Mark Reads Harry Potter

Mark Reads Harry Potter's Blog

'Mark Reads' Has Permanently Moved!

If you are coming here because of Google, recommendation, or for any other reason, this project (and all future projects) have permanently moved to TWO new sites:

Mark Reads

Mark Watches

As of the day I am writing this, I have begun Mark Reads The Hunger Games and next week, I will start Mark Watches Firefly. And simultaneous to this, I will also be re-reading the Harry Potter series, doing liveblogs for A Very Potter Musical/Sequel, and read the other miscellaneous HP books I missed!

Please update your RSS feeds and bookmarks accordingly. There will be nothing more beyond this final entry added to this profile.

Thank you for the support! Do not worry about your comments or the many reviews here, as they are staying put. Just make sure to browse through either site for info on how to register and other such things.

Again, thank you all! It's been a wonderful ride. Join me for the future!

EDIT: I don't know why Buzznet thought it was a good idea to HIDE THIS JOURNAL and mark it private, but it's back. I do not work or write for Buzznet anymore and now own two sites where I am still reviewing The Hunger Games and am also working my way through Doctor Who. Please join me.

I will not be posting anything else here.

MRHP Meet-up and 'Deathly Hallows' viewing!

Hello all! Yesterday was the amazing Mark Reads Harry Potter meet-up here in San Francisco and it was spectacular! Not only was it super fun, but a lot more people attended than I expected. I believe the final count was somewhere between 25-30 people. WE DOMINATED ROWS FIVE, SIX, AND SEVEN. YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!

If you came and took photos, please post them in the comments!!!

It was actually the second time I saw Deathly Hallows, since I saw it at midnight in the East Bay, but it was nice to get a second dose of the movie to help solidify my feelings about it. 

I put up my review on my new site (OMG GUYS WE ARE MOVING) already, so you can check that out, but I thought I'd include some new thoughts I had about the movie here on Buzznet to celebrate the meet-up and the end of our wonderful reign here on the site. (The actual last post won't be until tomorrow.)

First of all, I still like the movie, but a second viewing (and some enlightening conversation with fans and friends) helped point out some serious flaws in the screenwriting that I am coming to find a bit impossible to ignore. 

I think the spectacle of the movie and seeing so many scenes re-created for the screen was overwhelming at first and I don't believe I really watched the movie with a critical eye. Which is understandable; I had never been to a midnight showing for a Harry Potter film and it was a sensory overload.

Anyway, I'd give the film a B-. I think it still above average for a film and definitely better than, say, Half-Blood Prince. But I found the pacing and the tone to be distracting. It took my friend reminding me how harrowing Deathly Hallows was to read for me to realize that most of the humor in this movie was misplaced, unnecessary, and unwanted, aside from Fred and George. Who were, by the way, brilliant. 

It felt like Kloves and Yates didn't really understand how stressful this book is, feeling the need to punctuate their own lack of urgency with slapstick jokes or visual cues for us to laugh.

I still don't like parts of the Harry/Hermione relationship, though I'm now OK with the second half of the dance. But it's still very uncomfortable to watch those first moments when Harry offers his hand to Hermione. In the books, Harry is characterized as uncomfortable with offering affection to those he knows needs it, especially Hermione. So it was just a strange, distracting moment.

I was also able to pick up on a few more things missing and unexplained. How come Harry doesn't know what the other Horcruxes are at this point? And since movie-Harry doesn't know, how are they going to reveal it?

Why did Grindelwald give up Dumbledore?

I'm still mad about Lupin. :/

Wormtail being hit with that spell is AWFUL. So is he still alive?

Dobby will wash away with a high tide or a good rain. Someone in the theater pointed that out as soon as the movie was over.

Anyway, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade if you enjoyed it because I don't think it's bad and I enjoyed it for the most part as well. But this is what I do: I YELL AT THE THINGS I LOVE.

PLEASE TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS. I'll make the final announcement about permanently moving to my new site, so let's go out with a bang in the comments! 

Winners of the Deathly Hallows contest!

I wish I could take everyone with me and fly you all here, but alas, it's not possible. Good news is that I was able to include one extra winner, bringing out the final results to 11!

Here's a list of the eleven people who will have a ticket for Deathly Hallows waiting for them this Friday! If your name is on this list, I will be emailing you in the next 10 minutes with all your instructions and directions, so hold tight. If you don't have an email from me soon, please comment and let me know!

All right, the winners!!!

