Saturday, July 13, 2013

Harry Potter Read-Along/Discussion [4]

Hello all! I'm late once again, but I'm working on getting ahead so this wont happen anymore, haha. I'm not sure if you all realize it, but today is the final "discussion" day of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. We will be discussing the last few chapters of the first book. I will also post a final review (in my regular "what i liked"-"what i didnt like" format) some time in the next couple of weeks. Then I'll start working on discussions for HP and the Chamber of Secrets. It only gets better from here!

RECAP - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, chapters 14 - 17 

--Snape has been "bullying" Quirrell since the last time we saw the gang and since he's been looking awfully pale and thin and scared, Harry and friends take to defending him when others make fun of him, and they are truly rooting for Quirrell to stand his ground against Snape.

--Hagrid mysteriously acquires a dragon egg from a stranger and when the dragon egg hatches and Hagrid names his "baby" Norbert. Norbert is destructive as dragons are wont to be, but Malfoy gets a glimpse of the dragon through Hagrid's window, and they know trouble is not far off! To try to fix this giant mess, Harry and friends break some major rules to get Norbert out of there by sneaking Norbert up to the tallest tower at midnight to be whisked away to safety. Harry and Hermione try to pull this off together but Malfoy finds out and they all ultimately get caught by Filch.

--After spending a while being hated by the entire student body for losing enough points to drop Gryffindor into last place for the house cup, Harry, his friends, and Malfoy have to report for detention one night at 11 p.m. at the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid where they break off into two groups to look for an injured unicorn. Something that doesnt belong in the forest has been hunting these pure, innocent creatures... Harry then encounters a cloaked creature who moves to attack him when, thankfully, Firenze the centaur saves Harry and carries him to safety! Even though it is a big no-no, Firenze gives Harry a clue as to who was drinking unicorn's blood - VOLDEMORT! Harry believes Snape has been trying to steal the stone for Voldemort!

--Harry suddenly realizes that the stranger who suspiciously gave Hagrid his dragon egg tricked Hagrid into telling them how to get past Fluffy to acquire the Sorcerer's Stone. They run to tell Dumbledore only to find that he has been summoned to the Ministry of Magic. They know now that it was a trick and Snape is going to go for the stone in Dumbledore's absence.

-Knowing how evil Voldemort is, and knowing that he killed Harry's parents, Harry and his friends decide to follow Snape and stop him themselves, since McGonagall doesnt believe them and Dumbledore is gone. They meet many obstacles, including a plant that tries to kill them and a life-sized chess set. Harry can only get through the last obstacle alone and sends Hermione back for help, while Ron is knocked out cold.

--Harry enters the last chamber where the stone must be hidden using Dumbledore's defense mechanism (the Mirror of Erised) and there is someone already there, but it isnt Snape.... it's Professor Quirrell - sans twitching and stuttering! Quirrell informs Harry that it was him all along and Snape had been trying to protect Harry and stop Quirrell!

--Voldemort shares the body of Professor Quirrell, and the face of Voldemort is on the back of Quirrell's head (hence the freaky turban). Quirrell tries to force Harry to find the stone in the Mirror of Erised, which he does, and the stone appears in Harry's pocket. He lies and tries to keep it from Quirrell, but Voldemort senses the lie! After the Dark Lord taunts Harry about how he killed his parents, he commands Quirrell to attack Harry in order to get the stone - but Quirrell encounters absolute searing pain upon making contact with Harry!

--Voldemort commands Quirrell to kill the boy and get the stone regardless of the pain, but the contact keeps blistering his hands and Harry keeps fighting. Harry loses consciousness from the pain and wakes up in the hopsital wing. Apparently Dumbledore realized the farce and showed up to save Harry right when he passed out. Voldemort, realizing defeat, abandoned Quirrell's body and Professor Quirrell died.

--Professor Dumbledore and Harry have a nice chat about the stone, Voldemort, how Harry's dad saved Snape's life once and thats why Snape dislikes Harry - he hates feeling indebted to someone he hated. He also told him that Quirrell couldnt stand to touch him because Harry's mom died protecting him, and love is much more powerful than hate. However, Dumbledore wont tell Harry why Voldemort wants him dead... he says he will tell him one day when he is old enough.

--Harry finds out that it was Dumbledore who gave him his father's invisibility cloak. Once Harry is well enough again, he makes his way down to the end of year feast where it appears Slytherin has won the house cup again - until Dumbledore awards some last minute points to Gryffindor for stopping Voldemort and Gryffindor WINS!!!

--Harry and Ron are surprised by their good marks at the end of the year, and Hermione is top in her class. Everyone heads home for the summer holiday and Ron invites his friends to stay for the summer and Harry cant wait. Uncle Vernon reluctantly comes to pick Harry up and Harry hints to his friends that his summer wont be as bad as it seems - his family doesnt know that he isnt allowed to use magic at home. ;)


I cant help but thinking how glad I am to finally be done with this book. Not because I didnt like it - quite the contrary (duh) - but because I want to get to the good stuff. You all know that around the third-ish book, sh*t gets real. Harry and his friends really start to grow up and the books do too.

My first topic for you guys is: What is Hagrid's deal!? Okay, we know he's a little bit of an oaf. Not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but surprisingly wise, and loving and absolutely loyal. But come on - he's obviously got a bit of a drinking problem - and totally thought it was OK to accept a dragon egg from some sketchy guy. And then raise the dragon as his child!!!
I'm not really asking a question here. We know Hagrid just loves scary creatures. I just want someone else to validate my feelings a  little bit here, and let me know that I'm not the only one who love Hagrid but thinks hes a little out of control at times. He's like that crazy family member of yours who you'd do anything for, but sometimes you just wanna slap em'!

Secondly - tell me, please, what was your favorite "line of defense" for the Sorcerer's Stone? I loved Snape's "riddle". I am a sucker for puzzles, riddles, anything to do with logic. I only wished I was there because I am dying to get my hands on those bottles to see if I can figure out the puzzle for myself! My second favorite was the Mirror of Erised - by far the best defense, but I'm just a little nerdy so I liked Snape's better haha. This one was basically fool proof, unless someone like Harry came to get the stone. How else would Quirrell have gotten his hands on it? Dumbledore is a genius! What was your favorite?

Lastly, dont you think it was a little unfair of Dumbledore to literally give points out at the last possible second causing the Gryffindors to win the house cup? Dont get me wrong - wait, please, let me explain! Gryffindor 100% deserved those points. But I mean, couldnt he have given the points out before the feast? Slytherins are students too, ya know, regardless if they are are slimy jerks. Wouldnt it have been nicer to award the points beforehand? I dont know, maybe I'm just being too nice. I do that sometimes. I dont like hurting people's feelings, even if they are awful people.... Hm... Maybe thats why I got sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore. :/ Your thoughts?

I obviously love Harry Potter and adored going back and re-reading this particular book for the fourth time. This book (and the movie) are my favorite out of the first three, which I consider to be the middle-grade books out of the series. 4-7 are definitely young adult and get much more serious and dark by the end.

Like I said before, I will be posting an actual review of this book, and all of the books in the series, in my normal format. Hope you'll give me your input when I post my final thoughts on the book as a whole.

Cant wait to hear from you all (and I promise I will get ahead on these posts - being late sucks)!


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