Post-Potter Thoughts

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NOTE: This entry contains no plot details from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but may still be slightly spoiler-ish.

Well, I’m finished with Deathly Hallows. I turned the last page at 8:45 Saturday night (I took two four-hour breaks for sleep), and I’m still thinking about it and trying to absorb everything. I loved it. I really did. But it was so, so, different from all the other Harry Potter books. All the others have had a definite climax, near the end of the school year, followed by a wrap-up talk with Dumbledore, and usually a train ride home. In the past few books, that climax has involved a major death, and usually many tears from fans. In Deathly Hallows, however, there were emotional bits all over the place. And rather than a definite ending/climax (though there was one), I felt the book was split up into three or four parts, each with its own intrigue and, unfortunately, deaths.

And that was not the only change in Deathly Hallows. I also felt that this volume lacked a major twist at the end. In other words, the ending could have been, and was, guessed in some respects. But the beauty of this novel (and all the Harry Potter novels) was in the small details, that came completely from Jo’s imagination, and that no fan ever thought of. So I don’t really mind that the ending wasn’t a total shock—as Lev said in his review, it was inevitable that somebody online would have guessed it—because Jo put her own unique twist on it that made it fresh and new.

Similarly, I didn’t mind that not all ends were wrapped up. I never expected to find out some of the burning questions of Harry Potter fans, because many of then are simply inconsequential. What I loved, again, was that Jo included details that I had never thought to guess about. One example (and this is a terribly minor spoiler), is how Dumbledore broke his nose. I can’t speak for every fan, but I never wondered about that, and I never thought that we would know the answer. But as soon as it was revealed, I was wonderfully satisfied. The answers to questions I had never asked were, to me, more noteworthy than the non-answers to questions I had asked.

And just one more thing about the book as a whole—it was very dark. Of course it was, I didn’t expect anything else. But another thing for which I must commend the author was, as I wrote in my notes, “the little happy scenes throughout.” These small scenes of joy in such dark times almost made me cry in their own right, for they were so rare and often unexpected. It was, as I had predicted, an emotional roller coaster, but I closed the book very satisfied. And now that I’ve collected my thoughts, I’ll start again tonight, provided that I can steal my book back. Four copies among five people in my house do not seem to be enough.