Feb 26, 2011

#TheList, No. 685: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

This may have have the 67th time I read this book and I still found little bits of foreshadowing here and there that I had never noticed before.  Some are for things within the book itself (there's an owl flying toward Hogwarts carrying a note in its mouth that most likely is what brings Dumbledore away from the school), but there is so much just simply tucked away that connects to the last few chapters of the last book in the series. 

That's why J.K. Rowling is one of the best authors ever.  Not that I'm biased or anything.  I've been in love with Harry Potter since 1999, which coincidentally is also when my love for Britney Spears blossomed.  There may or may not be a correlation.

But anyway, Rowling knows that the details are important.  Children notice the little things.  So many people underestimate children's abilities and gloss over the details thinking that children can only see the larger picture.  Rowling not only builds this magical world with details, she is consistent with the details throughout the series unlike a certain Twilight author who negates half of what she's written when it doesn't help her story and creates loopholes when she's boxed herself into a corner. 

I never realized how much the Voldemort plot is on the backburner in this novel until this reading.  Even though there are small moments planted here and there of Harry's wonderings about what's in the off-limits third floor corridor, it's not until Harry's in the Forbidden Forest 265 pages in that he actually knows he's in danger.   Arguably he's in danger during his first Quidditch match, but he technically doesn't know it at that point.  Instead, the majority of this book focuses on making Harry a character worthy of readers' sympathy.

To do this, Rowling doesn't make him anyone special (aside from his amazing flying abilities), she just makes Harry a normal 11 year old boy.  His biggest worries aren't about dying at the hands of the most powerful dark wizard.  Harry's worried about fitting in at a new school, making a fool out of himself when playing Quidditch in front of a large audience, and beating Slytherin in the points race for the House Cup.  In fact, the way Rowling wrote this first book, it seems like Harry's victory over Voldemort at the end was not to save the Stone, but to get enough points to finally knock Slytherin out of its winning streak. The fact that Harry has magical abilities is just a way to tell a normal tale of childhood.

This book and series are amazing.  There's really no other way to say it.

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