Monday, July 23, 2007

Absolutely Tons of Spoilers Here!

Ok, I'm finished. Please feel free to discuss in the comments.

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16 Comments:

Blogger Quinn said...

Or, should I say, take a gander at the comments on Phantom Scribbler's site, since she's way ahead of the game.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Quinn said...

On the whole, I liked it. Liked, not loved. But the series as a whole, LOVED!

Questions I would pose: what do you make of JKR's use of Ron and Hermione? I thought Ron's leaving and his return were very well done. I felt sick when he left. I kind of wish we got to see more of their efforts with the Horcruxes.

From PS's site: what did you think of the WWII/Holocaust allusions? I was always slightly uncomfortable with the whole pureblood/mudblood debate in previous books, and this took it to its limit. But at the same time, war and cultural divides and "for the greater good" are themes that are all too real in our world today. How precarious is society, both here and in the wizarding world?

OK, I'm making my head hurt. More later.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Quinn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

I'm not starting a discussion yet, I'm still waiting for a couple people to finish the book, but I did post pics from the book release I went to.

I really enjoyed the book, and I'm glad Harry survived - but it took me a couple of re-reads of the King's Cross chapter to come to terms with what on the surface looked like a Narnia cop-out, but I view more now as a near-death experience. A Narnia, or Christ type story, would involve actually dying and coming back to life... but from the way JKR carefully worded this exchange, I think it's more of a near-death experience/conversation where Harry works things out in his head. Harry isn't killed by the killing curse... the part of Voldemort's soul that's in him is killed, but Harry remains whole because part of his protection is still living in Voldemort's remade body... so as long as Voldemort's body is still alive, Voldemort can't kill Harry. From that angle, I don't consider it all that much of a Christ story per se.
As to him sacrificing himself for the people in Hogwarts, he didn't sacrifice himself, but he was willing to, and I think there is a distinction.

Now... the deaths. I was surprised, I thought someone in the closer knit center circle would die. I am bummed that Tonks bit it, but that's just because I decided to dress like her for the book release (oops... better get white face make-up for the next HP party) I didn't cry for any of the deaths... I cried for completely different reasons. Two parts in partciular... when Percy came back, and when Kreacher led the house elves out of the kitchens in the final battle. I'm still trying to figure out why those two moments hit me more than anything else did.

As to Snape, I'm doing the "I knew it!" happy dance... the entire memory of Snape's could have been ripped right out of my head - it is exacty how I had figured it would be. I thought there would be a converation between Snape and Harry, but I realize that Snape could not have told ANYBODY about where his true loyalties lie, because anyone else would not have been able to keep it from Voldemort. But the whole history... Snape loving Lily, all that... yeah - I was dead on.

Harry being a horcrux, I was so far off of correct it's frightening. I still didn't believe it until the Dumbledore in Harry's head said it straight out. Alright then, he was a horcrux... but in my own defense, the reason I felt so strongly that he wasn't is because I felt so strongly that if he was a horcrux he'd have to be killed - and I thought Harry would live, and if JKR killed him and brought him back it would be a cop-out. So it comes back to the near-death thing. The more I think about it, the more I believe it was extremly clever and well thought out, skirting death in an unusual way (this is not a resurrection, this is a magical protection) She has planned it this way for a very long time, and I am actually impressed.

Questions...
I thought we were going to find out what Dudley saw when he was attacked by dementors? Did I miss something?

And who was the person who discovered magic later in life?

4:26 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Oh yeah, I totally skipped over your question (sorry! I'm off on my on tangent here) I wasn't really uncomfortable with the purblood/mudblood debate so much because I think it made the books more realistic to me - just about anywhere you go you'll see this "us vs. them" struggle to some degree. The allusions to war, I think, echo wars in general - a struggle for power between people who think they know what is best for their region/people.

As to Ron and Hermione, I enjoyed it. I think she did a good job of getting Harry to be advancing on his own in some areas, but still having his friends to help him where they could. I thought Ron leaving was brilliant - if you've ever been thrust into a roommate situation you'll know how realistic it would be to get on each other's last effing nerve under such confined quarters. I think she illustrated the stress of the situation well.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

I have not read any of the books. Should I?

9:05 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Oh Andy... it's up to you. I'd say yes, but at this point I think the big surprise plot points are probably all out in the open, so I'm not sure it would hold the same suspense for you as it did for the rest of us. In my humble opinion, JKR did a great job at telling a very original story, and since I grew up wanting nothing more than to move away from my family, I related to Harry on many levels. If you do read them now, you'll have the unique opportunity to run right through the entire series without having to wait for the next book to come out. Because... it's over.

