Which book is the most enjoyable reread as an adult in your opinion and why?
By - widowsangel12
Order of the Phoenix, I was too young (sort of) to appreciate what the book actually meant, the build up to Voldy coming back, the tension was kind of lost on me, Dumbledore working out what was really going on with Harry and why he was dreaming these dreams, the pain caused by sirius dying, but as I reread it when I got older I was amazed by how much I thoroughly enjoyed it! Completely changed my opinion on the book! Book number 6 will always be a fave though, give me more of voldemorts story any day!
I loooove OOTP for how long it is. I want every HP book to be that long, I don’t even care if it’s filled with fluff, I just love being in that world.
Order of the Phoenix is my favourite, especially because it has some great Dumbledore parts. That book basically built up the tension for 6 and 7
When I read this to my son it always brings up a discussion on the nature of power, corruption, and revolution. :)
Same, as a child I hated it. Sirius and Molly are two of my favorite characters. But I understand I really appreciate their difference. To me it symbolizes my chaotic rebellious inner child side as well as my protective mama side. Completely different prospective.
Pre-chaos, I have really loved CoS during my past couple of relistens. Still innocent with that sense of magic, fun mystery, Lockhart is aggravating but hilarious.
Post-chaos, I *love* HBP. Spending so much time with Dumbledore and learning about Voldemort's past is so fascinating to me.
I read them all as one giant book.
Same it’s so odd to me when people ask about books separately
I like the first and third book for different reasons.
The first one: reminds me of being 11, going to school, making friends etc, easy read, wholesome.
The third one: you get glimpses of them as fully developed characters before all the chaos and stuff.
Goblet of Fire — the magical world opens up considerably. You are suddenly inundated with windows into the adult wizarding experience: you meet witches and wizards who aren’t parents of/connected to established characters, and parents have a clear life and interests and responsibilities beyond their character children. The concept of magic outside of the UK is captivating to the adult imagination (this adult, anyway!). The devastating loss of Cedric is felt on a new, arguably deeper level—from the perspective of a parent, perhaps, or at least from one who can recognize just how young and full of fragile promise he was (as a kid reader, he was impossibly mature and cool and practically an adult!).
Even the caretaker Frank — surviving a lifetime of PTSD and chronic pain and bullying from his neighbors, just to die protecting the property he loved, at the hands of a cruel and horrifying and incomprehensible being — good lord, what a powerful reread.
Prisoner of Azkaban, hands down. I’ve probably listened to the audio books of that and GoF the most out of all of them.
'Prisoner of Azkaban' - because it's the only one where we REALLY fear for Harry's life, where we see EXACTLY the levels of power the Ministry can bring to bear if they're truly afraid of someone (really, Wizarding Britain was FAR more terrified of Sirius - and Bellatrix, also - than they were of Voldemort, based upon their reactions and responses to his escape and his actions.
It's also the first book where we truly get to feel just how horrible it is to be Harry, with no one to speak for him or love him as a parent and the ramifications of that clearly shown for the first time (the Dursleys are horrible beforehand, without doubt, but to see how so much for him is dismissed or kept from him simply because he doesn't have a guardian that truly cares for him - McGonagall's hypocrisy is on full display, knowing full well that she helped deliver Harry to people who treat him as such and still won't let him go to Hogsmeade). Then, we get the first truly harsh kicks to the soul in that Harry gets a hope spot with Sirius asking if he wants to leave the Dursleys and move in with him, his godfather, only to have that taken away - and then, having Remus removed as DADA instructor because of the ever-bitter, ever-petty Snape (which means another part of his extended family is taken away once more).
'PoA' is my favorite book (and movie) because this is where the darkness begins to descend, but it's not because of Voldemort and his evil - it's because of the evils in the worlds that Harry is forced to live in, and the fact that life still goes on with people expecting for Harry to be a hero nonetheless. We get to see the start of Fudge as a textbook ineffective fop of a political fool, manipulated by fear, ignorance, a need to blind himself to the truth and a love of sacks of gold from Malfoy Sr. - in other words, why the government can't be expected to help when things get sticky in the Wizarding World.
(Also as a side-note, this book also gives me one of my favorite headcanons: that when he was a baby, Harry referred to Sirius in his Animagus form as 'Pa'foo', and rode around on his back. That has to be one of the cutest things ever.)
They were more terrified of Voldemort, as Fudge tried to suppress all information about him coming back.
You just proved my point. Fudge was more terrified of losing the illusion of peace, happiness and getting bribes to allow purebloods free reign than of the actual idea of Voldemort's return. Yes, Fudge tried to suppress the very idea of Voldemort's return and Voldemort is terrifying - but the Ministry under Fudge lost their collective effing minds when Sirius escaped, to the point that they told Her Majesty's Government about him, what he did and had them let the news of Sirius' escape be known on the mundane news nets.
Also, look at what happened at the end of OPTP/the start of HBP. Voldemort's confirmed to have returned, he's started up open warfare AND some of those attacks have affected mundanes & been reported on by the mundane news nets - but you NEVER see anything in the Ministry's OR Her Majesty's Government's response to Voldemort's return that matched the sheer terror they demonstrated upon Sirius' escape.
