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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

H is for Harry Potter - Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

Aww, weren't they adorable in the first movie :).

Yes, today I'm going to witter on about Harry Potter. I think we in the writing line have a lot to thank J.K. Rowling for. Not only did she bring YA into the mainstream, she made it incredibly profitable and proved to the world authors were very much worth talking about again.

I do admit, I came into Harry Potter via the films, but after the first movie I dived headlong into the books. The first one always felt very Roald Dahl-ish to me at the beginning, I was very glad when she dropped that style and went with her own.

I'm definitely not saying the Harry Potter books are perfect, far from it, but they are wonderful. The depth of story telling and world building is superb and they are a delight to read ... mostly. We'll get onto that later.

The biggest thing for me is that Harry Potter inspired me to write, a lot. I had dabbled in fanfic before, but never to the extent I did in the Harry Potter fandom. This is the fandom that made me write and write and write and, thank heavens, improve. HP fandom was so big and had so many talented people in it that it was a wonderful community for talking, exchanging ideas and just having fun. This is really what Harry Potter means to me.

So you may be wondering what drew me to write. It's very simple really, given the fact I'm a slash writer mainly (m/m) what drew me to want to create fanfic was the relationship between Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. The classic hero and bad boy that crackled with unresolved tension. It was irresistible.

If you would like to check out any of my HP fanfic, you can find it over here at AO3.

Now, back to the books. I'm not going to go over all of them, just tell you about the highs and lows.

For a long while my favourite book was The Prisoner of Azkaban. It has everything: intrigue, excitement, wrongs righted, friends returned. I loved Sirius and the book is fast paced and well thought out.

The film is not as good, as shown by my husband. It's great for anyone who knows the book, but my dearly beloved has never picked them up and he was confused because the film missed too much out. He never did get the Marauders or, for that matter, wolfsbane potion - all rather important to the plot.

However, I still very much enjoyed it.

However, when The Half-Blood Prince came out I had a new favourite book. This I think is her best work to date. The book is complex and action packed and I loved it, even though it was difficult to read and cry at the same time when I got to the end.

For me, this book is much more the culmination of the series than book seven. It fulfils everything I expect from a Harry Potter novel, with a slightly more grown-up outlook on the whole thing. The interaction between Draco and Harry is also superb.

Those were the highs, now on to the lows. I do not know if I can describe in words how much I loathe Order of the Phoenix. I'll let you into a little secret, I've never actually read the whole book. I tried, but I disliked it so much that I skim read the parts I needed to write fanfic and discarded the rest.

This book is long, tedious and horrid. I really hope it is simply a product of post natal depression or something, because it's one long downer. Harry was totally un-Harry like half the time, Delores Umbridge makes me want to destroy things and then JKR went and killed Sirius for no real reason I could fathom.

As you can tell, I really don't like this book. The only really good thing to come out of it is Dumbledore's Army.

Then there is book seven. Now this is not a bad book per say, not like #5, but I still don't like it. The main reason being; she broke the formula.

The formula for Harry Potter is, Harry goes to school, bad things happen at school which he overcomes, there is a big confrontation at school or somewhere in relation to the school and Harry wins. This is what I liked about the other books. Book seven did not give this to me and I was disappointed.

I also object to the way she kept killing characters off for no real reason. And the epilogue - good heavens, her editor should have ripped the epilogue out and burned it.

Then there was the whole splitting it into two films, which drives me potty (don't even get me started on The Hobbit).

So there you have it, what I love and dislike about the Harry Potter franchise. Do you love or dislike Harry Potter? Are you a book fan or a movie fan? I would love to know.

If you would like to see what all of my posts will be about in advance, click here to see my theme post.
My twin and I are also doing the A to Z Challenge over at our fantasy erotica blog: http://fantasyboysxxx.blogspot.co.uk/

10 comments:

  1. Oh I love the Harry Potter books, and a few of the movies. Plus it gave me a Harry and Draco that I wanted to see (visually)

    For the movies, because I think raised the bar on movie story telling when it come to adapting them from books. Which, I then think, Lord of the rings took and blew that out of the water.

