Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Deathly Hallows Review


The final chapter of what arguably is the biggest literary event since the Bible is upon us, in the form of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. With a legion of die-hard fans ready to snap up millions of copies on the day (hour, moment) of release, there was a stronger than normal risk of let down. But while shaky at some of the seams and an ending that feels just a little bit forced, altogether Rowling has put together a quite satisfying and pleasurable finale to her seven part extravaganza.

Hallows continues right where Book Six left off with the death of Albus Dumbledore. While much has been spoken about the growing darkness of the series, the fact remains that Rowling has generally shied away from killing off any characters that are too close to the reader’s heart—in this, Dumbledore and Sirius Black are the lone exceptions. This poses a problem—the purpose in eliminating Harry’s mentor figures is to reinforce the sentiment that he is completely alone, and must face the threat of Voldemort himself, yet unless the series was to take a serious change in tone, Ron and Hermione will be at Harry’s side throughout his quest. Rowling is left in a bit of a bind, forced to isolate Harry without harming those closest to him. However, her solution to this dilemma is masterful. As any boxing fan knows, the most severe injuries are not done with the highlight reel headshots, but rather are suffered from an accumulation of solid but unspectacular punches. This is a lesson Rowling has learned well, and brought into being with the elimination of Harry’s owl, wand, and his house-elf friend Dobby. Three of Harry’s oldest links to the wizarding world, their absence has much the same effect as if she had gone for the big name slaughter, while also being far more subtle work (indeed, Ron’s brief departure, intended to be an emotional swing for the fences, ended up affecting me far less). The flip side of this is the early resolution of some of Harry’s more minor feuds—winning Kreacher’s loyalty, reconciling with Dudley, and even coming to terms with Malfoy sharpened the focus of the book to where it belonged—the ultimate confrontation between Harry and Voldemort.

On the other hand, the action sequences seem just barely under Rowling’s control, as if she is holding the book together with both hands. This created an unfortunate whiplash effect—pages upon pages of relatively slow reading, punctuated by occasional outbreaks of pure anarchy. In many of the most intense sequences, it was difficult to follow exactly what was happening, and I had to reread passages two or three times to ascertain what exactly had happened. This led to one of my more peculiar reactions—aversion to the book for fear of the film. I noted in my review of the Order of the Phoenix movie that, at its climatic moments, it was closer to a Final Fantasy boss fight than actual cinema, and Book Seven has many, many moments that seem ripe for CGI hell. There were too many moments where too much was happening, and Rowling’s skills were not up to the task of keeping it all straight and clear. This was an unfortunate distraction, and one that will, undoubtedly, be magnified on the big screen.

But in a large part, Hallows benefits by standing on the shoulders of its gigantic predecessors. The book sags a bit in the middle, but Harry Potter is a large enough object to exert its own gravitational pull, dragging the reader along simply because she must know how it ends. Indeed, the entire book is in some sense window dressing for the conclusion. That’s the part we care about, and that’s the part on which the book will be judged. In this, I say that Rowling gets an A on the picture and a C+ on the details. Snape had surprisingly little face time, but his abiding love for Lily Potter was extremely well-presented, emotionally moving, and did an excellent job tying together a great many of the loose ends in Snape (and Dumbledore’s) behavior (admittedly, I could be clouded by pride here—I predicted this ending nearly as soon as I’d finished Half-Blood Prince). For an ending that focused so much on Lily’s childhood, however, far too little attention was paid to Petunia’s character. Voldemort, too, was—if I dare use the term—humanized in the end, which was an excellent addition that I was not expecting. And finally, the arcs of the Malfoy family were masterfully completed. While many foresaw Draco’s turn—if not to good, than away from evil—few would have predicted the behavior and starring role of his parents. This set the stage for a truly first-rate conclusion.

