Pottered, Chapter One: My First Foray Into The World Of Harry Potter

As some of you may know I recently decided I didn’t want to be in the dark about the Harry Potter franchise anymore. I’ve seen a few of the movies and have always been like, “I don’t know what’s happening! MEEEEEEH!” “What are you people talking about? What is Quidditch? MEEEEEEEEH!” I never understood the plots or remembered anyone’s names. The worst example of this was my summary of The Goblet Of Fire (2005): “I’m not sure what happened in it but I think there were sea turtles and a kid died during a broom race.”

Then I started seeing the preview for The Deathly Hallows- Part 1 (2010) whenever I went to the movies last year. I even sat through an exclusive trailer at Comic-Con. Every single time (and there were many) I reacted like someone with the onset of dementia: “I’m super emotional and so confused. I’m crying and don’t know why. What the hell is happening in this movie? And where are my keys?”

After corresponding with my friend Fawn about this, I decided I was going to read/not read the series. I downloaded the audiobooks read by Stephen Fry (which is more than cool- his voice is like honey with a PhD and it keeps all of the British colloquialisms) and began listening to chapters during my daily commutes.

The books are good. Quite good, in fact. The plot is involving, the characters aren’t annoyingly “perfect,” and it’s obvious that J.K. Rowling is a masterful storyteller.

I also understand them. Isn’t that great?

As part of my crash course I decided I would listen to a book then watch the accompanying film. I sat through The Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) last weekend.

Well, I now see why I never understood these movies more than ever. If you don’t read the books you’re just not going to get it. You need the background information and some of the omitted plot points to get the whole picture.

Also, I’m pretty sure that a while back I read that one of the actors (Daniel Radcliffe or Rupert Grint) said looking back on the first movie they were “terrible.” Now don’t stone me but… I agree. Although it’s more than obvious these guys can act now- Jesus Christ, they weren’t really good in the first one.

Also, Alan Rickman was perfectly cast as Snape but he was scene-chewing so hard core I was getting hit with pieces of the set whenever he said a line. It was hilarious. Whenever he looked at Radcliffe I didn’t know whether he wanted to expel him, murder him or have violent sex with him. Maybe all at once. This is all the more reason why there is slash fiction about Snape and Harry on the internet.

So… so far I like the books but not the movies. Will the movies get better? I assume they do because the last installment looks like the epicest epic that ever epiced in Epicville. Also, I know things get more disturbing and unpleasant with each book. Hell, I’m just on book 2 and shit is getting real.

(Update: I watched The Chamber Of Secrets (2002) last night. It was already a vast improvement, both as an adaptation and in the acting.)

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3 thoughts on “Pottered, Chapter One: My First Foray Into The World Of Harry Potter

  1. You have to remember that when the first movie came out only 4 of the 7 books were released so really no one knew how epic the books were going to get. Also, we were all just so excited that they were making our favorite books into movies that we really didn’t care or notice they were bad… In watching the first movie again recently I did realize how horrible it was but I still enjoyed it.

    You should watch some of the extras on the DVD for the first one. I’ve seen documentaries about the first movie and Chris Columbus was basically like “So in every scene with the children I was next to the camera feeding them their lines and telling them how to say them” which I thought was pretty darn funny.

    Thanks for sharing! I’m so glad you’re part of “The Club” now. I’ll show you the secret handshake next time I see you. :)

  2. Ah, it’s not just me. I have also been unable to follow the movies since the 2nd one (that was the last book I read. The last Harry Potter book I mean. Unless you want to count some of that Snape slash fan fiction you mention. I have read quite a bit of that, and for the very reason: Alan Rickman). So let me catch up on your Pottered series and see if I feel like reading the books. Sigh, it would be so much easier if Harry wasn’t so darn boringly good, and Draco so tragically sexily to be bad.

    B.t.w – love the ” … I think there were sea turtles.. “. I couldn’t have said it nearly as well, but it summarized my view perfectly.

    • Thanks for reading! Although I do have to warn you- the impending posts aren’t spoiler-free. I don’t want to be responsible for ruining things for you. I’m mostly writing these things to work out how I am reacting to all of this.

      But yeah, I’d say that the film series is one of the most non-inclusive set of films I’ve ever seen. While watching The Goblet Of Fire it seemed like every thirty seconds the movie is making an assumption that you should know an important detail or the names of characters and how they relate to one another. If you’ve read the books, you know what’s up. If you haven’t, you are confused a lot of the time. And that’s how I felt while watching the films with friends who, not surprisingly, had read everything. I was like, “What the hell is going on?” Also, all the Quidditch bored me.

      I give your homosexual slash fiction perusing bonus points. Totally. In conclusion, Alan Rickman.

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