Just a head's up: I love this book and this series, but the second half of Sorcerer's Stone is just SO FULL of things to mock that that's pretty much all I'll be doing this post. I still love it. Deal.
And then there's the Quidditch. Ah, Quidditch. At first glance, it seems fun and whimsical, like wizarding money (which Sarah at Sarah Says Read suggested may have ridiculous exchanges because it's based on WEIGHT, which I think is genius because wizards are old-fashioned and there money IS made out of actual precious metals - but anyway) but then you think about it and it all seems ridiculous. So, not only is the length of the game based not on time but on one player performing a specific action, but that one action is valued so highly that it determines the outcome of almost every game (almost, I said almost!). As a result, after weeks of practice and anticipation and the whole school turning out, Harry's second game ends in under five minutes and the other team does not have a chance. Even if they had scored 14 times and Gryffindor hadn't scored at all, Gryffindor would have won. I believe that the scoring is cumulative over the season, which works out that issue a bit, but it's still really boring and unfairly balanced. Also, I would argue that it's more of a game than a sport, since it doesn't have much athleticism. The brooms do most of the work.
So then, towards the end of the aforementioned "magical" adventure, we have this gem:
"Harry - you're a great wizard, you know."Face. PALM. I think that this bit of mushiness has made me angry since my very first reading. Yes, Hermione likes books and she is clever. She is also a wonderful friend, who uses those skills to help her friends and is fiercely loyal, following Harry into danger without a moment's hesitation, pretty much proving her bravery and loyalty, and therefore powers of friendship once again. Yeah, I get that she's concerned for Harry's safety but he could at least have said "same to you, you brave friend of mine." But Harry's the hero and Rowling wants to make sure we know it, even though that comes at the cost of undermining one of the best characters in the series. Maybe even The Best. I do not like this part.
"I'm not as good as you," said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.
"Me!" said Hermione. "Books! And cleverness! There are more important things -friendship and bravery and - oh Harry - be careful!"
My final issue is that Hogwarts is a terribly dangerous place. There is NO instruction before children are placed on flying brooms, little to no supervision at most times, and Dumbledore knowingly lets Harry face "deadly" obstacles and a dangerous nemesis.
"'Well,' Hermione exploded, 'if he did - I meant to say - that's terrible - you could have been killed.'"AGREED. Not to mention the fact that Dumbly decides to hide a powerfully magical object that he clearly knows someone is after in a school while it is in session. I mean, what the heck is he thinking?? And then there's Hagrid, who allows two of his eleven-year old proteges to dispose of his
But! Neville! So maybe he belongs in Gryffindor after all, despite his suggestions otherwise. Rowling's going to pretty much forget about/make a joke of him for the next few books but here! He is fantastic! He takes on Crabbe and Goyle (okay, maybe that's more dumb than cowardly) and even stands up to the great HP himself! He is not actually successful in any of these endeavors, but he tries! And he is brave! And just wait for the end of the series when I will share with all of you my Alternate Ending!
|and he cleans up well too|
The Master Post
Sorcerer's Stone, Post the First
My original review