I know I know, half of you are scandalized, but today, on the eighteenth anniversary of the film release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, how am I supposed to bring sorcery into it? Apparently american children in 1997 thought philosophy was for nerds. You know what’s for nerds? Harry Potter. There are a lot of ways to reminisce about the only movie where they actually wear robes, but we’re internet people second, here at Bookstr. I think you know where this is going.
Image via QuickMeme
Alright, I was the same age as Harry when I first read this book, and not much older when I saw the movie, but what was Dumbledore’s thinking here? I admit I don’t remember all the details, but you basically can’t get into Gringotts, and you certainly can’t get out. And that’s under normal circumstances! They couldn’t throw another dragon or two in front of the thing? And let me ask you this: did they ever try dragons against Voldemort in the first place? I don’t care how much of an evil badass you are or whatever, what are you really going to do with ten tonnes of angry fire lizard in front of you? I know they threw dragons at children in the fourth book, but without warning? Please. I just want to know they tried it. And I know Hogwarts is supposed to be pretty safe, but even without all the later counter-evidence, I’d wonder.
Actually, What Did He Do?
Image via Inverse
This is a dazzling take, obviously, and there’s a lot to unpack, but really it just made me wonder what Malfoy’s dad like… does. Sure, he’s a Death Eater, but not every second, and how much Death Eater work is there to do while Voldemort’s presumed dead? I know he’s very busy being privileged and racist and hearing about things Potter does, but what does he do the rest of the time? Just sit around the house being angry about things and making house elves miserable? For real, it’s never mentioned that he works at the ministry or anything. We really don’t know anything about how the Malfoys got so powerful, or about what they do now. It never bothered me before, but now it’s driving me crazy. I also absolutely love the suggestion that he invented toaster strudel. Invented it! It’s so random and so muggle centric. Priceless.
More Great Ideas!
Image via Inverse
Alright, so you’re not allowed to go into the forest, because it’s STUPID dangerous, and you’d definitely die. Also, it’s even more dangerous than usual because someone’s going around killing and eating unicorns. Never go there! Wait, out after dark, maybe risking their lives trying to relocate an illegal dragon for the groundskeeper? Well, why don’t you do something even more dangerous for that very same groundskeeper? It’s like, oh, you’re smoking? How about some meth? That’ll teach you. I mean, I guess they learn something, but it’s not their lesson, I think the rest of the story can attest. And the second they’re in the forest, Hagrid is like, you know what? Let’s split the party. Best witch with me! Here’s my dog, try not to die. And then, not only are they in danger, but it’s literal Voldemort, running around in the woods right by the school. Who’s keeping track of school safety around here?
We Don’t Judge. Or Use Judgement.
Image via Inverse
Look, I know the twins are chill as it gets, but they really should have noticed this. Don’t judge, that’s great! But bring it up, please? Did they see it and go “aww, Ron has a friend” like, shouldn’t they know there’s noone named Peter in his year? They’re only a year or so above, and there are like five boys in his class, how would they not realise? Especially when this guy goes everywhere with Ron? I know what you’re going to say. Why would they ever actively check where Ron is? Well, if they want to sneak out of the tower, wouldn’t they need to know everyone else was asleep? And why weren’t they even a little worried any of the times Ron was just AWOL in the middle of the night? I know they support making poor discipline related choices, but he’s a baby, aren’t they worried? Have they ever walked right past him when he’s in the invisibility cloak? What did they think then, I beg of you?
Image via Someecards
These nerds had their moments. We all like to talk about Harry, as we should. “No need to call me sir, Professor” was the line of a generation, and I like him telling Snape that Ron’s misspelled name is a nickname. They say a lot of stuff to Snape. But I don’t think Hermione gets enough credit. She has fewer moments, sure, but they’re absolutely metal. Remember when she bitch slapped Malfoy, muggle style? Your fave could never. And what’s Malfoy going to do, tell his father? Hi dad, today I was slapped at wizard school. It would never occur to someone who’s always had magic right there. I’m honestly just sad she never slapped him again. Oh, sure, she could outspell him too, she’s a much better caster, but there’s just such a big energy about hitting that dude in the face. Classic.
Who are literature’s worst monsters, but aren’t actually all that bad? Who has a silver lining that we can look into? Who are the almost monsters of literature that are almost terrible but not quite?
Let’s find out!
Image Via Cat and Ellie’s Bookcase – WordPress.com
At least Umbridge told Harry the truth! At least she told him that he shouldn’t lie!
Not only did this pig in a human suit lie to Harry, but he abused him since he was a BABY. He’s not even magical.
