s Dobby’s funeral that got me – when everyone puts a piece of clothing in his grave *SOBS* Oh man, I am getting emotional just writing this post.

Which Hogwarts House Do You See Yourself In?

Ana: Oh please. Gryffindor all the way! Although if you go by each of the House Qualities, I would probably be sorted into Ravenclaw.

Thea: Of course I would love to be in Gryffindor, but honestly, I KNOW the sorting hat would put me in Slytherin. I don’t know how to feel about that. I do love the color green, so…

Coolest (non-wand) Magical Artifact:

Ana: The Marauders Map!!!! And the Time-Turner. I so wish I had one of those, can you imagine the amount of books I could read? And not really an artifact but BUTTERBEER: it is DELICIOUS.

Thea: Good point, dear Ana! But I’ll take the sword of Godrick Gryffindor, please.

Character You’d Most Want With You in a Fight Against Death Eaters:

Ana: I should probably say Harry Potter but nah, I will go with good old Dumbledore.

Thea: Mad-Eye Moody. He might be bonkers, but he’s a badass.

Most Important Storyline Excluded From the Movies:

Ana: HA.HA.HA. We could be here for hours if I were to go in detail. There’s the lack of general Nevilleness that makes me angry. There is the lack of House Elves that makes me depressed (Kreacher!). Where was the romantic relationship between Tonks and Lupin (no, showing up already married doesn’t count)? How about the entirety of Half-Blood Prince? This movie makes me rant every time I watch it. They simply removed the entire Half-Blood Prince storyline from a movie that is called the THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. *hysterical laughter* And no, having Snape going all “I… am…the…Half-Blood PRIIIIINCE” in the end is not ENOUGH. Oh my nerves. But above all, the most important thing excluded is just one simple thing: a Petrificus Totalus spell. They never used it in the aforementioned movie in the end and it makes me so angry because Harry Potter would never, ever just stand there seeing Dumbledore get killed if he wasn’t petrified. Come on, now.

Thea: There are so many things that I wish were included in the films. I wish they had more quidditch, to show the lighter side of HP. I wish they had more of the House Cup competitions, the snootiness of Malfoy and his lackeys at being Prefects. The character of Percy Weasley was almost completely written out of the films, and that was a hugely important, if infuriating, part of the books. Dumbledore and the revelations in that final book – his early days, his family history, etc – have also been glossed over, and that’s really annoying. I also don’t think the films captured how truly terrifying and oppressive Voldemort’s return was for the wizarding world; remember those charms that Fred and George were selling, and the general feeling of incredible paranoia? Atmospherically, I didn’t get that in the last two films.

But I think the thing that I miss the most was the plight of the House Elves (and Hermione’s efforts to help them). With this, Dobby’s help and death means so much more. Kreacher’s help and the house elves rising up to fight the Death Eaters means SO MUCH MORE. I wish it could have been included, at least in passing.

and finally….

Our Fervent Hopes For the Last Movie:

Ana:Right. These are the four scenes I am most psyched about seeing in the big screen and I am hoping, and crossing fingers, and lighting candles that they will be done well:

1) Neville Longbottom’s Big Moment. You know which one I am talking about:

2) Ron and Hermione’s first kiss

3) The big showdown between Mrs Weasley and Belatrix Lestrange

and of course, the One Scene to Rule Them All:

4) The Snape-is-a-Good-Guy Moment.

I really, really hope these four scenes are everything I dreamed about when I read the books. Anything else done right will just be the cherry on top.

Thea: YES to everything Ana said. I would agree those are very, very important – so I’ll just add to the list:

1. The Gringotts Heist – I know, I’ve seen the previews and the early reviews say it looks fantastic, but I was SO scared they were going to cut this out of the films when we didn’t see it in the last movie. I love heists. This is going to be EPIC.

2. Harry’s Death/Limbo Scene – Do I need to explain this?

3. KREACHER and the rise of the House Elves – Dudes. I was SO emotional when I read this in the book.

“Fight, fight for my master, the defender of the house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!”

