Harry Potter Saga: My journey with him and my love affair of imagination.

Dedicated to Barbara McGee

My Review and Thoughts:

You're a wizard Harry. So, begins the fantastical journey inside Harry Potter. Seven books, 8 movies representing the seven books. This is a fantastical journey into the world of wizards, witchcraft, good and evil, and one boys journey to find himself and the inner strength and power that he Possesses. Fantasy. Wonderful special-effects. The growing atmosphere. The technological mastery on screen. This series of movies are truly one-of-a-kind and hold a magical realm for the inner child and for the adult entertaining that imagination they once had. The concept of good and evil is a countless ordeal throughout time and the history of moviemaking. Harry Potter is another prime example of that, the good versus the bad. The telling of one boy’s growth inside the realm of wizardry. Trolls, giants, monsters, huge spiders, griffons, wizards, snakes, giant creatures that room the forest. These are just a few that Harry Potter and his friends face at Hogwarts the school of witchcraft and wizardry.

In the 8 movies, you get to see Harry and his friends grow up. That is one thing that is magical and beautiful about this series of films. The original cast is in all of them so you see the young boy and his friends become young men and women. Each movie tells a different year in Harry's life. One more year at Hogwarts. One more year to his graduation leading to year seven which becomes the ultimate battle of good and evil. Something you as the viewer will notice as you watch the 8 movies, is that they go from a fantastical, imagination, childlike Disney type of feel, to a darker, grittier, more sinister, something wicked this way comes type of feel. As the movies progresses they start to build and become more evil in tone and reality. The darker characters come out to try and destroy Harry, to bring Harry to his end. But along the way he has help. He has the good, to go along to fight the bad. His best friends. Such good friends as classmate Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger among many other classmates. Harry also has some select adults of the school at least the good ones on his side. He also has his best tall buddy Hagrid who is a giant of a man. He also has the head honcho of the school the big wizard himself Dumbledore. Harry befriends many along the way to his seven-year journey.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone a.k.a. Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone is year one of the movie series which came out in 2001. This begins the story of Harry. It starts out with Dumbledore the wizard stopping on the street corner Number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, and Surrey, England. Soon Dumbledore is visited by others, such as a cat who turns into Professor Minerva McGonagall who might I add is played by one of my favorite actresses of all time. I love her to death. I mean that. I cherish her. She is the one and only Maggie Smith. Minerva like Dumbledore will be a focus in the years of Harry Potter's life. Soon Hagrid the lovable giant comes on a motorcycle flying through the sky to deliver a baby boy, that baby boy is a.k.a. Harry Potter. Baby Harry Potter is left to his only family members the Dorsey's, for his own benefit until he comes to the age to realize who he is and take his rightful passage at Hogwarts. Minerva questions Dumbledore saying, "Everyone will know this child's name". "Are you sure you want to leave him with Muggles," meaning people that are not with the gift of witchcraft and wizardry. Dumbledore says it's for his own benefit that he grows up in the normal life. Sadly, over the years Harry is a virtual slave he must cook and clean and take care of his cousin Dudley the brat. Harry is also forced to sleep under the steps. His family, his aunt and uncle keep the truth from him hiding correspondence from Hogwarts. On Harry Potter's 11th birthday they can no longer deny the truth as Hagrid shows up with a birthday cake and the correspondence from Hogwarts stating that he shall attend the school. Aunt and uncle try to fight it but they have no means against Harry's destiny. And so, begins the great journey of unimaginable wonders, the fantasy, the wizards, the creatures, the wonderful atmosphere and interesting concepts of magic. Soon Harry will behold all the things that have been denied from him and now he will seek the truth of who he is, where he came from and what his future holds. Chris Columbus directed parts one and two. I must admit part one is not my favorite of the series it is my least favorite. Not that it's a bad movie, it's seems to be so slow at times and plus it's like an introduction movie, we are introduced to all the characters where in later movies it's all action and plot leading up to something. Daniel Radcliffe does a wonderful job playing Harry Potter from the age of 11 all the way up to being a young man. You get to see this young actor flourish and grow before your eyes and that's another magical reality to this film series. The film series ran from 2001 all the way up to 2011, all eight films at the box office made over 7 billion dollars. All eight films combined had a budget of over $1 billion, so if you look at it, it made a whole lot of money. The whole entire series had four different directors Chris Columbus as I have stated directed part one and two after that Alfonso Cuaron directed the third installment. Then Mike Newell directed the fourth installment. Then David Yates would be the only one that would direct the most films he directed the next three movies. I think that the many directors help the series because you have a different viewpoint each time.

