A Brave Face

Sam, There’s a question that doesn’t seem to have a good answer among Potter fans. Despite our best efforts and much back and forth, we continue to ask how the hell was Peter Pettigrew a Gryffindor? For anyone who thinks the Hogwarts house traits are cut and dry, you may need to get a Pottermore account….

Acts of Love in ‘Deathly Hallows’

Sam, Don’t be fooled by the title of this article. You won’t find sappy romance or a fairy tale ending here. This is the hard love, the kind that isn’t afraid to bleed for others. The Battle of Hogwarts has no white knights, no damsels in distress. J. K. Rowling isn’t shy about “love wins” as…

Degrees of Exclusion in ‘Chamber of Secrets’

Sam, J. K. Rowling uses the Harry Potter series as a lens to address many societal issues. Among them, there’s the role of sports at school between Harry and Snape, the liberty an institution has with educating youth between Hogwarts and Fudge’s Ministry, and how disease is treated in the magical community (think werewolves). One that becomes…

The First Spell: ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ Part II

Sam, In ‘The First Spell: Philosopher’s Stone Part I’, I discussed the expertise of the Scholastic’s layout job, and how Jo begins her story on a plane we (as uninitiated Muggles) can understand. She then gradually transfers our interest – our support – for characters from the Dursleys very quickly to their severely oppressed nephew, Harry….

The First Spell: ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ Part I

Sam, While researching for the first post of this Perusing Potter series, I read up on the rankings of each of the Potter books. What I found was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was received as the weakest (at the bottom three) in a majority of the lists. There were reasons of “most childish,” “simplest plot,” and “fairly predictable.” Despite…

A Prelude to Evil in ‘Half-Blood Prince’

Sam, The Tom Riddle narrative is presented in kernels in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, leaving significant portions of Voldemort’s life to the imagination. This is a perfect storm for J. K. Rowling to write a spin-off book (fingers crossed for plural) and elaborate on the events that twisted young Tom into a Dark…

The Rule of Rumor in ‘Goblet of Fire’ Part II

*** This is the conclusion to ‘The Rule of Rumor in Goblet of Fire‘ Part I *** Sam, Hermione claims Skeeter can’t hurt her because her parents don’t read the Daily Prophet as they are Muggles. However, after an article in Witch Weekly, not even Muggle-borns can evade the rule of rumor in the Wizarding World. The article spins a…

The Rule of Rumor in ‘Goblet of Fire’ Part I

Sam, J. K. Rowling understands the importance of public opinion. From everyone mistaking Hagrid as opening the Chamber of Secrets to Umbridge “keeping the peace” when Voldemort returned, the Potter series is a battleground between what is known and what is truth. With the introduction of regular articles from the Daily Prophet, Harry Potter and the Goblet…

The Unspoken Horror in ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’

Sam, Happy Halloween! ‘Tis the season of ghost stories, Trick-or-Treating, and reflecting on our mortality in the face of the Dead. There’s one thing each of these traits of the Gaelic festival have in common. That common theme is the central topic of this post; wherein Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will be the…