The sky in the East is just starting to lighten, and I feel like I am slowly surfacing from a dream.
Well kids, I’ve just finished. I even splurged and bought the deluxe edition, and let me say that it looks mighty fine on my bookshelf. And before I move on to a brief discussion of the book, I would like announce that this also happens to be my 1,000th post. Which I happen to think is pretty neat, a landmark post to talk about a landmark book.
Click onward if you would like to read my brief and somewhat sleep deprived thoughts. If you haven’t read the book and you intend to, please do not click onwards, because you will be spoiled.
Before I begin, I would like to thank Rowling for her work, because the books really do represent an astounding amount of effort. Earlier today, someone chided me for being impatient, saying that I had waited two years for the book, and surely I could wait a little longer. Perhaps they were right…but I also think I might have exploded if I hadn’t started reading when I did. Of course, now there’s so much to say that I feel like I might explode anyway.
Just in case you happen to have been pointed to this page by someone who wanted to ruin your day with spoilers, here’s a picture of some books to entertain you, and this is your last warning, do not scroll down if you do not want to be spoiled:
This book was…much darker than the previous books, which I suppose is not too much of a surprise. Oddly enough, I actually did not cry at all, although I was fully expecting to. Rowling crafted a tight, very active story which definitely evoked emotional reactions, but not always the ones I expected. Yes, the story definitely ended, but not in a sad way at all, and I think that younger readers may be upset while they read it, but they will ultimately finish happily.
Let me just say that I am delighted to learn that Snape was, in fact, good all along. He did redeem himself, and he did so very bravely. As I had always suspected, Snape’s love for Lily ultimately turned him to the good, and he did indeed care for Harry because he was Lily’s child, although he struggled with the parts of James which so clearly shone through in Harry. In my eyes, Snape really is the hero of the series, for all his dark twists and turns. He was delightfully complex, much like the books themselves.
I also note that my suspicions that Harry was a horcrux were confirmed, as well as the reason for Dumbledore’s infamous look of triumph. It would appear that greed and quests for power can be someone’s undoing, as we learned about Dumbledore himself in the book. Given how…iconic Dumbledore is, it was really amazing to see his frailties revealed. Ultimately, this made me like his character all the more, even when I felt distaste for him.
It was good to be vindicated on these two major plot points, since I was, you know, wrong on just about everything else. As for my predictions…
1. Hagrid did not die. Hooray! Actually, I was astounded by the limited bloodshed. The losses of Fred, Mad-Eye, Lupin, Dobby, and Tonks were rather unfortunate, but I was expecting many more deaths. I was also pleased to see Percy return to the fold at last.
2. Bill’s bite wounds turned out to be entirely irrelevant. And way to go Harry, for forcing Lupin to go back to Tonks and his son.
3. Snape is good, as discussed above. I think that his path, as a character, really was one of the most important themes in the novel for me.
4. Harry=not dead. This really amazed me, but the ending worked very well for me. It did not occur to me that Harry could confront death and then return. Even after Dumbledore telling us that death is but the next great adventure to the well organized mind. Of course, my mind isn’t very organized. Voldemort, naturally, is no more. Yipee!
5. Arthur Weasley as Minister for Magic? Well, this is not really established, but it seems unlikely. I would have liked to see the Ministry restored at the end of the book, but I suppose we cannot have it all.
6. Cho Chang was briefly mentioned, but not really a part of the book, although she was in the final fight.
7. Nevile does, indeed, distinguish himself. And I am stoked to learn that Neville became Professor of Herbology, just as I suspected he would.
8. To my greatest surprise, the three did not return to school. I really…did not expect that, although I am used to being unexpected by Rowling. Following them as fugitives through the whole book was extremely intense, especially since I longed to follow so many characters at the school itself. Instead, we caught glimpses of people, which I think ultimately bettered the story because it did come down to the strength of the three. I still don’t know how I feel about the glorification of dropping out of school, but Hogwarts did not sound like a very fun place during this book. I was pleased to see the school back up to scratch in the epilogue. (Way to wait on having kids, guys, and was that sappy or what? I wanted to know about so many more people!)
9. No sweet magical creatures, although Fred and George did offer some comic relief during the ear bit.
As I feel like I always say when a new book comes out, this really was my favourite. Rowling wrapped up the story, to be certain, but there were many twists and turns along the way which I deeply enjoyed. Let the endless discussion begin! I would love to hear thoughts in the comments from the Potter fans among my readers. I’m sure I will have more thoughts over the next few days, but right now I really just want to go to bed, and digest all that I have read in the last five hours.
And did anyone notice that the giant squid was conspicuously absent? Alas. All my theories were for naught.
[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]