Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows discussion

*SPOILER WARNING* So... now you've finished the book...

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message 1: by Emma (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma Draper As I say in the title of this thread, this is for once you've read the book. If you continue reading and get stuff spoiled, don't come crying to me. Anyway...

So, what did everyone think? Glad the main three made it through okay? Annoyed at the almost pointless off-screen deaths of Lupin and Tonks? (I know I am) Completely unsurprised that Neville ended up as Herbology Proffessor?

Overall, I enjoyed it. Rowling's books do have that rare quality where you can't put them down once you pick them up (Well, for me anyway). It's just as well my girlfriend's away this week. She'd not have got any sense out of me today anyway.

I have to say though, that while I couldn't put it down and all that, I didn't really feel for the characters in this one. The only person whose death even came close to bringing a tear to my eye was Fred, and even that didn't hit that hard. I also noticed that, throughout the entire book, Voldermort and Belatrix are the ONLY characters who are seen to kill. Other Death Eaters throw killing curses and some of them connect, but in those cases, we never know who threw the curse that killed. I think this actually detracted from the deaths, and from the characters of the Death Eaters themselves. I mean here you have a dozen or so of the nastiest people on the planet, going after characters we've known and loved for years, and yet it's like we're not supposed to hate them as individuals, we're supposed to hate them as a combined unit. The only Death Eater apart from the big V who specifically inflicts serious harm is Belatrix when she's torturing Hermione and stabs Dobby. I can't articulate what I'm trying to get at properly. It all just felt... lacking somehow.

I also thought there was a bit too much posthumous exposition as well. First Snape's memories, then Dumbledore and Harry in King's Cross. I don't know, I just have something against having to have everything explained to me in the last five chapters so I can understand the background of what's been going on for the past 7 years. I think explainations should have been spread more evenly throughout the book.

On the up side, I was happy to see Neville prove himself to be a true Gryffindor, pull the sword from the stone... sorry, hat; and finally do for Nagini. Although I think the goblin's going to be a tad miffed.

And did anyone else think the bits with the locket, where they wore it around their necks and it made them nasty and fight each other, were a bit too One Ring?

Anyway, complaining aside, I did enjoy the book and I'll be interested to see if she'll use the 19 year time gap at the end to throw out some more books about what the characters will do after school or whether she'll just jump straight to a Potter Junior series.

message 2: by Conrad (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Conrad I adored it, just thought it was a tremendous end to the series. The death and tragedy of Severus Snape was more satisfying and redeeming than I had expected, and I had been expecting something along those lines. THAT revelation in the Exposition Mirror - sorry, *ahem*, the Pensieve - brought a tear or fifteen to the eye, as did Dobby's death, which I found upsetting for some reason - I guess because (for a change) the other members of the Order of the Phoenix felt his loss deeply, as well.

I agree that there were some clunky parts. There was too much b-movie "Since I'm about to kill you, I might as well tell you the whole thing..." kind of dialog. Some of the scenes also felt less like a treatment for a screenplay - thinking here of the ghosts' antics during the Death Eaters' invasion of Hogwarts, or the usurpation of Gryffindor's sword. (And also, why didn't anyone take the goblins' complaints that seriously? When it's a house-elf, everyone's all "ooo ooo slavery sucks!" but no one gives a fig for the put-upon, stolen-from goblins... just sayin'.)

What was best about the book was Dumbledore. I was never crazy about the character in previous books, but watching him reason and plot and screw up and be selfish and greedy and change his mind over time... watching his regrets accumulate along with his desire to mitigate catastrophe really conveyed what it must be like to be as old and wise as he's been presented all along. (For the record, I don't think he was lying about the nice, warm socks.) So that was surprising.

Emma, you're right, Tonks and Lupin were done a little bit of a disservice, but I also appreciated that simply standing up for the cause is enough to invite other characters' praise for heroism in the book. Rowling seemed to imply, we don't need to hear that they were crushed underfoot by a giant while trying to save an infant from sure death at the hands of etc. etc. They were brave in their devotion and their selflessness and that's all we need to know, she seems to be saying. But yeah - cheap. Fred, too.

I hope she writes more. It was bitterly disappointing that we never find out what Hermione or Ron or Harry do for a living. If you're going to resort to the cheesiness of a "19 years later..." epilogue, that's the least you can do.

In any case, while the exposition fairies visited once or twice too often, this was by far my favorite book of all seven, except maybe for the first, which still moves me immensely. That Rowling managed to give Snape, Harry, Dumbledore such complexity is remarkable.

message 3: by Anne (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new)

Anne I liked the book a lot - I think several of the characters were more well-rounded (Neville no longer being snivelly, Luna taking more action and being less spacey, Dumbledore not an angel, etc.)

