Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Finale ROCKED! (Huge Spoilers)

Well, you may find this really hard to believe, but I just slept for 24 hours straight. I had been feeling unduly fatigued since my bout with the asthma, but it hit really hard. I slept from 7:15 am Sunday through until 7:23 this morning. (And I napped for a while even before I fell asleep Sunday AM. )

It took me a bit longer than usual to finish Harry, as fatigue took over and I fell asleep while reading at one point on Saturday. was in many ways what I expected.


What I expected: Harry is, duh, the seventh Horcrux and he has to die; Harry is our hero and he can't stay dead, ergo, some pseudo or real resurrection that makes the Messiah connection that much stronger; Severus was NOT a traitor to Dumbledore and he killed Dumbledore on the old man's orders; the big showdown had to be at Hogwarts; Dumbledore would make an appearance SOMEHOW.

What I didn't expect: The really touching way that Severus was depicted via memories; the way I'd get all upset when dear, annoying but likable Dobby died valiantly; that Lucius Malfoy would survive; how I'd grow so fond of Kreacher; that Hagrid survives (yes, I expected to lose our beloved half-giant); the secrets of Dumbledore's past; what the "Deathly Hallows might be--I was way far off in my theorizing about that; who finally takes down that bitch Bellatrix; and how Rowling would be so utterly brilliant about making Harry's end so much like Harry's beginning (a beautiful circle) and the maximized blessings that would spread to others from it. Harry becomes Lily, in a way, and so his having his mother's eyes is even more fitting than ever. The balance and symmetry of the finale (and how good deeds to even one's enemies ends up rebounding for unexpected good) was simply gorgeous. Gorgeous!

I would have loved a longer epilogue. That's really my only quibble. I wanted to see more of what became of everyone, and what they did. I expected Hermione to end up a professor or in the Ministry, I thought Harry might end up in some high office, too, but we're left to theorize. I spent thousands of pages with these people, and I guess I really wanted a bit longer in the happier-ever-after part.

I thought that gathering all the threads to make Harry the rightful heir of the Hallows was brilliant. And Harry really grew up. He took on the mantle of manhood, and he passed the biggest test. Hagrid's carrying his body was so touching.

The battle at Hogwarts was exciting and, in parts, funny (as we'd expect), and had its moments of awful loss. (I can't believe Fred is gone! My heart just went thump over that. I adored the twins! Poor George! I have yet to forgive Rowling for taking both Tonks and Remus. ARGH!!!!!!)

I will say that I was just a wreck over the scene of Severus weeping over Lily's letter (another lovely bit of plotting coming together, that letter thing). It broke my heart. My poor Severus. Sigh. I'm glad, at least, he didn't die utterly alone.

The mercy killing thing, well, I figure there'll be lots of discussion there. I saw it as an altered context, not a mere mercy killing--but I'll address that some other day.

But Rowling did not disappoint me. I haven't read other reviews or spoilers. So, I don't know if people are widely delighted with the finale. Me, I thought it was an emotional, action-packed ride, a fantasy treat of enormous proportions. If I weren't under the shroud of a fatigue phase, I'd have read it straight through the night. I dreaded reaching the final page, even as I couldn't stop myself from hurtling toward it.

I will certainly look forward to whatever new world Rowling chooses to create. I don't know if she can surpass Harry's world and story, but hey, you never know.

I will add that right before I dropped off for my marathon sleep session, I rewrote the ending to let Severus live and be honored as a hero. I even gave him a nice middle-aged professor lady to marry. I had to give him some happiness, poor man.


John said...

I just finished my copy.

I fully expected Harry to be headmaster of Hogwarts. Maybe that was a bit too obvious, but the ambiguity worked.

I hadn't thought that Hagrid would die. My money was actually on Hermione. I figured that would push Ron over the edge, but when it took them so long to kiss, I realized that they were both safe.

You're right, the book was a great cap to the whole series. :)

Elliot said...

I pretty much agree with everything you said above. I felt it was a great wrap-up. Very moving towards the end, there, with everything coming apart at the seams.