Thursday, November 5, 2015

Re-reading and Re-watching: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

So yeah, I’m a Harry Potter nerd….who isn’t, really?  On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate myself as an 8.  I’ve read all the books, watched all the movies, logged onto to the Pottermore site in its second beta testing phase and have gotten sorted into Ravenclaw. 

I can’t really rate myself any higher because I haven’t watched A Very Potter musical online, I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Harry Potter, and I have never been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or LeakyCon.  Don’t worry, I’m working on going there someday.

Thinking it was a good idea to refresh myself with the source material,  this time from a Ravenclaw perspective, I dived in head-first into the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Philosopher’s Stone if you want to be super-technical about it),  and Christopher Columbus’ first film in the Harry Potter film franchise by the same name.

Here are my thoughts. 

Beware, spoilers here.


The book rarely mentions any details about the Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff Houses.  There are some references to students in both houses during the Sorting Ceremony but outside of that, I think Harry and Ron pass some Ravenclaw students on the stairwell.  I guess this is to be expected.

At no time do any of the Hogwarts teachers investigate how a troll got into the school or how a student’s broom was being affected enough to cause Harry's near death.  Professor Snape has his suspicions and tries to confront Quirrell about them.  I assume he’s keeping Dumbledore informed of the situation, but McGonagall and the others just seems to be like NBD, no big deal, most of the time. 


Like the books, the films get better and better as the series progresses but the thing is, the first film is actually pretty great.  Both Book One and first film are excellent in their own right.  Are they the best in their respective series?  Probably not, but both function well as launch pads for both franchises.

In the film we see a few Ravenclaw students sitting behind the Gryffindor students in the Great Hall scenes but not once could I spot a Hufflepuff student.

Watching the first film, I’m reminded again of Rupert Grint’s acting ability which initially greatly out shined his cast mates in the first film.  Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe do catch up eventually, but Rupert is excellent from the very start..

As with any adaptation some scenes from the book have been greatly condensed and/or eliminated altogether but this was done rather skillfully in my opinion, although the film still ends up being two and a half hours long.

My favorite scene is probably the iconic scene of the Hogwarts first year students riding in tiny boats topped with little glass lanterns across a moon-lit lake, to see the Hogwarts castle for their and our first time, complete in all its towering majesty.  Truly beautiful and indicative of the series’ fantastical and magical journey.

My second favorite scene is not in the books per se, and is really just a transition showing the castle during the winter, covered in snow. Harry releases his owl Hedwig, who takes a soaring flight out of the courtyard and past the castle towers.

Now onto to the second book!

What are your thoughts on the first book and/or first film?


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