For the love of Harry Potter

Harry Potter
Diagon Alley realized!

Let me start this by saying that I love Harry Potter. So much in fact, that I’ll never understand anyone who hasn’t read the Harry Potter books. In fact, I judge anyone I know who hasn’t read Harry Potter.  It’s terrible, I know, but what can I say? It’s the truth. I’m especially harsh on Disney lovers who visit Orlando regularly but haven’t been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (one of my dreams).  Sorry, not sorry to say that Harry Potter is way cooler than anything Disney. Now don’t get me wrong…I adore Frozen and Beauty & the Beast. But Harry Potter is just better. You wildest imagination unfolds before your eyes as you’re reading and it’s just bloody brilliant. J.K. Rowling is the only billionaire to achieve such status by writing, and there’s good reason for that.

I hate hyped up/bandwagon jumping as much as anyone, but Harry Potter is a bandwagon everyone should get on. Like Hamilton and Game of Thrones-and yes, even Frozen–Harry Potter is really that damn good. When I think about TV shows/serials that I enjoy such as Friends and Sex & the City, I don’t fully “believe” what’s happening even though I’m entertained. The beauty of Harry Potter and even Game of Thrones is the humanness of the characters. Even though these are worlds of fantasy include magic, dragons and, in some cases, shadow babies, you still believe what’s happening due to the humanity.

In anticipation of the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (yes, I pre-ordered a copy), I re-read all the Harry Potter books as I failed to recall some important stuff, such as what a horcrux was, whose sobriquet was the Half Blood Prince and what the Deathly Hallows were, and here’s a stream of conscious rambling of sorts about my favorite Harry Potter characters!

1) Luna Lovegood: She’s a rainbow!!!! Whenever I get asked about my favorite Harry Potter book, I always respond as such, “the third. Not only do we meet the most badass character of all, Sirus Black,  but with all the plot twists, you realize how special, deliberate  and thoughtful the storytelling is and that you’re in for a treat. The only thing the book is missing is Luna Lovegood.” She’s sweet, honest, known for speaking the uncomfortable truths and marches to the beat of her own drum without worrying about what anyone thinks. I love, love, love, love, love her so much! She knows exactly what to say when Dobby dies, and her honesty and loyalty just make be cry.  Irish actress  Evanna Lynch plays her on the big screen. Apparently, this was one of the hardest roles to cast as the saw 20,000 actresses for the part.

2) Sirius Black:  As I mentioned Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book. No, it’s not the “best” of the boos per se, but it’s the first time we meet Sirius Black, a character made all the more awesome simply by the fact that Gary Oldman portrayed him on the big screen. I have to say, his death in the fifth book was no less devastating the second time around. He’s the closest thing to a family Harry has and they have just a couple of years together before he’s taken away…it’s just cruel! And, although Dumbledore takes the blame for Sirius’s death saying his actions caused it, I don’t agree. I hate to admit it, but it was Harry’s fault. He should have known that Dumbledore always has his reasons and his choice to ignore Harry was a thought out and deliberate decision.

3) The Weasleys: I love, love, love the Weasleys! They are just a family filled with so, so, so, so much love. The perfect foil for the Dursley’s, the Weasleys show how love really is the tie that binds. The kindness and thoughtfulnes of Julie Walters as Mrs. Weasley tugs at my heart strings, and the scene in The Order of the Phoenix when Mr. Weasley wears a crown on Christmas aftre just being released from the hospital make me cry. They are just so happy to be together and that is love! Fred’s loss in the last book is exacerbated by seeing this kind, loving family in pain.

4) Alan Rickman as Severus Snape: Harry Potter holds a special place in my heart for another reason: The first movie debuted during my semester in London, which was the happiest time of my pre-Italy life. I saw the movie there and left the cinema obsessed with Alan Rickman after his phenomenal performance as Snape. Later that year, I saw him in the West End Production of Private Lives, which officially made him my favorite actor. The show subsequently  came to Broadway and I saw it not once, but twice. Love Actually became one of my most favorite movies of all time a couple of years later.  I also saw him in Seminar on Broadway in 2012. I was so sorry to learn of his passing earlier this year and when I read these books, I just imagine all of Snape’s lines in his distinct, low baritone voice. I smile of course, but it also makes me a bit sad. Of all his brilliant scenes in the movies, several of his most brilliant are in the Half Blood Prince. I had no doubt in my mind that Snape was good all along, but I love how he wound up being a hard-core hero.

5) Hermione:  Ms. Hermione Granger just rocks. Harry would have been nothing without her and he knows it. Everyone needs a Hermione in their life.

6) Neville Longbottom: Last but not least. No words…just love, love, love!

Photo: Troy Jarrell, UnSplash.com

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