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Official Deathly Hallows Thread: There Are SPOILERS

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I'll go pick it up as soon as Barnes and Noble opens. I had no desire to stand in the crowd yesterday as midnight approached.

I propose that, at the top of every post that someone makes, you put, in bold, what chapter you have read through. That way, people can avoid spoilers.

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I propose that, at the top of every post that someone makes, you put, in bold, what chapter you have read through. That way, people can avoid spoilers.

I have read through the entire book

And I must say, I was a bit worried early on, but it actually turned out very good. Ron-Hermione was played very well, Harry-Ginny was at the beginning, and a bit at the end, and Snape-Lily was, quite simply, delicious. I was disappointed by the lack of Snape for most of the book, but he had a whole book named after him so I guess I can deal with that. I was upset that there was very little Hogwarts, but the final battle being there totally made up for it. Loved Albus Severus Potter. Wish they had tortured Umbridge just a bit more. Wish they had given you an update on Luna at the end (she and Neville would've been great). Loved Neville pulling the sword. Loved the whole background story on the Dumbledore's, quite upset with the whole "I was selfish in a way you, a truly selfless person, can't understand" in the death scene,

and I've been up since 9 am yesterday, so this is the end of my random babble so far.

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I can't believe I went to the bookstore at midnight to get this.

I can't believe I stayed up all night reading it. It is now 9 AM and I finished reading about half an hour ago. So it took me about eight hours to read.

I liked the book! But I think it's funny how the book sometimes kept me in suspense about whether or not there was going to be a plot! -- and then whether the proposed plot was going to be the right one -- e.g., Harry beginning to believe this complex thing about the three Hallows, and Ron and Hermione, perhaps rightfully, not believing him at first.

I am also puzzled about whether it is such a good idea for so many characters to be in the dark about so much. Even Dumbledore turned out not to know everything. It smacks of authorial intervention, because only J. K. Rowling knew everything that was going on.

It is an important manifestation of plot that a character declares, "This is what I think is going on, and this is what I think we should do." Characters can clash about that, of course, and that's fine. But when the main character does not know what is going on, I find myself disoriented too, and I do not enjoy that! A couple of times I was put off because of this, but I kept reading, figuring it would right itself in the end, and it did. Harry's impression of what was going on (which he didn't really get until halfway into the book!) turned out to be largely correct, although there were gaps, which were eventually filled.

Anyway, that's what I thought of it... What did you think?

Edited by necrovore
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I loved it, I loved it, I loved it, I tried to stay up and read it but I was so short on sleep I couldn't manage, so I ended up finishing it this morning.

I would just like to say that everything I had forseen came to pass. :) I'm so good.

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I thought Deathly Hallows was a mostly satisfying finish to an excellent series. Now for the criticism:

As I've grown older I've begun to notice the deficiencies in JKR's writing and couldn't help being annoyed at how she organized the book. There was too much information, too many events, and too much crammed into the very end to feel as though any of it was being more than simply narrated to me. The beginning was meandering and ultimately useless (which she curiously points out herself) and it seemed as though the characters was simply being jerked from place to place. If she had split this last book in to at least two, or possibly three similarly sized books she could have done the events she described justice. Pacing and organization is just as important as plot and characterization. Unfortunately, there was little characterization to redeem the effort (

especially Ginny and Snape.

). And the plot - it was convoluted yes, but ultimately predictable (I figured out 90% of it before I was halfway through the book).

On the other hand, the ending was good (the events, not the delivery) and the messages she gets across are wonderful. Sprinkled throughout the book are little odes to reason, happiness, and atheism (in a subtle way). I'd be happy to get into specifics if anyone wants, but thought I'd post my overview first.

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I also stayed up all night reading it with my two friends. It involved a lot of frustrated noises, pounding the floor, gasping in shock, and asking "what page are you on? Can you believe....?"

I have no idea what to think. My head's still reeling. I've wavered for two years between the Snape is good/evil camps, finally settling on sort-of evil in that I didn't think he'd be absolved of everything in quite such a thorough manner. I've been a fan of unrequited Snape/Lily since HBP came out, but I was fully prepared (expecting, even) one of JKR's plot twists. Essentially, I would have been right in my predictions, if I'd stuck with my original ideas, but as we drew nearer to DH I got more and more convinced that there was no way it was that simple. I can't say whether I'm happy to find out that it was that simple after all.

