Characters fascinate me. How they act, what they say, what they do. I guess that I could say that humans fascinate me.
Each character is so unique, and yet they are so similar.
From the first time a character opens their mouth and says something it is often possible to distinguish them from the others. Sometimes it is even possible to recognize a character even before they speak.
So, yeah, I have been thinking about characters and how it is often possible to see their personality in the very first thing that they say a lot.
And so today I am back with another first lines blog post. This one is using Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
I’ll be sharing the first thing that each of the characters who speak say. There will be some spoilers, hopefully, not too big, but anything from a book that you have not read can be a spoiler. At any rate, you have been warned.
Now that I have warned you that you read this at your own risk, let’s begin!
Vernon Dursley: ‘Vernon Dursley speaking.’
Ron Weasley: ‘HELLO? HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME? I – WANT – TO – TALK – TO – HARRY – POTTER!’
Was it really necessary to yell, Ron? I hate writing in all capitals.
Arthur Weasley: ‘We will be spending the gold on a summer holiday in Egypt, where our eldest son, Bill, works as a curse breaker for Gringotts Wizarding Bank.’
I’m not really sure I should use this one because it is in a newspaper.
Harry Potter: ‘Uh-oh.’
Absolutely brilliant first line. It definitely makes everyone realize that you are the hero, Harry.
Petunia Dursley: ‘Very true.’
Dudley Dursley: ‘No.’
Marge Dursley: ‘Where’s my Dudders? Where’s my neffy-poo?’
Stan Shunpike: ‘Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board, and we can take you anywhere you want to go. My name is Stan Shunpike, and I will be your conductor this eve-‘
Ernie Prang: ‘Ar.’
Always an excellent way to enter in, that is if you normally talk like that.
Cornelius Fudge: ‘We are doing all we can to recapture Black, and we beg the magical community to remain calm.’
This one was also in a newspaper…
Tom: ‘You’ve got him, Minister! Will you be wanting anything? Beer? Brandy?’
Hermione Granger: ‘Did you really blow up your aunt, Harry?’
Ginny Weasley: ‘Hello.’
She had a much better first line in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but I guess what happened is not likely to make her less embarrassed.
Percy Weasley: ‘Harry. How nice to see you.’
Fred Weasley: ‘Harry! Simply splendid to see you, old boy-‘
George Weasley: ‘Marvelous. Absolutely spiffing.’
Molly Weasley: ‘That’s enough, now.’
Draco Malfoy: ‘Well, look who it is. Potty and the Weasel.’
He’s certainly not straying from his character at all.
Neville Longbottom: ‘Sorry – d’you know what’s going on? – Ouch – sorry -‘
Remus Lupin: ‘Quiet!’
Rubeus Hagrid: ‘Firs’ years this way! All righ’, you three?’
Professor Minerva McGonagall: ‘There’s no need to look so worried – I just want a word in my office. Move along there, Weasley.’
She probably has to tell people not to worry a lot, except for the times that those people should actually worry.
Madame Poppy Pomfrey: ‘Oh, it’s you, is it? I suppose you’ve been doing something dangerous again?’
Professor Albus Dumbledore: ‘Welcome! to another year at Hogwarts! I have a few things to say to you all, and as one of them is very serious, I think it is best to get it out of the way before you become befuddled by our excellent feast…’
He continues speaking for several more paragraphs, but as that would mean that his section would be at least three times (if not more) as big as the others, I just put his first paragraph. Also, this way it is not really a spoiler, if I continued you would learn quite a bit more about the book.
Pansy Parkinson: ‘Hey, Potter! Potter! The dementors are coming, Potter! Woooooooo!’
Well, she sounds like a just delightful girl.
Sir Cadogan: ‘Aha! What villains are these, that trespass upon my private lands! Come to scorn at my fall, perchance? Draw, you knaves, you dogs!’
This is not exactly what it sounds like…
Professor Sybil Trelawney: ‘Welcome. How nice to see you in the physical world at last.’
Seamus Finnigan: ‘It looks like a Grim if you do this, but it looks more like a donkey from here.’
Lavender Brown: ‘Oooooooh!’
And I think that this may be the only time that she speaks in the book, but I’m not positive.
Dean Thomas: ‘It was Malfoy’s fault!’
Professor Severus Snape: ‘Settle down, settle down.’
Oliver Wood: ‘This is our last chance – my last chance – to win the Quidditch Cup. I’ll be leaving at the end of this year. I’ll never get another shot at it.’
He, also, speaks for several paragraphs, so I just gave you the first one.
Angelina Johnson: ‘We’ll do it, Oliver!’
Professor Pomona Sprout: ‘Careful, Weasley, careful!’
Parvati Patil: ‘She got a letter from home this morning. It’s her rabbit, Binky. He’s been killed by a fox.’
I’m sorry that that is what this character had to say.
Peeves: ‘You’ll be lucky!’
Katie Bell: ‘Strong and silent.’
Cho Chang: ‘Oh!’
Second character to have ‘oh’ for her first line in this book. Should I say ‘impressive’?
Sirius Black: ‘Expelliarmus!’
He also says more, but I don’t feel like spoiling things any more.
Peter Pettigrew: ‘S-Sirius . . . R-Remus . . . My friends . . . my old friends . . .’
Walden Macnair: ‘Where is the beast?’
That brings us to the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’ll be getting the first lines from the rest of the series out at some point, but that will probably not be for a little while.
Do you have a favorite of these quotes? My favorite is probably Madame Pomfrey’s, she says, ‘Oh, it’s you, is it? I suppose you’ve been doing something dangerous again?’