Harry Potter Reread 2014

[HP Reread 2014] Chamber of Secrets Check-in #1

hp-bannerI, along with some of my favourite bloggers, am rereading all seven books this year. Here on MVB, I will be livetweeting as I read, as well as writing up a bi-weekly recap of where I’m at in the book. When I was first discovering the series, I read so quickly that I never really let myself savour each word, so I am very much looking forward to taking my time and letting everything I love about Harry’s story sink in.

Chamber of Secrets Check-in #2

224912The Chapters: 

  1. The Worst Birthday
  2. Dobby’s Warning
  3. The Burrow
  4. At Flourish and Blotts
  5. The Whomping Willow
  6. Gilderoy Lockhart
  7. Mudbloods and Murmurs
  8. The Deathday Party
  9. The Writing on the Wall

The Highlights:

  • The start of Chamber of Secrets was coloured quite heavily by the film when I was rereading it. It’s probably the movie I’ve watched the most, due to a younger brother who watched it almost every day for an entire summer, so it was easy to slip into replaying the dinner party in my head. I remember not really knowing what to imagine Dobby looking like when I read CoS the first time, and again, that was a great enhancement from the film,
  • In hindsight, I can see now how obvious it was that Dobby was the Malfoys’ house elf, but I do think that JK Rowling did a great job at using her readers’ own wonder at the magical world to cover this up. The first book had zero reference to house elves, so when we encounter Dobby for the first time, we are just as confused and curious as Harry. We’re not too fussed about who he belongs to, because we’re too busy thinking about his warning to Harry. Smoke and mirrors, maybe, but very well-written smoke and mirrors.
  • The scene where Fred, George, and Ron rescue Harry is one of my favourite scenes in the entire series. It solidifies the family dynamics that Rowling laid the foundation for in Philosopher’s Stone, and shows that Harry is firmly ensconced in the Weasley family now. I also really liked that our first real introduction to Mr. Weasley is through the fact that he enchanted the family car. It might seem like a tiny thing, but it makes a couple points:
    • Mr. Weasley is highly curious and likes experiments;
    • He is a skilled wizard, able to manipulate Muggle technology;
    • He is appreciative of Muggle society and recognizes their perseverance.
  • The Burrow is such a lovely chapter, I don’t know where to begin. It certainly doesn’t seem like the average wizarding house–not that readers have much to compare it to–but beyond the magical touches, there’s a very real warmth to every scene set in the Weasley home. It’s a house filled with memories, and a family that values each member for who they are, and not just because they’re purebloods.
  • I will admit, Chamber of Secrets is probably my least favourite novel and 80% of that is because of Gilderoy Lockhart. His smarmy attitude still makes me feel slightly ill every time he shows up. I couldn’t help but remember how much I wanted him gone when I read CoS the first time, and it seems to take forever this time around.
  • Unpopular opinion: I thought flying the car to Hogwarts was a pretty silly decision for Harry and Ron to make. I spent most of the scene rubbing at my temples, wondering why neither of them had thought to just wait until Mr. and Mrs. Weasley came back. Granted, their determination is admirable, and it saves their lives more than once. But really, two 12-year-olds flying a car is not a good idea in any circumstance.
  • (Turning the page to Chapter 6) “An entire chapter about Gilderoy Lockhart. Save me.”
  • If Philosopher’s Stone established that Harry, Ron and Hermione are at their best when they’re together, Chamber of Secrets is where the spotlight moves to Ron. In many little ways, Ron proves again and again just how loyal he is to Harry. He rescues Harry, stands up for him, protects him–Ron is 100% there for Harry. This does set the stage for Ron’s later resentment in Deathly Hallows, but I think that this book is where the devotion and trust that Ron and Harry share develops its true foundation.

Check back on February 26 for Check-in #2!

Philosopher’s Stone Check-in #1 | Philosopher’s Stone Check-in #2

Thinking of joining in? Sign up over @ Just A Lil’ Lost, and note down the schedule below!

  • January: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone
  • February: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • March: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • April: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • May: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • June: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • July: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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