July 29, 2007


At 5:29 AM on 7/29/07, I completed HP7.

Feel free to discuss in the comments.


PHSChemGuy said...

Personally, I dug the book.

Spoilers coming...

Seriously, I'm warning you that I'm gonna throw down spoilers here...

The whole concept of the Deathly Hallows worked beautifully. We got to see Harry die but not quite die. We got to see Dumbledore again without Rowling have to go back on her word that he was really and truly dead.

Good won...bad lost.

The book did seem a bit episodic (oh, it's Christmas already...oh, it's spring already...time passed in the tent a bit casually)...but it worked for me.

I'm sure that we're going to hear a lot about Rowling's commentary on the current Iraq/terrorist/freedom issues and how she "related" them to the giving up of freedoms by the Voldemort-controlled Minestry of Magic, but I don't see it. Maybe she took some influence from current situations, but it didn't seemed forced into the story for me. Things came about naturally (as the Minestry had been hiding the truth in an increasing amount lately in the books.)

The Battle of Hogwarts was impressively done, taking long enough in the book to show the gravity of the situation and hugeness of the scope. The impressiveness of the whole gathering of professors and Order and DA gathered in the Room of Requirement truly was moving - as was the revelation by Harry that he had to sacrifice himself as Dumbledore had always known and as Snape had known as well. The tying back in of Snape to the good side was marvelously well done.

I thought that the 80's-style flashback at the end stunk. It was cutesy and sweet and all, but it didn't fit. It was certainly unneeded and overly sappy.

And your thoughts?

Oh, and it looks like the spoilers that I linked to a while back were, indeed, real.

J. Kyle said...

I finished yesterday as well. I generally liked it. I especially liked the way my two biggest predictions turned out.

(Continuing with the spoilers)

I knew Snape would turn out to be good (okay, perhaps that's an obvious one, considering that Dumbledore repeatedly stated he trusted Snape for an unspoken reason). I like the way his working behind the scenes was revealed in the end, as well as Harry's final tribute to him in the epilogue.

I thought Harry would die. I didn't have it figured out exactly why, but I just felt that the hero would be called on to make a great personal sacrifice, as is often the case. I was very excited when he offered himself up to Voldemort and (apparently) died. It didn't even bother me too much that he came back.

The one thing I didn't like was the final showdown with Voldemort. I think it would have been much more dramatic if Harry's sacrifice had finished him once and for all. It would be a more profound statement about the victory of love and self-sacrifice over brutal violence. Also, I don't like the way Rowling insists on writing exhaustive dialogue at the climax of a fight. The discussion between Harry and Voldemort during their stand-off was way overdone.

For both of those reasons I was disappointed with the moment of Voldemort's defeat. He should have died when Harry sacrificed himself.

Other than that, I thought it was a great book and a good end to the series.

cmorin said...

I also dug the book a lot. I'm shocked she wrapped all the questions without making it seemed rushed. I must admit, however, that it is quite different to end a Harry Potter book with no anticipation of whats to come next.

phschemguy.... I'm at a loss here.... which 80s style flashbacks were you talking about.

And as for the last fight scene with Voldemort; I'll have to agree with j. kyle that the dialogue was overdone. The whole fight didn't bother me but the dialogue definitely did.

ame said...

Ahhh so many comments. I finished last Sunday morning, but am on chapter 15 of my reread now.

I disagree about Snape being a "good" guy. I actually felt that while he was on Dumbledore's side, he was never truly good. He seemed to be more of a character that made a choice to be on the side of good, but for selfish reasons. I think it played very well to show that while he did good things he was moviated by selfish reasons. I think this thought was echoed in Sirius' treatment of Kretcher. He we see an example of a good character shown to have bad (and at times even cruel) traits. Somewhat showing that most characters, and people, are neither truly good or bad, but a mix of both.

I did feel that Hedwig's death early in the book was a bit of a waste. Maybe it's the dog person in me, but to just take something like a pet's death and deal with it in a few paragraphs seems to make it a throwaway plot point. Something JK had to do so that Hedwig would be gone when Harry was traveling. While this may have been necessary to the storyline I felt it could have been dealt with in a more compassionate way. Especially since we have seen Hedwig used as Harry's only means of communication to the wizarding world over the past 7 summers.

As for the flash-forward at the end (I am assuming that is what ya meant bro) I too felt it was a bit over the top. Unnecessary by far as far as the story was concerned. Must say though it was a nice bookend to throw at the reader since in book 1 one of the first people to comment on Harry is Ginny. Overall my opinion is that is was there only as a "HaHa" from JK to show she is truly done with these characters.

Okay the above paired with the fact my mother bought me a HP wand offically makes me a dork I believe.

J. Kyle said...

I forgot to comment about the alleged political parallels. I agree that drawing comparisons to present-day politics is futile. If anything, the Death Eaters most resemble the Nazis: claims of genetic superiority, ethnic cleansing, forced registration of those deemed impure, etc.

And I agree with the above comment about the epilogue. I generally hate epilogues (a good writer should be able to provide closure within the regular storyline). It seemed that Rowling was flashing forward mostly just to say, "Look, this is it. The characters grow up, live happily ever after, end of story. There isn't going to be any more." For what it was, I didn't mind it too much, even though it is very sappy.

PHSChemGuy said...

To each in turn...

Kyle - I kind of wish that Harry would've died and stayed that way. I understood that he had to die and that others (I assumed Ron, but having Neville do it worked well for me) would have to do some of the killing of Voldemort. The dead but coming back angle, though, didn't bother me. The Hallows worked - and I'm kind of surprised that I feel that way because the whole thing reads a bit like a deux ex machina - though Rowlings did point us toward it throughout.

And the chatter in the final battle worked for me. Harry had finally come into his own - no more whining, no more complaining about being put upon, no more doubt in himself - and he announced that to himself, to Voldemort, and to everyone watching. He was, I thought, announcing to the assembled (including the surviving Death Eaters) that this was it. Over. Done. Do not return and think that you will ever succeed because I am now ready and willing to do whatever it takes to stop you.

CMorin - The 80's flashback would probably be better referred to as the 80s ending...the movie's over; the hero has won; the bad guys have been defeated...then we find out (via voiceover or text-over) where everybody is in twenty years...check this video to see the kind of thing I'm talking about...it's a parody of 80s movies in general and has a typical 80s ending...think of Animal House when the movie's done but we get the notes about what happened to each character years later...

Ame - first off, happy birthday...I hadn't thought about that issue of Snape - doing good deeds but for selfish reasons...in retrospect, much of the story focuses on that issue of good people not being at all perfect (especially big with Dumbledore in this one)... I was surprised that Hedwig died so quickly and offhandedly...I don't know that he had to die, but I was surprised that he got killed in 30 seconds where as Dobby got a funeral and everything...dig the wand...which one did you get?

Kyle, again - the only epilogue that I've felt really good about was from The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood...rarely do I find an epilogue as successful as I do a simple ending to the story...but I'm also okay with not knowing just where every character goes when the story ends...I want some closure (did they win? did they die?) but if they live, I don't need to know whether they live happily ever after...

ame said...


It's a copy of Harry's wand. Comes in the velvet lined box and all. I thought you were there when I got it Xmas 2006ish. Remind me next time you are around, you can check it out. Tomorrow night I am headed to an HP b-day party. My friends are dorks.