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HP7 Discussion

July 29, 2007

After a marathon reading session into the wee hours of the morn, I am done. Let the discussion begin. To prevent unwanted spoilage, click below.

Initial thoughts (in no particular order; more to come I’m sure):

  • Did she really have to kill Hedwig in the first, what was it, like six pages? Good grief. I know it was later than that, but it sure seemed like an early first of many gratuitous murders.
  • How about that crazy fire spell in the last room of requirement?! Holy crap. And to come from such a goober as Crabbe. Or was it Goyle? Oh, who cares? They’re virtually the same.
  • If you didn’t get choked up, tear up, chest swollen with emotion, something!, when Dobby was killed and then when Harry is digging the grave and then the boys hop down and help him with spades of their own… you have no heart. Stop reading this. You need to leave. I want no part of you in this discussion.
  • I really like how Rowling tied things together at the end with Harry dying, but not dying.
  • Though at the end when everybody and their mom (go Mrs. Weasley cussing out Bellatrix! (Was any one else totally taken back by that? IN ALL CAPS, no less.)) was in on the battle (the Giants, the Centaurs, the Thestrals, etc.), felt a bit over the top. Kinda like the Battle of Five Armies at the end of the Hobbit. Let’s bring in every character who’s still alive and has ever played any semblance of a role in this series.
  • But Neville. Holy crap. Way to go man. From taking over Hogwarts, to chucking poisonous plant life over the battlements, to freaking CHOPPING OFF THE HEAD OF VOLDEMORT’S SNAKE right in front of him. Oh man. Chills.
  • Dug that Kreacher led the House Elves. Cool.

Now I imagine Slothy will gloat that he nailed the predictions of who lives and dies. You got lucky.

So what say you? Thoughts, questions? Anything left unresolved, other than Harry’s Ron’s and Hermione’s occupations?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2007 11:50 pm

    Finished this afternoon. Thought it ended very well. I knew Neville would step up, loved how relationship with Kreacher changed and that Snape proved true. I have to disagree with your take on how it ended. I loved that so many people were involved. It was the end, the last battle, put all the pieces on the board. I also don’t think the murders throughout were gratuitous. They set up that everything is unstable and no one is safe, “even Harry.” Although I never thought he would actually die.

    Finally, the ended was perfect (epilogue too) because it ended just like it began: Harry, Ron, and Hermione simply being friends. P.S. Malfoy redemption was a very nice touch without being over the top.

  2. Kinsanth permalink
    July 30, 2007 10:05 am

    I’m sorry. I have to.

    http://www.comics.com/comics/getfuzzy/archive/getfuzzy-20070730.html

    Just couldn’t help it!

  3. Slothboy permalink
    July 30, 2007 11:38 am

    Booya.

    I’m good at identifying the red shirts.

    Hedwig and the Firebolt gone in no time was crazy, but also part of the process for Harry. He is not just growing up, he is being stripped of the last pieces of his childhood by brute force. No Dursleys, no owl, no broom. Five seconds after he leaves his house the fit hits the shan and he has to immediately start fighting for his life and watch his friends risk and die for him.

    “Wow, what a mind job! So you’re here to save the world. What do you say to something like that?” – Cypher

    I loved the burial of Dobby. That was Harry’s final rite of passage. Well done and very emotional. I must say though that the death that hit me the hardest was Colin Creevey. I really liked that little guy.

    The battle at the end was crazy. I’m going to have to read it again to get the full scope of it. I didn’t mind the mass participation because this was IT. This was the place where Voldemort was going to stop messing around and end the resistance to his return. This is Endor and everything is in play. I really liked how Harry went there just to look for the hoarcrux and ended up drawing in the rest of the forces from both sides like a whirlpool. He didn’t intend for it to happen, but it was beyond his control.

    I knew Neville would be a big player in the final heroics. I loved how it came about. Harry realizes at the 11th hour that he needs to confide in someone else and he picks the right man for the job. Pulling the griffindor sword out of the sorting hat was absolutely perfect. Neville always belonged in Griffindor and that was the final evidence.

