I’m slightly ashamed to admit that the debut of the final Harry Potter movie – coming up on Friday – sort of snuck up on me, so I was almost surprised to get today’s 10 on Tuesday prompt. (I suspect, however, that this is more a denial situation than a negligence one; the final movie is such a stark reminder that the book series is well and truly done. Sigh.)
But there’s nothing like an ending to make you think about all the things you love about… well, anything, really. And so, here are 10 awesome things about the Harry Potter novels. The first few are about the series as a whole, and the rest are just cool little tidbits that I liked… And in most cases, wish were real.
1. A meticulously-created world. From the foods they ate to the clothes they wore, from the school hierarchy to the government, and from the creatures they met to the plants they raised, no detail of a magic-infused England – and it’s points of intersection with the non-magical world of Muggles – was left out.
2. Realistic character arcs. Though I was awed by the magical details, I also loved that Harry, Ron, and Hermione (and their supporting characters) all grew up in the same ways that real teenagers do. They were moody. They had pimples. Hermione bitched about her hair. Harry and Ron were boneheads about girls. They weren’t always brave. Or honest. But they always tried to do the right thing.
3. Hermione never stopped being smart. In the magical world, just like the Muggle one, it’s hard for teenage girls to be brainy – it’s much easier to be giggly and airheaded and boy-crazy than to really care about learning, but Hermione persevered. I think it’s a wonderful thing that a whole generation of girls have grown up with a brainiac heroine to demonstrate that you can have friends and fun and boys without dumbing down.
4. Time turner. Who would not want a device that lets you be in two places at once?
5. Room of requirement. Likewise, what’s not to like about a place that appears right when you desire it, stocked with the very items you need at that moment? Perfect, right?
6. Invisibility cloak. I would not want to be invisible all the time, but it seems like it could come in handy sometimes.
7. Marauder’s Map. I love the idea of a map that shows where everyone is at all times. Makes it easy to find the people you want, and easy to hide from the people you’d rather not see.
8. Hermione’s magic purse. She cast a spell on a tiny handbag so it holds everything under the sun – clothes, an also-magical tent, a bunch of books, some potions… I can’t imagine how handy that would be!
9. Speedy travel. There are no mundane – or slow – ways to travel in the wizarding world, what with broomsticks, portkeys, apparation, flue powder, vanishing cabinets, etc. to get everyone from place to place. Though the descriptions of many of these ways of getting around seem less than comfortable, I could learn to cope with it in exchange for getting from point A to point B faster than Samantha could wiggle her nose on “Bewitched.”
10. Skiving snackboxes. While I’d pass on the puking pastilles, I wouldn’t mind a piece of fever fudge every now and again to give me an excuse to miss out on work.
So, what did I miss? What are your favorites?