But in the particulars, Rowling’s magic fades just a bit. In part, this is due to the aforementioned problem with action sequences—the final battle was nearly Lord of the Rings-esque in its scope and fury, and it perpetually felt ready to burst through its seams and devolve into utter chaos. But more importantly, the ultimate resolution simply doesn’t feel natural or proper—as if the author lost her nerve at the very end. Rowling says that a character that was meant to die got a reprieve, and it shows. I would say that the lucky boy is Harry (the circumstances that led to his survival felt distinctly coerced into being), but for the fact that Hagrid is left alive for entirely inexplicable reasons—literally, the impression is that she changed her mind after the fact and hastily changed a few sentences in Microsoft Word. Ultimately, the entire scene could have used a bit more daring on Rowling’s part—whether to kill her main character, or murder a wider array of the familiar faces from the book (50 deaths in the Hogwarts battle, and only a half-dozen are worth mentioning?), or show a bit more panic in Harry’s steely resolve (look to Frodo for advice on how to pull this off), or something that would dissipate the persistent sense that she played down the ending she really wanted so as to not frighten the children.

Finally, I object to the fact that the close doesn’t really provide closure. Perhaps this is unavoidable—fans such as I do not want such a magical series to finish. But if this is the end, than Rowling should provide us with a little bit more wrap-up than the tiny meager epilogue. Geek that I am, I would have enjoyed a “where are they now” for the whole cast of characters, but I don’t feel out of line in asking for more than what I received. For example, Dolores Umbridge, incredibly, manages to become even more evil and loathsome in this book than she was in Book Five, yet there is no indication as to her ultimate fate (I was hoping that this would be where Harry snapped—torturing and/or killing the little toad. Nobody would blame him, and it would provide a nice break from his grim, heroic, and incredibly monotonous determination). The deaths of Lupin and Peter Pettigrew were surprisingly anti-climatic—especially given that they represented the last surviving members of James Potters’ old crew. Meanwhile, the orphaning of Ted Tonks felt like a cheap effort to replicate Harry’s experience all over again. I only pray that this isn’t the opening to the worst sequel/spin-off idea ever.

So the final verdict? Hallows is definitely better than the two low points in the series: Chamber of Secrets and Order of the Phoenix. After that, however, it becomes murky. A significant amount of its appeal, tension, and suspense were built by the efforts of its predecessors. Where Hallows is forced to stand on its own two feet, it tends to stumble. However, it does a stellar job tying up and reconciling the myriad loose threads Rowling had created along the way. The final book in the series, I feel, was never meant to be read stand-alone—it was intended to be and should be judged solely as a crystallization of that which came before it. In this, Rowling did a fine job, and certainly, nobody will finish the Harry Potter series feeling cheated.


Anonymous said...

The epilogue was a horrible let down. Worst ending I ever saw. Jo said we'd find out what happened to the survivors, not a couple of them. Of course she said we'd get a lot of things she didn't give us. And I saw many mistakes during the course of the book, or at least things that were so poorly written and unclear that they seemed like mistakes. Most of the things that spawned the more interesting theories just got dumped. The locket was too much like the ring of power in LoTR to suit me, and I thought that wandering around in the forest foolishness would never end. Six out of ten is the rating I'd give it, and that's only if I take a box cutter and cut off the epilogue.

Dannien L. said...

I agree on everything. I just wanted to add how awful was to see my favorite character being thrown out of the pedestal and i'm talking about Dumbledore. How can you write such a lovely and powerful character for six books just to get mud all over him on the last chapter of the saga?
I couldn't see how was this useful to the story..or maybe it didn't affect me the way it was supposed to...
The things that save seven from waste are the underlying story and the books prior. Personally i thought there would be more action but i only came to hate the forrest. It was all just about the locket for half the book and then suddenly all the horcruxes were detroyed. Felt slow in the beggining and middle and then rushed towards the end. i'd been expecting this exciting hunt and was sadly dissapointed. The Snape-Lily affair was moving even so i couldn't see why in the end Lyly marries James we never saw a redeeming chapter on him. I hoped to get a better look at James in this book and yet he only appears to be waving from a magic picture...well away. Well that's all i think. I'll read the books now and then i guess but i don't know if i'll read seven so eagerly.

Anonymous said...

The thing I found most dissapointing is seeing how well protected the locket was, all the other hallows were so easy to get get a hold of.

Anonymous said...

