Thursday, July 31

Favorite Scenes: Harry Potter Franchise

Harry Potter (both novels and films) was a huge part of my childhood; I grew up reading the books and watching the movies. It was a world of its own, and a world that I still gladly explore from time to time. I've never written birthday posts but when writing this, I thought, why not? So here's a list of my favorite scenes (one per film) to commemorate the day. As lists go, this is arranged by movie, and I went with scenes that not only do I love, but has an impact on the character or the turn of the film itself.

Harry and the Sorting Hat 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone 

Looking back, his conversation with the Sorting Hat is essential to what Harry would become himself. When he was whispering that he didn't want to be in the Slytherin House, the hat asked him once more before putting him in Gryffindor. That small scene was essential in Harry's life because despite his unfortunate circumstances (and that Voldemort's soul was in him), he chose the path for good. He could have followed Voldemort's example, and live his life in revenge and dark power, but he didn't. He carved his own path, and by not choosing Slytherin symbolizes his choice for good. * 

*I'm not saying Slytherin is bad, but it's basically the whole metaphor of choosing Voldemort (a Slytherin himself) and his path for greatness. 

Harry meets Tom Riddle through his journal. 
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 

While Tom Marvolo Riddle already gives off the evil vibe, with sucking Ginny's life force out of her, we get to catch a glimpse of how dark his soul was. Even at a young age, he was already up to no good. It shows that Voldemort has always favored the dark side, even when he was still under the tutelage of some of Hogwarts' noble professors. He has always been on the search for the ultimate power, and uses his talents and gifts for his benefit. 

Harry saves himself and Sirius Black from Dementors. 
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

Whether you think it's true or not, Harry has always been relying on his luck, in terms of the first two movies, when getting himself out of harm's way. This time, it's by his ability. It was through this scene that he was able to unlock his potential in terms of using his magic, that nothing was by pure chance, but it was through his will that he was able to surpass the challenge. 

Harry and Cedric reach for the cup at the same time. 
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

It was here that Harry experiences first hand the cruelty and darkness of Voldemort, as he (through Peter Pettigrew) takes the life of an innocent in front of Harry. Going for the cup together made the difference. Unfortunately for Voldemort and his cronies, (and to some extent, Harry), they underestimated Potter's personality. Of course he would share the reward, they are from the same school after all. If Harry was just a bit selfish (and it would have made sense, considering that he and Cedric Diggory liked the same girl, but Cedric got her first), it wouldn't have caused the casualty. Then again, losing Cedric might have been a nudge for Harry to witness the kind of power and ability his antagonist has. ** 

**The actor becomes a character that eventually rivals the franchise, if that's some kind of consolation. 

The death of Sirius Black
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 

The term 'family' can mean a lot of things to different people. It can be your close group of friends, your blood relatives, people that have mentored you or whom you have close relations with. While I think it can be justified that Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are Harry's family, it's still different to not be with your family (parents and siblings). Sirius Black was his only link left to that familial feeling *** he had; not only was Black the best friend of his father, but also stands as Harry's godfather, the man who should have been raising Harry in his parents' stead. Alas, their reunion was short-lived, as Bellatrix Lestrange has taken away his remaining family, losing his only connection to his parents. 

***I know the Dursleys are blood relatives, but they never treated Harry as family, so I don't think Harry considers them to be his as well. 

The death of Albus Dumbledore.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince 

Just to be clear, I chose the death scenes of the characters because not only are they heartbreaking to the audience, but are life changing to the character as well. Here, Harry loses the man who has been guiding him, his mentor, the Gandalf to his Frodo. Despite Harry having to fend off his life with his friends, it was only Dumbledore who knew to an extent what Harry was supposed to do, or how to stop Voldemort. In a way, as the 7th & 8th films reveal, Dumbledore was kind of similar with Voldemort - hungry and thirsty for power. However, when he saw the consequences to his actions, he stopped and began to repent for his doings by guiding young minds to choose the right path. Dumbledore has become a respected wizard, a man of wisdom, because he has experienced what could happen when more power is trusted to you, much more than one can handle. By losing Dumbledore, Harry was now, once again, alone - which now gives him the opportunity to release his potential. After all, he is the only one who now knows what should be done. 

Harry and Hermione dancing 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 

With all the deaths I've chosen, you would think I'll choose Dobby's death - which I've come close to choosing. Most of the grand, eventful scenes happens at the next movie, which leaves us with the storytelling parts as the first part. I would have also gone with Ron stabbing the locket, but this scene, no matter how awkward it first looked, was endearing. Ron had just left them, and Hermione was depressed about it, so Harry decided to cheer her up. Why? Because that's how he is. Because he's a good friend. Because he knows how big of a sacrifice he's taken from his friends, even if they were the ones who volunteered. Because that's the only thing he can do, to try and lift her spirits up, because if they were both going to be depressed about it, nothing was going to happen to them. 

Snape's memory montage
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 

Severus Snape has become one of the iconic and well-loved characters in the Harry Potter franchise, and credit should be given to Alan Rickman, the actor who has been embodying him for the past 8 movies. We've always known that Snape has it out for Harry and his friends ever since they entered Hogwarts, but it was through this memory that Snape's intentions have been explained. If not for him, Harry's family wouldn't have been targeted for the prophecy (it could have been Neville Longbottom), and it was through his love for Lily Potter that Snape has set out to protect Harry, even if he despised James Potter. It was such a dedication for love, that Harry was able to understand why all of that happened. Is it even possible to love Snape even more? 

Almost, if not all scenes I've mentioned have been Harry Potter-centric, but if choosing scenes alone, I would have placed Harry's first quidditch win, Hermione showing off her magic scenes during Charms class, Hermione punching Draco Malfoy, Fred and George Weasley flying out of Hogwarts with a bang, and Ron and Hermione's kiss, among other scenes. What were some of your favorite scenes?

6 comments:

  1. I love this post so much :) I too grew up with the books and films, and I haven't actually seen them for a while now. This post has tempted me to re-watch them all and create my own list!
    - Allie

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  2. Awesome post! I love all of these except that dancing scene from DH1. I actually hated that scene. I think my favorite shot from DH1 was probably Hermione with "mudblood" written on her arm. When Voldemort first opens his eyes in Goblet of Fire is another one that comes to mind, and of course Ron and Hermione's kiss in DH2.

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  3. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME post! I love HP more than anything because it made me the person I am today, and your picks are great! The dance in DHp1 was such a beautiful addition, I would've never believed it would work, because the vast majority of scenes that were added and that weren't in the books, were utter crap. Oh, but I would've had Hermione punching Draco Malfoy; and Fred and George Weasley flying out of Hogwarts with a bang in that list for sure, two of my favourite scenes. :D

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  4. Great idea for a post! I might poach it :P (all credit back here of course). Growing up with the series, it was like the end of days when there was finally no more films to come. They're not perfect, but still a childhood fave :)

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  5. Such a great list - I seriously need to do one myself but I don't know where I'd start..probably would have to have a marathon and pick the ones that jump out at me. I love that Harry and Hermione dance. Even if I would've liked some of the deleted scenes between Emma and Rupert to have remained in the DH Part 1, I do love that dance scene.

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