Also, one more thing. Voldemort is known for many horrible things, including his love of the Killing Curse. Sirius is known for three things: betrayal of the Potters, being the only person to escape Azkaban (yes, because Barry Jr. doesn't count, as Barry Sr. BROKE him out - there's a difference, as Sirius did it on his own)... and for killing thirteen people with a single curse. From the way EVERYONE reacts to that fact, whether telling or hearing it, that is apparently a very rare and terrifying level of ability that not even Voldemort can match... and another reason why Sirius was considered to be by the Wizarding public what Barry Jr. was all along - Voldemort's true right-hand man, and with Lucius, Bella, Rookwood and Snape, one of his true lieutenants. Barty Jr. was his most devoted, Rockwood his most intelligent, Lucius his money-man, Bella was his enforcer, and Snape was his best 'inside man'. If Sirius was a DE, he'd have taken Bella and probably Lucius' spots as well - and would have already taken Snape's place, were he actually guilty.
Finally - as I mentioned in a different post - there's a FAR different response to Sirius by everyone as a direct result of him as a threat to Harry's safety. Yes, they're afraid for Harry because of Voldemort - but they're straight-up fucking TERRIFIED that Sirius will get his hands on Harry. It's so bad that Ron, with a messed-up leg, puts himself in front of the man to willingly sacrifice himself and save Harry. THAT'S how scary Sirius is. (It's also easily Ron's finest moment. Too bad he shat all the good karma he earned with that selfless action away a few month later on Halloween.)
P.S. - it was WRONG for TPTB to take that moment away from Ron and give it to Hermione in the film. Filmmakers who do adaptations of novels, I have a suggestion for you: 'If you have to lessen one character to improve the liability of another, then you're not good at your job or you have an agenda that shouldn't be at play in your adaptation of the work, because you're not being true to the spirit of said work.' I've said it before - NOT a Ron Weasley fan - but he has good qualities while Hermione has some bad ones. Show them both, and let the audience see that you can be a hero while still being a human being with flaws.
(We REALLY should have seen Hermione's whole 'S.P.E.W.' thing from the books on film, to show that oh, she wasn't the paragon the movies make her into. Hey, I liketh me some 180-proof Emma Watson, but a few actual mistakes by the character in later films would have also been inspirational for young women to see - as it shows that you can be wrong, make mistakes and yes, people will try to use those against you, but you can still make it through and succeed. Oh, yes. Would it have been TOO MUCH to show in the film version of 'The-Epilogue-That-Should-Not-Have-Been-Made-In-ANY-Medium' that Hermione was a higher-up in the Ministry (or that Ginny was a international Quidditch celebrity), instead of making them both seem like they were just housewives sending their kids off to school? That's just a personal irk of mine; Harry and Hermione would have been heading right off to work after Kings Cross, so Harry and Hermione would have been dressed for work, and we'd have noticed the bodyguards both had. They're both high ups in the DMLE and members of the Golden Trio, so yeah, they're both sporting security details.
Okay... that meandered far off the cobblestone trail, didn't it?
Yes but that came from knowing how much Voldemort’s return would terrify people.
Which is why they SHOULD have grown a pair and spoken up right away. This, right here - it illuminates two points that have been said for some time about the state of Wizarding Britain: (1.) because they can use magic for damn near everything, they have let their critical thinking skills atrophy, and (2.) they're sheep, who follow the loudest voices wherever they may lead and change their direction on a dime when someone leaps up and scares them.
I mean, until the very end of the series, you NEVER see more than twenty Death Eaters in a place at the same time, and EVERYONE has a wand with some level of DADA training at O.W.L. level. There's something about massed fire, when delivered in sufficient quantities, that takes down even the strongest shields (or as Tom Clancy put it, 'In the eternal battle between warhead and armor - warhead always wins...'). Why the Hell didn't masses of people pour out of every shop on Diagon Alley and just start pouring stunners, blasters and cutters into the group of DE's that showed up to kill and terrorize. 'But they'll just use Fiendfyre?' Oh, right. Fight for your right to live as you want and you want your children to have the right to, not how somebody else tells you that you have to live.
Besides - if they were THAT terrified of Voldemort, they'd leave the country. They weren't terrified of Voldemort's rule - they were afraid of Voldemort's reign affecting them personally. There's a difference - and after all, despite all of their 'kill all the mudbloods' riff, they never would have. After all - its not as if they were going to clean the streets, staff the shops and lower Ministry positions, deliver the foods and drink, print the newspaper, do the news on the WWN, and a thousand more 'essential jobs' that society needs to keep going - and the elites need to enjoy their positions. (This, BTW, is part of why Umbridge went to prison for life. Voldemort would have killed a few muggleborn, but he understood what I mentioned above - that what you REALLY want is a sorting society that you control from the top, with just an occasional bleeding to remind people of what could happen. Umbridge was crazy and wanted to wipe muggleborns out. Besides the fact that you can't wipe out Muggleborns unless you wipe out all Muggles, the fact that she wanted to wipe them out meant that you couldn't make a deal with her, because she was too crazy to see the big picture.)