    I also have consistently enjoyed the running theme of the “deeper magic”. What they learn at Hogwarts is practical but there is something more that most magical folk don’t fully understand that goes beyond wands. Harry granting the same protections to everyone at Hogwarts that his mother gave to him through willing sacrifice (see: Aslan and Jesus) is not a new idea but it was a nice way to round out the series.

    The epilogue left me hanging. There was a lot I still wanted to see. Where are the Dursleys? Is the Defense against the dark arts job still cursed? did Firenze reconcile with the centaurs? DID UMBRIDGE GET HER COMEUPPANCE? I respect her decision to leave the reader wanting more, but that also means that I WANT MORE!

  4. July 30, 2007 11:49 am

    Sorry for the confusion, not saying I didn’t like the final crazy battle. I did. It was the battle to end all battles. Just thought it was done ‘over the top’ style. Will respond more later.

  5. Jeana permalink
    July 30, 2007 12:01 pm

    Yeah, I was really pleased with how everything ended, too. I was surprised by how much Dumbledore history we got, too. We got to see his humanity and appreciate the wisdom that his mistakes gave him. It makes me want to ask my grandparents and their friends about their youth more often.

    I also kind of expected that “socks” would be a big part of the death of Voldemort because of what Dumbledore said about what he saw in the Mirror of Erised. But now that I think about it, maybe socks are kind of a quirky symbol for freedom. Dobby was freed when he was given a sock, Harry got Uncle Vernon’s old socks for Christmas but it ddn’t bother him because he was finally free from their house of horror, and Dumbledore’s desire for socks could have been that he was wishing for freedom from his desire for power/glory. Harry had that freedom so he could walk freely into death and thus defeat it. Voldemort wanted “flight from death” but Harry was able to embrace it and because of that could also embrace life.

    I don’t know–maybe I’m not making any sense because I am typing in sleep deprivation mode.

    There was only thing I didn’t love about this last book and that was that a couple scenes felt like they were written for the movie. Like when the brick wall came out of the motorcycle and the deatheater crashed into it (cheese!)

  6. Slothboy permalink
    July 30, 2007 12:32 pm

    Sometimes a sock is just a sock.

    We now know what Dumbledore saw in the mirror… the same thing Harry did. He was surrounded by his family. He didn’t want to answer Harry’s question so he gave him a tongue-in-cheek answer, implying that the only thing standing between him and ultimate happiness was not having socks. Harry realizes this is meant as a polite way of saying “none of your business” and says so to himself in the book.

    I’m all for wild theories… but socks = Freedom through embracing death and thus, life? I’m going to pass on that one. :-]

  7. Jeana permalink
    July 30, 2007 3:36 pm

    Yeah, it is pretty far fetched. I couldn’t remember why I was so sure socks had something to do with anything but then I remembered reading a fun article about them at the HP Lexicon around 2001. Here’s the link http://www.hp-lexicon.org/essays/socks.html I guess it stuck with me and the thoughts resurfaced when Harry remembered Dumbledore’s words about the mirror. (Shrug.)

  8. Slothboy permalink
    July 30, 2007 3:59 pm

    Yeah, I just think that socks are common. Harry couldn’t very well have stuck his pants in the book to give to dobby.

  9. July 31, 2007 12:14 pm

    Okay, I didn’t read through everyone’s comments yet but incase no one has said yet, Rowling gave some info in an interview answering some occupation questions…
    you can find it here:
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/07/30/arts/EU-A-E-Britain-Potters-Afterlife.php

    Made me want to cry! I am such a pansy.

  10. July 31, 2007 1:23 pm

    Good call Tam. And here’s the link to the actual transcript. And for Slothy’s and Jeana’s sake, I quote one question and answer in particular:

    Nippy23: We see socks a lot throughout the series, such as dobby’s love for them and dumbledore’s claim to see them in the mirror of erised, what’s the reason behind all the socks

    J.K. Rowling: Nothing deep and significant, I’m afraid. They’re just a comedy item.

    J K Rowling Web Chat Transcript

  11. July 31, 2007 4:49 pm

    So should not have looked at that link at work. Just stared at it for like 20 minutes….Yikes. You Al are a bad influence.

  12. July 31, 2007 6:33 pm

    I do what I can.

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