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Hello!

It is crazy to think I have had this site up for two years now. I will keep it up and as an update, it is time to reread the series once more! I might not do the 1 chapter a day thing again, but I will post and update when I can. This time around, I am reading the British edition of the books! I am looking forward to the new discoveries and differences this time around!

Josh

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I know I am a day late in posting this, but I needed some time to collect my thoughts and make sure I knew what I wanted to say.

Alan Rickman passed away yesterday, January 14, 2016. Most of us know him as the actor who portrayed Severus Snape, arguably the most dynamic character in the entire Harry Potter series. I never met or knew Alan Rickman, but I was a fan of him and his work, from his other acting roles and the fact he was a graphic designer, like I am, before he entered into the realm of movies. From all of the accounts of those who knew him, they describe him as a kind, wonderful, and sincere man, who was a joy to be around. For that, the world lost a great man, actor, and person, who should be remembered….

…Always.

 

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Hello!

It has been a few days since my last post, and I have been working on something magical to add on to this blog site, to hopefully make it more than what it is. More details to come soon with that.

But, more importantly, I am extremely honored to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by a fantastic blogger, Francesca Smith (A Smith’s World), and I humbly accept this nomination. As a result, I will answer a few questions that were given to me, and hope to share more about myself, and the purpose of this blog.


Questions

  1. What first inspired you to write?

    I think I have always wanted to write in some capacity, and I am happy to be a part of the world of blogging. Even as a kid, I have felt that I was creative, and had a passion for stories, both making up my own and reading. When I first read Harry Potter, like many fans, I was drawn tot he magical world and felt as if I grew up with it. I have read the stories so many times that I feel as if I could make a profession out of my Harry Potter knowledge. During this recent reading of the books, I wanted to do something more, and was inspired to make my own blog with my own reflections of the stories, and breaking it down chapter by chapter. It was an amazing experience, liberating in some ways, and I hope to find more ways to express my thoughts, and make this more of a community of ideas.

  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

    I have always loved traveling and going to new places, so to pick just one place in the world would be difficult. I live in the United States, in Ohio, and being in that location, I am close to come major cities and tourist places, such as Chicago, Illinois, one of my favorite cities, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where my family and I vacation to every summer. I have been from coast to coast in the United States, and have been out of the country a few times, with my favorite trip to Rome, Italy. I would love to go back to Europe at some point and visit several countries. I know it is somewhat of a cop-out to say a continent, but I have always wanted to go to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain, and work my way to Greece. I love history and the cultures of those countries, and would love to experience and see them first hand. 

  3. What is your opinion on the use of stimulants to aid creativity?

    (Hoping that I am answering this question correctly) In regards to stimulants and creativity, I think creativity is something that is a natural expression to begin with, and a part of me believe that with stimulants, a creator loses a part of a connection with their created work, whatever it may be. I think of drugs immediately (and unfortunately) when I hear the world stimulant, and I know there are cases and examples where it is needed, but I also see too often in my own country where stimulants are overdone and I think the individual is not completely themselves to a degree. An example I can think of where I could see someone needing a stimulant is writer’s block. For whatever reason, they writer is stumbling with the next step, a missing piece if you will. I think that there is something to be said about finding a way on your own to push through these obstacles, overcoming them, and with that, I think the end result is more fruitful. 

  4. Do you agree with the term: ” An eye for an eye”?

    I understand the concept and it’s origins, and I think the counter to it “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” is something I agree with more. I know it is harder to see this when it becomes more than just an eye, like a life, or even something as terrible as child abuse, but I don’t always think that the punishment should be equivalent to the act. I think the process of forgiveness and proper justice is a little more powerful. This is a good morality question.

  5. So far, what is the funniest thing that you have witnessed?

    Hmm, this a tough question, and an interesting transition from the last two, heh. I think the funniest thing I have witnessed, and unfortunately been a part of, is when I was walking along in Rome, a bird decided my head was the perfect object to poop on. I felt something land on my head, and place my hand to feel what it was, and regretted it as I pulled my hand back. At the time I did not find it as funny, but now, it is a funny story. 

  6. Out of all the accents in the world, which is your favourite?

    Another good question. The big answer would probably be penicillin, just because of its impact on the world of medicine, but I think I am going to step outside of the box a little for this one. I went to school to be a graphic designer and one of my best tools are post-it notes. Apparently, it was originally market as a non-slip bookmark, but I can not tell you how nice it is to jot down a few ideas when I am working on a design, or research, and quickly organizing them and reorganizing them. They are a fun tool to use with creative thinking.

