Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling

Oh, the seventh and final Harry Potter book.  This post will probably contain spoilers for a number of previous books, and likely spoilers for this one as well.  Sorry.  Can’t help it.  Don’t know how to talk about Harry Potter without spoilers.  Harry and Ron and Hermione have left school now because they are questing for Horcruxes!  They spend all sorts of time running around the countryside trying to find the damn things, and getting into all sorts of scrapes, and at last, you will be pleased to hear, Voldemort gets defeated and everyone is happy.  Except the ten thousand people who die including Lupin that I specifically said not to die, but JK Rowling did try to soften the blow by making him into a complete jerk in this book.

I remember feeling faintly cheated in this book, because all these things were revealed that we could never have suspected before getting the book.  I slightly wish that J.K. Rowling had mentioned Beedle the Bard, or legends of a wand that always won, or just you know, given more clues about what was going to happen.  That way, when we got to this book, the massive shit-tons of exposition would have felt less like exposition, and more like an expansion on things we already knew.  Like that time in the fifth book where Dumbledore told Harry all about the prophecy and that business – we had heard a lot of it before, so it felt fair.  Some of the stuff in this book didn’t feel fair.

That said, I have a hard time feeling critical of this book, because I went all through high school and college with these characters, and now they’re all grown up and fighting evil!  Particularly when it’s characters I didn’t care for much at first, and grew to love – Luna, Neville, Ginny, Dobby – I don’t know, I just feel pleased with them for being amazing.  (Except Ginny, who the only thing she gets to do in this book is make out with Harry on his birthday, “kissing him as she’d never kissed him before”, which can I just say, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THAT CAN POSSIBLY MEAN.  Whatever, Ginny.  Fight some damn evil.  I liked you so much in the sixth book.)  Neville defeating the snake is one of my favorite moments in the seventh book.

…I really wish the seventh book weren’t already published.  I am sad with no new Harry Potter books coming out ever.  Wasn’t it fun, waiting for the next book to come out?  And having lots of speculation and sometimes proving to be absolutely spot-on perfectly correct, like I was about Snape and Lily LIKE A GENIUS?

Random thoughts:

