Saturday, July 28, 2007

It's over

Just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Spoiler-filled discussion in the comments.

Four Harry Potter books in two weeks. That's roughly 3,000 pages and a lot of dead bodies. Emotionally draining, to say the least. Now applying The Garden State soundtrack and a bowl of ice cream to reattain sense of well-being.



Rambly first impressions, not to be confused with a review or critique in any way:

In general, regarding the series, I'm in awe. Rowling's writing improved dramatically with each book. I don't know if what she's accomplished will ever be equaled.

I thought each book was better than its predecessors, but I'll always have a soft spot for Order of the Phoenix. That one made me a passionate fan, when I realized I was truly emotionally invested and not merely entertained.

One thing I liked was that few characters were purely good or evil. Heroes stood on flawed, shaky pedestals.

As for Deathly Hallows, I found it hard to take at some points. The section where Ron abandoned H&H was downright depressing, and I had to put it down for a day. It was such a long stretch of hopelessness, where things neither got better nor noticeably worse--there was no movement whatsoever. In the end I understood why it had to happen, but I don't look back fondly on that experience.

At the risk of sounding like a big fat hypocrite author, I'm really pissed about the death of Fred Weasley. It'd be hard to go back and reread the series knowing my favorite character was going to bite it in the end, instead of growing old with George in their joke shop. It's just so cruel. I would've liked a few sentences showing George's grief separate from the rest of the family. Losing a twin is like losing half of oneself.

But those are the only negatives. Harry's sacrifice and resurrection was amazing, as was the other students' refusal to surrender even after his apparent death.

And Neville!! Dude! I'm so glad he got his heroic moment.

Also loved the return of prodigal son Percy, and the attack of the house-elves. And Molly Weasley's battle with Bellatrix.

Glad for the epilogue. Nice to know things stayed stable and our heroes had happily ever afters. The final three words, "All is well," were perfect.

It's nice to see a series that really ends, with no foreboding or hints of what might happen next. Closure is hard to come by these days in the fantasy genre.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 7/28/2007 6:11 PM

Neville *ruled*. That was my favorite moment in the book. That may have been my favorite moment in the series. *beams*

I'm with you about Fred, though I'm more *annoyed* that she killed Tonks and Lupin off page. That was just *wrong*.

Order of the Phoenix, interestingly, is the one that almost made me put down the series. Apparently YMMV. :) I'm looking forward to reading the whole series back to back sometime this fall, though, just to see what it's like as a whole. :)


Posted by: Blogger Catie at 7/29/2007 4:40 PM

It was a great ride, but I'm really disappointed with the end. Rowling ignored the rule of "show, don't tell" completely by having Harry have a conversation in heaven, or limbo, or whatever you want to call it. Quite honestly it was almost like the end of of Scooby Doo episode where they explain everything that went on, instead of letting us as readers discover it with the characters all along.

I also felt like Rowling's rambling exposition really got the better of me in this one. I just wanted the battle to be over already, because I knew - KNEW that good would win. I just needed to know whether Harry died or not.


Posted by: Blogger Rob at 7/30/2007 7:40 AM

I agree with those who say it took too long to destroy hthe first Horcrux, and that the middle of the book meanders a lot. Yet in some ways Ron's desertion and the rambleing remind me of a sort of dark night of the soul, a necessary component of the hero's quest, like the descent into hell. And i do miss Fred. JK Rplling said she'll out out an encyclopidia or some other such thing which will say wht happens to characters such as George afterwards. Oh, and go Neville!


Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 7/30/2007 10:23 AM

I have to agree about not seeing George's reaction to Fred. I sat down and cried when Fred died, and I wasn't his twin brother. I understand why they had to get rid of Hedwig at the beginning, but that one hurt too.

One thing I truly loved about the series is how she grew Harry up. (When he's a whiny git in Order, it's because he's a fifteen year old boy and that's what they do. I thought that was great.) He did grow, he did change, as did almost all of the characters. (Weren't you always pulling for Nevile to find his niche? Good for him!) I'm rereading, actually listening, to DH right now and have gotten to the part where Ron ditches them; I see from a literary standpoint how it was somewhat helpful to not have Ron around to go to Godrick's Hollow, and how it was necessary for Ron to have his grow-the-hell-up moment. But it still sucks.

A favorite scene in Deathly Hallows: When Harry buried Dobby. A lot of indecision and fear gets buried with the house-elf, and the turning point is well written.

Epiloge went on a little too long without saying enough, but I think we needed it. All is well.

Posted by: Blogger Sharon GR at 7/31/2007 9:38 AM

Off the subject slightly-

Since my family hadn't finished it yet and I couldn't talk about it(Why did we only buy one copy for three readers?), the first thing I did after reading DH was to go online and find all those pre-release spoilers I had heard about and carefully avoided. It was fun to see what people erroneously insisted was going to happen, and wonder how much was Scholastic's diversionary tactics and how much was simply BS people made up. I expect more of the latter than the former.

Time magazine had a great article on the secrecy of this book, and I am in awe of how well the publishers did.

Posted by: Blogger Sharon GR at 7/31/2007 9:44 AM

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