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Snape

The Deathly Hallows

I haven't been in on the Harry Potter phenomenon from the start, I actually came in just after The Goblet of Fire was published. So, I'm thinking sometime during the year of 2001 or the start of 2002. Before that I was pretty clueless about the whole thing and had no particular wish to read the books but the daughters were insistent that they were a good read and I think nakeisha had a hand in it too though I'm not certain. Then Daughter Number One brought the first three books home from the library, where she working at the time, so I was compelled really *g* to give them a go.

After the first book I wondered what all the fuss was about but was sufficiently interested to carry on. After the third I went straight out and bought book number four, The Goblet of Fire, and have been hooked ever since. Why? is difficult to say, I think JKR just writes a stonking good story which is accessible to *all*. And some people don't like that do they? It's like they feel books should only be for intellectuals and not for the masses. One comment I read suggested that adults should be ashamed to be seen reading what were after all *children's* books. I can't get my head round that kind of arrogance, talk about closed-minded. Anyway, enough meanderings - The Deathly Hallows. I read it over the weekend but mostly on Monday, finishing at 1.15am. I won't say I stayed up because I am, more often than not, awake at that time anyway, I was just determined to finish it that night! A few thoughts under the cut, nothing too deep and meaningful - you can find those elsewhere on the net I'm sure!

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The story itself is pretty straightforward. Following the last book Dumbledore is dead and it falls to Harry, helped by Ron and Hermione, to be the one to find the horcruxes and defeat Voldemort. Except that all is not straightforward of course. Harry has grown up and realised that things are never black and white and thus people are not all good or all bad. Dumbledore in particular has many secrets which are slowly revealed via Rita Skeeter's horrible book. The first half or even two thirds of the book are quite slow but necessary I feel to illustrate the insidious effect Voldemort's *reign* is having on the population as a whole. The book suddenly takes off when Harry returns to Hogwarts and then all hell is let loose. And yes, people die.

I loved it. During the first half of the book I did actually wonder if JKR had been an Enid Blyton fan in her childhood. There was quite a lot of camping in the woods. *g* I became a huge Hermione fan during those pages, though I've always liked her a lot. I also felt like kicking Ron but then that's not a new sensation for me. He's not my favourite character and one of the things that's inexplicable to me is what Hermione sees in him. But then that's real life isn't it? How many couples do you know where you haven't a clue what 'she' sees in 'him'... or vice versa?

What else? Oh yes, the deaths. I knew they were coming, partly because it was obvious and partly spoilers on LJ. Both lots turned out to be true though it didn't spoil the book for me. So I knew Snape was going to die but had guessed JKR might do that anyway. I was strangely not upset by it too, because somehow it felt *right*. And it was all for love of Lily... which I thought was perfect. I knew too that Burbage and Hedwig were for the off but all the rest were surprises. Dobby affected me the most. I cried as Harry buried him, I really did. Imo, this is the death chapter JKR cried over too. It was devastating. It was also a real shock when Fred went. I was *not* expecting that, and an even worse shock when both Lupin and Tonks were killed. JKR described the book on Jonathan Ross's show as a bloodbath and she wasn't exaggerating. It was.

People I cheered for in the book... Neville, Luna (the girl who plays her in the movie of OoP is brilliant), Hermione, McGonagall, Trelawney chucking things off the balcony at death eaters, Molly - "NOT my daughter!", Hermione - did I mention her? - Bill with his comments about Griphook the goblin, even Peter Pettigrew with that one moment of regret. And I never thought I'd hear myself say it, but The Malfoys. Rotten to the core really but their love for their son over-rode even their allegiance to Voldemort. I found that very touching.

Do I have complaints? Nothing serious, I was even quite content with the epilogue. I would maybe have liked to know what Harry and the others were doing now. I also would have liked an 'after the war' chapter - how people coped, the funerals, how Harry adjusted - did he redo his final year? But those are minor complaints. Overall, I thought it was fantastic and plan to read it and The Halfblood Prince again sometime soon.