I have a sinking feeling this will be cut out of the movie, but man, it really moved me in the books.

4. Snape. It bears mentioning again because dudes, it is so so so powerful.

5. George and Fred. Because guys. BECAUSE.

And that’s it from us! What about you? Care to share your Potter experience and your hopes and wishes for the very last film?

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33 Comments

  • Biblibio
    July 15, 2011 at 2:37 am

    This is the greatest post ever. Seriously. And that poster of Neville – yes. That scene, that image… just… yes.

    And the coolest fist-pumpy moment is without a doubt Fred and George’s departure from Hogwarts. Completely and truly epic.

  • Katie Hackett
    July 15, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Never had to fight over the books cause it was just me and my Mum who liked them, so we’d buy two copies and happily read them at the same time. On a side note, I read about Dumbledore’s death for the first time whilst eating ice cream on a beach in Greece, and had to explain to my family why I was sobbing :'( The films exclude so much important stuff and shove in rubbish that never happened, the Half Blood Prince film may as well have been called ‘Ginny Weasley steals every important moment from characters other than Harry,’ because she SO DID. I know you’re supposed to find it cute and romantic that she tries to feed Harry pies and ties his shoes for him, but I just found it immensely irritating.

    I hope the last film is awesome. Just awesome. I hope they don’t cut out any deaths like Tonks and Lupin…
    P.S. It really annoyed me when they never cleared up the whole Harry/Hermione mistake in the last film. There was no ‘she’s like a sister to me’ line :S

  • Jamie
    July 15, 2011 at 2:52 am

    *blubbers incoherently*

  • vidhya
    July 15, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Oh you captured my thoughts exactly. I freaking did a read-a-thon of the whole series to watch the movie and damn, wasn’t I bawling out even though it god-knows-how-many-times I’ve read the books. I emphatically agree that Order of Phoenix is the most angsty emotional book. There are so many things that I love about the books. I just love, love, love them.

    I watched the movie yesterday. So sad to say that it disappointed me. I won’t spoil since most of you might not have seen it, but I gotta say something. George doesn’t have FREAKING HOLE. But please, correct me if I’m wrong. But I am looking forward to see how others felt. No doubt many’d like it.

  • Calamity Jane
    July 15, 2011 at 3:54 am

    AWSOME POST!!
    I was one of those fantasy fans that hated Harry Potter. In my defense it was because I am a big fan of LotR and back then kids my age kept saying how much better Harry Potter books were than old musty LotR, so I had no choice, really.
    But the truth is the movies convinced me of how wrong I was and yes, we can all get along,so I stopped being stubborn and just gave in.
    I still don’t like Harry Potter (the character) that much but boy,oh,boy the world Rowling created and most of her characters are EPIC. So nowaways I’m a proud fan and will happily inflict this series on my friends and family everytime the oportunity arises.

  • Calamity Jane
    July 15, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Oh, and one last thing. I’m Portuguese so seeing that Brazillian edition of the book was an extra treat 😉

  • Estelle
    July 15, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Wow, it’s so strange but my reading experience exactly parallels Ana’s (except for the living in Brazil then moving to England part)!

    Ah, the HP series…..it’s funny because it’s one of my most favorite series but one that I’ve never re-read since all the books came out, probably because I’m so much into Harry Potter Fanfiction that I never felt the need to.

    I know I’m in the minority here but my least favorite character is Ron. I can’t like him. He’s the type of person I would not like in real life either. Maybe I’m weird. I know he’s a favorite and that JKR herself loves him. So I can’t like the Ron/Hermione pairing. I love Hermione and shipped her like mad with Harry in the series even when I knew we were clearly getting a R/Hr H/G ending. Since I’ve started reading fanfiction, I ship her like mad with Snape. Don’t run away! I swear it’s a brilliant pairing and can even make sense. I took to reading stories about this pairing (it attracts more mature writers and gives us some wonderfully written stories) before the Snape/Lily revelation (or even the Snape as a halfblood revelation because most writers put him in the pureblood category) and it’s been interesting to see how the writers adapted. There was a Before and an After HBP/DH.