I must say part three is one of my favorite of the series it started something visually new. This series started to become darker, more action-packed, more plotted and faster paced. Part three is when I became a fan of this series. I love part one and two but parts 3, 4,5,6,7, are stunningly masterpieces of fantasy art form of imagination on screen. The series started creating a Wizard of Oz Masterpiece atmosphere that grabs the viewer. As you watch part three to seven you're witnessing something stunning, something visually entertaining, and something that tells the story to complete the beginning to end. The first two are good but 3 to 7 are brilliant. I think they're visually darker, visually creepier, visually acted and started creating what the books wanted to do. The truly amazing thing about the film series is the growth of the main characters, you start off with three young kids and as actors they grow into grown men and women. It's beautiful to see the bubbly relationship between the three of them grow throughout the film series. You as the viewer can't help but think you know each of them as you become a part of them, as they grow before your eyes giving the cast of characters 11 years of your life as you watch it unfold, you grow with them. Even the small side characters that you witness growing up in this 11-year span of movies. Such as the character Neville Longbottom played by Matthew Lewis, Fred Weasley played by James Phelps, George Weasley played by Oliver Phelps, Ginny Weasley played by Bonnie Wright. Draco Malfoy played by Tom Felton. All these young actors and actresses grow before your eyes becoming a part of you as if they are your family. There is a vast array of characters and each of the characters tend to grow on you.

As in part one of the movie Harry and his friends learn about the one you're not to speak about, the hidden secret Lord Voldemort. Harry would learn that Voldemort's the secret one. The one that became bad. The wizard that became evil. The one that took on Harry's family. The one that gave Harry the scar on his four head. Lord Voldemort will be the main character throughout all 8 movies. He is the demon of the past that Harry must face as Lord Voldemort tries to take over Hogwarts and tries to destroy the entire world. One thing I love about this series of movies is it stars one of my favorite actors yet he doesn't have a huge role in the movies, but you will know if you are a fan of his. Warwick Davis played three different characters, Prof. Flitwick, The goblin bank teller and Griphook. I grew up with Warwick Davis watching him in the wonderful fantasy film Willow and the funny gory silly horror series Leprechaun.

