Better Late Than Never: A Harry Potter Commentary from a New Potterhead

You would definitely have to live under a rock to not know the name Harry Potter. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the number one attraction when you go to Islands of Adventure in Orlando. It’s the place where die-hard fans can get the most authentic, real-life experience of Hogwarts and buy their own wand, try some Butterbeer and ride on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. The point is that if you haven’t heard of the name Harry Potter, or at least read a book or seen a movie, you’ll genuinely be looked at as if you’re crazy. But you wouldn’t be alone. In fact, in 2016, only 37% of kids in the U.S. had read a Harry Potter book. According to the source, 49% of kids aged 15 to 17 have read a Harry Potter book. Whether you want to believe it or not, the series is incredibly popular. Therefore, when I recently shared with my boyfriend that I’d made it to 20-years-old without watching a single second of one of the movies or reading any of the classic books, he stared at me in shock.

“What do you mean you’ve never watched a Harry Potter movie?” he said. And that’s when it occurred to me that it just never interested me as a kid. I was too busy being occupied with The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner trilogies to pay any mind to Harry Potter movies. Although it did annoy me that I never knew which “house” I was a part of, I never felt the urgency to watch Harry Potter. I felt as if the “hype” for the movies had already passed, therefore never felt the need to actually watch any of them. Nevertheless, without me answering his question, he already insisted that his mission was to help me binge-watch all of the Harry Potter movies as soon as possible.

And to be brief, we did just that; all eight Harry Potter movies were watched within about a week and a half. It was a great way to not only spend quality time together, but also let my “inner kid” be fascinated by the fictional world of Hogwarts. Still, throughout each movie—as any person would—I had my likes and dislikes. From questions about each character to commentary about the color scheme of each house, here are my main insights with each movie.

*Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched any of the H.P. movies, there are spoilers! These were my personal thoughts and opinions on each movie. I am not a movie critic.*

  1. 1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

    With this being the first movie to introduce the Harry Potter train, I felt as if it did it justice. My main quarrel had to do with the treatment that Mr. and Mrs. Dursley (Harry’s uncle and aunt) gave to Harry. Another thing that personally bothered me was the huge expectation that everyone had for Harry—a young boy already being seen as the “Chosen One” is a huge responsibility, isn’t it? Regardless of that, I loved the process of house sorting. I was impatient to see which house I belonged to, but my boyfriend insisted that I watch a few more movies to take the quiz.

  2. 2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    First things first: I HATED the spider scene with Harry and Ron in the woods. Nothing would’ve ever prepared me for that amount of anxiety; it truly triggered my arachnophobia. The biggest takeaway for me in this movie was the fact that Harry understood Parseltongue fluently—it made me believe that he was somehow either linked or related to “He Who Must Not Be Named.” I personally believed this early into the binge-watching that he was definitely related to “He Who Must Not Be Named.” Another note on this movie was how much it annoyed me that Harry and Ron underestimated Hermione; without her wit and quick thinking, they’d truly be lost and wouldn’t have been able to sneak into the Slytherin headquarters.

  3. 3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    I loved how this movie ended on such a mellow note: Harry has a family member who’s alive that isn’t vile. It was a huge surprise though, I’d say. They hyped the “prisoner” up to be a mass murderer that was after Harry when it was truly just his godfather. Another thing that caught me off guard was that the person who betrayed Harry’s parents was Ron’s rat, Peter Pettigrew. I would’ve never guessed that. This movie definitely kept me on my toes and left me wanting more.

  4. 4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Two words: Robert Pattinson. The way this movie made him into a nice jock for Hufflepuff and hyped him up just for him to be killed at the end of the movie only made me even more upset. I wish he hadn’t been killed off in such an instantaneous way, but alas, Cedric Diggory’s tale quickly ended. Another takeaway for me was how everyone insisted that Harry entered his name to be a part of the Triwizard Tournament when you can clearly see how shocked he was that his name was even revealed.

    After this movie, I decided to finally take the house sorting quiz and the results seemed pretty fitting, in my opinion. (Anyone from house Ravenclaw reading this?)

  5. 5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Voldemort is obviously back, and the Order of the Phoenix is determined to stop him. Sounds so plain and simple, yet it’s much more complex than what it seems to be. In this movie, my biggest pet peeve was Dolores Umbridge, the newest Hogwarts teacher who swore to not teach any defensive magic. Voldemort was clearly a threat again and she continually seemed to be in denial of the idea. Yet, I liked how Harry, Ron and Hermione still found a way to make the Room of Requirement into a training center to practice defensive magic. It kept the movie interesting. However, I was sad that Sirius Black’s time came to a close at the battle towards the end of the movie. Seeing Mr. Black alive made Harry not feel as alone as he had been.

  6. 6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    This movie didn’t really stand out to me other than the fact that I most definitely knew that Draco Malfoy was going to side with Voldemort. I felt as if that part was pretty predictable. Snape deciding to help Voldemort as well was also anticipated, in my opinion. Part of me thought that he was only doing it to protect Harry and trick Voldemort, but I wasn’t truly sure. I didn’t want to assume that theory, and my boyfriend wouldn’t give me any hints as to what was to come in the final two movies.

  7. 7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 and 2

    Finally making it to the last two movies, there was a lot that threw me off guard, yet I felt as if I received the happy ending that I had hoped for. The process of Harry finding Voldemort’s Horcruxes kept me at the edge of my seat between both movies. The death of Dobby the house-elf was the saddest moment for me of Deathly Hallows - Part 1. In Part 2, Snape doing what he could to save Harry was the best character turning point within the series, especially since I was convinced that Snape was out to get him this whole time. The ending of the Harry Potter movies left on a high note with Ron and Hermione sending their daughter off to Hogwarts along with Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley’s—that was a surprise—kids as well. The curiosity about their kids’ journey at Hogwarts left me wanting more, but, knowing that I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books, I know I shouldn’t just jump right into Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (though, I am very tempted to do so).

Regardless, at the end of the day, the Harry Potter marathon was definitely worth it, in my opinion. Whether you have watched it multiple times or never intend to watch a second of it, we can all agree that the magical world of Harry Potter has a lasting impact for all those who enjoy a whimsical taste of fiction.