    Would you guys be interested in reading a fantastic Snape/Hermione story? The one I’m thinking about is a retelling of HBP/DH. It’s still in progress and not squeaky at all on the relationship front (there isn’t one to speak of so far). The writing is exquisite and it gives us a realistic Snape, only more fleshed out than in the books. I loved the books themselves but since Snape is my favorite character, it was great to read them from his perspective. It provides some fascinating insight into Occlumency and the Vow Snape took to protect Draco. It’s called Camerado and you can find it here:

    With the most recent chapter released, the story clocks in at about 140000 words and has just covered Dumbledore’s death. I can’t wait for the next one.

    On to the movies….I’ve seen them all and own all the dvds but they don’t hold a candle to the books for me. They took all the charm from the books and focused on the “big events” to the detriment of everything that made the series so special. My favorite is POA because, to my eye, Cuaron is the only director who tried to inject some more soul in his movie. The cinematography, the music, the little details etc….I really liked that. I wish he had directed all the other movies.

  • Estelle
    July 15, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Oops, I messed up my link and can’t edit my message. 😳

    Here it is again:

    Camerado

  • Erika @ babr
    July 15, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Great post ladies!
    I have such a hard time with book to movie adaptations. They always screw it up. TOOTP and THBP were the worst movies. The POA was my favorite. I liked the Goblet of Fire except for the way they changed everything 😆 But POA remains my favorite movie. There are so many epic and fantastic, and emotional parts to the books. All those you both mentioned are some of my favorites as well.

    I had a post yesterday about my journey to Harry Potter, if your bored (un-bloody likely, I know) come over and visit 🙂
    My Journey to Harry Potter

  • Stephanie T.
    July 15, 2011 at 5:13 am

    You guys have totally just boosted my geeking-out level and fan girl-ness another 10pts!! The anxiety I feel to watch this movie is so palpable now!! I just wish I didn’t have to wait till Saturday to see it but that’s only TOMORROW!! I can hold out till then hopefully! The epicness of it all!

    And yes, I do believe Snape’s moment will probably make me cry too.

  • lew
    July 15, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Great post! I probably shouldn’t have read it at work though, I’m all misty eyed now!
    As many fans can, I could go on forever about what they changed in the movies, but aside from ones you guys mentioned, the one thing that sends me on an epic rant every single time – the portrayal of Arthur Weasley in GoF. He’s so very brave in the book, getting the older boys & going out to fight!
    As for favorites, I just have so many. Order of the Phoenix is my favorite book, but I’m not sure I could pick a favorite movie.
    I’m sad to see it all end, but what a totally amazing ride these stories have been!

  • Natasha A.
    July 15, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Amazing fantastic post! I’m sobbing at work!! I’m so sad!
    This series, both book and movie, are so wondrous!
    My first date with my now husband was to see the first movie.
    *sob*
    Thank you so much for putting this together!

  • KB/KT Grant
    July 15, 2011 at 6:50 am

    The actor who plays Neville Longbottom is le hawt.

    But um yeah, I’m the only one in the world who probably has no desire to read the books or see the movies. 😳

  • Su
    July 15, 2011 at 7:00 am

    This little write-up has filled me with longing. I have to wait a couple of weeks before I see the movie, since my husband is so busy with work. I wish I could sneak out and watch it, but he’s as big a fan as I am. Seriously, when you walk into a guy’s apartment for the first time, and there on his bookshelves are all the Harry Potter books, all the Lord of the Rings books, all the Discworld novels and a DVD of The Princess Bride, one has no choice but to marry the man.

    I’m quite sad to see the series end, but I’m also looking forward to what comes next. I’m sure publishers and movie-makers are looking for the Next Best/Big Thing.

