It was in March 2001 that I discovered and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the first time. From that moment on Harry Potter would become a big part of my life over the next decade. I immersed myself in the books, I fangirled and criticized the movies, I read fanfiction online and admired fan artwork, I bought posters and various memorabilia. On my bed right now is a Prisoner of Azkaban pillow with the faces of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson that I bought when the movie came out. Starting from the fifth book, I pre-ordered each new release months in advance and rushed to the bookstore to pick it up on the day of release. I attended a big release party for Deathly Hallows. I cried all through the two Deathly Hallows movies. Even though time and distance has brought me into new fandoms over the years and I haven’t read the books in a long time, Harry Potter still holds a big, unshakeable piece of my heart.
When I discovered #HarryXmasToYou hashtag on Instagram I was thrilled to have a reason to delve back into the series from the very beginning. I recruited two of my high school best friends, who I went through the biggest phases of my obsession with, to join me and they enthusiastically agreed. This December, 13 years after reading the books for the first time, I am so glad to finally be back at Hogwarts. I’m going to be reading all 7 books and then I’ll marathon the 8 movies. I’m currently on Chamber of Secrets and I’ll be making a post about each post as I go along. Harry Xmas To You!
I’m cheating because I can’t choose just one!
Will Parry (His Dark Materials trilogy) – I fell in love with Will immediately in The Subtle Knife. He was the perfect foil for Lyra’s character. Having had the responsibility of caring for his mom, he was mature way beyond his years and the events in The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass allowed him to grow even more as a person. I love that even though he’s like an adult in a kid’s body, he’s still really vulnerable and scared, and it was really nice to see him be able to react as a kid at times. But in times of crisis he’s wholly responsible and take charge. He also shows good moral judgments and great character. Will Parry is the perfect adventure partner because I know he’ll always have my back.
Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games trilogy) – Sweet Peeta. Who doesn’t love Peeta? He’s one of those nice guys that’s just impossible to hate. There are a lot of things to like about Peeta: he’s selfless and so purely good. He thinks of others before himself. But what I really loved about him when I read the books is that even though he loves Katniss and ideally he would want her to love him back and be with him, he’s willing to set aside his own romantic feelings for her to be happy. If she wants to be with Gale, then he’s willing to accept that and do whatever she wants and whatever is best for her. There are people who say they can do this for the person they love but when it comes to practice, it’s extremely hard to set aside one’s ego and jealously and to truly step back and let the person you love be happy with someone else. Peeta is able to genuinely love Katniss without expecting anything in return.
Ron Weasley (The Harry Potter series) – Over the course of the 7 books we see Ron grow from an eleven year old boy into a man. We’ve seen ugly sides of Ron like his jealousy and insecurity, his ability to be mean when he’s hurt and lashing out (often at Hermione and Harry). But we’ve also seen him be fiercely and unwaveringly loyal and incredibly brave. He’s the boy who constantly picks on, teases, and insults Hermione and yet gets super angry and defensive the minute someone else does it (especially Malfoy and Snape). He’s the boy who stood up on a broken leg and told Sirius Black that if he wants to kill Harry, he’ll have to kill him too. Ron Weasley is my favorite character in the books. I think it’s because I feel like I understand him the most. I like seeing his flaws just as much as his strengths because it makes him an even better character to me. I once declared that I would name my future son Ronald, lol. That’s how much I loved him. Who knows? I still might. :p