Monday, February 25, 2013

i think too much

my brother is turning eleven at the end of march, and having recently finished the harry potter series and loving it (the books inspired him to write his own novel which he got a couple of pages into before deciding that novel writing is more of a summer activity) and spending the past five years of his life telling me that i am destined to a life of miserable muggleness but that there is still hope for him to be a wizard, there was really nothing else to do but to get him a hogwarts acceptance letter. which will be delivered to his bed while he's sleeping with a stuffed owl. so that he'll wake up to it on his birthday. and then there's also a wand and stuff. needless to say, i'm really excited about his present. it's like when you're younger and you get your friend a really cool gift and you're equal parts excited that you get to give her something so awesome and jealous that you're not getting it and so on the day of the party you want to swap out the gift for something less awesome of yours and keep the new thing for yourself but your parents won't let you so you kind of hate her for the rest of the day? no? i guess that was only me then.

but anyway, all of my harry potter excitement for him has got me thinking about the series, and here are some things that i have realized.

i've read the series countless times, which means that yes, okay,  i know harry hears lily's final moments when a dementor comes near him and my gosh harry stop thinking you're special you're kind of annoying just shut up already. but recently i really thought about that, and oh my god it is horrifying. like, imagine you heard your mom begging someone not to kill you, knowing that she was probably going to die, and then actually getting killed. i mean, it was always sad and terrible that harry heard that, but i don't know why i didn't grasp the magnitude of how completely horrible it was until now. like, i know he doesn't really remember his mom and never really got to know her, so it would be a gajillion times worse for us that actually grew up with our moms and maybe that's what my mind was thinking, but still. goodness gracious rowling.

also, why do all of the pets in the series get cool names like hedwig and errol and crookshanks and then neville's toad is just named trevor. it's bad enough that no one likes you because you're a toad and that means the loser of the pets, but here, have a boring human name with no awesome greek mythology story or anything behind it. (i am not an expert in greek - or any other - mythology and may very well be wrong about this. if i am, please let me know.) no wonder he was always trying to run away.

oh, and on the topic of harry potter, i feel really stupid that it took me so long to get this, but spellotape is a play on words of sellotape which i somehow did not know was what they called tape over in not-america? i spent a year overseas with people who had either lived in england all their life or were taught british english all their life, and i kind of thought that i had figured out most of the american-british-english discrepancies. apparently not. but i feel like i should have known this. so i'm sharing it here to a) document my slowness and b) share the fact with you in case you are just as clueless as i am.

on a different note, my brother (the one in the first paragraph) was complaining to me about werewolves and vampires yesterday. he was saying that everyone always says that they're immortal but you can kill a vampire with a wooden stake or sunlight and a werewolf with a silver bullet to the heart. if they can die, then they shouldn't be called immortal. i was saying that, while true, i think it's more that they won't die until they're killed, to which he responded, "well, i'm immortal until i die, too." and you know what? he's right. so mythical creatures should not be called immortal. it should just be said that they live longer or don't age.

 *If You're Gone - Matchbox 20


  1. we're immortal until we die, but they're immortal until killed. there is no natural death. but yeah the idea is romantic, but sort of like 'in this moment we're infinite'.
    also, as you know, i can talk about harry potter any day all day, but i recently had a revelation about harry too. i used to think him useless. he was never the smartest, most skilled, or best dueler. he got out of everything by sheer luck or other's skills. and then i realized that's jk rowling's brilliance. harry's got flaws and he's not a bella. and then in the seventh book you realized he was always so brave that it was almost impossible to behold. imagine camping across the country with snatchers and voldemort out to get you... and no food, too. and then he willingly walked to his death when he knew he was a horcrux and my heart died for him. he's brilliant. and then he destroyed the elder wand. he never wanted power, or fame or anything, and he never had a proper upbringing but yet he grew up better than all the people his year esp. ron who was the worst and had the 'best' parents.
    after the seventh book, i grew a crush on harry. the end.

    1. that's what i was trying to explain to him in the beginning, but the more i talked about it, the less cool it sounded.

      harry in the later books is brave and noble and and not power/fame hungry at all. i completely agree with that and think later book harry is completely crushable. i just don't think that it was always there so much that he grew to be that kind of young man. i think that when he was little he was stupid and filled with this sense that he was supposed to fix everything and he was singled out to do all of these things alone when really, he was just a kid. also, he never had any adults to trust growing up and that showed in the way he acted through the first few books. and then when he found adults to trust he didn't want to seem weak or too nervous and childish to actually ask for their help with anything. and then those adults start dying and he kind of realizes that while he thought he was doing everything alone he was still relying on others and he grows up and becomes the harry of the seventh book (that was developed in the fifth and sixth). i mean, the gradual growing up of this character was great and realistic, but i still think younger harry is a bit worthless.