  • Ciara
    July 15, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Great post guys.

    I saw the movie today and loved it. I think I sobbed continuously through the last 40 mins. Snape’s big scene absolutely slayed me. Perfectly done and so so sad. Alan Rickman was fantastic.

  • MarieC
    July 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

    @Ciara: SO JEALOUS! I won’t be seeing the film until tomorrow!

    Awesome post! If you haven’t had an opportunity, please take a listen to the audiobooks performed by Jim Dale. Though I read the books, my sister lent me her discs and OMG!

    I cannot wait for the Severus’ flashbacks and Neville’s moment.

    BTW, has anyone heard anything regarding Pottermore? I know that JKR will be allowing ebooks, but the content of the site?

  • Heidi
    July 15, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Like so many others I was tearing up by the end of this post in anticipation. I cannot express how torn I am between dying to see this movie and being utterly depressed that there will be no more. This feeling is probably the greatest reason I’m such a fan of series, as I cannot bear to be parted from my favorite characters (it’s also why I honestly cannot even keep track of how many times I have read the HP series).

    The movie that upset me the most was the Order of the Phoenix, I felt like they left out SO much by squishing one of the longest books into the shortest screen times. Subtle things really irked me like not including the coins to inform DA members…especially since they use these to call people to the Battle of Hogwarts in the last book!!!

    I also have to give a shout out to Hedwig for her death. Not Serius I know, but I honestly tear up just thinking about how loyal, loving, and faithful pets can be. I felt as if I didn’t stop crying in the last book from her death till the end. But I’m a sucker for bravery and loyalty.

  • casey
    July 15, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Most Important Storyline Excluded From the Movies:

    The movies don’t explain who created the Marauders Map and why – which was HUGELY important to me personally. It’s one of the few things Harry has that belonged to James and because of it learns more about the true character of James and his friends. AND in my mind, the connection between Sirius and Harry is cemented by the map. Without it, I’m not sure that their friendship would have been the same.

    The Map also explains why Harrys’ Patronus is a Stag – because his father was a Stag. I feel like every time we see that Patronus that Harrys’ father is protecting him and he knows it. That kind of detail is missing from the movies.

    Mostly because of this one element I have a love hate relationship with the movies. On the one hand I get to relive everything – and that’s wonderful. But I also feel that so much depth is missing in these little details. I end up explaining to my friends who haven’t read the books why this scene or that is important. What something means. Where it came from. Who it is connected to. What it portends for the future. All of this depth that made the books so real, so alive is missing in the movies. And that’s kinda sad form me.
    ___

    I remember when I got the last book, and I just couldn’t pick it up. It sat on the shelf for a week, waiting for me to get the courage to read the end of the story and I was just so sad looking at it. Knowing it was over. That something I had waited half my life for was ending. Usually I’m excited to finish a book or series – but this was the first and so far only time that my sadness almost overwhelmed my desire to finish. Thats why I loved these books – they effected me so deeply.

    I’m dieing to see the last movie, and I won’t get to right away. I can’t wait to see how they do it…but…then it’s really really over. And THAT is sad.

  • Nicole
    July 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I was in love with this blog before you posted it. And now i am even more in love with it. EPIC
    Going to see the movie tomorrow. So excited!

    Thanks again for this post! I believe you have made my day 🙂

  • Shanna Swendson
    July 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    My favorite spell of the entire series has to be the charm Hermione used to turn her evening bag for the wedding into a bottomless pit that could carry all her books, a tent and clothes for all three of them. I want that with a need so powerful it practically aches. Imagine how easy that would make traveling. You could bring your entire wardrobe and all your shoes so you didn’t have to make packing decisions, plus books to suit every possible reading mood, and yet you still wouldn’t have to pay checked baggage fees or fight over overhead bin space. I do wonder what the security screeners would see when it went through the x-ray machine, but since part of the charm name was “undetectable,” I’m assuming that there’s something in the spell that would make it look like you were just carrying your keys, your wallet, a lipstick and a tissue, and they’d never know you were hauling around such dangerous contraband as full-sized (gasp!) bottles of shampoo and styling products. Not to mention the big-ass sword (though they’re probably more worried about the styling products). Oh, but I want this.

