Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Reread

It’s been over 5 years since I last reread the series. I not that long ago went to the Warner Brothers Studio in London on the Harry Potter Studio tour, and a group of friends decided to start a reread, so why not.

Hogwarts Express - Taken at The Harry Potter Studio Tour
Hogwarts Express – Taken at The Harry Potter Studio Tour

Rereading is such a joy. It really makes clear just how much thought was put into the series. There is SO much foreshadowing and little hints about future plot points, even right from the beginning. And it’s these details which make doing a reread rewarding. Like the fact that twice Harry has the horrible feeling that Snape could read minds. Well, he can!

And there is so much detail that I have forgotten, and I keep having thoughts that I never had previously about the books. Often they are picking up plot holes which are quite numerous, but it’s not that these holes make the series worse, they just make me enjoy it further. Because some of them give you great freedom to try and imagine how the hole is fixed or what else was going on. JK’s world is so enormous, that even with Pottermore, there is so much left unexplored, and so many questions that are still left unanswered.

Like how did the Dursleys get off the island after Hagrid and Harry let on the boat? And would Voldemort have been visible on the Maurader’s Map at all? Or much more importantly, what about old Peter Pettigrew (and does Scabbers being a human explain why Ron couldn’t use that spell to turn him yellow?).

Harry and Ron on the Hogwarts Express taken on the Harry Potter Studio Tour
Harry and Ron on the Hogwarts Express taken on the Harry Potter Studio Tour

It was really nice to go back to be beginning, and see how it all started. To see Ron and Harry’s instant friendship, and how it took a while to warm to Hermione. I’m quite glad that I still liked reading it so many years after I last read it. It’s a good testament to the quality of these books.

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5 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Reread

  1. I read this for the first time when I was 11, about to turn 12. I know that for a fact because I remember when Harry reflected “Still, you weren’t 11 everyday” – that made me feel sad because I knew that soon I would never be 11 again. My mother told me that she found it disappointing to re-read because it’s basically just a children’s book and she felt it was the weakest in the series. When I told my grandmother this, she said she enjoys children’s literature and liked the first book because it was her introduction to the series and she had in fact used it to introduce many children to the joys of reading when she taught in schools.

    I seem to remember you said somewhere it was one of the least of the series, too, so I’m glad to see you appreciate it more. It did do a good job introducing me to the series and when I was 11-12 I got very into it. I don’t know if re-reading it would benefit for me, since I have a pretty good memory of it and I haven’t finished the series yet.

    And FYI, I think the reason the spell wouldn’t work to turn Scabbers yellow is because the spell was bullshit Fred and George gave Ron as a joke. Voldemort probably would not have been visible on the Marauder’s Map because his identity had so fully merged with Quirrell’s he would not have registered as a separate entity.

  2. There are actually very few hints towards Scabbers being Peter Pettigrew in this book, and he’s basically ignored in Chamber of Secrets. However, we do get one clue: Scabbers suddenly biting Goyle seems very strange when he has otherwise been a very tame quiet rat and hasn’t been directly provoked by Goyle. It makes more sense when we imagine Peter Pettigrew listening angrily to Crabbe and Goyle’s taunting and perhaps being reminded of Severus Snape and other enemies he had during his own childhood days at Hogwarts, then taking advantage of being a rat to lash out at him.

    1. Yeah that does make sense. I do love just how many theories and new perspectives can come about even so many years later. One that shocked me recently was this (unfortunately couldn’t find the original thing).

      I think that it definitely is the most childish, and probably the weakest, but I still really appreciated reading it again!

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