Sunday, July 22, 2007

Here there be spoilers: What I thought of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

These are my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, and it contains serious spoilers. If you haven't read the book, but intend to, DO NOT READ.


It's over, and Fred Weasley is dead.

I'm really upset, but I also find it odd that of the many people who died in the book, that one affected me the most. In the very beginning of the book, when George lost his ear, I thought that meant he and Fred were safe. I knew that she wouldn't go ahead and kill George after he had his ear cursed off, and I thought it was an all or nothing thing--either both twins would die, or both would survive. The only other death that affected me that much was Dobby.

In retrospect, it's not suprising that one of the Weasleys died. It even makes sense that it was one of the twins. Charlie hasn't had a prominent enough role in the series to make his death as affecting. Bill had just gotten married, and he was attacked by the werewolf in the last book; I thought he was a long shot. I considered Percy the most likely--I assumed he would realize the error of his ways and return to his family, and be killed in the final battle. I was half right.

I couldn't imagine her killing either Ron or Hermione, though I did think it was a good possibility that Harry would die, so I thought Ron was safe. And Ginny--I just couldn't see Rowling killing off Harry's love interest.

I was thrilled to see Neville take such an active role in the final battle--only in Harry Potter could he attack the enemy with plants and be successful. And it seemed very fitting that he was the one who destroyed the last Horcrux. I almost expected Harry to tell him that he was the other person to whom the prophecy could refer, but I can understand why he didn't. And the image of Trelawney beaning Death Eaters with crystal balls from a balcony was priceless.

I was suprised that Rowling killed Tonks--Lupin didn't come as a huge suprise, but I didn't expect them both to die only months after having a baby. And I was shocked when Snape died.

I love, love, loved Snape's story in this book. I couldn't decide whether or not he was truly a traitor or not. I went into the book thinking he was acting under Dumbledore's orders, but his actions in the beginning of the book--including cursing off George's ear--convinced me that he was evil. I was so wrong. The scenes with Lily and Petunia even before he and Lily went to Hogwarts--the true reason that Petunia hated wizards--the fact that Snape tried to save Lily's life--the fact that he was in love with her--it was all so incredible. I loved the revelation that when Petunia made reference to "that horrible boy" books ago, she was likely talking about Snape and not James. I loved that Harry and Ginny named one of their sons for him. I loved that Harry cleared Snape's name after he was dead.

I also liked Kreacher's arc, and the fact that Hermione's endless harping on elf rights had a point. I had read that the screenwriter for the fifth movie originally cut Kreacher out entirely, and Rowling hinted strongly that he had to at least make an appearance in order to facilitate the filming of the seventh movie. And I absolutely loved that Molly Weasley was the one to kill Bellatrix Lestrange. She's always been portrayed in the kitchen, or in stereotypically motherly roles, and I felt like this was a perfect break from that. I was a little suprised that Rowling used the word Bitch in what is still technically a kid's book, though. It will be interesting to see if she gets any flack for that.

I did think the epilogue was a little corny--not finding out what happened to them, exactly, but it read like a bad fanfic. I liked the fact that Neville was teaching Herbology at Hogwarts, and I liked the brief mention of Draco, but all in all it seemed very--I don't know. Badly written, maybe?

I also actually wanted to see more of the Dursleys in this book. I would have loved to see more of Dudley's evolution, to see if Petunia was affected at all at being exposed to the wizarding world again, and to see if Vernon completely lost his mind. I think that could have been some fairly good comic relief, and I'm curious.

I get that this is basically a coming of age story, and Harry is now more or less an adult. But I would love to see some post-Hogwarts books--I don't think it's incredibly likely, but I want more details on what happens next. Unfortunately I suspect I'm going to have to turn to fanfic. Luckily, there's some really good Harry Potter fanfic out there--if you're willing to pick through all the crap. So in the spirit of helping you get started on that, I'll leave you with this, which is an extremely amusing, extremely NOT work-safe story that was written several books ago, so it doesn't follow canon. In more ways than one.

1 comment:

ms. mindless said...

so, i read your whole blog today. i got to this post and agree with you spot on. i thought pretty much everything your wrote!