Thursday, July 3, 2008

Seven Books, One Story

I have been re-reading all the Harry Potter books in order and had hoped to post some of my thoughts as I read through them. My books all look like the Half-Blood Princes's copy of Advanced Potions, with notes in the margins and in the end pages of each book. However, just as I did when I first read each book, I was too engrossed in the story (and too undisciplined) to take the time to write it all out.

I'm now about half-way through the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm still jotting more notes to add to the ones I made the first two or three times I read the book. And I have yet to post anything about my observations.

The thing that I have noticed the most is that the planning for all the important (and even some of the not terribly important) details was all in the books from the first all the way through. Deathly Hallows is filled, as was Half-Blood Prince, with echos of all the preceding books and foreshadowing of the end of the tale.

Sometimes a story loses its impact on re-reading. But, for me, Harry Potter just takes on more richness and meaning each time I read it. Even though I know how everything turns out, I still find that I'm drawn into the story and can't wait to find out how they will solve the next problem or get out of their current sticky mess. And with each reading, I find little details that I didn't see before.

For example, when Harry, Ron and Hermione finally are able to listen to Potterwatch and hear the twins' friend Lee Jordan talking, his code name is River, as in the Jordan River? Nice touch, that one, as it lets those who see it make that analogy of the ones doing Potterwatch (Lee, Remus, Kingsley, Fred) wandering in the wilderness and waiting for the right time to cross the river--to return to the place where they should be, while the trio also wanders in the wilderness. Yes, it's a stretch, but it's that sort of subtlety that I enjoy so much when I read the Harry Potter books.

I'll add more later, but not for a few days. I'll have to wait till the trio escapes from Malfoy Manner, and I know what comes after that one.


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