Kasia Izdebska
Stephanie Sinkhorn
Rebecca Simon
Kaylee Jensen

I pulled these out of a bowl. I didn't have a hat to put them in, so DON'T JUDGE.

Remember, if it hasn't sold out, you are welcome to buy your own tickets to the 5pm showing this Friday at the Metreon in SF and come with us! We will be lining up/meeting up BY 4:00PM. Show up early! I'll probably have a sign because WHY NOT.

Thanks and congrats!

PS: If someone can't go, I'll email one of the other two people who entered and did not win. So ALL HOPE IS NOT LOST.

Mark Went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Totally true fact I did not make up for this post: I have slept 16 hours since Friday morning. I generally think that sleep is for the weak when I am on trips because I want to maximize every waking hour and it totally helps if all your hours are awake.

Also I have drank four cups of coffee and there is not enough in the world to keep me going and I am going to drown in espresso any minute now so this post is the worst post of posts that were ever posted and you should accept this reality.

My feet hurt and I'm sore and I might have a blister and I'm exhausted and every moment of this is worth it because the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is fantastic.

First of all, check out my photos of Day One and Day Two of my trip there. Do it. You know you want to. 

It's time for a list. OH, LISTS, I HAVE MISSED YOU.


  • Honestly, when I first walked into Hogsmeade, I think I stood there for over five minutes just gaping. I could not believe how realistic it looked. It's so overwhelming that first moment you arrive. 
  • The attention to detail is out of this world. I'd like to believe that the people who made this place were Harry Potter fans themselves because it's frightening how accurate the place is and how many inside jokes are placed around the park. 
  • BUTTERBEER. Enough said.
  • FROZEN BUTTERBEER. I still have my mug!
  • PUMPKIN JUICE. How. Just how.
  • Zonko's. Silly and childish and colorful and pretty much what I imagined the place to be. 
  • DRAGON CHALLENGE. Anyone who tells you this ride isn't worth it is WRONG. I KNOW ALL THE FACTS. Yes, it's just an old coaster retrofitted with dragons, but the ride itself is SO INCREDIBLE. I recommend doing what I did yesterday: Ride each color coaster, twice, while in the front row. Ain't nothing like seeing yourself coming barreling head on with another coaster. Exhilarating. Also, the line to get in is pretty neat, with lots of references to the series, but be prepared for a very long, twisted walk, even if the line is short. 
  • The men's bathroom. I feel like I shouldn't spoil it. Go in there.
  • Find Gringotts. I laughed.
  • THE LINE FOR THE FORBIDDEN JOURNEY. What's that? A tour of Hogwarts? YES, PLEASE.
  • And I saved the best for last: The Forbidden Journey. It's one of the strangest rides I've ever been on, but it is SO NERDY that super fans will be impressed. The quality is spectacular and the story is cute and I don't really want to spoil it for the people who haven't been yet. You really need to experience it for yourself.

And, because I have to be critical...


  • The line for Flight of the Hippogriff. The ride itself is silly and cute, lasts maybe 25 seconds, and is obviously for children, BUT WHY DID IT TAKE NEARLY AN HOUR. Oh god.
  • The park is too small. WHAT. I AM GREEDY. Just turn all of Islands of Adventure into Harry Potter stuff. Except the Comic Alley because it's awesome and the Incredible Hulk ride is SPECTACULAR.
  • This isn't really a realistic complaint, but it's very jarring to be walking around a village with snow-capped roofs and you're sweating buckets because it's almost 90 degrees out in NOVEMBER. Oh, Florida, you truly are special.
  • MOAR.
  • I didn't go into Ollivander's because the line was always absurdly long. But not as bad as the worst thing about the park...
  • The line for Dervish and Banges. NINETY MINUTES TO GET A RAVENCLAW ROBE? ARE YOU SHITTING ME. Like, I didn't go on Saturday because the line was so long and there's always less people in the park on Sunday, WHICH WAS TRUE, yet somehow the line for D & B was twice as long as the day before. My advice is to find a way to expand the size of that shop so more people can go in. I would have spent myself broke if I could have.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Loved it, exceeded expectations, would go again in a heartbeat.

WHEW. I made it through the post without falling asleep. I would also like to publicly state that I am so excited and honored to have met the ten of you or so this weekend, especially those of you who accompanied me throughout the day on Saturday while I was in the park. Honestly, the trip would not have been the same without you. So thank you to Sarah, Tori, Jamie, Kimberly, and Stephanie. You made this trip so wonderful. (And sorry for missing you, Shae! I shall return and we will MAKE THIS HAPPEN!)