    I saw the movie this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s possibly the best of the series, but it has the unfair advantage of covering only the most exciting couple of days at the end of the book instead of an entire school year, like the others have.

  • Meghan
    July 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Yes, you ladies nearly had me in tears as well. I just love these books, and I wish I was going to see the movie today – I have to wait at least until tomorrow because it sold out! No, I have never appreciated the films as much as the books, but honestly, seeing it all on screen is so amazing because I don’t visualise when I read. It adds a new dimension for me.

    Honestly, I can’t believe it’s over. It makes me want to go read my books again right now – if only they weren’t in the US.

  • Tipsy Reader
    July 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Dude, I saw one of the first showing this morning and after reading this post all I’ve been doing making sad faces and thinking, “I NEEEEEEED to see it again! Again! Don’t let it eeeeeend!!”

    So yeah. Thanks. *sniffle*

  • Emily's Reading Room
    July 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Yes to all of this. The fact that we all have secondary characters that we love so much is a testament to JK Rowling’s wonderful writing.

  • Adrienne
    July 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Thea… that part in the book were Harry goes marching to his death was the point in which I lost it as well…I had to hide myself in a bathroom and sob into a Hand towel so my brother and his wife (who were about 100 pages behind me) couldn’t see me and therefore know something bad was unfolding. I too keep waiting to read another series that has a place in my heart like Harry and company but really nothing has come close

  • Lexi
    July 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Great Post. I was in 3rd grade when a friend of my family in the UK sent us the first book as she thought my sister and I would like it. We dressed up as the characters for Halloween and no one knew who we were. It is amazing to think how large it had become and how much of my life is has overlapped.

  • Uomo di Speranza
    July 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Harry inspired me to write. Technically, ten cents of every dollar I make writing should be given to Jo Rowling. Does anybody feel the same way?

  • Katrina
    July 17, 2011 at 9:48 am

    The Malfoys are my favourite characters, by far, because of this fanart site: http://acciobrain.ligermagic.com/gen.php

  • Jake
    July 17, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    My favorite fist pump moment was when Harry gets the permission slip to go to Hogsmeade, signed by Sirius. The “Not my daughter…” line is not even close because it is so clearly written to be a fist pump moment. Movies are polluted with corny lines like that. The permission slip is a simple kindness from the one living relative who really loves Harry. It caught me by surprise, completely usurps the Dursleys, and with one small gesture shows us the kind of like Harry could have had. Beautiful.

  • Pallavi
    July 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    This is the most epic HP fangirl blog I’ve read. Ever. and trust me there are a LOT of them out there… And I think I’ve read them all. I saw the movie and went back home and read all the books back-to-back. Had my own personal Happy Potter book marathon… Waiting for the special edition DVD set (oh, you know it’s coming) and I will have my personal Harry Potter movie marathon then… And my life will be complete…

  • Mick
    July 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I loved it!

    Now I just need to read the books! LOL

    I’ve seen all the movies but haven’t read any of the books so far (though I do have them all!

  • Lina Ziehm
    July 23, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Nice review! This is exactly the type of post that should be shared around the internet. Sad on the Bing for not positioning this post higher!

  • Em
    November 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I honestly have issues w/ movies from books b/c they ruin my mental picture so much. I was relieved when the characters almost always looked exactly the way I had pictured them(kind of freaky too). I love the music and scenery in all the movies. Acting I can take or leave. The only real reason I bother watching the movies is I am so in love with HP I can’t NOT see them.
    My ISSUE:Fred and George, the only people who can make you smile just by reading their names have so little showing in the last movie. 2 lines do not count!

  • Tracey
    February 13, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    enjoyed the Review!

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