Final Thoughts

New Harry Potter

Note from Ashley: My post about the Epilogue is still to come next week, which is why I’ve abstained from writing final notes, myself. I get an entire post to wax poetic about the end of this series and the end of this project, so it’s only fair everyone else gets a space, too.

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JENNIE

I’ve had so much fun with this, not only writing my own posts, but getting to read what everyone else thinks about Harry Potter (SPOILER ALERT: you all love it). I’ve enjoyed all the insights everyone has had that I’ve never, ever had in all of my rereads, and the discussions that followed, but my very most favorite thing was getting to see new GIFs I’d never seen before. You guys are good at GIFs, is what I’m saying.

Also, I can’t believe it’s over. Again. Sads. Don’t mind me, I’m just going to be over here in the corner, rereading all the books and pretending Harry Potter is never going to end ever ever. Continue reading

The Tales of Beedle the Bard: These Tales Are for CHILDREN!?

Beedle and his "luxurious beard."

Beedle and his historically accurate “luxurious beard.”

As a kid, my favorite thing in the world was to read fairy-tales and fables. I couldn’t get enough of them. At one point, I think I had actually read every single book in my local library that contained anything remotely like a fairy-tale. So yeah I’m automatically going to like this, but add in that it’s an extension of the Harry Potter universe, and that each story is followed by pages of ‘commentary’ discovered after Dumbledore’s death means I’m going to LOVE it. They also come with Jo’s own hand-drawn illustrations, so bonus! (If I ever got my hands on one of Jo’s hand-inked leather-bound editions, I think my brain might explode.) I know this is technically a re-read, but if you’re like Jennie and haven’t read it before (see below), you should track down a copy and read it. It won’t even take you an hour.  –Ashley

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Product_The_Tales_of_Beedle_the_Bard_Harry_Potter_Series_J_K_Rowling_4_2115769286“The Wizard and the Hopping Pot” — Lindsay

A wizard is left a pot by his deceased father, and inside is a small, single slipper. The Muggles of the town come to the wizard in hopes that he would be as kind as his father, but he sends them all away. The Hopping Pot manifests each of the townspeople’s ailments that the wizard refuses to help. By the time the wizard has had enough, the pot does all sorts of nasty things: vomiting, spitting slugs, braying like a donkey, clacking around on its single brass foot, and it’s totally covered in warts. Finally, the wizard goes to the townspeople and offers his services, and the Hopping Pot offers up his slipper for his obnoxious foot.

Obviously, this is a story for young wizards about using magic for good. The interesting thing is that it was actually taken out of existence later because it was so pro-Muggle. It’s sort of depressing that a story that had such an important message was destroyed because of prejudices against Muggles. Perhaps JKR was making a censorship statement with this add-on.

While this is a wizard fairy tale, we Muggles can have our own moral of the story: use our lives for good. All too often we go through our days wrapped up in our own problems that we can’t see the suffering of others. I’m not even talking about the obvious stuff- homeless on the street corners, sick person in my hospital bed. Suffering is often much more abstract and not worn like a t-shirt. Just as the wizard can make a Muggles’ day better by easily curing warts, we can easily make someone’s day even just a little bit better. It doesn’t require money or a ton of work or a bleeding heart liberal view- it may just takes a simple smile or a sincere thank you. A little bit often goes a long way. We are all fragile beings. We should act more like a team, rather than every Muggle for himself.
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Quidditch Through The Ages: 25 Things You Never Knew You Always Wanted To Know About Quidditch

quidditch

“The definitive work on the origins and history of Quidditch. Highly recommended.” — Brutus Scrimgeour, author, The Beater’s Bible

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25 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT QUIDDITCH

1. Why brooms? — Mr. Whisp traces the evolution of the modern flying broomstick to two primary sources:

a) The need for a bewitched object capable of providing flight to those wizards not bird animagi (animagi themselves being rare, those with flight capability even more so). “No spell yet devised enables wizards to fly unaided in human form,” he writes, and wizards who are transfigured (by their will or no) into flying creatures like birds or bats, find themselves with the brain of that animal as well, which one imagines might limit the experience; and b) Any object bewitched for flight would need to be discreet and easy to hide, and the portability and inexpensive nature of the broomstick lent itself to the task as well. There is no record of the first person to bewitch a broomstick.

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2. Imagine the splinters. — Early broomsticks were neither aerodynamic nor comfortable. They also had limited movability: up, down and stop were pretty much it.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: “Call me Newt. Only my mother calls me doctor.”

First, here’s the big news that everybody already knows about. We’re getting a movie! Three movies! And at least the first one will be written by J.K.! I am over the moon about this. It’ll be set in the 1920s and will take place in New York. American wizards and witches? Even MORE magical creatures? I CAN’T WAIT.

So J.K. Rowling released Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages in 2001 as a charity effort for Comic Relief U.K. They expanded the world without expanding the story and it was a really big deal when the books were released. Someday we will get our Harry Potter Encyclopedia and it will be even better than these.

One of the best parts about this book is that it’s been “vandalized” by Harry and Ron, with a few rare asides from Hermione. We get to see their handwriting, which feels like a gift. Hermione’s is neat and tiny, Ron’s is messy and scrawled, and Harry’s is thin and connected. Harry really does swoop his g’s—just like his mom did—and I can’t think about that without getting emotionally worked up.

About the Author:

Newton Artemis Fido Scamander was born in 1887. His mom sounds like the coolest woman ever, as she bred fancy hippogriffs. Newt worked in the Beast Divison and spent his holidays searching for new and fantastic creatures. He eventually married a woman named Porpentina and I feel like J.K. kind of wrote herself into a hole on that one because she’s gonna have to be in the movie and the only decent way to shorten her name is to call her Tina. But then, she’s a writer who turned the name Hermione into a thing, so maybe she can pull it off. Continue reading

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The Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36: The Flaw in the Plan

Wow.  The last chapter of the last book.  Exactly how did I end up with this one?  There’s a lot here to unpack and I’m afraid I won’t really do it justice, but I’m pretty sure Ashley’s not going to accept that as an excuse so here goes things.

CHAPTER 36: THE FLAW IN THE PLAN

Harry awakens on the Forbidden Forest floor and shows a whole lot more physical self control than I’d ever be able to muster myself.  I mean, I’m right now just sitting in my comfortable desk chair in my comfortable office and I CAN’T STOP FIDGETING.  But Harry? He has a quiet word with Narcissa Malfoy, gets Cruciatus-ed like a flipping piñata, hauled off by a sobbing half-giant, and displayed on the Hogwarts lawn in front of the people he loves, all while convincing everyone around him that he’s dead.  Is this one of those new skills you pick up from dying?  Because if it is, I think I just solved David Blaine.

So then Voldemort basically just stands around being a dick until this happens:

Neville Longbottom

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