Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter Book 7

I finished it yesterday and I know all the secrets and read how it all wrapped up and I'm dying to discuss it all. What better place to do so than on my blog. However, I'm certainly not going to spoil all the drama for those who haven't read the book or are in the process of finishing it themselves. To protect that certain population who unlike me and my Mom did not clear their schedules, take time off work, and sit in one place for 14 hours straight reading, I'm going to hide the spoilers.

First off, I really enjoyed the book. It's hard for me to consider this my favorite in the series because the Prisoner of Azkaban I thought was excellent. Prisoner of Azkaban was the book that really started setting things in motion, a lot of things happened in that book. We were introduced to Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Hogsmeade, Dementors and Expecto Patronum -- all things that would become major plot points and points of interest in the books that followed.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is definitely a worthy finale for the series, however, it wasn't a perfect one. I don't have many criticisms but the book was longer than it should have been. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it was 759 pages, in fact I wish it was even longer, but the story that was told could have been wrapped up sooner. Some chapters, like chapter 15 crept along until finally within the last few pages we were introduced to what the chapter was about. This is all a small blemish on what is a great story.

The biggest things that happened in the book were all the deaths. J.K. Rowling was cleaning house. The most notable deaths were Fred Weasley, Remus Lupin, Tonks and Serverus Snape, surprising when Dobby died, I got choked up. I never liked Dobby throughout the series, but upon Dobby's death after he rescued everyone from the Malfoy mansion I was stunned. What pushed me over the edge was a montage I ran through my head of several Dobby moments that happened in the other books.

Snape. I can't say that may faith in Snape ever wavered, it did but I believed in my heart that he was faithful to Dumbledore. In order to believe that Snape was on Harry's side, you had to trust Dumbledore's judgment. Interestingly enough, across the series there was never an instance that would allow you to question Dumbledore's decisions, logic, and love for Harry. So why should anyone think differently of Snape, especially Harry.

In one of the final chapters called The Prince's Tale, it gave a lot of back story on Snape. How he met Lily in a park when they were just children. How he told her that she was a witch and that she would be going to a school called Hogwarts. It turned out they were best friends. What I thought interesting was they stopped being friends mainly because of who they each began hanging out with, Lily and James, Snape and Death Eaters. Then Snape called Lily a Mudblood something he regretted and apologized for but ultimately ending their friendship. His love for her continued making him a double agent for Dumbledore. This was one of my favorite chapters in the book because I I enjoy hearing the back story on characters that I have come to know very well over the course of the years. After reading this chapter I took his death pretty hard, because in fact he placed himself in the most danger to protect Harry.

I was in the camp that believed that Harry should die. Of course I didn't want him to, but thinking about the good and protection of the series. I am beyond happy that he didn't and I thought the epilogue at the end of the book was fantastic. I nearly sobbed through the whole thing. Looking at Harry's life 19 years later with his wife Ginny and their three children, Lily, Albus and James. Then seeing Ron and Hermione and their children all at King's Cross Station sending their children to Hogwarts was outstanding. What got me the most was Harry addressing his son Albus, then saying his middle name, Serverus when he was concerned about being put into Slytherin. Harry said to him, "you were named after two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew." I still cry when I read that.