I am disappointed though, with the major plot hole at the end! The goblin had stolen the real Gryffindor sword from them at the end - so how did Neville happen to have it to kill Nagini with at the end? Did I miss something here?

The epilogue left some important details - where did Lupin and Tonk's son grow up? Victoire, I assume is Bill and Fleur's daughter? What happened to Luna, Dean and Seamus (they're not major characters, but I still care!)? If she bothered with an epilogue, she should have really tied up ALL the loose ends!

I couldn't put it down, though, and all-in-all I'm happy with it.

message 4: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erica I can see where ya'll are coming from with some of the plot holes and the off screen deaths. But I have to say as soon as Tonks showed up for the last battle I knew either she or Lupin were going to die; I just didn't expect it to be them both. (Although making Harry the godfather seemed to make it compulsory for Teddy to be an orphan, now that I think about it.)

Yes, the locket reminded me of the one ring, how could it not?
Did anyone else think that Mrs. Weasley was acting weird leading up to Harry's birthday? I was sure there was going to be more explanation for that but it just didn't happen.
The 19 years later epilogue made me smile though. I think I can deal with not knowing everything that happened to everybody, that would take a whole other book and I kind of like that the series is only the seven years that Harry spent at Hogwarts (or should have).

All in all, I think this might just edge out the 4th book for my favorite of the series.

message 5: by Nancie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nancie It's true Fred really was the only one that hit, none of the deaths really brought a tear to my eye.

Too true about the LOTR thing.

I was also slightly upset about Regulus, I mean we all guessed that right after reading HBP. I was just hoping for something a bit more surprising.

Snape loves Lily, the Doe thing- it was all good, but somehow I just don't see him crying it up in Dumbledore's office. The whole he did it all for love thing didn't exactly sell me.

Overall I feel like it was a tedious read, but a good one. The epilogue was the chapter that annoyed me the most. It was like she was struggling to make it an uber happy ending. Harry naming his children after Lily, James and Albus Severus? And then Remus and Tonks' kid falling for Bill and Fleur's?

Sigh. It was good and I do love it; however, HBP will always be my favorite.

message 6: by junia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

junia i wholeheartedly agree.

message 7: by Megan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Megan It could go the L. Frank Baum way...he tried to end the highly lucrative Oz series by sealing of Oz to the rest of the world, there by cutting off all communication to the Royal Historian of Oz (Baum himself). He wrote two really good stories with new characters that we was highly enthused about...one of which is actually much better plotted than many of his Oz books. However, he soon went bankrupt--sales weren't good and he ended up writing several more Oz books...I think he both loved Oz and resented it, because no one would let him tell any other stories. Hopefully, Rowling is wiser with her money than Baum and she can go on and do something entirely different, if she so chooses.

message 8: by Devon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - added it

Devon I felt like the book lacked something that the other books had. I didn't care all that much about the characters. Like the other folks in this thread, I cried a little about Fred...but...other than that. I'm really disappointed. I expected more.

Also, the epilogue was so ridiculous I feel like screaming.

message 9: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah Davies I couldn't put this book down - but that might have had something to the with the fact that I wanted to get to the end before it was leaked!

On the whole, I expected more. Where was the chapter that JK said she cried all the way through writing it ?
I think the only way that I would of got chocked up is if one of the main three died ! Before I started to read the book, I really thought Hermoine might be the possible one to go.....and then when the torture scene came ..and went....it was pretty clear that the main three were indestructible!

I was glad though that Snape was really the good guy - that bugged me in the last book to think he could have been a traitor to Dumbledore.

As for the 19 years later.......umn just abit too much fiction for me...all abit of a cheesy walton's type thing going on....I just want to know what they qualified in and ended up doing for their livings....so much emphasis has been on their school work in the books and we only found out about Neville......and seriously, where did he get that sword from when it was supposed to be with the goblin ?

message 10: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jessica I have no complaints. Pointless deaths happen.

message 11: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jessica Well a true gryffendor can call the sword, so I figured that is how he got it.

message 12: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jessica I comepletely wept when Hedwig died.

message 13: by Omni (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Omni I assume Teddy grows up with his grandmother. She had him last anyway.

message 14: by Omni (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Omni I assume Teddy grows up with his grandmother. She had him last anyway.

message 15: by Penny (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Penny I loved it... even with the sappy epilogue. I have to admit - I really felt stupid - Like - I had NO IDEA what was going to happen next!

Before I picked up the book and read the first chapter - I had a certain feeling of how the series should end - and assumed that JK would just KNOW THAT and run with it:)

Reading the book ended up being like a roller coaster. And, I was constantly rereading passages to figure out how the story line was changing!

