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Harry Potter - The best plot and character in each book?


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Old 24-02-2013, 13:04
Sifter22
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The HP books are stuffed full of excellent characters making it almost impossible for me to pick. My favourite stand alone book is the 'Prisoner of Azkaban'. Sirius and Lupin are both introduced and they were both great. Sirius was a firm favourite of mine until his death.

Shame about the casting in the film though. Gary Oldman is a good actor but he wasn't right as Sirius IMO. He should have been taller, better looking and a bit more charming in a rakish sort of way.
Yeah, Oldman wasn't at all what I imagined Sirius to be like. I thought he'd have a lot darker hair and eyes and the rugged good looks type of thing.
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Old 24-02-2013, 18:51
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My favourite plot was the Triwizard Tournament, I liked the structure of that book and all the new characters. Unfortunately that's the point in the series where JK Rowling became too successful for editing and the books became too long, but apart from that I love it.
I thought they weren't long enough
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Old 24-02-2013, 18:52
wombat18
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Shame about the casting in the film though. Gary Oldman is a good actor but he wasn't right as Sirius IMO. He should have been taller, better looking and a bit more charming in a rakish sort of way.
I agree. Physically, the film Sirius did not match up to the book Sirius - and, in the film, he was nowhere near as charming as he was supposed to be.

But I do dislike a lot of things about the films.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:05
lordOfTime
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I would have loved to have learnt more about Neville Longbottom and Dean Thomas' background.

I believe JK Rowling was planning on writing about Dean in Chamber Of Secrets but didn't end up doing it.
I don't know if you're a member of the website Pottermore but J.K. Rowling has written lots of new material about the background of all sorts of characters. It's up to Book 3 now so I'm sure new material on both those characters will come up.

The publishers cut loads out of the book though didn't they? Glad Snape is popular here, amazing creation but don't think Harry would have named his son after him. He was a hero but a very mean, damaged man! Was he really a Slyherin (forgot how to spell it)? I personally think of they all turned out to be nasty people something should have been done about it?
Why not? If anything, the experience Harry was given (By Snape himself) giving him the memories he needed to understand, finally, everything that was going on behind the scenes about his life. Snape might have treated Harry badly and Harry would never thank him for it.

In the Prince's tale he finally understands his motives. It's not as cut and dried as saying, "All Slytherin's are Evil" and that is that. Horace Slughorn was head or Slytherin house at one point, he is not a bad character at all. And after seeing the big picture, Harry would have gone on to teach his children that it is okay to be put into Slytherin house at Hogwarts. Harry defeated Voldemort and therefore the evil within it. He says to his Son "Slytherin House will gain a wonderful young Wizard". He names his Son "Albus Severus". There'll never be love there but I bet there's a millon times more respect from Harry for Severus Snape.

I really need to reread the series.

Dread to imagine the reaction if she had dared killed off Harry or Ron and Hermione.

Too many great characters and plots to pick one. I love them all

I would have liked to see a bit more backstory to a few characters, Neville's parents for example.
It nearly happened, you know. J.K nearly killed off Ron but decided to let him live.

Loved the fact that JK Rowling outed Dumbledore as gay at some book signing, and the fact that he had had an affair with Grindlewald when they were young. Just about alluded to in the books, once JK had said it you could see the back story, but otherwise completely under the radar.
I've read the books enough now, and to me there's no reason to suspect that Dumbledore is Gay other than the fact that J.K. outed him. I'm therefore not saying he isn't, but when you look at the story there's nothing in there for me that I can say they were nothing more than very good friends.

lets face it

relatively poor books, milked for all they were worth - which was a helluva lot.
Why?? Why are they poor? Why should I face it? What reasons?
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:47
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I've read the books enough now, and to me there's no reason to suspect that Dumbledore is Gay other than the fact that J.K. outed him. I'm therefore not saying he isn't, but when you look at the story there's nothing in there for me that I can say they were nothing more than very good friends.
Well yes that's why I used the phrase completely under the radar.

