Back in March my best friend suggested we embark on a journey back to the wizarding world where we re-read all of the Harry Potter books right in a row. It had been a long time since I read these books, and the last book I only ever read once so I was totally on board. I added a layer of fun by re-watching each movie right after finishing each book. Bob and I would discuss the books after every hundred pages or so and it was really interesting to see how different we felt about the books, the characters and the movies. Of course we still love them and a bad Harry Potter book is still a great book, unless of course you are talking about The Cursed Child, which we both hated!
We both found that our favorite book has changed from previous readings. We both always picked Goblet of Fire as our favorite but this time around we both found that our new favorite was Prisoner of Azkaban. Neither of us could put it down and it introduces both of our favorite characters Remis Lupin and Sirius Black. I love both of these characters so darn much. When I spoke with Bob about this he went into a lot of detail about why Lupin was his favorite - Lupin is a great friend to the rest of the Marauders, he doesn't give up his friends, he doesn't treat people badly, he suffers and becomes an outcast but still helps his friends, teaches Harry the most and risks his life a lot! I don't disagree with any of this and Lupin has always been high on my list of favorites that is for sure.
Reasons why I love Sirius Black, he's lost just like Harry, he is funny, he was able to do what no one else could - escape Azkaban, he is the one person that wants to give Harry all the information rather than treating him like a child but expecting him to fix everything! Since we are talking about Prisoner of Azkaban being a favorite - it has always been my favorite of the movies. I love the look and feel of it, I love Gary Oldman so that just furthered my love of Sirius and this movie hits all the high points of the book.
Our least favorite book and movie is Chamber of Secrets, again not that it's bad it's just not as fast moving or interesting as the others so it's the bottom of the pack. And unfortunately Goblet of Fire drops a lot lower as well.
During this reading of the series I found that I was disgruntled by Dumbledore a lot of the time. He constantly withheld information from Harry while expecting Harry to make really hard decisions and face life threatening situations. I found his judgement to be severely questionable for someone who was supposed to be the greatest wizard of all time! We also really loved how Harry, Ron and Hermione were thrown into real teenage situations but both hated the whole Cho Chang crying all the time nonsense. Umbridge is still terrible but probably my least favorite character is Gilderoy Lockhart, I just found him to be useless and obnoxious all of the time.
Deathly Hallows is definitely my second favorite of the books and the movies and Bob agrees. What a great wrap up of this series, there are definite nods to things that happened in earlier books without over explaining, you get to see and/or hear about other characters that we hadn't seen in a while, we lose major characters that we love but also see how our favorites end up. It's a great closing of the chapter and I found myself really sad when it ended, really hard to say goodbye this time. These have been old friends right? It's hard to lose them or put them away for a while.
There are things I wish I did differently while re-reading and re-watching this series but maybe you can learn from my mistakes: I wish I took more photos, I wish I decorated the apartment in full Hogwarts decor, I wish I had themed snacks and drinks - I've always wanted to make my own butter beer. I guess I will have to re-read these again sometime and make all this happen! If you have any ideas or recipes please share them!
Have you read or re-read the Harry Potter books? What are your favorites? Have they changed over time? Who are your favorite wizarding world characters? I can't wait to hear your thoughts. I wanted to give a special thanks to Bob and his family for supplying me with all these great photos! I love his children like they were my own and I love how willing they are to dress up and be awesome!