Rachel: 00:00 Let’s talk about books.
Sarah: 00:10 Hey.
Rachel: 00:10 Hey there.
Sarah: 00:10 How are you?
Rachel: 00:12 I’m doing fine. We are having another late night recording and uh, if history and past experience have taught us anything, uh, not only will our introductions be bad because they always are, but things may also get a little bit loopy.
Sarah: 00:28 Because it’s late, and we think we’re funny now. So let’s get started.
Rachel: 00:34 And by late we mean 8:00 PM. That’s how cool we are.
Sarah: 00:40 Let’s get started.
Rachel: 00:42 Yeah. Tell me about what you’re reading.
Sarah: 00:44 So this is one I finished about a week ago. It’s the Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin, and this book come out a number of years ago.
Rachel: 00:52 This is one I really want to read too, so don’t give me any spoilers.
Sarah: 00:56 There will be [no spoilers]. I’m going to go really light on talking about this book because there are way too many great surprises and I don’t want to ruin any of them.
Rachel: 01:03 Excellent.
Sarah: 01:03 But this came out a few years ago. It’s a trilogy. The trilogy is completed, and I believe every book in the trilogy won an award. It’s really, really good.
Rachel: 01:12 Yeah.
Sarah: 01:13 If not all of them. I think two out of three or something like [that]. It’s a great series. So the book sort of opens on the end of the world. It’s both like literally had a cataclysmic environmental disaster and not so literally end it, like it’s a personal end of the world for the main character and it’s great. The, it’s sort of a mix of dystopia and fantasy.
Rachel: 01:40 I love that.
Sarah: 01:42 And yeah, so you get these elements of that post apocalyptic kind of world that you normally see in science fiction, but also with magic. And the magic generally has to do with the environment specifically earthquakes and preventing them because that’s a big thing, but it’s a world with ecological disaster, and the whole culture is around surviving cataclysmic environmental disasters because they happen regularly, and I don’t really want to say more than that because it’s incredibly good and I want everything to be a surprise.
Rachel: 02:13 Okay.
Sarah: 02:13 Those are all things you learn very quickly in the book. It’s just really good. I can’t say enough how like how many times I was surprised in the book, how interesting it was. I haven’t read the second two books in the trilogy yet, but I’m going to because it’s great and there’s so much left to sort of figure out at the end of the book.
Rachel: 02:32 Yeah, I’m really excited to get around to reading it.
Sarah: 02:35 You’re going to love it. It’s unbelievably good.
Rachel: 02:37 I know. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read it yet except for the insanely long length of my tbr.
Sarah: 02:44 Yeah, that was the reason I hadn’t read it because I actually, I’ve been meaning to read it for awhile and just hadn’t gotten to it and I recently sort of got the push I needed.
Rachel: 02:52 I’m pretty sure I have a copy of it on my kindle.
Sarah: 02:54 I thought I had a copy. It turns out I have a copy of another one of her books on my kindle because she has a few different series.
Rachel: 03:00 She has a few series, I want to read all of them. I’ve heard so many amazing things about them.
Sarah: 03:05 But now that I’ve read this, I need to finish it before I can start another one because I need to know how this one goes.
Rachel: 03:10 Yeah.
Sarah: 03:11 So tell me about what you’re reading.
Rachel: 03:13 Okay, so I just finished The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson. I was reading an advanced reader’s copy and it comes out next March, so march of 2019, so not for awhile, but it’s definitely one that people should go ahead and add to their list if you are fans of fantasy or G. Willow Wilson, which uh, I know we were both fans beforehand. For anybody who doesn’t know, she is the author of Alif The Unseen, a really awesome fantasy novel, and also the genius brain behind the Ms. Marvel comics. She is the creator of that character.
Sarah: 03:46 The Kamala Khan character.
Rachel: 03:49 Yes. Sorry, Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, not the Carol Danvers Ms. Marvel who is now Captain Marvel, but Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel, the current Ms. Marvel. Yes.
Sarah: 03:58 Yes.
Rachel: 03:59 There we go. So anyway, The Bird King is this really great book. It’s fantasy as usually G. Willow Wilson tends to have some fantasy in her novels. It’s usually drawing on like Islamic mythology in really cool ways that usually involves djinn and just like really cool stuff that I, I’m not as familiar with because that’s not a mythology I learned much about growing up. Um, but it’s also really cool because this book in particular, her first book, Alif the Unseen, was set in modern times, but The Bird King is actually set in Iberia like right before, right at the beginning of the Spanish inquisition. And I didn’t even, I apparently my Spanish history is exceedingly lacking unsurprisingly. But I, I knew there were Muslims in Spain, but I didn’t really realize that there had been a Muslim empire there. And
Sarah: 04:53 Clearly you did not read enough Royal Diaries as a child.
Rachel: 04:57 I clearly did not.
