July 29, 2007

Why wait??

I am going to go out on a limb and open the thread for discussing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Will anyone be terribly angry if I switch it up on you and go early with the book club? Several of you have emailed to discuss and I realized - why wait? Why type the SAME email over and over? Also, I went out to a site yesterday that was discussing Harry Potter and there were hundreds of comments - I felt silly putting my thoughts out there amongst an ocean of other comments with folks I didn't even know. I realized I would rather discuss this amongst my friends.

Therefore, let the spoiling begin - for THIS POST ONLY. Please, please do NOT put Harry Potter comments in any other post.

I will update the date on this post periodically to keep it near the top and to keep it fresh, okay? I will continue to do this until August 5th so the folks who are still finishing the book won't feel left out. I am also planning to re-read the last 90 pages or so and will be coming in with more thoughts on that.

Also, is anyone else a little sad now that it is over? Is anyone else suffering a bit of withdrawal after all the hype and excitement? I need to pick up another book to read, but can't decide which to read so I am sticking to magazines and some non-fiction for now. NO fiction looks worthy right now. Sniff.


Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Quick thoughts before I start making dinner....

I loved how Snape was not necessarily good, but that he was to be trusted after all. It was more believable that way. I cried and cried hearing his "story" and when he died, looking into Lily's (Harry's) eyes for the last time.

I thought the epilogue was cheesy, but realize that she needed to do that for closure. I guess. It was still cheesy.

I am still a little confused about the whole thing with the Elder wand - I feel that I need to re-read the last 100 pages or so.

Dobby's death got to me, but so did Hedwig's!!! Am I the only one who cried over that?

Also, Ginny rocks - she ended up being the perfect girl for Harry.

Finally, "Not my daughter, you Bitch" must go down in literary history as one of the silliest lines ever. So out of character for Mrs. Weasley.

Overall, despite the fact that the book was a bit disjointed in its telling and it meandered a bit, it was an awesome read and ultimately, satisfying. Well worth the wait and most definitely worth the hype.

Kerry said...

I really liked the first half. I thought the overwhelming aspect of having to find the horcruxes with almost nothing to go on was very realistic, and it was just good solid adventure.

The second half I felt got a little bogged down with the need to explain everything...first Dumbledore's family history, and then Snape, and then why Harry wasn't really dead, and why Voldemort wasn't really the master of the Eldar Wand. I guess she had to tie up the loose ends, but it did kind of interfere with the flow of the story, and left me wondering why she couldn't come up with solutions might have flowed better. You know, the kind of endings where the author only has to give you the final piece of the puzzle and then it suddenly all makes sense...not a 2 or 3 page explanation.

That being said, I thought Neville was awesome in those last few chapters. The thought of his grandmother on the run fighting off Deatheaters was oddly the most emotional of the whole book for me, and everyone coming together to defend Hogwarts was pretty satisfying.

The dramatic effect of the deaths was kind of ruined for me, because I'd heard that "at least two" major characters were going to die...and so each death just hit me as better odds the other characters were safe, which is twisted, but I was really hoping for Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny, and Luna to come out ok. That, and she kept killing off characters that hadn't really been in the book up until that point, which kind of dulled the effect as well. I still cried at various points, but I'm kind of an easy mark for tear-jerkers.

Oh and I agree with you that the epilogue was kind of a let down....she didn't really reveal anything that couldn't have been guessed two or three books ago. My roommate and I had been trying to guess for weeks what Hermione's career of choice would end up being, and it wasn't even mentioned.

Marilyn said...

You know my immediate impression was that this book was a friggin' masterpiece. I loved the whole ending of the book, the last five or so chapters were so amazingly gripping.

You are not the only one upset about Hedwig. I cried and was far more upset about her dying than I was about Mad-Eye. Innocent animal and all that. I still don't think she was properly mourned. She was a damn fine owl.

I *loved* the "Not my daughter, you bitch" line from Mrs. Weasley. She seriously rocked the end of that book as far as I was concerned. We know that losing her family members was always one of her biggest fears and in light of that coming true (*sob* Fred *sob*) she really stood up and announced she wasn't going to take it anymore. I loved that.

I think the epilogue had to be cheesy. And honestly, I think anything less than a bloodbath may have seemed cheesy. This whole book was dark, brooding, violent and rough. It was nice to see everyone "turned out" okay, though it would have been nice to hear more about professions.