  • For the first quarter of this book, I was writing down my reactions because I couldn’t shriek them at my sisters.  Here’s what I wrote when I got to Rita Skeeter’s mean article about Dumbledore: “Rita Skeeter, I hope you drown in a river and don’t you shatter my illusions about Dumbledore or I WILL CUT YOU.  He was the BEST MAN EVER.”
  • Harry refusing to give an inch to Scrimgeour even when Scrimgeour’s being super duper intimidating.  I can never have too much of this.  When Scrimgeour was all “It’s time you learned some respect!” and Harry was all “It’s time you earned it,” I had a fantastically hard time not shrieking “Harry FTW!” at my sisters, who were reading it at the same time but maybe didn’t want to be disturbed by my shrieking.  Not quite as good as the “Dumbledore’s man through and through” bit – oh dear, getting teary – but pretty good.  Aw, Harry.
  • Sirius’s posters of Muggle girls in bikinis.  Oh that made me love him so much.  I wish Sirius were still around.  I love Sirius.  Also, when Harry found that letter from his mum, that was the first time I cried in this book.
  • Ron rescuing Harry from the Horcrux.  Excellent, excellent scene; and no, Ron, you don’t deserve to get forgiven straight away.  I was all, This is it, this is it, and apparently so was Ron, but props to Hermione for not wanting to be BFFs again straight away.
  • The first time I read this, I didn’t shed a tear for Dobby.  I don’t know why.  That whole thing is incredibly sad, digging the grave, and Luna thanking him.  When I reread it, I cried and cried and cried.  I think that first time, I was just all keyed up from the past scene and expecting someone major to die, and I was just so relieved that it wasn’t Ron.  J.K. Rowling spent this whole book screwing around with me, pretending Hagrid was going to die, and I did not appreciate it
  • I also didn’t appreciate Harry using the Cruciatus Curse.  That’s great, Harry.  You’ve spent this whole being all like, blah blah blah don’t kill anybody blah, and you decide to go with it now just because someone spits at Professor McGonagall?  Apart from the fact that you have spent the last four books talking about how Unforgivable this Curse is (and the Imperius one – Harry, get a grip, please), I feel like you weren’t really close enough with McGonagall to give a crap if someone disrespects her.  Plus, if you are using Unforgivable Curses, how are you any better than the Death Eaters?
  • Snape’s memories of Lily.  I WAS SO RIGHT IN EVERY WAY.  I even brought up to my sister at one point the possibility that the chapter in the fifth book about “Snape’s worst memory” was actually Snape’s worst memory.  As in, the moment when his relationship with Lily became impossible; but whichever sister it was pooh-poohed my notion.  I WAS RIGHT ABOUT THAT TOO.  I love being right.
  • Dumbledore & Grindelwald.  Love it.  I loved that we got to see Dumbledore one last time at the end of this book, because I miss Dumbledore, being all comforting and wise and explaining everything.  It sort of crushed me when Dumbledore and Harry were talking about Grindelwald, and how he lied to Voldemort about the Wand, and Dumbledore was all, So I guess he didn’t want Voldemort to get it, and Harry was all, Or maybe he wanted to stop him breaking into your tomb, and Dumbledore was all teary.  Oh Dumbledore, honey.
  • Plus, “It may be happening in your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it isn’t real?”  Word.
  • Harry’s parents walking him to his death.  And then Hagrid carrying Harry’s body.  I am always such a mess at this point in the book.  Doesn’t help (crying-wise – obviously it helps plotwise) that:
  • Neville defeats the snake!  Like he said to Harry that he would!  Neville is such my hero.  Darling brave Neville, you have grown up so much since the days of losing your toad.
  • Mrs. Weasley, way to use a naughty word and then kill Bellatrix dead like a badass.  Obviously we should have gotten Mrs. Weasley angry a few books ago.  Like, that other time Bellatrix was trying to kill her children, in the Department of Mysteries, BEFORE BELLATRIX KILLED SIRIUS.
  • I would have liked to see some mention of George Weasley in the epilogue.  I feel like J.K. Rowling could have achieved a better effect by having Percy die, rather than Fred – that works, you know, as far as the senselessness of death, because he had only just come back, and it would still have been terribly sad.  Whereas when it was Fred, it was like, J.K. Rowling is just screwing with us (esp. because George lost an ear earlier and we were all like, well, grand, the Weasley twin misfortune has come and is now over – she did that on purpose!  On purpose!  Meanie-face!).  But anyway, if she had to kill Fred Weasley (she killed three of the four people I asked her not to kill, though of all of them I think I most needed Hagrid to survive, just for Harry’s sake), she should have mentioned George in the epilogue.
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16 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling

  1. I enjoyed reading this loads, because I haven’t read any Harry Potter in ages, been meaning to read through the whole series again. I forgot about Lupin being a jerk- and I did like him in the first books.

  2. What raidergirl3 said! Now I want to read them all again. I grew up with these characters too, and it was so fun and exciting. I’m still so sad it’s all over now.

  3. Haha I’m loving your rant! I haven’t re-read the last book for a while, myself. I’m thinking of getting through it before the first part of the last movie. It’s so nice to have a blog where you can rant about things, especially about Harry Potter. I spent a good agonizing day just waiting for everyone to finish reading it so that I could discuss it with them without having my head chopped off. What a good way to vent, by taking notes of things that bothered the heck out of you or things that were super fantastic about the book. I still know some individuals who haven’t read the last book because they can’t cope with the idea that the whole series, which they’d grown up with, was ending.

  4. Jeane – Yeah, I read the third book and all my love for Lupin comes rushing back, and then I read the seventh book, and I’m like, GET A GRIP FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE. I do love him. I wanted everything to work out nicely for him.

    raidergirl – Every time I read the seventh book, I feel weirdly excited – I just spent so long waiting for it to come out, it’s strange to have it available whenever I want.