I'm gonna go cry for a little while now.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Quinn said...

Andy, if you're interested, I have all the books and you can borrow. Even Spouse likes them and he hates reading.

Back to the books: I'm a bit frustrated with the epilogue (esp. the clear illustration that the clique-ness of the Houses remains after the Battle for Hogwarts). I was sort of hoping, like Harry, that people would, um, get over that. We sort too soon, indeed.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Neel Mehta said...

Finished. Just now. Exhausted. More later.

6:04 AM  
Blogger KLee said...

I liked the final book as well, though I would have liked for Harry to discover some of those Pensieve memories while on his search in the woods.

As for Ron and Hermione -- I liked their interaction, and I agree that the cramped living quarters could take a huge toll on the three. I thought it was very in character for Ron to take off, have a change of heart, and come back. I really liked the fact that he was brave enough to come back and face all those fears that the locket/Horcrux enumerated. Who wouldn't feel jealous? Sixth of seven children, most of whom have gone on to carve out very specific places for themselves; and living always in Harry's shadow. I loved how the whole "in the woods" theme showcased the fact that Harry wouldn't have been able to do it without Hermione. She was obviously the brains of the outfit.

I think you're right in that this last book dealt more heavily with the pure/lesser blood story lines, and it was uncomfortable, but I think it was meant to be so. Anytime you start holding one group up while tearing down another is going to be a setup for a battle in the end. The way JKR wrote it makes it easier for the younger set to understand how things snowball. You start off with something small, and if you allow it, look where you can end up.

I'm with Jade in that I really did NOT expect Harry to be a Horcrux. I thought, based on Dumbledore's OWN STATEMENT that Horcruxes aren't usually living beings because "it's hard to control something that can move and think for itself", that using Nagini would but pushing things to the limit. Nagini, in Voldemort's mind, as a lesser creature, would be one he could control with no problem.

I disliked that we saw so little of the aftermaths of the deaths -- Remus, Tonks, Fred. I know that in the heat of battle, there's not always time to stop and grieve, but after things are over, surely we could have seen a little more. We get pages and pages of Dobby's death (which I'm not upset over, though) but nothing relatively for Lupin, Tonks, and Fred.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Jade said...

"though I would have liked for Harry to discover some of those Pensieve memories while on his search in the woods." -

I originally thought this as well... When I developed this theory after book 6 I was hoping to see some kind of heart to heart Harry and Snape moment, lasting longer than "look....at....me....." *kaput*... but now I think that this secret really needed to be kept by Snape until the very end - he was the only one who was ever able to keep information from Voldemort, and had anyone else had an idea that Snape was really good, he wouldn't have been able to work from within the death eaters.

As to Harry being a horcrux, I don't think Voldemort did it on purpose at all... he probably thought he hadn't ever made a 7th.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Quinn said...

Jade, I had that reaction as well. When V realizes Harry's after the Horcruxes, he lists through the places he needs to go, and I kept thinking "He's missing one!"

Yeah, there couldn't have been a Snape/Harry moment. I would have been interested to see if they could have put Petunia into matters a little more, perhaps as a way to bring out more of the Lily/Snape friendship.

1:26 PM  
Blogger KLee said...

Jade and Quinn -- I didn't necessarily mean that there should have been a face-to-face denoument with Harry and Snape (and I forget who said it originally, but *had* Snape had the time to admit a lot of that to Harry, Harry was still so angry at Snape that he wouldn't have believed him.) No, I just felt that some of that Pensieve backstory would have served better if Harry had discovered it while on his search. After all, he was on this voyage of discovery -- wasn't there SOME way he could have discovered some things for himself, rather than just being presented the answers as a fait accompli?

It's a relatively minor nit-pick, but if Harry could get "news" via a chance run in with Ted Tonks and Dean Thomas in the woods, why couldn't he discover some of his own past (and Lily's relationship with Snape) via some other means as well?

10:45 AM  
Blogger Quinn said...

klee, YES! Agree agree agree. THe Penseive was overused (a problem with Book 6 as well), and I would have loved seeing a little more work done by the characters rather than the Penseive.

10:53 AM  
Blogger K-Lyn said...

I see your point but still think it would have been totally out of character for Snape to actually tell Harry any of the info he got from his memories.

What I wanted (and I go out on a limb her and sound stupid if I just missed it) was for Harry to have known his mother's patronus was a doe and to have thought it was her guiding him only to find out that it was really Snape...

10:13 AM  
Blogger Neel Mehta said...

K-Lyn: mistaking a Patronus as coming from his parent is so Book 3. But yeah, I wanted Lily to be a little more important here.

Finally posted over at Brevity.

1:03 AM  

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