I’ve been wallowing in yesterday’s massive comment trail, thought I’d pick out a few (of the many) good points that got made. Keep in mind that Rowling will give a couple of exit interviews this week — I know she’s giving one to USA Today — so maybe she’ll clear up a few of these? At any rate, if I were interviewing her, these are a few of the things I’d want to talk about:
1. The epilogue. Some people liked it, others didn’t. I guess it’s kind of a litmus test — probably it plays poorly with guys like myself in their late 30′s who are having mid-life crises and don’t want to stop believin’.
Personally I see huge sequel potential in Harry Potter and the Mid-Life Crisis. Ginny and Hermione are sick of Harry and Ron drinking butterbeer every night and whining about the good old days when they used to run and round fighting and dodging curses. And only an invisibility cloak could hide Harry’s steadily growing paunch. So one night, after a few shots of fire whiskey, Harry digs up that ol’ Deathstick — you know, just to make sure nobody’s tampered with it — and decides to take it for a spin…
2. Neville. JKR invested so much energy into transforming him from a Hopeless Scrub into the Shrub Stud. And yes, he gets a moment of glory beheading Nagini. But the true payoff would have been to see him taking down Bellatrix. Molly W. certainly earned her shot at Bellatrix — she paid for it with her son — but Neville had an equal claim. Maybe they could have double-teamed her? Or I would have been satisfied to see him pair off with Luna. But here’s what I really want: for JKR to go back and retell each book from Neville’s point of view, giving us his full backstory, what he did during the summers, etc…I guess that’s what fan fiction is for.
3. Zé, yeah, it makes sense to me that Ron would replace poor Dead Fred at the Weasley Shop. Maybe George will get himself fitted with a prosthetic extendable ear?
4. Molly points out: “And has anyone else noticed that, once you understand the scene, the cover art completely gives away the ending? Mary GrandPre definitely deserves credit for the subtle depiction of that scene.” This is so true. And I’ve said this before, but I am grateful every day that we’re not stuck with those cartoony UK covers.
5. Kit makes a frickin’ awesome point: “There was one thing that I was sad about. I wish that when Harry returned to the Headmaster’s office and is applauded by all the portraits of the headmasters … I wish that Rowling would have mentioned Snape having a portrait as well. He was a Headmaster, after all. And in HBP Dumbledore gets a portrait immediately after dying. I wish Snape had too.” What a brilliant idea. Getting Harry’s kid (middle-)named after you is great and all, but as a longtime Snapeophile, I would have wept to see a Snape portrait in the Headmaster’s study. Can I at least get some fan art on this? Someone out there has to be working on Snape’s Headmaster portrait…
6. Teddy, my lad: are you or aren’t you? A Metamorphmagus who also turns into a werewolf: there’s a thought. His fur could be any color he wanted. (whooops — rereading comments, I see that chryssie got here ahead of me.)
7. Thanks for all correx. Right, it wasn’t Ron, it was Fred on the Potterwatch who made the Snape/shampoo joke. And right, it was Bill who gave the goblin lecture, not Charlie. Speaking of whom, Bill came out of his mauling by Fenris pretty well, didn’t he? After HBP I figured he was going to a) become all lupine and anti-social, and b) be so disfigured that it would basically be hard to look at him. But in DH he just seems a bit more rugged than usual.
8. The naming of the sprouts. No Lil’ Sirius? Lil’ Fred? Clearly Ginny and Hermione are going to have to keep at it — they need more wee wizards to name.
9. Good question from KarenK: “If Voldemort truly was alone when he went to Godric’s Hollow on Halloween night and was reduced to ‘less than a spirit’ when he fled, what happened to his phoenix-feather-core wand? Who kept it for him all those years when he was hiding in Albania?” Somebody shoulda just leaned that thing up against a curb and stepped on it. Snap.
10. re: somebody using magic for the first time later in life. I hadn’t even heard this prediction, but if JKR said it, it must be so. But who is it? And does this mean there’s still hope for my wizarding career? I could still turn up at Hogwarts…you know, as one of those creepy continuing ed students…
11. I do wonder what the final condition of the poor old Sorting Hat is. Is it charred but still serviceable? Or is it gone? Maybe they’ll institute a new housing system now. As Dumbledore said, “Sometimes I think we Sort too soon…”
12. I’m legally changing my name to Leverus