MuggleNet Rereads “Sorcerer’s Stone”
Welcome to the “MuggleNet Rereads Harry Potter” series. This time, I’ll be talking about the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Why are we doing this series? Because rereads are awesome! Check out Alohomora!, our podcast dedicated to rereading the whole series. So pull out your copy of Sorcerer’s Stone, make yourself some tea, and join us on an adventure as we return home.
I, like many other Potter fans, bought the illustrated edition of Sorcerer’s Stone. My first dilemma in this reread was which copy to use. I have several other copies of this book: a paperback, a digital copy, a few in other languages, and the hardcover that helped me enter this magical world so many years ago. I narrowed it down to the hardcover and the illustrated edition. When I opened up the hardcover to try to decide, I noticed something very magical – it still smelled the same. Somehow, after being moved from my home to dorms, apartments, and a new house, it still smells the same way that it did the first time I opened it. It reminded me of the nights spent rereading it under the covers with a flashlight while waiting in anticipation for the release of a new book. In the end, my shiny, new copy of the illustrated edition won, but it was nice to know that some things never change.
I’ve read Sorcerer’s Stone many, many times. I think it might be the one that I’ve read the most in the series. I love getting to experience Harry’s entrance into this new world. Rereading this book always feels like coming home. Harry goes from this little boy who lives in a cupboard to a powerful wizard, and it is all because of this book.
The main thing that I noticed while reading this book is how many questions I had. Why was the Put-Outer renamed as a Deluminator? Was the zombie that Quirrell claimed to have fought really an Inferi? Why did it take Hagrid a whole day to get Harry to Surrey? He mentioned that Harry fell asleep while they were flying over Bristol. That’s only a two-hour drive from Surrey, and I’m sure that it would take less time when flying, so what were they doing the rest of the day? Why did Dumbledore have Hagrid bring Harry to Surrey when he could have just brought him? Doesn’t the primary school that Harry attend notice that he misses so much school when he is locked in his cupboard? What happened to the snake in the zoo? Did it escape, or was it caught? I have so many questions, and unfortunately, they are not answered in the books.
I noticed a ton of things that I’d forgotten. Professor McGonagall totally called Dumbledore out on just leaving Harry on the Dursleys’ doorstep with just a letter to explain.
A letter?” repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. “Really, Dumbledore, you think you can explain all this in a letter?”
When I was younger, I just accepted that Harry should be left like this, but now that I’m an adult I realize that this was really stupid. Dumbledore left a baby outside all night in November. He let Petunia find out in a letter that her sister is dead, and now she has to take care of her nephew. Really? At least McGonagall tried to talk some sense into him.
What struck me the most is how different the characters are. The movies watered down the characters so much. I’d forgotten just how sassy Harry is.
They stuff people’s heads down the toilet first day at Stonewall,” [Dudley] told Harry. “Want to come upstairs and practice?”
“No thanks,” said Harry. “The poor toilet’s never had anything as horrible as your head down it – it might be sick.”
Sassy Harry is really the best Harry. He isn’t the only one whose characterization was changed in the films. Ron turned into this dumbed down, food-obsessed character used for comic relief. In the books, he is witty, tactical, and a great person to be around. All of the characters were changed in some way for the movies, and I’m glad that we can still read about them and see how they should be, instead of what the movies made them into.
What are your favorite parts of Sorcerer’s Stone? Anything new that you noticed during your reread? Let us know in the comments. Looking for an in-depth discussion of the series? Check out MuggleNet’s fantastic reread podcast, Alohomora!