I was a mess when I thought that Harry would have to sacrifice himself to Voldermort. The the death of Tonks and Lupin would complete his "FAMILY" in the afterlife - so that he could move "ON" with his parents, Sirius, and now Lupin and Tonks. I was a MESS - It took a long time to read thru those pages!!! The one thing I thought the epilogue should have shared is who becomes the new Hogwarts Headmaster (Headmistress???)

All in all - It was a WONDERFUL way to spend the weekend:)

message 16: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori I was a little disappointed -- though not too surprised -- that none of the Big Three died. Or even Ginny. There wasn't a death that had the emotional resonance of Sirius or Dumbledore. I didn't feel anything hit home for me OR for Harry in the same way.

I LOVED the Hogwarts battle scene and how so many of the little things came back, both there and throughout the book. With the structure being so different, I felt we were missing out on a lot of what we'd loved from the beginning. I was glad to see it come down to more than just H, H and R on their own. This is a whole world.

The epilogue made me wince. I might've been OK with a five years later piece, but I didn't need to see them all grown up and content. I'd have rather known some more general details: Harry as an wizard PI, hunting out corners of DA that were still left. Or whatever. But the "it's all rosy" was a bit too much for me.

Still, I'm satisfied.

message 17: by Charity (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Charity I liked the book overall. Said so in my review, was actually quite sad with the passing of Hedwig and Dobby more so than with Lupin and Tonks...but I think that was to signify that once again parents too died in this battle to make the world a better place for the children. Fred's passing wasn't a big tearjerker for me, but it was fitting someone should die who was a consistent character. I honestly expected Ron or Hermione to die because it's a numbers game and well it would have felt like a greater sacrifice too...and the ending wouldn't have been quite a rosy. Perhaps then one of them would have moved on and named their child after the one that had passed...or something...granted I'm also not htat big of a Hermione/Ron coupling...though that was amusing at times in the book.

message 18: by K (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

K Forget a Potter junior series; I think the public wants the coming of age story of Severus Snape. These days those types of books are all the rage (WICKED, FINN, etc)--the idea of the outcast as intriguing backstory rather than simply set decoration.

I want to see life in the Slytherin dungeon, not another tale from Gryffindor tower.

message 19: by Kim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim I enjoyed a good solid half of the book. Ultimately I didn't feel for the characters as much in this one either- just as you said. I also have to agree with your point about the death eaters, although it didn't dawn on me until reading your review. :)

Fred's and Dobby's deaths were tear-jerkers for me and I felt the funeral scene for Dobby was particularly poignant. My big complaint was the epilogue.

We spent so much time reading about these kids' dreams, aspirations and studies and we never find out what they did with that. It's cool that they all have kids, get married and what not- but seriously... I wanted to find out how the political structure settled out (was Kingsley still Minister of Magic for instance), and if Harry became an auror. If the book ended before the epilogue I would have been much happier.

Overall- she ripped off LoTR in a way that made me wince (even the burn on Harry's neck, c'mon)- and the characters took a serious backslide in this book. (Did Harry's whining in this one remind anyone of how he was in book 5? Seriously- he was over that crap about "Dumbledore didn't tell me" in book 6, why all over again?)

The idea that these kids took off in September and got very little if nothing accomplished until March seemed absolutely ludicrous and just a way of making the book longer before it got back on track. All three of them were smarter than that in every other book.

The expositions- I understand the last thoughts of Snape showing he loved Lily, he killed Dumbledore at his request and what Harry needed to do but the childhood stuff didn't make his feelings any more believable. Dumbledore wasn't perfect, very cool- but again, too much time on it. For Dumbledore all I really needed was the visit with the portrait to be satisfied- Albeforth took care of the rest.

Battle- very cool. Loved the involvement of everyone in that one was very well written. It was unfortunate that she did as I had expected with Harry being a Horcrux himself- but she did that well. :)

Rowling missed the boat with this one- I have loved each book successively more than the one previous to it and this one just made me mad especially with that darned lousy epilogue. When rereading the last several chapters I stopped before the epilogue and absolutely loved it.

message 20: by Michael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Michael DelMuro I loved this book as well.

A couple of people have wrote, "something was missing," or something else to that effect - I think it was Hogwarts. The six leading up to this one took place nearly entirely inside Hogwarts - Harry finding out secrets about the castle, communicating with other professors, sneaking out to Hagrid's hut. The castle basically became the fourth main character.

I loved nearly everything about this book - especially Dobby and Neville. Mrs. Weasley kicked some serious ass.

