raebird ([personal profile] raebird) wrote2007-07-22 05:04 pm
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I was right about (I like being right):
Ron and Hermione (though that was a given)

Snape being loyal to Dumbledore and dying (also easy to assume)

The Gray Lady helping Harry find the Ravenclaw Horcrux (though I guessed she might be Roweena Ravenclaw; I say close enough!)

Harry surviving

Snape and Lily (though I missed some of the details)

Fred dying

When we heard that Mundungus had come up with the decoy plan, I correctly guessed that it had really come from Snape.

ETA: Oh, and I correctly predicted that Kreacher was the one who helped Regulus get the locket, and the one who helped Harry recover it.


I loved:
Dudley's gratitude

The Harry decoy plot

Hermione's purse

Ron's ghoul

Harry, Ron, and Hermione successfully breaking into the Ministry, Gringotts, and Hogwarts.

Aberforth

The way you get into the Ravenclaw common room

Everything that had anything to do with Luna, her house, the friendships she apparently developed with Dean and Ollivander, everything.

Badass Scruffy Leader Neville

Percy's return, and the fact that Percy wanted to return a long time ago

McGonagall in the fight

Harry saving Malfoy's life

The Malfoys' quiet defection

The glimpse of Snape's backstory

Molly defeating Bellatrix in a fierce duel

That Harry didn't destroy any of the Horcruxes in this book himself (except, in a way, himself, through his willingness to face death). Harry destroyed the diary in the Chamber of Secrets. But the rest were destroyed by Dumbledore, Ron, Hermione, Crabbe, and Neville.

Seeing Dumbledore's flaws and complexities

There were some lines of dialogue here and there that made me crack up laughing. Of course I don't remember what they were now.

Dumbledore suspecting they Sort too soon.

ETA: I was also pleased with the witch Hermione impersonated at the Ministry. Just because I could never read her signature in the letters she sent to Harry in the past, and it bothered me that I couldn't tell what her name was. Now I know (though I don't remember). Now I'm able to know.



Hurt, but in the very best way:
Hedwig's death

Hermione's protection of her parents

Muggle-borns on the run

Harry's burial of and mourning for Dobby

Fred's death

Harry walking determinedly to his own death, all "Prophecy Girl," but with his dead loved ones surrounding him as he went. I didn't believe for a second that he was really going to die, but it was still so powerful because he believed it.



Quibbles:
Much of the beginning part of the book dragged for me. A lot of the Trio (sometimes Duo) sitting around not knowing what to do, punctuated by anxiety-ridden action scenes.

Wandlore. Interesting in small doses, but there was just. so. much. I know way more about wandlore than I care to, thanks.

I couldn't get invested in the whole Deathly Hallows plot. I got more interested once we actually heard about them from Aberforth and Albus, and understanding that the point was for Harry to be the better man who can resist their temptation. But up until then? Didn't care. Thought they were a pointless distraction from the things that really mattered in the fight against Voldemort. Which they were, when you get right down to it. They only matter as insight into Dumbledore's flaws.

I wanted to see more of Snape, sooner in the book. I was so impatient for his backstory and vindication, I didn't want to have to wait as long as I did.

Why were the Unforgivable curses apparently not so unforgivable when Harry and other members of the Order used them? I would have liked to at least see more shock, remorse, trepidation, or something. But maybe it was there and I was just reading too fast, since these things did occur during major action scenes.

I still don't understand why Voldemort didn't make another Horcrux after he learned the diary had been destroyed, and yet more Horcruxes after he found out about the ring, locket, and cup. Wasn't the whole point to have his soul in seven parts? Not to have his soul neatly measured into parts of approximately 0.1429 times (one seventh) the size of a normal human soul? Why wasn't that explained away?

Also, what was the object Voldemort brought with him to the Potters' house, intending to make into a Horcrux with Harry's death as a baby? Dumbledore said that his failure to make a Horcrux then was the reason he made Nagini one when restored to his body. But Dumbledore knew that Voldemort *had* inadvertently made Harry into a Horcrux with that curse, so Dumbledore would have believed that Nagini was the sixth one only because the Diary was destroyed (because up until Harry's foray into the Chamber of Secrets, there were already six, Harry being one), but Voldemort wouldn't. I'm still really hung up on this seven-part or one-seventh question.


Overall Impression:

It was a satisfying ending to the series. A much more stressful read than I expected. I liked it a lot. I laughed, I cried, I was occasionally bored out of my mind.

The epilogue was cheesy as hell, but I didn't really mind it. I'll just skip over it on future rereads, I suspect. I was happier with the ending before I turned the page and found out that there was an epilogue. The one thing that saves it for me, though, was Harry saying that Snape was the bravest man he ever knew. Oh, man.

[identity profile] jrs1980.livejournal.com 2007-07-22 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Why were the Unforgivable curses apparently not so unforgivable when Harry and other members of the Order used them?