I love that I was spot on about Snape. Made me feel good. :) I felt his whole arc was very believable too, and all the more heartbreaking for it. I'm glad Harry gave him his due when it was all said and done.

I wasn't as touched by Dobby's death though. I think I was numb at that point. Hermione being tortured and all.

I literally sobbed through the entirety of chapter 34. The chapter where Harry walked out to meet Voldemort in the forest. I was SO upset about Fred and Lupin and Tonks... gah.

Okay, that's all for now. :)

Tina Miles said...

Oh, I"m so glad you're doing this. Hubby isn't done yet, and I SO have things I want to talk about. And I feel I can ask my questions here and not feel silly.

I agree with the confusion on the Elder wand. Also wondering is it really realistic that Voldermort could have parts of his soul being destroyed and he not feel that? Or was it just so hardened?

Was the baby in the train station what was left of the final soul? Or the soul that had been in Harry (the Horcrux) that had just been destroyed?

Oh, I want to say more but I need to go. I will say I kind of like Mrs. W's "Not my daughter"--because it was so unlike her, yet it's like all that stress and worry from the last few years are coming out now that she can fight back.

I did like that Harry named his son after Snape.

Anonymous said...

I thought the not my daughter line was completely in character with Mrs. Weasley and her overprotective personality and tendency to let her emotions rule her.

I thought the backstory with snape was brilliant. Short and too the point and brilliant. I loved it.

I liked the epilogue, I like closure. I don't like pain and torture and wondering. And I cried steadily through out the book.

I agree I was somewhat numb by the time Lupin and Tonks were dead. I just was dreading what was coming. I don't think I could have handled much more deaths.

I agree with Marilyn, the walk into the woods was overwhelming for me.

I wonder how much of our reactions to this book have to do with our age, our experiences and our love for other people. Would I really have been as touched by all the deaths if I hadn't been in love? had children, lost people close to me. Seen crushing loss?

In conclusion. Neville rocks

Leah said...

I loved the book as a whole. I just finished reading it for the second time, and it is brilliant. The part with Snape's memories was one of the most moving things I've ever read.

That being said, I don't see why it has to be the last one. I know she made the epilogue (which I liked, but it was TOO SHORT) to wrap up loose ends, but there were so freaking many loose ends. What happens to Luna? What do they all do for careers? Does Neville get married and have kids? Why couldn't Rowling (after taking a nice long break or whatever she needs, etc.) write a few books filling in the gaps? Maybe she'll blow through her money M.C. Hammer-style and need to write more for the Benjamins. Fingers crossed.

Here's what I emailed Cagey... But here's my little quibble.

"How could Tonks leave her baby behind? I'm with Harry - it's not fair that Teddy ended up with both parents dead. Not fair at all. One of them had to come, okay, fine. But both of them?

Also - apparently witches don't breastfeed? Tonks was okay with
leaving the baby with her mom when it was what, a couple months old?
That was weird. I know some people aren't as attached to their babies
as I am, but it just didn't feel right to me. If I didn't know better I would say it must have been written by a man or by a woman with no kids. But it wasn't. Weird?"

I have a friend who compared being an Auror to being in the military - doing your duty outweighs staying with your kids? I just don't know though. It didn't sit right with me at all.

I thought Mrs. Weasley's line was pretty contrived. Even if she hadn't added "you bitch" to the end it would have been fine. But adding that just felt... fake.

On the whole, I loved the book. But I can't stand that that's all we get to know about their lives. It's driving me crazy.

Kerry said...

I think she just included the not my daughter line because she wants Samuel L. Jackson to play Mrs. Weasley in the final movie.

Shalini said...

Overall, I really enjoyed this book-much, much more than the previous one which in my opinion, was the weakest one of the bunch.

Hedwig's death was the one moment that really brought tears to my eyes. So sad!

I agree that it seemed excessive to have both Tonks and Lupin die, but I guess she wanted to create another orphan whose parents died fighting Voldemort to parallel Harry's story? For a moment, when that happened, I thought, "do I smell a spin-off series?"

Re-reading the end is not a bad idea-I was a bit confused by some of the wand stuff as well.

