In 1998, my grandmother bought me a book with some young boy clenching onto a broomstick lingering beneath the title. His messy black hair contrasted with the colorful background and looked like an instant classic, but to my five year old eyes it was another book. Reading was not quite the distant plateu to me as it was to the classmates my own age- I had already been reading for sometime. Sure, most of the reading was done in brief skims and the some of the words never quite stuck, but in my hands I held Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. My life has changed completely since I opened its paper cover.
Life was not an easy ride as a child and though most of the time I was blinded from the harsh realities by youthful ignorance, the plagues of parental separation and struggle had always been present. When I read Harry Potter, I was no longer a child dazed in a world of confusion, but I was a wizard. J.K. Rowling illuminates the wonderful wizarding world in such vivid detail, that I would think it would be difficult to not be sucked into its portkey. (hehe, Harry Potter reference). Harry Potter, Ron, Hermoine and even Hagrid were such colorful characters that I feel that I had developed friends within its text, they spoke to me, as they had to many others.
I hadn’t realized the pure scale of Harry Potter fandom until I was watching the news one night sometime in 2007, and they showed people tenting outside Barnes n’ Nobles for the midnight release of the newest book. Harry Potter had taken over the world. Though the book series has been done for sometime, the movies have finally wrapped up with Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Sure, Rowling will try to illuminate the universe more with her Fall 2011 release of Pottermore, but until then we need to wait and see what will happen. Surely, the wizarding world can’t stay dead for too long.
Instead of dissecting the entire series (I’m saving that for a new series starting tomorrow. So make sure to subscribe), I’m going to list the top-five bad ass scenes of the Harry Potter series. GO!
Warning this article is full of SPOILERS. Read with your own digression.
1. The Basilisk
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry encounters the Basilisk (which also cues as one of the main antagonists, aside from Tom Riddle of course). This reptillian beast can kill anyone with one look; yes, sorry Moaning Myrtle. Later in the series when Horcruxes are introduced, the trio discover that a fang of a basilisk can destroy them, hence Riddle’s diary.
2. The Introduction of Sirius Black
The suspense in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is unparalleled. Sirius Black is introduced as a manic serial killer, who betrayed the Potters and then killed seven people including the beloved Peter Pettigrew. However, when the trio reach the Shrieking Shack following the footsteps of Peter, they uncover a conspiracy. Black becomes a father-figure to Harry until his untimely death in the Department of Mysteries.
3. Voldemort Returns!
The series delves into a much darker place when the Dark Lord himself, Lord Voldemort is brought back to his full power. According to the text he once had an appearance similiar to Harry’s own, however, in his current state he resembles a snake. Voldemort might be the most bad ass character in present day fiction, though in a way he is almost like a Hitler character (or is that Gilbert Grindelwand? We’ll have to look at that in tomorrows series), he fosters no remorse or feelings when he seizes Hogwarts; even though, he does offer the students safety in return for his nemesis Harry Potter.
4. The True Colors of Dumbledore
Throughout the series, Albus Dumbledore is the voice of conscious for young Harry Potter. He assumes himself, as a guardian figure to the endangered young Potter and it seems rather loving and caring. However, as the series progresses you learn of the headmaster’s dark past, and though he might love Harry, he’s only acting in favor of the greater good. Even before Harry attends the magical school, Dumbledore knows that the boy must give his life in order to finally slay the Dark Lord. In one of the most heartfelt flashbacks of the series, he reveals this to a troubled Snape who argues on behalf of Harry.
5. The Death of The Boy Who Lives (irony)
At the end of book seven, Harry discovers that the last Horcrux is in fact his scar. Now this was a complete shock to me amongst many others; Harry Potter is a Horcrux? Through Snape’s memories he learns that he must give his life to defeat the Dark Lord. What results is an amazing scene demonstrated well in both the book and the movies, where Harry is in some sort of afterlife or illusion; neither is explained.
Harry awakens at King’s Cross Station, which is shrouded in blinding light and he sees Dumbledore standing beside him. On the floor lays a miniature Voldemort shrieking in agony. Dumbledore tells him to pay no attention, that he can’t help him.
What results is the best line I’ve heard in a while, Harry asks Dumbledore if any of what he was seeing was real or was it all in side his head. Dumbledore replies, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
Thank you guys, there’s my top five bad ass moments in Harry Potter. What’s yours? Tomorrow I will start a series on the Harry Potter Effect. Subscribe to stay up to date ->
The Harry Potter Effect
1. From Napkins to Hardcovers