Review, ruminations, and plenty of spoilers after the jump.
I didn't mind any of the deaths — not Hedwig, or Dobby, or Madeye, or Fred; this is war, after all. But I did mind Tonks': not only was the actress who played her really cute, but it left Teddy with no parents (or grandfather), with only Harry as a godfather… much as Fred and Lily left Harry with no one but Sirius.
My problem is with the first half of the book, which consists of little more than random, frustrated exploring and Harry wondering, "Why does this look familiar?" Once they get captured and brought to the Malfoy's, though, things started to heat up.
Now, the parts of The Deathly Hollows I didn't get:
- How did Harry know the Horcrux in Gringott's was the Hufflepuff cup?
- What was that whole thing about Voldemort's soul keeping Harry alive? All talk of souls and spells aside, the only reason I can see why the Killing Curse didn't work was because it was cast by the Elder Wand.
- How will Harry dying a natural death undo the Elder Wand? All he has to do is be defeated or disarmed, even if he's not in possession of the Deathstick at the time.
- How did Neville pull the Gryffindor Sword from the Sorting Hat? I understand the precedent set by The Chamber of Secrets, but still, I thought the sword had been stolen by Griphook?
I think I still prefer The Half-Blood Prince and even The Goblet of Fire to this one.
6 Replies to “The Deathly Hallows”
I didn't like it as much as the other books. I'm mad that Hedwig and Dobby died. I thought it was just a series of episodes consisting of the question "How will Harry escape this close encounter with the Death Eaters/Voldemort?" I think Hermione could have found and destroyed all the Horcruxes by herself if she didn't have to keep bailing Harry out of trouble. I'm mad that Fred died and George lost an ear. I still don't understand how the Secret-Keeper charm works (confusion stems from something on jkrowling.com). I liked it better when Harry and Hermione and Ron were at Hogwarts. I want to know what's the immediate epilogue, not the epilogue 19 years later. I think I'm mostly mad that this is the final book; I really like J.K. Rowling's style, and the element of mystery and depth of detail she put into Harry Potter.
I guess Hermione did save Harry's bacon more than once, though he was not without resources (consider his creative escape from the bank). My problem is with the first half of the book, which consists of little more than random, frustrated exploring and Harry wondering, "Why does this look familiar?" Once they get captured and brought to the Malfoy's, though, things started to heat up.
I don't know what an immediate epilogue could've added, though I'm not sure the one Rowling included adds much, either. But if it helps, I offer the following excerpts from this interview with the author:
His wife, Ginny Weasley, stuck with her athletic career, playing for the Holyhead Harpies, the all-female Quidditch team. Eventually, Ginny left the team to raise their three children — James, Albus and Lily — while writing as the senior Quidditch correspondent for the wizarding newspaper, the Daily Prophet.
Harry's best friend Ron Weasley joined his brother, George, as a partner at their successful joke shop, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. Hermione Granger, Ron's wife and the third person of the series' dark wizard fighting trio, furthered the rights of subjugated creatures, such as house elves, in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures before joining the magical law enforcement squad. The couple had two children — Rose and Hugo.
Luna Lovegood, Harry's airily distracted friend with a love for imaginary animals who joins the fight against Voldemort in the Order of the Phoenix, becomes a famous wizarding naturalist who eventually marries the grandson of Newt Scamander, author of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."
Well, with the epilogue, I think she was just tying up all the ends into a nice neat little package and say what a happy ending there really is/was. In the fight over good and evil, good prevailed and it was really good…
I don't know, I felt disappointed in the end. I mean, Voldemort essentially killed himself and I think I expected more about the Harry/Voldemort tension. I felt the book to be anti-climactic and not as exciting as The Half-Blood Prince.
Maybe I just need to read it again in a while and see if I like it any better, knowing how it all ends now.
I definitely prefer The Half-Blood Prince or The Goblet of Fire. This one felt like The Order of Phoenix for the first part: not a lot of action, just a lot of wondering.
He was looking for objects that were connected to Hogwarts: Slytherin's ring, Gryffindor's sword, Ravenclaw's diadem, Hufflepuff's cup. There's a part of Half-Blood Prince where Harry is looking at memories in the pensieve and Tom Riddle is buying items from an old woman for that Dark objects shop and Tom finds the woman has Hufflepuff's cup, which was among the very few things (if not the only item) left to have been connected with Hufflepuff. So Harry knew to find something connected with Hufflepuff.
Yeah, that was weird! But maybe when something becomes a Horcrux, it is kept alive by the piece of soul that was instilled in it. (If the Horcrux is a living thing.)
I thought so too. I was really confused about that point.
Did you feel like the idea of the Deathly Hallows was sufficiently developed? I've noticed, particularly in the last two books that the title seems only tangential to the story…
Just as Dumbledore didn't want Malfoy's soul scarred with murder, I would've been disappointed had Harry gone for the killing blow. It's more literary that Voldemort's own evil would be his undoing. It also brings the plot full-circle: the first time Voldemort cast a Killing Curse on Harry was what started the whole story, 17 years ago. Finally, with no Horcruxes to retreat to, this time the rebound took full effect.
But nowhere in the encounter was it plainly stated that Harry and Riddle are, in fact, distant cousins.
Well, I think any plot device is meant to further the central idea of the battle against Voldemort. The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince didn't really capture what those books were really about, either.
OTOH, the first four books had more accurate titles…
Yeah, that's one of the struggles I've had with the latter three books. The first four, the title was central to what was going on. So, like with the Half-Blood Prince I thought the revealing of the prince to be really anti-climactic and not significant. Similarly with The Deathly Hallows. I know that Harry consciously decided to give up having all the Hallows, but, it's not like it was really fleshed out.
I've really liked the series, but I wonder if the first four books were better developed and then, because she knew the books would sell, J.K. Rowling quit trying to write and develop the stories and just write the books and end the series…
Nah — I think she had all seven books outlined from the beginning. The first four books laid the groundwork and gave the characters some contexts in which to define and demonstrate themselves. If you look at any long-running TV series, the episodes are far more character-driven in the later seasons than they are in the beginning. That's because when the show first premieres, there is no character. It's by the actions and situations they go through that the audience comes to understand them, and that understanding allows for a different kind of storytelling.
Don't get me wrong: there's definitely a dichotomy between the first half of the series and the second, and it could be argued that one approach is better or more enjoyable than the other. I'm just thinking aloud of why that dichotomy exists.
I think more significant was his decision not to pursue them in the first place — when he chose to interrogate Griphook before Ollivander. He relinquished his obsession for the Hallows and instead chose Horcruxes, which is something no evil wizard would've done. It was in making such decisions that he distinguished himself from Voldemort, who always pursued power first.
Of course, Conversations With God says that the act of wanting something pushes it away, and that you already have everything you need. It was only once Harry chose not to want the Hallows that he realized he already had them. :-)
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