My Harry Potter Journal Part 1 - After Reading the First 5 Chapters

Welcome to my first Harry Potter Journal. For those of you who don't know, I'll give a brief summary of my situation. Up until a few days weeks ago, I had never read a Harry Potter book, or even seen a movie. However, after dodging the hype for well over 10 years, I decided it was about time I do so. I know I'm one of the few people in this generation to have neglected Harry Potter to such an extent, so I figured some fans might find it interesting to read about my feelings as I progress through the series. Perhaps I can remind you about how you felt when you were reading the series, or if you're like me and haven't read the series, maybe I can motivate you to start! My original article about starting this series of journals can be read here.

In this first journal, I have only read the first 5 chapters of the book. I write my feelings down after reading chapter 1, and then chapters 2 through 5, followed by my overall insight for the series thus far.

Chapter 1 - The Boy Who Lived

After reading chapter 1, I can safely say I'm already interested in the series. Many people told me that the first few books are a bit childish so I should bare with it because it gets a lot more interesting afterwards. Personally, I think the book is fine so far. As I mentioned in my first article, I'm not big on reading, so a light read such as this is just what I needed. I like J.K. Rowling's writing style, it's really simple and the narration has a somewhat humorous tone which I liked.

Now about the content itself, I've learned that Voldemort is apparently a powerful wizard who killed Harry's parents, but was not able to kill Harry Potter himself. The wizard part wasn't mentioned yet, but I mean, I at least have that much insight about the series already. Even from the first chapter I can tell that J.K. Rowling is really building suspense into anything she can find. I like suspense, but I hope it doesn't get to the point where it's annoying. At this point, I want to know why Voldemort killed Harry's parents, and why he wasn't able to kill Harry. I know Harry Potter is special somehow, but I'm predicting that J.K. Rowling has big plans unveiling just how special he is. Before reading this chapter, I'd heard the names Dumbledore and Voldemort before but had no idea who they were, so it's nice to finally sort of find out.

Chapters 2 - 5

These chapters seemed like a further introduction to the plot rather than actual events taking place. In the second chapter, we get a glimpse of Harry's power as he unknowingly makes the glass vanish and lets the snake loose. These chapters generated a bit more interest in the series, and I really enjoyed the 3rd chapter and its humor where Mr. Dursley would keep trying to hide the letters from Harry, but then the next day even more letters would show up. At the same time, it's really apparent what a sad childhood Harry has had thus far, and how excited he is to find out that everything that has happened (Hagrid's arrival) wasn't just a dream. Chapters 4 and 5 start off on the journey towards Hogwarts where Harry buys all the things he needs in preparation for it.

Two things I found interesting in chapter 5 (which was Diagon Alley):

The first was the other kid that Harry met when he was trying on his robe. The other kid seemed like a snobby spoiled rich kid who always got his way with parents, and said a lot of things that Harry didn't like. I'm guessing we'll get to see this character in Hogwarts, but I'm kind of separated with the idea if he'll end up being a friend or foe. He mentioned he wanted to go to the Slytherin school, and Hagrid said that that's usually where the wizards who have gone bad went. At the same time, I have a feeling that this kid may be Ron. I don't actually know much about Ron except from the movie covers and such, but I know he was one of Harry's friends, or maybe even a rival or something.

The other thing I want to comment about is how Harry got the same kind of wand as Voldemort. J.K. Rowling is setting up some foreshadowing already as far as I can tell. So it seems Harry is destined to be great, but whether good or bad is uncertain. Since Harry Potter is obviously the protagonist of the series, I'm sure he's the good guy, unless some crazy plot twist takes place (and I have been told the series has it's fair share of plot twists). I know Voldemort is more than likely going to come back sometime during the series, so it should be interesting to see how everything plays out between the two. I wouldn't be surprised if Voldemort actually gave his powers to Harry as a safe-keeping or something. That would explain why they have the same wand. Am I on the right track? Is it too early for me to be making predictions? I don't know but I guess we'll see.

Overall Feelings Thus Far

Well, the series is definitely interesting, but I'm left with a few questions so far. I've only read up until chapter 5, which isn't even half the book, so I'm really just going on knowledge that I shouldn't even have right now. I know the series lasts 7 books, but back when this book was written, was that the original intention of J.K. Rowling? It's a pretty slow paced start, so to me it seems like she already had planned to release sequels following this book. I mean, it's chapter 5 and no real conflict has been established yet. I have a feeling that the first book is simply just going to be an introduction of sorts into the rest of the series, and that if there is any conflict, it'll either be a small one that gets resolved, or a big one that for now gets partly resolved but leads to a cliff-hanger into the rest of the series. If that makes sense.

Harry's character so far seems pretty naive, but I'm a little skeptical about his personality. So far into the book I know he's a shy little boy that's life has pretty much turned upside down, but I hope he doesn't become one of those goody-two-shoes protagonists seen in a lot of other series.

I don't have that many predictions about anything so far since nothing has even happened yet, but I felt like I should have typed something up on the first half of the book just because I'm still, at this point, not crazy over the series as most other fans are. However, I don't expect to be this early in the series, but maybe towards the end of the book my mind will have changed?

For my next article, I plan to write after completing the entire first book. Afterwards, I want to watch the first movie and compare it to the first book before I go on to read the rest of the books.

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Comments 3 comments

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Custard 5 years ago

If there is one thing wrong with harry potter its the personalities. I mean only in the later books does Rowling make any proper conflicts. Before that its more like perfect harry and perfect friends. Later Hermione does something that a human NEVER does. (Its a spoiler so I ain't gonna tell ya)


Minerva 5 years ago

It bodes well that you like the beginning! This is the part where some people struggle. Some find the beginning slow and quite boring. And they have a point in that it's slow so I usually have to encourage them to keep on reading. If you're hooked from the start (as I remember I was) I'm sure you'll have no problem finishing this series. :) If anything you may have problems with parts of the 5th book which according to some drag on too much. Doesn't for me personally but it's a common view. If it does for you just keep soldiering on though since it will be worth it. :)


s00perpig 5 years ago

To answer your question about her intentions, Yes she did mean to have seven books written. When the first one was published she already had a few fully written and the rest outlined. The character development is extremely prominent even in the first few books (although they are subtle hints that most people, including me, miss at first and either realize it later or reread the series and notice them then). Also the reason it is a slow start I think is because she is for the first time presenting this new world, and yet within our own, and she doesn't want to leave anything out. The books are fantastic in my opinion and I would greatly encourage you to read the first 3 at least and if you still aren't into it then you can stop. :)

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