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 the 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…???