This week's 10 on Tuesday is to list your ten favorite things about Harry Potter whether it is the books or the movies. I'm doing a mix of the two as I love them both. This list will contain spoilers, so if you haven't read the books and don't want to read spoilers, quit now and come back after you've seen the movies or read all seven books.
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was J.K. Rowling's break out novel. That such genius could come out of her first book was a miracle. To follow it up with six more books that became even better with each book is pure talent.
2. Neville Longbottom. Neville is one of my favorite characters. I loved him when he was a bumbling chubby eleven-year old in the first book. I loved him when he was the last boy home from the Yule ball. I loved him when he was at the Ministry of Magic facing his own fears. I loved him when he was an "of age" wizard at Hogwart's protecting his fellow students in the Room of Requirement. I cheered when Neville killed Nagini with the Sword of Gryffindor!
3. I watched my children grow up with Harry Potter and our entire family had something to talk about at the dinner table, even if it was arguing which Weasley twin was the best (and why).
5. That millions of children (and adults) have been brought to reading because of these wonderful stories and they didn't quit reading after the seventh book was over. They came back to the bookstores to read more.
6. The movies. I have always considered the movies as a visual representation for the book readers. I've heard so many people who never read the books remark how they were confused in the movie. Of course you were because the movies weren't for you. They were for the readers. We understand what is going on. We aren't lost. We get eye candy for all the hours we have delightedly toiled (can you toil delightfully?) over the books. We get to see Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, Hagrid's hut, The Burrough, and Gringott's. We get to see Quidditch! We get to see the magic we've read about.
7. Words. Yes; there are words in the Harry Potter books, but they are used so delightfully. I love Rowling's use of Greek and Latin. I love how she has named her characters with so much thought. Each word seems carefully chiseled from many resources in order to create a perfect sentence. My favorite use of this kind of word play? Umbridge. From Umbrage: 1. Shade or shadow; 2. shady branches; 3. an indistinct indication or reason for doubt; 4. a feeling of pique or resentment at some often fancied slight or insult. Whenever I run across a name or word that intrigues me, I have to go look it up. Xenophilius is another fantastic name.
8. The world of Harry Potter is timeless. It could be set in modern times (even though Rowling has said that it is set in the late 80's and early 90's). My grandchildren can (and will) read these books and be able to relate to them. This is so rare in today's juvenile literature. The last person who did this so flawlessly was Madeliene L'engle.
9. Magic. Magic just intrigues me. I love the idea of lighting a room with a single word. How thrilling it would be to have knitting aided by magic. I would love to ride on a broom or travel by Floo powder. I would adore going to school to learn magic to turn a whistle into a pocket watch and have it sing you the time. I would faithfully go to each class and do my homework just so I could do magic. It would be so awesome to go to Ollivander's to have my wand choose me. I would love to receive an owl post (or send one for that matter).
10. The "I love magic" scene in the movies. There's one in each movie. It's that moment that Harry realizes or remembers that he is a wizard and how wonderful that is. The look on his face the first time he sees Diagon Alley probably mirrored my own. I love when he walked into the tent in Goblet of Fire to find that it wasn't a drab old ten foot by ten foot box but a multi-room house with rugs and carpets and a kitchen. It's OK, Harry. Because I love magic, too!