In the run up to my 30th birthday I compiled a list (geeks love a list after all!). It was a 30 before 30 list. It was laced with all manner a things from learning how to cook rice (I just cannot cook it and I don’t know why) to giving up smoking (now I am one of those really annoying ex-smokers, huzzah) but, there was one very epic task I set myself. It wasn’t for the faint-hearted; it required stamina, concentration, determination and a whole lot of caffeine. The ultimate Harry Potter marathon. I would watch every movie, back to back, in one sitting.
It is imperative that you know that I love Harry Potter. The word love doesn’t sound enough when one describes its feelings for H-Pots. I am a potterhead-loud and proud (please don’t confuse that with pot-head, which is a very different thing!)
I am terrible for getting ideas that sound great in my head but don’t materialise that way. So – in my head- the marathon was a great idea. Eight movies, 2 hours per movie, 2x8 is 16 so 16 hours- easy peasy.
It’s not 16 hours. The shortest movie – Deathly Hallows part 2 is 2 hours 10 minutes. The longest – Chamber of secrets – 2 hours 40 minutes. This was going to be a long ass day.
I am so rock and roll that I am usually in bed by 10pm so I thought start them nice and early so by 6:20am I was up, tea in hand and Philosophers stone began. I was filled with prickling excitement about the adventure the day would bring-much like Harry felt when Hagrid scoops him up to platform 9 and ¾
Oh how I wish Hagrid would’ve beaten down my door and told me that I was a witch at eleven, I would’ve made an excellent witch- not Hermione level Maybe Ginny Weasley level.
The first movie has the best one liners out of the whole series along with the great double entendre of “mount it and grip it tightly” (flying lesson) and the epic “give it here Malfoy or I’ll knock you off your broom!” (Ah, child actors!). There are many a happenings that don’t make any sense when you know the entire story like how are they allowed to do the spells on Hogwarts Express when they are underage- in Order of the Phoenix; Harry is expelled for doing underage magic. At one point Ron has his tie just draped around his neck, McGonagall would never stand for this! How did they get Fluffy into Hogwarts without anyone seeing this giant three headed beast dog? What the hell happens to Professor Flitwick? Mostly I just want to know what is wrong with Draco Malfoy’s eyebrows? They have a bloody mind of their own. They dance around his face like that Dairy Milk advert. In the words of Hermione- what an idiot.
On to Chamber of Secrets- This film sucks in so many ways. It’s just so long and they are still so young. If it wasn’t for the great Kenneth Branagh playing Gilderoy Lockhart this film would be on the tad boring side. Draco’s eyebrows are off again insulting everyone in their own way- this movie exposes us to the awful word Mudblood-oh how I hate writing or saying that word. It is interesting to see an incredible event of Harry saving Ginny from certain death unknowing that he would one day wed her and spawn little potleys. You can see in her innocent eyes and her scarlet cheeks that she has a crush on Harry from day 1 so it was inevitable.
Just before I started Prisoner of Azkaban fate intervened because my Deathly Hallows leggings arrived (by owl post obbbbbviously). I put them on, grabbed my cardboard Snape, made a fresh pot of tea and sucker punched the next two movies right in the chops.
Order of the Phoenix started and I hit a wall- I wanted a nap. I felt gross from sitting on my arse all day watching TV. I hadn’t done this since my student days nearly ten years ago. I felt itchy and restless. I did a bit of ironing and a bit of yoga but then I was saved by the deliciously devilish Dolores Umbridge. What a ghastly creature she is. Mirroring the pigs in Animal farm and obviously in reference to some questionable leaders like Stalin, her desire for absolute order and pure bloodism is disturbing to say the least. I love to hate her. She is an utterly perfect baddie. I even find her more threatening than Voldemort. The last half hour of this movie is just incredible. Sirius, the fight between Dumbledore and Voldemort, perfection. I had gone completely mental at this point so when my husband arrived home from work he found me not only sat next to cardboard Snape but, to make him laugh, I was dressed as Harry. He didn’t find it as funny as I did, he just kept muttering “you’re nearly 30!” he doesn’t understand me!
Now was the moment I was dreading. Half-blood prince. God, I HATE this movie. It’s my favourite book so I was going to be super critical anyway but how J.K. let them make this monstrosity is beyond me. It doesn’t set up the horcruxes properly; Snape being the half-blood prince is so badly done. The fight in the astronomy tower, Dumbledore’s death, Draco’s story, everything is just SO wrong. I was in a mood and just moaned the whole time it was on my screen.
The end was near. All we had left was Deathly Hallows part 1 and 2, which is really just one giant movie. I was ready to help Harry defeat baldy Voldy, I cried over the many deaths (why Hedwig? He’s just an owl, though nothing hurts like Fred) I cheered when Hermione and Ron finally mac out. I love that J.K. brings Dumbledore down from his pedestal and makes him more human, we all have flaws and I think if Grindelwald had returned Dumbledore’s attraction then Voldemort wouldn’t be the only dark wizard to have graced the wizarding world.
Then it happens. The truth of Severus Snape is revealed and my god, it is done well. I sob into Cardboard Snape (whilst shielding his eyes) he loved Harry after all because he belonged to Lily and he loved Lily, after all this time.
The final battle begins, there’s wands a waving and spells a shooting you don’t know who’s fighting whom, how is it going to end? What’s going to happen? Then out of nowhere comes a slow motion Neville, like a silver wielding gallant knight, and chops off the head of Nagini. What a legend. I always love an underdog.
We were there with them. Me and cardboard Snape. I felt there triumph and their exhaustion. We had all been in a battle after all. Nearly 23 hours later it was over. My limbs weary, my eyelids heavy, I bade cardboard Snape a goodnight and slinked up to bed. My husband stirred and said “well done babe, can’t believe you stayed up”
“It was just the best night ever, I think I may watch Prisoner of Azkaban again tomorrow”
“You really want to watch it again?”
My reply before I passed out – “Always”