  7. What is your preferred genre of reading material?

    As stated earlier, I love Harry Potter, and other types of fantasy, fiction books. I would also have to say most dystopian books. 1984, Brave New World, and the Giver are up there for my favorite books, just because I can reread them and find new things fascinating and thought provoking about them. I knew there is a big trend for these books now, where they seem to be going straight to movie, and some are good, like Hunger Games, and some are just out there to me, like Divergent series (which I can’t get into). I also like some non-fiction books, mostly ones that deal with history or any design book.

  8. What is your preferred genre of music?

    I have always liked Rock music, from the alternative, to some punk rock, classic rock, and currently a lot of what would be labeled as  indie-rock, but I like a lot of different music genre. Pretty much any song that has a some greta instruments, clean vocals, and potentially a story of some sort, I enjoy listening to.

  9. If you could travel anywhere in time, where would it be and why?

    Heh, I feel like I am at a job interview with some of these questions. This is always a tricky one for me because of my love of history, and also Sci-fi, and if the Doctor ever asked me to pick somewhere in all of time and history in the TARDIS, I would probably have to go with the Renaissance time period, to see the works of Da Vinci, and Michelangelo, as well as the shift in thinking. The only thing I would not like is the clothes 🙂

  10. What is the first thing you notice about a person?

    Not trying to sound shallow, but I usually notice their appearance first, when I meet a person. Not judging their looks or anything, just notice the basics, like hair and eye color. When I look a little deeper, I notice their smile, and then try to understand their personality. I know Sherlock would be able to determine their whole life history based on appearance, but I try to look for those cues as well sometimes.

  11. Are you a closed or open door?

    I would say it depends on the person. I would like to think I am more of an open door, as I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, but when I am meeting someone for the first time, I am a little guarded, but pleasant. If I know someone well enough, I am an open book, as long as I find them trustworthy.

Thank you again for the nomination, and as always thank you for reading! Please feel free to comment!

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Well, I finished the books a few day earlier so that I would be able to finish before my birthday. I am going to answer my final questions as my final review. I just want to thank everyone for following and your views and comments! It helped make this who experience great! I would love to expand this, and make it into something like a MuggleNet or HPA, because Harry Potter has meant so much to me in my life, that I want to be able to share it, and continue this experience with others who have been effected by the series. I invite everyone to answer these questions as well, or think about them and reflect on the series as a whole. As a way to celebrate, I will have a movie marathon starting tomorrow.

1. Is there anything that you would have liked to have changed from the story?

I have talked this to death throughout the reviews, but I think the end pairings are the only thing I would have changed and would have liked to have seen Harry and Hermione end up together. I know it would have been a little cliche, and I am not talking away from the wonderful friendship they had, but I just didn’t feel like the Ginny relationship made sense when they finally started dating, and Harry realizing his feelings. On a literary perspective, I feel like Luna would also have been a better candidate that Ginny. Other than that, the storylines were wonderful.

2. What was your favorite book?

I think the Order of the Phoenix is my favorite after having reading the series again, followed closely by Prisoner of Azkaban, and then Deathly Hallows. Those are for sure my top 3. Here is my order of favorite books, and then movies:

Books:
1. Order of the Phoenix
2. Prisoner of Azkaban
3. Deathly Hallows
4. Goblet of Fire
5, Sorcerer’s Stone
6. Half-Blood Prince
7. Chamber of Secrets

Movies:
1. Deathly Hallows pt. 1
2. Deathly Hallows pt. 2
3. Prisoner of Azkaban
4, Goblet of Fire
5. Order of the Phoenix
6, Sorcerer’s Stone
7. Chamber of Secrets
8. Half-Blood Prince

3. What has the Harry Potter series meant to you?

I remember falling in love with the books growing up, eagerly awaiting the new releases, and reading them several times over, even at night with my little night light when I know I should be in bed. The movies made their own mark with the series, and were well done, but the books have what got me hooked. I was able to relate to Harry, feeling like I grew up with Harry. The final book came out when I graduated High School, and the final movie was released when I graduated college. Harry has always made a mark in my life in some way. When I was reading the series this time, I felt some of that excitement as if I were reading the books for the first time all over again, which made it this special for me. My wedding was Harry Potter themed, and I am expecting my first child, a daughter, which I am contemplating a name from the Harry Potter series as her name, or her middle name. A lot of life lessons are in this book, and I try to find ways to reflect those lessons to make the world i live in a little better.

Once more, thank you all for being a part of this!

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And now the Epilogue. Time to power through! 🙂

Questions Answered

I am going to try and answer some of the proposed questions I brought up from the last review after thinking about them. As always, feel free to write your own answers and thoughts to these questions.

1. Why does Neville stand up against Voldemort to defeat Nagini?

Neville has really come to his own, and feels that he needs to kill Nagini since Harry has asked him to take on that task.

2. Why does Harry hide himself in the cloak during the battle?

He needed to navigate and get to his target without being interrupted.

