Harry Potter Books 1 and 2 Discussion Questions

13 Feb

The Reading Fever is hosting a year-long readalong of the Harry Potter series.  After a rocky start, she finally posted the link-ups and discussion questions.  I have the second book up next in my TBR pile. So here we go…


  1. What was your first very first impression of Harry Potter himself? Did your impression change at the end of the first book? These are rereads for me which probably colors my answers…  Anyway, I loved Harry from the first meeting.  The only thing that strikes me is how young he is.  I forget that the books starts when he’s a little boy.  I tend to think of Harry as this older, more-hardened version of himself.  Even with the bit of surprise, I still love that Harry’s smart, but not any smarter than someone his age realistically would be.
  2. At what point in either book did you decide that you did, or didn’t, like the story? I really fell in love with the series with the scene in Diagon Alley.  The way Rowling describes it, I can see, feel, smell, and taste the scene.  It’s also one of my favorites scenes in all the movies.  The wonder and excitement Harry feels is amazing.  Love it!
  3. Is there anything you dislike so far? Something you would change if you could? I remember hating Snape at first.  All I saw was the mean Potions teachers.  Even when Dumbledore makes references that Snape may not be all he seems, I still hated him.  I think it took me until the third book to soften up. 
  4. What is it about J.K. Rowling’s writing that makes her books so appealing to so many people? Is it the characters? The plot? Something else? What do you love most about her writing? I love her characters.  Even all the little side characters are real.  They are fleshed out people in the world.  She doesn’t write stereotypes.  Each character has its own history. 
  5. In the first book, we are introduced to a very different world than the one we live in. What were some things that blew your mind when you first read about them? I love the idea of using owls as communication.  It seems so old-fashioned yet very magical at the same time.  I want a pet owl that will deliver my letters.  I do find it out though that we never see anything resembling a computer.  I guess I get that wizards can make their own…. but it just seems like a void to me.
  6. Despite being so different, what do you think makes the wizard world so believable? What makes it a place that people want to escape to? I’m going with the characters again.  I think Rowling has made them so real that being a wizard is almost an afterthought.  I want to go and learn magic, but I also want to meet some of the really interesting characters.
  7. In The Sorcerer’s Stone, Professor Quirrel tells Harry, “There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.” What does this statement tell us about Professor Quirrel? Do you agree or disagree with him? I completely disagree with him.  This statement shows us that Professor Quirrel has lost his moral compass, or I guess his moral compass now points to evil.  Power came be used for good or evil.  It’s probably a lot easier to use it for good, but it always comes back to the intentions.  Quirrel wants to take the easy road and it ends up biting him in the ass.
  8. In The Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore tells Harry, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” The sorting hat also suggested Harry could fine great fame and glory in Slytherin House. What choices does Harry make that lead him away from darkness? Could he have been the good wizard that he was if some of those choices were different? One of the defining moments early in the series is when Harry turns away from the Mirror of Erised.  He could have taken the easy way out.  Instead Harry choose the harder but much more rewarding path.  He only becomes a great wizard through his trials. 
  9. If you’re re-reading the series, what are some differences you’ve noticed this time? Are there things you didn’t pick up on before? Or did you find you liked/disliked something differently this time? My review collects some of my thoughts while rereading the series.  Book 2 will be up next week sometime. 
  10. Just for fun: If you could make your own polyjuice potion, who would you disguise yourself as, and why? Michelle Obama.  I would love to see a day in her life.  Just seems like an interesting person to pretend to be.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Books



One response to “Harry Potter Books 1 and 2 Discussion Questions

  1. Penelope @ The Reading Fever

    February 14, 2012 at 12:28 am

    I was not expecting Michelle Obama to be your answer at the end. What a great choice! It would be cool to get to see a day in her life.

    I also didn’t catch on Harry turning away from the Mirror of Erised as a defining moment, until your comment. I went back and read that part, and you are completely right. Very eye-opening. 🙂

    Thanks for participating!


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