In all honesty, I finished HP on Sunday. Do not scroll down below the image if you don't want to know more than you're ready to know.
So, I thought this was an amazing end not only to this novel, but also to the whole series of HP books.
I have to say, Jason and I had a couple of things pegged, like the fact that Snape was IN LOVE WITH LILY!! (that was Jason's guess, good one, too) I had figured out that Harry would have to die, but I didn't think he would be able to come back because I thought he would die like his mother did, for love, but that who he would be directly saving would be Ginny. I especially thought this when she got left behind initially in and near the Room of Requirement on her own. I say directly, because Harry did die for love, love of the world of wizardry and the people specifically in the castle. This seemed a bit of a stretch, but no matter.
So quick breakdown:
The slowest part of the book was when they are jumping form one campsite to the next and they don't know what to do. There was about a good fifty pages there when I was like, ok, Rowling's editor knows this is the last HP book and just wants to let her have a good time. I was especially wanting something to happen when Harry started insisting they WEAR the horcrux. How insane was that? How could they not know it would be bad, especially Hermione?
Incidentally, what happened to Umbridge? Didn't like that particular loose end
The best parts, well about the last half. I read the last 300 pages or so in a morning and afternoon. It just flew and moved, like Order of the Phoenix IMHO (my favorite up to this point).
The dilemma between horcrux and hallows, very nicely done, loved the dual story plot and the need to choose that it gave Harry.
So glad that Rowling did not resurrect Dumbeldore (Albus, obviously). So glad that the blue eye was his brother. However, the King's Cross chapter did not go amiss and I thought that was a nice touch in order for us to tap into the Dumbeldore mystique, which brings me to something revealed in what I haven't talked about yet, Snape's memories.
It was so much easier to emotionally reconcile to Dumbeldore being dead since he was a doomed man as a result of the curse from the Marvolo/Gaunt ring and a beautiful touch that it was his own hubris and folly that led him to the curse (wanting to resurrect Ariana).
That being said, on to the best part of the entire book, The Story of the Prince.
Snape was a goody!!!
While the climax of the book had to be the duel between Harry and Voldemort, and here I mean the final duel not the first one, for me the climax of the entire series was Snape's memories. Oh, and that moment at the very end where Snape asks Harry to look into his eyes . . . sniff, yeah, that was good.
Couple more shout outs to Rowling and her storytelling prowess:
Luna--loved how important she became as a character and loved that Harry, upon seeing her room, was endeared to her and didn't think she was a freak. Excellent.
Neville--so amazing, because Rowling created a situation where you see and understand how the meaning of prophecy is really determined by the interpreter; simply put, Neville could have been the Chosen One, he could have been the Boy Who Lived. Oh, and Griffyndor sword pulled out of the hat, so cool! Had even managed to forget about the sword by that point in time, great surprise!
McGonnagal--beautiful little moment when she sees Harry's limp body and cries out. Can't we all just see Dame Maggie Smith on screen already in this beautiful little aside of a moment? Oh, don't let them edit it out . . .
Narcissa Malfoy--The character development that Rowling has done in this book coupled with groundwork she laid in #6 to make Narcissa a sympathetic character gives me goose flesh to think about what Rowling will tackle next as a storyteller. Fascinating character exposition. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look at all of her scenes in books #6 and 7; bravo J.K.!
Dobby--saddest. scene. ever. They buried him with clothes. I cried for Harry when Dumbeldore died. When Dobby died, I cried for me. It was like having read the Two Towers all over again for the first time and thinking that Pippin had died.
All in all a brilliant foray and I look forward to my hold coming in at the library on the audio book so I can hear Jim Dale's excellent interpretation.
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