Sunday, May 31, 2009

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 1

Alright all you Gryffindorks, if you don't like my analysis or if you find any Raven-flaws in my blog posts. I won't be Slytherin' away, so you can just Huffle-shove-it.

Now, on to the action. The first thing to remember when reading this series is that there is no such thing as an insignificant detail. For this reason, many seemingly insignificant tidbits of information can actually be big clues as to things to happen later in the book or series. Normally, I won't spoil any crucial plot information that comes later in the series, but I want to illustrate the point that even in the very first chapter, there is a huge load of information beyond the obvious. Here is a list of items I picked out that have significance later in the book series.

1.) Although Professor McGonagall opposes the idea of sending Harry to live with the Dursleys, Dumbledore strongly insists, although the reason for this does not become significant or apparent until Book 5.

2.) Notice how Dumbledore offer's McGonagall a lemon drop. McGonagall clearly has never heard of them, but Dumbledore likes them. This is a major clue as to the nature of Dumbledore's relationships with others. Wizards clearly don't eat muggle candy, yet Dumbledore likes them because he simply likes them. He holds no prejudices. This is also evidenced by his unwavering trust in the half-giant Hagrid. The prejudices held by wizards against muggles and other non-wizard creatures becomes a large plot element of Book 5, is also an underlying theme in Books 4-7.

3.) Now, I've read this book about 8 times, yet I picked out something new once again this time around. When the muggle news is on and they're talking about the absurd flying habits of the owls that day, one news anchor holds back a smirk. It is also noted that his name is Ted. Why would J.K Rowling put in there that Ted obviously knows something the other muggle doesn't? I believe that this is the case because this Ted is actually Ted Tonks, father of Nymphadora Tonks of Book 5. Just a theory...

4.) Rowling also metions the name of Dedalus Diggle in passing. Dedalus acutally ends up playing minor roles throughout the books.

5.) Did you notice who Hagrid borrowed the motorcycle from? Yes, it was Sirius Black. This has huge significance in Book 3.

6.) Dumbledore uses a deluminator to put out the street lights. This handy little device has great significance, although it doesn't reappear in the series until the last book.

7.) Finally, notice where Harry lived before his parents were killed. They lived in Godric's Hollow. This will be important in Books 2 and 7 as well as later in this book.

So there you have it. In just the first chapter, there is a truck load of significant information and I'm sure there is more than what I've just mentioned. So, never take an offhand comment made by the author for granted. Constant vigilance!

The beginning of something great

LET THE GAMES BEGIN! All right all you Potterheads, if you haven't started already, I'm going to start Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone today, so check back periodically for new posts. Good luck and have fun!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Men are from Mars, Women are from Forks, WA.

Okay, okay, I'm done with the Twilight references. I just had to add that one last jab. Thanks Tyler S. for the inspiration!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This is my "football."

Hey all, I just wanted to share a quote out of a book about the Harry Potter series that I can really relate to:

"All of us led other lives, with work and school and families who didn't understand how we could love anything as much as we loved Harry Potter, who even, at times, made fun of us for devoting so much time and energy to it - but then would spend six hours shouting themselves hoarse at a football match, and five after that shouting themselves hoarse at each other as they discussed the same game."

-Melissa Anelli, author of Harry, A History

Warmest regards,

Tyler, the Gryffindork

Monday, May 25, 2009

Okay, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little

It may seem odd, but to kick off my Harry Potter blog, I can't help but post a critique of a book series I just read. Yes, I have channeled my inner 13 year-old girl and read the Twilight series. Please wait until you've read my review before you pass judgment on my testosterone levels... or lack thereof.

Overall, I rate the series 9 stars out of 10......million. All kidding aside, I actually do have some positive points to pick out of the series, so I suppose I'll start with those before I begin the actual rant.

SPOILER ALERT: Please do not read the rest of this if you do not want to know key plot elements of the Twilight series. This is your only warning.


1.) Stephanie Meyer - props on coming up with a cleaver and creative idea for a romance novel that seamlessly blends the supernatural with the ordinary. Kudos.

2.) The constant threat of impending doom and violence = compelling story. I'm glad it wasn't all gooey kissy barfiness.

3.) The story does a pretty good job of moving along and keeping the attention of the reader. I got into the story enough to actually care about what happens to the characters.

4.) There are some truly likable characters in this series. Seth, for example is one of my favorites. He has true convictions and sticks to his guns despite being one of the youngest members of his pack. He doesn't carry around prejudices or preconceived notions. He judges things as they are. He's also extremely loyal and has a good heart.


