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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - SPOILERS

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What are the odds that there will be books written by other authors using Rowling's characters? (There must be a word for these, I'm thinking of Rebecca's Tale et al.)

 

HP7 may not have brought me to tears, but it did make me laugh out loud: when Ron presents Harry with his birthday present 'Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches' and says 'You'd be surprised, it's not all about wandwork, either'!!

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when Ron presents Harry with his birthday present 'Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches' and says 'You'd be surprised, it's not all about wandwork, either'!!

I must be honest, I cringed just a bit at that. There's rather too much of the 'my wand's bigger than yours' humour. As much as anything, it's just so gloriously out-of-place in the fabric of these books.

 

Still, I grinned at the chapter title in HBP, 'Hermione's Helping Hand' so I can't really talk, can I...?

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As much as anything, it's just so gloriously out-of-place in the fabric of these books.

That's why I liked it, I was pleasantly shocked!

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What are the odds that there will be books written by other authors using Rowling's characters?

 

I did wonder if there will be any follow-up books from other writers or JK herself regarding Teddy (the new orphan).

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Just when I thought I was doing well for finishing at 11 a.m. today I find so many people ahead of me!

 

I think most of my views have been echoed elsewhere. In particular the complete bewilderment as to the deaths of the two key characters - the body count rises from the second Mad Eye Moody gets knocked off! Maybe JKR actually said two dozen and it got lost off somewhere.

 

Also the large amount of superfluous material in there (the endless camping scenes, the drawn out battle, skirmishes just for the sake of them rather than adding anything to the plot). Why they don't edit this better is a mystery to me, not least because it does tend to bury some of the really good stuff. And all the extra material up front makes the 19 Years Later chapter look even more like a poorly thought through add-on. Indeed the more I think about it, the more I think that it simply highlights JKR's failure to plan the long term storyline.

 

I'm interested in people's comments that the happy-ever-after ending is due to the fact that it is only a kids book. I'm no expert on kids books but the sickly sweet ending does seem a bit incongruous with the more 'young adult' approach of the rest of the book. In particular, the language - not just the 'bitch' and 'bastard' previously referred to but at least two of the characters use the expression 'effing'. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think this is shorthand for 'flipping'!

 

Still, it will be interesting to see the movie version - they managed to make a very passable movie out of the seriously overlong 'Order of the Phoenix'. No doubt they'll be able to do the same with the Hallows - not least because they have to edit lots of stuff out to fit it into a movie.

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Jjust finished it. Just read the thread. My first reaction is mixed. I could not put the book down simply because I was desperate to know how it all worked out in the end. At the moment I feel thrilled to have read it, yet sad that everything is over now, despite knowing how they all ended up nineteen years later.

 

I need time to digest it all, including the comments above and come to my own conclusions.

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I finished reading at 1 this morning (after having to go to a family event yesterday - how inconsiderate!). I was left with so many questions from things that I thought would be answered but weren't, although at the same time I had the feeling that everything had been "wrapped up nicely". I wanted to know whether Harry ever followed his dream to become an aura, did he have to get his NEWTs, thus having to do yet another year of education. What did the original Order of the Phoenix members do for jobs, we know that some worked in the ministry, but what about Harry's parents. How did George cope on his own without Fred. I could have done with a 3 months later chapter rather than an 19 years later one, something that wasn't happy ever after, but hopeful and yet with a touch of moarning. I was gutted that Hedwig went so early on, and then wasn't thought of again for the rest of the book after being the only continuity between the two worlds that Harry lived in and his constant companion. Also Moody's demise was glossed over. Also what about the Dursleys, did they survive and go back to Privet Drive, the change in Dudley was great. I read that JKR had killed off 2 more characters than she had originally planned but had saved one that had been originally on the list to be got rid of, I wonder which ones these were.

 

All this said, I hope that there are no more Harry Potter books, the series is completed, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the books, many things were explained in the last book and Snape came good in the end. I will now just look forward to the films.

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Also what about the Dursleys, did they survive and go back to Privet Drive, the change in Dudley was great.

It's a shame that Dudley wasn't at Kings Cross putting his child on the train. It could have been done mirroring Snapes memory, and had 2 sisters arguing in a Lily / Petunia manner....