I love that Harry was correcting the errors of his metaphorical father Dumbledore throughout.

message 21: by Stella (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stella Beth, I completly agree with you! As a completely devoted follower of Severus Snape for ages, I was a bit disappointed to not have his portrait mentioned when Harry enters the Headmasters’ office at the end. I wonder if Severus would have been cheering with all the rest of them? I think that is why JKR didn’t mention him…perhaps she didn’t know either. I mean…it was obvious that he didn’t care for the boy, only for his mother. In fact, what I find truly sad and depressing about Snape is that he didn’t care about anything/anyone else. He didn’t even try to run away when he realized that Voldemort was going to kill him. He just stood there and let Nagini bite him. I think it safe to say that he never wanted to live a day after Lily died (in fact…he never really did live again…probably why he was so good at fooling Voldemort).

BTW, is it just me or did JKR purposely leave about a MILLION loose ends? First off, the kids (who exactly is Ted kissing and how is she related to the Potters? My guess is Bill and Fleur’s daughter…btw, GROSS! and anyway, won’t all of these children have adventures as well?), secondly, the ring that fell in the Forbidden Forest (it’s not exactly hidden well, is it?), thirdly, the Elderwand…I mean Harry basically lays out another book when he says, “And if I die naturally the wands power will break?” Yeah…because it worked so well for Dumbledore.
I do hope that this is the final book in the series (partly because none of these avenues have caught my attention all that much and partly because, it was in my opinion, a superior ending to the series) but she’s definitely leaving room to maneuver.

message 22: by Lost_Clown (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lost_Clown I was disappointed in the book. I didn't devour it like all the others, and really I was most upset that Mad Eye and Dobby died. (Dobby made me tear up.) I definitely like other books in the series more, and the whole Tonks marrying the man she loves and then getting pregnant and droppong out of the story bugged me, as did the epilogue. I would have liked it much better if they would have told us what they were all up to, it would have been much more satisfying then 'everyone got married and had a load of kids.' That part really irked me.

message 23: by Tiff (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tiff Penny, I totally agree with you. When Harry decided to welcome death, I lost it. Tissues were involved.

I did love it, and I just laughed at the epilogue with all of its silliness, and naming of children, etc.

Probably my favorite part was learning that Snape was friend, as I so desperately hoped he was!

Now I'm all set for the sequel, I mean PREquel, about [the original:] James/Sirius/Lily/etc when they were young and at school.

message 24: by Stacymcf (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stacymcf I kind of know what you mean about who did the killing. It seemed like she was trying to avoid too much "violence" and "darkness". I was kind of tired of the Harry and friends fending off all the killing curses with disarming charms and what-not. But, I think all the books have been that way, so nothing new. I was also suprised at Neville (happily) and now that I think of it, I would liked to know what Harry had done -- I had expected him to end up as Defense Against the Dark Arts Prof. The whole epilogue was a bit cornballish and predictable.

All that said, I loved the book. Loved the ending, and think she did a great job bringing it all together in the end.

ETA: I also think Lupin, and especially Tonks dying was completely unnecessary. I guess she was trying to mirror what had happened to Harry???

message 25: by kvon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

kvon I was sad when Hedwig died.

But I was incredulous when Peter died. Talk about LotR riffs! Harry says 'you owe me one for saving your life' and he chokes himself? It is to laugh.

And in the epilogue, she could have said what happened to Dudley later in life. (/sarcasm off) For the record, I am glad he got some redemption.

message 26: by Padavi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Padavi Did anyone else notice the allusions to the Nazis? I haven't been on any HP sites (they seem a bit too intense) so maybe this is common knowledge.
Dumbledore's big battle against Grindelwald is in 1945.
Grindelwald is German.
The Death-eaters treatment of muggles and half-bloods is exactly the same as the Nazi treatment of Jews, Gypsies, etc.
When Harry, Ron and Hermione get into the ministry they see a huge sign 'Magic is Might' (Arbeit macht frei)
Nurmengard, where Grindelwald was held prisoner, sounds a bit like Nurenberg where the Nazis held rallies and where they were tried after the war.

message 27: by Omni (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Omni 1) yes, we fans get a bit intense
2) yea, the nazi thing is a pretty established comparison

message 28: by Omni (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Omni Ok, ive read the LoTR trilogy, The Hobbit, and the Silmarillion, and Im having trouble seeing where she ripped off LoTR. Especially the Petttigrew comparison. The only part I really ntoiced was the neckalce and it's effect - that just seemed unneccesary, I kept thinking, "just put it in your pocket for god's sake!" Or maybe tie it to your shoelace, like you do with your keys when you go running.

message 29: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Erica Am I the only person in the wold who is pissed she ruined what could have been the perfect tragic ending? I cried when Harry was on his "last" walk. It was so sad, so sweet, and such a great way to bring it all full circle.