1.) In the words of Simon Cowell, "That was complete self-indulgent rubbish!" That just about sums up my opinion of the whole story. I imagine Stephanie Meyer is a lot like Bella when we first meet her in the beginning of the novel. Plain, not many friends, somewhat of an introvert and social outcast. That's about where that ends. We now enter Stephanie's happy fantasy land where young Bella meets a guy entirely out of her league who just happens to be as obscessed with her as she is with him. Bella has no apparent remarkable personality traits and she is admittedly average looking. Yet, Mr. invincible has chosen her to fall in love with after not batting an eye at any girl for almost a century. Go figure. Second, every guy bella encounters seems to fall head-over-heals in love with Bella; i.e.: Mike, Jake, Edward, even Quil if he had the chance. Thirdly, Bella and Edward have a child who is not only the most beautiful in the world (although every mother thinks theirs is the most beautiful child in the world, but I'm not going to go there.) But does young Renesmee (stupid name) have any flaws? Nope! She's the child that everyone falls in love with immediately upon seeing her. Every mother's fantasy. Just a little self-indulgent maybe? Lastly, "Plain Jane" Bella becomes little miss vixen vampire. Does Stephanie Meyer settle with having her dream self as powerful as the other vampires? No way! Bella exercises exceptional self-control for a vampire, can run faster, jump higher, and even beat Mr. Strongman Emmett in arm wrestling. Hmmm. I wonder who is going to save the entire vampire nation from the opressing Volturi. Surely not the experienced vampires. Nope, it's Bella. If you can't see how self-indulgent Stephanie Meyer is by now, read the previous paragraph again and repeat until you do.

2.) There is no objectivity in the author's portrayal of male and female. These books were clearly written by a female for females. You're probably screaming "DUH!" at me, but come on, give us guys a fair shake. Meyer's portrayal of guys is for the most part is over generalized. They're either too good to be true (Edward) or stereotyped into macho jerks who only think about fighting and/or sex (Emmett and Jacob). Need evidence? Take a look at the passages when Edward is reading Jacob's thoughts and I'll bet you 75% of the things Emmett says have to do with fighting or gettin' lucky. And how many times is Mike going to ask Bella out? Move on buddy!

3.) Can you say clingy? If Edward weren't so in love with Bella, he'd get sick of her pretty quick. Here's the best example of Bella's "clinginess." In New Moon, Edward leaves Bella in the fall. She does the whole "poor me" thing for 4 months until she meets Jacob. She admittedly spends a lot of time with him, but a mere 4 more months later, she's reunited with Edward. Now, 4 months is like a summer fling and yet Bella feels like she can't live without Jacob in her life. She'd known the little brat for 4 stupid months. Get over it!

Those are my biggest gripes out the series although I have plenty more. Finally, I just want to say that I think there was so much potential to do so much with this story, but I was left feeling a bit unfulfilled. I wish Stephanie Meyer would have developed the characters a little more. Not Bella, Edward, or Jacob, but the other characters. It seems like the other Cullens all got pigeonholed in their roles. For example, Carlisle is the compassionate doctor. He plays a huge part in the story, and yet we still don't know much else about him. I would prefer if there were other plot elements to be resolved besides those surrounding Bella and Edward. What about killing off a major character? I think it is a mark of a mature writer that you can kill off a major likable character, speaking of clingy, miss Stephanie.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll think of dozen more things to say about this series, but I've bored you all with enough already. I'll say this though. Stephanie Meyer knows her audience well and she has catered to them brilliantly, and to that I say, job well done.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


If you've somehow managed to find your way onto this blog and it wasn't by accident, then congratulations, you're a nerd. Well, at least you're in good company then.

As explained in my family blog, I have created this blog to post and discuss thoughts and insights on the Harry Potter series as I begin reading the books again. I have a great respect for J.K. Rowling's writing and have fallen in love with this series. I love discussing this story's many intricate layers and it is my hope that some of you will post on this blog and read along with me. Now, for some formalities:

I do not intend for this to be laborious nor do I expect any level of commitment from anyone who wishes to comment on this blog. I also do not intend to reveal any key plot elements that would give any of the story away for those who are reading the books for the first time. I will merely be commenting on what I have read. I also do not plan on having a set reading schedule, so check back here periodically for any new posts, or feel free to comment on older posts as well.

My hope is that as we read this series together, we can share thoughts about the books with each other and hopefully gain new insights on Harry's story. I will be starting reading soon, so if this sounds like something you'd like to do, then dust off your seven volume set and get ready!