Sarah: 04:59 Because that is where most of my historical knowledge comes from and how I knew that.
Rachel: 05:02 So probably also a little shoddy and lacking. But anyway, so this story takes place at least at the beginning in Alhambra, which is at this time like kind of the last stronghold of this dying empire as the country of Spain as we know it today, was kind of coalescing for the first time. Like it was just being called Spain because this was when Isabella and Ferdinand were just, you know, kind of really starting up their rule of Spain as a country. And so anyway, it’s really awesome book and it’s weaving together, you know, history with Muslim mythology and just these really awesome complicated characters and because basically these two characters Fatima and Hassan wind up having to leave Alhambra, run away as the Spanish inquisition comes after them because um,Hassan has these abilities basically involving map making and creating new places through his ability to draw maps. And the Spanish inquisition basically thinks he’s a witch and so.
Sarah: 06:04 Of course.
Rachel: 06:05 Or that he’s like a devil worshiper, you know, because I mean and they don’t like the Muslims very much anyway, since they’re Catholics and the Spanish inquisition, but they have to run away with the help of the djinn and so they’re trying to find this mythical island and the bird keen who they think is going to help them and they wind up accidentally kidnapping a monk on a ship when they’re trying to get, it’s just, it’s a really great book. I highly recommend it for any fans of fantasy, particularly if you’re also fans of historical fiction.
Sarah: 06:31 That sounds really good, and you know might fill in my knowledge of that time better than the Isabella Royal Diaries did.
Rachel: 06:39 Yeah. Well it definitely would give you a very different perspective.
Sarah: 06:44 Yeah, one not written for elementary school either. So.
Rachel: 06:48 Yeah. So what else are you reading?
Sarah: 06:51 So this is one I just started. It’s Pride by Ibi Zoboi.
Rachel: 06:55 I want to read this one so bad. I’m so excited to read this one.
Sarah: 06:59 It’s a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and it’s very good so far. I’m only five chapters in, but it’s great. I’m a fan of Pride and Prejudice adaptations.
Rachel: 07:07 If you say the words to Pride and Prejudice adaptation to me, I’m onboard.
Sarah: 07:11 Yeah, same. And I think this is a really good one. Some modernizations they cut things that don’t work. Like there are a lot of things that just they work in regency times and they just don’t make as much sense now.
Rachel: 07:26 Thinking of like Lizzie Bennet Diaries and stuff.
Sarah: 07:30 Right. And even they dropped some things that you like, pretty drastically changed some things.
Rachel: 07:34 Right to modernize it.
Sarah: 07:35 While keeping the story the same. And this one so far has been able to keep more of the original elements.
Rachel: 07:42 Well it’s dealing pretty heavily with gentrification, right?
Sarah: 07:44 Yes. So it’s sort of, it’s set in Brooklyn and gentrification is kind of like the backdrop thing. Um, I’m just five chapters in, so I don’t know exactly where it’s going to go yet, but.
Rachel: 07:54 Well you have a pretty good idea.
Sarah: 07:57 I know the overall thing, but it starts. Um, so it’s all about the Benitez sisters, specifically Zuri and her sisters Janae, Mari, Layla and Kayla.
Rachel: 08:09 I love that.
Sarah: 08:09 So you can make your ties there, and some new neighbors have just moved in across the street in an old house that’s been seriously remodeled and it’s the Darcy’s, um.
Rachel: 08:23 Of course it is.
Sarah: 08:24 And she sort of immediately does not get along with Darius Darcy.
Rachel: 08:30 Of course.
Sarah: 08:31 And yeah, there was just a block party which was sort of this version of the ball at the beginning of the book.
Rachel: 08:39 Oh that’s so good.
Sarah: 08:39 Where there’s a bad impression and there was just bad impression. So it was great.
Rachel: 08:43 I’m sorry we, we’ve got to stop because I need to go to the library right now at 8:00 when it’s already well past closing time to get this book.
Sarah: 08:51 Yeah, it’s, it’s excellent. So far I love it. It’s probably my favorite modern adaptation I’ve read in a really long time. Uh, so far.
Rachel: 09:03 I’m so glad to hear that.
Sarah: 09:03 I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen with Collins, which I’m excited about. I mean this is like the worst Collins, like in the best way, if that makes sense. And I’m really, really curious to see how Lady Catherine is going to be handled because there isn’t like obviously there’s not a Lady Catherine character yet, so I’m very excited to sort of see how that’s going to tie in and just, it’s always interesting, some of these weird things that make sense in regency era England don’t make so much sense in modern times. So it’s interesting just to see how they get adapted and I’m really curious about a lot of little details, like how are these things going to happen? So it’s exciting. Uh, so tell me about your final book.
