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One & Only Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows thread [possible spoilers - duh!]

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One & Only Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows thread [possible spoilers - duh!]

Old 07-23-07, 07:55 PM
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I just finished the book about an hour ago. Amazing ending to a terrific series! I enjoyed the epilogue, but agree that ending it at the final chapter before that would have worked very well.

Re: Harry not being an amazing wizard... true, what was amazing about him as a character was his leadership, his courage, and his loyalty to his friends. He's not supposed to be a conquering action hero who does everything singlehandedly.
Old 07-23-07, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bdshort

Re: Harry not being an amazing wizard... true, what was amazing about him as a character was his leadership, his courage, and his loyalty to his friends. He's not supposed to be a conquering action hero who does everything singlehandedly.
exactly...
Old 07-23-07, 08:46 PM
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When can we stop with the spoilers? Slows down the reading and replying. I think the thread title is warning enough and we're several pages in already.

My take: I really liked this. I still think Goblet of Fire was the best book, but it's kind of like the Empire Strikes back of the series, isn't it?

Most affecting death for me, for me was
Spoiler:
Dobby. Not sure why, but it just seemed so sudden an unexpected and I if I didn't really like his character, I enjoyed him and thought he would be too strong to kill (especially after seeing him blast Lucius Malfoy across a school hallway). It was also one of the few deaths of major characters that happened in the presence of our lead characters while they would have time to "let it sink in."


I agree that there did seem to be a lot of "boring" parts, but I felt it leant some reality to the path to Voldermort's death. I also disagree that he was so easy to kill. They spent 2 books trying to get to the point where he was able to die in a few sentences.

But ultimately I think she stayed true to her themes and it is those themes that have caused so many to really respond to her story and characters. And what was really nice was that it wasn't about finding some super-powerful magical object, but about trusting in friends, the importance (and pitfalls) of family, being courageous, resourceful and accepting; the downfalls of arrogance and bigotry, and fear; the importance of remorse and the role it plays in reforming ourselves, and of course, love, or put another way, the ability to put another's needs above our own playing the largest role here. Very human qualities all.

Literary masterpiece? Not necessarily, though anything that can touch the hearts of so many people has to be given credit for that. But pretty heady stuff for a children's book all the same.

Finally, I think the epilogue was just fine. Partly she had to put it in so there would be no question of another book about Harry, Ron and Hermione. I also think it served to emphasize all the things I thought the book was about. Friendship, forgiveness and reform, and continued the themes of acceptance and courage as our three leads passed those qualities on to their children. Also, I'm a real sucker for those "a few months/years later" things in movies.

About what their jobs might be:
Spoiler:
I'm sure both Ron and Harry became Aurors. Not sure if Hermione would have...I'm thinking she's in the Ministry of Magic working on Muggle and Magical Creature relations, which would cross over with Auror work a lot I would think. I'd bet Ginny is an Auror too.


Responses to questions about the werewolf attack and Rowle's obliviation.
Originally Posted by the big train
Spoiler:
I don't know if Greyback actually was a werewolf when he attacked Lavender. He kinda always looks like one and he attacked Bill when he wasn't a werewolf.
The possible mistake I noticed was when Rowle reported back that they had failed to capture Harry. Hadn't Hermione just obliviated him? I could be mistaken. Or maybe it's just that she wasn't good at it.
Spoiler:
I went back and reread these parts last night. Greyback is described as a gray blur on four legs, nothing specifically says he is attacking as a werewolf. I think Dumbledore's comment to him in HBP about not needing the change to feed on humans anymore is enough foreshadowing to let this go.

As for Rowle, yes, Hermione did oblivate him, but it was her first try. More to the point, they must have alerted Voldemort before going into the pub, and he would have easily been able to restore Rowle's memory at that point. He did so with Bertha Jenkins when he was still in a pretty weakened state.


