21 July 2009

Pottermania

I was discussing the latest Harry Potter flick with a friend today. He has not read all the books, but summarized his interest(or lack thereof) by saying that it took seven books to finish off the bad guy! This comment incensed me so much that I decided to write about why I love the Harry Potter series. Ever since I read the first book back in 2001, I've been an ardent fan. My husband and friends used to laugh at my obsession with the books but humored my 'childish' whims by buying me books or tickets to the movie. But after watching the first two movies, my husband too got hooked :) By then 4 books had come out and he read all 4 over a weekend! How I used to wait with bated breath for the next installment back when all the 7 books were not out! And how much speculation went around for the ending of this historical series of books! I am grateful to have witnessed the publishing of these books in my lifetime for it is without doubt the most popular series of fantasy books ever written for either children or adults.

Full marks to JK Rowling for coming up with an extremely vivid depiction of a parallel wizarding world in contemporary times and making it credible too! Her writing skills, interesting character sketches and talent for continuity make the books unputdownable once you start reading. There was some controversy about the dark content in subsequent books, but apart from that there is little that can be found objectionable in the books. The concept is refreshingly original. The whole idea of having an entire syllabus of seven years for a school of wizards and witches is mind-boggling. The sheer imagination regarding various eccentric members of the school staff and different magical plants, animals and species is remarkable. There is even a sport and an entire ministry of magicians complete with dirty political agenda. As they say in hindi - "Isme action hai, emotion hai, drama hai aur comedy bhi hai!" No wonder the authoress is the richest woman in UK currently; such a book was bound to be a bestseller :) There are many life lessons to be learned too - Dementors sucking out the happiness from people and the Patronus spell that dispels the dementors reiterates the power of positive thoughts. The facts that one has to 'mean' the Unforgivable curses for them to take effect and that the soul is ripped apart when one kills someone are so true!

If you have reached upto here, am sure you are a fan, or at least an admirer too. Here's a small quiz to tickle your brains-
  1. How many goal posts are there on a Quidditch pitch?
  2. What is the name of Hagrid's dog?
  3. What form does the Patronus of Hermoine take?
  4. Ginny is the nickname of Ron's younger sister. What is her given Christian name?
  5. Who does Ron think he is in love with under the influence of the love potion?
  6. What is the last Horcrux and who destroys it?
  7. Who was killed by the Basilisk?
  8. Name the Hogwarts school flying teacher?
  9. Who teaches Harry how to play wizard chess?
  10. Which person was the first out of Voldemort's wand when Harry and Voldemort dueled?
Post your answers in comments!