Yesterday I watched all 8 Harry Potter movies in a row. My roommates and I have been talking about doing it for well over a year now, and finally, on January 4, 2014, the stars aligned and we committed to spending over 19 straight hours in the magical world of Harry Potter. What follows are the notes I took throughout the day.
I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.
6: 30 a.m. Saturday morning – My alarm goes off and I’m immediately angry. My eyes won’t open and I briefly contemplate abandoning the mission altogether. Being the one put in charge of waking everyone up comes with a lot of responsibility. If my strength fails me now, I let everyone down. What kind of man would I be if I let a few extra hours of shut-eye tempt me to abandon my dreams. I get up to take a shower because I want to start off clean.
6:41 – I wake up my roommates Kyle and Hunter by shouting “Happy Christmas, Harry!”
6:54 – Begin Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (“Philosopher’s Stone” if you’re reading across the pond.)
7:09 – Hagrid utters those life-altering words that we all long to hear: “You’re a wizard, Harry.” This would be considered the “call to adventure” stage of Harry’s journey according to Joseph Campbell’s monomyth.
7:16 – It’s kind of an unfair dig at bankers for Rowling to make them goblins.
7:26 – If I were Harry I would be so frustrated with Hagrid for not explaining Platform 9 3/4. How is a wizard raised by a muggle family supposed to have any frame of reference for this.
7:35 – Ah, our first introduction to Draco Malfoy. Little does Harry know how much this boy’s existence will impact his life. What I love about this is how Harry immediately tells Malfoy off when he talks down to Ron. Fierce loyalty. No new friends.
7:52 – Kyle is asleep and I shake him to wake him up. My eyelids are heavy. Feel myself fading. Beginning to regret this.
8:07 – After the trio defeats the troll, Professor McGonagall awards them points. It seems a little unethical for a professor who is the head of a house to award members of their house points. Surely there are rules against this.
8:24 – It is Christmas! Harry opens up the invisibility cloak. Ron tells him that they are rare. But isn’t there only one? And it’s 1/3 of the deathly hallows. Does being this close to something that he grew up hearing about in fairytales not inspire him to tell Harry the tale of the three brothers? How can this be? These are the things I’ll ask God when I die.
8:30 – What would you see if you looked in the mirror or Erised? I would see myself in a cabin in Maine.
8:34 – Hunter is dead asleep. I’m talking REM cycle. Goodnight, sweet prince.
8:48 – “Neville. He turned into a good-looking bloke.” – Hunter
I guess he woke up at some point.
9:15 – This is when they are announcing who won the House Cup. The Great Hall is decorated in Slytherin colors. But in a last minute display of blatant and unapologetic favoritism, Dumbledore awards Gryffindor enough points to just barely edge out Slytherin. He calls for a change of decorations. Now, I am in no way a Slytherin supporter. But I have to admit, that is extremely tacky of Dumbledore to allow the Hall to be decorated in their honor when he knows he is going to let Gryffindor win. That is some next level bullshit.
9:18 – The first movie finishes. My roommate Jay has made a small mountain of bacon and I’m grateful. I eat one of the best fried egg sandwiches I have ever eaten. We are gaining energy and remembering why we wanted to accept this challenge in the first place.
9:33 – Begin Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
9:35 - Daniel Radcliffe’s voice is noticeably deeper. Puberty: a magic unlike any other.
9:45 – I want my daughter to be just like the ultra-awkward redheaded preteen Ginny Weasley.
10:00 – Our DVD is scratched. Trying to switch to Apple TV.
10:03 – Disaster averted. Onward!
10:06 – Perhaps my favorite line in any Harry Potter movie:
10:30 - Temporary high from breakfast has faded. Reality sinking in. Having a difficult time keeping eyes open. Stella (our dog) is snuggling closer to me, almost taunting me while she sleeps peacefully.
11:08 - Kyle and I take these awful little espresso shots. The struggle is real.
11:16 – Hunter is diligently reading GQ :( feel betrayed.
11:31 – Kyle disappears to go “find some thread.” Part of me suspects that he is trying to quietly abort our mission.
11:36 – Kyle returns, and indeed, he has sewing materials. Trust restored.
11:45 - While Harry is saving Ginny in the Chamber of Secrets, he has no idea that he is saving his future wife/the mother of his children. This is one of those times that knowing the full story makes a moment even more meaningful.
11:53 – Stella sneezed in Hunter’s face, and he just giggled. Slowly losing our minds.
11:58 – We are coming to the end of the second movie. I guess I’m confused because Lucius Malfoy is so obviously up to no good. Dumbledore even insinuates that he knows that Lucius is the one who gave Ginny the diary of Tom Riddle. Is this not against the wizarding laws? Is there no investigative wizard team that can produce enough evidence against this clearly evil man to throw him into Azkaban? I hate injustice. I don’t understand :(
12:01 - We are taking a quick break. I grab an apple and settle in for the long haul. Thankful to have the first two movies behind us.
12:05 – Begin Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
12:20 – Hunter made cinnamon rolls and everything about today immediately seems better.
12:26 – Every time someone says “Sirius Black” I think of my pal’s band Cereus Bright.
12:33 – This is the first film in which Michael Gambon plays Dumbledore. Richard Harris, the actor who plays Dumbledore in the first two films, sadly passed away. This is not a popular sentiment usually, but I actually prefer the new Dumbledore. The first one is perfect at playing the wise old wizard, but I could never picture him doing things like (SPOILER ALERT!) going to the cave to get the horcrux.