My point is that it's not apparent, but once you know that is what JK intended you can go back and read that section (about Dumbledore & Grindlewald) and realise that it works on the level of them being in a romance as well. It is very well written.

Agree though that apart from that Dumbledore's orientation is not even alluded to, unless you want to make a case for brightly coloured robes, general twinkliness and and a sweet tooth
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Old 01-03-2013, 16:47
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I agree. Snape's behaviour was absolutely terrible and it's one of the darker aspects of Dumbledore's personality that allowed him to treat Harry the way he did for all those years. Whilst it was understandable, it was not excusable, and I didn't like that Snape was supposedly all forgiven.
They did an brilliant job of explaining the Snape character in his memories sequence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SacpB6JuTCw

And ultimately I think his character was JK Rowlings finest achievement over the entire series of books. Although perhaps he wasn't explained in that much detail in the books.. I can't recall. But the memory sequence was everything I hoped for.
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Old 01-03-2013, 19:50
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To answer the question in the thread I'm going to shout out for Deathly Hallows. Favourite book and movies. I just think to take Harry out of Hogwarts as a student at least,.a staple of all the books prior and still make the story so gripping and engaging was a real feat. I love the paralysing and claustrophic climate of fear in the book as the wizard community goes to war with Voldemort and his Death Eaters tightening their grip. Muggle born Wizards and witches profiled. The trio on the run and how they fall away and back to each other on the way. And of course Snape's story wraps up very nicely. A great end to a fantastic series.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:43
cunningham1471
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Interesting there have been so few posts on a thread about Harry Potter considering the popularity. Has the lack of a new book and film made people to start to move on and consign Potter to memory and something else taking it's place?

The character I liked best was Luna as she's just bonkers. She could easily have a book to herself aimed at younger readers.

Best plot for me was one that was a good idea but not done very well owing to there being too much other stuff going on in the book and that was Hermoine trying to create a union for the house elves, knitting them scarves or was it hats etc.
The idea was good but kind of out of place in the whole rising of Voldermort etc. It was a shame that it was crammed into one book and not something that ran over a few, like Quidditch (I hate that thing) did.
It also IMO helped to develop Hermoine as a character rather than being just a very clever know it all who was good at everything in Hogwarts.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:58
lordOfTime
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Interesting there have been so few posts on a thread about Harry Potter considering the popularity. Has the lack of a new book and film made people to start to move on and consign Potter to memory and something else taking it's place?
Nope, not me. I'm racing through Half Blood Prince just at the moment.

The character I liked best was Luna as she's just bonkers. She could easily have a book to herself aimed at younger readers.

Best plot for me was one that was a good idea but not done very well owing to there being too much other stuff going on in the book and that was Hermoine trying to create a union for the house elves, knitting them scarves or was it hats etc.
The idea was good but kind of out of place in the whole rising of Voldermort etc. It was a shame that it was crammed into one book and not something that ran over a few, like Quidditch (I hate that thing) did.
It went on through book 5 as well but let's be honest it was always going to be forgotten about. With the rise of Voldemort Elf Rights suddenly don't seem like such a good cause any more.

It also IMO helped to develop Hermoine as a character rather than being just a very clever know it all who was good at everything in Hogwarts.
The best thing for character development was having the DA. It made good wizards out of everyone, particularly Neville. I saw a lot of things in Neville that reminded me of me when I was at school. The nervous kid who was the target of most of the school bullies, but the DA transformed him.
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Old 03-03-2013, 13:36
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IRon always annoyed the crap out of me, utterly unable to form any thoughts independent of his family or received wisdom, I was always quite irritated that Hermione (a good looking, intelligent girl who should have gone on to better things) ended up stuck with him and his ginger minger genes, breeding more Weasleys.
at ginger minger. But I thought the Ron/ Hermione relationship was a mistake, and seemed clunky both in the books and the films, but more so in the films. Hermione was supposed to be brilliant, whereas Ron was ...good at chess...And in the films they decided to make Hermione dazzlingly beautiful as well - the 'bushy hair' was reduced to nothing more than a pretty bit of blow-drying, and the 'prominent teeth' were nowhere. I feel rather a louse saying this, but Emma Watson is not going to be dating Rupert Grint any time soon, is she? And it was no more convincing having their characters date.