Objectively, of all the characters from the Harry Potter series, Vernon Dursley is just the worse. He’s human, so we can judge him as much as we want, for keeping a baby in a closet under the stairs for ELEVEN YEARS. Voldemort had the decency to try and kill Harry, Umbridge at least spoke in a nice voice, but Vernon just yelled at him, smacked him around, lied about his parents, and threw him under a closet for ELEVEN YEARS.
To make matters worse, no one called the cops. At least Petunia kept the blanket Harry came in when he was a baby.
At least Umbridge told Harry the truth! At least she told him that he shouldn’t lie!
Voldemort had the decency to try and kill Harry, Umbridge at least spoke in a nice voice, but this pig in a human suit just yelled at him, smacked him around, lied about his parents. At least Aunt Petunia kept the blanket Harry came in when he was a baby. Of all the characters in the Harry Potter series, he’s not even magical, but he’s certainly one of the worse.
OR IS HE?
Horcruxes can influence those around them and Voldemort made one out of Harry. Thus the Dursleys’ dislike of him was exacerbated by Voldemort’s magic.
James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it. Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom.
Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold.
Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry. The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.
Either way, Vernon might not be as bad we thought he is (though he’s still pretty terrible)
Image Via Public Radio International
The titular character from Moby Dick, at the end of the day, is a WHALE. It has no concept of good of evil, it’s just a big whale.
Image Via The Guardian
Captain Ahab is the rotten one here. Blame him, not the whale!
6-Alexandra Finch Hancock
Image Via To Kill A Mocking Bird.com
While not the worse character in To Kill a Mocking Bird (the real monster is Bob Ewell), Aunt Alexandra is a racist piece of crap. The formidable matriarch of the Finch family, Aunt Alexandra is the king of woman who wears a corset even under her bathrobe. Before she even comes onto the page, Scout compares her to Mount Everest: “throughout my early life, she was cold and there,” but when she comes on the page she far exceeds our expectations of her.
Bossy, hyper-critical, Aunt Alexandra likes thinks done her way or the highway. Imagine the pressure poor Atticus is under when she targets him, taking umbrage with his client, Tom Robinson, noting that the case might endanger the Finch reputation.
She forgoes human decency because of the family. To her, “what is the best for the family” is more important than the family itself.
Aunt Alexandra, in underlining the moral of young Sam Merriweather’s suicide, said it was caused by a morbid streak in the family. Let a sixteen-year-old girl giggle in the choir and Aunty would say, “It just goes to show you, all the Penfield women are flighty.” Everybody in Maycomb, it seemed, had a Streak: a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak.
She’s obsessed with family streaks, hinting that she believes that the Finches are destined to be superior. In a book about racism, the real reason Aunt Alexandra doesn’t think Atticus should take the case are clear.
She also uses it to beat Scout over the head with.
Oh, yeah, Scout is in her line of sights as well. Scout is a tomboy, Aunt Alexandra is a proper lady, the pinnacle of the South. Thus, Alexandria sets to work trying to quash Scout’s tomboyish tendencies and forge a new identity for her.
Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born; furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life.
But it’s not just racism, Aunt Alexandra is also a classist. When Scout wants to play with Walter, a poor boy, Aunt Alexandra:
…took off her glasses and stared at me. “I’ll tell you why,” she said. “Because—he—is—trash, that’s why you can’t play with him. I’ll not have you around him, picking up his habits and learning Lord-knows-what.”
Image Via PInterest
However, are we judging her too harshly? Is our picture of her incomplete?
After Tom is killed, family affection that looms largest for Aunt Alexandra, telling Miss Maudie:
“I can’t say I approve of everything he does, Maudie, but he’s my brother, and I just want to know when this will ever end. […] It tears him to pieces”
She’s concerned for her brother, standing by him even when she disagrees with him. Make of that what you will, but at least she’s not Bob Ewell, a man so terrible that I’ll bet when Boo Radley killed him no one in town even batted an eye. Not even his daughters.
Image Via ArtStation
Depending on your translation of Beowulf, she is either called Grendel’s mother or Grendel’s dam, but I’d liked to call her Mother-whose-son-had-his-arm-ripped off.
I think we can all sit down and agree that Grendel is a monster. He terrorized a village and Beowulf was in the right in defending the town against that monster, but Grendel’s Mommy isn’t that bad. Her son was returned to their cave mortally wounded, one of his two arms (or claws) ripped from its shoulder socket and now hanging in a mead-hall as a grotesque trophy.
Of course she’s going to be mad. And you know what? Good for her for stealing her son’s arm back. Why’d they even want it so bad?
Image Via PInterest
But Beowulf just had to come, invading her home, and decapitating her.
