Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

I’ve had a lot of downtime at work this past week, and managed to knock out the fifth novel in the Harry Potter series. I know I mentioned that I was skipping the fourth since I had read it earlier this year in my last review. So without further ado:

  1. Things progress in the novel relatively accurate as in movie for the first two hundred pages, but then as we get introduced to Luna Lovegood, we see some major differences. First off, Luna is a Ravenclaw, not a Gryffindor. Second, Ginny introduces her with the gentleness that Hermione in the movie portrays. In the novel, Hermonie (unlike the movie) is rather rude to Luna, and they butt heads many times. Their first non-abrasive moment happens at the end of the novel.
  2. Ron tries out for the Gryffindor quidditch team in their fifth year, not sixth. At this time. Harry is not captain- in fact, he’s in detention for Professor Umbridge and doesn’t really see Ron’s tryout. The confundus charm movie Hermione does, didn’t happen in the book. Also, Ginny isn’t on the team yet. Fast forward a few hundred pages, Harry, Fred and George are banned from playing quidditch at Hogwarts, and Ginny becomes a substitute for Harry (though eventually she wants to become a chaser.) And, because it isn’t mentioned, Gryffindor wins the quidditch cup that year.
  3. The formation of Dumbledore’s Army and Harry teaching students defense against the dark arts is a little different than the movie. The movie does a decent job on summarizing it, but initially Hermione brings it up to Harry, and he goes off on them, and he sits on the idea for a while. Then they decide to hold the meeting in the Hog’s Head. Hermione gets students to sign their name like a contract, and then charms it to know if they tell anyone about it. And Dobby, not Neville, tells Harry about the Room of Requirement.
  4. I’d have to rewatch the movie to double check, but I believe they don’t mention that Umbridge was watching the Floo network, intercepting owls, or had her make the confession about the dementors that attacked Harry and Dudley.
  5. I felt that this was brilliant:  ‘…said Ginny angrily “Seeing as you don’t know anyone but me who’s been possessed by You-Know-Who, and I can tell you how it feels.” Harry remained quite still as the impact of those words hit him. Then he wheeled around. “I forgot,” he said. “Lucky you,” said Ginny coolly.’ As everyone in the potter fandom knows, Ginny is so tough- she had to be with so many brothers. So when Harry is having his nobody-understands-me moment, she is the perfect character to snap him out of it. The movies needed more Ginny to balance out the emo-Potter.
  6. The Quibbler Article- unmentioned in the movies, this is really what starts to change people’s perception of Harry. Although the publication was typically a laughing stock, Harry’s account of what happened when Voldemort returned make those in denial or unsure understand that his story was unwavering.
  7. The removal of Hagrid from Hogwarts. The book describes such a horrible scene. I’m surprised that kind of action didn’t make it into the movie. But then again, I probably would’ve cried seeing McGonagall get hit like that.
  8. I had forgotten how emotional Order of the Phoenix is towards the end. I always hated that Sirius dies, but I apparently blocked out how much anger and emotion Harry lets out afterwards, especially while talking with Dumbledore about prophesy.

Alright, that’s all for now. I definitely won’t be squeezing in book 6 (Half Blood Prince) before the holidays. So again, thank you to the followers who have stuck with me this year, and I hope you all have a festive season and a Happy New Year!

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

As before, I will keep this review/ movie comparison short. Here are the differences between book and movie:

  1. The night bus- very similar to the movie until the point where Harry lands at the Leaky Cauldron. At this point in the movie, we don’t understand (because unlike the book, it isn’t explained) that Harry is afraid that he will be kicked out of Hogwarts for underage wizardry. But when he lands almost at the Minister of Magic’s feet, he’s terrified he’s been caught, then filled with relief when Fudge says it’s nothing to worry about. The movie just makes the audience assume, where the book (obviously) explains in detail.
  2. The tiny detail left out in the movie- Ron and Scabbers making the Daily Profit, and how Sirius Black figured out Scabbers was Peter Pettigrew. Sirius asked to borrow the paper from Fudge on a routine Azkaban visit, which happened to have them on the front page.
  3. The details on how Harry learned about Sirius Black, and who else knew about their connection are very different in the book than the movie. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were overheard talking about how Sirius was (allegedly) after Harry, and Mr. Weasley warned Harry, who doesn’t play stupid as he does in the movies. Malfoy knew why Black was in Azkaban, and what he did to Harry’s parents (allegedly), something not shown in the movies. Harry was with Ron and Hermione when he overhears about what Black (allegedly) did to Harry’s parents, hiding under the table without the invisibility cloak, and doesn’t learn about Sirius being his godfather. When he does learn that Sirius is his godfather, it’s after everything is explained as they are leaving the Shrieking Shack.
  4. Crookshanks involvement during and leading up to the night that Peter Pettigrew is revealed. Crookshanks helps and protects Black.
  5. The feisty and obnoxious painting of Sir Cadogan. He isn’t mentioned at all in the movies. And they didn’t include Black’s second attempt at getting into Gryffindor tower.
  6. The whole scene of fighting off Lupin after he changes into a werewolf, and Hermione howling to distract them- total Hollywood moment.
  7. Harry is much brighter than the movies make him out to be. He actually figures out that Dumbledore wants Hermione and him to save Buckbeak and Sirius.