The epilogue was like something from a Peoples Friend short story. Most of us don't go from shy flirtation when we are 15 to marriage and children with the same person. Although none of the liaisons were technically inappropriate, it made the whole thing feel weirdly inbred, as if there were hardly any suitable magic candidates to choose from. And, bearing in mind that there is a clear parallel between anti-Muggle sentiment and racism in the books, it would have been nice to see at least one of the main characters choosing a Muggle partner.
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Old 03-03-2013, 18:53
lordOfTime
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at ginger minger. But I thought the Ron/ Hermione relationship was a mistake, and seemed clunky both in the books and the films, but more so in the films. Hermione was supposed to be brilliant, whereas Ron was ...good at chess...And in the films they decided to make Hermione dazzlingly beautiful as well - the 'bushy hair' was reduced to nothing more than a pretty bit of blow-drying, and the 'prominent teeth' were nowhere. I feel rather a louse saying this, but Emma Watson is not going to be dating Rupert Grint any time soon, is she? And it was no more convincing having their characters date.

The epilogue was like something from a Peoples Friend short story. Most of us don't go from shy flirtation when we are 15 to marriage and children with the same person. Although none of the liaisons were technically inappropriate, it made the whole thing feel weirdly inbred, as if there were hardly any suitable magic candidates to choose from. And, bearing in mind that there is a clear parallel between anti-Muggle sentiment and racism in the books, it would have been nice to see at least one of the main characters choosing a Muggle partner.
So what? Love is love and isn't neccessarily confined to the boundaries of phyisical appearance.

The epilogue was fine. I've argued this before but I thought it wrapped up the series very nicely. I mean, what has Harry been fighting for his whole life? Certainly since he found out he was a Wizard? A normal life.

He got that at Hogwarts, only he had the small matter of an active scar that plagued him his whole life and was something of a 2 way radio to Voldemorts thoughts. But in doing away with Voldemort he did away with evil, the evil that the Dark Lord brought to Wizardkind. Blood profiling, brutal regimes, Dementors attacking Wizards and Muggles randomly and relentlessly. Victory of Voldemort was important.

Peace reigned at last, Hogwarts renewed and was the haven it always was. I also get the impression noone had any prejudice any more over Muggleborn Wizards. You get a sense of that when Harry teaches his son Albus, that it doesn't matter to him if he is put in Slytherin house. Harry has done a lot of growing up in those 19 years and to describe Snape as the bravest man he ever knew in spite of the way he treated him was a great message.
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Old 03-03-2013, 22:17
wonkeydonkey
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So what? Love is love and isn't neccessarily confined to the boundaries of phyisical appearance.

.
No it isn't, of course not, but I just never found it convincing. It's not just a matter of the films making Hermione ridiculously beautiful - in what imaginable school would Emma Watson be so overlooked that her partner for the prom was a matter for unkind speculation? - it was just that Ron was never a strong enough character to capture the heart of the brilliant, passionate Hermione, or so it seemed to me. And while we're on the subject of Hermione, my least favourite moment in the entire film franchise was the one where she punched a snivelling Draco in the face. Just no. That wasn't Hermione at ALL, and it wasn't Draco either.