In 2002 the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came out chronicling year two at Hogwarts for Harry and his friends. The movie starts out with Harry back on the mainland with his aunt and uncle as usual and with his bratty cousin. As always, they are mean to him and treat him bad. Soon Harry is visited by Dobby the house elf and warns him that he should not go back to Hogwarts because there is a plot against him. Harry knows he must go back because it is his only family. The only place that he feels right. Harry soon finds out that the warning might have merit because things start to go against him. He is blocked from getting to Hogwarts the normal way, once at Hogwarts he hears voices and strange things start to happen against him. Someone is after Harry Potter. Someone wants to destroy Harry. Someone wants to turn people against Harry Potter. The kids soon realize that there is a secret chamber in Hogwarts. The four witches and wizards that built Hogwarts were the following: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Slytherin believed that only true blood should be allowed at Hogwarts. He did not trust Muggle born students. The other three founders did not accept his belief and so he decided to leave but before he left legend states he built a chamber of secrets in Hogwarts. The chamber of secrets holds the Basilisk which can purge Muggle-born students from the area. The ancient Hogwarts has been searched and searched for this so-called chamber of secrets and yet it has never been found. Part two is another wonderful childlike imaginative fantasy come to life so that the kid in all of us can relate to Harry's journey. We fight alongside Harry over evil. We walk beside Harry against the bad and the darkness of the dungeon and of the chamber of secrets.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 movie chronicling year three of Harry's journey at Hogwarts. As the first two films this starts out with Harry on the mainland with his mean aunt, uncle and cousin. Soon Harry has had enough and uses some magic to teach them a lesson and put them in their place. He walks out carrying his luggage stating that belonging anywhere else is better than here. As in part one and part two and the whole continuing series, Harry takes his journey one step closer to the final battle of the one you're not to speak of Lord Voldemort. In all eight films Lord Voldemort is the main subject. Lord Voldemort appears in flashbacks or in person throughout the film series except this one where he is only mentioned. Lord Voldemort is Harry's nemesis. Legend states Harry is the only one that can destroy the dark wizard, or at least Lord Voldemort failed in killing Harry. Lord Voldemort cursed Harry with the mark on his forehead, but that mark would ultimately backfire sending Lord Voldemort into hiding. Lord Voldemort killed Harry's parents and left Harry with a mark on his four head the lightning bolt because Lord Voldemort wished to curse Harry. Part three, year three is about convicted murderer Wizard Sirius Black who escapes from Azkaban Prison. Black is a follower of Lord Voldemort's ways. Black is played by one of my favorite actors of all time Gary Oldman, he is Brilliant in just about everything he does. I have followed his career since the beginning and I love every performance. He plays Black wonderfully. The Ministry of Magic who are a governing group over the Wizard world who happened to be corrupted and do more evil than good hires the Dementors of Azkaban. Which are deadly creatures in the Wizard world, they are to guard Hogwarts from Black. Harry soon goes on his journey and learns more about his past and his connection with the escaped prisoner. Year three of Harry's life is one of my favorite movies of the whole series. This one became darker, older, and more stylistic visually, it became more of a deeper tone. It also sets the atmosphere for the next movies. The movies are more grown up and older and darker. The actors, the kids have grown older and matured more. What I also like about year three is Harry starts to slowly learn that his responsibility is greater than he knows, that his past is greater than he knows, that his wizard ways is greater than he knows. This one had great mystery and suspense and I love the way the story unfolds. I enjoyed. The way the end unfolds and the truth about Black comes out. I feel this one was Directed stunningly. It's brilliant and the performances by the actors are so much deeper and more thought-provoking then the first two movies.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a 2005 movie chronicling Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts. The fourth movie grows darker and darker as something wicked this Way comes. It's a deeper more complex film that starts to slowly feed into the climactic ending coming soon for Harry and his friends. A Death Eater attacks the Quidditch World Cup. A death eater is a wizard or witch that follows Lord Voldemort's ways. Hogwarts is host to a tournament called the Tri-Wizard. Three other European schools of witchcraft and wizardry join the tournament. The goblet of fire chooses three champions from three different schools. Three are only supposed to participate but the goblet of fire chooses a fourth, the one and only Harry Potter. In year four Harry is clouded with massive nightmares, haunting his every sleeping and sometimes awake moments. This fourth year will lead Harry down the path of darkness as he comes closer and closer to the truth of Lord Voldemort and his evil ways. Harry will encounter the resurrected reborn monster himself the dark wizard Lord Voldemort. In year four Harry and his classmates learn about the three unforgivable curses. Unforgivable Curses are the three most powerful and sinister spells known to the wizarding world, and are tools of the Dark Arts.

They are known as Avada Kedavra, Crucio and Imperio.

Imperio: forces the victim to obey every command.

Crucio: causes the victim great excruciating pain.

Avada Kedavra: Is the death curse, instant death.

There has only been one person to ever survive the death curse and that is Harry Potter. This chapter part four is a deep dark sadistic twisted little tail as it grows farther and farther into the darkness of Lord Voldemort. Also in this movie, you get to see more of a friendly, personal, viewpoint of Harry and his friends as they attend the dance ball and love is in the air. Adding a more relatable and reality-based format to the film, yet it quickly turns as dark Lord Voldemort and his death eaters slowly start to invade Harry's life in his dreams and in the reality as he approaches the tournament. The darker nature of this film can turn the younger audience away with fear because it's one thing to read it but to visually see it, is a whole different subject. As a fan and a person that has grown with the books and the movies it's just one closer step to the final battle which is the darkest of them all. Part four is a deeper movie, more complex. One and two was more of the Disney style, three was the beginning of the darkness and four had it smack dab inside the darkness as Lord Voldemort slowly makes himself known.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth year of Harry Potter's journey at Hogwarts. No one believes poor Harry that Lord Voldemort has returned or at least they know and don't want to admit it. The movie starts out with Harry being attacked by Dementors. So, begins the step into the darkest part of the Harry Potter franchise. This is when the factions begin. The Hogwarts students of The order of the Phoenix. The Ministry of Defense and Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters all start to separate into groups and challenge for control and good against evil. Harry's horrible nightmares are so disturbing they start to become real. More powerful. More controlling. More painful. This is the start of the ultimate battle. In two more years Harry, will face along with his best friends and his good teachers the greatest enemy. The greatest challenge. There greatest ordeal.

The Harry Potter book franchise would go on to be one of the highest grossing book franchises in history.

J.K. Rowling said: "My books are largely about death. They open with the death of Harry's parents. There is Voldemort's obsession with conquering death and his quest for immortality at any price, the goal of anyone with magic. I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We're all frightened of it."

