02 August, 2007

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone - Inconsistencies

Upon finishing Deathly Hallows, I decided I would read the first book again...I think it might be because there were a number of characters I wasn't entirely sure I remembered (as JK was busy tying up all the loose ends, in ever more complex knots, while I was just busy concentrating on the main story)...and because my only real memory of the first book now is courtesy of the movie...and also because it is fairly short (comparitively) and thus easy going...

I've noticed a number of interesting things, even where I am in the proceedings (about 6 chapters in)...(Got to be careful here not to spoil anything, but) -

1) I had forgotten that the story begins during the joyous celebrations after Voldemorts fall seventeen years before the events at the end of the last book...it felt very "full circle" to consume it again...

2) Mrs Filch gets a number of very early mentions (I had completely forgotten she even existed when she next cropped up in the main story)...

3) The Dursleys behave like they belong in a Rohld Dahl book...a bit OTT compared to the rest of the series...

4) During our very first introduction to the Weasley family (totally inplausably) Mrs Weasley confesses that she has no idea what platform the Hogwarts Express leaves from, despite (as we are told only paragraphs later) having spent the last 7-odd years putting Cedric, Percy, Fred and George on it (and, even worse, is then reminded where to go by none other than *Ginny* who has never even been to Hogworts as she is too young)...

5) In Harry's invitiation to Hogwarts, it clearly states "Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad", so how come Ron has a rat? It's even been present at the school before, because Ron explains to Harry that it is a hand-me-down familiar, like his second-hand robes and wand (and what happened to "The wand chooses the Wizard"?!)...Oh well, maybe plot devices are allowed to breach school rules... ;)

6) Who on *earth* is the Dumbledore in this book, and what has he done with the real one? ;) His "just a few words" before the feast are (to say the least) rather out of character...(although you could argue that the later, slightly less insane Dumbledore is his abnornal "war-time" persona, and thus this "peace-time" persona is the normal he)...still rather odd though...he doesn't normally waste words for no reason, in my experience...

7) (On a more positive note) - At the sorting hat, it's clear that JK had done her forward planning, I think by this stage in the story almost every (child) character we have to worry about for all of the rest of the books (one or two exceptions, Luna for example) have been introduced...

8) It's also completely obvious why such a lot of adults pick up this book, interested having heard all the hype (usually encouraged by people much further on in the rapidly maturing storyline) and are immediately turned off by how juvenile at all seems...If you want an example of cringeworthy nonsense (rather than the good kind of nonsense) I refer you to the Hogwarts School song (urk)...

Still, I'm enjoying it as much as the first time...maybe even a bit more now I'm free to poke at the holes and try and link up some of the threads...it's a bit like going back and watching the early episodes of LOST searching for "crosses" in the background... ;)

3 comments:

Ys said...

Hehehe and that's why I vowed never to read the first book again.

¨°º©[ Fink ]©º°¨ said...

I've finished it now, and in the second half of the book two things happen -

1) It all comes sharply into focus, all the characters are *perfect* and the story knocks the ball out of the park

2) A brilliant little tidbit, left for the likes of me to discover upon re-reading it...so she did hide (at least one) little "hint" shall we say, in earlier work...that's a good incentive to continue! ;)

bigblue said...

My mind is a bit blurred from the films but I think that one of the problems with the books is the inconsistencies of style. They also don't quite tie up cleanly. To be fair, evan a great writer like Tolkien had his diversions (think Tom Bombadil).