And then he pops back to life and has his cliche Hollywood ending.. As expected. No surprises. Just empty deaths of fringe characters. No feeling, no real tragedy. Just a made for the screen ending. How disappointing. I fell out of love. The spell of Harry Potter is definitely broken for me. If he'd actually died the story would have really stuck with me. Now I just have a gross sugary after taste from that happily ever after. I grew out of needing everything tied up so perfectly, and I really hoped this series had as well.

message 30: by Omni (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Omni ""I wonder if Ginny had any say at all in the names of her children.""

I was totally wondering the same thing. And come on, Albus Severus, Scorpius, and Hugo? What are they doing to these kids? The three of them should start their own marauder-like gang of kids with terrible, terrible parents who have no concern for inflicting odd names on their children.

message 31: by Carrie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carrie Come come now, like the whole wizarding world is full of people with names like Harry and Ron? Dedalus, Hestia, Kingsley, Luna, Nymphadora, Remus, Xenophilus, Marvolo, Aberforth, Bellatrix.. they were all kids once too!

message 32: by becky (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

becky i'm glad someone finally mentioned dobby's death. it seemed like the only death that was given any real attention in the book. the deaths of fred, tonks, and lupin all happened so fast you could have imagined them.

it would have been exciting for severus to duke it out with voldemort at the end. snape so actively fought against him for years and then doesn't even raise his wand in self defense at the end.

message 33: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate I think the epilogue really ruined the ending for me. The Hogwarts battle was great (minus Lupin and Tonks' empty deaths. In the epilogue, I would have preferred to see Harry and Ginny showing a young Ted off to the train, his hair changing colours etc..).

In short, the end battle was great, amazing, powerful. I look forward to the movie. The King's Cross station scene was WAYYYY too long and really ruined the flow of the ending.

I was expecting Hermione or Ron to die. Or at least a serious maiming. SOMETHING to happen to them. Or something in the Weasley family that tied them together like Harry's mother sacrificing herself for Harry, Molly and Arthur's love for all their children keeping them safe. ((Maybe their knitted sweaters coming to protect them, just for kicks)).

Overall, the end WAS satisfying. I mean, the books had a very cliche, Hollywood basis to begin with. It makes sense that the ending would, too.

I wish Luna made an epilogue appearance.

message 34: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa People wanted one of the big three to die? Are you kidding? Harry had to end up with Ginny, and Ron and Hermione had to end up together. That was the most suspenseful part of the book -- wondering just how she was going to make that happen while dealing with all the forces stacked against them.

I didn't like the epilogue. Tonks and Lupin's deaths didn't bother me.

Overall I thought it was great. The book series sort of grew up with the characters, but it is still a children's series.

message 35: by Edwina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Edwina Responding to comments made above...

Re: Snape not having a portrait in the Headmaster's office? This actually makes plenty of sense if you think about it. He was only Headmaster for one year, and was appointed by a puppet Ministry under Voldemort's control. I doubt anyone would have been jumping to get his portrait done under those circumstances. Also, did Dumbledore have a portrait of himself up while he was alive? I can't remember, but if not, then perhaps the portraits are only done posthumously? And 3rd good reason against a Snape portrait - considering how much of Snape's penance seemed to be tied up in NOT glorifying himself (Dumbledore's line about "not revealing the best of him"), I don't find it at all surprising that Snape himself might not want a portrait of himself commissioned. Particularly as he gained this position by killing the man who forgave him his sins and allowed him to do penance in the first place.

Re: Mrs. Weasley acting a bit odd in the beginning? I totally over-analyzed this characterization, too. I was expecting her to be Imperiused!

Re: Draco getting short shrift? If you recall, JKR has expressed surprise all along that so many readers were so interested in Draco. I got the feeling that she viewed him as little more than the Wizarding equivalent of Dudley - a minor character who provides personality contrast with Harry and moves the plot along when necessary...or provides comic relief. If anything, HBP's look into Draco's character was almost more than I expected from JKR - she doesn't seem too invested in exploring the bully persona too deeply, not when she has so many other character types zooming about on brooms! I'll admit I was a little disappointed that there wasn't much more to Draco in the end, but I suppose her point is that there simply isn't. He's NOT a deep, complex character. Our imaginations will just have to fill in the gaps :)