I meant 'other horcruxes' duh

Anonymous said...

This was a complete and horrible disaster. J.K. Rowling has no idea what she has truly done to millions of her fans. I was so upset reading this because I had predicted everything beforehand.

I personally feel that she didn't care at all what would happen in the 7th book. It was just for the money. Out of 5 stars, I give it 1, for trying.

Anonymous said...

The part that simply made me ill was the way in which JKR handled her hero's "romance." Harry simply does not think of Ginny throughout the book in any other way than in terms of physcial lust. He does not even think of comforting her after her brother dies. (!!!) His last thought about her was that he wasn't going to bother talking to her, since they had plenty of time for that, but would only speak to Ron and Hermione. (!!!) For her part, Ginny has lost all the spunk she had in OotP, even going so far as to offer Harry sex IN HER PARENTS' HOUSE so that he won't forget her while on the quest, being jealous of AN ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL, and... oh, I can't go on. After all of JKR's promises that Ginny would show stunning magical powers, she did absolutely nothing special at all. And JKR knows this-- just look at the recent response she gave a fan who asked her why she didn't follow through on all the promises to show Ginny's power. What an appalling message to send young girls who are fans of this series.

Anonymous said...

While some parts of the novel were well written and interesting I can't help but feel that she wrote this book simply to finish the series. Her long break aafter Half Blood Prince tells me she would have quit there if she could but felt that she had to finish the series because it was expected. This one lacked that something extra that was prevelant in all her other books of the series and like many of the movies felt rushed. The battle at Hogwarts could have had more personal depth and options to show the individual heroisms of those touched by Harry. I only found that to be Nevil. The others were too ignored.

All in all it felt like an ending rushed and unwanted. Considering how much she has already made it would not surprise me if she wrote it just to end it all and to allow herself to sit back and relax.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the epilogue really.. it was just a cute twist after a bone-clenching rollercoaster the last 1/3 of the book was.

I thought it was simply marvelous, and I'll probably do a complete reread of the entire series soon.

It was the best book of the lot.

Anonymous said...

Its a little weird but I do agree with your review in its entirety. I would have written that myself. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yes - the epilogue didnt seem to fit into the book at all - the style of writing was completely out of character with the rest of the book. Why on earth didnt JK let us know what happened to the Weasleys? They, and the Burrow, played such a massive role in the series, Molly and Arthur looked on Harry as a son and without their suppor he would have had no-one at all at some stages in his life. Our last sight of them was them prostrate with grief over the body of their son/brother, and I thought that dismissing them is such a way indicated that JK had little or no respect for the characters, or the feelings for the thousands of readers who have come to regard them as fictional friends. The epilogue could have been set just a few years in the future - then all the loose ends could have been tied up in the same number of words. One teenage reviewer on another site, quite rightly said that she didnt want her last impression of Harry to be as a man the same age as her Dad, she empathised with the characters and didnt want them to move up a generation. I agree - JK wrote and essentially very good final book, but seemed at the end to have totally lost interest in the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the book. Looking at reviews/comments, there are some small details that are unpleasant. But all in all, it was very exciting and touching.

However, I felt that as soon as Voldemort was defeated, there was little denouement. It just ends, then a lame epilogue. Considering we're never going to see the characters again, couldn't they have at least talked, or anything? Harry to Dumbledore, or harry with his friends, the weasleys.. it just ends, and introduces all these new children characters. I didn't like the very last 15 pages. Other than that, it was great.

Anonymous said...

Reading comments here it's interesting to see so many opinions and anger about how it should have ended. Such a complex story is bound to offer many possible solutions.

The one JKR chose was effective and built to an engrossing climax however somehow there was never any doubt that it would all turn out ok.

Laying down your life for your friends and freedom is the ultimate sacrifice.

How much more powerful it would have been if the book stopped here with Harry and Voldemort dying as they had lived linked inextricably.

Moving beyond this simply played to those expecting a fairy-tale ending:and they all lived happily ever after. Sacrificing only bit-part players was all just a bit too glib.

In the LoTR even Frodo must move "on" from middle earth after his sucessful quest.