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I think the plotting of the overall series of seven books is amazing. When I say this I mean the plot of the entire series, not the small parts that can seem unimportant etc.

In fact I'm looking forward to reading the series again in a few years to try and spot the small clues that I'm sure were laid in the early books.

I was glad to see so much reference to the earlier books, especially book 1 & 2. As far as JKR's writing goes, it is similar to the Dan Brown debate. In my view it's dependant on the readers outlook. The way I look at it is that a good story can hide bad writing, but good writing can never mask a bad story.

 

PS - There were parts of this book where I found myself disliking Dumbledore. It suprised me, but it was nice to see a darker side to that character. It was good to see him making mistakes.

 

PPS - When Harry dies do you think the "Kings Cross" scene was all in his head?

Personally I do. I found it quite funny. If that scene was all in Harry's head that means he imagined Dumbledore explaining things to him that he had finally figured out himself. Obviously he got used to Dumbledore explaining everything for him in after his previous adventures. I suppose it seems apt that he imagines Dumbledore teling him his discoveries but it might have been nice for him to start reasoning things for himself.

Then again I guess the whole scene is open to interpretation. What do you think?

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More thoughts...

 

Normally, I'm irritated by the whole house-elf thing but this book I was amused and delighted by Kreacher and a little saddened for Dobby.

 

And I am SO glad there wasn't a silly Quidditch game!

 

And to everyone who keeps saying that Rowling doesn't write well - I don't know anyone who reads Harry Potter for the beautiful prose.

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And I am SO glad there wasn't a silly Quidditch game!

 

I agree - I always hated the 'Quidditch finales' to the other books.

 

And to everyone who keeps saying that Rowling doesn't write well - I don't know anyone who reads Harry Potter for the beautiful prose.

 

Very, very true.

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I took 3 days to read the book, it was supposed to be done by Saturday but my neck was killing from standing on a cold dark street in a queue of hundreds of people in just a party dress waiting for midnight. And no I wasn't wearing the dress because of the book launch I had been a left a birthday party early, thankfully HP gave me an excuse to leave when a huge fight broke out!

Anyway I then decided to read slowly - and I have to say in some places I needed to. I found a few chapters mighty confusing - the Seven Potters chapter where they are attacked in the sky (I was glad when my boyfriend had to re-read that chapter as well!). I thought as a kids book some places were very confusing. Saying that I loved it (well mostly), I thought Ron was the star, his teenage tantrums and passion for Hermionie.

I had looked to see how many pages were in the novel and managed to read a few words completely by mistake "Harry's third son, Albus" was so angry at myself as I already knew at least one outcome of the book. Saying that it was still a page turner till the end. Thought the "Kings Cross" heavenly chapter was too sickly sweet as was the end. 19 years later and everything is perfect for everyone - doesn't she know that children don't expect people to amrry their childhood sweethearts, they see divorce and single parents around them all the time.

 

I did cry at Fred's death, Hedwigs kind of passed me by in a flash!

 

Waiting to go and discuss it with my bf, I was 150 pages ahead then he stayed up till 4 in the morning to get it finished! Missing work the next day!!!!!!!!!

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I got back from the office very late last night and my daughter was reading it with her glasses on in bed. I asked her how it was going, and was she enjoying it and she grunted in the affirmative.

 

Went past her room a few minutes later and saw she had taken her glasses off, so I asked her why....

 

"I had to take them off so I could cry when Hedwig died."

 

Cracked me up! :D

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"I had to take them off so I could cry when Hedwig died."

 

Cracked me up! :D

I'll bet that went down well! ;)

 

No, I'm glad it worked with her the way it didn't with me. Not that I could claim great emotional attachment to the owl, but it was the first death of a long-standing 'character' and you'd expect more to have been made of it. However, she was gone in a flash of green light then went into rigor mortis at Harry's feet in a motorcycle side-car as a huge airborne battle continued. Too-whit, too-quick-to-care.

 

You'd better get her contacts before she reaches the end...

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So much has been put so eloquently about DH that I am sure my bit will not add much. Having considered my reading for a day or so though, I have to say I am still savouring it as a great finale to what has been a wonderful reading journey for me.

