Spoiler Alert: Harry Potter’s a Wizard!
Chapter 4: Keeper of the Keys
Introducing Harry Potter, the most well-adjusted 11-year-old imaginable. “Oh, so you say I’m a wizard? And I’m famous? And my parents were killed by a powerful evil wizard who tried to kill me? Gee wiz!”
Harry’s not really scared of the hairy giant breaking into the shack. He doesn’t have an existential crisis when he discovers that not only are there wizards, but he is one. His biggest complaint is that his Aunt and Uncle never told him of his special powers. That’s it. That’s his major concern.
He’s one resilient little bugger, isn’t he?
But I guess the complete breakdown doesn’t come around until Order of the Phoenix (so much angst!).
And how about Hagrid? I completely blew past the fact that he was expelled when I first read this book. It wasn’t until Chamber of Secrets that I actually computed it. Scattered details everywhere!
Chapter 5: Diagon Alley
Gringotts! The emphasis placed on “DO NOT ROB GRINGOTTS” really cannot be truly appreciated until Deathly Hallows. But when you get to that point, well…! It’s quite the throwback.
And Griphook! He was another one of those characters I completely tossed away in the beginning as unimportant to the overall story. Just an extra, nothing more. I made that mistake a lot in this series.
We’re also introduced to Draco in this chapter, a character we are clearly meant to sympathize with and like. He’s so cordial! Someone never read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Expressing blatant judgmental views to stranger isn’t exactly how one makes a good first impression.
And of course, there’s the wand. The connection between Harry’s wand and Voldemort’s wand is massive foreshadowing, and you get that impression when you read it. You just don’t realize how much foreshadowing we’re talking. The fact that the entire ending hinges on these wands is not evident at this point.
I don’t know why I thought we met Hermione or Ron in this chapter. But I was confusing this book with Chamber of Secrets, when they all see Lockhart in the bookstore.
It’s interesting to try and look forward to the insanity of the later books from the innocent perspective of this first one. There is seemingly no indication of the turn this series is going to take. You think it’s going to be light and sweet and then BAM! Mass wizard genocide.
But we’re not there yet. We’re not even at Hogwarts yet. We have a ways to go…quite a ways…