Don't forget. The Deathly Hallows contest/meet-up ends tomorrow at noon PST. ENTER AWAY. Or buy tickets and JOIN US AWAY. 

(PS: That surprise I keep annoyingly hinting at will be revealed this weekend. PROMISE.)

How about a MRHP meet-up in Orlando this weekend?

I leave tomorrow from good ol' San Francisco to head to the land of sadness and political failure, aka, FLORIDA. I have never been there and I am a bigot for thinking it's terrible, but hopefully this trip will CHANGE MY MIND. Well, only about ONE CITY THERE, but you get the point.

It's finally sort of hitting me and becoming real that I'm going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And Deathly Hallows comes out in a week and some odd hours WHAT IS THIS GUYS. My first midnight showing???? LOOK HOW FAR I'VE COME

I would like to share in some of this joy with you, my fellow reader. A few of you have expressed interest in a Florida meet-up and I WELCOME THIS IDEA WITH OPEN ARMS. 

SO! If you live nearby or can make it out to Orlando one of the days, you drop me an email at markreadsandwatches [at] gmail [dot] com so I can pass along contact info. Feel free to also post a comment so other people will know you're there so we can get an idea of how many people plan to show up.

For the rest of you, I don't arrive in Orlando until tomorrow night, but I have two full days inside the park before I return home on Monday morning. I'll have themed galleries of the different parts of the park up on Saturday and Sunday night; I don't believe those show up in Google Reader, so you may have to check the page that night, and I'll certainly tweet links to them as well. 

I'm very excited to be a part of this and I'm even more excited for the film. I promise you all that there is also a reason I haven't posted much at all and I promise that the reason is great news for us all. I just ask for your patience because there is so much awesome to come. Thank you, each and every one of you, for your support of my writing. You're the best fans one could ever ask for.

Who wants to come see 'Deathly Hallows' with me in San Francisco?


I'm serious. And sirius. Totally sirius.

Would you like to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with me and some fellow MRHP readers in downtown San Francisco next week? I mean, OF COURSE YOU WOULD, right???

I am here to make this a reality. 

As a wonderful way to send off the Mark Reads Harry Potter experience, I would love to meet some of you. (More on a meet-up at Harry Potter World in a post tomorrow.) I have TEN TICKETS to see Deathly Hallows at the Metreon in downtown San Francisco on Friday, November 19 at 5:00 PM. Would you like to have one of these tickets? WOULD YOU?

Oh, there are rules. And you must follow them BECAUSE I SAID SO.


1) PLEASE DO NOT enter unless you can provide transportation for yourself to downtown San Francisco. In a perfect world where I am a billionaire, I'd just buy an entire theater out and fly you all out here, but HEY THAT ISN'T HOW THINGS WORK. If you don't live around here and you want to fly out to this wonderful land, BE MY GUEST, I WON'T STOP YOU. But I don't want to be standing outside the Metreon with extra tickets because you live in a city 2500 miles from here and you just wanted to win. Please don't be THAT person.

Sound fair? Good. Take BART or MUNI or AC Transit or CalTrain or Greyhound or Amtrak or fly or float or Apparate or WHATEVER.

2) Leave a comment on this journal answering this question: Which one scene from the novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows do you want faithfully replicated on screen AND WHY? You have to answer this and it is going to factor into whom I handpick to attend. 

3) Please add the best email address to the comment that I can contact you with if you DO NOT have a Buzznet account OR the email listed under your account is not the right one. Since there are plenty of you who comment via Facebook, you can just leave your email like this to avoid spam bots: myemail [at] something [dot] com. Though it might just be easier to sign up for Buzznet? IDK, DO WHAT YOU WISH. But I will look up your Buzznet account to email you when you win, JUST AN FYI.

4) TAKE A NAP OR GO EAT A SANDWICH OR HIGH FIVE A NUN. You have until Tuesday, November 16 at 12:00PM to enter the contest. I will announce the ten winners at 12:30PM that day and will privately contact you with information about the screening and how to contact me that Friday when you arrive in the city.

5) HAVE A GODDAMN PARTY because why not? 

Sound easy enough? I think it's a great way for us to be MAX EXCITED about this movie and for me to finally meet some of you.

Yay? YAY! Good luck!


Let's just turn this into a massive meet-up! If you'd like to buy a ticket to the 5pm showing at the Metreon on November 19th, please do. You are more than welcome to join us. If you already entered, let me know! I'll give the ticket to someone who otherwise may not have been able to come.