I didn't dislike all aspects of the epilogue at all - I liked the new, more inclusive understanding of Slytherin - it had long since become rather an oddity that one house in a boarding school should be the 'evil' one, and we needed reminding that in times of peace they would have their own special qualities, especially courage.
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Old 03-03-2013, 23:13
lordOfTime
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No it isn't, of course not, but I just never found it convincing. It's not just a matter of the films making Hermione ridiculously beautiful - in what imaginable school would Emma Watson be so overlooked that her partner for the prom was a matter for unkind speculation? - it was just that Ron was never a strong enough character to capture the heart of the brilliant, passionate Hermione, or so it seemed to me. And while we're on the subject of Hermione, my least favourite moment in the entire film franchise was the one where she punched a snivelling Draco in the face. Just no. That wasn't Hermione at ALL, and it wasn't Draco either.

I didn't dislike all aspects of the epilogue at all - I liked the new, more inclusive understanding of Slytherin - it had long since become rather an oddity that one house in a boarding school should be the 'evil' one, and we needed reminding that in times of peace they would have their own special qualities, especially courage.
Hermione's beauty was touched on in the books as well as the movies. There's no real difference here except they didn't cast an actor with buck-teeth. Well.. not buck but you know what I mean. She had them fixed by the time the Yule ball came

Wasn't it a slap she gave Draco in the books? Not exactly a punch, but still... he had it coming. It was well in character.

That's what I love about reading the books. You can imagine the movie characters which is testament for me to all their acting abilities.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:30
Raquelos.
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Oops sorry! In my defence I have only ever used the phrase about a fictional boy wizard, never at a real person


So what? Love is love and isn't neccessarily confined to the boundaries of phyisical appearance.
The problem with Ron / Hermione pairing isn't that they are physically ill matched, although the films did suffer a bit from casting a little girl who grew into a real beauty and a little boy who errm well, really didn't! In the books that wasn't apparent though. The problem I had with it was that it was such a pairing of unequal talents, intelligence and strength of character (in the face of their peers). I could see them dating at school, but happy marriage material they were not!

The epilogue was fine. I've argued this before but I thought it wrapped up the series very nicely. I mean, what has Harry been fighting for his whole life? Certainly since he found out he was a Wizard? A normal life.

He got that at Hogwarts, only he had the small matter of an active scar that plagued him his whole life and was something of a 2 way radio to Voldemorts thoughts. But in doing away with Voldemort he did away with evil, the evil that the Dark Lord brought to Wizardkind. Blood profiling, brutal regimes, Dementors attacking Wizards and Muggles randomly and relentlessly. Victory of Voldemort was important.

Peace reigned at last, Hogwarts renewed and was the haven it always was. I also get the impression noone had any prejudice any more over Muggleborn Wizards. You get a sense of that when Harry teaches his son Albus, that it doesn't matter to him if he is put in Slytherin house. Harry has done a lot of growing up in those 19 years and to describe Snape as the bravest man he ever knew in spite of the way he treated him was a great message.
I'm not really going to quarrel with you over what you have said re the epilogue with regards to Harry, it works for him as a character, IMO - a boy who wants a family and finds a welcoming surrogate in the Weasleys and once he has finally defeated Voldie is allowed to be happy. All fair enough I say.

My problem is the pairing off of Hermione and Ron, there is nothing in their characters to suggest that it is won't be an unhappy marriage. Either with Hermione resenting the fact that she fails to reach her potential because of Ron's retrograde views about a woman's role being a carbon copy of his breeder Mum. Or Ron being increasingly embittered by having a wife that won't stop nagging him like a small child and who is effortlessly better than him at everything except chess and quidditch.

That aspect of the epilogue felt like a convenience rather than real reflection of the characters as they had been written to me. The need for that simplistic, 'and they all lived happily ever after' neatness made me remember that it was a children's book, something that for the most part it was easy to overlook.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:02
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Favourite plot would be any of the first four - I was disappointed with the later ones, especially Deathly Hallows, for so many reasons, although as it turned out I was fairly satisfied with the way the series ended.
Favourite character by far was Snape; the hints at what was really going on with him were always there and gave him more layers than some of the others.
I also really liked Neville and Luna.

