“Merlin’s beard! You must be Harry Potter!”
Harry Potter has been a name I have been familiar with since the age of six. My uncle in Scotland rang my mum to ask if she had heard of a series that’s rising in popularity, a series about a magical boy with glasses. She hadn’t. None of us had really, not down here in New Zealand where we were simply surrounded by Ringers (Lord of the Rings fans).
Despite the first Harry Potter book being released in 1997, we got our first copy from my uncle in 2000. But it wasn’t until my eighth birthday that I really became familiar with Harry Potter, as I was gifted the VHS of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I remember being so excited that I tried to watch it before school, and I couldn’t wait to get back home to finish it.
That’s when I knew, yes, it was that day when I released that I would grow up, not to become a Gleek (Glee fan), nor a Twi-hard (Twilight fan), nor a Trekkie (Star Trek fan) or a fully fledged Whovian (Dr. Who fan). No. I was destined to be a Potterhead.
Despite never receiving my Hogwarts acceptance letter by Owl Mail on my 11th birthday, I still retained my love for the magical world and my increasing boredom with the muggle world.
THE DETAILED WORLD OF HARRY POTTER
I’ve read the Harry Potter books, and continue to reread them. I’ve watched every Harry Potter film and continue to re-watch them. I find them to be the perfect form of escapism; it’s easy to get lost in a world when it is so well thought through and detailed.
But what really keeps me hooked, is the language. It’s authentic and entertaining to say the least.
“…by behaving like a babbling, bumbling band of baboons!” – Professor McGonagall
The language incapsulates emotion in the magical world.
“What’s got your wand in a knot?” – Hermione
At other times, it’s enlightening:
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Dumbledore
The magical language is not just reserved for spells, it’s a part of everyday dialogue for the characters without alienating the audience. Which, as naff as you may think it is to make up wizarding words, is pretty clever.
Even down to the character names; they perfectly suit their personalities. They give a hint to their characteristics immediately: Rita Skeeter, Argus Filch, Snape, Draco Malfoy, Luna Lovegood, Rubeus Hagrid… They all ‘conjure up’ accurate assumptions to the characters’ personalities.
The house names have the same incredible representations and familiarities to the personalities of its members too:
Hufflepuff: A fluffy name. Makes me think of air-heads and kind, friendly students
Slytherin: Sly, sneaky, mean and untrustworthy students
Ravenclaw: Wise, clever and knowledgeable students
Gryffindor: Brave leaders, helpful and courageous students
The creatures and magical objects
All the different bits and bobs of the wizarding world like Butterbeers and remembralls and time-turners.
Or creatures like Hippocrates (who are vain part-horse, part-bird creatures) and thestrals (who are skeletal, leathery, winged horses that can only be seen by witches and wizards who have witnessed death), along with cruel merpeople (mermaids), cheeky pixies, dangerous trolls and friendly ghouls.
Spells and potions
The spells and potions at Hogwarts are unfathomable. How much thought has gone into make them so unquestionably natural and perfectly believable?
Polyjuice potion, amortentia (love potion), Felix Felicis (liquid luck)… The list goes on.
“By your age, he could turn a whistle into a watch and have it sing you the time.” – Alastor Mad-Eye Moody
All of these things have created a watertight world, which has attracted a mass of Potterheads. I think it’s at the very least, an environment to gain inspiration for budding writers, and a safe place for dizzy daydreamers.
Considering it all began in a small cafe called The Elephant House in Edinburgh – where I have visited in order to be inspired by a multi-million pound story idea – Harry Potter is not just about the boy who lived. But about JK Rowling – a single mother who was grieving the loss of her own mum while living on benefits. She’s the woman who made it.
Did you know there is a place on the internet just for Potterheads? It’s called Pottermore. The website will sort you into a house, work out your Patronus Charm, and a wand will choose you. For example:
I was placed in the house of Hufflepuff, which I think was well-suited because it’s for kind and gentle people who are a bit dim and not particularly brave. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule like Cedric Diggory and Nymphadora Tonks who are both brave Hufflepuffers.
“EXPECTO PATRONUM!” (Translates to English as “I AWAIT A GUARDIAN!”)
My Patronus Charm is of a St. Bernard dog:
Despite its large and intimidating size, the St. Bernard is known to be kind, loving, and gentle. Great with families and very loyal, the St. Bernard will always be by your side. They are quick to protect family members who may be in danger and often act as a guardian for those around them. Strong and powerful due to their size, the St. Bernard will fight off Dementors and stand by you, come what may.
I believe this to be ill-suited because I think I should have had a horse, like Ginny Weasley’s Patronus.
The wand that chose me is made of alder wood with a Unicorn hair core, it’s 11 ¼” long and has a surprisingly swishy flexibility.
“Alder is an unyielding wood, yet I have discovered that its ideal owner is not stubborn or obstinate, but often helpful, considerate and most likeable.”
Of course if you’re not a massive Potterhead, you can always enjoy the memes it has produced. I recommend following @HogwartsLogic on Twitter and Facebook.
There has been an extraordinary amount of Harry Potter-inspired gifs and memes, which will make you giggle.
And a few ‘dad jokes’ too.