The Power of Belief: Prophecy in ‘Harry Potter’

Sam, Twenty years ago, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was published to the delight of an ever-growing fanbase. The world of Harry Potter expanded, more of Harry’s past was unveiled to us, and we saw him at the height of his magical prowess (read here for why I think so). There’s so much I could…

The Burning Scar in ‘Order of the Phoenix’

Sam, By the time J. K. Rowling finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, our hero and his friends’ accomplishments in Hogwarts (and out) were well known. Their adventures, for all their dangers and thrills, should impress and bewilder readers especially for children’s stories. I don’t see many books for young readers where the…

The Power of Belief: A History of Magic!

Sam, My visit to A History of Magic at the New York City Historical Society was more than I could have hoped for. I never expected to see everything that was listed in the book which accompanied the exhibit’s premier at the British Library, London. The whole exhibition is like an out-of-body experience. Because it exceeds…

The Power of Belief

Sam, In much of life and literature there are themes and lessons to be taken away from them, only a few overlap and are universal. Love, I think, being the most prevalent and powerful across genres. In fact, I wrote about love’s power in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows here. Though love, and its many forms–friendship,…

Choose, Sacrifice, Adapt

Sam, One of the key elements to a story is having the protagonist make a sacrifice–pay a heavy price–at the climax or breaking point; what makes that good is when the author has had enough build-up to get the audience to care about the protagonist’s sacrifice and how they adapt. There is the creation of…

The Chessmaster

Sam, I watch a lot of theory, break-down, and character reviews of all my favorite shows, books, and movies. As any good member of a fandom would do, right? Upon watching a SuperCarlin Bro’s theory video on Dumbledore’s original plans for Harry and Co., I discovered a common trend in many of the stories that…

What’s It About?!

Sam, This piece of advice may need to go without being said, but I’ll talk about it anyway. It deals with that simple question in the title. To most non-writer/non-artists, asking “What’s it about?!” may seem like the natural way of expressing interest in whatever the artists is doing. This may be true in concept….

Timing is a B*tch

Sam, I would say there are two kinds of writers: those who detail their woes without being asked and those who wait to be asked by others. I’m not going to say which one is better or worse. However, I cannot ignore when Stephen King once called writers “the secret agents” of the world. We…

The Authority of Canon

Sam, What decides the canon of story? Does it matter which comes first? Which should hold more weight, book or film? Discerning canon is an important aspect of literary scholarship because the authority of canon decides which stories we will keep telling long after their authors have returned to the dirt. After all, myths have…

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…