On Ron and Hermione's marriage - I like to think that Ron's main problem was lack of confidence and always feeling like the underdog, rather than lack of intelligence or a dim personality, and that he would've blossomed with Hermione as his partner. I was quite happy they got together, really.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:43
cunningham1471
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Nope, not me. I'm racing through Half Blood Prince just at the moment.
I keep telling myself I'll reread them but never get around to it as I'm busy. I think knowing that the latter books are big buggers doesn't help.

It went on through book 5 as well but let's be honest it was always going to be forgotten about. With the rise of Voldemort Elf Rights suddenly don't seem like such a good cause any more.
As I remember it, which is probably not that accurate it was mentioned about in book 5 but never really got going, properly as a sub-story in either. It was very much Hermoine knitting and mentioning it occasionally.

The best thing for character development was having the DA. It made good wizards out of everyone, particularly Neville. I saw a lot of things in Neville that reminded me of me when I was at school. The nervous kid who was the target of most of the school bullies, but the DA transformed him.
I agree with you. Neville probably had the biggest character development of the students other than the main three. The DA certainly helped with that.
IMO this is where J.K. Rowling has an opt-in for the Potter Universe if she wanted to return to it.
Whilst people will complain she could write a stand alone book about the House Elf union, or about the DA but not so Potter centric. Have training when he wasn't there, maybe some storyline about trying to get out of Hogwarts for some reason. A dare or a competition between them kind of thing.

Again this would allow some of the supporting characters to get more development in their own right as it's not based on Voldermort's rising.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:52
lordOfTime
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I keep telling myself I'll reread them but never get around to it as I'm busy. I think knowing that the latter books are big buggers doesn't help.

Trust me, that doesn't matter with the bigger ones, although to be fair I've had a lot of time over the weekend! The way J.K. writes, you shouldn't be daunted at all by the size of the books.


As I remember it, which is probably not that accurate it was mentioned about in book 5 but never really got going, properly as a sub-story in either. It was very much Hermoine knitting and mentioning it occasionally.
No it's not just knitting. It's the way she interacts with the elves themselves. There's plenty of material with Hermoone and the Elves beyond just knitting a few things. Her constant reactions (which go beyond books 4 and 5) to those who continues to "abuse" elves, Her meetings with the trio and the Elves who cook Hogwarts meals. The fact she blatantly disregards Kreacher's "pure blood" views and is just as cruel to her as say Draco Malfoy and yet She still speaks kindly to him and tries to free him. I enjoyed the character development between Kreacher and the rest during book 7.

[/quote]

Oops sorry! In my defence I have only ever used the phrase about a fictional boy wizard, never at a real person



The problem with Ron / Hermione pairing isn't that they are physically ill matched, although the films did suffer a bit from casting a little girl who grew into a real beauty and a little boy who errm well, really didn't! In the books that wasn't apparent though. The problem I had with it was that it was such a pairing of unequal talents, intelligence and strength of character (in the face of their peers). I could see them dating at school, but happy marriage material they were not!


I'm not really going to quarrel with you over what you have said re the epilogue with regards to Harry, it works for him as a character, IMO - a boy who wants a family and finds a welcoming surrogate in the Weasleys and once he has finally defeated Voldie is allowed to be happy. All fair enough I say.
My problem is the pairing off of Hermione and Ron, there is nothing in their characters to suggest that it is won't be an unhappy marriage. Either with Hermione resenting the fact that she fails to reach her potential because of Ron's retrograde views about a woman's role being a carbon copy of his breeder Mum. Or Ron being increasingly embittered by having a wife that won't stop nagging him like a small child and who is effortlessly better than him at everything except chess and quidditch.
So we've dealt with difference in appearance. Now we're on to differences of character. These people have been friends previously for 6 years. Despite the fact at times they clearly annoy each other intensley. I love the fact that sometimes Hermione doesn't even bother to retort or to reason with Ron but just gives him one of her stares.

