“Exactly,” said Dumbledore, beaming once more. “Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Page 333
And so the magic continues. After finishing this book, it’s obvious to me J.K. Rowling has set this pattern in stone for us for the stories. Harry is miserable at his muggle home, gets in trouble one way or another, goes to Hogwarts, faces something far more troubling, resolves the problem in his heroic-Harry way and then returns home for another dreadful summer with the Dursley family.
It’s quite ingenious, actually, because then the reader starts each book anticipating for the next wild adventure that’s bound to come that school year, and if Rowling decides to change it up in one of the books, then it’s a pleasant surprise.
Still, it’s hard to not notice the pattern and anticipate it for the next book. With this pattern set in stone, you can almost focus even more on what’s going to happen.
And, boy, did things happen in this part of Harry’s story.
First, I want to talk about something that made me think when I was rewatching the movie. Seeing Dobby’s first appearance on screen made me think of his very last scene in the series, and I got a bit nostalgic which made me wonder…
As much as I love Dobby, I have to admit that he was a real pain in this book/movie. Of course, he thought he was helping Harry, but really, he only made things much more difficult for him; and yet, Harry still went out of his way to free Dobby.
Part of it was probably because Dobby’s wizard family was the Malfoy family, which Harry is obviously not a fan of, but it must also be partly because Harry is a good person and sees that Dobby deserves better.
In a way, Harry must have seen that Dobby, like him, lived in terrible circumstances with terrible people, and Harry must have decided that he could at least help one of the two if he could. I think this is what really makes Harry a Gryffindor and not a Slytherin; he thought of Dobby before himself, despite all the trouble he put him through.
Watching the movie, I felt as though they removed something important about Ron’s character. Ron seems way more self-conscious about his family’s financial situation in the books, and it’s a shame they didn’t add that element in the movie. Sure, Malfoy constantly bullies him and the other Weasley kids about how poor they are, but Ron just seems far more embarrassed about it in the books. In the movie, he seems to have just accepted it.
It’s a shame they didn’t add this to the movie, because it seems to be a way Ron and Harry bond. Harry understands what it’s like to live in poor conditions, and though Ron constantly goes red when money is brought up, Harry reassures him that his home was nothing but amazing, and what makes it even better is that he truly believes it.
Reading about the Weasley home was fun, but seeing it come to life on the big screen was just magical. I’d honestly choose that home over a mansion any day.
I also just want to mention that the casting for the Harry Potter films was perfectly done. I mean, Mrs. Weasley just leaped off the pages for me with Julie Walters’ performance and Jason Isaacs gave the Malfoy name a whole new meaning with his performance.
Although the ending from the movie was very different from the book’s ending, I still loved it all the same. Hagrid, after all the bullshit he went through, really deserved that applause at the end. It was so heartwarming and sweet. It was also refreshing to see something new apart from the book that didn’t ruin the book’s story and intentions. It was nice to see slytherins cheer him on as well; it was just a gentle reminder to the audience that not all slytherins are bad (which I, as a slytherin, appreciate).
I found out that reading the book helps a lot for the movie. I realized there were a lot of details in the movie I didn’t really pay attention to let alone understand because it just didn’t make a lot of sense. For example, the mention of the raids by Lucius to Arthur in the beginning, Percy walking down the halls with Penelope Clearwater when he’s greeted by Sir Nicholas who, from reading the book, I now know is his girlfriend, and Dobby’s mention of ironing his hands which I now realize was his punishment.
I also noticed that a lot of what was in the book was intended to be in the movie but because of time just didn’t make it. It was still nice to see some of those scenes in the deleted scene section like Filch’s Kwikspell letter which was a hint to us that he’s a squib and the conversation between the Hufflepuffs over Harry being the Heir of Slytherin.
Also, Hermione and Ron at the end of the movie, I mean, come on, they’re adorable!
Overall, I thought the story was quite clever on Rowling’s part, from the use of a diary to preserve yourself as a memory to Moaning Myrtle’s role in the story to Ron’s broken wand serving its purpose in the end by backfiring on Lockhart. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I’m excited to read the next one.
I’m even more excited about the next one, because it is my favorite of all the movies, so I have high expectations. We’ll just have to wait and see.