I think that's one of the main focal points to many of the watchers of the movie or readers of the books is that struggle between life and death. That struggle of trying to overcome or not to be afraid of what is the after. The relation of struggle through day-to-day life as death is all around you. Harry and his companions must fight death with the understanding of danger every day. The understanding of not knowing.

Harry suffers from not knowing about his parents, not knowing what his future brings. I think that's where most younger viewers can relate to Harry is because Harry is filled with so many questions yet has no answers and as young kids grow up, specifically teenagers and young adults there adventuring into new settings, new structures, getting to know new people, wanting to know who they are and what their purpose is in life.

Harry struggles like any other average person even though he has special powers and lives in a special little place of the world that we cannot see, he still struggles the normal human way and that's why I think Harry is so relatable. So many authors create their characters as being superior, where as J.K. Rowling didn't. She created a normal human boy, yet he discovers he's greater.

I think that is what makes Harry Potter so relatable in all aspects. He is relatable in surviving, struggling, living, seeking answers, being a normal average boy seeking his purpose in life. Furthering his ability to achieve these steps forward. He does not halt or hinder himself. He does not let his surroundings control. He does not let others destroy him or put him down. He seeks to further the adventure; to further become the greatest of all through strength, struggle and sacrifice.

Something that Harry Potter does showcase is that we must question authority at times. We must question the leadership. We must question the media for are we getting the true truth. Are we really understanding the situation or are we being fed propaganda to follow the corruption, to follow the leadership that wishes us to become robotic and follow along no matter what.

Harry and his companions throughout the series sees the underlining corruption, the underlining character, the one you’re not to say his name.

They see the darkness and the evil that has changed their surroundings.  What should you do just go along with it because everyone else does? What Harry and his companions do is fight the system that is corrupt, that has been altered.

Harry and his companions question. I think that is the most important aspect you seek out the answers and you question your surroundings and Harry and his companions did that. They fought the good fight no matter what was against them throughout the series they succeeded. They sought out the one you're not to speak of. They sought out to change which was wrong.

You witness in the series certain individuals just giving in and following the dictatorship, or The Nazi reality where, "oh it's only going to get worse so maybe I should join, maybe I should just go along with it".

It's truly amazing how such a deep, dark and complex story-line came into being.

In 1990 J.K. Rowling found herself delayed on a train. And she states:

"I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so excited about an idea before. I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train) hours, and all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who did not know he was a wizard became more and more real to me."

As I write this and grace my love for Harry Potter for A Bucket of Corn, I would like to use that concept the rest is history as J.K. thought up and created Harry, but once the manuscript was done in 1995 and was sent off, she was denied by publishers 8 different times, until one publisher Bloomsbury decided to give it ago. All I can say to those publishers that denied Rowling and denied Harry Potter, boy were they wrong in so many ways.

To show you the extraordinary achievement by the time it got to book 6 which is Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the anticipation, the wait for this young wizard, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in the first 24 hours sold 9 million copies. If you thought that was extraordinary, the seventh and last book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows sold 11 million copies in the first 24 hours.

Who would've thought a woman sitting on a train scribbling ideas would create the most fantastical creation of an imaginary character inside a book that would take the world by storm.

The last of the series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows was finished on January 11, 2007, would be published July 21, 2007, it was the complete story of Harry Potter, the final moment for all his fans, his lovers of imagination.

I started reading the series when I was 17 years old. I was 27 years old when I read the last book. On November 14th 2001 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone the film adaption was released I was 22 years old. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows the final film was released on July 15th 2011 I was 31 years old. I spent 15 wonderful years with the character of Harry Potter, from his books to his movies, it was a wonderful amazing 15 years of a created imaginary world of characters, dreams, fantasies of childhood adventures. I loved every moment of it now even though the books have all been written and the movies have all been screened, now I can adventure into them whenever I want. I read them constantly. I watch them constantly and ever since the beginning of the first page where the viewing of the first film it's like entering a whole new world of imagination and wonder and beauty over and repeatedly

"How many men my age can boast that they have speared a huge snake, nearly lost their lives playing chess, nearly avoided being eaten by gargantuan spider, nearly fallen out of a flying car, fought dragons, swim underwater for 40 hours, dodged a dangerous maze kissed a girl, kissed another girl, (okay maybe that isn't so unusual), and not to mention gone head to head with the evillest wizard of all time." --Daniel Radcliffe Taken from the Book: Harry Potter Film Wizardry

"The truth is that Ron is my hero. He's always there for his friends sometimes belligerently but there nevertheless. He's also the comic relief in stressful situations; the funny guy with a great one liner. And no matter how scared he may be, he will put aside his fears to support and protect the people he loves. To me, that represents true courage."--Rupert Grint Taken from the Book: Harry Potter Film Wizardry

