neoyi: (Knight Baby)
[personal profile] neoyi
I remember entering the world of Harry Potter as a middler schooler in her 8th year, having needed to read the first book in our English class. Having been exposed to the boy wizard, I have since kept up with it throughout the years and have now been graced with the seventh and final chapter detailing the life of the boy who lived. Now after waiting a while and collecting my thoughts, I can safely write a review...under a spoiler for those still reading. So read on and be mindful of the SPOiLERS ahead.



The first thing about this particular Harry Potter is the complete difference from any of the other six. Hogwarts is excluded outside of the final eight or so chapters. Harry and friends do not go and learn whatever magic they can lazily use to dictate their lives. You'll see Harry, Ron, and Hermoine this time spanning around England looking for the rest of the Horcruxes and running away from Voldemort and his party posse of Death Eaters. The experience is a different approach and while the idea of Harry and friends acting as sort of fugitives to a world gone completely wrong (Voldy and his crew basically took over the Ministry of Magic), the story has it's good and bad moments.

What we get at first is an extremely strong opening. From the moment Dudley sincerely stated how pleased he was towards Harry for saving his life, I was thrown back in shock. Dudley, accepting Harry after ALL that abuse he put him through?! It was amazing and while I had hoped the Dursleys would be mentioned or shown by end, Dudley and Harry making some effort of amends is a breakthrough and one of the touching moments of this book--for the entire series. Ultimately it was nice the book ended with at least some attempt at Harry bonding in some level with the Dursleys. It gets even better with an awesome battle as Harry and his closest friends and companion try to stow away poor Harry to safety, cummulating on the destruction of both the Firebolt and Hedwig, the latter which left me again shocked. A death THIS early and even more so by adding Moody to the harp farm list proved Voldemort (and Rowling) wasn't shitting around. I was glued.

And it seemed that way for the beginning session of the middle part as Harry and friends wandered on their quest, but it soon turned into a contest of patience when it dragged on. While certain chapters remained more important then others, the main trio constantly running away from Voldemort and his bosom buddies soon turned tedious and I kept wanting the book to move on with the bloody plot, crying out when the HELL they will get to a bloody Horcrux already. To add insult to injury, Ron, for no apparent reason outside of anger and to move the rather pointless plot point of revealing WHY he has Dumbledore's deluminator was an unneeded necessity. Ron, PLEASE, it's been SEVEN years since you tagged along Harry's wild ride of intensity and danger, why the shit do you feel the need to shout in anger and storm off now. I don't give a crap you had on the R.A.B locket, that's not a valid excuse for me. GAWD.

Only during the last few chapters did the story pick up once again, only it had it's own set of flaws that the strong beginning barely possessed. I'm a sucker for wide ranges of characters introduced both in past and present that all reunite in someway and battle the big battle. I got such a kick out of that and to see McGonagell, the rest of the teachers, Luna, the Weasley siblings (Percy even--though his sudden changed views was a bit rushed), Neville, etc. was thrilling to watch. The last especially. Neville certainly has grown a lot over the seven books, turning into a rather nervous, clumsy boy into a brave young lad. I screamed a "HELLZ YEAH" when he chop-sueyed Nagini with Godric's sword as I did when Mrs. Weasley goes APESHIT when Fred dies and Neville's grandmother proving she's got more guts then rappin' grannies do.

Snape himself, an overall complicated character again showed what an intriguing, unpredictable man he is. Just when I was still debating whether Snape was good or bad, I hated him so badly for what he did to Dumbledore in Book 6, then got another eye opener when I found out Snape was doing that on his request. Snape wasn't a baddie in the least, but an anti-hero in a sense whom only protected Harry and did what he did because of his undying love for Lily Potter (Evans). It's touching and even more so when Harry, by 19 years managed to accept him.

Still, it fell in parts: did nearly ALL the Slytherians had to coware in the backgrounds? Come on, give them SOME credit. And the overall deaths: Moody, Hedwig, Dobby (making a memorably, if not pointless role), and Fred (come on, he's one half of the Weasley twins, they're immortal in their own ways--to see one die is shocking, even more so when I thought it couldn't get any worse then George losing an ear) left me greatly shocked, but the rest were just bouts of overkill. I get it, Rowling, it's the final battle, a price must be paid, you don't have to force it down my throat.