Originally Posted by mwbmis
I don't know...maybe you can seperate names. Thinking of the Marauder's Map though...I think it was kind of selfish for Harry to keep that. I mean all he really used it for was to stare at Ginny's name. Shouldn't he have given it to Ginny to help her, Neville and Luna. He could have gotten it back from Neville when he needed it.
Harry was running and hiding for most of the book. I don't think he was aware just how much Ginny and Neville had been rebelling during the year. As for all the names...it's magic, I'm sure they worked that out somehow. The school also has less than 1,000 students, so depending on the time of day they'd be pretty spread out.

Originally Posted by The Bus
My favorite part might be when
Spoiler:
Mrs. Weasley calls Bellatrix a BITCH and kills her
I thought people would complain about this more. I liked it, but it did take me out of the book a bit.
I also thought it was telling that Petunia (Harry's aunt)

Spoiler:
wanted to join Hogwart's, but couldn't.
This and Snape were some of the best parts of the book. Their different outcomes being another lesson in human frailties and strength of course.
Originally Posted by Philip Reuben
While I don't dispute that a lot of things happen by coincidence/luck, I don't think those are particularly good examples.
I would go further and say that it wasn't his magical prowess so much as his courage and ability to think on his feet that made him such a formidable opponent of Voldermort. I think you just have to take everything Dumbledore says in praise of Harry at face value too.
Old 07-23-07, 08:54 PM
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I also think the way Voldemort was taken down was well done. It was not about the showdown in the great hall, and "one lucky spell" by Harry. It wasn't about Harry being a better wizard.

It was about Harry gaining the knowledge of Voldy's vulnerabilities (his impatience and lack of understanding of his own actions in being raised from the dead)

Once Harry knew all the Horcruxes were destroyed, and understood exactly who was the rightful owner of the Elder wand... he knew that Voldy was not going to be able to win. True, Dumbledore helped him along the way, but it was indeed Harry that figured out the location of two of the Horcruxes (the cup and the diadem) which Dumbledore could not.


It was my favorite book of the series, and did a great job of wrapping everything very well. As for the epilogue, I think it was left very vague as to allow another writing in the future. All we know for sure about Harry is that he marries Ginny and has 3 kids, and we can deduce he does not work at Hogwarts.
Old 07-23-07, 11:20 PM
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Fair warning, I'm not going to use any spoiler tags in this message. People who don't want to be spoiled should not be reading this thread anyway, especially 7 pages in!

Blade: I agree about the "boring" parts lending to the authenticity of the whole story. It really had a vibe that reminded me of what it might have been like in many places during World War II... with the uncertainty, the fear, the propaganda, and the underground radio broadcasts.

I wonder if the kids went back to Hogwarts the next year to finish their education, or if they were all given a pass to do whatever they wanted, career wise, because they helped take down Voldemort. There certainly a lot of possibilities for new stories in this universe. A new Voldemort could show up somewhere! That said, I think it best if JK Rowling moved on to new projects, and leave the HP universe to the imaginations of the fans. Am I correct in that JKR personally owns the rights to the HP stories, so other people can't write anything new?

So many great moments though in the book... the one that made me cheer the most was Neville killing Nagini! Way to go!

Last edited by bdshort; 07-23-07 at 11:23 PM.
Old 07-23-07, 11:43 PM
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Spoiler:
I don't have a great interest in the books any more (I like the first four, then as I read the fifth I realised it was a chore, I wasn't enjoying it, so I put it down). I read a couple of random chapters, and I made sure to read the last one. I also read the synopsis online. All this pretty much so I could at least have an opinion in the debates I knew were going to ensue with various people

From what I read, it will make a very good film. A lot of it seems to be action-filled, not just the set-pieces but also the chase I got the gist of with all the Horcruxes. However, I can't help but feel that JK Rowling's writing is piss-poor. When I was a kid, sure, it was simple and painted a clear picture of what was going on, but never sophisticated. So maybe it's just because it's essentially a kid's book, or maybe she's not very mature when it comes to actual words (she can tell stories in terms of inventing decent plots). Either way, what I did read I found pretty unrewarding.