 

There are one or two highlights, and one or two factors already mentioned I have comments on. Someone mentioned that it seemed unnecessary (can't find the comment again) for Harry and Hermione and sometimes Ron, to spend so much time roaming around the country seemingly doing nothing. I think this serves two purposes. It helps Rowling span the year that the book must cover, so that it has the same time span as the other six. Also, I see it as an analogy of teenagers seeking a focus on life; not necessarily understanding what they should be aiming for, coming to terms with their emotions and living through all that angst until they find their path in life. Maybe that's a bit high flown, but that was how I read that myself.

 

I also loved the way Hermione kept Harry going throughout; how her brains, common sense and practical arrangements allowed him to achieve his aims in the long run. For me this was a snapshot on life where 'behind every great man is a clever woman'. I know this is not true of all relationships or walks of life, but in many cases, it's the women in the background of society that allow men to go forth and achieve - in my opinion.

 

I also loved the way Mrs. Weasley went for Bellatrix. Portrayed throughout as the home-maker, it was wonderful to read about Mrs. Weasley using her magical ability in this way. I think it rounded off Rowlings initial concept of altruism of Lily shielding Harry all those years before.

 

Rowling has always given Ron great characteristics and great lines. And she didn't fail him in this book either. I could almost see him growing up before my eyes as he became more aware of Hermione, his relationship with her, his greater consideration of her and the way he slowly took control of himself and situations around him.

 

I think Rowling has provided a conclusion that covers a lot of what I feel she set out to achieve: a series of seven books, covering seven years of education for young adults. In these books she addresss the young person for the year that it covers, as if the child was growing up with the books. If she had achieved her original objective (as I understand it) she would have produced one book every year and it would have worked wonderfully.

 

The reason I started reading HP was because I read somewhere that the sentence structure made reading accessible for children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. Since we have both in our family I wanted to know more about this book; having read one book I was hooked. I think the writer of that article (forgotten who it was now) had a point. At least it worked for members of our family.

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Okay, been a bit slower than some in my reading, but I wanted to re-read HBP before this. Here are my thoughts.

 

I agree, it isn't the best of the series: that honour falls to PoA and HBP in my mind. I agree that some of the deaths were glossed over and not given enough focus, particularly Fred, Remus and Tonks, and that the trio did spend an awful lot of time with no clue, seemingly, of what they were doing.

 

The epilogue wasn't entirely satisfactory to me either. Yes, it showed that things went on and they were happy, but I would have liked to see what happened immediately after the battle of Hogwarts, the rebuilding of the wizarding world and all that. And what happened to Luna? There was no mention of her in that last section, all we know is that she survived.

 

I did worry what was going to happen with the Deathly Hallows. I thought perhaps we were going to go off on a mad tangent when Harry started obsessing about them, but the outcome of that was both astonishing and satisfying. The Hallows proved once and for all that Harry was an entirely different man to Voldemort, and, in the end, to Dumbledore. I wasn't all that happy with the revelations about Dumbledore's character early on, but I was satisfied with him in the end. He was a great wizard, and a good guide for Harry, but very far from perfect. Rowling planned for Harry to be the better man all along, of course, but what a journey he and Dumbledore had together.

 

As for Snape, well, I suspected from OotP that he had loved Lily, but not that they had been friends. I think that was handled beautifully; the more I think about it, the more poignant it becomes. His last request, that Harry look at him so he could see the eyes of the woman he loved, was beautiful, and the fact that Harry did it showed his capacity for understanding. Snape is one of the best characters in the series. And now we know who "that dreadful boy" Petunia was referring to was. Of course, there was always the suspicion that she had been jealous of her sister, but our knowledge is tinged with pity now that we know the truth: she couldn't be a witch, so she became as Muggle as anyone ever could.

 

Ron and Hermione were, of course, fantastic. Their kiss in the midst of war made me smile. Ron's departure shocked me, but the manner of his return, and the conquering of his deepest fears when he destroyed the locket, made him a better man and I think were necessary for his journey, for him to really grow up. Hermione was, as ever, totally on the ball and the perfect companion to drive Harry on and keep him on the right track, even though she wasn't always right and Harry's instincts were sometimes more on the ball than her logic.