Sticking around for a happy life and fame doesn't ring true but is probably representative of the prevailing view on life.

Another area of the book I found jarring was the sudden ease with which Harry (and Ron) previously barely able to master basic spells were suddenly able even before finishing school to disarm, stupify and confound virtually all who stood in their way - even evil and experienced witches and wizards.

The link with Harry offered an all too easy mecahnism by which Harry could see what Voldemort was up to but not in reverse i.e. Harry was on a quest to destroy Voldemort's soul.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...everyone seems to love it or hate it. I finished it at midday on the day it came out and I was happy with the epilouge! Ok I had to read twice to see who on earth that 'Hugo' person was.

A stunning way to end the stories, but the bad points were:

1. Pettigrew: I think he is the most misunderstood character in harry potter if not in all fiction. I was sure that his bond with harry would be giving harry a horcrux at least. But he is given 1 paragraph to himself, when I so want a switch of loyalty, in which he is given the most anti-climatic death in the entire book.

2. Lupin & Tonks: Their deaths should have been sad but I was more sad about Dobby and Hedwig dieing (although to be fair I did like that owl). Not enough viewing time for Tonks. And although I did see Jkr's point in giving layers to Lupin, I did not like the Harry/Lupin argument full stop.

Various comments here about the epilouge have annoyed and confused me: in particuarlar 'Jo said we'd find out what happened to the survivors, not a couple of them.' isn't the fun in imagining. If she had done EVERYONES future:

A) It would have taken seven more books.
B) It would be slightly boring,(to say the least)
C) That job is for fanfiction

I like the fact that the high regard that harry had in dumbledore is wavered by Rons great aunt Muriel, a slightly pantominic woman who represents the many negative stereotypes in aunts, and Rita Skeeter who is back to her irratating stance which she held in Goblet of Fire.

Some people have made strange claims such as 'no one likes it' (and the hundreds of polls and comments that are everywhere on the web and newspapers showing millions of reviews claiming enjoyment, do not count, because of a handful of people of a different opinion! Strange World...) And anyway could they have done better

Despite the incredably negative reviews on this site I think it is easily the best book and a masterpiece!

Mr Misanthrope said...

Just finished it yesterday (8/30) and I'm sorely disappointed with the ending. I agree with your points. It fells like she wrote it with him dying and the publisher made her rewrite it or had someone else rewrite. It seems THAT different from her previous choices and writings. If he had nobly faced death and sacrificed for "the greater good" it would have made sense. The epilogue might as well have said, "and they all lived happily ever after."

This doesn't diminish my love of the other books though.

Anonymous said...

I am mixed up in what to think about this book. One chapter makes me think it's brilliance while the very next chapter makes me want to throw it far away. Sometimes it's extremely fast paced and then in the next moment it's a drag and you're wondering when will this foolishness end already.

This is no way to write a book. You either make it fast paced, or slow. You don't jump up and down between the two.....

On the whole, I would give this book 2 out of 5 stars. The two stars are there for the brilliant chapters like Battle at Hogwarts, Breaking into the ministry, Breaking into Gringotts etc. and for that reason alone.

The rest is a big disappointment. I mean what happened to harry.... The epilogue was the biggest disaster. TELL US WHAT HAPPENED. What happened to Harry where does he work now what does he do how is his life? What do Hermione and Ron do..... What do all the other characters do. WHO IS THE PRINCIPAL OF HOGWARTS FOR GOD'S SAKE.

That coupled with the whole bullcrap that is Harry being the last Horcrux. I predicted that before finishing the last page of Half-Blood Prince. How very very predictable of Rowling. And once you say the main character is going to DIE you better KILL IT. You can't just prep me up for Harry's death and then suddenly say oooh! I changed my mind now Harry's going to live. That is completly bogus. I was ready for Harry to die and then suddenly that GOD AWFUL completely NONSENSICAL King's Cross chapter comes up.

I am sorely disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I jsut finished the series after reading them back to back. Excellent. I agree with some parts of your review. I really wanted that toad to pay!

Ameen said...

