This book, and series, holds a special place in my heart. One of the things that convinced me to choose the list of books that I did is this presence of this book. I grew up loving this series and the concepts, going to midnight openings for both the books and movies, and being heartbroken when it was over. Then, joy when the Fantastic Beasts series were announced. J.K. Rowling is Queen. As is such, this post may be longer than some others due to my obsession.
I also know there has been a significant amount of controversy over this series. Religiously several churches, especially in the U.S., have called to ban the books due to them containing witchcraft and promoting it. There has also been large amounts of recent debate about Albus Dumbledore being confirmed gay by J.K. herself. In my opinion, no matter how much you read Harry Potter you’re not going to be able to spontaneously do magic (even if you desperately wish it to be true). Who didn’t wish for their Hogwarts letter to come? As for Dumbledore being gay, well, you love who you love.
Moving past the heavy topics, I believe the biggest quote to this book and a large amount of foreshadowing happens in the very beginning by Professor McGonagall herself.
“There will be books written about Harry – every child in our world will know his name!” -Professor McGonagall
A little about J.K. Rowling herself, writing this book she wrote down the plot on scraps of paper at a local cafe. She was then turned down by at least 12 different publishers before finally being published. That, friends, is the power of determination. Imagine being turned down that many times and still pushing through. Imagine being those publishers now and realizing you had your chance and blew it. #oops
So this line “every child in our world will know his name!” is referring to the world of witchcraft but unintentionally to our real world here. Even if a person has never read the books or seen any of the movies they STILL know about Harry Potter. Little did she know the success that this series would have.
“Holly and Phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple”
This interests me because I love how not only is she creating a whole world she is also creating wandlore. Everything she has done with this series blows my mind, there is so much extra information flowing from her mind that Pottermore exists. If you’re unaware of the site, or even just beginning to be pulled into Harry Potter, check it out. You won’t regret it.
In this case, https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/wand-woods . In case you get curious and want to know more. I’m a super nerd so I tend to research random things when the catch my attention.
Holly is described as a rare wood and usually considered protective. Which is one of Harry’s biggest traits (I think). He’s concerned with protecting his friends and not allowing them to die for him. These wands connect with owners on dangerous quests. There are literally 7 books that explain that last sentence. I just can’t imagine the complexity of what J.K. Rowling has done. It, in itself, is its own form of magic.
Then, I want to take a minute to talk about the houses. The sorting hat’s songs are basically beautifully done poetry.
“You might belong in Gryffindor,
where dwell the brave of heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart.”
Even the symbol, the lion, is another reaffirmation of Gryffindor values. The Lion represents Pride, Courage, Strength, and Family. Gold tends to mean justice, while red is the color of passion. There’s so many hidden layers in something people look down on as a children’s book.
“You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,
And unafraid of toil;”
Badgers tend to symbolize determination, defense, and protection. The colors for Hufflepuff are yellow and black. Yellow tends to symbolize happiness and optimism while black is for formality and elegance. This house also tends to be made fun of as a “catch-all” house. Then there is the recent #Hufflepuffpride movement, and all I have to say is good on you! You have to take pride in your house!
“Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;”
Ravenclaw is symbolized by the eagle which tends to mean power, perception and intuition. Their house colors are blue and bronze. Blue being a symbol of tranquility and confidence. Bronze is a metal instead of a color and is a mix of copper and tin. Tin represents wisdom, logic, and knowledge. Copper represents charisma, caring, and balance. All of those mix into the traits of our lovely Ravenclaws.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST,
“Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
These cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.”
Now, I know this is the house that is considered evil but they are much more than that. Snakes as a symbol religiously are the villain going back to Adam and Eve in the Bible. Aside from that, they usually represent healing, transformation, and perception. Their house colors consists of green and silver. Green typically symbolizes stability and endurance. The metal of silver symbolizes awareness, focus, and persistence.
I’m particularly partial to this house as I associate with this house. Ambitious, shrewd, and cunning are traits very helpful in this dog eat dog world.
“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” -Dumbledore
Music is magic. What else can match your mood to any occasion? It can take you away from your worries. It can sooth a broken heart. It can get you pumped up for sports or a job interview. Music is so versatile and comes in every form. From Queen to X Ambassadors to Chris Stapleton to Imagine Dragons. It can be whatever you need it to be.
“”One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore.”
One thing about me, I LOVE SOCKS. Fuzzy socks, Tall socks, Boot Socks, Superhero Socks, you name it. Matching, mismatching, it’s all about what you want. Rereading it made me laugh. I feel you Dumbledore.
Here’s where I do a shameless plug for my absolute favorite, FEAT Socks. I didn’t learn about them until I found them on Twitter where they were giving away a free pair of socks if you retweeted them. Turns out, these socks were AMAZING. If you’re in the market for comfortable, durable, tall socks, then go take a peak at their website. I wear them all the time.
“”The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with caution.”
Isn’t that the truth. The truth about the truth. Not much to say about that.
The truth will out they say, even if it is painful.
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” -Dumbledore
This, perhaps, may be one of the most well-known quotes from Sorcerer’s Stone. You see it in fancy writing on Pinterest boards. Which I am ok with, the more people who see it the more who may become interested in reading the series.
I have had a friend recently begin reading the series. I am not gonna lie it brings me joy to witness someone enjoying my favorite series for the very first time. The ups and downs, the outrage over the movies getting it wrong, it’s just a beautiful thing.
There may have been a lot of controversy over Harry Potter, but there are a lot of positive messages rolled up in this masterpiece. A young boy who has suffered his whole young life finds his place and people who love him. That same young boy goes to face the obstacles in front of him with bravery even in the face of evil. He is supported by many including friends who never leave his side along with an adopted family who love him fiercely. He is kind, humble, determined, and loving. What more could you ask for in a role model?
All in all, it is a wonderful book and series and I would recommend it to anyone. I’ve read it more times than I can count and am always open to discussing theories. Hopefully, someone reads this and sees the good of this book. As always, I commend J.K. Rowling and her brilliance.