A quick tag post today, since I want to keep up with my writing schedule, but life is quite busy at the moment. As some readers may know, largely if you read this post, my current job in Hong Kong is coming to an end soon, and therefore I’m having to figure out and organise what I’m doing next. There will be plenty of lengthy posts coming soon to explain everything, so for now I thought something light and easy was in order, both for me to write and you to read. This tag is all things Harry Potter, which was a formative part of my childhood, as I was obsessed with it for years (and still am to an extent). I read and re-read the books time and time again, and honestly believe that this sparked my love of reading, which led to me completing an English Lit degree. So without further ado…
1. Favourite book
This is actually probably the hardest question, since I love all of them so much! Philosopher’s Stone will always have a special place, since it was the beginning of everything, for Harry and for all of us who read the series. Order of the Phoenix stands out for me too, since that’s when a lot of the action and drama really began to kick off, and continued to the end of the series, and Deathly Hallows was a superb ending to it all. That’s a terrible answer isn’t it, listing half the series? Sorry!
2. Least favourite book
I’m not sure I have a least favourite, since they’re all fantastic, but I do think Chamber of Secrets and Half Blood Prince are probably the ones I glaze past the most, when I think about what happened in all the books. They’re still great though, I just wouldn’t single either out as a favourite.
3. Favourite movie
I think Deathly Hallows (Parts I and II) were the best executed, and the best adaptation of the source material (though they have the advantage of being two films, and not having to cut out as much), and really captured all the thrills and highs and lows of the climax of the whole series. The last film was probably the one I was most excited about seeing, since it was the end of all of it, and I really wanted the series to finish on a high, with a good film, which it did.
4. Least favourite movie
Again, I don’t dislike any of them, but I think Half Blood Prince was the one I would change the most (see question 20), although I do love how funny it was, and Order of the Phoenix was a bit frustrating, since it was the longest book and therefore so much had to be cut for the film. I understand why this has to happen, but there were a lot of scenes in that one that I’d have liked to have seen.
5. Favourite quote
This is hard to choose, since there’s a LOT of words and quotes from these books, so I’m going to cop out yet again, and choose more than one. For some reason “What’s coming will come, and we’ll meet it when it does” always struck a chord with me, most likely because I’m a chronic worrier (though much more relaxed than I used to be), and this seemed like good advice for me, and I loved that it was Hagrid saying something so wise and practical. My favourite of the philosophical type quotes (mostly courtesy of Dumbledore) is probably “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”. There’s so many funny quotes that I couldn’t pick just one, and this post would be twice as long if I wrote them all. Oh, but “Mischief managed” is always pretty excellent, right?
6. Favourite Weasley
I can’t choose between Ron and the twins! I love Ron as the underdog, especially when compared to the rest of the trio, and all his older brothers, which made the moments when he got to shine even more special. He always felt the most down to earth and relatable of them, and even when I was frustrated by his actions, I still understood them, usually stemming from his own frustrations and insecurities, which I think we all have. He was also so funny so much of the time, but the twins are just hilarious and wonderful in every scene they’re in, and honestly, if you don’t love the pair of them, what is wrong with you?
7. Favourite female character
I think it has to be Hermione, since she represents so many great qualities that I think girls should aspire to; brave, loyal, smart, independent. She was also the character I related to the most growing up, since I was always academic and quite a bookworm, and often felt a bit awkward a lot of the time. I do think Luna and Ginny (book version) are awesome too though!
8. Favourite villain
Oooh, this is an interesting one, since the most interesting characters are not always the most likeable. I think Bellatrix is fascinating as a villain, since she is utterly mad and has no remorse whatsoever, but then I was also very satisfied to see the end of her, as she did some truly awful things. The most likeable villain for me is Draco, as he’s such a pain during Harry’s time at school, but ultimately is not a terrible person. I suppose he’s more of a bully than a villain, which is still a terrible thing to be, but he at least shows some character development over time.
9. Favourite male character
Um, see question 6 I guess, those guys double as my favourites. The only other male character that would rank among my favourites is Neville. Other than his points winning at the end of the first book, I didn’t think much of him throughout the books, until the last few, when he became so important, and so, so brave, which was when I really started to become invested in his story and development. And if we’re being entirely honest, I liked him even more after seeing the last films, because hellloooo Matt Lewis!
10. Favourite professor
McGonagall! I think I would be pretty intimidated by her if she were my teacher, but she’s just such a powerful, badass woman that I can’t help but love her. I also love her little softer sides, and how invested she is in the Quidditch! Hagrid did cross my mind for this one, but since I liked him before he was actually a professor, and I’m a little nervous about his teaching still, I’ll stick with McGonagall, who seems like a very good teacher.
11. Would you rather wash Snape’s hair or spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?
So washing Snape’s hair could be over much faster than a whole day with Lockhart, but just the thought of touching someone else’s greasy hair makes me gag. Maybe after a while I’d be able to tune Lockhart’s voice out too, so let’s go with that one.