3. Did Harry make the right decision in ending the Hallows?

Yes. He knows the temptation what the Hallows bring, and he realizes that somethings are meant to end.


Chapter Review

Harry and Ginny are taking their kids to Platform 9 and 3/4’s as it will be Albus’ first year there. They have three kids, James, the oldest, and Lily the youngest who wishes to be going to school too. There we see Hermione and Ron and their children, Hugo and Rosie, as well as Draco and his son Scorpius. They wish them farewell, and Harry comforts Albus, who is worried about being sorted into Slytherin, which Harry confirms is ok. The final words of the chapter are: All was well.

This chapter is a little campy, and it is neat to see what happens in the future, even though it is just a brief snapshot. I guess this was the first thing for the Harry Potter series that JK Rowling wrote, so the books needed to align with this epilogue. It is ok, not may favorite chapter, but it is a nice little way to end the series. There is still a part of me that feels that the book could have ended with the last chapter.


Questions to Ponder

1. Is there anything that you would have liked to have changed from the story?

2. What was your favorite book?

3. What has the Harry Potter series meant to you?

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Here we go! The final real chapter! Next one is the epilogue!

Questions Answered

I am going to try and answer some of the proposed questions I brought up from the last review after thinking about them. As always, feel free to write your own answers and thoughts to these questions.

1. Why does Harry appear naked in this “limbo” place?

He is as he was when he entered the world, naked. I think it was symbolic of a new life, and death.

2. Why is Harry able to master the Hallows?

Like the Sorcerer’s Stone, he never really sought the Hallows, and if he did, it wouldn’t be for personal gain. This is what qualifies him.

3. What does Dumbledore mean that this was in Harry’s head, but also real?

He means that this whole choice of choosing to live, or to go on is in his head and real. I think Dumbledore was in a way a messenger from the world beyond.

4. Is there symbolism for the location being Kings Cross?

Very much yes. It is symbolic of that transition and transportation to live, or to go on. It all just depends on which train he is taking.


Chapter Review

Harry returns back to the world of the living, and realizes that Voldemort must have been effected as well by the killing curse he sent towards Harry, because he was knocked down too. Harry pretends to be dead, as he is still surrounded my Death Eaters. Voldemort, after regaining composure, asks someone to confirm if Harry is really dead. Narcissa Malfoy is the one who checks on him, realizes he is alive, but asks if Draco is still alive, and Harry responds yes. With this, Narcissa lies and tells Voldemort that Harry is dead, knowing that her son is still alive. Voldemort decides to play with Harry’s body, casting a few spells on it, and they has Hagrid walk Harry’s body back to the castle. Again, I love the symbolism of Hagrid, and he acts as transition for Harry. Carrying Harry back to the school, carrying Harry back home.

As they reach the forest grounds, Voldemort stops them and uses his voice amplification to say Harry is dead, died from trying to flee. Voldemort and his Death Eaters then approach the school entrance where those are gathered. Harry is able to distinguish Ron and Hermione’s voices of anguish. Voldemort then challenges anyone refuses to join the Death Eaters. Neville charges up, and is stopped. The Sorting Hat flys from the school, and Neville is able to retrieve the Sword of Gryffindor, which he uses to kill Nagini. During this time, the Centaurs charge after the Death Eaters, forcing the battle inside, and Harry puts on his invisibility cloak to hide himself to find Voldemort. He navigates through, and sees the battles taking place, including Hermione, Ginny, and Luna taking on Bellatrix. Bellatrix tries to use the killing curse against Ginny, but Mrs. Weasley stops it and shouts her famous line. They then battle out, and Mrs. Weasley ends up killing Bellatrix. This causes Voldemort to realize what has happened, and as he tries to approach, Harry finally reveals himself and stops Voldemort’s advancements. Harry then calls everyone off, and he and Voldemort start to circle each other.

Voldemort taunts Harry, asking who will die this time, and Harry defiantly tells Voldemort that this is the end. He then explains that Voldemort never had the Elder Wand, and that his spells are useless. The true master was Draco Malfoy, since Draco disarmed Dumbeldore before his was killed. Harry then reveals he now has the Elder Wand, and gives Voldemort a chance to show remorse. Refusing, Voldemort casts the killing curse towards Harry, but sensing it was coming, Harry cast the disarming spell at the same time. Because Harry was Master of Death, Voldemort’s curse deflected of of Harrys’s spell and hit him in the chest, killing him,

Harry was then giving hugs and offers of congratulations, and after a while, he needed an escape, which Luna helped provide. Harry hid himself in his cloak once more, sought Hermione and Ron, and he led them to Dumbledore’s office. Once there, the portraits applauded, and Harry seeked Dumbeldore’s portrait. Harry then admitted that he lost the resurrection stone, and that he will bury the Elder Wand with Dumbledore. He also explained to Hermione and Ron everything that he say in Snape’s memory and everything that happened up until the final battle. Harry then used the Elder Wand, and repaired his old wand, which became good as new. Harry then admits that he has had enough trouble for one lifetime.


