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The official HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS spoiler discussion

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Since nobody's done it yet, here I go. Don't read any further if you haven't yet read the book! You have been warned. :icon_geek:

OK.

My predictions were that 1) Snape was always a good guy and was working for Dumbledore, 2) Dumbledore wasn't really dead, and 3) Sirius would come back from The Phantom Zone (or wherever he wound up). I got #2 and #3 wrong, but I was glad to see I at least was right on #1. I also predicted 4) that the inept and bungling Neville Longbottom -- who shares Harry's birthday -- would be the one who killed Voldemort, but I was only half-right on that. He killed the snake, thus enabling Voldemort to die when he got hit by the richeting spell. So at least, Neville was instrumental in helping to kill Voldemort.

But I was also positive that Hagrid would die, but that obviously didn't happen. Rowling said that she couldn't kill him because a) her sister told her she'd "never speak to her again" if she did, and b) because she wanted to open a chapter with Hagrid carrying the "dead" Harry Potter out of the forest.

I was impressed that Rowling pretty much managed to resolve all the major plot-lines and characters from all the previous books. I also liked the fact that most of the character deaths were dramatic and well-justified. Even the death of Hegwig the Owl in the very beginning was a tip-off that a lot of characters were gonna bite the dust. All in all, I'd say this might be the best book of the series, but I still think #5 was the most enjoyable to read -- I think that was the one where Harry gets to view Snape's memories as a student, and finds out that Harry's father tormented Snape unmercifully when they were teenagers, which I thought was a surprising development.

When you think about it, Snape is the most interesting character in the whole book, because he's such an asshole -- but once you understand why he's an asshole, he becomes a tragic character. Rowling revealed a few years ago, after being asked about "Snape's ultimate redemption." BTW, there's a ton of similarities to Star Wars between the two stories, if you do some comparisons. They share the same "power of myth" stuff that's detailed in Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces, which basically says that most of the great stories of all time are inspired by a lot of mythology that goes back to ancient times -- the young reluctant hero who's forced into battle, treachery from close associates, loyalty of friends, losing early battles but winning in the end, bad guys who turn out to be pitiable characters and redeem themselves... Lotta stuff like that.

Rowling also revealed that the one moment that made her cry in writing the book was when Harry entered the forest and walked with the ghosts of his parents over to Voldemort. I tell you, I was pretty shocked that she killed off as many people as she did in the big battle-scene. In fact, during the "heaven" scene with Dumbledore, I thought, "sheesh, where's the big battle?" and sure enough, next chapter, it came on with a bang. That'll be a $10,000,000 sequence in the movie, for sure. I hope they'll have the guts to show the dead children, which I thought was kind of a shock for the book.

My main criticisms of the book are that Harry, Ron & Hermione bicker and argue much too much, and there are long sections of the novel where weeks pass and not much happens. It seems to me that she had a 2-month-long story she had to drag out to a year, and so it got a little padded in the middle. Still, the surprises were decent -- finding out that Dumbledore had some skeletons in his closet, the deal about his brother being a bartender, and so on. Lotta good chunks of story. In many ways, this is by far the best-written book of the series, and I chalk that down to Rowling having ten more years of experience.

Rowling said she initially was going to kill off Mr. Weasley, but finally opted not to do it because Harry had already lost several father figures (including his real father, Dumbledore, and Sirius), and doing it again would be "much too tragic." I think Fred Weasley was a replacement for this death.

She did leave one tiny loose end: I think the piece of Voldemort that fell out of the stone (or whatever the hell it was in the forest) didn't die -- I think it got away. There was a line about that as well, so it makes you wonder...

Then there's the loose end of the orphan kid from Lupin and Tonks, Teddy. They didn't say who was raising this kid, so that's an interesting question. BTW, there's a ton of great info on the whole massive plotline on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_potter_7

plus there's rundowns available on all the novels, plus every character who died, who killed them, and how they were killed. Pretty interesting stuff. I can imagine there's going to be dozens of "Harry Potter Encyclopedias" coming out now. Plus the inevitable "Super Limited-Edition 7-Volume Set of The Entire Saga." And a special iPod with all 7 books-on-tape as MP3s. And eventually, the massive DVD special editions (high def and regular). And on and on.

Then the question becomes: how long before she does a sequel? I could see some new stories, if only showing a new generation of kids at Hogwarts (including Harry's sons). Lotta potential for possible novels, assuming she can come up with a new villain -- or maybe even find a way to resurrect the old one...