12. Would you rather duel an elated Bellatrix or an angry Molly?
Did you see what happened when these two duelled each other? I’ll take Bellatrix, no one’s got a chance against Molly when she’s that angry!
13. Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via Hogwarts Express or flying car?
Well since I’m terrified of heights, I think we’ll stick with the nice, safe, relaxed train ride. And there’s all that lovely food from the trolley to much on!
14. Would you rather kiss Voldemort or give Umbridge a bubble bath?
This is like picking the lesser of two evils… I’ll take Voldemort though, since at least a kiss can be over pretty quickly, giving someone a bath takes longer and dear god, Umbridge is definitely worse to deal with than Voldemort!
15. Would you rather ride a Hippogriff or a Firebolt?
Again, given the fear of heights, neither sounds too appealing to me. However, since I’m not a confident driver, I’m leaning towards the Hippogriff, so they can at least be in control. I feel like I’m less likely to crash on one of them!
16. Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies?
Ginny, of course. I think nearly everyone agrees that book Ginny was funny and clever and a total badass, while the movie version of her just felt a bit flat… Also, I liked the book version of Harry just a little bit better, as he was hilarious and had so many quick comebacks that got skipped a lot in the films, which made him seem a lot moodier and angsty-er than he came across to me in the books, though I still like him anyway.
17. Is there a movie you preferred to the book?
No, while I really liked the movies, and thought that overall, they were a pretty good adaptation, the books will always come first for me. There’s so much more detail to them, and scenes that had to be skipped in the movies, and these were my first experience of Harry Potter, as I read all of them well before the films came out.
18. Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?
I have to go with Harris, simply because he was more like the Dumbledore I imagined when reading the books. Gambon still did an excellent job when he took over, but just wasn’t quite what I pictured personally.
19. Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movies but you wanted to be?
Dudley and Harry’s goodbye scene, the “I don’t think you’re a waste of space” thing. It was so lovely in the books to see Dudley actually appreciate Harry, if only for that one scene, and showed that he hadn’t completely become his parents. Also Peeves. I wish we’d had Peeves.
20. If you could remake any of the movies, which would it be?
Probably Half Blood Prince. I didn’t hate it, but I feel like there was a lot of emphasis on the teen angst, and not enough on the bigger picture of Voldemort is back, darkness is spreading etc. Although I did enjoy a lot of the lighter, funny scenes. And I would have liked to see more of the Pensieve scenes about Riddle’s past included, since I feel they’re very important to his backstory.
21. Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be part of?
I think while I was reading I liked Gryffindor best, but that was because all the main characters belonged to that house, but I figured that I was more likely to be in Ravenclaw though, since I was always very academic.
22. Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore?
Gryffindor, to my surprise and delight. Never really considered myself a brave person, but then I did pack up and move halfway around the world by myself, so I guess there’s something in there!
23. Which class would be your favourite?
Charms, because the spells are so diverse and let you do so many different things, all of which are pretty cool. I think nearly all the classes (except History of Magic, I never liked history much) would be fascinating, but Charms seems like the most fun.
24. Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?
If I could do Accio I would be using that constantly, but then it would probably make me even lazier than I already am. Also, I know it’s not quite a spell, but Apparating would be so great, since I love travel, but hate the actual travelling part of it most of the time.
25. Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with?
This is actually quite tricky, because as I said in question 7, I always related the most to Hermione, so perhaps I would get along with her, but then when I look at my friends, none of them are much like her (because that was always me I guess!). I love reading about Luna, but I think I’d get a bit irritated by all her airiness and belief in strange creatures (there’s my Hermione showing again…) Honestly, I think it would probably be Ginny (book version) that I’d be friends with.
26. If you could own one of the Hallows, which would it be?
The Invisibility Cloak, definitely. The wand scares me a little, and the stone would be too painful to see loved ones come back, but not really be there. Invisibility is always my pick when choosing superpowers, so a cloak would do a pretty good job. And Harry uses it so much, and it always enables some great adventures.
27. Are there any aspects of the book you would want to change?
I feel like if I changed anything it would start to unravel, since the details are so carefully crafted to fit together. I would like to bring back a lot of the characters that were killed though! I understand why some had to die, but it hurt too much! Also, like many others, Albus Severus? Really?
28. Favourite Marauder?
This is a little tricky, since we actually don’t know much about James Potter, so I feel like it’s difficult to pick him. I think I probably would like him a lot (in the later years, after the ego deflated), but since there’s not loads to go on, I’ll say Sirius for now, since he’s so entertaining and reckless, and so unfailingly loyal. I feel like he was the most like Fred & George in his youth too, and they’re just fantastic.
29. If you could bring one character back to life, who would it be?
Fred. Oh, Fred. That one still hurts the most. I mean, any Weasley would have been awful, but separating the twins?! Come on, too painful.
30. Hallows or Horcruxes?
Hallows of course. Who would rip up their soul when you could be Master of Death instead?
I never actually tag anyone else when I do these (or do them because I’ve been tagged myself), but if you like Harry Potter too, give it a go! I’d love to read other opinions.