I... I like Severus good, I do, and I had my fangirl moment of glee when unrequited Snape/Lily came true, but this book having turned his character completely on its head is a lot to take in. I just never expected, even when I was sure Snape was going to turn out to have loved Lily and been good all along that it would turn out so, er, fluffy. "After all this time? Always." I ask you...

And... Dumbledore. I thought I wanted Dumbledore's backstory. But this... I'm just glad he turned out not to have betrayed Harry after all. The section where Harry thought he had made me feel ill. I'm not quite sure I'm done feeling ill. "Dumbledore's man through and through..." Though he did name his son Albus, so...

Also... Remus' :) moment? Brilliant, even if I wanted to cry and punch him at the same time.

Ron leaving? One of my book-pounding frustration moments. Dunno why, but I expected him to have more sense.

I'll write more when I'm less dazed and confused.

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I would just like to say that everything I had forseen came to pass. :) I'm so good.

Yeah but then almost everyone that has read the last book predicted the same things: Identity of R.A.B., allegiance of Snape. Snape & Lily, the identity of the last horcrux, etc etc. There was almost no surprises what so ever.

I mean, these are the same things that me and almost all of my friends immediately thought of and discussed literally the moment we finished The Half-Blood Prince, not to mention the tens of thousands of HP internet fans.

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I'll go pick it up as soon as Barnes and Noble opens. I had no desire to stand in the crowd yesterday as midnight approached.

Well, I have no idea how to put those black lines in (help?) so I will just say that I had waited in line for only 43 minutes before I purchased my copy. I've finished reading the entire novel. The bookstore that I was at, it was so loud and filled with soooo many readers, that it was no use trying to talk over the PA system. That made organizing quite difficult at first, but it worked out. At times, they were giving the novels out to the people already standing in line, to make it more efficient, and I loved watching some of them diving right into the novel on their way to the register! It was such an experience! Some people left the store, or didn't even go in, saying "This is ridiculous! Look at all these people! I'll just come back and get it tomorrow..." While I was saying, "This is incredible! Look at all these people! And to think - this is all over a book!"

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Well, I have no idea how to put those black lines in (help?)
The BBcode tag to use is..."spoiler": i.e. put the text within "spoiler" and "/spoiler" tag (using square brackets for each tag). Example:
[spoiler]Nobody dies ...it was all a big joke... I'm kidding[/spoiler]

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The new novel is a Christian tract.

Right from the explicit ideas which

Dumbledore recounts to Harry after Harry has been "pseudo-killed" - and you really have to read to believe that JK Rowling would right such trash

to the characterization of Harry and his gang.

Read the whole encounter with the patronus doe and retrieving the sword from the lake - explicit emphasis that its feelings and instincts guiding Harry rather than his own mind. Or Harry's decision to go to Godric's hollow not because of the mission but because of seeing the grave of his parents (For one who seems so eager to sacrifice himself for others, why is he not working on obtaining the horcruxes and killing Voldy so that people's lives are saved rather than spending a sappy outing in the Hollow? And Ron leaving the gang because they are having difficulty getting any leads to destroying horcruxes?? There is much more like this which I can't recall at the moment.

And the Christian philosophy is really consistent throughout the book

what with Snape's redemption and Kreacher's whole act of turning good because he was granted his whim of keeping a trinklet of the Black family of hate

?

The psychology of the characters is totally off. The novel is profoundly unromantic.

Edited by tommyedison
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There has always been a deep split between some of the explicit philosophy and the way the characters act in Rowling's books. This happens in most books any more. Just because the author describes a character's actions as "selfless" does not mean that those actions are selfless. Willingness to fight and die to protect what you live is not selfless, it is one of the most profoundly selfish acts imaginable.

Rearden is redeemed in AS, does that mean AS is Christian Ideology? Characters being wrong and coming around are not only found in Christian mythology and making good for your errors is an important topic for anyone to consider.

I find the complaint of "fluffiness" (non-contradictor) to be kind of funny :). A good romance should be fluffy. It should be so fluffy that it makes people not involved in it roll their eyes. Unless they're like me, of course, and they appreciate it.

I did find the first half of the book to be a little tedious in places, but it didn't bother me that much . . . I didn't feel that "Harry should have been looking for Horcruxes", I felt very much as he did: they had no information and no leads to follow, so pretty much all they could do was stick with it until they got a lucky break. Ron leaving was just dramatization of how difficult this process could be. The dangerous trips to Godric's Hollow and Xeno Lovegood's house were actually necessary, and sometimes to get a lucky break you have to ride your luck all the way to the edge and beyond.