12:40 – “I don’t think any of us would actually be friends with Hermione. She’s like a nursing major. So many books.” – Kyle
I’m not sure what this means because I do indeed have friends who are nursing majors, but I think it’s funny so I agree.
12:53 – I get so frustrated with McGonagall when she won’t let Harry go to Hogsmeade because he doesn’t have the proper permission slip signed by his parents or guardian. She knows his parents are dead. And she knows his muggle guardians are awful. And she knows that Harry saved the school from the basilisk LAST YEAR. Yet she won’t budge. Bureaucracy.
1:31 – This just happened and everyone falls in love with Hermione:
1:42 – “Prisoner of Azkaban is almost over! We are moving right along. We will be done in no time!” – something I just thought before realizing we have 5 more movies after this one.
1:52 – Hunter has to go to work soon, but I’m trying desperately to get him to call in sick. “Hunter, in 4 months when we are graduated and going our separate ways, never to live together again, will you be thankful that you worked that extra shift, or will you wish you had stayed with us for this journey.” I think my logic is sound, but Hunter’s work ethic is unmovable. His will is strong as iron.
2:09 - One of the most epic scenes in any of the movies:
My patronus would probably be a moose or a duck.
2:20 – Begin Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
I remember so clearly the first time I read this book. We were on vacation when it was released. I sat in the back seat of the car with a little reading light while we drove down the highway at night. I like how stories can help us recall the smallest most insignificant little details sometimes.
2:33 - Cho and Harry have that awkward encounter on the train to Hogwarts. This is the first clue that from here on out this story will deal with all of the conflicts normal teenagers feel as they navigate adolescence.
2:57 – This is the first time we see Rita Skeeter. As a journalism student, I can’t say I’m thrilled with how journalists are portrayed in Rowling’s world. Although I can’t say I totally disagree either.
Another thing: if the Triwizard Tournament includes other schools, are there any American wizarding schools? Are there even American wizards? Is it my inflated sense of importance that makes me think that there should be some American schools out there? And if so, what do the American wizards think of Voldemort? (Yep, I said it. Because “fear of a name only increases fear of a thing itself”)
3:04 – lol, love this scene. Too much sass!
3:16 - I ate too many chips. I’m dying.
3:30 – The awkward scene when Harry asks Cho to the Yule Ball but gets turned down makes me miss middle school.
3:33 – every boy my age will always remember the first time they saw this happen:
3:52 – It’s Cedric, but all I see is Edward.
4:15 – JUST SAY “ACCIO CUP” AND YOU AND CEDRIC/EDWARD ARE IMMEDIATELY SAVED
4:37 – The fourth movie is over and we take a short break. I’m feeling optimistic. We have now reached the half-way mark. Four movies behind us. Four movies ahead of us. There’s no turning back.
4:49 – Begin Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
4:58 - Two new friends just walked through the door to join us. They are named Cole and Davis. Wonderful pals and I’m thankful they are here to change things up a little bit.
5:01 – Davis just answered a phone call in the middle of the movie. He didn’t even get up. Starting to regret letting him in the house. (just kidding!)
5:15 – Kyle is pretending to speak parseltongue to me. (He is inadvertently providing more evidence for my theory that Kyle would definitely be in Slytherin.)
5:45 – “She’s so attractive.” – Davis, who has recently started a campaign on twitter to win a date with Emma Watson.
6:54 – are godfathers still a thing? Are they all as wonderful as Sirius? Where do I get one?
7:22 – Begin Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
7:39 – “Let’s text Emma Watson.” – Davis
8:00 – “Cort, I want to be your Nagini.” -Kyle
8:23 – “I just feel like I need to comfort her” – Kyle talking about Hermione
8:26 – We noticed that Malfoy doesn’t have a love interest. Discussing an interesting theory that probably only seems reasonably possible because we have been watching Harry Potter for 13 hours now: what if Malfoy is in love with Harry? He knows he will never get with Harry, so like many a scorned lover, he focuses all of his energy on destroying him. Not likely, but not impossible I suppose. (Also, if by chance this is true, did Malfoy totally know Dumbledore is gay?)
8:55 – Sectumsempra is by far the most badass spell.
9:51 - Begin Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1
This movie came out during my freshman year of college and holds a lot of special memories for me. My friends and I dressed up and went to the midnight premiere. This is a picture of me, Kyle, and Davis:
10:08 – Hedwig dies and suddenly everything begins to feel more real. RIP.
10:28 - “Hermione ordered a cappuccino! I had that this morning!” – Davis
11:14 – My eyes are having trouble staying open. We are in the final stretch, on the brink of glory.
11:47 – Almost all of Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s problems would be solved if they simply IMMEDIATELY APPARATED the second anything seemed out of place.
12:07 a.m. Sunday morning – Begin Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
12:25 – The magic is starting to seem inconsistent. If Gringotts is supposed to be so secure, then polyjuice potion and a simple charm shouldn’t be enough to break in.
1:34 – Too invested in the story to continue taking notes. The movie deserves my full attention. I have been watching this since 7 a.m. I’m going to enjoy the last few moments.
2:11 – And just like that, we are done. After a little over 19 hours, we have watched the entire Harry Potter saga. Watching them all in one sitting, it is clear to me that Severus Snape is easily the most interesting character and one of the most important heroes in the story.
Now it is time for bed. Accomplishing a goal (especially one you have talked about for over a year) is always a wonderful feeling. Goodnight.