I always thought Harry Potter was sort of a fad like Twilight that was just appealing to a certain demographic or age group zvaingonzi nana Momz magic dzana Mike idzi but the other day I stumbled upon a video on YouTube that broke down the true essence of the story and I must say, I was totally blown away.
It’s nothing short of a masterpiece and over the past week or so I’ve started the book series from scratch and I’m loving every minute of it. (I’m listening to the audio book version of it of course)
It’s the work of a genius and even more remarkable to note that the author J K Rowling started writing this during the most challenging period of her life. A struggling single mother on welfare as she puts it.
It’s a layered story that spans generations.
Anyway at the core of it it’s a tainted love story. A woman falls in love with a man who doesn’t return that love and so she uses a love portion to keep him close. The result is a cursed child conceived under the guise of love. The child is cold, emotionless and has no ounce of love in him and this child grows to be Lord Voldermot, the force of evil in the book. He reigns hell on the World and collects like minded individuals to further his cause.
As a wizard he figures out a way to achieve immortality through human sacrifice and numerous dark arts where he evolves from a charming and handsome young man into a vile monster. He’s cold and ruthless to the core.
Everything is going according to plan until he comes face to face with unconditional love.
Harry’s story begins here where his mother sacrifices herself to save the life of her infant son shielding him from bearing the brunt of Voldermot’s dark magic. That act of love protects him from harm inflicting a lighting bolt scar on his forehead rather than death that intertwines their fate forever.
His failed attack on Harry leaves him depleted, weakened and barely existing and since he’s immortalised himself, his quest is to kill the boy who lived and return to glory.
So Harry Potter is a complex battle between love and hatred. It is littered with adult themes yet its a story told through the eyes of a child. It’s about friendship, utmost bravery in the face of despair and the reality that the world we live in is not ideal. That human beings by nature are capable of so much evil yet there is a glimmer of hope even if its found in a few.
High school feels like a distant memory yet I find myself reliving my insecurities as an adolescent in a school setting. Not having the full courage of your convictions, dealing with bullies and vile teachers, not being popular and sometimes not having enough to keep up appearances in the fickle world of a teenager. I can fully empathise with Ron, Hermione and Harry through their high school years. Things I had totally forgotten ever affected me as a well rounded adult.
Harry’s relationship with his headmaster Professor Dumbledore who is both a mentor and father figure to the orphan boy is quite inspiring. They have an incredible bond that mirrors my relationship with my late step father. It’s more of a friendship because they aren’t really your parent yet the love goes beyond the regular father son obligational bond.
Their conversations invoke a lot of nostalgia about my own relationship with my friend, Step Father and mentor..
What matters most is that it’s a story about what it means to be human and I think that’s the true essence of writing great fiction or in this case fantasy.
Great writers use lies to tell the truth about the human condition so to speak.
Some people will watch or read Harry Potter and conclude it’s a childish tale about magic and fantasy that only appeals to a handful at the most.
In it I find difficult themes people face in their everyday lives. The realisation that
“No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.” and going against this principle creates monsters you can never fathom.
In every day life, people will manipulate their way to get married, visit witch doctors to get ahead in business, steal from work to attain financial freedom and security.
The sins of the parents are later visited to the children and shortcuts almost always lead you down perilous roads you would never had chosen had you had a glimpse of the consequences.
As someone once said, “ Sorcery is a sword without a hilt, it cuts both ways often inflicting more wounds on the wielder.”
I’ve had one of the best literary experiences with Harry Potter and I recommend the book series to anyone willing to rediscover the magic or perhaps discover it for the first time.
When I reflect on the life of the author, how she dealt with depression, seeming failure, divorce and a host of other adulting problems I realise she put her soul in this book. Her insecurities, her wishes, her unfulfilled dreams and her will to continue fighting for a better day essentially brought this book to being. Its an absolute masterpiece.
It is no coincidence that she’s the first author to reach billionaire status from writing. One book series to be precise. People resonate towards authenticity even when it’s draped in fantasy. The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones deserve honorable mention in this regard.
I’ll close with a few of my favourite quotes from it so far as I’ve just gone as good as far as the order of the phoenix, a few more books to go if I include Fantastic Beasts..
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” – Dumbledore
“As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all — the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.” – Dumbledore
“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realise that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.” – Dumbledore
“The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.” – Dumbledore
“You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him.” – Dumbledore
“It is a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.” – Harry
“Decent people are so easy to manipulate, Potter. I was sure Cedric would want to repay you for telling him about the dragons, and so he did… You have a streak of pride and independence that might have ruined all.”
“If I thought I could help you,” Dumbledore said gently, “by putting you into an enchanted sleep and allowing you to postpone the moment when you would have to think about what has happened tonight, I would do it. But I know better. Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”
“You fail to recognise that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be! Your dementor has just destroyed the last remaining member of a pure-blood family as old as any — and see what that man chose to make of his life! ”
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
“Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”
“Time will not slow down when something unpleasant lies ahead.”
“Lord Voldemort has returned, or because they think I should not tell you so, young as you are. It is my belief, however, that the truth is generally preferable to lies.”
“Dumbledore’s got a shrewd idea, and Dumbledore’s shrewd ideas normally turn out to be accurate.”
I’ve uncannily rediscovered Harry Potter and I love it.