Tuesday, July 31, 2007

HP Spoiler Alert...

Don't read this if you haven't finished 7. For real.

The truth is, I wanted to call this post RIP Harry Potter. But then I thought I would get a lot of hell for spoiling the book for people even though that isn't the truth of it. You know, people would think I was spoiling it even though I wasn't. This second read of the book I felt a little grief that the series is over. It's funny, but I became so attached to these characters...and even loving the last book didn't make the end any easier. So RIP Harry Potter, I truly will miss new stories...

I'm not sure where to start on book 7. So first, I thought I'd recap my "predictions":
  • I was right about Harry as horcrux.
  • I was slightly wrong about why Snape stares piercingly at Harry (probably just staring piercingly at Lily's eyes, right?)
  • Dumbledore's triumphant look? Totally explained.
  • All my deaths - I got 3 right (Snape, Voldy, Mad-Eye). I still think Neville should have died. That's terrible, I know, but I guess I yearn for a tragic hero?
  • As for my wavering on Harry's death...clearly I was right both ways. Everyone was right really.
The only other things I really feel like I want to mention have come out of larger discussions.

I was discussing with friend Alex how most of the characters aren't all good or all bad. Friend Alex said she just didn't see why there couldn't be more "all bad" people. And why Snape had to be good. But I think this is also part of a larger issue that we discuss a lot - black, white and gray. I believe strongly in gray. And then this sentence jumped out at me tonight: "He and Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys, had all found a home there" (Harry being HE, Hogwarts being THERE) and bam, it seemed obvious. Harry - all good, Snape - clearly stuck in the middle and Voldy - all bad. It's like a little spectrum of good to evil. What a lesson for the kiddies right? And I must say...in this second reading, I started to love Snape a little. Like...I wanted to just hug him and take away his unrequited love pain...

The epilogue. There is muttering. Too happy, too "all wrapped up", blah blah. I'm not sure what is wrong with a happy epilogue? After reading 6.9992 books that mostly ended badly, why can't the one end well? My sis and I discuss how people often have this weird requirement that good literature end unhappily. Why are we all so ready to believe in misery over mirth?

I also find the whole power thing interesting - that Dumbledore was turning down Minister of Magic because he didn't trust himself and not because he really didn't want the job. I particularly like this idea: "perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it."

I have a little bone to pick with the whole series...and this is sort of a weird side note. But it seems to me that the two really "Mom" characters throughout the series (really only Mrs. Weasley and Petunia) are both housewives. And while I see nothing wrong with this at all...I always, always question it in the Weasley's case. They were poor, in every book there is a reference to their monetary situation - so why wasn't Molly helping out? Especially after Ginny went to school? It seems like a subtle criticism of working mothers?

I guess that is all. I don't really feel like talking about the deaths, or the crying, or the whole ride. I do think the book was a little rocky/patchy with some rough spots. But I still loved it. And I'll probably still re-read these books (and cry every single time) over and over again...


  1. Harry's DEFINITELY not all good. He used crucio, if I remember correctly, and felt no compunction doing it. All people have the capacity to be bad, and Harry is no different. I don't have any issues with everyone in the book being some nuanced shade of gray, in terms of good v. evil. I think we all are painted in those shades of gray, and bravo to JK Rowling for writing a kid's book that accepts and shows that.

    I'm working up to my own post on HP (supposed to be today, but then I got a bee about another book in my bonnet), so I'll stop here. But I'll definitely touch on some of this stuff in my post.

  2. Interesting pick-up on the lack of working mothers, especially since JK has always been a working mom herself. And Mrs. Weasley was uber-capable in the wand fight with Bellatrix. Maybe it seemed more like a fairy tale to JK if the moms didn't work?