Rachel: 09:44 Yeah. Okay. So the other one I’m going to talk about is another one I just finished and I know it’s one that is a very high up on your tbr. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re going to be happy that I just finished it so that you can borrow it.
Sarah: 09:56 I am definitely planning to borrow this one from you.
Rachel: 09:59 Yeah. But I just finished Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand. We’ve talked about Claire Legrand before on this podcast. We really love the first book in her fantasy series, Furyborn, and I know we’re really excited for the sequel, which is coming out next year. Oh my gosh. But anyway, this is a very different book from that series. First of all, its horror. So obviously a little bit.
Sarah: 10:22 Which you do not generally read.
Rachel: 10:23 I do not read horror like pretty much at all. I could probably count on one hand including this one. The number of horror books I’ve read.
Sarah: 10:31 Yeah.
Rachel: 10:40 Including like classic ones and possibly stretching the definition a little. It’s just not that I am drawn to or generally like, but I may have realized that there is a subset of this genre that, that I think I could really like, which is feminist horror. I’m into it.
Sarah: 10:49 I mean, I think that’s a pretty large sub genre.
Rachel: 10:52 Is it really?
Sarah: 10:54 Yeah. Yeah. So I haven’t read any of it, but I’m pretty sure like there’s some out there, like I kind of think Final Girls might be that came out a year or two ago. I’m certain there are others I like you don’t read a ton of horror and I generally like my horror to be a bit unknowable, which is kind a very specific.
Rachel: 11:14 You prefer Lovecraftian horror.
Sarah: 11:15 I prefer Lovecraftian horror, which is a very specific sub genre. More so than feminist horror.
Rachel: 11:22 I think if I were ever going to have a sub genre of horror, supernatural feminist horror might be it because that’s what this book is, and I was really surprised by how much I liked it. I mean I wasn’t surprised because I figured I would like it since it was by Claire Legrand. It was one I had been really looking forward to, but it’s so good. It’s this really, really well written, like really lovely prose book about these three girls mainly, Marianne, whose father had just died and she and her mom and her older sister are moving to Sawkill Rock this island off of the east coast, and she learns when she gets there that even though it’s not really talked about, the island has a history of missing girls. So you know, we’re starting to get towards what the horror stuff is. One of whom was best friends with one of the other main girls, Zoe. And Zoe suspects that the most popular girl on Saw Kill, of course, Val Mortimer had something to do with her best friend’s death and warns Marianne to stay away from her. And so, you know, basically that’s the kind of the crux of what we’re dealing with add in a supernatural monster who definitely gets very involved with all of these girls in different ways. And they, their stories all get wrapped up in the stories of these murders and the history of them and this monster and how they have to deal with the fallout of it. And it’s just so different from the kinds of things I usually read. And yet I loved it so much. And the characters were so wonderful and complicated and their relationships were so interesting with each other. I really loved it. I definitely recommend it. I know you’re going to be obsessed with it once you read it.
Sarah: 12:49 I’m glad to hear it because I will be reading it probably within a week.
Rachel: 12:53 Probably so.
Sarah: 12:55 Okay. So I think we need to get into our movie discussion now.
Rachel: 12:59 Yes, because of course since we’ve talked about all of the Harry Potter books, we couldn’t leave without talking about the Harry Potter movies.
Sarah: 13:08 Yes. Because they’re a big part of the whole Harry Potter phenomenon.
Rachel: 13:13 Yeah. Like a lot of people have just seen the movies and not read the books. So I think the big question, anytime you’re looking at a movie adaptation of a book or a TV adaptation or, or what have you, the first big question is does it even work as an adaptation? Like does it translate well? And so I guess that’s the first big thing I want to pick your brain about is do you think the movies do a good job of translating the books?
Sarah: 13:40 Yeah, so I think it’s a little tricky because a lot of the movies had different directors, a lot of them sort of took different things. So my sort of thoughts are, I think the first movie is sort of the closest adaptation to the book. It changed the least of any of them.
Rachel: 13:59 Yeah, that’s very true.
Sarah: 14:00 The book seven ones, which you would think changed the least given how much movie we got from those.
Rachel: 14:05 And yet.
Sarah: 14:06 Two movies for one book. Um, but I think the first one’s the most. It’s actually like the book, but I think most of them get the tone overall. The fourth one, to me it’s a good movie. It’s not much like the book. It’s, tonally it’s drastically different from the book.
Rachel: 14:28 Yeah. So I’m going to agree and disagree with you a little bit there. So I think I don’t necessarily agree that tonally and I always get it right because first of all, I think as you kind of alluded to, we get some very different tones in these movies and I actually kind of separate them and in my mind into like different sort of almost sections.
Sarah: 14:49 Right.
Rachel: 14:49 And again, it’s because like you mentioned, they changed directors so many times, so you have these different groupings. The first two movies are their own group, they had the same director, Chris Columbus, and he, he did a very true adaptation in my mind, like he was really trying to get like very true to the stories themselves and also to the feel of things into this idea of like a magic school in Scotland.