Then there's the concluding Harry vs. Voldemort battle. I actually had secret hopes Harry would die and remain dead. Okay, so I complained on the overall death, but to see the main character die and not return would add a sense of defining emotions (not to mention he wouldn't have married Ginny, a problem I'll explain later), but no, Rowling instead employed the "he be dead, but he be resurrected" again route which was extremely corny as hell, even if it was Rowling's excuse to bring Dumbledore in talking mode (which she could have done even when he's dead). A good portion of the book dealt with Dumbledore's life where I kept questioning if he's as good as everyone thinks he is. To see even HE--Mr. Mastery of Wizardy himself--is flawed and just as human as everyone was a pleasing gesture.

Any who after Harry comes to life, he plays possum and remains dead until the right time, again a gesture I raised an eyebrow to. I found it even questionable how a bloody powerful and clever wizard like Voldemort couldn't even make sure and check to see if Harry had been killed (though I suppose him flinging him around like a limp noodle could...count). Then the story gets even MORE corny when Harry and Voldemort trade words before the final confrontation and if there's one thing I don't really like, it's characters talking for an extensive amount of time when they should be ass kicking each other--though I understand it's a story point that Harry wanted to rub it in in Voldemort's face.

Then there's the REAL kicker, the ever so controversial epilogue. When I read the words "Ninteen Years Later", a worried "mmm" left my mouth. Digimon Season Two had what I consider the WORST ending out of all the Digimons EVER. To see the Digi-kids grown up and given jobs seem so hastily rushed and confusing. Matt an astronaut?! When the shit did THAT come up?! Then again, the second half of Season Two was borderline messy and the ending only killed it.

The thing about endings with characters leapt to a more grown state is that it holds a reluctant air for me. I like the sense of ambiguity in an ending and to find what they will be in the future in full details isn't something I want. For HP7's epilogue, it succeeded in that it did keep an ambigious air. Harry and his family as well as his friends drop off their kids to Platform 9 3/4 respectfully. There is no hints on what they do (well, until a Rowling interview you can find online) and instead finished almost poetically with the second generations leaving to enter their own seven years of Hogwarts. A new chapter has opened (and fans will be writing the shit out of Harry's kids).

But despite the ambiguity, the ending still felt a bit lacking, like it was missing something. I wanted to know what happened to the Dursleys for one thing. I wanted to know if Harry truly patched up with them or not or if he's rivalry with Draco ended (though the ending seem to indicate they are at least in semi-respective terms), I wanted some of those idiot snooty Ministries to get their just desserts from Harry and the others, ya know, an answer to loose questions without revealing anything that isn't needed. It doesn't help that the ending has a bad fanfic-ish feel. Main characters married and together (though it was pretty much justified by the romance before, so I guess I can let it slide) and naming their kids after others (I'm sorry, but Albus Severus is just something a fan would do). I guess it felt too naseauting with his sugary crap, not to mention slightly off-keister.

Frankly, while I can see Ron and Hermoine, I STILL am irritated by Harry/Ginny. I don't like Ginny. She had remarkable potential in early books, but her whole entire personality (good Quidditch player, brave and courageous, able to put Harry in his place when others can't) is just screaming Mary Sue. Not to mention I still felt Harry's sudden and random crush on her in Book 6 was completely out of nowhere. It didn't convince me, it STILL doesn't convince me, and to see them married (while a big obvious) doesn't set it in for me. Sorry, Ginny, you don't cut the dice. I rather Harry be alone.

Long story short, I was left extremely mixed. Out of all the HP books, Book Seven would be placed squarely in the middle, yet it was still satisfying in their own end. It was just an example of many wrongs countered by many rights. Rowling did what she could do and I was mostly fine with it. Maybe future readings will get me to change my mind, who knows, but this is where I firmly stand.
7.5/10

Date: 2007-07-27 03:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cirihttthecat.livejournal.com
dude I allways love you reviews ^_^

and how about remus? , like he was one of my faves male characters since the third book , but here he was acting like an ass , besides his relationship whit tonks for me was always like bleh

Date: 2007-07-27 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neoyi.livejournal.com
I wanted to smack him when he refused to side with Tonks and her unborn child. That said, his death with Tonks I just felt was SO wasted and unneeded.

Date: 2007-07-27 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tavalya-ra.livejournal.com
I'm glad Harry did give him the verbal smackdown, but he felt unauthentic as a fount of this wisdom. Tonks needed more development all around- because of the lack of it, I had little opinion about the relationship.

Date: 2007-07-27 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neoyi.livejournal.com
*nods* I never could get into Lupin/Tonks because I also felt it came out of the blue, I just felt angry with Lupin that this rather patient teacher from Book Three turned into a hardcore jerk for that brief moment. It seemed so un-Lupin of him to do so.