 

All the camping out and hiding did serve its purpose: it showed things at their absolute worst, the wizarding world at its lowest ebb. The scene at the Ministry, when the trio went to retrieve the locket, showed precisely how nightmarish this new regime was. It was very much reminiscent of what the Nazis did to the Jews, and Umbridge, of course, with her hunger for power, had no problem aligning herself with the Death Eaters. Those chapters effectively showed despair, danger and a cold-blooded hunger for power that chilled me. And Hermione's situation as a Muggle-born brought the danger into stark reality.

 

I think that time on the run was also important because it showed the spark of hope that the resistance had in Harry. The Potterwatch programme and the sign at Godric's Hollow were perfect testaments to faith, I think. I loved those moments.

 

I did cry at Dobby's death, I'm not ashamed to admit it. I always loved Dobby. I expected Mad-Eye's death: I think it was obvious from the chapter title. I do think all the people who died were given moments of grieving, but not always from Harry's point of view. When Fred died, it was Percy who wailed and cried, because Fred had been the first to welcome him home. And then, of course, what would happen if they all succumbed to grief? There was a job to be done and more people would have died if they didn't get on and do it. I also think that Remus and Tonks' story is extremely tragic when you look at the fact that they'd just had a child who would never know them. Harry sending Remus away from Grimmauld Place only highlights the fact that they didn't have a lot of time and that his place was with his wife and child while they could be together. I think that's more inferred grief than what there was when we learned of their deaths. Harry didn't want to think about it, but we could.

 

I wondered about Harry and Voldemort's final encounter and whether it was too easy. Voldemort, of course, would have seen it as easy, since he had the Elder Wand, but Harry had already done the difficult bit - sacrificed himself to save everyone, which Voldemort would never have understood. Voldemort was an idiot in the end: understanding so little about what makes us human and what made Harry so strong. The true ownership of the Elder Wand was a surprising twist, but what really defeated Voldemort was his own blindness.

 

I loved Harry's final encounter with Riddle, particularly Riddle's fear and Harry's revelation of Snape's true alleigance. He could have kept that quiet, I think, but the fact that he chose to reveal it was a mark of respect for the man who had loved his mother so dearly. Naming his son after Snape and acknowledging him as one of the bravest men he'd ever met, when he'd called him a coward in HBP, was also, I think, fitting and nicely done.

 

Flawed, yes, but a wonderful ending all the same.

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Not that I could claim great emotional attachment to the owl, but it was the first death of a long-standing 'character' and you'd expect more to have been made of it. However, she was gone in a flash of green light then went into rigor mortis at Harry's feet in a motorcycle side-car as a huge airborne battle continued. Too-whit, too-quick-to-care.

I've been wondering about poor Hedwig and her sudden demise, and I've had a cynical thought - all the months in the tent would have been much tougher with an white snowy owl in tow - there is the noise she would make when caged, or the risk of her being seen if she was allowed to fly free. Did Rowling write her out so early on to avoid these issues later?

 

The reason I started reading HP was because I read somewhere that the sentence structure made reading accessible for children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. Since we have both in our family I wanted to know more about this book; having read one book I was hooked. I think the writer of that article (forgotten who it was now) had a point. At least it worked for members of our family.

A junior school deputy head was telling me about a similar report, that the reading level of the series is similar to that expected of lower key stage 2.

I've just been googling to see if I could find a link to an official report, the closest I found was this from the founder of Barrington Stoke:

If there are more than five words to a page that the child cannot read or understand, the text may be too hard. The sentence structure is even more important. If it is involved, with long sentences and lots of subordinate phrases and clauses it will hinder fluency. Is the text visual? Many reluctant readers will run the story in their head like a video tape. J K Rowling's 'Harry Potter' books are ideal and have switched on the light for many reluctant readers.

Praise indeed!

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I enjoyed the vast majority of this book, but felt that it severely faltered towards the very end.

