Monday, July 23, 2007

What's Alan Reading?: The Harry Potter spoiler thread

So I skipped the press tour evening event and finished reading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." While this site isn't usually a place for book commentary, it's hard to find someone who isn't invested in this book, even here at a TV press tour.

At the TCA Awards last night, Greg Daniels devoted half of his acceptance speech for "The Office" winning best comedy to boasting that he was already at page 450, then suggesting how he would cast the in-attendance second bananas as Potter characters: Brian Baumgartner/Kevin as Hagrid, Mindy Kaling/Kelly as either Parvati or Luna (he couldn't decide), Angela Kinsey/Angela as Dolores Umbridge, Kate Flannery/Meredith as Aunt Petunia, Oscar Nunez/Oscar as Viktor Krum, Leslie David Baker/Stanley as Uncle Vernon, and Creed Bratton/Creed as Lucius Malfoy. (Halfway through, Greg asked, "Is this too nerdy for everybody?") At today's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader"-themed Fox lunch, Jeff Foxworthy stopped at my table because he saw my copy of the book and wanted to know how far I had gotten; his son had finished it late the night before.

Since I publish the full versions of my posts to various site feeds, I'm going to take any and all "Deathly Hallows" spoilers straight to the comments. If you've finished the book, read on...


Alan Sepinwall said...

I'll get the bad out of the way first, because so much of it was so wonderful: it's easily one or two hundred pages two long, if not more. (Note: I have no problem with long books, but not when they start to feel as long as this one did in the middle passages.)The section with Harry, Ron and Hermione on the run through the woods could have been compressed without losing much in the way of drama or character work. In fact, as someone pointed out over in the Throwing Things spoiler thread, there's really no good reason for the twist with Sirius' brother and the amulet from the end of "Half-Blood Prince," save for some minor business with Kreacher, and the thriller set piece at the Ministry. Better that Harry and Dumbledore had found the real amulet at the end of the previous book, which would have given greater heft to what was largely a feet-dragging exercise, and in turn would have given Rowling the ability to tighten up a great book into something completely unassailable.

Also, while the moment in the epilogue when Harry sang Snape's praises to Albus Severus was one of the three most moving in the book (along with Dobby and Harry using the ring as he entered the forest), I'd have preferred Rowling either have done a full-scale epilogue that told us where everyone was and what they were doing (was Harry an auror? someone at the Ministry? a stay-at-home dad living off his huge inheritance? and what about everyone else?), or else that she ended things with the victory over Dumbledore. I get that these are still books read and adored by children, and that Rowling wanted to offer them some closure, but this was too half-hearted.

As for the rest? Well, there's a reason I blew off Fox's evening event and some badly-needed time to catch up on writing and watching just to finish the book, and it wasn't just because I was afraid of spoilers. This was just a grand entertainment, epic in scope, packed with thrills (the opening aerial chase with the seven Harrys, the Gringott's bank heist), comedy (Harry complaining when Ralph and Hermione finally kissed at the wrong possible moment, Fred mocking George's choice of ear-loss jokes), fist-pumping developments (pretty much everything from the moment Harry, Ron and Hermione arrived in the Room of Requirement, but particularly Neville as ass-kicking resistance leader, a role befitting The Boy Who Could Have Been The Boy Who Lived; and J.K. finally sticking in a bit of profanity for Mrs. Weasley's big moment), and moments that I am not ashamed at all to admit made me mist up.

Let's talk about Dobby. Dobby the stupid, annoying house-elf, who verged on being the series' Jar-Jar Binks in some of the early books (or maybe that's just my memory of his depiction in the "Chamber of Secrets" movie), who was at the center of the seemingly pointless S.P.E.W. subplot in "Goblet of Fire" (which was, rightfully it seemed at the time, dumped from that film), it was Dobby's damn death that made me cry the first, and maybe the most. It helped that his death happened on camera (as opposed to Mad-Eye's) or in isolation from a major action and carnage sequence like The Battle of Hogwarts (as opposed to Fred or Lupin or Tonks), but there was more to it than that.