Comments

I was quite surprised at the bodycount, lol. Loved Luna. Didn't care for the epilogue (apart from the line where Harry is thinking about Snape, I found that extremely touching), but I dislike epilogues generally - however well done or apposite, they always feel rather anti-climactic. Agree with you re the Malfoys, too. I found the story easier to follow than some of the previous books, but then the plot of this book is IMO much more linear, less discursive. Neville, yes, a star. Ron, yes, a bit annoying ;-) It seemed to me a much more grown-up book than previous ones - which I guess is inevitable, as this is Harry's 'growth into manhood' book. My favourite book in the series is the third one, but this is a close second :-)
Yes, I was rather shocked at how many died too. Another author would have made it a load of people no one cared about but not JKR.

Gosh yes, a far more grown-up book! The last two, possibly three have been really. Which is fine for the likes of us but what do you do about young children just coming into the series like our grand-daughter and your son? No way are the last two books suitable for them at their age. Our R is being made to wait, which luckily she doen't mind, but not all kids will feel like that.
Yes, I think it's a shame. Josef liked the first three books, but after that they're just far too long and complicated - and some of the language (the effings and bastards, etc, lol) would make it unsuitable for a kid his age anyway. Which means that he'll have to wait another 3 years or so until he can even start to read the rest of the books, which is rather a pity.
I think we both liked the same things. I teared up over Dobby's death, but wasn't devastated by Snape's.

And I liked the Epilogue. I need to have stories wrapped up nicely at the end.

Have you read/seen any of Jo's interview for the US Today Show? She's planning to write an encyclopaedia of the HP characters, describing their backstory, and in some cases, how they end up. But not for a while. She wants to have a break.

She also mentions that the chapter that made her cry was when Harry was walking through the forest, where he summons his parents, Sirius and Remus with the stone. I think that was fairly tough for her to write, considering the deaths she's experienced in her own life. "Does it hurt?" and "Stay close" must've been particularly emotionally draining for her.
No, I haven't seen the interview you mentioned, have you got the URL please?

Ah right... so it wasn't Dobby that made her cry. It almost finished me off I'm afraid. But yes, I can see why the other chapter would do it too... very touching indeed and brought a lump to my throat too. Lts of bits did as a matter of fact.
Sorry, I didn't have the URL yesterday - I'd only seen a copy and pasted post in a locked journal.

Found a link this morning:

http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1565517/story.jhtml

Thank you for that! Very interesting indeed...
From what I've seen the deaths of Hedwig and Dobby were felt the most by a lot of people - including me ;-)

I found the pre-Hogwarts part rather slow too; as you say necessary, but I did wonder if it could have been shortened a tad. But once we got back to Hogwarts, all that was forgotten.

I too would have really liked an 'after the war' chapter, but maybe that would have turned into another book. But yes, I'd liked to have know what went on in those years. Of course it leaves the door wide open, should she decide to actually fill in the gaps and do another book. Who knows? Harry has been her life for 17 years, I believe it is, so . . .

The Malfoys love for Draco was indeed touching.

I *think* I may have played a part in you reading these, but I'm not completely certain.

I've actually re-started the series :-)
Of course it leaves the door wide open, should she decide to actually fill in the gaps and do another book.

Precisely. Because all the epilogue was was a scene at King's Cross. *Anything* could have happened between the end of the war and then...

I'm reasonably certain that it was you as well as the girls who encouraged me to try Harry Potter... just as you and J did with the Discworld books. :-)

Jolly good idea to read them all again, I may do the same before too long.
Indeed. Indeed. I believe she is, at some point, going to write an encyclopeadia that will, amongst other things, fill in some of the gaps during that period.

Quite possibly :-)

I have actually started already. I didn't know what to read next, so grabbed the first book.
I haven't been in on the Harry Potter phenomenon from the start, I actually came in just after The Goblet of Fire was published.

Same here. :)