Clearly they can both look beyond their differences. I think with Ron you get someone who is little bit more than good at Chess and can hold his own at Quidditch, someone who has a good nature, if sometimes a little outspoken. Someone who deserves a chance to be happy with someone he loves. And that person turned out to be Hermoine who is clearly quite happy with her lot.

Let's put it this way, Would Lily have been better off with James Potter or Severus Snape (both of whom had their faults) and would have been lucky to get the girl the wanted.

I expect Ron and Hermoine would have had their rows and would sometimes have avoided speaking to each other altogether as they did at times during their friendship, but if they alone means they can't ever be together then who in the world has a chance??

That aspect of the epilogue felt like a convenience rather than real reflection of the characters as they had been written to me. The need for that simplistic, 'and they all lived happily ever after' neatness made me remember that it was a children's book, something that for the most part it was easy to overlook.
"All was well" was how it ended, referring to his inactive scar, so yea it was a little "happily ever after" but the series dealt with some very powerful things for a childrens series. I'd recommend all of them to people of any age. I have no gripes about the ending at all.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:43
Phoenix Lazarus
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I love the back story on Snape, in Deathly Hallows-and the back story on Tom Riddle/Voldemort in Half-Blood Prince.
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Old 04-03-2013, 17:54
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Trust me, that doesn't matter with the bigger ones, although to be fair I've had a lot of time over the weekend! The way J.K. writes, you shouldn't be daunted at all by the size of the books.
I struggled with the thicker ones on the original reading. I couldn't get into them as I found they were so slow
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Old 04-03-2013, 19:01
lordOfTime
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I struggled with the thicker ones on the original reading. I couldn't get into them as I found they were so slow
That's a shame. They're great books in my opinion, always engaging and I can't get enough of them at the moment.
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Old 06-03-2013, 23:25
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I really liked the Ron and Hermione relationship in the books. It didn't work in the films because Hermione was too pretty and Ron a bit too laid back. He looked much keener than her, I wasn't convinced.

In the books they are more evenly matched. She outshines him in ability but is not as generally likeable and sociable, She lacks imagination at times and can be a little negative. Remember Ron can be quite amusing and he does get attention from Lavender which suggests that he isn't necessarily less physically attractive than she is.
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:19
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Speaking of Dumbledore being gay. I love the hilariously slightly camp way he introduces himself at Harry's hearing in OotP. 'Witness for the defence Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore' its just the way way he says Brian lol

Probably just me but watching it back now we know just makes me think.
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:49
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I struggled with the thicker ones on the original reading. I couldn't get into them as I found they were so slow
I've never found any of the Harry Potter books even remotely slow. If anything, my complaint would be that they are all too short!
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:51
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No it isn't, of course not, but I just never found it convincing. It's not just a matter of the films making Hermione ridiculously beautiful - in what imaginable school would Emma Watson be so overlooked that her partner for the prom was a matter for unkind speculation? - it was just that Ron was never a strong enough character to capture the heart of the brilliant, passionate Hermione, or so it seemed to me. And while we're on the subject of Hermione, my least favourite moment in the entire film franchise was the one where she punched a snivelling Draco in the face. Just no. That wasn't Hermione at ALL, and it wasn't Draco either.
Actually, there was a sequence of events which led up to the confrontation between Hermione and Draco and it was very in character for her to react like that. There were other times throughout the books where she was pushed to the edge and behaved recklessly.
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Old 07-03-2013, 00:53
wombat18
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Interesting there have been so few posts on a thread about Harry Potter considering the popularity. Has the lack of a new book and film made people to start to move on and consign Potter to memory and something else taking it's place?
I have certainly not moved on I reread all of the books every year. It's other people who are odd and don't seem to want to talk about it anymore, I don't know why
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