Alright witches and wizards, now that the release of the first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is just a few weeks away, I thought I’d break out the butterbeer and pumpkin juice and celebrate one of the greatest series of books in history, Muggle or otherwise…
Confession. I came a bit late to the Hogwarts Express. I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in college and always planned to read the rest at some point, but Merlin’s beard people, those books are LARGE. It’s a commitment, and there were always so many other books and manuscripts that were pressing.
Well, this summer I received the boxed set for my birthday and plowed through those books faster than you can say “expecto patronum.” (By the way, my Patronus is a space monkey. In case you’re wondering).
When I read the series I was just stunned at Rowling’s talent, ambition, the depth of the world building, the immediacy of the characters, the attention to detail. To say I admire Rowling is kind of like saying Dobby sort of likes Harry. I kept putting down the books, looking at my wife, and crying, “It’s not fair. This is so good. It’s not fair.”
But rather than just talk about how awesome Harry Potter is (AND I COULD GO ON), I thought we’d delve a little deeper into some of the writerly things that make Harry Potter so great.
So stay tuned for a week of Harry Potter themed posts!
In the meantime, one of the more stunning things to me about Harry Potter, which I will talk more about tomorrow, is how much Rowling is able to accomplish with a third person limited perspective. With a few scattered exceptions, we’re only inside Harry’s head, seeing his thoughts, and seeing everyone else filtered through Harry’s perspective.
It’s astounding how many compelling, memorable, hilarious, and terrifying characters Rowling draws with that constraint. We know so much about what makes the other characters tick, and yet we’re never seeing their thoughts. Go look! Not a single “Hermione thought such and such.”
So. Before we delve into how she does it, let’s talk favorites.
Who is your favorite character??
Claire M. Caterer says
There wouldn't be HP books without Harry, so obviously he has to take first prize. After him, I loved Snape from the very beginning, in all his mean, flawed glory. I knew he would show himself to be the "'bravest man I [Harry] ever knew'" (Book 7). And Hermione is most like me.
Harry. But, reading through the comments, what stands out for me is the diversity of the responses. Anybody who can make readers fall in love with just about any of her characters is a damn good writer.
Also, now I really want to reread the entire series. Yeah, not happening during NaNoWriMo…
First off- love the HP week and can't wait to read all the posts.
My hands down favorite character is Hermione, for so many reasons. I see a lot of myself in her.
I also loved the character of Tonks- I don't remember anyone with quite that level of cool when I was growing up.
I'm fascinated by Bellatrix- I'd love to know more about what made her so crazy.
And, I love Ron. To me, he was very realistically characterized.
I could talk HP all day….
Regulus (what a courageous guy!)
Lalena Grantham says
This is like asking who my favorite family member is. J.K Rowling is such an excellent writer that I love all her characters. You have to admire Sirius for persevering through Azkaban and Hagrid for well, just being Hagrid. By book seven I was even feeling sorry for Malfoy…how is that possible? I suppose I like Hermione best because of her growth. She starts as the know-it-all trying to prove that she belongs at Hogwarts and by the end she is breaking all the rules and risking everything for her friends. You have to admire that.
Laura Pauling says
Snape definitely. Hands down.
How do you choose? There's not a single character in there not to like. Even Snape, frighteningly enough.
Wait, perhaps I have to take that back. I guess Voldermort and his crowd are not to like. Although even the Malfoys end up more nuanced than you'd think.
I've thought the same thing many a time, reading those books (over and over): This is SO NOT FAIR.
Wild Runner says
I really like Remus Lupin. He's this incredibly responsible, ethical guy who's had to deal with incredible hardship, along with being the straight man to wild James and Sirius (and then to have all three of his best friends taken from him in various ways). And he doesn't really complain about it, except insofar as he tries to keep Tonks from entangling herself with him because he doesn't want her to have to share his burdens.
I think that if he'd been Harry's godfather, Dumbledore would not have been unwise to keep Harry with him rather than having him raised outside the wizarding community because Lupin could have kept him down-to-earth.
That's not to say I don't have an enormous lit-crush on the Weasley twins — I have a thing for redheads.
It's a toss-up between the Weasley twins (they are one character,) and Luna Lovegood.
Laura Marcella says
"To say I admire Rowling is kind of like saying Dobby sort of likes Harry." LOL, excellent analogy!
My favorite character is the entire Weasley family. Love them! (Except Percy most of the time, but he redeems himself in the end.)
I'm looking forward to all your Harry Potter posts!!!
D. Bond says
Is there such a thing as just having one favorite? I love them all! Luna is adorable and brings light to some situations and yet you know that she's right there in the scene, helping things along.
Ron is this guy who seems happy go lucky about being Harry's best friend but he's actually really insecure and he has fears. He and Harry fight. It's a good dynamic.
I could go on…
Bree D says
Impossible to choose, but isn't it interesting how many of use feel we are/were Hermione?
Ron! With all the Hermiones responding here, & I too identify with her, I'm surprised so few fell for Ron! I also love both of his parents & wish they were mine. In fact, I love the whole Weasley fam & wish they were mine. Also love Luna.
it's amazing how few people said Dumbledore! It's a tie between Dumbledore and Hagrid for me. I was so scared to read the last book for fear she might kill Hagrid — Rowling did have a tendency to push Harry's protectors right over metaphorical cliffs.
Joe G says
Ooooooooooh I love Harry Potter week!!!! I love all the characters, but I'm going to be a tool and say it's all about Harry for me. Close second are Hermione and Dumbledore, and I love Mrs. Weasley. Snape is an incredibly compelling character as well.
J. T. Shea says
Mind you, the Weasley's are cool, not least because they have a FLYING CAR! It's an ancient Ford Anglia, but it FLIES! Sometimes all by itself.
My family had a Ford Anglia many moons ago. But it didn't fly, except occasionally on our bumpier Irish roads…
That's really difficult…I always liked the Weasley twins. They were AWESOME. And Luna…she's great too for many reasons. She may be a little eccentric but I think that's why I like her–she doesn't care too much about what others think about her and she's as genuine as a person can be, even if she has some odd things about her.
Shari Mc says
Sirius Black. Oh how I mourned his death and had to put the book down for awhile 'til I was ready to start reading without him.
Also love Snape!
Michelle P. says
Fred and George – I have a weakness for funny redheads (just ask my husband!).
Arpit Parasana says
oh its snape what a deep character he was, j.k.rowling has done a great job… i would say snape as a hero of the series…….
Definitely Neville Longbottom with Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger close behind c:.
Hermione Jean Granger is my favorite character from Harry Potter. I am a lot like her, too. Smart, caring, and intelligent.
I even did this little Harry Potter character quiz thingie and got Hermione Granger. <3 her! 🙂
So yes, I love Hermione and I have a cool Gryffindor robe my aunt made me.
I was the person who said I love Hermione and that I'm like her cause I'm smart, caring, and intelligent and I even did a little quiz thing. Also, I used to have Hermione's wand but I lost it and I'm so mad! Anyway, thanks for reading! 🙂
Marfa Umi says
Sirius Black!!! 😀
I'm Bob says
the Marauders except Peter 😛
Lupin, Sirius then James.
OH and Tonks <3