The last chapter really annoyed me. To have the series become progressively darker and more menacing, but finish it off with a return to the atmosphere and writing style of the first book, was a terrible decision, to my mind. I thought it showed the reader no respect, particularly those who have grown up with the books (people my age, although as I said, I didn't stick with them all the way) and matured with them.

Anyway, having read the overall plot synopsis, it seems to be a tight plot though I can't see how it really justifies 700 pages. (The length was part of the reason I couldn't finish Order of the Phoenix - 300+ pages in and all I'd read about was a screaming painting. I couldn't take it any more. Nothing happened.)

But if they tighten it up and remove or play down the worst bits for the film (and by and large the filmmakers are proving to be very good at that) it'll make a great film.
Old 07-24-07, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Easy
Agree. In fact, I wish there had been a bit more. I wonder what jobs they all have... Harry clearly didn't end up where I thought he would.
I thought that Harry would end up as Headmaster and Ron, Hermoine and Ginny would be teachers at Hogwarts.

Excellent ending to the series. I can't wait to re-read it and take my time.
Old 07-24-07, 01:19 AM
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For the people who are refuting my agrument:

Spoiler:
saying the way Voldemort was taken down was justifiable, I guess my problem with it was that it didn't "need" to be Harry Potter to do it. Anyone who could have wrestled Draco's wand from him while he was collapsed from under the chandelier was going to be the one with the ability to fight him. It could have just as easily been anyone in that room. Ron, Hermione, Dobby, or anyone on V's side who could have later felt like double-crossing him and getting the power for themselves. The wand would never kill them and they would have been able to take V down (provided the horcruxes were gone which anybody could get rid of). Nobody knew what the outcome would be. Harry taking the wand was just to satisfy an immediate need. He didn't even know what he was doing.

This just seemed flimsy to me. All the things we were told in the other books about Harry needing love, alluding to the fact that "his mother's eye's would be important", the prophecy, all of that was nonsense. In the end, it just needed to be whoever had the "bigger stick" which was conveniently and by chance, as always, Harry.

The whole episode with Voldemort could have been summed up in just those few items. Kill the horcruxes (including Harry) and then whoever gets Draco's wand will have the ability to overcome V, period. For the most powerful dark wizard ever, it was a less than memorable ending to him in my mind. And I can think of other characters who could have fulfilled the role and it would have been much more interesting to me to see such a twist in the plot. And all the screw-ups - did she really expect the reader to believe it? Anyone who believes Nagini would have ever come out of her magical cage for the rest of time can buy some "beachfront property" from me in Florida. It felt as though she built V up to get what she wanted (7 books), then easily discarded him when it was convenient. He didn't get where he was by being dumb. The series was very dark. It should have remained dark. An easy, happy ending, seemed like a cop-out and inconsistent. I'm sure JK was thinking of her legacy vs. having the guts to do it right.

Last edited by shifrbv; 07-24-07 at 02:14 AM.
Old 07-24-07, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
For the people who are refuting my agrument:

Spoiler:
saying the way Voldemort was taken down was justifiable, I guess my problem with it was that it didn't "need" to be Harry Potter to do it. Anyone who could have wrestled Draco's wand from him ....

This just seemed flimsy to me. All the things we were told in the other books about Harry needing love, alluding to the fact that "his mother's eye's would be important", the prophecy, all of that was nonsense. In the end, it just needed to be whoever had the "bigger stick" which was conveniently and by chance, as always, Harry.

The whole episode with Voldemort could have been summed up in just those few items. Kill the horcruxes (including Harry) and then whoever gets Draco's wand will have the ability to overcome V, period. For the most powerful dark wizard ever, it was a less than memorable ending to him in my mind. And I can think of other characters who could have fulfilled the role and it would have been much more interesting to me to see such a twist in the plot. And all the screw-ups - did she really expect the reader to believe it? Anyone who believes Nagini would have ever come out of her magical cage for the rest of time can buy some "beachfront property" from me in Florida. It felt as though she built V up to get what she wanted (7 books), then easily discarded him when it was convenient. He didn't get where he was by being dumb. The series was very dark. It should have remained dark. An easy, happy ending, seemed like a cop-out and inconsistent. I'm sure JK was thinking of her legacy vs. having the guts to do it right.
I agree, the final blow could have been dealt by anyone who had taken the wand from Draco. In fact I believe that was implicit in Dumbledore telling Harry that he did not have to go back.