Just as I finally understood the point of Tom Riddle's diary when I got through "Half-Blood Prince," I finally appreciated all the stuff with Dobby and the sock and S.P.E.W. with Dobby's sacrifice. Because Rowling spent so much time on this seemingly pathetic creature, his desire for freedom and his love of Harry and his friends, it made the moment when he gave his life for them hurt much more than even when a beloved character like Dumbledore die. Dumbledore's "murder" (which was revealed here to be anything but) was shocking, both in the loss of Harry's greatest ally and the (bogus) revelation that Snape was evil, but it didn't feel quite as heroic and tragic as Dobby's passing. I imagine most of the readership is too young to have seen "Gunga Din" (hell, it came out 44 years before I was born, but I have an affinity for black & white adventure films), but if you've seen that movie and therefore have the image of Sam Jaffe climbing ever so slowly to the top of the temple roof, you know what I'm talking about. That mascot who finally gets to be (not play) hero and dies in the process is an incredibly powerful idea, and one that Rowling uses to perfection.

And here I have just spent two extremely long paragraphs writing about the death of a house elf. Damn, that's good writing. (Or else, like Greg Daniels, I'm just an enormous geek.)

Moving on to Misty Moment #2, I'd been assuming that the final book would feature Harry having some kind of reunion with his parents, and or/Sirius. I just couldn't decide what form it would take place. Would Rowling have the guts (cruelty?) to kill Harry and show the Potters' happy forever afterlife? Would she dare rewrite the spirit of the entire series and bring them back to life? Instead, she found a beautiful middle ground, as Harry used the second of the Deathly Hallows to use his parents and their fellow Marauders (including the recently-deceased Lupin) to accompany him on what he assumed to be the final journey of his short life, to give him the courage to get past the Dementors one last time. A really lovely moment, even if I'm mad at Rowling for killing off both Lupin and Tonks. (Since I became a dad, the idea of a baby being left without both its parents affects me in a way it wouldn't have when the series began.)

Finally, we have the redemption of Snape and the semi-redemption of the Malfoys. (Well, I don't know that I'd call them redeemed, but they're not as evil as Bellatrix or You-Know-Who.) I'm glad Severus was revealed as a (relative) good guy, a man driven by his love for Lily, even as his baser impulses drove her away from him. It would have been too obvious and cheap, I think, if Harry had been right about Severus all along; better that the headmaster end the series as its most complex, and in some ways tragic, character, a man who, from the moment of Lily's death, devoted the rest of his life to protecting her son. (And good on all the mentions over the years about Harry having his mother's eyes; it really drove home the moment when the dying Snape asked Harry to show him his eyes one last time.) I can't wait to see Alan Rickman's work in the last two movies when they get made.

I could say more, but it's late (even on the West Coast), and I should do a "John From Cincinnati" post before I sack out. What did everybody else think?

Anonymous said...

I think Greg Daniels is on to something there. But Kelly is clearly Lavender Brown. Ryan/Kelly is quite like book six Ron/Lavender come to think of it. Neat.

I loved the book, but then I'm a big Potter nerd. I'm with you on the epilogue: I was really disappointed. Given that Rowling has so much up there in her head about the lives of these characters, I thought she would have shared more. Maybe someday she'll be convinced to publish all of that for charity, as some of us have long hoped.

dark tyler said...

Hated the epilogue, as it was more like a conventional "Sex & the City"-esque ending to a series that was anything but. Everyone ends up with his high-school sweetheart, having popped three kids each? I would have just tossed these final pages away, but then there was the Albus Severus, which made me cry.

Snape was my favorite character from the very beginning, but what Rowling did with him here was amazing. We all knew he was going to be a spy for Dumbledore (we all knew, right?) but I loved the chapter where his past is revealed and then we know why he did what he did.