Her motive is human and, from her point-of-view, she’s lived there over a hundred years and was never a problem. She just wanted her son’s arm, but they just had to kill her because she was a monster. As Tyrion once said, “I wish I was the monster you think I am!”
Image Via Baakari Wilder
Pecola Beedlove, a young black girl, is routinely mocked by other children for her physical appearance. The only person to find her desirable is her father.
Cholly Breedlove makes this list. To make a long story short, he abuses his wife, he burns down his family home, and repeatedly rapes his own daughter.
But he’s not quite the evilest character Toni Morrison has ever created. In his one and only appearance in The Bluest Eye, we learn quite enough about him that creates a picture of how abusive is cyclical.
Image Via Youtube
Abandoned in a junk heap as a baby, Cholly is taken in by two white men who force him to perform sexually for their amusement. When he finally meets his father, he shits his pants.
Thrown in a world where people abuse him, Cholly grows up into a man who doesn’t care about life. He’s free, but he cannot love or be loved. He does what he wants, uncaring for what happens him.
He rapes his daughter to remind himself that he is alive. He rapes her to feel the pain he felt as a child because that’s all he knows. He’s a monster made from monsters who tries to make his own daughter into a monster, all the time thinking ‘monster’ is synonymous with ‘human.’
Image Via A Wiki of Ice and Fire – Westeros
Snobbish, rude, Jaime Lannister is in a relationship with his twin sister, Cersei, making three bastards that are set to become Kings and Queens themselves without the actual King Robert none the wiser. He even throws Bran out a window when he catches him having sex with his sister, crippling the boy.
But do I even need to explain why this character from George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series just isn’t as bad as he sounds?
At the age of fifteen Jaime become the Kingsguard to the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. He took an oath to defend the King no matter what, and he broke that oath.
Image Via PInterest
Yeah, he killed the king, but for two years he witnessed the Mad King’s growing insanity and tendency for burning men alive first hand. One night after burning someone alive, Aerys visited the chambers of his wife and raped her. During this time, Jaime was outside, telling his fellow Kinsguard that they were sworn to protect the queen as well, to which he was told, “but not from him.”
Later, during a rebellion, Aerys devised a plot to burn the entire city to the ground rather than lose it. Upon learning about this plan, the Hand to the King resigned and Aerys burned him alive. Jaime stood back.
When Aerys ordered the city to be burned, Jaime killed everyone involved, including the King, an action which saved the whole city and caused them to hate Jaime for breaking his oath. Even after he was pardoned, even Jon Snow, who “[knows] nothing,” notes that “[t]hey called him the Lion of Lannister to his face and whispered ‘Kingslayer’ behind his back.”
Taking the film into consideration, however, the Wicked Witch is still sympathetic. Dorothy murdered her sister, dropping a house on her head, and then her sister’s body disintegrated. The last thing the Witch has to remember her sister by is a pair of shoes, which Dorothy can’t give her and Glinda refuses to take off her feet.
Image Via IMDB
Imagine if your sibling was murdered and the murderer had their prized heirloom on their feet, refusing to give it you because they didn’t like you. And why doesn’t Dorothy try to talk to the Witch? Is it because she’s Green?
The Witch was in the right. She might not have gone about it the right way, but Dorothy is a murderer hanging out with a discount iron man, a scarecrow (don’t give him any fear toxin), and a lion.
Plus, Wicked, both book and musical changed our minds about this Witch.
Once upon a time, we reported that Draco Malfoy himself, Tom Felton, had attended the opening at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and joined AOL’s In The Know for a game of ‘Fact or Fanfiction?’ and, in the standout moment from the Q and A, Tom Felton was asked: What did he think of Draco’s relationship to Harry Potter?
Image Via Redbubble
Now anyone with even a passing glance to the franchise would see Draco and Harry a simple rivalry, a tale for the ages, but Tom Felton said, I’m quoting AOL here, “Harry was constantly crushing on Draco…He just couldn’t hide it.”
Let’s look at the facts:
Draco and Harry do definitely have some tension going on.
Image Via Youtube
With this in mind we’ve decided to give you, dear readers, twelve literary couples that happened in an alternative universe. Taking twenty-four characters from all across literature, from different book series to classic standalone novels (copyright be damned!), we’ve compiled these characters into eleven distinct (and surely steamy) relationships that would have totally worked out…for the characters, at least. Trust us, we’re chemists here.
No more sparkling vampires, now Twilight‘s Bella Swan is getting an upgrade. Let’s face it: There’s a reason Bram Stoker called this novel Draculaand not Harker. Dracula’s got style, he’s got nice clothes, he’s not charm oozing from everyone pore.