Re: the deconstruction of Albus Dumbledore? LOVED it. One theme I've thoroughly enjoyed in the whole series has been the steady humanization of Dumbledore, who starts off the series as a mythic figure. It's all part and parcel of growing up, that you learn to see your heroes/parental figures as merely human and flawed, and I think JKR has handled that aspect of Harry's growth very well. She's done it with other characters in the books, as well, first reducing the Dursleys from monsters to rather pathetic, stock "bad relatives," then demystifying the Marauders and making Harry come to terms with that. Harry, meanwhile, has really lived up to his role of Seeker - one of his oft-repeated thoughts in this last book (sometimes annoyingly so) was the wish for people to Just. Tell. Him. The Truth.

message 36: by Zoeita (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zoeita overall, the book wrapped things up nicely, although predictably.
i found the only deaths of significance to be moody and dobby. everyone else was too predictable. i agree w/ the ltr comparisons and don't forget dickens! severus snape is the sydney carleton of the 21st century.

message 37: by Padavi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Padavi Not too sure about the comparison with Sydney Carton - yes, he too sacrificed himself through his love of a woman (Lucie) but Carton was dissolute and selfish whereas Snape's character was shaped by the treatment he received from his peers as a youth (with the noble exception of Lily, of course). His reaction to Harry throughout seems to have been a reflection of his contrasting attitudes to Lily and James - anger and hatred on the one hand and a strong sense of the need to protect on the other. The kindness he received from Lily and his love for her ultimately took precedence over his hatred for James.

message 38: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new)

Great book, but still sorely disappointed, which I didn't think was really possible.
It's all about the characters. I, too, when all was said and done, thought Harry should have died, because I can only think of him as a saint, a martyr, "The Boy Who Lived." Harry is special, beyond his mother's love-protection. Who else could have acted like him?! Throughout all the books, I found myself infinitely more interested in the flawed characters and their growth. In the earlier books, there was the idea that Harry could have been drawn to the Dark Arts, like Voldemort was, but once it was clear that that would never happen, I didn't really see any major obstacles for Harry's development, accept for the normal surviving his teen years and being mature and brave enough to make adult decisions. Still, in this last books, every time Harry wanted to run away b/c he thought his friends would be hurt, I wanted to scream. Maybe that was development for him, but I thought he should have gotten over the "its-all-my-fault" syndrome because the stakes were too high. If their side lost, everyone would be as good as dead, so why would the thought of running away ever cross his mind, unless it was really because he didn't want to deal with responsibility, not that he was scared for his friends. This idea is only ever expressed by Voldemort, where it sounds silly, b/c we know the thought never crosses Harry's mind. But it should have, I think.
I was also really disappointed that Draco didn't get the chance to choose--to really choose. Ya he's a shallow person, but he's still a freaking person. Harry argues with Hermoine and Ron that kids at 17 are old enough to come into their own, and yet Draco never gets a chance to react to the final book's events. Would he be loyal to Voldemort, even after Harry saved his life? Would he resent Harry for that? Are his parents as important to him as he is to them? I wanted to know really badly, and it makes me sad that Rowling knew how much her fans were interested in Draco, and still didn't give him a chance to be a living, breathing person in our memories. Ironically, his mother becomes fleshed out instead, with her choice of family over ideology, who was one of the most realistic, relateable characters.
I don't know if anyone else agrees with this; I might be a lone non-Harry fan. And I will definitely start browsing some fanfic sites for the character depth I was yearning for so badly in the last book.

message 39: by Padavi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Padavi Stacey
i agree with you that flawed characters are always more interesting but isn't that Harry's flaw - he is ultimately human! Perhaps, too, Rowling is conscious of her younger readers who would have been devastated if Harry had died.
If you're looking for in-depth characterisation that deals with the problem of how to be true to yourself and to 'doing the right thing' try 'A would-be saint' by Robin Jenkins. Then try his 'The Cone Gatherers' which describes another microsm where good is pitted against evil.

message 40: by Victor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Victor Hardjono I thought I'd get answer/explanation about Dumbledore's message to Petunia Dursley ("Remember my last")... I still have no idea what that sentence means.

I don't really like the Epilogue, "I've had enough trouble for a lifetime" is a good end line, I think.

Also, JKR put too long backstory about Snape and Dumbledore. Good to read how Albus Dumbledore is a person with ego, not super-saintly ultra-wise wizard after all, though.

message 41: by Josh (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Josh I loved it. I guess I'm just a sucker, but I teared up when Fred died. I was so happy to see Hogwarts rise against Voldemort that I teared again. Snape's story dragged even more emotion out of me. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that neither Ron nor Hermione needed to die for the book to have impact. Harry didn't even need to die, but when it looked like he was going to I felt the stab again. It all made sense and the door is open for the further adventures of the Wizarding World. I truly believe the book did justice to the series.

message 42: by Colin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Colin i predict that Rowling's next series will focus on Teddy Lupin. He's another orphan, with a part-werewolf dad, with Harry as the Sirius-like Godfather...i could see it happening.

message 43: by Kyle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kyle The only part that made me cry was when Harry thought he was walking to his death and he asked his Mother to stay with him.