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Steven King wrote a pretty good article about the Deathly Hollows, here (spoilers within): http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20044270_2...0050689,00.html

I like the way we find out about Tonks and Lupin's deaths - it made the whole giant battle seem a lot more realistic, I thought. Just kind of reminding us that a lot of people, even important ones, are getting hurt/killed, even when Harry's not around to witness it.

Snape's story was, to me, the saddest point in the series. It was fitting, though, pulling back into the main theme of the entire book: sacrifice for the sake of love.

Dumbledore's past and hidden agendas were a great touch. Showed a humanizing amount of deceptiveness in the one person who had, up until that point, seemed to be morally perfect.

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Yeah, I agree with both your points. Both Dumbledore and Snape were humanized -- Dumbledore with newly-discovered faults, and Snapes with a realistic touch of pathos.

I often thought it was unfortunate that Harry didn't take Snape aside after he used the Sieve to go through Snape's thoughts, and tell him, "I'm sorry for what my father did to you when you were both in school." In the book, he considers for a moment doing just that, but then decides not to -- I dimly recall because he felt it would just embarrass them both.

Alan Rickman is also a knock-out actor, and nobody could play the part of Snape better. To this day, I still quote his memorable line from Die Hard: "OK, we do it the hard way," right after he cold-bloodedly shoots the Japanese exec point-blank through the head. I just hope they don't cut down his part, as they did in the current film.

BTW, there's some great discussion on Wikipedia on the differences between the Potter books and films. It's shocking, how much as wound up on the cutting room floor...

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All I really want to know about the Harry Potter legecy is when will it be his friend Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) turn to appear naked with horses on stage. :w00t::hehe:

James,

No need to blush! I think Rupert Grint is mondo sexy, and I start to drool whenever I see him. My BF Doug puts up with all that because he knows, just like I do, that the chance that I'll ever meet Rupert Grint in person and be able to drool on him are probably so close to zero that you'd need an electron microscope to see it. I'd definitely pay to go see him naked on stage, with or preferably without horses. :hehe:

Colin :hehe:

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The one thing in 7 that bugs me is the overly repetitious travels with the magic tent from location to location to location to location to... It's like she didn't have quite enough pages so this was the way she padded things.

I shared the book with my brother Chris. I read the first 7 chapters, then he read chapters 1 through 14, I read chapters 8 through 21, etc. etc. One thing I discovered is that every 7 chapters have almost exactly the same number of pages, at least through chapter 35. Strange.

Colin :hehe:

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Since finishing the 7th HP, I've run across two reviews which seemed to, well... have a "magic" touch. The first is more of a parody of the book itself, and appeared in the Guardian newspaper

http://books.guardian.co.uk/digestedread/s...2133299,00.html

The other appeared in the New York Times and was written by a man who has the curious :hehe: ability to make me want to punch him in the face half the time, and whole-heartedly agree with him the other half: Christopher Hitchens. :hehe: I happen to be of the latter opinion on this particular subject.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/books/re...mp;em=&en=2

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Hey, terrific reviews. I think the Times critic was a little too harsh, but I concede that he brings up some good points. What he omits is that all the bad moments in the novel are generally overcome by the good ones, and that the climax is a mother-of-all-battles worthy of any epic story.

I also think the ongoing message of friendship and loyalty is really the core of the novel, and those ring true throughout book 7. I have to confess, though, trying to rationalize the Potter books and conventional religion is a real dichotomy. BTW, I noticed that this was the only Potter novel I can recall where somebody actually used the word "God" in a sentence. (That, plus one or two people almost swearing, as in "get this f-ing guy out of my way.") I found both amusing.

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The one thing in 7 that bugs me is the overly repetitious travels with the magic tent from location to location to location to location to... It's like she didn't have quite enough pages so this was the way she padded things.

I actually thought it added to the story. It showed the struggle they went through and helped to really show the loyalty and love the friends had for each other. The last 6 chapters or so were just intense and fantastic

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BTW, I went back and just re-read Book 5 (small confession: this time, I listened to the book-on-tape in my "vast amounts of spare time"), and was again reminded of what a brilliant book it was. No question, hands down, Order of the Phoenix was the best Potter book ever. But I'd say the final book was the second-best.

What I liked most were the vast amounts of solid plot, fascinating characters (particularly the hideously evil Dolores Umbridge), and unexpected twists and turns. I may have enjoyed it even more the second time around -- and now, knowing all the end details, many nuances became more obvious. Terrific, terrific story.

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