"As I grew older I realized how alike we really are, and that a comparison of any sort was a compliment and not a jibe. She is a true and loyal friend, feisty and determined, and not afraid to pursue what she believes. And she is of course, a dedicated scholar. I absolutely share her passion for knowledge, and if I can lay claim to half of her other attributes then I am extremely happy. Girls should never be afraid to be smart! --Emma Watson Taken from the Book: Harry Potter Film Wizardry

Harry Potter's book series and movies, are a must watch and is a must read, must own, must share, must talk about movie and book series around. It should be given as a gift, should be wrapped up as a present. It should be written about and lectured about. It should be read or watched by the young and the old alike.

It contains the imagination and the wonders of the beauty of life, death, horrors of darkness and the amazement of light.

It captures the very essence of good and evil.

I highly recommend this movie series and book series, it's one that I hold on high regards and it should grace every person's book or movie library, every person's bookshelves or movie shelves.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is part six of the series. This one came out in 2009 it started filming in 2007 with a budget of $250 million. Like its predecessors, it would go on to make its budget back and a whole lot more. This one came in almost at $1 billion in sells.

This one grows even darker in tone. You also have characters falling in love and Harry also becomes obsessed with a textbook that belonged to a person known as The Half Blood Prince. Harry tries to bring up his memories about the knowledge of Lord Voldemort's downfall.

What makes this film stand out is it became more of a mainstream subject where most critics reviewed it as emotionally satisfying. They saw it as a truly thought-provoking film and it became the highest praised out of all the movies by film critics.

Now in this one, Harry is 16 years of age. This one has Voldemort gaining greater strength and hold inside Harry Potter's world. Along with the darkness of the film there is some added humor to correspond with Harry and his companions to break the overall gaining darkness of the series.

I really liked this one because it's more of an emotional film, more of a sophisticated story. You get to see Lord Voldemort as a kid, you get to see his childhood, his growth, his coming to Hogwarts.

Something that needs to be said and a huge shout out is to Tom Felton who plays Draco Malfoy. His performance in The Half Blood Prince is the shining star of the movie. He truly is a gifted and an extraordinary actor through facial expressions, emotions, and the very pit of anger, sadness, and despair. He captures it all perfectly in this part.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Part 1 and 2 comes the end and the emotional and tragic ordeal of the final battle of good against evil. A war, a battle of the wills to destroy evil once and for all. A perfect climatic closer of the amazing series that will never die but always remain in the childhood imagination of us all.

Voldemort continues to increase his evil power and most of all he slowly starts to grow his army as more and more are turning to his dark nature. Harry is 17 in this final repose. A truly magical, action packed and flawless conclusion to a truly memorable and powerful piece.

What's so interesting about this final book, this seventh and last of Harry's journey is the publication and the celebrated glory of it. There were all night book-signings. Scholastic did a campaign to build the ultimate excitement by releasing seven questions. Who will live and who will die? Is shape good or evil? Will Hogwarts reopen? Who ends up with whom? Where are the Horcruxes? Will Voldemort be defeated? What are the Deathly Hollows?

The last book would bring the kid out in any one that is a true fan anticipating the conclusion of this boy wizard. That's the way waiting for the movie was also. Anticipating how the book was going to transfer to screen and what they did by creating it into two parts was awesome. I absolutely loved the two parts because Deathly Hollows is a huge book and it states many wonderful ideas and captures many wonderful scenarios and's so the movie had to be in two parts, to capture all it's wonderful glory.

As I look back I miss those 11:59 PM waits for the one minute clock for the bookstore to open and sell the book. I miss seeing all the people dressed as wizards, creatures and their favorite characters. I miss standing in line that stretched all the way to Kalamazoo as hour after hour you would wait. I miss those theater midnight screenings.

Do yourself a favor and take a trip and an imaginative journey with a scrawny little boy with black hair. A boy lost in the world yet found inside the imagination of make believe and created in the aspect of good.

Okay, open that cover of the book, or push play on the DVD player, scan the page, or watch the credits unfold. Become the journey and most of all meld inside the words or acting as they become a part of you; as Harry Potter guides you along the way on his imaginative, amazing, awesome, journey.


Thank you J.K. Rowling for all the wonderful adventures and true imaginative adventure.

A huge thank you and a shout out to all the crew that helped create this series of movies and to all the behind the shots book people that gave this book series a chance.

And to all the many, many awesome characters from the book to the screen.