See, he was The Spike, the man who clearly belongs to the Dark Side (Snape never stopped believing in the principles of the Death Eaters) but he decides to do his heart's bidding, and then dies saving the world, while the core 4 live on. Uncanny, huh? (Yep, this ending was a "Buffy" instead of an "Angel".)

The most unexpected thing of all, when it comes to Snape, was the way he died before anyone knew the truth. Since Book 6's finale I was astonished at how risky his mission was, because with Dumbledore dead, nobody remained alive knowing the truth. So, I was certain that a beautifully cheesy moment was on its way, with Harry finding out the truth about Snape (perhaps during battle, where Snape would use his Patronum?) but no such moment came. Snape died not a hero, but a disgraced minion. He died before anyone ever celebrated him. He died as a traitor, a coward, and for all he knew, the truth would never be revealed. Even as he was dying, he didn't know Harry was there-- he was dying without any hope that anyone would ever know.

If this is not one of the most tragic heroes in the history of fantasy, I don't know what it would take.

More stuff I loved ("Here lies Dobby, a free elf", "Look... at... me", Neville slaying Nagini) but I just want to comment briefly on two ways Rowling blew me away:

1. She uses a clearly plot coupon-esque concept, that of the Horcruxes, but she never treats is as such. With the detailed backstories and the way everything comes at a price, she has earned the right to break the plot in smaller tasks. I mean, the statue in the secret room? Seriously?

2. While the book suffers in its pacing, I love how it's so very different from the last 6. For the most part, every supporting character is scattered throughout the Potter-verse, only doing 2-3 chapter cameos each. In the meantime, the 3 main characters are engaged in a quest without a clear destination, and during that time Rowling has the chance to write stories from very different genres. The "LOTR"-esque episode with R.A.B.'s locket, the heist movie that is Gringotts, the spy thriller that is the infiltration to the Ministry, the plain old thriller that is the Return to Godric's Hollow (which scared me shitless) and of course the visit to th Malfoy Manor.

Oi, what a lot of thing to comment on. Next!

Alcuin Bramerton said...

Harry Potter is true. Harry Potter is scripture. Harry Potter offers a portal out of the matrix. Are these things possible?

Christy said...

Dobby's death got to me, too.

I rather liked Harry, Hermione, and Ron wandering alone in the "wasteland." This was part of the hero's journey, but with a twist. Was it Moses wandering lost in the desert? Or Christ's duplication of Moses's 40 day fast? Ron made clear that they were as good as fasting. With Harry making the choice to sacrifice himself and then rising from the dead, one naturally looks back and attaches more significance to those days of solitude.

I did not like Hermione turning into a crybaby. I didn't like Ginny as nothing more that the hero's squeeze. Yes, I know she helped lead the resistance, but it happened off camera, as you would say.

No offence to you as a journalist Alan, but I'm also delighted that a generation is growing up who will be skeptical of everything they read in the news.

Kara said...

The Dobby scene turned on the waterworks for me more than any other, too, and the middle dragged a bit for me too (I confess, during the H/R/H on the run scenes, I was tempted to peek ahead a bit from time to time). As for the epilogue, I'm glad she included at least a little something, even just a glimpse.

Alan Sepinwall said...

"Here lies Dobby, a free elf"

Forgot to mention that part of the Dobby thing, so thanks, Dark Tyler. That, more than anything, was what really got to me.

Nicole said...

I'm with you on Snape. I have always liked him as a character, and when Alan Rickman was cast, I now see him acting out these scenes. I have complained that there hasn't been much of him in the movies, but the next two will obviously be able to let Rickman shine. Snape truly is the tragic hero in this saga and if it wasn't for Harry telling Voldemort that Snape was still Dumbledore's in the final duel, Snape would have died an ignominious death.

I also agree with you about the dragging middle portion (I mean the RAB locket was pretty obvious from Book 6 so why not just quickly figure that out and get one Horcrux out of the way and the camping was a bit tiresome), and that Dobby's death was the first to make me tear.