Mark Goes to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

So allow me to make some sort of official announcement about this, since I spoke about it on Twitter a couple days ago! I can finally share with you something that's been planned since nearly the beginning of time (aka July) that I couldn't say anything about this whole time. 

I am going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 

I will be in Orlando, Florida, from November 12-15, so I'll get to be in the park for at least two full days. I was hoping that I could bring some of you all with me, but things don't necessarily work out as they are planned. So, if by some cosmic coincidence, you'll be there that weekend, please let me know. We'll have a mini MRHP meet-up!

So my question for all of you readers: What would you like to see photos of? I'll be bringing this thingy along:

My goal is to make dedicated galleries to each of the places in the park. Is there something some of you would like to see? I wish I could stow all of in my luggage, so the best I can do is at least give you a photographic journey as well. 

Have you been to the park already? Do you have any tips for me? I'm also looking for recommendations of vegan food in the area. I've learned that most of it is downtown, off Colonial Dr., but if you have visited or live there, please let me know!



'Mark Reads Harry Potter' Open Post

I had a lot of fun yesterday guest posting over on hp_commonroom and I realized that not all of you who post here have LJ accounts or are a part of that fantastic community.

So, because I am absolutely stalling and buying myself time, I'm going to open the floodgates. I know a lot of you posted a TON of questions in the last few reviews about how I felt about certain things, characters, plot devices, etc etc, as well as general questions about the reviews and the process.

This is a question post. I am going to attempt (probably regrettably) to answer every question posed to me. Seriously.

I'll say that anything aside from super personal questions that err on the creepy side are not ok, but feel free to ask me virtually anything.

Ok, and because I need to repost this:

All right, bring it.

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' Movie Open Post

Seriously? 7,100+ comments? This is why I will love you guys until the end of time.

There's been a hang-up in my announcement plans, so I wanted to have an open post about the Half-Blood Prince movie. I sense this particular film adaptation is contentious in the fandom because, while being beautifully shot and having some well-acted scenes, is largely problematic.

So I'll ask a few leading questions and let's have a discussion about this adaptation. I know some of you want to know how I felt about it (it's my least favorite movie so far, FYI), and I've been dying for us to have a true COMMENT CONVO, so let's go for it.

  • Did you enjoy the movie?
  • Favorite scene?
  • Least favorite scene? (Correct answering: Fenrir and Bellatrix destroying the Burrow.)
  • Best acting?
  • Best change from novel?
  • Worst change from novel?
  • what
  • I ran out of questions.
  • Shall we discuss? DISCUSS.

    PS: There are a lot of comments on my final Epilogue review, but I'll spend today replying to a lot of them, since I am now in SPOILER FREE LAND, so keep a look out for about a million comments from me today.

    Mark Watches 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'

    Hello, readers new and old! In celebration of my completion of the entire Harry Potter series, we'll be watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I skipped watching due to slightly spoilery hints towards Horcruxes and Snape. 

    I know there are many of you who have never participated in one of these, since we haven't done one since September. (That seems forever ago.) Below, you'll find a guide to maximize your fun during the movie and deal with the inevitable comment breakage. Let us go forth into livebloggy goodness!

    1) The Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince liveblog will begin at precisely 11:00AM PST on Sunday, October 31st. Please consult a world clock if you live elsewhere and compare your time to San Francisco to figure out when this will be! The movie is just over two and a half hours long.

    2) You can save this blog URL. Our liveblog insanity will happen in the comments below.

    3) If the comments are temporarily delayed, don't worry. They are still in the system and will appear, but these events normally break the site which is AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL. So just keep commenting away and do not be discouraged!

    There is a way, however, to see the comments as they are being updated. Just add ".old" in between "markreadsharrypotter" and ".buzznet" in the URL and you'll be directed to the older version of our site.

    For the technically challenged, just visit this:

    ADDITIONALLY! Sometimes it is better to refresh the whole page during this than to refresh just the comments, so try that. It works for me!

    4) Once the movie starts, go nuts. Leave photos, gifs, videos, whatever you want in the comments. Have fun, of course! YEAH!

    5) Our previous comment record, achieved during the Order of the Phoenix liveblog is 6,390 comments.

    See you guys tomorrow!

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    Mark Reads Harry Potter's Profile Picture
    • Member Since: 2010-03-05
    • Relationship Status: single
    • Orientation: Gay
    • Religion: Atheist
    • Drink: No
    • Smoke: No
    • Children: I Don't Want Kids
    • Education: Some College
    • Occupation: Internet Cat Wrangler

    About Me:

    I'm Mark and I'm about to read all of Harry Potter. Join me.

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