Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Well, that's it. The series re-read done and dusted. Honestly, I kind of had to rush the last third of the book to have it done in time to start another book on its release day, which is a real shame, especially as I wouldn't have needed to if I hadn't caught a hideous cold at the end of last week. I still enjoyed it, though. It upset and annoyed me more than it probably should have done. As with every other time I've read it, I cried at several points. And got really angry about some others. Let's focus on the angry-making ones, shall we?

1 - Just a small one to start. Taking Polyjuice Potion is an important aspect of this book, it's used three times, all of them quite important points in the story. Thing is, the characters mention that their stores of the potion are depleted, but it's never mentioned where they got it in the first place, whether they made it or stole it. Where they found the time to make it or where they stole it from.

2 - And now the big one. The wand allegiance stuff. I don't get it, I never have. Now, I'm going to try really hard not to let this turn into a huge rant about why it doesn't work. People have been trying to explain it to me for years and I still can't get my head around it, but if you want to take a shot, that's what the comments section is for. Suffice it to say, I don't get it. I accept that the Elder Wand belongs to Draco. I refuse to accept that it transfers to Harry. Harry didn't even disarm Draco, he just snatched a different wand from his hand. I know there's magic involved, but that's just ridiculous. The thing is, this isn't just some silly thing mentioned in one chapter and of little consequence (like the Polyjuice Potion and other things that annoy me about these books. Okay, all books), this is a huge moment, it's the climax of the series, the climax of seven long books, the way that Harry defeats Voldemort. You could argue that it is the most important moment in the entire series. And I can't find a way to make it work in my head. I just can't. And that drives me insane.

3 - I also really hate the chapter in King's Cross with Dumbledore. It kills all the tension in the end of the book. I hate it possibly as much as I hate the stupid and wholly unnecessary epilogue at the end of the book. I mean, it gives me a chance to dry my tears and recover a little, but that's the only purpose it serves.

I love these books and I've really enjoyed this re-read. It was really nice to just lose myself in that world for a few weeks and to be able to go back to something that I loved and still love it. Since studying Creative Writing, I've found it hard to switch the analytical side of my brain off while reading. I spot things I would never have noticed before, like the fact that Rowling has a tendency to repeat a word several times on one page. And not for effect, because she didn't notice she was doing it. Despite things like that, though, I still enjoyed it and I think that's a testament to the story, the characters and the world that she has created. They all have so much depth, there isn't a one-dimensional moment in the series.

Well, saying that, there is something else I've noticed about the series. Everyone has a different favourite instalment. There doesn't seem to be any one that is unanimously considered better than the others. I think this has something to do with them being planned as a series from the very beginning - every book served a purpose and so they all built on the last rather than any of them feeling like an afterthought. My personal favourite is Half-Blood Prince, but I know others that will say Philosopher's Stone, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix or Deathly Hallows. It is, though, odd that Chamber of Secrets does seem to be most people's least favourite. And not one of them can actually tell you why that is.

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