    Now the books. JK created a beautiful, fun world where people for generations will read, enjoy and yes if play with in like fan fiction writers do, but I swear the woman needs to take a class in childhood psychology. I have always had a hard time with Harry's abuse in the first book. Lets put to the side that know one noticed anything, but for him to be so well adjusted going into a whole other world and meeting new people, I dont get it. Maybe that's why I like my fan fiction Harry to lean more to the gray and slightly non-trusting.

    I agree with you about Harry/Draco and while their slash relationship works so well. I always wished there was a point that they would come to an understanding, well better then the brief glance in the book.

    One person you didn't mention and maybe because you don't agree, is Snape. You want to hate them and then there's Half Blood Prince, and the scene where Harry views his memories in Deathly Hallows, after that I had to go back and re-look at his every action with Harry with different meaning.

    I could go on and on, but this is your blog not mine :)

    BTW Gold Painted Speckles is by far one of my favorite HP fan fiction along with the one where Harry is turned into a mix of dark creatures.

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    1. LotR is definitely the way to do it :)

      I think the first book was very childish and the whole Dursley situation was very Roald Dahl-ish, so it wasn't dealt with in depth, then it kind of became much less important. Fanfic writers dealt with it much better :).

      Snape is cool, I just didn't have time to write everything in the post without making it tooooo long :).

      Thank you, I'm so glad you like GTS.

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  2. I liked the Harry Potter movies, most of them anyway. I have only read two of the books. The Prisoner of Azkeban movie I agree was not as good.

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    1. I enjoyed The Prisoner of Azkaban movie, I just think it missed too much out. :)

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  3. I've never read the Harry Potter books. I tried with book one. I had bought it to read to my children. (At that time they were young and we would choose a book to read out loud.) To tell the truth we were bored with it and never finished the book. However, we loved the Harry Potter movies!

    My daughter has since gone back and read all the books in the series and said she loved them! So who knows. Maybe we were just not in the mood to read Harry Potter the first go around. lol

    And yes, it drove me crazy that the movie industry split the book into two movies. Ugh! I wish they would stop doing that.

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    1. The first book is definitely not the best, the beginning especially.

      I hate them splitting books, it usually means they have left in too much which can really only come over in the book, or they've stuffed filler in like running dwarves (that's a Hobbit reference BTW ;)).

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  4. When I was just out of college, around 1999 or 2000, my uncle was reading this series to my niece and told me I had to read it. I finished the first book before the first movie came out, the second book right before the second movie came out, and really got into the series with the third book, which I read in September 2001.

    I love the books and the movies, although I do agree that 'Order of the Phoenix' has some very, very dark moments that were disturbing when I first read it. (I felt very scared that Arthur Weasley was going to die, a thought that horrified me.)

    I think the reason J.K. Rowling killed so many beloved characters was part of her overall grand point: that some things are worth fighting for, even if you die as part of the fight, and death is not the worst thing that could happen to you - not worse than losing your soul along the way. I'm still not happy about the fates of Lupin and Tonks, but I do see that Rowling wanted the books to have an overarching hopeful, Christian message of love and everlasting life, if we choose good over evil.

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    1. I really, really dislike Order of the Pheonix, I find most of it entirely unnecessary. It feels off to me.

      I think she killed Remus simply because it gave her a full house of ghosts from his school days. I think Tonks was completely underused and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She killed one of the twins and didn't even do it properly. Not only that, she killed Hedwig. I think she got kill happy.

      The only two deaths that make any sense to me are Dobby and Dumbledore. I would even have given her Sirius if it had been used more, especially the manner of his death, but it wasn't. I am mostly thoroughly unimpressed with who she killed, when and how. Mostly the fanfic did it way better IMHO.

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  5. I've read the books and seen the movies. i I can see the appeal for children, reading them because they made me feel a child again. Not the best series, but a good one, especially for teens!

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    1. And it did things for fantasy and YA literature with it's popularity that have enlivened the whole genre. :)

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