I read the book twice and I still can't decide for sure whether I loved or loathed it. The book was good, but not as good as 'Prisoner', 'Goblet' and 'Prince'. So it's my fourth favourite.

Anonymous said...

I thought her middle books like Goblet of Fire and The Prisoner of Azkaban were great reads. I don't know what happened with this one.

Much of it is written in the third person (ie "they did this" "they did that" etc etc) instead of having the story unfold through the character's dialogue and actions. She's trying to cover way too much ground in this book to do the material justice. Even then much of it seems to make little sense (the endless forest stuff) and the lack of adult characters or Hogwarts for much of the story hardly gives much scope to show the Harry and his friends we are used to in the earlier books.

Actually, apart from some specific scenes, much of the writing is downright poor, almost high school essay level.

Anonymous said...

This was piss poor. PISS POOR. She did not try period. She didn't. First of all why in the hell is there so many gramical errors. She go dumb. Also half of the story is about a locket and the rest of the hocruxes just fall in his hand. It seemed like alot of the stuff she said in the sixth book she regretted. About how Dumbledore took away all of the books. She had to cover it in the 7th book. She went after his funeral and took books from his office. Also she left so many things out in the epilogue. What happened to X. Lovegood? What about luna? In my opinion there should be another book with harry's son wiping up the mess she left. Oh yeah how did the house get destroyed that badly if all he did was shoot a couple killing curses.And why couldn't they make a funeral for moody with out a body? It's been done. It seems to me she made a lot of excuses in the story for her B.S she ran. 0 out of 10. Piss poor.

Anonymous said...

There is one word that described the book.

Forced. JKR didnt even try to make it good, she just wrote something that had a semi-related storyline and stuck it in her series. She got lazy, and knew that she could because no matter what it was like, die hard fans would be blinded and no one would be able to say that it was bad for the first weeks, because the hype was HUGE. It was hastily thrown together. Have you noticed that every time someone died he says this can not be and then forgets? It was just amateur. 3/10

P.S. OOtP was my favorite book

Anonymous said...

It's not surprising to see negative comments, especially coming from avid fans. Let's face it, you can't please everyone, and I'm sure that Rowling realized this when she set about the huge ( and let's not forget, extremely daunting ) task of wrapping up 6 books worth of build-up. I think the negativity comes mostly from people feeling slighted that perhaps "their" favorite character didn't receive enough consideration, or that something wasn't as thoroughly explained as they wanted it to be, etc... Believe me, I sympathize with people on this, I know how it feels to follow an epic like this only to feel let down at the end of it all. I would hope that people, instead of being angry that the last book wasn't written 'just for them', would think more kindly on Rowling, and be grateful that in a sea of mediocrity which the literary world has been reduced to, we have 7 books that will never fail to entertain, to help us escape, that we can turn to whenever we feel we need a little magic in our oft-times sorrowful, horribly mundane lives.

I personally only have one word to say to J.K. Rowling upon finishing the latest and final book in this wonderful series....


Anonymous said...

The themes explored in the book were deep, and I felt - after Harry's sacrifice and "resurrection" - slightly religious. Ron's insecurities, Dumbledore's controversial past and the importance of accepting death as but the next step in life are just some of the issues JK covered. Love really can conquer evil and death itself. The book has a huge array of characters. Many of you are expecting an unreasonable amount of time to be spent on describing their experiences but that is impossible. The book would be 5000 pages long!! The epilogue was not very descriptive but JK Rowling did not include EXACTLY what happened to each of the survivors because, well . . . it's obvious. We can figure out that George probably is stil operating his business, Bill and Fleur are still happily married, the Ministry of Magic is under a now more positive regime, Hogwarts is back to its former glory, etc. Everything particularly important was covered. This book was brilliant.

Anonymous said...

The Deathly Hallows was the biggest let down I have ever seen in a series. It did not give any justice to the characters who died in the end but ultimately Harry Potter is just a very lucky individual. Since Voldemort had a wand that was loyal to someone else than anyone could have defeated him. I can go on and on about how terrible the book was and I expected many things from this book and it appears Jk was just trying to end the series.

Anonymous said...

