If you’ve been following my Instagram account @lastbestpress, you noticed I traveled to Seattle, Washington, for Thanksgiving. It was a grand trip, giving that I got off at my “day” job at one in the morning, home at around two, packed our car up, and woke my wife at four to get up and get my father-in-law. I slept, he drove, she rode.
I won’t tell you what happened on the way back, since it’s reserved for only those with children under one-years-old.
What I will say, is I was reminded how terrific the Harry Potter Universe was. My wife had recently decided she wanted to read the Harry Potter novels, so borrowed the first from her sister, and then the second. While in Seattle, we discovered her youngest sister (whom we were visiting) had the complete Harry Potter theatrical collection.
Guess what we did Thanksgiving Day?
It had been a while since I’d seen the films, and it was a trip down memory lane. I remember not really being into the whole Harry Potter thing, when in the third grade my teacher gave us two options for a book for her to read to us: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or Some Other Book. Needless to say, the class chose Harry Potter. I remember listening to the book and I suddenly fell in love. Up till then, I had mainly read Louis L’Amour westerns, and was shook when I found another book I loved.
I tore through the Harry Potter books out at that point in time (late-90’s), and when I was in the fifth grade, the movie came out. I watched that movie so much, the flimsy cardboard box disintegrated from me getting the movie out so many times. But back to present-time Seattle.
As we continued watching the entire series, I remembered reading the bits and seeing what they had left out (much to my dismay) and I realized what J.K. Rowling had accomplished. She had spun a tale that left little drops which would lead to a bigger pool. Breadcrumbs. Foreshadowing. What every author hopes to be able to do well.
From the beginning of the series with Harry talking to the python at the zoo leading to the second book where he found out he was a Parseltongue (he can talk to snakes). Then, in the second film we find a diary where a sixteen-year-old Voldemort (AKA Tom Riddle), had transferred a piece of his soul, only to discover it was a horcrux later on in the series.
It made me wonder if Rowling had plotted out all these details beforehand, or if she just used what was left in the previous book? Based on the films and what I remember from the books I read (I never read the last book. Please don’t stone me or unfollow me), I have to believe she plotted it out as she wrote the first book. That notion is impressive, knowing her story. If you don’t know Rowling’s story, check it out. It’s incredible.
In seven novels, Rowling never wasted anything in her plots. She wrote everything with purpose and did so while skillfully foreshadowing the books to come.