Happy and Sad
A rainy day
A cup (or 10) of tea
And Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
All I will say above the line is that I loved it. I had some OMG moments but felt satisfied at the end.
For my other comments (including SPOILERS) read on.
I think RSS readers pick up on full posts, so I’m writing KEY spoilers in WHITE. Highlight the panel to read the hidden text…but I truly to reveal a number of the big secrets so don’t read unless you really want to know.
I could ramble on forever, but here are my initial thoughts…
The body count was MUCH higher than I expected.
Hedwig, Dobby, Tonks, and FRED were a complete surprise. I kind of thought Lupin would die as he was so sullen during most of the book. It kind of created an emotional distance that I thought was deliberate. But when Tonks died too, I was kind of shocked. But as I thought about it more, Harry was an orphan, it makes a certain sense that another orphan was created during the battle between good and evil.
FRED. Oh FREEEEEEEEED! I was horrified. And shocked. And so saddened. I think of all the deaths, this is the one that hit me the most. Fred and George were always so full of life. Again, it almost made sense that the Weasley clan would suffer a loss, but I would have thought Charlie (who we never really do meet) would have been the one.
Hedwig and Dobby made me very sad. But I’m kind of not surprised Dobby died. I kind of thought he may die in the process of saving Harry. Which, of course, he did. And I felt the same about Mad-Eye. His death, while sad, was not a surprise. But poor Hedwig. Sweet little bird. But her death really set the tone for the book. “Deathly” is right!
I’m so glad Percy came back at the end…but we knew he would, didn’t we?
Teenage sullenness, still?
Granted, the horcrux was making Ron extra grumpy…but leaving? Really? After all the things these kids have been through I would have thought he would have stuck it out a bit more. And the whole thing with Harry doubting Dumbledore was kind of frustrating to me. C’mon kid! It’s Dumbledore! You should know better!
Speaking of Dumbledore… It was nice to get a peek into his life (sad as it was.) And I actually really liked that he ended up being a flawed character. After all, isn’t that all the more human?
Giants, house elves, centaurs – meh.
I think the introduction of all the other races ended up being such a red herring. Sure, they were involved in the final battle. But really, you could have easily extracted them from the whole thing with no impact to the overall story. I would have liked more of them but oh well.
Kreacher’s development was quite nice. It tied it beautifully with Dumbledore’s early message about how they should treat Kreacher. And at the end when Kreacher led the house elves into the war, it was awesome.
Maxime and Krum
Uhhh…where did Maxime go?! I was disappointed that Beauxbatons and Durmstrang didn’t play a role in the 7th book. There was such a strong theme about comraderie and reaching out and making friends… I wish that it had come into play in the 7th book. Actually, this absence was one of my biggest disappointments in this book.
While I may complain that some of the side characters/plots did not make a stronger appearance…at the same time I was quite pleased that the “trio” took center stage throught he bulk of the book. Aside from Ron’s “moment”, I was quite satisfied that this book revolved around our three main characters.
Way to go Diddikins!
It was nice that he reached out at the end. I had thought that one fo the Dursleys was going to discover magical powers late in life…but alas, that was not to be. But I’m glad that the Dursleys got an appropriate exit and that Dudley ended up growing up a bit.
Best line EVER: “Not my daughter, BITCH”
What an interesting way for Wormtail to die. It was almost poetic! For a mere moment of mercy, strangled by the silver hand received as a reward for bring the Dark Lord back to corporeal form. Quite dramatic!
The connection between Harry and Voldemort got a bit muddy to me.
I need to read it again, but I got a wee bit lost amidst the whole “he strengthened the connection when he took your blood” exposition. I’m willing to go along with it, but I was thinking, “huh, really?” while I read it. Then again, I was really wrapped up in the whole thing and I did kind of read through it quickly.
Neville – Gryffidor’s true heir (at least as far as I’m concerned.) I love how Neville has developed throughout the series. He’s one of my absolute favorites. He kept the team at Hogwarts going and proved what a clever and talented wizard he truly is. I’m so glad he had a supreme moment of glory by killing Nagini…with Godric’s sword no less!
The editor kicked in. My common complaint about The Order of the Phoenix is that it was poorly editted. The first 1/3 of the book could have been pared down significantly. But at the height of Potter-mania I can only imagine no editor would dare trim too much. That said, I thought Deathly Hallows was quite succinct. There were maybe a couple of spots I thought drug along a bit. That said, there were so many bits I wish I could have learned more about – specifically all the going’s on at Hogwarts while H/R/H were on their quest.
Where was Fawkes?!
The end – satisfied but wanting more
I liked the epilogue and I can see how Jo had written it a long time ago and stored it away. I love that she gave you an epilogue.
What happened to Luna? And who’s Headmaster/mistress? (I like to think McGonagall became headmistress.) What are Harry, Ron and Hermione doing now? But ultimately, I think Jo gave us just what we needed and not a bit more. We know that Harry, Ron, Hermione and Hagrid are all happy. What more do we really need to know? Sure, there are lots of unanswered questions. But that just means that whatever happy (or otherwise) ending that we want to give everyone else is exactly what we can do.
I can’t wait to read it again!