Observations on Harry Potter: Books 1 – 4

Hello Muggles and Muggle-borns, Super Hubs here with another post that’s just a thinly veiled excuse for me to re-experience something I like! I haven’t read the Harry Potter series in many many years; in fact I haven’t even read books 6 and 7 since they first came out. Nikkie and I have a Christmas tradition of rewatching the movies and we spent the whole time arguing about them, as we do. Harry Potter’s got a way of making us get into fierce debates. A lot. She always wins. I realized finally that this is because she knows the books much better than I do! So I decided to bulk up my knowledge so that next time I’ll win the argument and I CAN SHOVE IT INTO HER STUPID FACE! And just for a bit of fun I’m going to list my current order of enjoyment and in the next post I’ll see if the reread changes that at all. So, before starting the reread my order was:

1. Order of the Phoenix
2. Prisoner of Azkaban
3. Sorcerer’s Stone
4. Half-Blood Prince
5. Deathly Hallows
6. Goblet of Fire
7. Chamber of Secrets

We’ll see how well that holds up! I can tell you now some of the order has already changed. But on to my observations from the first four books!
There are three major observations I had in these first three books but one in particular has stood out. As I made my notes this theme kept arising pretty much in every single chapter.

1. Ron’s a Total Dickhead

Ron is the worst guys. The absolute worst. He’s a terrible friend, a terrible son, and a terrible person. He spends every single book either complaining about something, or fighting with Harry, Hermione, or both. There has not been a single book in the series where he hasn’t been in a big fight with one of his supposedly best friends. And the fights are always entirely his fault and yet somehow he never faces any consequences and in one notable instance Hermione APOLOGIZES TO HIM for a fight that was ENTIRELY HIS FAULT. He made her cry many times and yet she apologizes. It makes no sense. He makes me very angry all the time. And when it comes to Hermione he’s a creepy, abusive, possessive asshole. He spends most of book 4 sulking about her relationship with Viktor Krum and glaring at her anytime she mentions any other guy. During the Yule Ball he spends the entire time watching her “with narrowed eyes” and not even pretending to try to pay attention to his date. He doesn’t deserve to be with Hermione. He’s constantly taking out his inferiority complex on her. And Hermione’s a much better friend to Harry than Ron is but Harry just aaaaaalways comes back to Ron and shunts Hermione off to the side.

And he’s a dick to his mom about being poor. It’s really clear how bad his mom feels about not being able to afford things for her kids and Ron just shoves it in her face all the time. He’s a piece of shit. Fuck Ron.

2. The Wizarding World is Very Cavalier about Life

In one of the early books there’s an offhanded mention of a transfiguration lesson they had recently. They were supposed to turn hedgehogs into pincushions. Seamus’s hedgehog wasn’t totally transfigured and it’s mentioned that it “curls up in fear whenever someone approached it with a pin.” THAT’S SO FUCKED UP. Transfigured things retain their thoughts and feelings. And they’re always transfiguring animals! How much stuff in the wizarding world is just terrified animals forced into different shapes?? Can they die after they’ve been transfigured? Do they just suffer forever!? There’s this widespread disregard for life throughout the books that’s just really uncomfortable to me. Animals are tortured and killed on a whim or flippantly transformed for the lulz, magical creatures are treated as if they don’t count as actual living beings, elves are enslaved, giants are slaughtered and forced to live in the mountains where wizards know they will kill each other…but they don’t care. Wizards don’t seem to care about anything. Which leads us to…

3. The Wizarding World is on that Racist Shit

Wizards are some fucking racists ya’ll. This is techincally from book 5 but I gotta bring it up here: there’s a statue in the Ministry of Magic depicting a witch and a wizard. All around them are other creatures, gazing up at the witch and wizard with looks of devotion. It’s fucked up. They have slaves people. SLAVES. And I don’t care how many times other wizards say “Oh the elves LIKE being slaves. It makes them HAPPY.” That’s messed up!

I remember when I was a kid I was very irritated by Hermione’s S.P.E.W. stuff but now I’m just angry that no one else takes her seriously. Slavery is bad. That’s like rule number one of society. It’s not an argument anyone should have to have. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU WIZARDING WORLD!?

Then of course there’s their widespread hatred of half-giants and werewolves and any other “half-breeds” and the very common view of muggle borns as lesser people. And there’s a scene where Ron is trying to explain why half-giants are persecuted and it’s really uncomfortable. Ron is way too okay with all the racism. Full circle. Ron’s a dick!

ronsucks

Beyond those three major observations there were some other things that really stood out to me.

There seems to be a lot of foreshadowing about a Hermione x Neville pairing in the early books. They hang out a lot, she’s nicer to him than literally anyone else and always seems to know things about him that no one else does, and he asks her to the Yule Ball and gets really sad when she says no. This would have been much better than her ending up with Ron. But then anything would have been better than her ending up with Ron. Except for her ending up with Draco. So shut the fuck up tumblr!

The eventual Harry x Ginny pairing is built up a lot more than it is in the movies. I’m actually okay with it now that I’ve seen how much its set up in the books.

Snape needs to…get some help. Like dude, you shouldn’t be taking out your sexual frustrations on the child of the woman you wanted to fuck. That’s several levels of fucked up. And it’s worse in the books cus he doesn’t have Alan Rickman’s charm.

But I totally get his hatred of Sirius. Sirius is kind of a dickhead and he literally tried to murder Snape. He tricked him into going into the shrieking shack when Lupin was transformed. If James hadn’t put a stop to it Snape would definitely have died.

Everyone takes it for a fact that Voldemort is alive until suddenly Cornelius Fudge refuses to believe he’s even alive at the end of book 4. Like they talk about him a bunch in the first three books, about how he’s hiding out in a forest somewhere. It’s weird.

I really don’t like book 4. It’s like 600 pages of filler and 100 pages of plot. The second chapter is 20 pages of recapping the first three books in a really weak and obvious way.

Considering how much abuse Harry suffers from the Dursleys he should be waaaaaaaaaaay more messed up.

As per usual I meant for this to be a short, quick post and it got away from me. I’m sorry guys! I don’t know how to not be long winded! The next post will probably be longer cus I’ll be giving my observations plus my overall impressions of the series as a whole. So far this has been fun! I’d forgotten a lot about these books and how well written they are. Mostly. Except for Ron.

I can’t wait to get to the next post and talk about the greatest character ever written! See you soooooooooon!

luna

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