This book is the WORST in the entire series. Forget for a moment what happened to your favorite characters and how cleverly (or in this case not) the loose ends were all woven together- the writing is terrible! Good grief, nothing but the Weasley wedding happens for the first two thirds of the book! How many hundreds of pages are spent on hinting at the backstory of Dumbledore, who is dead! The story is poorly thought through. The book is poorly edited (if it was edited at all.) The pacing is outrageously off. The language in action sequences is murky at best. The 'romance' is flat. What JKR taught us about magic, its theory, and its ethics- all that flies right out the window. The 'heroic trio' make morally reprehensible choices, for which there are no discernable consequences, not even a line or two expressing guilt, regret, or second-guessing. Many beloved characters are now suddenly out of character, as if the author has forgotten who they are. Indeed, many of these die the death of strangers, as in we never even find out HOW they died! Even the continuity, from one chapter to the next is discontinuous. I have a ton of other gripes about this heap of rot but am too weary to relive what amounted to a very traumatic and thoroughly unexpected disappointment. It seems clear to me that Ms. Rowling got her check and didn't worry that her fans got the shaft.

Anonymous said...

This book it seems has been written with adult reading audience in mind more than any other of the previous books in the series. The grownups even if only from their life experiences would recognize the pace of this book as very much realistic - slow, fast, med-fast. What may seem to other as lull episodes are in fact the most important times in Harry’s quest, when he learns, fights his own insecurities and doubts, when he interacts with other wizards. And you can almost feel his decision making process, his and his friends brain-storming of the obstacles that lay before them.
There's enough action in this book for everyone, but as it is - it's not a video game, in fact it's a peace of serious literary work and as such it must be judged accordingly.

I would agree with the critics here that this book doesn’t feel as 3D and immersive as let’s say the first four, but it by far is the deepest one that truly opens up the magical world and its inhabitants for us, Muggles )

Great book, thanks you Mrs. JKR

Unknown said...

i have read both jkr book 7 and a fan fiction and i honestly think the fan fiction is better except maybe the defeat of voldemort.

link for the fan fiction

Unknown said...

in the fan fiction harry hooks up with Ginny and Delores gets ripped apart by werewolves... its pretty dam good

Anonymous said...

Yeah i see your points with the Epilogue being bad.. i was really looking foreword to seeing if he got to become an auror even with abysmal potion grades. Lupin and Tonks dying=big let down. First of all, he made a big deal of his OWL dying, but no one really cares about fellow humans. Again, i agree with the bad pacing, the locket got annoying. Also the Snape and Lily issue i felt was nauseating. What did Rowling hope to achieve by making James look bad? he should have remained a good person. Hagrid. Is he dead or not? carried away by spiders is all we know... He was cool! Geez.
One thing I liked: McGonigal (no idea about spelling) and the other teachers fighting in the battle o Hogwarts. Something else good, Kretcher. I thought him being a good little servant was appealing, what ever happened to the poor guy? i feel sorry for him.
Have you noticed the mood of he book changing? First 2 books I thing she meant to be funny and fun for young readers, I mean, think about it, names like Hog, Warts. or Dum, bul, dor. If you just read the beginning of sorcer's stone... And now everyone is dying. I can imagin a 8 year old reading the first book but i doubt he would understand half of this one.

Anonymous said...

I thought this books was the best of all the series, even thought it has its flaws, everybook has them.

1.Harry dying: I think it was ok what she did. I cried, cause i thought he was going to die, but then he didnt so it was ok, some wanted him to die some didn't so she made it 50/50, and sides, i realized, if he died, it would have altered all the plot and books, I mean the books is called HP, and finally there's no HP? would have been weird.

2.Horcuxes: I felt too that it was all about the locket and suddenly all of the horcouxes where distroyed, but, for me the locket was like the key, if you discover something, then that leads you to other discoveries, so it was easier to get the ohters.

3.characters dying: I didn't want them to die, some say that some deaths where not necesarie, but they kinda were, cause if she hadnt kill them, it would be totally unrealistic, like a fight with no deaths? sort of twilight-ish (ewww).