Date: 2007-07-27 04:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tavalya-ra.livejournal.com
I gave up on the books applying too much logic in the characterization after book five. She pulled the same trick with Sirius. He went from responsible to reckless, too. I'm glad at least Dumbledore and Snape were consistent- when they acted in a way that didn't seem like how you would expect, you discovered why and it fit after all.

Date: 2007-07-27 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tavalya-ra.livejournal.com
While I liked Dudley making a token gesture to Harry, it came out of nowhere and was hard to swallow. Some development, please and thank you? Hedwig's death jolted me as well. I seriously could not believe she offed the owl. I was so sad. Meanwhile, I barely knew Mad-Eye enough for his death to be more than a blimp or a passing thought of, "aw, man, that guy was cool!"

While certain chapters remained more important then others, the main trio constantly running away from Voldemort and his bosom buddies soon turned tedious and I kept wanting the book to move on with the bloody plot, crying out when the HELL they will get to a bloody Horcrux already.

Yes! Rowling spent far too much time on this and then, at the end, they were just getting Horcruxes like boom boom boom. I didn't like that, especially since I had been anticipating Harry and Company having to solve and foil elaborate traps like the one guarding the false locket in HBP. Why the hell didn't Voldemort have a trap like that for each Horcrux? Making him think the diadem would be safe in the Room of Requirement turns him into a moron and using Gringotts really isn't his style.

Ron, PLEASE, it's been SEVEN years since you tagged along Harry's wild ride of intensity and danger, why the shit do you feel the need to shout in anger and storm off now. I don't give a crap you had on the R.A.B locket, that's not a valid excuse for me. GAWD.

WORDY McWord.

I screamed a "HELLZ YEAH" when he chop-sueyed Nagini with Godric's sword as I did when Mrs. Weasley goes APESHIT when Fred dies and Neville's grandmother proving she's got more guts then rappin' grannies do.

I am so happy Neville got his big moment. I had wanted him to be the one to off Bellatrix, but taking out the living Horcrux works for me. And in front of Voldemort while not caring that he just had his head set on fire. Screw Harry, Neville is my hero!

I actually had secret hopes Harry would die and remain dead.

I had a phone conversation with my mother in which she rather mildly said, "I think you're right. I want Harry to die."

To see even HE--Mr. Mastery of Wizardy himself--is flawed and just as human as everyone was a pleasing gesture.

I'm with you. I thought that was pretty awesome. Rowling took the archtype everyone thought he was and turned it on its head.

I really liked Narcissa deliberately lying about Harry- that he was saved by another mother's love deciding what was really important. "Screw the ideology we're fighting for- does it really stack up killing our children for it?" But a lot of the book hinged on Voldemort doing stupid things. Why wouldn't he check the body himself? You'd think he'd want to kick it around and do something macabre with it. Also, yes, the final exchange of taunts was cheesy and went on too long (and if I was Voldemort, I would so have Kedarvaed Harry just to shut him up) but I was pleased because I'm a Snape fan who got to shout, "VINDICATION, BABY!"

Epilogue: Albus Severus is love. And AS/S OTP! But the epilogue should have taken care of the loose ties you mentioned- like Harry's relationship with the Dursleys and Draco- rather than talk about things we really could have guess. Harry/Ginny- shocker! Never saw that comin'.

(I'm sorry, but Albus Severus is just something a fan would do).

Guilty. Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty and I don't care. I loved Albus Severus.

RE: Ginny. I agree with you. It was a token romance. Harry doesn't end up with a girl he knows deeply and understands and that the reader has any sense that he and she have forged a connection or a bond. While I'm sure this does happen in the unrecorded events between the last chapter and the epilogue (God, I'd hope so!), the reader doesn't see it and the reader doesn't see Ginny get developed. She's thrown to Harry like a trophy. I don't like that- it doesn't sit well with me.

I'm mixed, too. I felt satified at the end... and yet there is so much I wish had been another way.

Date: 2007-07-27 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neoyi.livejournal.com
"While I liked Dudley making a token gesture to Harry, it came out of nowhere and was hard to swallow. Some development, please and thank you?"

I wanted some, too, but I think it was just a secret desire of mine's that Harry and the Dursleys would patch up in SOME way. Out of all the people, I had assumed it'd be Petunia, but she had years to accept the wizarding world, so she's had her chance. In the end, I am glad it was Dudley. I think a boy Harry's age, the one who gave him the most physical abuse ultimately learned to somewhat accept him.