It's the plain truth that working harder on a problem doesn't always yield results, hence the cliched paen to "work smarter, not harder".

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Identity of R.A.B., allegiance of Snape. Snape & Lily, the identity of the last horcrux, etc etc. There was almost no surprises what so ever.

Whatever. It's easy to say that now that the book's actually out. Tea and I were the only ones I noticed on this forum speculating on Lily/Snape. Everyone else thought we were crazy.

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It's not just the explicit ideas but the characterization, the actions and the psychology I'm criticizing. You don't get that sense of elation, the feeling of intelligent action, the reverence for man in this novel as you day in say Victor Hugo (whose explicit ideas are very bad but whose sense of life was great). Everything just happens by chance and coincidence, the events in the novels are not directed by the heroes' choices but by chance and luck.

As for fighting for your own values, even Christianity tells you to fight for your values but it's hardly a selfish philosophy.

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Everything just happens by chance and coincidence, the events in the novels are not directed by the heroes' choices but by chance and luck.
Have you read Victor Hugo? Some of the tensest moments in Les Miserables were totally resolved by coincidence. I'm thinking specifically of the scene where Marius is listening at the wall to Jean Valjean being importuned.Heck, there's a big coincidence in Atlas Shrugged when Dagny runs across the tramp on the train and he tells her the story of the 20th Century. Coincidence as such is not such a big deal in a story.
As for fighting for your own values, even Christianity tells you to fight for your values but it's hardly a selfish philosophy.
It does? So "turn the other cheek" belongs to some other ideology?
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Why can't our education be more like their magical education, before Voldemort took over Hogwarts?:

"Attendence is now compulsory for every young witch and wizard," he replied. "That was announced yesterday. It's a change, because it was never obligatory before. Of course, nearly every witch and wizard in Britain has been educated at Hogwarts, but their parents had the right to teach them at home or send them abroad if they preferred. This way, Voldemort will have the whole wizarding population under his eye from an early age. And it's also a way of weeding out Muggle-borns, because students must be given Blood Status - meaning that they have been proven to the Ministry that they are of Wizard descent - before they are allowed to attend.(p. 210, HP #7)

No wonder our trio were truants. If anyone's listened to Thompson's lecture in the 2007 ARI Lecture Series (which is still free on the ARI's registered user's page), you can certainly appreciate the way Hogwarts was before...

I thought that this quote was paricularily interesting:

"Tell me one last thing," said Harry. "Is this real? Or has this happening inside my head?"

[...]

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"(p.723, HP#7)

Also, did anyone else start to cry when Hermione was being tortured? When Ron was screaming her name, my tears were streaming... She's always been my favorite of the trio from the very beginning.

Thanks, sNerd!

Edited by intellectualammo
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As JMeganSnow mentioned, there's always been a bit of a disconnect between the series' explicit philosophy and the characters' actions. Through most of DH I was encouraged that this conflict would be resolved in the end. There were numerous signs and clues throughout the book that suggested, to me, anyway, that Harry was on the verge of making an important moral breakthrough. Perhaps my favorite of these was

Grindelwald's slogan: "For The Greater Good."

But in the end, Harry's decisions and thought processes in Chapter 34 and the exegesis in Chapter 35 leave the disconnect unresolved. For that, I was disappointed. For most of the book, I really thought Rowling was actually going to explicitly make Harry a non-self-sacrificing hero.

In other words, I thought Harry was so close to making the connection between evil and sacrifice, but then Dumbledore described Harry's death as a noble "self-sacrifice."

Ultimately, I think Harry's actions are still disconnected from the explicit philosophy. I am disappointed that conflict was not resolved, but I am pleased that it was not resolved the other way.

I would have liked to see

Harry actually kill Voldemort himself, finally learning the lesson he should have learned with the Stan Shunpike incident in Chapters 4-5

.

Other than those two issues, I loved it.

-Q

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Whatever. It's easy to say that now that the book's actually out. Tea and I were the only ones I noticed on this forum speculating on Lily/Snape. Everyone else thought we were crazy.

On this forum, perhaps. I didn't join until well after book 6 had come out.