Okay, I got a bit longer with this one than I intended. I did want to say that I remember this book being my favorite of the series, but after re-reading, I can’t remember why. It may be because the first time around (reading it at 13), I never saw the ending come as it did, so I probably loved the plot twist. But I also was a fan of the third movie as well, probably because despite the missing pieces, it really is a great interpretation of the book.

I also want to add that because I reread the Goblet of Fire early in the year, I’ll be skipping that book and moving right along to Order of the Phoenix. And because we are heading into the holidays, where I will be most definitely too busy to read (VACATION!), so this will be my last review of 2016. I hope my followers will stick with me into 2017, and if not, thank you for this past year. I’d have to say, my New Year’s resolution was accomplished!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Alright, since I wrote a ridiculously long movie comparison for the Sorcerer’s Stone, I’ll keep Chamber of secrets short and sweet. Here’s how things compare to the movie version, and a few little things that I just wanted to point out.

  1. Harry’s first glimpse of Dobby is in the garden, not in his room at the Dursley’s.
  2. When Ron and the twins rescue Harry from the Dursley’s, they had pick the lock to get Harry out of his room, then pick the lock on the cupboard under the stairs to retrieve Harry’s school things and trunk, without waking the Dursley’s. The movie made it seem much faster of a rescue.
  3. The movie cut the de-gnoming of the garden and about a month of living with the Weasleys. Also, Percy. Poor Percy, even though he’s such a prat (see urban dictionary : prat: Basically someone who’s a major idiot, or is delusional and dumb. Acts against logic and thinks hes self-righteous. AKA: Major dumbass. Good example: Percy from HP .) you lose a lot of his story.
  4. The howler never congratulated Ginny on being placed in Gryffindor. I mean come on, she’s a Weasley, of course she made Gryffindor. That howler was just pure rage.
  5. Professor Binns, History of Magic professor and the only ghost teacher, tells the story about the Chamber of Secrets, not McGonagall.
  6. No surprise- Lockhart is even more smarmy than his actor counterpart.
  7. The movie put more focus on finding and being in the Chamber of Secrets. In the book, Harry didn’t run that much from the basilisk. Fawkes did most of the heavy lifting there. And with that in mind, there was no delay from fang-in-arm to healing-tears-from-Fawkes like there was in the movie. Movie Harry probably would’ve died from the venom. Just sayin’.
  8. Just want to point out- gut instinct told Harry to pierce the Riddle Diary with the basilisk fang. Watching the movie, I kept asking myself what made him do that? Other than Riddle yelling for him to stop, that is. Just curious.

Ok, as always, the book is better, read the book. That is all.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

What?! Just because I’m a 25 year old adult doesn’t mean I can’t reread the Harry Potter series…LOL! As I said in my last post, my parents brought me my boxes of childhood memorabilia and books. Among the books were the HP series (except  Prisoner of Azkaban, for some reason) and I can’t possibly keep myself from enjoying them again- especially with the new release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. So, I eagerly devoured the first book in 2 days. Because I know you all don’t live under a rock, instead of the typical summary, I’m just going to remind you of the things the movies left out like I did when I re-read the fourth book (Goblet of Fire).

First off, the thing that bothered me the most about the first Harry Potter movie was how dumbfounded they made Harry seem. He questioned EVERYTHING, repeated everything, and barely said more than boo to anyone except Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid. In the books, Harry’s sassy personality that love is apparent much quicker than in the movies.

“Hagrid almost had to drag Harry away from Curses and Counter-curses (Bewitch Your Friends and Befuddle Your Enemies with the Latest Revenges: Hair Loss, Jelly-Legs, Tongue-Tying and Much, Much More) by Professor Vindictus Viridian. “I was trying to find out how to curse Dudley.””

Second, Peeves. I don’t think Peeves is mentioned once in any of the movies. Filch and Mrs. Norris stalk the halls of Hogwarts in the movies, but in the books, Harry and his friends have to also dodge Peeves, the school poltergeist.

“A bundle of walking sticks was floating in midair ahead of them, and as Percy took a step toward them they started throwing themselves at him. “Peeves,” Percy whispered to the first years…”Go away Peeves, or the Baron’ll hear about this, I mean it!” barked Percy. Peeves stuck out his tongue and vanished, dropping the walking sticks on Neville’s head.”

Then, there’s the school song. Not a peep about it until the third or fourth movie, even though the first night that Harry’s class arrives, they learn the lyrics. I don’t think this one is really a big deal overall, so I understand why they left it out of the first movie, but it would have made more sense to have it there than in the future films.

The last difference that stands out to me in the way they not only learned about the sorcerer’s stone, but also the protective tasks they must pass before getting to it. In the movie, Harry and his friends are much more secretive and seem to get most of their information from Hagrid by chance. In the book, they are bolder about gathering information, asking direct questions to Hagrid, telling him they are actively trying to figure out who Nicholas Flamel is, and they even tell Professor McGonagall that they know about the stone. When it comes to getting to the stone, there are more tasks than the movie shows (which isn’t surprising, due to the movie length I’m sure they had to cut for time) and the one that Hermione gets rewarded for at the end of it all is makes more sense if you know about the task she performed!

Of course, there are more things I could go on about (Norbert’s escape, the dark forest unicorn hunt, Harry’s introduction to Malfoy, etc etc) that vary from one medium to the other, but I’ll stop before I get too ranty and nit-picky. The important thing to remember here is that the magical world of Harry Potter continue to be expanded in individual imaginations and cherished, no matter what medium you experience it in!