Harry Potter Isn’t What It Used to Be

I remember when I first started reading the Harry Potter books. I was in 3rd or 4th grade, only the first three books were out and I was reading them with my dad. The first book was great from start to finish. I even remember rereading a few chapters in that book because I liked them so much. The second book had a slow start but then got better, same with the third book. One thing all of those books had in common was a sense of fun and adventure. They were kids in a magic school doing fun stuff with magic. There were bad guys, but I wouldn’t say it was excessively dark or anything like that.

Then the 4th book came out, I went to the midnight release. That book was huge. I read the first chapter or two and as usual, the first couple of chapters tend to suck so I put it down and didn’t pick it up until some of my friends in my5th grade class told me it was great and to keep reading. I read the rest of it, and I thought it was pretty good but not as good as the first three. It was also here where the story line started to become less fun and more dark.

Then I read The Hobbit before my father took me to see The Fellowship of the Ring. After seeing that movie Harry Potter went straight out the window, there was *no* comparison at all. I went on to read the Lord of the Rings. It was much harder to read, but it felt more real. I felt like that somewhere out there, long ago, that that story actually happened. Later when I began to read Norse myths, I saw that they read in a similar way.

Then the 5th Harry Potter came out. I didn’t attend the midnight release but did pick up the book the next morning. First few chapters were crap, I put the book down. It stayed down until 2007. That was when the last Harry Potter book was being released. I was going to go to the midnight launch with friends for the hell of it. Then I had a random urge to read the 5th and 6th books in the 4 days I had before the launch. I tried reading the 5th book again, and again it sucked. I opened up to a random page in the middle, it sucked. I tried another random page, it still sucked. I read the spark notes of the 5th book. I was glad I didn’t read it because those spark notes sucked. Then I read the spark notes for book 6. Book 6 seemed like it would have been interesting, but by then the storyline had gotten too dark for me. I read the last book and enjoyed it, but by then Harry Potter just wasn’t what it was for me as a kid. I mean they were never even *in* Hogwarts in the last one. I was also pissed that Harry lived. I wanted him and Voldemort to kill each other simultaneously and stay dead. Oh well.

But all of this aside, I have to say that I feel really bad for all of the kids I saw last night running around in capes and gryffindor scarves. I mean they had to be 8 or 9.. the age I was when I first started reading the books. I can only assume that these kids have just seen the movies. And I feel that towards the end of the story, it just gets too dark for a child (or me) to fully appreciate. In a way it worked well for my generation, it was as if we all grew up with Harry Potter. Though for me, it was like I went to elementary school with Harry Potter, then we drifted during middle school and wound up completely different in high school, as that tends to happen. Harry Potter just isn’t what it used to be.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I just watched the final Harry Potter movie. It was pretty good, but honestly I never got into reading the books (I know shame on me. Everyone looks at me like an alien when I say that). I do plan to pick them up eventually. I really enjoyed the Hobbit, too!

    I would assume the story gets darker to keep the grasp of the generation it originally captivated as they got older. Though it’s like my Kingdom Hearts problem; I feel as though that game series went from super friendship love to super deep complex confusing dark stuff. Still love KH to death though.

    • 2

      improperintegirl said,

      If you haven’t read the books you haven’t really experienced Harry Potter. I mean you only really need to read the first 3. After that they get obnoxiously big anyway. Or even just the first, that one is still my favorite out of the 5 i read.

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