Maybe because Voldemort was in charge, so they weren't considered Unforgivable anymore, just part of their powers. You'd think that would be one of the first laws the Death Eaters would abolish, what with the Minister being under it and all.

And Harry tried to use Crucio on Bella in the Ministry battle in ootp, so it wasn't the first time he'd used 'em.

[identity profile] raebird.livejournal.com 2007-07-22 09:38 pm (UTC)(link)
He also tried it on Snape in HBP, but this was the first time he actually used an Unforgivable *successfully*.

That's a good point about them probably not being illegal anymore. But even though he didn't get into trouble for it, I'd still expect to see Harry express more moral qualms over, say, using the Imperius curse in Gringotts. Sure, he pretty much had to do it to get in and out of there with the cup safely, but he was so harsh on Dumbledore over the "for the greater good" stance. It's kind of hypocritical.

[identity profile] sunbrae.livejournal.com 2007-07-23 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
I'd still expect to see Harry express more moral qualms over, say, using the Imperius curse in Gringotts.

Me, too. Some angst would have helped.

[identity profile] rustydog.livejournal.com 2007-07-22 10:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Things you've reminded me of that I loved too:

-Dudley's gratitude

-The way you get into the Ravenclaw common room

-Everything that had anything to do with Luna, her house, the friendships she apparently developed with Dean and Ollivander, everything.

-Percy's return, and the fact that Percy wanted to return a long time ago

-Molly defeating Bellatrix in a fierce duel

-Dumbledore suspecting they Sort too soon.


Oh, and Neville becoming the Herbology (?) professor!

I know way more about wandlore than I care to, thanks.

I didn't mind much until somebody said (roughly) "Some wizards try to prove that theirs are bigger and more powerful" and I starting snickering. I'm glad I wasn't making gutterbrain phallic analogies all through the series. Oy.

[identity profile] raebird.livejournal.com 2007-07-23 01:53 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I found that wand comment snicker-worthy, too. Now that you mention it, I think one of my crack-up-laughing moments was another gutterbrain one. I wish I remembered what it was. Or had time to go back to find it. I shouldn't have even taken the time to read the book once this weekend. Gulp.

[identity profile] rustydog.livejournal.com 2007-07-23 02:11 am (UTC)(link)
I shouldn't have even taken the time to read the book once this weekend. Gulp.

Gah, I know. I think the reason I found the experience "interminable" was that, as involved as I was able to get in the story and as much as I enjoyed it, I was always aware and a little resentful that it was taking me away from other stuff that I'll have to make time to do, probably by not sleeping. Oh well, that's Summer Teaching for you. Priorities steal from each other.

[identity profile] raebird.livejournal.com 2007-07-23 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
I don't even have recourse in cutting back on sleep. Or not much. I can barely stay awake through my evening classes with the 6 or 7 hours of sleep I get now. I just have to survive three more weeks of work, and then I can go back to the cushy lifestyle of a full-time student with only one very, very part-time job (which might be finally totally finished by that time anyway).

And, yeah. I think the demands on my time this weekend had a lot to do with the non-action parts of this book seeming incredibly slow and unnecessary to me. And with the action parts being so damn stressful. I wasn't just worried about the characters. I was worried about myself becoming so emotionally involved that it interfered with my ability to do more work today.
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[identity profile] raebird.livejournal.com 2007-07-23 01:57 am (UTC)(link)
Ok, when she shouted, "Not my daughter, bitch!" I thought I was going to choke. Molly Wesley said bitch.

Hee, yes! I'd already forgotten that! I loved that line, but then her badass dueling skills eclipsed it in my memory.

And oh, yes, everything with Neville's Gran was so great!

[identity profile] abby20.livejournal.com 2007-07-23 05:12 am (UTC)(link)
The Gray Lady helping Harry find the Ravenclaw Horcrux (though I guessed she might be Roweena Ravenclaw; I say close enough!)

That wasn't the only time I thought of your theories while reading, but it was the one where I went "damn, she is GOOD!" Hee.

I loved everything that you loved. I forgot about the way you get into Ravenclaw; that was fantastic.

I wanted to see more of Snape, sooner in the book. I was so impatient for his backstory and vindication, I didn't want to have to wait as long as I did.

Ahh, me too.

I also laughed at quite a few lines, but I can't remember what they were. Rowling usually has a good sense of timing with humour, and I know I appreciated (and NEEDED) an occasional giggle from this one.

The one thing that saves it for me, though, was Harry saying that Snape was the bravest man he ever knew. Oh, man.

Yeees. It's a ridiculous epilogue, but I was so desperate for the truth about Snape to be revealed because I wanted Harry to know. Him saying that about Snape was so, so wonderful. Sniff.

I think I'm going to have to come back tomorrow and re-read your problems with the Horcruxes, because my brain just shut off. Heh.