That's why Fudge was terrified. He didn't want the society that he was on top of to change, because he knew he'd never return and would be less than 'the little people', once they all knew... and then, he'd be useless to the wealthy purebloods who used him to live more comfortable lives. He failed to realize that had he spoken up, what Dumbledore said would have proven true and he'd have been lauded for warning the world and preparing for the fight. Now, he's remembered as Dumbledore also warned - as the bumbling, criminal fool who allowed Voldemort to succeed in his goal for a time by conquering Wizarding Britain.
That’s not how governments operate.
It is in Wizarding Britain.
POA takes me back to being a 9yo kid discovering the books for the first time and remains may favorite to this day. Enjoyment through an adult lens has shifted to OOTP. The emotion, the PTSD (that in my teenage years I rolled my eyes at and referred to as teen angst Harry), and the general mood really strike me as an adult. It used to be one of my least favorites, though.
PoA and OotP both do a really great job of immersing you in the Wizarding World and giving more living breathing moments beyond just the main plot. Phoenix definitely has some filler but it also gives the characters and story a lot of room to just *breathe* (Grimmauld Place chapters, Hogsmeade, everything Fred and George get up to, etc) despite facing their biggest challenges yet.
I love the DH I thinks it’s a culmination of a 7 year journey and ties the story up perfectly 🥰
Also it’s so thrilling. There’s so much action happening; Harry being evacuated from Privet Drive, the wedding, the Ministry heist, the camping (I actually love that part, it’s so comfy in a way lol), Godric’s Hollow, visiting Xeno Lovegood, Malfoy Manor, the Gringotts heist and the Battle of Hogwarts. It’s like a book made entirely of climaxes.
And at the same time the characters go through super interesting developments. Harry struggling with how little he knows about dumbledore, Harry realising how much Hermione has done for him, Ron realising that he can’t just leave, Neville finally becoming a leader. I think it’s a fantastic book.
I think Goblet of Fire. I always start with that one when I’m re-reading. It feels to me like that’s the point where the story changes from “young adult” to “adult”.
Why do you start with that one? Isn’t that weird?
I just do, I’m not sure why.
I enjoy the 5th so much more now. As an adult, unfair dice rolls come your way all the time. You get to watch Harry deal with that. As a teenager, I just remember hating how hard this year was for Harry.
Deathly Hallows, it’s got a lot of coarse language.
The sixth! As a kid, it was always just a transition from the fifth (my favorite) to the seventh (my second favorite) but as an adult I realize how exciting and heart-warming it is! Getting to see Romione/Hinny develop, the mystery of what Draco is up to, if he and Snape are actually trust-worthy (they’ve been suspected so many times and Harry’s ALWAYS been wrong about his suspicions until now), not to mention some really cool lore stuff explored by Harry and Dumbledore. Hard to say it’s my new favorite, but definitely the one I’ve been returning to the most recently
PoA is the most fun read to me. Just the right mix of fun and opening up more of the wizard world and mystery but still not too dark. HBP is my overall favorite though. From beginning to end just a great page turning read packed with action and suspense and history and mystery. You feel the effects from the previous book and the build to the last one. DH is a classic for being the last one but knowing there's not another book after that one makes each page turn bittersweet. To me though I have to re-read the whole series. It's so good beginning to end but I do look forward to certain books more than others.
Order of the Phoenix!
Oh my... the last 200 or so pages I couldn’t put the book down! The tension and suspense was incredible. I absolutely loved reading that book. I also love every part where Harry and Dumbledore are together no matter what book. I just find that I don’t want the chapters they are together to end.
Goblet is the most fun to listen to (thanks Jim Dale), Order is my favorite because shit gets REAL in it, and I think HBP is probably the best written of the 7; it feels she knew exactly how to weave it and was at the height of her craft.
PoA because as a kid, my little tadpole brain could not understand how the time travel worked for the life of me. Now as an adult, it's one of my favorite executions of time travel in a story.
Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s such a good read to take you back to what it was like in your youth. The hint of nostalgia coupled with a story of those who came before the golden trio. It’s much like being told a story about your parents and their friends during school. Except your parent friend didn’t betray them to a dark wizard.
HBP for sure. Although I have appreciated OOTP more now, because it is such a good display of the division that was beginning in the wizarding world. The arguing and division was originally just teenage angst to me and used to drive me mad. After rereads as an adult, it is a much better picture of the division that a force like Voldemort causes even among friends. He didn’t even need to be in the open to cause distrust, secrecy and confusion in the world.
HBP still takes the cake though. Great lore and story progression in it, with a great balance of life in Hogwarts. Brings in the best parts of 1-3 (life in hogwarts) and mixes it with the best parts of 4-7 (Voldemort story).
When I was younger, loved GoF and POA but there’s too many plotholes for me to enjoy them as much now, not sure if that’s from age or just too many rereads.