Sarah: 15:12 They also have a very different Dumbledore, which I think affects a lot of things.
Rachel: 15:16 Yes. And we will, we will talk about the Dumbledores.
Sarah: 15:19 Okay, good.
Rachel: 15:21 We will. That is a big point. And so you got the first two movies. They’re kind of their own thing. Then you’ve got three, which is kind of a transition movie almost between the first one and then what we’re going to get to. And it has, it’s a very different aesthetic than the first two movies. I, I still, I still remember when we found out that they weren’t going to be wearing wizard robes.
Sarah: 15:45 Oh, we were not happy.
Rachel: 15:46 And everyone like rioted. It was the hot topic among the nerds at my middle school when we found that out. Like we were so unhappy because everyone was like, wizards don’t muggle clothes. They talk about it in the book all the time. Like just, just look at the page, look at the tri-wizard tournament they don’t where muggle clothes. They’re really bad at it, you know, so we were all so mad. And then of course later on it didn’t really matter.
Sarah: 16:08 No.
Rachel: 16:08 Like they figured out a way to manage it. That actually I think probably made it more accessible than it would have been if they’d been wearing wizard robes the whole thing.
Sarah: 16:15 Yeah.
Rachel: 16:15 But anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent here. So the third movie is kind of this transition then you’ve got the fourth movie.
Sarah: 16:21 It’s own thing.
Rachel: 16:21 Which is a bit of a problem child, but then five through seven part two is all, again, kind of this uniform section tonally and aesthetically for the most part because again you’ve got same directors and producers and everybody working together so that it has a very similar feel except for movie six. Books six is fine. Movie six is a disaster.
Sarah: 16:46 Right, yes. I mean I haven’t watched it as recently as you. I don’t remember how much of it is a total disaster. I just know tonally, it’s really weird.
Rachel: 16:54 It’s a, I mean trust me when I say, it’s a disaster. It’s just, okay maybe disaster isn’t the right word. It’s just cringy.
Sarah: 17:02 Yeah.
Rachel: 17:02 Like when I was rewatching it, because I rewatched it fairly recently, I was just spending half of the movie being like, “oh no, don’t, no, don’t do that.”
Sarah: 17:12 And you were texting me as you did this. So I got sort of experience it live. Which was great.
Rachel: 17:18 Yeah, I think I was just because it just felt really awkward in a way that the book doesn’t.
Sarah: 17:24 Yeah.
Rachel: 17:25 The book is very romance heavy. We talked about this in our episode.
Sarah: 17:29 Right and it’s tonally a little weird from the rest of the books.
Rachel: 17:30 Tonally it’s quite different. Tonally it’s a little weird. It’s dealing a lot with romance. It’s got a much lighter tone for a lot of the book, but then also peppered in with a much darker tone, but the movie just felt like it was trying to execute that in a very awkward like teen rom-com kind of way, but then also we’re still at wizard school and all these really dark things are still going on and it just, it just didn’t work for me.
Sarah: 17:54 Like somebody is trying to murder Dumbledore, but let’s all giggle about cute girls and boys.
Rachel: 18:00 Yeah, and they added like some unnecessary scenes that didn’t make sense either. Like the attack on the Burrow where everything that got burned down.
Sarah: 18:07 Oh yeah, I forgot about that.
Rachel: 18:09 And just the way that Harry was kind of expressing himself and just none of it felt genuine or really, that one felt more outside of that last, the third sort of aesthetic group of movies. It felt more outside of that than any of the others to me. So speaking of things we don’t like about the movies, I know another big thing, especially when they first came out was like scenes that were cut and characters that were cut and like which of those we were most upset about or which things actually kind of helped because I think with an adaptation, what I’m looking for in a good adaptation is not necessarily a direct translation of the story. I don’t think that’s what makes a good adaptation. It can. Like it’s possible you were saying that the first movie probably does that best ,and I think the first movie is actually really good. It’s one of my more favorite ones probably, but I think what actually makes it really good adaptation is when it tries to get at the heart of the tone and the story and the theme and if you can get those things out of a book. If a movie adaptation leaves you feeling the same way a book did, then I think it did its job properly. You know?
Sarah: 19:14 And I think also you have to identify what are the key scenes and I think you need to nail what the scenes people are going to miss are. And I think, some of the Harry Potters do that well and some do it less well.
Rachel: 19:30 Yeah.
Sarah: 19:30 Like when we were reading the second book, I was really surprised by how short the battle with the snake is because it’s so long in the movie.
Rachel: 19:39 Right. And I think that was actually a good choice for a movie adaptation to lengthen that because it is kind of the climactic scene.
Sarah: 19:46 Right and like that makes a lot of sense.