The LOTR similarity with the locket bothered me. The part where the three (and then only two) kids were wandering around not knowing what to do was way too long, but I always felt that in LOTR they tramped about uncertainly far too much as well.

The sword of Gryffindor came out of the sorting hat for Neville, just as it did earlier in the series for Harry. What's so hard to understand about that?

The scene with the sort of limbo area between death and life being a big white empty King's Cross station was brilliant, but a little too long for my taste. Just get back to fighting already. Am I dead? No Harry you must go back!

I kind of wanted Harry to die too, or at least Ron or Hermione, so the whole thing wouldn't have been so predictable, but it was a good tale, for Hollywood.

The epilogue sucked. I totally think it suggests that where Rowling will go next is to the story of Teddy's growing up and I would rather see the Marauder's tale and Snape's youth as well.

Some things that were campy: all the guys want a bigger more powerful wand? Goat charming?

message 44: by Zoeita (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zoeita oops! been awhile since i read tale of two cities--duh, carton.
i don't really remember the details of sydney's character too well, but that's who i started thinking of in book 6 when i knew for sure that snape was good, and it was evident that james had what snape didn't: the love of a good woman.

i guess what bugs me most, particulary about book 7 is that rowling just kind of took a bunch of ideas that already existed, threw them in the blender on puree and poured into new character molds. entertaining, but where is the moral depth? where is the real struggle?

i might not have gotten the blender effect having read these as an 11-14 yo, for lack of reading experience, but i believe the moral shallowness would have irked me.

i tend to agree that the series and epilogue would have been vastly more intriguing if harry or ron or hermione, particualrly harry had died. of course, i wanted everyone to be dead at the end of potc3 and hamlet has one of the best endings ever written, so i am clearly biased in favor of high body counts of main characters.

message 45: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new)

Jeff, I agree with you that Rowlings is a wonderful artist who crafted a beautiful story that enthralled so many people, young and old. I don't think though, that we need to idolize her work as a kind of infallible, divine canon, or call someone with a different opinion about her work "retarded." (Furthermor, if you are going to insult someone, at least spell their name right; 6 letters shouldn’t be too complicated for you to handle.)
For me, this last book has revealed a lot to me about Rowlings as an author, because in my head, the 'perfect Harry Potter ending' would have gone a lot differently. I would never say, though, that Rowlings "made a mistake" because, Jeff is right, she's the author and its her book—her world.
And let me be clear, for everything that made me feel unsatisfied about #7, it was still a 700 page book I read straight through, pausing only for food, the bathroom, and the occasional tissue run (I cried at almost every death.) Any issues I bring up with the story line are nuances within a greater work I consider to be one of the most imaginative and captivating worlds I have ever come across in literature. I know some of my ambivalent feelings toward this last book are due to the fact that last time I read a HP book was over a year ago, and of course, the end of a story is hard to bear. Speaking as an avid reader and writer, I will venture to say that it is damn hard to end good stories, especially ones you have fallen in love with.
Lastly, in term’s of Harry’s death, I can say that as a HP fan, I think it would have been fitting for Harry to sacrifice his life in the struggle against Voldemort. Harry has sacrificed so much for the people he’s cared about, and is a very stoic character. Furthermore, as “The Boy Who Lived” he has had a charmed life, a second chance granted by the love of his mother. It would have been fitting for him to give his life in order to protect and save the people around him. Personally, I prefer Rowlings’ ending in that Harry found a way to beat Voldemort and live. However, because stories are hard to end, and a character’s story is usually never truly over until they pass from this world, I don’t think it’s an oddity for fans to want the HP series to end with the death of Harry, whether that comes about in the story itself or the epilogue. It is by no means a necessity, of course.
Whether or not I am a "true fan of Harry of Potter" I can’t really respond to. I don’t know how there can be “true fans” of stories. For the series as a whole, I would think that a fan is anyone who reads and loves the stories, period. I didn’t fall in love with the last book, but I still love and cherish the series. As for the character of Harry, I was more sympathetic to and interested in other characters like Hermoine and the Ravenclaws because they remind me more of myself, and characters like Draco and Snape because they had more potential for more complex personalities. I wondered how Draco would react to such an altruistic person like Harry. I wondered what would drive Snape to despise Harry and be so prejudice towards him.
I found it hard at points to be interested in character like Harry whose biggest flaw was that he seemed to care too much about other people. Sometimes Harry reminded me of Oliver Twist: the center of all these events, but more a pawn than a player. That said, I still will forever be captivated by the world of Harry Potter, and any critique I make on Rowlings writing is done because her work is worth delving into and thinking about, not merely accepting it as a fuzzy and warm piece of children’s literature.