    Nymeth – Me toooo! Especially now when it’s summer, you know, and if there were going to be a book, this is the time when it would come out. Good times…

    Sharry – Luckily I have two sisters who all read it at the same time I did. So when I got up the next morning, they were both all set to talk about it, and that kept me happy until everyone else finished. 🙂

  5. I feel like J.K. Rowling could have achieved a better effect by having Percy die, rather than Fred – that works, you know, as far as the senselessness of death, because he had only just come back, and it would still have been terribly sad.

    this is exactly how i have felt from the moment i read the part when fred dies. i have told so many people that this would have been a better way to do it. Fred is the only character that died in these books that i havnt yet come to terms with. but anyways whats done is done unfortunately….i love what you have said and agree with it 100% it makes me want to read the whole series again!!..

    • Thanks! Do read it again – I’m always surprised when I read each book at how much it takes me back to the first time I ever read that one. All except for Chamber of Secrets, which I remember buying but not reading. My vivid memory of that is reading it to my younger sister, because I had such a good time doing Lockhart’s voice!

  6. RIDICULOUS
    you can’t accept deaths can you, now? Perhaps you are angry about the absences of clues Rowling gave us because the plots ain’t listed from your everything-list? ridiculous.
    Why don’t you complain when Rowling didn’t give you a thousand-paged perface before the Philosopher’s Stone, so you can know the whole plottings already?
    Death is a kinda plot, and if you can’t accept that, can’t help much.

    • Well, of course it’s not my call who she kills. I was just sad, and I think she could have achieved the same effect while making me less sad. Which is, of course, the entire purpose of her writing career. 😛

  7. I have had an HP fest over the last month. Read all the books again and then sat and watched all the films on DVD in order before going to the cinema to see the latest. Oh how I love HP – I don’t think JKR is the best writer in the world and she needs editing and I dont think Ron Harry and Hermione are portrayed by the best actors in the world either, but but but I just love everything about this series and am SO sad no more books

    but I am looking forward to the film and the final battle of Hogwarts. Should be great.

    And yes I was right about Snape as well and fought his corner against lots of doubters….I love being right too.

    • I know what you mean – it’s not so much that J.K. Rowling’s writing is so fantastic, but her imagination really really is. I’m glad I got to have the experience of growing up with these books, and waiting for each successive one to come out. It was so much fun! As for the movies, I think they’re not all that amazing, generally, but I like them because in bits, they are exactly how I imagined the books, and those bits are wonderful.

  8. Ugh. I just finished re-reading the book for maybe the 10th time, and everyone I know is asleep since it’s 3 AM.

    It’s such a sad feeling… I feel like a part of me has died; I too grew up with the books from middle school to college. I know they’ll always be there to re-read, but it’s still incredibly depressing when I go to the last page.

    As for me, I’m not as critical of the last book as others seem to be. I loved it, more than any other, simply because so, so much happens! One thing that bothered me, though, was the deaths of Tonks and Lupin — not that they died, because the fact that they leave an orphan and Harry is its godfather is incredibly sad, touching, and also connects this second-coming of Voldemort with the first — but because it was offscreen. They weren’t the biggest of characters, but they were arguably some of the more important Order of the Phoenix members and I was fond of each of them and definitely feel like their duels should have been in the novel. They deserve that much.

    I really, really love this series… even though it does have to end, every time it does, it feels like an enormous stab in the heart.

    • I’m always sad to finish too – but happy for Harry. I grew up reading these books too, and poor Harry really gets put through the wringer, so it’s nice to see him all settled down and happy with his life. And AMEN to your thing about Tonks & Lupin. I was sad enough when we saw more minor characters had died, like Colin Creevey, but I agree with you – we should have seen (at least one of) them die.

  9. Pingback: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery, Alison Anderson (trans.) « Jenny's Books

  10. No way, you guessed Snape was in love with Lily? Genius! I also totally didn’t notice Ginny did absolutely zip in this novel, but you’re so right. Now I know why she was annoying me in this book.

    I didn’t cry a single time when I first read this book, but the second time I was blubbering all over the place. Poor Dobby. 😦

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