Not surprisingly, like most readers, I am still obsessed with the Harry Potter series, and it is the focus of today’s throwback Thursday post. Harry Potter was first published by JK Rowling in the late 90’s and it slowly began to make waves across the globe, as she released each instalment. I first heard about the series when I was 14, just after the release of the third book.
I was hooked.
10-year-old Harry lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin, in the cupboard under the staircase. Harry’s parents, Lily and James are said to have died in a car accident. As a birthday treat for Harry’s cousin, Dudley, the family takes a trip to the local zoo, where Harry accidentally releases a snake from captivity, just by speaking to it. Startled by the incident, his uncle locks Harry under the stairs until his 11th birthday, when even more strange things begin happening.
Harry is a wizard, but not just any wizard. He’s the boy that lived. As it turns out, He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, aka Voldemort (Tom Riddle), murdered them ten years previous, using the dreaded killing curse. But, when Voldemort attempted to kill Harry, the spell backfired, gravely injuring him, and leaving baby Harry with only a lightning bolt scar as a reminder.
The series progresses quickly, covering the 6 of the 7 years that Harry spends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including the introductions of Harry’s two best friends, and partners in crime, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. With each book, the plot lines grow thicker, and the story gets darker, until the very last book, in which Harry and Voldemort face off for the last time, as “one cannot live while the other survives.”
JK Rowling has written a spectacular series, that was later adopted into 8 movies, and has even produced a few other books in the world. The books and movies have been translated and shown in hundreds of different languages worldwide, and continue to enthral readers of all ages. This series normally ends up on my “to be read” shelf at least once a year, and with such fantastic writing and vivid imagery, it’s not hard to see why.