I don't believe the veil was addressed very much and so I hope there is a post-novel interview to answer that and the other questions.. like who developed magic later in life, who were the 2 originally unplanned deaths (I think Lupin and Tonks) and the one who got the reprieve (Draco).

Abbie said...

The sixth book was such a letdown for me, especially in regards to the Harry/Ginny romance. I'm glad she gave that the backseat to Ron/Hermione.

I think a lot of the plot points were kinda contrived, and this and the last book smell very much of a writer who was eager to finish all of this up. Still, I was satisfied with the ending and I think I'm going to reread the whole series now.

Anna Laperle said...

Found myself crying over Dobby as well. The whole Nazification of the wizarding world made Dobby's sacrifice all the more touching when you consider how maltreated the elves were.

I was very shocked by Lupin's death, pleased that Dumbledore stayed dead and very amused by Mrs. Weasley's Ripley-like confrontation with Bellatrix: "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" Zing! Whack! Hee.

Also, the funniest thing in the book, to me, was Prof. McGonigal shepherding a herd of enchanted desks through Hogwarts. "CHARGE!"

Anonymous said...

Dobby got to me too, and while "Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf" made me cry, the thing that really undid me was Ron putting his shoes and socks on Dobby's feet, given the importance of clothes to a House Elf. I had to put the book down and just weep.

Overall, I think Rowling did a great job. I do agree that the middle dragged a bit, but because I read it so quickly, it was a relief to have a bit of a breather. I was expecting Neville to kill Bellatrix, but I liked that he killed Nagini-- and how he did it, with the Gryffindor sword.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Another hat tip to the Throwing Things'ers: they explained that Neville suddenly had the sword because the Sorting Hat has demonstrated the ability to produce it before

Anonymous said...

I felt the same about Tonks and Lupin both dying, leaving their infant son behind. As a parent of two young children, that really hits hard. Still, it does mirror both Harry's and Neville's stories from the first round (losing both parents, who sacrificed themselves so their children would grow up in a better world). Also, it reminds me of a scene in book 5 where Mrs. Weasley is worried about her and Mr. W. dying and leaving her children without parents. Lupin comforts her and reassures her he and others would take the kids under their wing. As it turned out, the Weasley's extended family took Teddy Lupin under their wing.
~Katie V.

Anonymous said...

Oops! Neville's parents didn't actually die, but close enough, having been tortured into insanity and spending their lives at St. Mungo's, not even recognizing their son.
~Katie V.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody else notice that Voldemort and Harry were indeed related? They were both the last male descendents of two of the Perevell Brothers.

I thought that was a nice touch that was never brought up directly in the book.

I thought the epilogue was a bit cheesy but I liked it anyway.

Anonymous said...

I thought the epilouge was weak, but everything else, I loved. The death that got to me most, though (besides Doby) was Fred. The idea of George left without his twin is awful to think about.

I also teared up at Hedwig. It was a bit of a shock, and the point when I realized what a bloodbath the book was going to be.

Unknown said...

Good point about the Potter-Riddle family connection. Harry and V are at least some sort of cousins, no? I noticed that too and kept waiting for the book to comment on that fact, and was more than a little surprised when it didn't. (After all, this last book really played up the Harry-V parallels, so it seems weird to ignore a genealogical connection.)

dark tyler said...

Well, just like the fact that Dumbledore's sister got raped when she was still underage, the Harry-Voldemort-cousin thing was left from J.K. to the readers as something that could be ignored by anyone who didn't really feel comfortable thinking about it.

Unknown said...

My wife was glad that my Potter prediction didn't come true. Harry, Ron, and Hermione sit in the cafeteria at Hogwart's, the heretofore-unnoticed living painting of a rock band breaks into "Don't Stop Believin'"...

Taleena said...

When Hedwig died I thought, "a Bloodbath indeed."

One of things most satisfying was the arc of Neville Longbottom. Throughout most of the series I thought that Neville would be the one to kill Voldemort after Harry died destroying the last horcrux and/or battling an evil Snape. Having him pull Gryffindor's sword to kill Nagini and leading the resistance was good.