But for the Harry Potter fandom at large, Lily/Snape was, one of the earliest talked about theories. Like I said, my roommate and I were literally talking about it the day after we finished the book. If we, and you, had speculated on it pretty much right away, it seems pretty obvious that hundreds of thousands other Potter fans would have too.

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I certainly enjoyed the book. I enjoyed it, probably like most of the people on this forum, for the style and plot. My brother and I read a majority of it together, and every few minutes, one of us released a giggle, an "oh no, that can't be what happened," or an "I knew it!" The plot, although predictible at times, kept me on the edge of my seat.

Hmmm..now for the comprehensive analysis(AP english finally doing some good!)Hermione: she was by far my favorite character, shes reasonable, intelligent, and talented. She should have been the hero. She is better than Harry and Ron at nearly everything (except DADA). The only problem I had with her(or rather the book) was that she got with Ron. Although neither Ron nor Harry are my cup o' tea, she should have preferred Harry much to Ron. I personally thought the only good one for her would be Krum.

Ron: not the best wizard, personally, his departure didn't bother me at all, he didn't contribute much to the plot, and isn't in any way outstanding.

Neville: I liked him, a lot. He certainly lived up to the Gryffindor house, and should have ended up with luna, but whatev.

Harry: he turned out to be a dirty altruist! In the thought train chapter, I really hoped he would renounce the at-the-time-evil Dumbledore's altruistic biddings and decide he wanted to live for himself. He got so close to making that choice, but didn't. It woulda been a much better ending if Dumbledore turned out evil, for being willing to sacrifice Harry, and Harry would have learned to truly be happy and live for himself.

Dumbledore: he was a big disappointment. Can't believe that he was an altruist! And he thought himself evil! His actions seemed to me logical and selfish, but the thought behind them(what counts) was not. His statement in Harrys "tunnel with a light" dream made me wish I could smack him. In the previous books, it seemed he could go either way, altruist, or selfish.

Voldeadmort: he had it coming! The scene of his defeat was simply amazing! I loved how Harry told Voldy how Harry managed to get Voldy cornered, a classic thing for a character to do before their victim is killed. It was brilliantly exciting.

Although I had my share of complaints, I still enjoyed it greatly, for what it was meant to be enjoyed for: entertainment, not for its disgusting moral message.

And I realize I've forgotten one thing:

Dobby! I loved him, he was so wonderful, saving all of them like that! His death was the only time I cried in this book.

Edited by kufa
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Actually it's kind of interesting that the plot was predictable: that means that Rowling established a logical plot structure, where the final events were clearly determined by what had come before. A lot of authors can't manage to do this and end up substituting weird changes of direction for logical events.

Even better is to look back on any speculations you made and ask yourself why you made them and what elements led you to those conclusions.

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I think a logical plot structure doesn't necessarily have to be predictable. But for this particular series the ending certainly seemed inevitable. Most of the time when I speculate, all I did was ask myself, "how would I write this story if I was the author?" What made guessing particularly easy for me was probably the fact that I read the first six books all within about a week, so many of the details established in the previous books were fresh on my mind. It would probably have been much more difficult if I had to read the book over the eight year or so span (starting when I was 13 or whatever) without re-reading the previous stories.

In the end though I would rather Rowling write the predictable ending rather than introducing some poorly executed deus ex machina type plot line.

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I'd like to preface my following comment by saying that I greatly enjoyed the book, and the series as a whole, and that the sense of life depicted is very positive, very good. And that this series has done more for education, by reviving the habit of reading, than all the money ever poured into public school systems around the world.

For most of the book, I really thought Rowling was actually going to explicitly make Harry a non-self-sacrificing hero.

And that is the one thing that made me scream. She blew it, big time.

The setup was perfect, the whole series converged to that climax. Harry's thought and action was consistently that of a rational selfish individual doing his best to live, by gaining and keeping values for himself - including his freedom, friends and loved ones. It was the PERFECT way to make the point. ALL that was needed was for Harry to reply to Albus:

"I am not selfless. I don't care to be Voldemort's slave, I don't care to live in a world without my friends. All I did, i did for me - and so did you"

I wouldn't think having Dumbledore shown to be evil would make any sense, to have Harry redeem him, by showing him he was right to be selfish would have been PERFECT.

The book was good. The series was good. The missed opportunity to spread such an essential message throughout our culture is PAINFUL.

Edited by mrocktor
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