Rachel: 19:48 And also and as upset as we were as children, that the death day party got cut, [it] also makes sense.
Sarah: 19:53 Yeah. Yeah. We didn’t need a death day party.
Rachel: 19:56 No, it was unnecessary, in the same way that, you know, people talk about Peeves being cut. Peeves needed to be cut from that series. Like there might be other versions of it where it could hold him up. But as a series like that’s unnecessary time and energy and.
Sarah: 20:10 As a movie series.
Rachel: 20:11 Yeah. Yeah.
Sarah: 20:11 Now I’m still hoping for either a mini series or a TV series one day, but we will see.
Rachel: 20:18 Yeah.
Sarah: 20:19 I’d like to really just get in there with every single detail, but
Rachel: 20:24 Yeah same.
Sarah: 20:25 that’s who I am as a person. Um, there were a couple of changes as I was reading the books, I was like, I forgot this was just in a movie and not in the book.
Rachel: 20:36 Oh yeah. Like what things?
Sarah: 20:38 The big one for me is the big iconic quote from Harry Potter seven part two is when Voldemort says, “Harry Potter, the boy who lived, come to die.”
Rachel: 20:51 Yes.
Sarah: 20:51 And that “come to die” part makes it. That’s what makes that quote.
Rachel: 20:55 It’s such a good line.
Sarah: 20:56 And it’s not in the book.
Rachel: 20:58 Yeah, you’re right. Sometimes the movies nail it. What can I say?
Sarah: 21:02 Yeah. Also the awkward Draco hug, just in the movie, not in the book.
Rachel: 21:08 Yeah.
Sarah: 21:08 And it’s, it’s good. It’s a quality moment.
Rachel: 21:11 It’s awful. But it’s like also like good in an awful way. It’s iconic at the very least.
Sarah: 21:19 Yeah, it’s iconic. And there are things where I like them both in the movie and in the book, like in the books I do not ship Luna and Neville at all, but in the movie is I get it and I kind of do.
Rachel: 21:31 Yeah. I’m not Luna/Neville shipper, but I do. I don’t hate it when it happens in the movie. I’m just like, why?
Sarah: 21:38 I feel, it works for me in the movie. It does not work for me in the books, which is good because it’s not in the books at all.
Rachel: 21:43 That’s fair. It doesn’t bother me in the movie.
Sarah: 21:46 Yeah. Yeah. I like, I’m still, I wouldn’t like, I don’t ship it, you know, like the way I do other things, but I’m not opposed to it. Like I don’t have another ship for it either. I’m just like, yeah, okay, yeah. In the movies we’ve built up to it, and it works.
Rachel: 21:58 Yeah. Well this brings us very nicely to a conversation about characterization in the movies because this is probably other than movie six my overall biggest qualm with this series is a lot of the characterizations feel off to me and some of them aren’t so off that I can’t still enjoy it. Like I feel like they oftentimes kind of don’t characterize the golden trio very well.
Sarah: 22:23 Yeah.
Rachel: 22:24 Which is frustrating. I think we’ve talked about that a little before. How the movie’s kind of do a disservice in particular to Ron and Hermione.
Sarah: 22:30 Yeah.
Rachel: 22:30 And they kind of undersell Ron and oversell Hermione. Like I was rewatching movie, I was rewatching deathly hallows part two? No part one? I get so confused where one ends and the other begins, I think it was part one. I was rewatching. No, it was part two. I was rewatching part two. I’ll get there eventually. I was rewatching deadly hallows part two and the scene where they break into Gringotts and they’re, you know, about to escape on the dragon and in the book Harry’s like, like he’s the one who does that. Like, cause only Harry would be crazy and reckless enough to do it. Right. Like of course it’s a Harry idea.
Sarah: 23:09 Of course it’s a Harry idea.
Rachel: 23:10 It is the epitome of a Harry idea. Let’s ride a dragon out of a bank we just broke into with no escape plan at all. That’s classic Harry. In the movie, both, they’ve just gotten out like all of the people from the bank have come down and are shooting spells at them, and Ron’s like we got to think of an idea and Hermione’s like, I don’t know and Ron’s like you’re the one who always makes the plans think of something and Hermione’s like, I’ve got a plan but it’s crazy and you’re not gonna like it. And then she leaps on the dragon. And I was like in the movie, I mean it’s a great, awesome moment and I love it, but when I was rewatching in particular, I was like, why didn’t they just give Harry that line? Because that is such a Harry move and it’s so not a Hermione move.
Sarah: 23:48 Hermione would never.
Rachel: 23:49 I mean if she thought of it backed into a corner, she would do it, but she wouldn’t think of it.
Sarah: 23:55 No, it’s clearly a Harry idea.