I am glad that Kreacher was redeemed and that all the time Rowling spent on SPEW was worthwhile to the plot.

I was shaken by the deaths of Fred and Lupin, although I had a bad feeling Lupin was going to die from Prisoner of Azkaban on.

All in all I thought the epilogue weak. I 'd have much rather had bullet points detailing the future lives of most major characters.

Snape, what can you say about Snape? I look forward to Alan Rickman making me cry in the theatrical version of it. Tragic Hero indeed it was Snape's story as much as Harry's as shown by the pensieve of Snape's memories.

Mara said...

I could not believe how choked up I got over Dobby's death. SPEW drove me a bit mad in Harry 4. But Luna's speech for him was so simple and lovely that I couldn't help it.

My favorite moments (or, because there were so many, the ones that come immediately to mind):

1) Rowling found such a beautiful way to describe Harry's feelings of being alone on his (admittedly too long) journey for horcruxes. He sees Ron and Hermione sleeping next to each other and wonders if they had been holding hands, and feels a profound sense of loneliness in that moment. Whatever invaluable assistance Ron & Hermione were able to give, Harry really was completely by himself in a lot of ways. Wish I could find the passage to quote it directly. And I loved Ron's consultation of "12 Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches" to get Hermione.

2) I couldn't believe how many gifts Rowling left for the careful readers of all her books, so smoothly woven into the text that they would be barely noticeable to everyone else. The pipe-banging ghoul who lived in the Weasleys' attic introduced when Harry goes to the Burrow becomes Ron's stand-in with spattergroit. Ron and Hermione returning with the basilisk's fangs from the Chamber of Secrets, allowing for the destruction of another horcrux. That Luna's reciting of "Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure" in Book 5 is actually important. The return of Victor Krum, much to Ron's chagrin, to help the Trio learn about the Deathly Hallows.

3) The moment when Harry observes Snape's memory in which Dumbledore tells Snape that Harry must die was when I totally lost it. I have been sitting in anticipation of Book 7 ever since I finished 6, but I was really dreading this moment, as I thought "neither can live while the other survives" might mean that both H-W-M-N-B-N and Harry would die, and I didn't want to believe it. Rowling has a wonderful ability to make you feel like you really know the characters, but at that part, I realized how much I loved Harry as a character above all others, and how much of a loss his death would be both for the reader and for his friends.

4) How before Book 7 Dumbledore seemed the wisest, but perhaps least complex, and in the space of one book possibly became the most complex (with the potential exception of Snape). Clues were left for us (Aberforth the barman; Dumbledore's comment to Harry at the Mirror of Erised; the battle with Grindelwald; Dumbledore's refusal to turn minister of magic; the mysterious death of Dumbledore's finger after he touched the ring horcrux) yet I really didn't see this story coming at all, and I found it to be one of the most interesting parts of the series.

I will miss this series immensely, and not just for how I truly enjoy these books for their humor, warmth and emotion, but for the fact that I knew I was sharing an experience with people ages 8-108. I wonder if our culture will find another author who will be able to inspire this kind of fervor and devotion in my lifetime. I tend to doubt it. It has certainly been an incredible ride.

Anonymous said...

I'm terribly, terribly sorry it's over. I came late to the party on this one and the anticipation of moving on to the next book has been loads of fun for six years.

Fred's death made me cry the most. I actually put the book down and wept for awhile. I knew one of the Weasleys was going to have to go, and Fred was always my favourite of the twins. I was also upset about Dobby; somewhat less so about Mad-Eye, Tonks and Lupin, but I think that may have been because the deaths were "off-camera", as Alan put it. But no death in this book made me cry as much as Dumbledore's did in Book 6.

I knew either Malfoy or Snape would die and I figured one or the both of them would be redeemed, but I didn't cry over Snape. Tragic hero or no, he was still unlikeable, and I didn't believe the backstory with him and Lily at all. A lot of people had guessed already that he was in love with her and that's why he turned on Voldemort, but the "Snape's worst memory" chapter from Book 6 doesn't suggest in any way that they knew each other for years. If that's where Rowling intended to go, I think she could have written that scene much better. I could believe that he'd worshipped Lily from afar and been rejected, but not that they'd been friends, given the evidence we got.

