Category Archives: Jennie

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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The Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33: The Half-Good Prince

I pre-ordered my copy of Deathly Hallows, thinking I was being smart because it would be delivered a bit early and I’d get the jump on everyone. I was already planning on staying away from the internet until I’d finished it, for fear of spoilers, and this was six years ago. Can you imagine the spoilers you’d have to avoid if it came out now? Impossible. I can’t even watch a TV show with any sort of delay without being spoiled while innocently scrolling through Facebook.

Because I am me, I somehow missed the delivery, even though I’d been home all morning, practically glued to the window in anticipation. I found a “sorry I missed you” note on the front door from the mailman, stating that he’d left my package in the apartment complex office. I sprinted to the office, but, alas…just as I got there, I saw the leasing agent driving away on a golf cart. My Harry Potter dreams were dashed before my eyes.

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The Deathly Hallows, Chapters 6-7: Are the shades of the ministry to be thus polluted?

These chapters are some of my favorites, if only because they’re a last respite before the trio are, once again, thrown to danger. They seem to have fewer and fewer moments, as the series progresses, to actually enjoy themselves, what with the threat of Voldemort hanging over all of their heads. It’s unfair, really, and I commend all of them, not just the trio, for being able to enjoy anything with all this bad shit going on, especially since I’m one of those people who seems to need to have everything JUST SO in order to enjoy myself. But enough about me (I mean, right?), let’s see what’s going on in Harry’s world.

CHAPTER 6: THE GHOUL IN PAJAMAS

Wedding preparations are well underway, and Ron warns Harry that Mrs. Weasley is having none of this “quitting Hogwarts to go on a secret Dumbledore mission” business. And quite right! She’s such a mom. She didn’t even want the twins messing about with all that joke magic, so the thought of her son and two of his friends (one of whom she looks at as a son, the other who will soon become her daughter-in-law) dropping out to go on some unknown (to her) mission is absolutely ridiculous.

But go they must and, despite Mrs. Weasley’s best efforts, they manage to escape to Ron’s room to do some planning. Hermione sorts books while Ron cleans, and the three discuss Mad Eye’s death. Hermione becomes upset and, to Harry’s surprise, Ron rushes over to provide her with some support. The moment is broken when a book tries to eat Ron’s foot, and Harry takes that opportunity to try to talk Ron and Hermione out of coming with him to search for Horcruxes. Hermione reminds him of everything she and Ron have done to get ready for the journey, which I have prepared for you in list format:

  • Hermione has been packing, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but we’ll soon find out how big (little?) a deal it actually was.
  • She confiscated the rest of Moody’s Polyjuice Potion.
  • She gave her parents brain damage, removing herself from their memories, changing their names and sending them to Australia. YOU GUYS. I hope when this is all over, the Ministry creates a Hermione Granger Day or something.
  • Ron, with the help of Mr. Weasley, Fred, and George, has transformed the ghoul in the attic into some semblance of human being, dressing it in pajamas and giving it red hair. The ghoul will be Ron’s stand-in since he’ll be running off with Harry.

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THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, CH 22-23: “‘A REAL MAN MAKES HIS OWN LUCK.’ –BILLY ZANE”.

I don’t know if Ashley gave me these chapters on purpose or if it was just a fluke but if it WAS on purpose thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Ashley. And if it WASN’T on purpose, then WHY NOT ASHLEY, WHY WOULDN’T YOU GIVE ME MY FAVORITE CHAPTERS ON PURPOSE?

Ahem.

I had actually forgotten how great these chapters were until this reread. The moment Harry takes Felix Felicis is one of my favorite all time moments in the entire series and, though the movie adaptation got a few big things wrong, they got Harry all high on Felix absolutely right.

And, as if that chapter wasn’t enough, I also get to tell you about horcruxes. So sit back, relax, sip on some Felix, and let’s do this.

CHAPTER 22: AFTER THE BURIAL

The last time Harry and Dumbledore spoke, Dumbledore totally shamed him for having not yet gotten the memory he needs from Slughorn. And, though that’s not all that’s weighing on young Harry’s mind (he’s also preoccupied with whatever Malfoy is doing but is mostly busy formulating a plan for Maximum Ginny Makeouts), it’s the most important.

Ron, Hermione, and Harry discuss how Harry might relieve Slughorn of this particular memory. Finally, Ron (yes, RON) suggests that Harry use the Felix Felicis that he won in Slughorn’s class on their first day. Harry is reluctant to use it (since he’s saving it for help with getting an invitation to Ginny’s pants party) but when Hermione pushes, he’s forced to realize she’s right. MORAL OF THE STORY ALWAYS LISTEN TO HERMIONE. Continue reading

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