Harry Potter 1-6
J.K. Rowling

In preparation for the upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I followed the fantasy fan grand tradition and re-read the entire series from the beginning. It took me about 10 days, including staying up til 4.00am on the Friday before the release of book seven, to finish them all. It was worth it in the end: I cared deeply about the characters and their fates; perfect for finding out how it all ended.

Some random thoughts from reading them a second time.

  • The Philosopher’s Stone will always be a sentimental favourite. It has an innocence and magic that the other’s can’t match. The surprise of this enjoyable world can’t be repeated.

  • The Prisoner of Azkaban is the strongest; The Chamber of Secrets is the weakest.

  • Ron is a lot less irritating on paper than he is in the movies.

  • The big action sequence at the end of The Order of the Phoenix is disappointing.

  • The Philosopher’s Stone was a test book: will this sell? The Chamber of Secrets was ‘Oh no, we’re on to something get this out quick!’ The Prisoner of Azkaban was introducing some new characters and casting around for the real story. The Goblet of Fire is where the story really started. The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince were middle books.

But no matter how I read them, and what different spin I read into them, I loved the story. And to be honest, it fits together a little too well for that final (cynical) analysis to be entirely accurate. All those of you planning on re-reading The Deathly Hallows but slower, I can recommend starting right from the beginning again, if you haven’t already. You will get something out of it.