I was also annoyed at all the things that we just "conveniently" found out - like that Harry's Invisibility Cloak is unique in its power or that Snitches have "flesh memories". Given how significant both these points were, you'd think we'd at least have read about Wood and Harry using gloves when Wood's explaining the rules of Quidditch. I also thought that we'd already found two ways to cheat death: the Philosopher's Stone and the Horcruxes - did we really need another one? Ultimately, I think this was one of Rowling's best thriller/horror stories but one of her worst mystery novels.

Things I loved: the battle for Hogwarts and Neville's part in it, that that supremely annoying Grawp subplot actually bore fruit, the redemption of Kreacher, that Ron's jealousy of Harry finally came to the surface and was dealt with, that Mrs Weasley and Professor McGonagall finally struck a blow for powerful women on the good side (especially since Ginny was kind of sidelined this time around; Hermione was carrying the standard all by herself for awhile), and that I was right about that locket in Sirius's house being one of the Horcruxes.

Anonymous said...

"A lot of people had guessed already that he was in love with her and that's why he turned on Voldemort, but the "Snape's worst memory" chapter from Book 6 doesn't suggest in any way that they knew each other for years."

When I read that chapter in Book 6, I remember thinking "Snape is an ex-Death Eater who was picked on all through his time at Hogwarts, no WAY is THAT his worst memory!" But it makes sense now, knowing how long he and Lily had known each other. So even though the worst memory scene didn't hint that they'd known each other, I thought it all came together.

I liked that even though Snape turned out to be on the good side, he still honestly hated Harry. Rowling let him stay a bit dark, a bit jealous.

I loved most of the book, and I have only one major complaint: the complicated bit at the end about Harry being the true master of the Elder Wand seemed totally unnecessary. Wouldn't it have been enough for the wand to have lost power because Dumbledore chose his own death? I guess Rowling wanted Harry to be the Wand's master so he could give up the Hallows at the end, but all of that stuff about Draco having been the Wand's master was confusing.

Anonymous said...

"When I read that chapter in Book 6, I remember thinking "Snape is an ex-Death Eater who was picked on all through his time at Hogwarts, no WAY is THAT his worst memory!" But it makes sense now, knowing how long he and Lily had known each other."

It isn't so much Snape's feelings in or about that scene that worry me (although I don't think one call someone one loved "Mudblood" no matter how upset one was) it was Lily's reaction to it. If someone you thought was your best friend threw a racial epithet at you, would you just blink and say "Next time I won't bother [helping you]?" That was the part that didn't ring true for me - I think Lily should have been much more upset there if she and Snape were close.

Forgot one other thing I enjoyed: the parallels between Voldemort and the Nazis has been fairly obvious since Book 2, but Rowling really pulled out all the stops here, with the trials and the "wandless" forming an entire second class of wizards. I noticed in Book 1 that Grindelwald had been defeated in 1945, the same year as WWII ended, and Rowling made that parallel even clearer here, too, with the whole "For the Greater Good" and the very German-sounding prison camp. And, of course, Riddle was discovering his power during the rise of facism in Europe and would have been at Hogwarts during WWII. Since Book 1 Rowling's been saying that evil doesn't die, it just takes on new forms, and she did a good job of demonstrating that here (until the epilogue, at least).

Susan said...

I also thought that the Nazi idea was reinforced by the idea that Voldemort was trying to raise a class of pureblood wizards when he himself was not a pureblood.

Katie V - who was it who actually raised Teddy, could you tell? I assumed it was Mrs. Tonks, but that Harry had a large hand in it. I didn't see him growing up in a Weasley household.

Kate said...

"If someone you thought was your best friend threw a racial epithet at you, would you just blink and say "Next time I won't bother [helping you]?" That was the part that didn't ring true for me - I think Lily should have been much more upset there if she and Snape were close."

