I want to talk about Harry Potter today as it really has changed my life for the better.
So this is a warning for SPOILERS for all eight films and all seven books.
You have been warned.
Shall we crack on?
The title of this blog is the soundtrack of the same name which featured in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and you can listen to it here.
Below is a fan video I found on YouTube and I love it so much. Credit to the person who made this. And the song is This Is War by Thirty Seconds to Mars. Please go and watch it, it inspired me to write this blog. And let me know what you think.
I am fairly new to the Harry Potter fandom, but it has taken over my life. I don't know what would have become of me if I never watched the films. It has changed my life completely and I can't thank J.K Rowling enough for letting me be a part of this amazing world.
So for those who don't know, I am in Ravenclaw, my Patronus is a Phoenix. (I can't remember my wand). I think I would be most excited to take Charms, Transfiguration and Potions. Mainly for the professors, but also because they seem like amazing subjects. I mean, Hogwarts is real isn't it? Guys?
Personally, I prefer the books to the films, even though I still haven't finished Deathly Hallows. I don't like endings, alright. I don't want it to be over. I will finish it eventually, don't worry.
I just think there is a lot more content in the books that really adds to the overall story. For example, Peeves. And for those who don't know, he is a poltergeist who runs wild around Hogwarts. my favourite Peeves moments is when he is attempting to unscrew a chandelier in The Order of the Phoenix and is planning to drop it on Umbridge and Professor McGonagall walks by, only to inform him that it unscrews the other way. There are so many more times Peeves has been able to add some comedic relief to the book that I can't mention them all. But he is one of my favourite characters in the series. It really is a shame they didn't include him in the movies, I think he would have been brilliant.
There are still some moments in both the books and the films that I still cry at. The deaths are one of them.
Sirius Black, Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Fred Wesley, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Alastor Moody, Hedwig, Dobby, Colin Creevey. Lily and James Potter.
And I am still not over any of them. And I will not be for quite a long time to come.
I understand that they are fictional characters, they aren't real. But they are to me. They always will be.
It's easy for me to re-watch the early films, to re-read the books before anyone died and simply pretend. But then I come to the end of the Order of the Phoenix and I can't deal with Sirius death. As I watched the films first, I was in total shock about the whole things. And then the part when Remus grabs Harry and stops him or running to the veil is just heart breaking. I know that they had to mute Daniel’s scream as it was just too painful. Which I think is a good idea. We can tell how much he is hurting by the expression on his face, how he is so desperate to get out of Remus' grip and join his Godfather. It's just awful.
Then I read the book. And the pain doubled. The fact that we are able to read Harry's thoughts and how he believed that Sirius was just hiding out of sight. That Harry believed that he was still alive. It was the part when Harry catches Sir Nicholas in the corridor at Hogwarts that got me the most. Even with his breakdown in Dumbledore’s office hurt me. Harry would have been fifteen or sixteen at this point. No one should have to go through that, either fictional or real.
Going back to the Order of the Phoenix book, I prefer the description of what really happens in the Department of Mysteries and how many of Harry's friends get hexed as they search for Sirius. I always felt that it was done rather quickly in the films that it wasn't properly explained. There is just so much more detail in the books that most of us miss out on when we watch the films. This is why I think more people should read the books, or listen to the audiobooks like I do. Stephen Fry is a brilliant narrator.
Severus Snape is another death that I will never get over. He sacrificed so much for others and never truly received anything back. All that anger, all that hate was just a cover up I think. It was a disguise he wore to keep everyone out. I think that after he hurt Lily, he convinced himself that he didn't serve love or friendship. And he truly did. After all, that first Potions class when Harry arrived at Hogwarts, he told Harry that he deeply regretted Lily's death. Even though Harry may never have understood it, it was Severus way of showing his true feelings in the only way that he knew how. There are so much more reasons why Severus is one of my favourite characters. As mean as he was to Harry, Severus saved his life so many times during the time Harry was at Hogwarts and beyond when Harry, Ron and Hermione were hunting for the Horcruxes.
Aside from my favourite characters, with the books and the films, I think Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite. Not only does it have Remus and Sirius, two of my favourite characters but more on that later, but it really shows how Harry has grown up. It shows the relationship between Ron and Hermione developing. Even though it isn't directly linked to Voldemort and his Death Eaters, there is still a link with Pettigrew. It's almost like the calm before the storm in a way, before the bloodshed and horror that is the Goblet of Fire, my second favourite book.
