The Philosopher’s Stone

9¾ Reviews: The Sorcerer’s Stone

Since I was in 7th grade, I’ve been a massive Harry Potter fan. I can remember the exact moment I started reading the books and can honestly say that since that day, it’s changed my life. As dramatic as that sounds, it’s true. As Potterheads do, I rewatch the movies almost constantly, I cancel my plans for Harry Potter Weekend, I hum The Mysterious Ticking Noise, and can be found in my Gryffindor snuggie watching A Very Potter Musical/Sequel regularly. As much as I indulge in the wonders of Harry Potter, rereading the series can be rather tedious with a busy schedule. I’ve done it a few times when I was younger and usually quit around Goblet of Fire. This time, I’m determined to finish the series and reflect on it being almost ten years older than I was when I originally read it. If by some chance you haven’t read or even watched Harry Potter by now, I highly recommend doing so before reading this, as it will completely spoil all of the magic.

I finished rereading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone almost immediately after I had picked it up again. I was completely sucked into the magic all over again. It’s strange how a story you know so well can feel new every time you dive back into it. Harry Potter still seems to do that for me.

What I love about The Sorcerer’s Stone is its little adventures. Once you reach Order of the Phoenix, and even in Goblet of Fire, the little adventures are overshadowed by the main plot. The characters are older and have bigger things to worry about than the first quidditch match of the season. The Sorcerer’s Stone introduces both Harry and the reader to the world of magic. While everything is important and ties into the plot, it doesn’t feel as heavy as reading one of the later books. We feel like we’re learning about quidditch and dragons then suddenly there’s Voldemort. It’s a deceivingly light read that is actually full of action and adventure.

Adventures aside, The Sorcerer’s Stone is also just full of warmth. Watching Harry find his new home and where he fits in just feels good to read. Harry bonding with Ron over growing up overshadowed and poor, Harry learning about his parents and seeing them for the first time, and Hermione surprising the boys with her bravery and wit gives this book (and entire series) heart that I feel a lot of books lack. J.K. Rowling let us get attached without boring us with too many details and without shoving forced relationships down our throats.

Most of my favorite scenes that I found the most touching were with Hagrid. I guess I had forgotten just how much I love Hagrid because I felt like I was reading an entirely new character this time around. Hagrid probably has the biggest heart out of anyone in the series and that’s exactly what Harry needed coming from the Dursley’s care. In one of the last chapters we see Hagrid give Harry yet another gift. Hagrid had been collecting pictures of Harry’s parents from as many people as he could to give to him. If that doesn’t show heart, I don’t know what does.

There were many other things that stuck out to me this time. The biggest and most unsettling was how rude Harry and Ron are. I understand that Harry and Ron are still children and have been overshadowed their entire lives, but they really just came across as mean. The way they treated Hermione when she was standing up to them for leaving (much like what Neville was rewarded for) was quite upsetting. Once the trio became friends, this settled down a bit, but not entirely. Gryffindors are known for this type of obnoxious and rude behavior but I guess when I read this as a child myself, I never realized just how rude Harry and Ron were in this book.

I also noticed how goofy Dumbledore was throughout this book. The movies make Dumbledore seem extremely serious so I had forgotten how he really was. It was nice to forget the controversy about the character that comes out later and just enjoy Albus as the wacky headmaster we all loved who starts to get close to Harry.

As I said before, this book is deceivingly light. With little adventures like rescuing Hagrid’s Dragon, the overarching plot line doesn’t weigh down the story. There are a couple of little details in this book that are key to the later books that I never noticed before. It’s well known by Order of the Phoenix that Voldemort has a connection with Harry and often tries to communicate with him through dreams. What I didn’t realize was that Voldemort had been doing this since Harry’s first night at Hogwarts. By Order of the Phoenix we also know Snape is a master of Legilimency. The first mention of this came from The Sorcerer’s Stone when Harry gets the unnerving feeling that Snape can read minds.

This probably won’t shock you, but I love this book. This is the book that changed my opinion on reading entirely. I think there’s something in this book for everyone that will surely hook anyone into finishing the rest. How J.K. Rowling was able to create such a huge and sometimes dark series starting from such a fun read, I’ll never know. It really is like magic.