Questions to Ponder

1. Why does Neville stand up against Voldemort to defeat Nagini?

2. Why does Harry hide himself in the cloak during the battle?

3. Did Harry make the right decision in ending the Hallows?

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The photo is probably my favorite quote of the entire series. The graphic is pretty great too. I wanted to take away from the movie since my blogs have had several stills from the movies. I will go further with the quote within the blog.

Questions Answered

I am going to try and answer some of the proposed questions I brought up from the last review after thinking about them. As always, feel free to write your own answers and thoughts to these questions.

1. Why does Harry not tell Hermione and Ron of his plan but he stops to talk to Neville?

He knows he would not be able to walk into the forest to meet Voldemort if he speaks with them, but he lets Neville in on the snake just in case Hermione and Ron die.

2. Why was it only those four that came out for Harry?

Those are the ones that Harry had cared for the most, the true Marauders. Plus Dumbledore gets his debut this chapter.

3. Why didn’t Harry try and defend himself?

He must be willing to die, and he doesn’t want to be tempted to prevent it.


Chapter Review

The Penultimate chapter! (excluding the epilogue). I love this chapter. I have written just about ever single quote from this chapter in the quotes chapter, and could easily have just have written “Chapter 35, all of it!”

Harry wakes up…somewhere. He realizes that he is perfectly alone, naked, and standing on ground because there needs to be ground. Slowly, the environment around him begins to take shape, but not before he hears a cry from another being. At this moment, Harry feels shame, and aware of his nakedness. It reminded me of the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Once Sin is introduced, they feel shame. Voldemort is a snake, more or less, and fits the analogy of taking the role of Satan in this instance. He hears the discarded being cry, and once he is robed, hears another voice, one belonging to Albus Dumbledore.

Dumbledore beams at Harry, and calls him brave, and asks Harry to walk with him. They walk to a bench, and start to discuss. Harry asks about where he is, and why he is here, which Dumbledore says that he is unsure, but this is Harry’s “party” so it can be whatever he wants to be. Shortly, he recognizes this to be Kings Cross, but cleaner and emptier. Just them and the crying being far away. Dumbledore explains about how when he was a kid, how selfish he was, and how he feels guilt for the death of his sister. He shares his own journey for the Hallows, but realizes how he would never be able to possess them, and unify them, even though he had all the Hallows at one point. Dumbledore also admits that once he defeat Grindlewald, he became owner of the Elder Wand, and it was supposed to succeed to Snape, but that is not how it worked out. This is a teaser that it isn’t Snape’s wand that is the Elder Wand, but someone else’s, Draco’s. Dumbledore also reveals that Harry is the last Horcrux, the seventh, one that was unintentionally made.

Dumbledore also reveals, and helps Harry work out that Voldemort is alive because of Lily’s protection, and the protection runs in Voldemort’s veins, and it is this that is keeping both Voldemort and Harry alive. Harry can go back.

Dumbledore admits that he didn’t make it easy for Harry to get to the Hallows, they he relied on Hermione to slow Harry down if he found out about them so that when the time came, Harry would be able to truly unify them. To understand that there are things worse than death. That death is the next great adventure. Harry, because of his acceptance of death, made him master of the Hallows, Master of Death. Dumbledore advises Harry to pity the living that do not know love, like Voldemort. Harry then asks if he can go back, which Dumbledore replies that Harry can, he has a choice. Harry asked what would happen if he didn’t, and Dumbledore responds that in this world, a train would come and take Harry “on.” Knowing that he has to finally stop Voldemort, Harry decides it would be best to go back.

Before he leaves, he asks if this was all in his head, this whole transaction. Dumbledore responds, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

I love this line. For several reasons. This is the next great adventure, that this is all real for Harry. He controlled the environment, and became aware that he is the unintended seventh Horcrux, and they crying being is the part of Voldemort inside of him that is dying. Another way to look at this is the book series itself. Yes, it is fiction, but it is a fantastic story with amazing and insightful words of wisdom that can be applied to real life. Harry Potter Alliance is prime example of this in our world. Even though the book is fiction, it can be real to us. Another way I look at it is my passion for the Harry/Hermione ship. I know that it isn’t canon, and in my head it makes perfect sense, and that it can still be real, even if I examine it in my own life, when it comes to finding the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. These are just a few examples.

Please comment and respond on what this quote means to you!


Questions to Ponder

1. Why does Harry appear naked in this “limbo” place?

2. Why is Harry able to master the Hallows?

3. What does Dumbledore mean that this was in Harry’s head, but also real?

4. Is there symbolism for the location being Kings Cross?