Like many people in my generation I grew up alongside a young wizard named Harry Potter. From ages seven to sixteen, I read and re-read and waited to finish reading J.K. Rowling’s masterful series. When you’ve re-read a book more than a dozen times, you get a bit attached to it and the minuscule details that create the complex world you swear shaped your young mind. And then there are these movies which, by the nature of their form, can never capture every tiny detail; and so maybe you get a little annoyed when watching them because they left out a favorite character—sure he wasn’t crucial overall, but he was a major player in one of your favorite scenes of book five and if he’s not going to be in the movie, well you’re just not going to watch it.
And hello! Way to cut out an important—ok, yes, fine, not crucial—character and world-building organization, namely S.P.E.W. House elves rights indeed.
Sorry… let’s get back on track. What I’m trying to say, is I never watched the Harry Potter franchise in its entirety because I would always end up grumbling in a corner, Kreature-like, about all the minutiae missed. Even I didn’t want to watch them with myself.
I know! So one day, I decided to sit down, shut up, and watch all the Harry Potter movies. The time seemed right. And you know what? They were amazing. They bring my favorite books to life in an exhilarating way–dare I compare it to riding bareback on a hippogriff?
So, if you’ve also been avoiding these delightful movies—or if friends avoid you when you attempt to watch them—here are a few suggestions for how to stop whining and enjoy the Harry Potter movies:
- Watch them long after your last re-read—you’ll remember fewer details and just enjoy how well the movies capture the overarching tone and storyline of the book
- Remind yourself it would be literally impossible and—let’s be honest, a bit too long—to include every bit of a book in its movie counterpart. But take heart in knowing the important scenes and nuances are well-preserved, like this one:
- Every time you want to point out an error or left out scene/character/line, eat a handful of popcorn. Now don’t talk with your mouth full, that’s just rude.
When all else fails, make sure you’re at least watching with some understanding friends, who won’t abandon you.
It may be tough, but I promise, they’re worth it.