I am proud to reveal my review of the three new releases from J.K. Rowling, Short Stories from Hogwarts. I’ve broken down my reviews per book and be warned:
THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD.
Though these books are not stories and are actually the history of the characters/places/objects from the series we’ve all come to know and love, I don’t want anyone upset that I ruined these three new releases for them. That said – brace yourself!
This one went way in depth on Umbridge, Quirrel, Slughorn and Peeves, as well as details on Potions, Cauldrons and other things.
– The Umbridge chapter made me hate her even more. How anyone ever could have been mean to our queen, JKR is beyond me, and the fact that Umbridge is a lumped up version of all their horrible qualities just makes me want to punch her even more then I already did.
– Slughorn is cool. But like dude. Why you gotta be playing favorites all the time? But actually his back story really helped to fill in the gaps about why he was on the run when Dumbledore and Harry found him in the 6th book. His guilt is also much more heavily detailed and why he was so keen to avoid revealing his original memory/conversation with Tom Riddle.
– Peeves is annoying. Nothing really new with him except a bit of his history at Hogwarts, though I genuinely wish she had mentioned why he was left out of the movies. I felt like he was a big role in the books and skipping him in the movies always bothered me.
– Quirrel, okay. So he was the big change for me. I hated him. I always thought that he was this horrible, dark wizard who allowed himself to be given to Voldemort as an act of dedication. He was really just this awkward dude who wanted to be able to stand up for himself and thought Voldemort could teach him that, in addition to him claiming fame in finding the disembodied, former dark lord. It sucks that he was taken over and basically made a slave of Voldemort, but obviously he can’t have thought that he would have been able to resist him either. But he did think that for some ridiculous reason and he got himself a slow and awful death. Sucks to be him, but at least now I kind of pity how he got into that situation to begin with.
So holy crap.
– I just wanted to cry reading about Lupin’s childhood. He was just so sweet his whole life and I just love him so much and wanted to hug him and ahh. I definitely wanted to know more about the three marauders pulled off becoming animagi at such young ages but of course that was skipped again. It pained me so much to read about why Lupin was bitten and I can only imagine the incredible guilt his father had to live with.
– I feel like McGonagall had her story published before. All of it was pretty familiar and I was kinda disappointed with what was included about her. I absolutely love her but I just felt like there could have been more we didn’t know that ought to have been included.
– TRELAWNEY WAS AN ALCOHOLIC. I laughed. I’m sorry, I could but I can totally see it.
– Also I love Kettleburn. I could picture Hagrid and him going on lil’ adventures for dangerous creatures. He sounds adorable and I wish so much that he had been in the books a bit!
– So the Hufflepuff Common Room sounds absolutely amazing and adorable and cozy and I want my house to look just like it. Also, dancing and waving cacti?! All I pictured was Groot and I smiled instantly. HOW CUTE IS THAT?!
– I absolutely love the concept of how Platform 9 and 3/4 came to exist and that other in between platforms also exist to take you to other Wizarding locations. It definitely clarifies as well, knowing that there are a few Ministry employees dressed as muggles at the start and end of term to handle any nosey muggles that are curious about the hoards of people disappearing. Though if that was the case, where were they in Harry’s second year when Dobby blocked the barrier?
– I also felt like there could have been a LOT more detail regarding where the Marauders gained the ability to create such a ridiculously advanced piece of magic that is the Marauders’ Map. On the other hand I was also let down regarding how they figured out how to become Animagi at the age of…what, in their 3rd or 4th year? Crazyyyy.
So the Time Turners. Now I’m thrown off. If you’ve read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child you understand why but just in case….
SPOILERS OF HP AND THE CURSED CHILD AHEAD.
Okay for real, WHY WERE ALBUS AND SCORPIUS ABLE TO TRAVEL BACK 30 YEARS. I can’t. The Cursed Child just has so many plot holes….I know my original review was nothing but praise and I loved the story, don’t get me wrong. But it’s just not melding with any of the other books. And these short stories were an ample opportunity for JKR to explain stuff that happened in TCC and make us understand and instead it just contradicts it all even more and I’m just annoyed.
END SPOILERS. CONTINUATION OF THE UNRELIABLE GUIDE REVIEW.
– I was a bit disappointed in the ghost chapters, as I was hoping for some information on ghosts that weren’t as in the spotlight. I was happy with the details she gave regarding ghosts in the muggles world and why they cannot answer questions about death, so I did like that bit. And Nearly Headless Nick’s song about what happened to him was actually perfect and I wish it hadn’t been cut from the book. I can picture Ron’s reaction perfectly.
– Sir Cadogan’s story was unexpected and I’m thrilled it was included. A bit of insight on another character that was unfortunately left out of the films, but added to the books was much appreciated.
– I also loved the details regarding the background of the Sword of Gryffindor – I thought it was really interesting that the history of the Goblins and how much the coveted the sword was the reasoning behind Griphook swiping it from Harry at Gringotts was really interesting to me as well.
– I also really liked the explanation of how the Chamber of Secrets was hidden extensively for centuries. It clarified a lot for me.
Overall this series was really detailed and gave me so much more insight into different parts of the story as a whole. I was blown away at points, saddened and laughed as well. I had hoped that these would contain actual fictional stories regarding the characters/items mentioned but their history was much appreciated and adds a lot to the original series. I am really looking forward to taking this knowledge and re-reading the series with all these extras in the back of my mind.
If you’re a massive Potterhead (like myself) and pride yourself on knowing everything there is there is to know about the Wizarding World, you need these in your life. Now excuse me while I wait patiently for someone to decide to release them as physical copies.