Wednesday 8 August 2007

Pottering About

I must start by saying that there will be spoilers in this post, so anybody who hasn't yet read that Harry and Hermione were really the same person all along.... heehee... ok, that one's a lie, but don't read on if you want to keep everything else secret.

I had intended to talk about some of my other holiday reads, but they will have to wait as Mr. Potter et al get their appraisal first. I suppose the best way for me to sum up my response to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is that it is my least favourite book in the series, and that I loved it. Yes, nothing to approach Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as my favourite (and also the first one I read), but still a compulsive dash through the hundreds of pages. It felt very strange to come to the end of a eight year journey, knowing that I'd never read new accounts of Harry again - unless
, of course, I learn Chinese and read 'Harry Potter and the Large Funnel', which I believe is in the offing.

Any more specific response? Well, I felt the absence of Hogwarts keenly. In amongst the admirable good/evil battle, and Harry busy discovering himself and his past, I'd always loved the school atmosphere, and the lessons and teachers we were treated to. Couldn't you just imagine Maggie Smith reading the latest book, and thinking "Shan't bank on that film to cover the weekly shop"? The omission of Quidditch I could cope with happily, but McGonagall, Trelawney, Sprout and Flitwick were sadly underused. In their place came endless wandering through fields to rival the first Lord of the Rings film. In fact, the whole Deathly Hallows plot felt rather unnecessary - but perhaps that was only because, like most people, my mind was wholly fixated on "who dies?!" and I didn't allow enough of my attention to be caught by the matters of the book itself, rather than the series.

Oh, the deaths. Rowling cleverly killed off characters of increasing importance, through the last few books. I mean, who cared at all when Cedric died? But Sirius... and then Dumbledore. Must confess, I kept expecting him to come back to life... more on that later. We were similarly eased in with HP7 - Hedwig was sad, as was Mad-Eye, but nothing to whip out the Kleenex for. Dobby, on the other hand... and by the time we got to Fred, I was positively inconsolable. Mostly because the twin thing is a little too close to home.

Onto Albus. What WAS that half-dead/half-alive thing? "Of course it is happening inside
your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" was rather a clever line, but didn't make the whole scene less confusing. Any thoughts?

All in all, a satisfying end to a brilliant series - my thoughts about the books as a whole, and Rowling's ability, were mentioned a while ago - and Harry Potter and t
he Deathly Hallows shouldn't just be remembered for the deaths it contains.

Being away from the blogging world for the Launch Day, I've no idea about the general consensus...???


  1. I agree with you about Hogwarts. The first 6 books never really felt as if they'd really *begun* until everyone arrived at Hogwarts, so this time I just felt as though I were on a marathon to get there and it took me longer to 'get into' the book. Sort of like the marathon sentence I just wrote! Sheesh. I don't know what to think about the Dumbledore situation - I was a bit confused as well. I will check back to see if anyone else has any more insight.

  2. Agree with you entirely Simon. Loved the super climatic battle at the end, could just imagine what the film makers will do with it. I see what Tara has said about Hogwarts and feel verymuch the same so it is good, and as it should be, that the final of all finals took place there.

    Still not quite sure how Harry ended up with THE wand. Got a tad confused with all the Hallows stuff. Felt the middle section couldhave done with some serious editing but who is going to have the nerve to suggest editing JK? I have loved the entire series and my favourite of them all is, as yours, Prisoner of A which I think is a tightly knit plotted story and the last before the books spiralled off into door step size.
    I will admit I cried in places and was most upset at Dobby's death and Fred, well, awful.
    I feel totally lost now and sad that there are no more HP books to come.

    I am pleased though that my belief that Snape was really a good guy came to be true.

  3. Sim, do you remember someone or other at Momentum making that throwaway quip that you can't get to heaven without going through King's Cross?
    Have just been wondering about that.. interesting from J.K. :o)
    Mel x
    PS Yeah how the heck DOES she do it? It's like there's MSG on the pages. Goodness knows. If we did, we should all be billionaire authors I suppose.


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