Friday, November 12, 2010

10 reasons why Harry Potter is awesome

I'm feeling the need to justify my intense Harry Potter obsession because some people just don't understand it. I am determined to convert those people some time before I die.

I've come across a lot of long (and sometimes funny) lists of why Harry Potter is so awesome, and I have decided to make up my own list, since I consider myself quite educated in the Harry Potter world. And I am going to be different and do it without bashing on Twilight. Here I go!!!!
  1. The characters. One of the biggest reasons why I am such a huge fan of the Harry Potter series is because of Harry Potter himself. He's not perfect—book 5 in particular is proof of that—but he is still an incredible person. The fact that he still fought for what he believed in despite all of the horrible things that happened to him is a testament to that. And of course, Harry Potter wouldn't be Harry Potter without the faithful Ron and Hermione. I love those two so much. Fred and George are also particularly awesome, as are Luna and Neville. There are so many amazing people floating around in J. K. Rowling's head and they are equally real in my head. I often find myself wondering what they are doing out there in the wizarding world, years after Voldemort's demise.
  2. Hogwarts. I don't think there is a child out there (or adult) who doesn't wish they could go to Hogwarts. Going to school in a castle with ghosts, changing staircases, magic wands, a forest full of magical creatures, and amazing food just sounds like a great time. More than that, however, Hogwarts feels like home. Misfits like Harry, Snape, and Riddle found a home at Hogwartse. Each of us feels like a misfit at times too, and we all want to truly belong somewhere. I think that anyone could fit in at Hogwarts, if they only just have the imagination for it.
  3. The author. If Harry Potter was written by an American, the series wouldn't be nearly as good. Back when I was in college (wow, that makes me feel really old), I took several classes where all we did was read novels—and the British ones were always better. Brits just have an inborn wit that Americans just can't duplicate. It's those little tidbits that make the books so delightful, the reason why readers randomly burst into uncontrollable fits of giggles. Okay, and I like that the series was written by a woman.
  4. The fight between good and evil. Anyone who thinks Harry Potter is evil is not only INSANE but they also haven't taken the time to read the books. Deeply ingrained throughout the entire series is the fight between good and evil. The books exist on that fight—it was evil that destroyed Harry's parents and gave him the desire to destroy that evil. There are so many wonderful things to be learned from the books and anyone who says otherwise is not my friend.
  5. The wizarding world. Each of us has our own little fantasy world, hidden away from the "Muggles" around us. Harry Potter's world is hidden, but it is not a small world. It is a vast world full of cultures, rules, diverse people and animals, and knowledge. The Harry Potter books give us but a glimpse of this world. Harry's world doesn't feel made up; it feels like a real, delightful discovery.
  6. The complicated plot lines. I have read the Harry Potter books many times, and I always find new things to enjoy in each run-through. For example, Peeves smashes the Vanishing Cabinet in book 2 that Malfoy spends the entire 6th book mending; Dumbledore mentions the Room of Requirement a year before Dobby shows Harry what it is; Hagrid tells Harry in book 1 that you would be mad to try to rob Gringotts, and that is what Harry does in book 7. There are always little nuggets to find, little nuggets that sneak up on you later. Reading Harry Potter is almost like reading the scriptures! Though after the 12th time or so through the books, you don't pick up on as many of the little clues because you have the entire series memorized. That is why if I ever get amnesia, I want someone to make me read the Harry Potter books so that I can experience the whole series fresh and new. Sigh. Somebody hit me with a hammer please.
  7. Quidditch and the D.A. I love anything that brings the students together. The Quidditch matches were fun House rivalries, and the D.A. was a brilliant way to unite the Houses. I just loved watching the students work together toward something great, whether it be defeating Voldemort or winning the Quidditch Cup. And, I loved watching Neville and Luna grow under Harry's leadership and the friendships created in the D.A. It was a fun game to be a part of.
  8. The appeal to all age groups. It bugs me when people try to classify Harry Potter into a specific age group because it just doesn't work. We talked about Harry Potter a lot in my YA lit class and how Harry Potter breaks all rules. It appeals to children, teenagers, and adults equally. You don't have to be a child to revel in the magic of Harry's world, and you don't have to be an adult to appreciate the lessons of love, loyalty, and bravery. There is something there for everyone; it's a ride that everyone can enjoy.
  9. The escape factor. When life gets stressful, Harry Potter is a safe place to run to. There is no better way to escape reality for a few hours than by diving into a Harry Potter book. Reading these books are effortless and comforting. It's not wonder I always suffer intense withdrawals whenever I make it through the series—it means I no longer have a (real) fantasy world to escape to. But at the same time, it also leaves me with the feeling that I can conquer my own life and that I really do have a lot to be grateful for.
  10. The journey. Half the fun of reading Harry Potter was the excitement of waiting for the next book to come out. It was so fun discussing with the rest of the world the fate of Harry and his friends. The wait drove me crazy at times, but at least it always gave me something interesting to think and talk about. And, I discovered Harry when I was 12 years old. In a sense, I went through Hogwarts with him. I felt his pain in a way that only a teenager could. It was a long journey for Harry, but it was an even longer journey for the rest of us. However, that made the journey more worthwhile. It still makes me sad that I don't have another Harry Potter book to look forward to. I miss that more than anything. There is nothing quite like reading a Harry Potter book for the first time after waiting 2 long, agonizing years to hold the book in your hands. However, I still have the longing between reads that contribute to the fun of finally laying my hands on a book.

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