4.Epilogue: ok it was kinda bad, but well, it just like 5 pages? did it ruine the book just for 5 pages? no! and im ok with the epilogue end, about the scar and that it hadnt hurt from 19 years, i think it was a great closing despite some parts of the epilogue.

i feel i have no space left, and im tired of writing so, i'll finish by saying I really like the book, as i said, it did have flaws, but whatever, all the books have them

Anonymous said...

1) Too many Let downs!!!!! Wormtail, Pecry, and Grawp were built up to anti-climax here. Lupin and Tonks' deaths were contrived; just so Harry could raise Ted as Sirius never raised him, though we are forced to infer that.
too many loose ends, what happend to the dursleys, so much potential emotion tossed away.
she settled for quantity over quality.

2) Deus ex machina sucks ass!!!
everything was so arbitrary she used to be good at tying everyhting in to previous books but here she just made everyhting up as she went along. WHYT EH HELL MAKE RAVENCLAWS LOST HAT SO IMPORTENT NOW when we all know that the sorting hat was Gryffendor's anyway- THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE PERFECT HORCRUX and SO SYMBOLIC TO DESTROY!!!!oh and please show and don't tell Snape's love for Lily.

JKR just lost control of her series with this one.

anyway I love the series and the concepts of the ending- it is just poorly handled.

ps. i kind of wish Harry Avada Kadavraed voldemort- that would have been bad ass.

Anonymous said...

My friend and I rushed out to get Deathly Hallows as soon as it was released, and we both thought it was a huge let-down. It's not because things didn't go the way that we expected, OR because they were too predictable. It's not because of the technical quality of the writing, or who the author did or didn't kill. It was because of the content.

1. The girls. For six books we've had strong, interesting female characters in Harry Potter. McGonagall, Hermione, Luna, Tonks, what little we got to see of Ginny - all good. Then Deathly Hallows comes out, and suddenly all Hermione can do is regress to her 'authority is always right' attitude (undoing six books worth of slow character development), Luna becomes a semi damsel-in-distress who gets kidnapped and held hostage, Ginny agrees to stay behind while Harry goes on his quest and heavily implies that she'll sleep with him before he goes, adopting the 'girl waiting for her soldier to come back' persona, Tonks has a baby and dies, and only McGonagall comes out of things more or less unscathed by the sudden bout of absolute suckage that hit the rest of the group. Oh yes, and Molly Weasley had her moment where she swore and killed Bellatrix, which was cool but also seemed kind of... random?

2. The quest. Harry and friends are on a search to find Voldemort's horcruxes - and I think JKR shot herself in the foot with that one, because they were doomed to be far, far too easy to find since they had to uncover so many in just one book. If this really, truly was her plan from the beginning, she would have done herself a favor by having one or two more uncovered under the course of the story in the same way the diary was. BUT, then it gets even worse because suddenly we have the idiotic hallows to deal with, which means we've got two 'let's find the magical items' quests. The business with the Elder Wand was convoluted and felt extremely tacked-on.

3. Anti-climactic is probably the name of the game for a lot of scenes. It felt like she was just killing characters to get an emotional response out of the reader without properly explaining their deaths, or even building up to them well at all. There's a trend in Harry Potter of people getting killed or having their lives ruined by their best qualities. Peter's hesitation to mindlessly kill Harry costs him his life. Snape's love for Lily costs him his, too, on a more long-term scale. Everyone who fought and lost their life rather than turning Harry over to the Death Eaters died because of their loyalty and virtue. Not the best message for CHILDREN'S BOOK. I mean, what is it? 'If you're going to be evil, kids, try and be passive about it so that you can survive like the Malfoys did?'

4. For a book that had to get an awful lot done in a fairly short stretch of time, the characters sure did spend a lot of it doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

5. I don't care what anyone says, that epilogue was such an utter load of fail that I found myself laughing in entirely the wrong way while I was reading it. 'Albus Severus Potter' and 'Scorpius Malfoy' sound like names that a fourteen-year-old would think up for their fanfiction.

Anonymous said...

"nobody will finish the Harry Potter series feeling cheated."
I did...