Welcome to a slightly different new feature at Booking in Heels; one that’s dedicated to the Richter-scale rows caused by various books and book-related concepts in the Heels household. And I’m not talking a mild discussion over a nice cup of tea during the adverts of Dancing on Ice. We’re talking about the batten-down-the-hatches-and-get-ready-for-a-long-Winter-cause-you-ain’t-going-nowhere arguments that usually culminate in tears, my hurling the book in question at Lewis’ head and/or us both texting everybody we know to see who’s right and the losing partner claiming that well, they must be stupid too. What can I say, we love each other but we’re not good at domesticity.
First up, we have the mother of all argument-causers. Harry Potter.
*there should be ominous music here, seriously*
We’re now at the point where any friend or family member that hears those words around us, instantly drops to the floor and plays dead, in the hope that their existence won’t be remembered and therefore be dragged into a hideous, bloody re-enactment of this argument. Klaxons sound when an unsuspecting third party mentions it and everybody hides as Hanna and Lewis whip round and instantly assume a fighting stance, ready to Do Battle.
It first kicked off when we saw Deathly Hallows: Part Two at the cinema. I hadn’t particularly wanted to go – I don’t like any of the others that much because I didn’t think they did justice to the books, but Lewis enjoyed them and so requested we attend. I agreed because, like when you see a dead rabbit on the road, some things are so awful you just can’t look away.
But you know what? It was alright actually. Obviously they’d missed out a lot of the smaller parts (like the scene with the family photos and Percy near the end – I loved that) but as a whole, disregarding the unfortunate existence of Emma Watson, it was pretty good. They got the atmosphere right, the tone, the characters… The only thing I didn’t like was the strange swishy, over-dramatic battle between Harry and Voldemort, but hey, I could look past that.
Lewis? Not so much. As I said, he liked all the other films more than I did, so he’s hardly being snobby. However, he does prefer the earlier ones as being more magicky (all technical terms are my own) because he says the later ones are pretentious and trying too hard to be adult. He loathed this one especially though. I can’t remember the exact quote, but I’m pretty sure J.K. Rowling would have an aneurysm if she heard.
So, we left the cinema and the ensuing argument started at quite literally the exact minute the lights turned on and I turned to him with tear-filled eyes and hands clasped in unspeakable glee. It lasted through the ten minute walk to the bus stop, during the fifteen minute bus ride, down the ten minute walk home and for a good half an hour after we got home. That’s more than an hour of arguing about Harry Potter, folks.
People always look at me slightly askance when they hear that our biggest argument to date was about Harry Potter, but it’s true. It could be because we’re so happy in our little snuggle nest of love that we simply don’t have big things to argument but… let’s just say that that’s not it, shall we?
We’re the kind of couple that would have two mules on the wedding cake, assuming we ever got to the Altar without stabbing each other in the first place. We’re stubborn. Reeeaaaally stubborn. And I love Harry Potter, so I absolutely point-blank would not let it go. Well. Except for the part at the bus stop where I flatly refused to speak cause hey, I’m a grown up y’all.
I’m sure the woman at the bus stop was only dissuaded from calling the Domestic Abuse Hotline when she gleefully edged closer to listen a bit more (as old ladies around strange arguing couples always do) and found that the word ‘Horcrux’ was occasionally snarled and decided that we were merely crazy, not abusive.
So, during this time we vehemently were discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of Harry Potter, as you do. Lewis has read up to The Prisoner of Azkaban and liked them, but got distracted by something else before The Goblet of Fire and never went back. Point is, he’s never read the book in question so he was claiming the film was bad, and therefore the book must be also.
He says the books are badly written. Not the prose exactly – it’s just that he thinks J.K. Rowling got so carried away with her success that she just rammed any old tripe onto paper and shoved it away to Bloomsbury. The ending to Deathly Hallows is anti-climactic and the entire Horcrux concept is pointless and trying to be too adult when they’re supposed to be children’s books.
Personally, I think the plot is very clever. Not all of it, obviously. It has its faults – look at the middle of the book where they wander around the tent aimlessly for ridiculously long length of time. But I like how it links back to previous books – like how the diary in Chamber of Secrets is relevant in the end and the basilisk’s teeth also make a reappearance. I think it shows planning and commitment to the whole story arc that she can relate the last book back to the all others.
Lewis claims that anybody could churn that out – relevance in later books is easily faked. If Harry used a spoon in Prisoner of Azkaban, it could easily later turn out to be The Spoon of Destiny, and it doesn’t prove she’s a good writer. He also has ranty issues with the relationships (but yeah, okay, I’ll give him that one), various deaths and unnecessary darkness.
I also love all the tiny little characterisation points, most of which don’t make it into the film. I think they show she’s a good writer. As examples, we have ‘NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH’ and the part where the three Houses all kind of snarl and point their wands at the Slytherins. Either of those will bring tears to my eyes and provoke that funny tight feeling in my stomach.
Not so Lewis, for he is a Manly Man (we watched Gnomeo & Juliet the other day – I flooded the basement with my tears while he… uh, laughed. If you don’t cry at that film, I’m sorry but You Have No Soul). So, as every argument among adults eventually does, it downgraded into:
L: She can’t write!
H: She can!
L: She can’t!
H: *cries* She can!
L: Are you stupid!?
H: I hate you!
During which much was resolved, naturally.
Eventually (and that’s a loooong ‘eventually,’ people) Lewis brought me a cup of tea and cautiously nudged it towards me, and I stopped sniffing pointedly into my tissue and edged a little more Lewis-wards, so we’re all good.