Harry Potter Reread 2014

[HP Reread 2014] Order of the Phoenix 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.

harry potter order of the phoenixThe Chapters:

  1. Dudley Demented
  2. A Peck of Owls
  3. The Advance Guard
  4. Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place
  5. The Order of the Phoenix
  6. The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black
  7. The Ministry of Magic
  8. The Hearing
  9. The Woes of Mrs. Weasley
  10. Luna Lovegood
  11. The Sorting Hat’s New Song
  12. Professor Umbridge
  13. Detention with Dolores
  14. Percy and Padfoot
  15. The Hogwarts High Inquisitor
  16. In the Hog’s Head
  17. Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four
  18. Dumbledore’s Army
  19. The Lion and the Serpent

The Highlights: (some spoilers for plot arcs in play in this book and the rest of the series.)

  • Order of the Phoenix has remained my favourite book of the series since it came out nearly 11 years ago (I KNOW.), and it’s also the only book to still inspire the same emotions as it did on my first read. I remember speeding through it that first day, and subsequent/numerous rereads have blurred into memories of specific scenes. Getting to take my time is great.
  • “Dudley Demented,” and really my entire reread so far, has only made me wish that we could know a little bit more about Dudley and his perspective of the series. Kids don’t develop prejudices on their own, and I would love to know if Dudley had tried playing/interacting with Harry at all before his parents stepped in. Maybe the new stage play will shed some light?
  • With the return of Voldemort, the sense of urgency built into the first four books explodes into action. Between the dementor attacks on Privet Drive and Harry’s secret move to 12 Grimmauld Place, it’s clear that the relative safety of Harry’s homes are now in very real danger.
  • Speaking of Grimmauld Place–hello, Marauder feelings.
    tumblr_m0xskdBWxT1qazkdco1_500
    Harry’s frustration at being left out of the loop and Sirius’ insistence that he be told the truth both warmed my heart and upset me. There are readers who will point to this scene as proof that Sirius saw Harry as a replacement for James–indeed, Molly Weasley calls Sirius out on it. I don’t think it’s Harry-as-a-James replacement so much as Sirius yearning for purpose and a chance to take action. His desire to live vicariously through Harry is understandable, given his twelve years in Azkaban.
  • Harry’s trial in the Wizengamot is endlessly fascinating to me because of the more detailed look it provides at the wizarding world’s politics and criminal justice system. Fudge’s desperation is on full display as he attempts to convict Harry of a crime despite all evidence to the contrary, because it makes his life easier. And of course, the introduction of Dolores Umbridge is as chilling as ever.
  • Mothers have played crucial roles in the series thus far–Lily Potter’s sacrifice for her son is literally the reason we even have  a series to love–but the chapter “The Woes of Mrs. Weasley” brings their experiences closer to home for everyone. As strong a presence as she is, Molly isn’t immune to nightmares about losing her family, and witnessing that nightmare is a stark reminder to both Harry and the reader that in a world with Voldemort, nothing and no one is safe.
  • Luna!! Okay, here’s the part where I admit that when I first read OotP, Luna annoyed me a lot. I was very serious as a kid, and still kinda am, so I just could not get on board with Luna’s dreaminess. Nowadays, I appreciate her loyalty and compassion, and I would be honoured if I ever encountered her.
  • Before OotP, evil in the HP books was an overt presence, with Voldemort as the most obvious example. But often times, evil is more insidious and Dolores Umbridge is the perfect example. Her determination to instill an order that she controls completely is no different from Voldemort, but it’s masked by propriety & the desire for safety. Her ruthlessness and cruelty is similar, but unlike Voldemort, it comes out of a desire to keep her privileged position, not stoked by cruelty she personally experienced. So which is scarier: someone who has nothing and can gain everything, or someone with everything to lose?
  • I’m a big fan of the show Nikita (which you should all watch immediately FYI), and there are some pretty striking similarities between Harry-Voldemort and Nikita-Percy/Amanda. Neither Harry nor Nikita want or set out to be leaders; in fact, all they want is to live peaceful lives. But for reasons not revealed in HP #1-4 and Nikita season 1, their enemies mark them out to be the biggest threats to their reign. Harry and Nikita are both faced with the reality of their lives and their natural ability to lead, and it’s this development that makes them both such spectacular characters.

Philosopher’s Stone Check-in #1 | Philosopher’s Stone Check-in #2 | Chamber of Secrets Check-in #1Chamber of Secrets Check-in #2 | Prisoner of Azkaban Check-in #1Prisoner of Azkaban Check-in #2 | Goblet of Fire Check-in

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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4 replies »

  1. Order of the Phoenix was my favorite book forever too, mostly for marauder/Sirius feels and Harry feels. I like the way you handled the Harry/Sirius see each other as a replacement for James discussion, and so much nodding on your paragraph about Molly Weasley.

    AND YES, NO ONE SCARES ME MORE IN THIS SERIES THAN DOLORES UMBRIDGE. NO ONE.

    Also, I never thought to compare Harry and Nikita’s roles and circumstances before, so your last paragraph (as I’m texting you this) is blowing my mind because it is so on point.

    …You’re making me really want to reread OotP now. Like, right now.

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