Mrs. Weasley's Bitch comment didn't really ring true for me, but I did notice how the language was a a bit stronger this time around. Ron kept saying "effing" which I found sort of funny.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

oooh, I figured out the elder wand.

The key lies in the sentence "holding the wand isn't enough" and as Ollivander says, "the wand chooses the wizard" and that when a wizard is overcome by another, the wand will switch allegiance. The Elder wand is especially notorious for being passed down through confict.

So here's how it played out

Dumbledore defeats Grindelwald and becomes master of the Elder wand. (1)

Draco Malfoy supposedly overcomes Dumbledore in Book 6 and becomes master of the Elder wand (2)

Snape commits the final act of killing Dumbledore, but since the death was pre-arranged, the wand doesn't recognise it as being overcome since it was Dumbledore's choice (3)

Therefore, Draco, who did something or other to Dumbledore, gets the allegiance.

Dumbledore is BURIED with the Elder wand, but Draco is the unwitting master (4)

Voldemort steals the wand from Dumbledore's grave (5)

Harry overcomes Draco at Malfoy Manor (6). In overcoming Draco (and stealing his Ollivander-purchased wand) he becomes master of both the Elder AND Draco's regular wand by the act of overcoming Draco. The wand, at this point, is still HELD by Voldemort.

In the final battle, Voldemort is holding the wand but Harry is the true master based on the sequence of events described above. A wand will not act against its true master. Therefore, when Voldemort duels Harry in the end, the wand refuses to act against him when it recognises Harry's magic-spell rebounds on Voldy and he's dead.

The only kink is that Voldemort kills Harry using the wand in the woods. But I think that can be chalked up against the fact that Draco's wand (stolen from Malfoy manor) didn't have the multi-tiered ties that Harry's original wand did, and therefore, wouldn't act on its own. And that the elder wand can be used like any other wand even by the non-master-especially when the other wizard isn't doing anything defensively.

Eh, there are some plot holes-like the wand stuff when I figured it out (first thing I thought was, "well, then the elder wand shouldn't have been used to kill Harry in the woods!") but I do think that's how she meant it to play out.

Kerry said...

Maybe the loophole there is that Voldemort used the elder wand to kill Harry, but not to defeat him, since Harry's sacrifice ultimately ended up helping them defeat Voldemort? Still, that seems like a lot of thinking for a wand to be doing.

FFF said...

Some random thoughts--
I loved Narcissa's little bit in the woods where she tells Voldy Harry is dead.

Neville ROCKS.

I love that people kept calling Ron "Ginger."

When Griphook took the Gryffindor Sword, how did it end up back in the Sorting Hat for Neville to pull out?

I didn't care much about Hedwig dying--but Dobby's death made me sad.

I like the first part of the book, but I missed Hogwarts and loved the Dumbledore's Army bits.

Epilogue was totally cheesy. Fine to do it, but too many wholes.

Monkey, I followed all the wand stuff that you figured out, but which wand did Voldy use in the woods to kill Harry?

Overall, a great book, very exciting!

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Brennan, exactly, he didn't use any defensive magic, hence the elder wand didn't sense the true master. Even at the end, Harry is working all on guesswork and hoping he's right, isn't he?

It's rather convoluted. The credit is due to my sister. We were talking this weekend and she was like "no no, the key is in the sentence 'it's not enough to hold the wand'" and we both figured it out from there.

fff: he used the Elder wand to kill Harry in the forest, hence the loophole. I guess you explain it away by saying that a wizard has to put his magical essence out there in some way-using msgic himself etc.-for the wand to recognise the master.

Still, as Brennan points out, it's the nature of the special sacrifice or something something. :)

Somewhat loopholish but my sister and I are convinced the interpretation I posted above is what Rowling was trying to go for.

I've read it two times already-I may need a break, but I'll probably re-read it sadly in a couple of months knowing that there won't be anymore left to look forward to...

Any word on whether she ever plans to write again? I mean, another series, not continuation of the HP stuff. I know she said that Book 7 is the last book, although my sister claims Scholastic is putting out an Appendix, which I think were her original character outlines.

I hope she writes other series-she's talented.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Oh, and Neville pulls the sword out of the hat the same way Harry killed the basilisk in Book 2, right? A true Gryffindor will always have access to the sword in need?