Rachel: 23:55 It just wouldn’t occur to her because it’s such a Harry idea. And so it’s things like that where they would give her things to make her the, like the ultimate fixer, you know, she is in the book, she isn’t a lot of ways, but she’s not perfect and she’s not always the one problem solving. Particularly for things like that where they’re in a bad kind of defense against the dark arts kind of situation. Like Harry’s the one who’s really succeeds at that. Even over her.
Sarah: 24:20 And they make, I think they make a Ron way whinier in the movies.
Rachel: 24:25 Yeah. Well, and they don’t let him show off his knowledge. Again, we’ve talked about this a little bit before of the wizarding world as well.
Sarah: 24:32 Yeah. Ron never gets his moment in the movies.
Rachel: 24:32 Like in the books, the expert on the wizarding world, Hermione, it is the expert on the wizarding world in the sense of having read all of the books about it. But in terms of wizarding world culture, Ron is the one because he was the only one of them who was raised as a wizard.
Sarah: 24:44 Yeah.
Rachel: 24:45 So obviously we’ve got some issues with the golden trio. Another one that really bothered me is Ginny.
Sarah: 24:50 Yeah.
Rachel: 24:51 Movie Ginny is such a drag and I hate it because I love book Ginny so much. I love book Ginny. She’s this just fierce and fiery and energetic character. She really rivals Fred and George in that Weasley family in terms of hijinks and level of, you know, I don’t care what you think I’m going to do it anyway and let’s do this crazy plan. And it’s one of the reasons I ship her so hard with Harry is I think she’s a match for him, you know, like she’s not going to put up with anything.
Sarah: 25:19 Yeah, I agree.
Rachel: 25:19 But she’s also like, she’s her own person and she’s, you know, got wild ideas and they just work so well together.
Sarah: 25:27 Yeah.
Rachel: 25:27 And then in the movie she’s just, she’s kind of bland. You don’t really even see much hints of her being this really interesting, courageous, reckless character who would be a good match for Harry.
Sarah: 25:39 Like in the books she gets.
Rachel: 25:40 It’s more like she’s just Ron’s sister and she’s a girl and she’s there, so like she might as well be with Harry.
Sarah: 25:44 Yeah. Yeah. That’s. And that’s not who she is. She’s cool on her own.
Rachel: 25:48 No, and it’s such a disservice to her. I really, really hate that. Like she, they cut all of her cool lines and all of her fun bits. It’s really, it’s really sad. Um, and then the other one, of course you mentioned earlier that we must talk about is Dumbledore.
Sarah: 26:02 Yeah. Because I don’t think they ever nail it.
Rachel: 26:05 So they don’t. But there’s also the interesting issue here and kind of the question which again you alluded to, which is that the first dumbledore played by Richard Harris in the first two movies passed away and so they had to recast the role with Michael Gambon, who I don’t think he did a bad job.
Sarah: 26:23 No, no.
Rachel: 26:23 To be clear. Like I think I think he played it really well, but he never played it as Dumbledore exactly to me.
Sarah: 26:29 Yeah.
Rachel: 26:31 He was always a little too. I loved how Richard Harris played it very serenely.
Sarah: 26:37 Yeah. I’d say for all of these, like I don’t think it’s the fault of the actor, like if it doesn’t resonate for us, like I think there are a lot of factors there.
Rachel: 26:46 Well with the, with the golden trio and Ginny in particular, that’s the writing, that’s how they characterize them in the scripts.
Sarah: 26:52 Yeah.
Rachel: 26:52 With Dumbledore it’s probably a bit more of a mixed bag.
Sarah: 26:55 I think it’s probably both.
Rachel: 26:55 Some of the writing and some of the acting.
Sarah: 26:57 I think some of the writing, some of the acting.
Rachel: 26:59 I’m not saying I dislike Michael Gambin. I just think his portrayal didn’t read it as true to Dumbledore to me, which also by the way makes sense. He never read the books.
Sarah: 27:07 Oh really? I didn’t know that.
Rachel: 27:08 He didn’t want to, which is fine. But yeah, he specifically did not want his portrayal to be characterized by the characterizations in the books, which is an interesting choice. And also maybe explains some of his acting choices, I think particularly of the moment in Goblet of Fire when he screams at Harry, “Did you put your name in the goblet of fire?” When in the book he was supposed to like ask calmly.
Sarah: 27:28 Yeah. Yeah. That’s the moment that definitely comes to mind first when thinking about like how sort of off Dumbledore is in the movies.
Rachel: 27:35 Yeah. And I wouldn’t say he always feels off to me or that it feels like a completely disingenuine portrayal. I think it’s just, it doesn’t always read quite right.
Sarah: 27:44 I think in the later books it’s a pretty good portrayal. Like I think it gets better.
Rachel: 27:47 Maybe we should write that off a little bit to movi four being the rough patch that it is. 4 and 6 man.