message 46: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah haven't had time to read through all the comments, but it seems like overall people loved it, even with some complaints. i feel the same. for me the first half was a bit slow going...maybe it was because they weren't at hogwarts, but really, that stuff where harry, ron, and hermione were just disapperating to new places all the time and not really DOING anything felt neverending...esp when it was just harry and hermione. a serious lack of forward action to me. the second half though made up for all of that. i cried from the moment dobby died all through the next few chapters. i left the last chapter and epilogue for the following day and was surprised that i didn't cry anymore after that. i think it was just the shock of fred, tonks and lupin dying. i too felt they were done a slight disservice, but i definitely wept for them. the kings cross stuff wasn't my favorite either, but i did like to see, finally, the reasons dumbledore trusted snape all those years (and felt vindicated that i KNEW there was some sort of deal with dumbledore about his death -- i just didn't believe he could have been that mistaken in his trust. i thought it would come out that they had faked dumbledores death somehow to lure voldemort into a false sense of security, but even though snape certainly had many MANY faults and contributed to lots of bad things happening, i felt a little better knowing he really wasn't all evil).
anyway, all in all i loved it. absolutely loved those final battlescenes in hogwarts...i had chills...and neville standing up to voldemort and being the one to kill nagini just filled me with emotion. great read. i might just turn around and read it all over again to see if i feel differently about the begining now :)

message 47: by Nina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nina I actually agree with you on ALOT of these particular points.

There's something I'd like to add to this though.

I honestly felt the beginning chapter was stagnant. As though she had been going through writers block and started off a little bit off the beaten track, which is all good as long as it catches attention. Sadly I think one of the reasons we all kept reading was because we really wanted to see the best of Harry Potter, I don't feel the first chapter grabbed me in the least.

The middle was full of quite a bit of interesting anecdotes, things that tied the rest of the series very well. I was pissed that those three characters mentioned had died. I was even more pissed that there deaths were thrown in there so casually. The twins were my favorite characters of the series, but to see Fred die bothered me. It did move me that Percy went so far in his mourning of his younger brother, but it still felt like alot was missing.

The ending... so. many. people. love the damn ending. I disliked it. I would say hated but I value the series so much that I forgive it. I felt it was rushed, it was far too blunt and just "here. I'm tired of this shit so I'm writing a simple ending to finish it, and giving you that as it is". In a way I was offended as a reader.

I invested time in reading about these characters. I wanted more. Not alot more. I dont mind if she doesn't continue the series. But a healthy digestive wrap up of the series would have made me happy. In this case all I got was a "bam everyones happy."

A -19- year gap? Not even a damn day after the fact? you skip from a vicious battle where your friends lay dead and wounded, to 19 years? you present a brand new character and give him some random snog scene without even giving his godfather the opportunity to hold him, to say "hey kid your parents were great"? I mean WHAT THE HELL.

This was enough to make me feel all kerflumped.

I sound ranty. It's 1:33am. I apologize for that. But it still doesn't change my disappointment at how disjointed it all really felt.

message 48: by gina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

gina I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Rowling has created an extrordinary adventure with Harry and I know I will reread them time and again.

But - as always I do have a few minor issues with each book. Here are my Hallows issues:

The deaths of Tonks and Lupin. I got the feeling Rowling was trying to create for Harry what he had with Sirius - a parentless godchild that he could help mold and care for - but I felt it entirely unecessary.

Percy. I feel it would've made far more sense for Percy to die than Fred - the wayward son returns and is forgiven and then dies... I don't know it just seems to make more sense than to kill off a twin.

Wearing the horcrux. I realise they didn't want it to get stolen, but why wear it. Why didn't Harry store it in his moleskin? It obviously wasn't good for them...

The Malfoys. There was a bit of redemption in the end, but it wasn't enough for me. I wanted to see Draco express how horrified he was with the way of the Death Eaters, not just in his sunken eyes but in words - to actually say to someone, "I am scared".

message 49: by Janna (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janna Check out this interview with Rowling to learn about professions of the key characthers:

message 50: by Tj (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tj I like the book alot. I didn't cry when any one of the charecters die. I mean the way they had them die it soo....abrupt just like that. Knew snape would be a good guy. But the Ninteen years later. Only telling what Nevile did I mean come on. We don't even know who the head master or mistress is!! All in all though it wasn't that bad.

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