I love that Neville came into his own!

Leah said...



Apparently she's planning to write an encyclopedia with back stories and other info. YAY! I don't even care that I'll have to wait for it - just the fact that it's eventually coming has me feeling nice and mellow about the whole thing. :)

Tina Miles said...

This is a really interesting bit by the editor of the book. Helps explain a few things and has some interesting thoughts on the epilogue. I will say after I read this, I appreciated the epilogue more...but still wanted more questions answered!


Yank In Texas said...

Aww Monkey, you beat me to the Elder Wand explanation. You nailed it. It's complicated but in a good way. Makes you pay attention to the details.
I loved Mrs. Weasley at the end with "Not my daughter you bitch!" So Momma Bear.
I too was a bit disappointed by the epilogue but I see why it was there. But I want to know where the hell Hugo and Rose came from. (Hermione's parents??) I'm pretty sure Victoire is Bill and Fleur's daughter and Teddy Tonks is just seeing her off to school. (I'd put her in the 7th year at Hogwarts so it's not too icky.)
I did find it odd for Tonks to leave the baby but she had a huge attachment to Lupin too and a sense of duty to fight as an Auror. So it does make sense, sad sense, but I can understand it.
I loved the idea of Potterwatch, though the whole thing and a lot of other stuff was so very WWII. I mean Nurmengard and "For the Greater Good"? Not so subtle there.
But overall I enjoyed the book and was very happy with how it all ended.
And yay for the encyclopedia! Sooo happy about that. More info!

Mojavi said...

seriously I agree with everyone... Also I hated the "Not my daughter , you bitch" line. I read it like 4 times and thought YUCK! She never really cursed before (JK) in any of her books really. Anyway I was really disappointed they didn't go into more detail about Ron and Hermione. She has been building their relationship for years and they get one lousy kiss.....

Kerry said...

Also, Tonks' baby is also Lupin's baby...which means he's just the kind of impure blood that Voldemort would hate most. I can see how she might have seen defeating Voldemort as the most important thing, even with her baby in mind.

Me said...

I LOVED the book. Thought it was brilliant, and I love that her writing has remained remarkably consistent througout the 7 books.

My thoughts:

I couldn't help but get Aslan flashbacks when Harry walked willingly into the woods to die. Anyone else get the C.S. Lewis shivers?

In answer to earlier question, I thought the malformed little something under the bench at the train station was the rotten bit of soul stuck in Harry the Horcrux.

I thought the Elder wand stuff made sense largely as Monkey told it, but I also thought Harry was going a bit for the classic psych out in the duel, which I think weakened Voldemort's spell as well.

I thought it was sweet, and awfully forgiving of Harry to name his second son partially for Snape.

I for one loved the "Not my daughter you bitch" line. Go Molly! Oddly, though, it almost fits the movie Molly better than the book Molly (the movie Molly is more agressive). I am glad that Rowling reserved the killing of Bellatrix for someone special.

I also loved the epilouge. It felt like coming back "home", ending at the Hogwarts Express. Also, a glimpse at people's kiddos was cool.

I was impressed that Harry made ammends with Kreature. Hermione had to have been bursting with pride.

Anyone else slightly sickened that Aberforth's patronus was a goat? After all the rumors about him and the goats, ewwwwwwwww.

I am completely in love with the visual of them bursting out of Gringotts riding a blind dragon. If that gets cut from the 7th movie, I'll be so bummed.

BRash said...

I was so disappointed that the Umbridge character was never revisited. After the emphasis about how she had grown more and more evil with time, and then the revelation about how she'd been wearing the Horcrux for so long, I would have like to see her redeemed in some way - at least show up for The Battle of Hogwarts - or did I miss something?

And I would have also liked to see something more from Draco. The last two saving-of-Draco's-life and still he's Evil? No major recantation? And not even a word with Harry on at King's Cross 19 years later?

Also, the Elder wand explanation is actually pretty simple. The reason Harry is the master of the Elder wand is because Draco disarmed Dumbledore in the last book, then Harry disarmed Draco in this book. The wand would still work for anyone, but wouldn't work as well as for its master.

AP said...

I, too, am wondering what the little baby was when Harry was talking with Dumbledore after his not-death. Is there an obvious answer or was it meant to be a mystery?