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.
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