Image Via Pinterest
Heck, if Bella says “No, I’m married” then I’m asking Dracula out to get a nice love bite.
Far before Twitter decided to give us the #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend fan campaign, we had the comic books. See Bucky died, Steve Rogers became a Commie smasher, and then the Commie smasher was retconned, and then the real Steve Rogers was thawed out from the ice.
Image Via The Mary Sue
But Bucky remained dead, and Steve was inconsolable in his grief over his best friend and partner in crime throughout the decades of Captain America comics. In fact, it was one of the most foremost elements of his character
Fans looked at this and took the small hop and believed that Steve’s profound sense of loss than met the eye
So Bucky came back. In fact, he came back as the Winter Soldier in a comic book called The Winter Soldier, and ever since then we’ve been clamoring for Steve and Bucky to get a little closer.
They’re perfect for each other. The two buddies have been with each other since the beginning and will continue to stay together “until the end of the line”. They’re both “men out of time” from 1930s Brooklyn and are war buddies with great rapport who totally get along. They have so much in common.
At least go on a date and see if there’s anything there.
We have Peter Pan‘s Captain Hook, and this man has been through a lot. Yes, he’s trying to track down and kill Peter Pan like he’s an animal, but Peter Pan is an animal! This boy cut off his hand and fed it to a crocodile. Wicked, evil, and savage beyond belief.
Gregory ‘The Man with the Pecks’ Peck as Captain Ahab / Image Via The Guardian
Then we have Moby Dick‘s Captain Ahab who, like James Hook, wants to track down an animal whose savaged ships of all sorts.
But would they be searching for these monsters if they had, you know, found each other? Could their killer eyes turn into ones of passion and love if they only looked into each other’s eyes?
We here at Bookstr call out in a resounding, ‘YES!’
Charles Dickens’ gave us Great Expectations, which us the tragic story of Miss. Havisham. Left at the altar as a young lady, she has preserved her house as it was on her wedding day and lived there ever since, shut away from the world. She has a heart of gold, but no one has treated it well.
Look at those sultry eyes/Image Via Pinterest
Harper Lee gave us To Kill A Mocking Bird, which introduced the world to Boo Radley. Our Boo has lived in a house since he was a child, hidden from the world, but he has a heart of gold, giving young Scout a jacket on a cold autumn day.
If these two shut-ins have closed their doors to the world, would they open their doors for each other? Boo Radley most certainly wouldn’t leave Miss. Havisham at the altar, and Miss. Havisham wouldn’t let our precious Boo feel unwelcomed.
Now this pairing might not be great for the world at large, but they would be great for each other. Both live in fantasy world, the authors who created them were in real life great friends, and both crave ultimately power.
While both skilled in the powers of magic, it wouldn’t take magic to get these two working side by side.
Image Via Denver Post
Imagine it: the White Witch would kill all the lions and the hero in the land, freezing them in ice just in time…
Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchiogrows every time he lies, and he’s made of wood, so lie a few times and cut off the excess, and Voldemort doesn’t have to be called He-Who-Must-Not-Have-A-Nose.
Image Via Harry Potter Wiki – Fandom
Yes, Voldemort is a racist and a tyrant who thirsts for power more than a camel thirsts for water, but Pinocchio isn’t the pinnacle of innocence. After all, there’s a reason he’s cursed to have his nose grows every time he lies.
Plus, if he and Voldemort got together, Pinocchio can use his nose for…
Prince Eric isn’t a good fit for Hans Christie Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. He has legs, Ariel is half-fish, and if she gets together with him then she has to abandon her family. That’s a bad move, Ariel.
Aw, he’s holding him / Image Via Pinterest
But if she wants to take a walk on the wild side and still remain in the ocean, she can always go with the shark from Peter Benchley’s Jaws. Call him what you will (I call him Bruce, but others have called him Jaws or Sharkie or even Craig), but he knows his way around the wide ocean and can show Ariel a whole new world under the sea.
Ah, they always say there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but at least these two fish found each other. Maybe that’ll be the new plot for the new Disney remake!
Mrs. Robinson from Charles Webb’s 1963 novella The Graduate is trapped in a loveless marriage. She’s only married to her husband because she got pregnant and needed to avoid a scandal, and thus she hooks up with young Benjamin Braddock. But Benjamin is only into her because he’s bored. He doesn’t love her.
Image Via Study.com
Oedipus from the seminal play Oedipus Rex has a thing for older women. Yes, he didn’t know he was married to his mom, but she was still older than him. So maybe we can avoid the whole I-gotta-pluck-out-my-eyes thing and just have Oedipus meet up and see where things go with Mrs. Robinson. She’s old enough to be his mom, and that should be enough for dear old Ed.