Sarah: 27:54 Yeah.
Rachel: 27:54 Those two are just. And there are moments of both of them that are good.
Sarah: 27:59 Right, of course.
Rachel: 27:59 But overall four also if they just cut all their hair, if they just cut the dang hair, even when it came out because it came out when we were still at that age where that was popular at that time.
Sarah: 28:09 Yeah.
Rachel: 28:09 All the boys had that weird long hair but not that long. It was just, it was too much. Okay. I’m sorry, I’m going off on weird tangents here, but.
Sarah: 28:16 I don’t even remember this about the movie. I have not seen the movies in a while.
Rachel: 28:20 They have seventies hair, Sarah.
Sarah: 28:22 I do remember the wizard robes being a little seventies.
Rachel: 28:26 Straight up shaggy seventies hair.
Sarah: 28:28 Yeah. The fourth one has a weird aesthetic like in general.
Rachel: 28:32 Yeah. I mean they all have, I would say kind of they all have a more vintage aesthetic.
Sarah: 28:37 Yeah.
Rachel: 28:37 And I don’t know if that’s was more like a thing in the UK or if that was more a choice to make it feel a little more alien and outside of what’s normal to us and I don’t mind that, but the hair in four was rough.
Sarah: 28:49 Yeah.
Rachel: 28:50 So I think this leaves us with one last important question, which is how should we rank the movies from best to worst?
Sarah: 29:02 That’s going to be tricky.
Rachel: 29:03 Okay. I think I would put five first.
Sarah: 29:06 I think I would put five first as well.
Rachel: 29:08 Okay. Then I think I’d come in with three.
Sarah: 29:11 I agree there. I think five and three are the top two.
Rachel: 29:14 Okay. You may start to disagree with me here because honestly most of my first ones until we get to the last two are pretty neck and neck. So then I’m. So we’ve got five, three. Then I would say seven part two.
Sarah: 29:26 Agreed.
Rachel: 29:26 Because I think seven part two nails it.
Sarah: 29:28 I think seven part two is better.
Rachel: 29:28 Seven part one is a little slow.
Sarah: 29:30 Yep. I think seven part two is better than seven part one. Agreed.
Rachel: 29:33 It gets it mostly because the whole thing is just the climax action scenes. What’s. What are you not going to like about that? Then I would come in with number one. Sorcerer’s stone. Yeah.
Sarah: 29:43 I’m with you there.
Rachel: 29:44 Okay. Then I would do two.
Sarah: 29:45 Okay. Here’s where we’re going to disagree. I think seven part one is better than two.
Rachel: 29:49 Okay. That’s fair because seven part one is my next one so we can just swap those for the two of us and then four and then six.
Sarah: 29:55 I, having not seen them recently. I would go six and then four.
Rachel: 30:00 Okay. We have, so we have very similar but slightly different, slightly different rankings.
Sarah: 30:06 We agreed on top four or top three.
Rachel: 30:08 To be fair mine is probably more accurate because I’ve seen the movies much more recently.
Sarah: 30:13 Probably. You probably do have the more accurate. I meant to watch them and then I was like this a lot of movies, so.
Rachel: 30:19 It’s a lot of movies. I timed myself out a little better and have not rewatched all of them super recently, but over the past quite a while have slowly tried to rewatch them.
Sarah: 30:30 And even knowing for almost a year that we would be doing this episode now. It only occurred to me like a week ago that maybe I should rewatch the movies. So yeah.
Rachel: 30:38 Which is funny since we’ve even definitely discussed that longer ago than a week ago.
Sarah: 30:42 Oh yeah. No we have. This is not like a failing on anyone but myself that I didn’t rewatch the movies.
Rachel: 30:51 Yeah.
Sarah: 30:52 Also the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever plugged in my DVD player, so you know, there’s that too. I’d have to hook it up.
Rachel: 31:00 That would be an issue.
Sarah: 31:00 Yeah.
Rachel: 31:00 Okay. But with a little flexibility here, I think our official ranking best to worst of the Harry Potter movies is definitively five, three, seven, part two, one.
Sarah: 31:10 Yes.
Rachel: 31:11 Then in some order two, seven part one, you can flip those if you want. Then four and six also in whichever order you want.
Sarah: 31:19 Yes. Agree.
Rachel: 31:21 There we go. That was very diplomatic.
Sarah: 31:23 We’re very good at ranking.
Rachel: 31:25 So good. So you said earlier about wanting a Harry Potter remake that’s done in a TV series, which I also strongly agree with. And also I 100 percent believe they’re gonna make a Harry Potter remake within the next 10 years.
Sarah: 31:40 Oh yeah, for sure.