 

My first criticism is, whilst I appreciate it is a book written for children, it is for the young adult age range and therefore feel that it still should have had at least one of the central trio dying. Secondly, the epilogue was way too saccharine and too neatly tied up - what are the chances of all those characters having offspring at pretty much the same time for a start? I also would have liked to have known what had a happened a much shorter time afterwards involving the world attempting to return to normal as possible etc.

 

Whilst the amount of time focussed on camping has been criticised, I felt it was important. Harry has so often just rode on the coat tails of others, it was good to show him bewildered, struggling to understand everything & the level of frustration shown by the trio. I am glad he did not miraculously figure it all out in no time at all, if you think how many people had dedicated so much of their lives hunting the hallows for example, it would have been insulting had he discovered both those and the horcruxes too easily. I particularly liked what happened when they opened the pendant horcrux, though was greatly disappointed that it wasn't followed up on more - Ron must have felt all those feelings festering for so long and yet instead we are supposed to believe he was really upbeat afterwards? I guess it's because I always expected Ron to be tempted to join the death eaters, that all the resentment at constanly being in Harry's shadow would be too much.

 

I was glad there was the break away from the huge battle to allow for Harry to discover the real Snape, though did feel cheated that there wasn't more time allowed for Harry's reaction to these revelations. Plus to see that in some ways Snape was more human and caring than Dumbledore was a brilliant twist. Dumbledore wasn't even certain Harry would figure out the deathly harrows and yet he happily set him up to face his death, to know that there was a darker side in Albus' past and that it continued to a certain extent until shortly before his death (him seeing the ring purely as a hallow rather than a horcrux to be destroyed) really did show such flaws in his character that had always previously been made out to be too good to be true.

 

Overall I felt Voldemort was shown to be a total coward, especially not directly taking part during the Hogwarts battle and keeping Nagini protected. The killing of Voldemort was admittedly incredibly disappointing, to think he had such a reign of terror for so long and yet it was ended like that .... but then it had to be Harry who was given all credit. Am I the only one who wanted Neville to be the one though? Wouldn't it have put such a spin on it all to discover Neville was the one the prophecy had referred to?

 

I have so many more things I meant to comment on, but they seem to have left me for now. I will no doubt post again later with more thoughts.

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Well, for those of you who felt perhaps we could have learnt a little more about some of the aftermath, J.K. has been spilling the beans on a few details at least and revealed that we were actually spared a true smorgasbord of names of every magical sprog spawned since Voldemort's demise.

 

Thank God for that, then.

 

You can read the details here.

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Interesting piece David. I hope that this though, doesn't ever come to fruition -

 

"Rowling said she may eventually reveal more details in a Harry Potter encyclopedia, but even then, it will never be enough to satisfy the most ardent of her fans."

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Interesting piece David. I hope that this though, doesn't ever come to fruition -

 

"Rowling said she may eventually reveal more details in a Harry Potter encyclopedia, but even then, it will never be enough to satisfy the most ardent of her fans."

I agree Hazel, but I am almost willing to bet that it does. There are so many people asking so many questions, that the publishers alone must find it irresistable to publish one.

 

Thanks for the link David. I know so many people who will be thrilled to get all this extra information - including myself and MOH. :)

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Before I saw the replies above, I was about to quote the same line and say 'I hope not' too! An end should be an end.

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Guest Colyngbourne

What horrified me most in her interview was that she was surprised to hear someone calling Snape "heroic": she doesn't consider his behaviour heroic (or even anti-heroic) and this is presumably why she failed at delivering a satisfying end to this character's role. Yes, he got the best chapter in the book written for him, but his motivation was reduced to unrequited love (*yet again*!) and the complexities of his character left unexplored.

 

Yes, deaths do happen randomly without time for explanations or for other characters to come to terms and understand what the dead person was about, but JKR must have known that a great no of people wanted to see some more fitting interaction between Harry and Snape beyond what we were given.

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Started mine at 12:30am on the day of release and finished it twelve hours later.

 

Thankfully by reading the other six I knew the backround of the characters and there were many references to the other books.

 

I do not know what to do now the series is over, I don't think I (We) will ever see another author like this in my (Our) lifetime.

 

BTW is there any difference in the adult version or just the book cover so adults are not embarrased reading it on the train?

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