This goes beyond the fact that ‘Katniss’ kind of, sort of, sounds like ‘cat’ and the Cheshire Cat is, well, a cat.
Image Via Scoopnest
For one, Katniss from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games never really loved Peta. Two, Cheshire Cat from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland knows his way around the block and would have helped her big time before, during, and after those pesky Hunger Games.
Plus, the Cheshire Cat is funny, and you know what they say….
This day, July 8th, saw the original publication of two Harry Potter novels: The Prisoner of Azkabanin 1999 and The Goblet of Fire in 2000. Both were huge milestones for the series, representing the continued evolution of the Potterverse into darker, more complex territory than the comparatively straightforward, whimsical first two novels (The Philosopher’s Stoneand The Chamber of Secrets.) The books were both bestsellers, Azkaban selling three million in the United Kingdom alone, and Goblet of Fire selling over five million copies. Each book received positive reviews, especially Azkaban, praised for its excellent character development as the characters become teenagers, leaving behind their child selves. The Goblet of Fire meanwhile won the Hugo Award in 2001, the only Harry Potter novel to do so.
Image via Amazon
Prisoner of Azkaban chronicles Harry’s third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As he begins the new year, a dangerous convict known as Sirius Black escapes from the dreaded prison Azkaban. Black is thought to be an associate of Voldemort, and so Hogwarts is guarded by Dementors, as the teachers believe Black will seek out Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. While dealing with this, Harry must deal with the regular perils of teenage life: increased schoolwork, feelings for girls, and a hidden secret Hermione is carrying around with her.
The Goblet of Fire tells the story of Harry taking part in the massive Triwizard Tournament, a huge competition between Hogwarts and rival schools over the course of the semester. Harry’s name appeared in the Goblet of Fire (the method by which contestants are selected) under mysterious circumstances ad Harry must deal with the tournament’s various challenges, such as stealing eggs from an angry dragon, diving beneath the Hogwarts Lake to rescue trapped students, and make his way through a monster infested, booby trapped maze to claim the Triwizard Cup. All the while, dark forces plot in the background, growing steadily throughout the school year.
Image Via Amazon
Film adaptations of the two books were released in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Prisoner of Azkaban grossed $796 million, as well as earning critical acclaim and further embracing the change of tone for the series by embracing a new, more darker style for the overall work. Goblet of Fire earned similar acclaim, grossing $897 million. Both were among the highest grossing, best reviewed films of their respective years, enforcing the overall popularity of the ongoing fantasy series.
Both works deepened the Potterverse, introducing iconic characters and creatures, while planting the seeds for the epic saga centering around the rise of Lord Voldemort. Celebrate their original releases and read the original books again!
Starved for more Harry Pottercontent? Well look no further, Potterheads, as exciting news as been unveiled today! According to Book Riot, Warner Brothers is in the very early stages of developing a Harry Potter prequel series for TV. The series will be attached to Warner Brothers’ upcoming streaming service. The series will occur mostly at Hogwarts, according to the press release, as well as occasional visits to other parts of Europe. While the Harry Potter franchise is already packed to the brim with novels, video games, board games, movies, comics, and Broadway plays, we can’t help but be excited for this latest addition to the ever popular young adult fantasy series!
Image via Harry Potter wiki
More news has been released, including that the show will center around new characters (although if it’s at Hogwarts we can bet you’ll see cameos of fan favorites like various professors and administrative presences in the Wizarding World). However, being in the early stages of development, the plot, the premise, and even the characters themselves haven’t been announced yet for obvious reasons. But we can always speculate about WHAT will happen in this prequel series.
Here are a few premises we’d love to see in the show:
+ A show about a new batch of students dealing with the ins and outs of daily life at Hogwarts with no overarching main villain. One of the greatest strengths of HarryPotter was its relatability for young people about the hardships of growing up and schoolwork. No need to thrust Voldemort 2.0 in there, fretting about O.W.L.S. is drama enough.
+ A flipped premise, showcasing the POV of the teachers instead of the students and pulling back the curtain to give us a behind the scenes of Hogwarts.
+ An anthology series, showing different stories about Hogwarts, with a different premise and storyline every week. One week you’d have a student, one week you’d have a teacher, maybe the following week someone gets lost in the Forbidden Forest, and maybe one week it could center around some of the ghosts that haunt the school!
Image Via Pottermore
What premises would you personally like to see in this show? Are you excited to see a Harry Potter television series? Let us know in the comments! And keep an ear peeled for further news, we’ll let you know when we hear anything more!