Remus and Sirius have both taught me so much, as have many of the characters I have already mentioned. But it’s their relationship that speaks to me most. Remus on his own, his story is truly heart-breaking. He didn't deserve to die, neither did Sirius. But they both did to protect Harry. And he is the most important thing to Remus and Sirius. I like to think of Remus as Harry's other Godfather. Especially since he was there for Harry many times during the series. But most of all in Prisoner of Azkaban.
I love the conversation between Remus and Harry, both in the books and in the films. They are both so intimate, in the books one of the conversations takes place in Remus' office as he makes Harry a cup of tea during the Hogsmeade visit Harry is not allowed to go on. And the conversation on the bridge in the films is so sweet. I love how in the films, most of these conversations take place outside of the castle. Even though I would have liked to see more of the castle, especially Remus' office, I love the beauty of the Hogwarts grounds. It's portrayed beautifully.
There are so many things I love about both the films and the books that they kind of outweigh the bad things. Almost, but not quite.
If you have read my other blogs, you will know that I use a lot of quotes to how my thoughts and feelings. There are so many powerful and inspirational quotes that have come out of Harry Potter that it is a shame not to use them whenever I can. And many of them sum up exactly how I am feeling. They make me happy, they give me inspiration when I want to give up, and they keep me going.
Most importantly, I can return to the books and the films time and time again without getting bored. They are there when I need comfort and support. I can read single chapters on their own and instantly feel better.
But there is so much to the wizarding world. For example, I have some merch that I love, including several t-shirts. I love my Ravenclaw scarf and can't wait for it to get a little colder so I can wear it. I love my Hallows necklace. I don't wear them to get attention or to show off that I like Harry Potter. I wear them because they give me that little bit of confidence that I need to get through the day. They reassure me, they remind me that I am not alone. And that is what Harry Potter is all about really. It's about family and courage when it seems that all is lost. And so much more.
My love for Harry Potter has crept into my music and my YouTube watching. I love watching fan videos. Not only do they introduce me to new music, they are able to make me feel so many emotions. It's different to watching the films, but in a way, it’s not. I can watch fan videos over and over and never tire. I really admire those who make these videos, there is a lot of hard work put into them and they deserve every single bit of support and praise. Adie from videos, I also love the song parodies of Harry Potter. One of the main bands I listen to is Ministry of Magic, one of my favourites is Harry Potter is Dead. Give it a listen if you can, you will not regret it.
Harry went through so much during his childhood and into his adult life. The way he is written and portrayed by Daniel, he seems like a real person. He had to grow up so quickly. He sacrificed himself. He lost so many people along the way and he was still expected to kill Voldemort. I don't understand why Harry isn't everyone’s favourite character. After all, we see the wizarding world through his eyes. If it wasn't for Harry, would we even have these books or films?
J.K Rowling is one my inspirations. She is the one who has kept me going as a writer and it has only been about a year since I discovered Harry Potter. It's just the fact that her books got rejected so many times and yet she never gave up hope. She kept writing and submitting her books until finally, someone saw the potential. She is the reason I started to write in cafes. Not because I want to copy her or whatever. But because I have found I get much more done than if I was at home. There aren't as many distractions here. I can pop my earphones in and just write. Sure, my phone is still a distraction at times, but I always get back to writing within a matter of minutes.
Another thing that also inspires me is the fact that J.K Rowling used her depression after her mother died and transformed it into something brilliant. She used mental illness to her advantage and the Dementors were created. As many of you know, I feel very strongly about mental illness and If J.K Rowling can turn it into something else that really touches her audience, then I can do the same. It might take a while, but I always believe that one of the best things for recovery is writing. Just getting everything out on paper can make you feel that much better. Then, after edits and drafts, you could make something inspiring with those raw feelings. And that is truly incredible.
I think that is about it for this blog. I could carry on and tell you all about Sirius and his relationship with Harry, how he rushed in to save his Godson but paid the price. I could tell you about my love for the other Hogwarts professors, including Professor McGonagall. I could tell you how I both hate and love Dumbledore. But, I think I will save that for another blog. There is so much more left to cover.
I just to thank J.K Rowling for welcoming me into this world. And to those who make the fan videos, who create the fan art and who write the fan fiction. If it were not for you, this fandom would exist and still be going today, twenty years after the first book was published.
To me, it's important to keep the magic alive, to keep all those words of wisdom and life lessons rattling around in our heads. Because one day we may need them. Magic is everywhere in this world. And to each person, it is different. But that doesn't mean it isn't there. You just have to look hard enough, you have to be patient and you should never give up until you find it. Because it will change your life when you do.
I shall leave you with this quote from J.K Rowling herself,
"...the stories we love best do live in us forever. So, whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."--Harry Potter 2011 Premiere
Until the next time.