The final book in such an epic series always had such a lot of hype to live up to. I read it on the day it was published in two sittings and I had not read it since. Until now.
What struck me the first time and was reinforced the second was just how much death there was and how much J K Rowling took from Harry. It still feels brutal the way that Hedwig is disposed of and it doesn’t get any easier as the read goes on.
I do think that the book is flawed in some ways. The seemingly endless scenes in the woods camping got rather monotonous I would love to have known what Neville and Ginny were organising at Hogwarts and if you have a rec for a good Hogwarts fic I will love you forever. That’s unless JKR wants to write it.
Apart from the long stretch in the woods in which nothing much happens the novel gains pace and drama. I also really didn’t like Ron much in the book. He’s always been a little bit blase and privileged but it got to the stage where I really didn’t like him very much.
I was also a uncomfortable with the Dumbledore character assassination. There were five books where he could do no wrong and then one where he made a fatal mistake and the final book was a character assassination. No one is perfect I guess not even the greatest wizard of the age. I think it felt jarring but I can see why it was done.
So without further ado my five things:
- Dobby the House Elf. I ugly cried for Dobby. As annoying as he is in the films in the books he is so heroic in his House Elf way and his death feels cruel. I loved the way the aftermath of it is portrayed, particularly Harry digging his grave by hand and the impromtu funeral which is incredibly touching.
- “Get away from my Daughter you Bitch.” Molly Weasley duelling Bellatrix Lestrange like a badass.
- Fred and George. The feels oh so many of them. It feels particularly tragic, they are in many ways two halves and loosing Fred always seemed painful.
- Likewise Tonks and Lupin more ugly tears here because it felt so blooming mean that they should be taken away from each other so soon. And especially once Lupin comes to his senses. This list is turning into greatest hits of death.
- Harry realising he would have to sacrifice himself and going into the woods more tears here because of the way its written.
Oh dear ugly crying over a blog post now but then that’s the power of this series. Having finished the series I feel that there’s a Harry Potter shaped hole in my world again. The books aren’t perfect but they tackle themes of racism, of the power of hatred and the power of love and forgiveness. They shows the cost of such things and I think that they make the world a better place. Hyperbolic maybe, but this series got me through some dark times and has been a great comfort. Revisiting the series has allowed me to paddle in the stream of nostalgia and that’s been lovely. I’ll leave you with some words from J K Rowling from the Studio Tour because they rang very true with me.