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.”
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??