But it *completely* works if Snape considered Lily a closer friend than Lily considered Snape.

Anonymous said...

"Katie V - who was it who actually raised Teddy, could you tell? I assumed it was Mrs. Tonks, but that Harry had a large hand in it. I didn't see him growing up in a Weasley household. "

Same here--I imagine it was Andromeda Tonks, but with a lot of involvement from the extended Weasley family.

"But it *completely* works if Snape considered Lily a closer friend than Lily considered Snape."

Kate, I agree--I think it was a bit odd none of the 4 friends (James, Sirius, Peter, Remus) never mentioned that Lily and Snape were best buddies. Not a one-sided relationship, necessarily, but I could definitely buy a discrepancy in the way each perceived their relationship.

~Katie V.

Anonymous said...

Not to belabour the Lily-Snape point, but Snape says to Lily "...thought we were supposed to be friends?...Best friends?" and Lily responds "We are, Sev." She goes on to say that she doesn't like some of his other friends, but early on in their life at Hogwarts, at least, Lily is as much invested in their friendship as Snape is.

And I agree, it's weird that neither Sirius nor Lupin (nor Dumbledore) ever mentioned that Snape and Lily were friends - that's another reason why I think this backstory in the final book was unbelievable and unnecessary. It just doesn't fit in with everything we've seen or been told up to this point.

Anonymous said...

The difference in their perceptions of the relationship is that Snape was *in love* with Lily.

I believe that none of the others would have said anything about Lily & Snape because they all hated him and wouldn't want to redeem him in any way. Dumbledore couldn't say anything because it would have blown the whole works.

Unknown said...

Dobby's death, as well as the final procession of Harry into the woods, were the two sections that actually made me sob. But then, one of the few times a song has ever made me cry was a neighbour's rendition of Jim Croce's "The Ballad of Gunga Din". I was aware of the catchphrase "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din" but had never read the original Kipling poem. Hit me like a ton of bricks, it did.

Anonymous said...

I think by the time Snape calls Lily Mudblood, she'd already been gradually accepting the fact that they wouldn't be able to be friends anymore. Mudblood was just the final straw.

Anonymous said...

I was not altogether surprised at the revelation about Snapes. At the end of book six, I argued with my sister that Dumbledore would have not pleaded with Snapes for his own life, but that he (Dumbledore) pleaded with Snapes to be the one to kill him so as to save Draco's soul.

The fact that Snapes understood and did the killing led me to think that we the readers didnt fully understand yet everything that was going on.

Anonymous said...

Everywhere I go on this subject, I find have to defend the epilogue. Am I sad that she didn't include every single detail down to the color of Neville's grandson's hair in the epilogue? Yes. But I know there are more important things.

Everything I wanted to know, including a lot I didn't realize I wanted to know, came out over the course of the next few months, as we should have realized it would have. Rowling has said that she wrote a much more detailed epilogue, but scrapped it in favor of a more eloquent one. I'd love to read the old epilogue, but I'm glad she replaced it. The final one is a beautiful piece of writing.

The main thing I was disappointed about with Deathly Hallows was that Voldemort didn't meet his end directly on the swordpoint of love and remorse. I won't relate here the full details of the ending I recently pieced together, but suffice it to say that Voldemort gets duped into remorse, and dies of the pain of soul reintegration. Did anyone else think that information was more useful than it ended up being?

Anonymous said...

i have read all the harry potter books and found them very interestin. i felt as if i was there .i could see the ending of the last 2 books as if i was a character in the book itself they say about imagination it,s true . i drawn myself into the book as if th charcters were real but the ending of the last book where he goes to the head office and says the wand will be taken etc. then he goes to bed and it follows by 19 years later u cant call the last bit thee ending because there is no epilogue what i mean is at the end ,when he was tired and went to bed it should have not finished there it shoukd hav finised where u see him catching the train back to muggle world and then the 19 years later.