So let's jump right in. Quidditch is awesome, the movies sucked the hilarity out of the Weasley twins and Lee Jordan, Hagrid's a lovable idiot, and the trio have survived their first year at Hogwarts. And they've done it in style.
|"Why, yes, I am a prepubescent magical bad-ass."|
And to cap it all off, the image Rowling creates of Voldemort drinking the dead unicorn's blood is enough to terrify any child into never going into the woods again.
Horrible disciplinary scale aside, let's talk about Snape. I forgot just how much Harry, Hermione, and Ron hate him from the beginning. It's not like he does much to ingratiate himself with students, though. Severus Snape knows how to intimidate.
At the end of Sorcerer's Stone, we get the first hint of Harry's parents' story when Dumbledore refers to the mutual hatred between James Potter and Snape. This little snippet about Snape resenting James for saving his life will essentially shape the way Harry (and, by extension, the reader) views Snape in later books. I think it's interesting to note that Dumbledore chooses to mention this to Harry without giving him any context or additional anecdotes about his parents. Perhaps JKR didn't have all of James and Lily's lives mapped out yet, but you would think Dumbledore would throw Harry a bone here and tell him a bit more about the parents he's never known.
Another thing that really impressed me on this reread was the series of obstacles that the trio have to get through in order to reach Quirrell. Sure, the troll is kind of a cop-out (Was it stuffed in that room the whole school year? Did Quirrell bring it food?) but the chess game and Snape's potion puzzle are awesome. I'm not sure I believe that Ron is better at chess than McGonagall, but we can all agree that Hermione works that riddle like it's her job.
The Quirrellmort reveal is as awesome as ever, and all I can think of is how Voldemort passed his days while being softly muffled with turban. Did he play word games in his head? Silently berate schoolchildren when they gave incorrect answers in Quirrell's class? Compose rock ballads about world domination? I guess we'll never know.
|I will always prefer A Very Potter Musical's heartwarming version of Quirrellmort to the actual canon.|