Rachel: 31:41 We all know within the next 10 years it’s going to happen. We just need to be grateful that it’s not on the spiderman timetable or we’d already have like our third remake that only got. The second one would have gotten the halfway through, like it would have gotten to movie four. And then they would be like, oh no, no, no, this is, this is rough. We’re not doing thi right. And then they would have like cut it off, recast it with younger actors and then started again.
Sarah: 32:01 Yeah. And that is the one problem that would come with a TV series, the aging of the actors is always a factor, but I think they’re going to do it.
Rachel: 32:09 That’s true. I think they’re going to do it and I really want them to do a TV series. I feel really strongly about that and I have some hope that they might because that’s a thing that they’re considering a lot more with these movie adaptations now. Like we’ve got Game of Thrones and we’ve got The Magicians and I think the new Lord of the Rings remake that they’re doing. I think that’s even going to be a series on Amazon.
Sarah: 32:31 We’re seeing more and more of that. We’ve got Outlander.
Rachel: 32:35 Yeah, Outlander, like I think producers and directors and writers and people have realized that TV is a much better way to adapt long series than a movie because with a movie, you know if you’re just doing a stand alone novel, you can probably cut enough unnecessary plot and get away with it and have a really good standalone movie. That’s fine, but if you’re working with a really long complicated sci-fi or fantasy series, there’s going to be so much detail and character work. That’s going to be really important later on that you might miss. If you don’t have the time to really explore it and you could. You could have all of these really fun, great scenes and explore a lot more that is done in the series. If you didn’t have to worry about that time constraint as much and an episodic format would work so much better in terms of story arcs and season arcs. It would just, it makes so much sense.
Sarah: 33:22 And it also lets you get to all the subplots that get cut.
Rachel: 33:24 Exactly. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. It just gives you so much more time to explore everything. I’m really hoping.
Sarah: 33:30 And maybe nail those characterizations a little better.
Rachel: 33:31 Exactly. So I’m really hoping that when they do that A. They don’t screw up book four and book six, which in my world would be season four and season six and I also really hope they get Daniel Radcliffe to come back to play Sirius Black because he once said in an interview that if he was ever going to do it at a remake, he would want to play Sirius Black and I think that would be really fun.
Sarah: 33:54 He would be the perfect Sirius Black.
Rachel: 33:55 I think that would be excellent.
Sarah: 33:57 He would be so good as Sirius Black.
Rachel: 33:58 Like Dan, Dan Radcliffe, and a motorcycle, like a bomber jacket or a motorcycle jacket or something. Just like.
Sarah: 34:04 He would be an excellent Sirius Black. I’m now. I’m trying to think of what the others.
Rachel: 34:08 Being a kind of Sketchy Godfather.
Sarah: 34:09 I’m trying to think of who the other ones could be.
Rachel: 34:12 Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know if a lot of them would want to come back.
Sarah: 34:16 Yeah.
Rachel: 34:16 To be honest.
Sarah: 34:18 Yeah. I don’t know.
Rachel: 34:18 But it would be fun to see them come back.
Sarah: 34:19 It would be fun to see then even just like in cameos, you know, something small.
Rachel: 34:23 On that timeframe, she definitely wouldn’t be old enough, but Emma Watson playing McGonagall would just be.
Sarah: 34:29 I had the same thought! And she wouldn’t be old enough, but she.
Rachel: 34:31 There would just be something perfect and full circle in my heart if she got to do that, I think.
Sarah: 34:36 Yeah.
Rachel: 34:37 Well I think that’s all of the thoughts we have time for today on the Harry Potter movies. I’m sure we have more thoughts.
Sarah: 34:44 And we’ll definitely have more thoughts on the other Harry Potter movies in our next book talk.
Rachel: 34:50 Definitely. Yeah. That one’s gonna be a wild ride.
Sarah: 34:54 Yeah.
Rachel: 34:55 I’m a little nervous for that one.
Sarah: 34:56 Me too.
Rachel: 34:58 All right. Well, thank you to Saharah Sky for the use of our theme song, Never Long Time Goes By from the album Escapism.
Sarah: 35:04 And thanks for listening. Check out our website at unassignedreadingpod.com and get in touch with us by tweeting at unassignedpod over on Twitter or emailing us at unassignedreadingpod at gmail dot com. We’d love to hear from you.
Rachel: 35:15 And if you liked this episode or any others, take a minute to leave us a rating and review over on itunes.
Sarah: 35:20 You can also tweet about the show or recommended it to your book nerd friends.
Rachel: 35:24 We’ll be back for our discussion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the 30th.
Sarah: 35:28 Our very last Harry Potter discussion.
Rachel: 35:30 I know it’s been a wild ride.
Sarah: 35:33 And you definitely won’t want to miss it because we’ll also be announcing our December book club pick.
Rachel: 35:40 Which we can guarantee is in no way Harry Potter related, though it doesn’t involve another fandom you might know.
Sarah: 35:46 Now go read some books.