So project: "A Fantasy Journey" commences!! Yay!!
This week: the first chapter of the first book in the harry potter series. I will try to keep the posts coming in fairly regularly and Degrees of Affection is joining me in this chapter by chapter discussion/analysis/review of the series. If you want to join us, feel free to use the tag "hp-chapterBychapter"!
Alright! I have many things to share: I have quotes and chapter pictures from the books, quotes from Rowling's interviews, pictures and extra info from pottermore. Plus two personal sections:
✎ "Things you might not notice on your first read" : includes observations I had, or have been brought to my attention, where I assume you have a working knowledge of the series, so proceed with caution if you care about spoilers,
✎ "Fun Facts" : stories, trivia I have found when writing each post. There are so much more out there and I welcome any piece of extra information I have left out. Plus, I'll include some random thoughts and questions.
Let's begin... (mild spoilers! none for the series as a whole)
The boy who lived
“I reckon I must’ve got through fifteen different alternative chapters of book one. The reason for which I discarded each of them were: They all gave too much away. And in fact if you put all those discarded first chapters together, almost the whole plot is explained.” –J.K. Rowling, 2001
My all time favorite series kicks things off with introducing us to the very unlikable Dursleys: a (boring) normal, muggle family, whose lives are about to change when Harry Potter is left on their doorstep. What's a muggle you say? You will find out soon enough my friend (and be very sad you are one yourself..)
Our story starts on no.4 Privet Drive, on a "dull, gray Tuesday", when strange things begin to happen: owls flying everywhere, people dressed in strange clothes and a cat reading a map..wait no..surely cats can't read! Yet, that one...
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.
In this first chapter, we get a brilliant background of the story. A number of characters' names are thrown in, names that won't mean a thing until later in the series. The main villain is also introduced and the first pieces of the puzzle are given, raising many questions such as: why did he target this particular family? How did he meet his downfall there? Why did only the child survive? Why is he so feared?
Questions that will be answered in the upcoming books and in some cases in the last book.
I love the "storyteller" writing style of the series with phrases, such as "how very wrong he was..", which is of course enhanced when listening to the book. The movie adaptation also begins with this chapter, with Dumbledore arriving at no.4 Privet Drive to "deliver" Harry to his relatives - actually Hagrid did technically bring the baby, but the introduction of Dumbledore couldn't have been done more perfectly. His reasons on putting Harry in the care of his relatives, although they have an ulterior motive, reveal a caring character.
⚡️ Dumbledore says that he has a scar above his left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground..LOL..how oddly specific!
⚡️ Could you image how spoiled Harry would have been if he got raised up in a wizarding family? Perhaps, he'd have turned out like Draco Malfoy. Yikes!
⚡️ Why Harry had no relatives from his father's side?
(⊃｡•́‿•̀｡)⊃━☆ﾟ.*･｡ﾟ Why no.4?
"For no very good reason, I have never been fond of the number four, which has always struck me as a rather hard and unforgiving number, which is why I slapped it on the Dursleys' front door.", J.K Rowling (src)
Hagrid arrives on Sirius's motorcycle, why this is we will found out later.
Dumbledore is using a “Put-Outer” to take all the lights from the street; this is also called a deluminator. "Put-Outer"...lol..I guess dropping the actual word would have been confusing.
McGonagall spends her whole day observing the muggle house where Dumbledore will soon show up. It's a Tuesday though - which means there weren't any lessons over at Hogwarts probably as celebration of You-Know-Who's downfall. (Actually the month was November, after Halloween, a fact we'll find out later too)
❝Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous [..] He couldn’t know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter – the boy who lived!"
- You can read Degree of Affection's post here