"Meanwhile, I barely knew Mad-Eye enough for his death to be more than a blimp or a passing thought of, "aw, man, that guy was cool!"

I didn't care for Moody either. I was more shocked on two deaths so ridiculously early in the story, is all.

Date: 2007-07-27 04:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tavalya-ra.livejournal.com
I can't say I actively desired a patch up with Harry and the Dursleys, but I feel like it would have made more sense and added something to the book- it did, but it felt a tad tacked on. And I would have guessed Petunia, too. I like Dudley, but I couldn't see where he had made the leap to liking Harry and that made it ring false.

I approve of the early deaths! It's war, people, it's hell. More should have dropped! ('Course, you know how I can get. Once I kill one person off in a story, I've got to take out at least three more!)

Date: 2007-07-27 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neoyi.livejournal.com
My deaths in stories are more poetic and symbolic, so to speak. Though depending on how the story goes, more people could die...I'm currently talking about Chess Piece more so then anything, but it applies to most of what I write.

Date: 2007-07-27 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tavalya-ra.livejournal.com
Well, you're aware of the how and why of when I wrote a bloodbath. Um... you only replied to part of what I said on my reply to the original entry. Just wondering if it cut off or nothing further to add. :)

Date: 2007-07-27 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neoyi.livejournal.com
I had nothing more to add towards the Dudley response, so I didn't bother answering.

Date: 2007-07-27 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tavalya-ra.livejournal.com
No, I mean my response to the original post:

http://neoyi.livejournal.com/28035.html?thread=263811#t263811

Date: 2007-07-27 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neoyi.livejournal.com
Oh, well, the reason is the same. Nothing to add. We mostly agree, so there's nothing for me to really say. Sure, I usually counter with another set of agreements or a cynical/sarcastic comment, but I've run out of clever quips and whatnot to state back, plus I'm lazy/tired.

Date: 2007-07-27 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tavalya-ra.livejournal.com
Ahaha. Cleverness denied, I shall weep for it I suppose. <3

Date: 2007-07-27 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeansama.livejournal.com
Neville's grandmother is badass. I thought that was really great, and of course, Mrs' Weasley too. XD I didn't realize how much I liked Luna either.

AAHAHA. Oh man, YES! It's exactly like 02, except not as bad, because 02 had EVERYONE you knew paired for you! GOD. I. HATE. THAT. EW. And it's not just because of my ships, it's so unrealistic that everyone would have a matching pair in the group (and not ONE would be m/m or f/f?) and they'd all have kids. That ending never happens. :( ew.

We know how his rivalry with Draco ends. Sex. :D --*kicked* Big Harry/Draco shipper here! Hahaha. I really don't like Ginny either, and I also love Ron/Hermione (which was REALLY cute in this book, aw). I took Draco's nod at the end to mean "same time, same place?" and laughed.



Date: 2007-07-27 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I thought Fred was the one that got his ear cut off?

I didn't like the endlougue either. It also reminded me of that stupid 25 years later thing in Digimon 02. I wanted Tai to be with Sora and I didn't care for Ken/Yolei. Sora soo took Mimi's job. Also, Matt as an astronaut. WTF?! Anyway, getting back to topic...

That scene with the Dursley was also touching to me. So sweet they try to patch up before they never see each other again.

I didn't think Harry talking before killing Voldemort was cheesy. It was one of my most favorite parts in the book. He made Voldemort realize his mistakes too late and then kill him.

Frankly, while I can see Ron and Hermoine, I STILL am irritated by Harry/Ginny. I don't like Ginny. She had remarkable potential in early books, but her whole entire personality (good Quidditch player, brave and courageous, able to put Harry in his place when others can't) is just screaming Mary Sue. Not to mention I still felt Harry's sudden and random crush on her in Book 6 was completely out of nowhere. It didn't convince me, it STILL doesn't convince me, and to see them married (while a big obvious) doesn't set it in for me. Sorry, Ginny, you don't cut the dice. I rather Harry be alone.

I fully agree with you. I can't stand Harry/Ginny either. Harry's sudden crush did seem out of nowhere to me too. I don't care for Ginny really. I prefer for Harry to be with Luna and Ginny to be with Neville.

I'm also a Hermione and Ron fan too. ^_^

Date: 2007-07-27 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Me Nikil BTW. Forgot to add that again. -_-;;

Date: 2007-07-27 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neoyi.livejournal.com
"I'm also a Hermione and Ron fan too. ^_^"

I'm not a Ron/Hermione fan.

August 2007

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