What only Harry could do was to sacrifice himself to destroy the part of Voldermort's soul in him and, equally importantly, sacrifice himself to protect the ones he loved. That's why Dumbledore kept praising Harry's innate drive to protect those around him (like in the underwater challenge in the Tri-Wizard Tournament).

As for Nagini, I think that Voldermort felt that being the owner of an unbeatable wand, and destroying what he thought was the only real threat to his continuance, and decimating his foes who still occupied the school had made him feel understandably cocky. His arrogance has been a trademark flaw throughout the series as well.

And in the end he was defeated the same way he had been defeated when he first tried to kill Harry. He continued to discount the subtle power that love played in that world and paid the price. This time, and after great sacrifice (you can't say she didn't kill or maim or orphan quite a few people in the last 2 books) he was dead for good because they had destroyed his keys to immortality by destroying the Horcruxes. Especially in this last book there was a real war going on with a lot of casualties. I didn't think very much of anything in here was really "easily" done.

I don't, however, understand why you think the series should remain dark? To use LoTRings as an example, while Frodo had some melancholy and the elves left the land, it had a pretty upbeat ending after quite a lot of darkness. They defeated the great evil, they get to enjoy the fruits of their work. That's prety basic fantasy storytelling there.

I guess if you want to say that the epilogue did not show that there were still bad wizards around, then I can see your point, but I felt the epilogue was at least partly meant as a kind of wave goodbye to characters that the readers and the author have grown pretty attached to over the years, so that intimations of hard times having been overcome or that were yet to come would have been kind of besides the point. Do you really think that anyone reading the series would think that there wouldn't be bad or evil people in the world again, and needed to be reminded that there would be in the epilogue?

Last edited by Blade; 07-24-07 at 05:20 AM.
Old 07-24-07, 08:28 AM
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A few things I am having trouble with,

I thought J.K. was quoted as saying that

1) Somebody who normally couldn't normally do magic would do so under extraordinary circumstances. Er - Who was this?

2) It would be important that Harry has his mothers eyes. Um - Why?


Best Harry Potter book for a while my favorite after Azkaban and Goblet.

Some of my random thoughts:

Spoiler:

1) The death that bothered me most was Hedwig. The poor thing was defenseless.

2) The Dursleys at least became a little multi-dimensional, but other than Dudley, still not enough. They've always been caricatures which is fine in the beginning when Harry Potter was more of a kids book but it has become more than that.

3) J.K. has said that once somebody is dead she intended them to stay that way, but she really stretched that with James, Lily, Sirius, Dumbledore, etc.

4) Way to go Neville my favorite character. Hell Yeah! Ive always wanted him to lay a smack down on Bellatrix, but I guess what he did was more important though.

5) The whole wand rules and connection between Harry and Voldemort thing got to be to techno-babbleish for my tastes. Like a bad Star Trek episode. Seems like JK threw together the rules at the last minute should have made it simpler IMO.

7) The Taboo thing with Voldys name was cool. Great idea.

8) The Weasly parents especially Arthur seem just too willing and eager to put their kids in danger to help Harry for realism. I know they think of him as their own but come on I guess its just a story though.

9) I like how she handled the storyline with the Malfoys

Old 07-24-07, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy517
It was nowhere near that many. Arthur, Molly, Bill, Charlie, George, Mundungus, Kingsley, Ron, Harry, Hermoine, Hagrid, McGonagall, Fleur, and a bunch of minor characters (Doge, Diggle, Figg, Sturgis, etc) all survived. Only seven members died during the series.
Well, it wasn't the whole order. But Ron, Harry, Hermione, Fleur and some of those others I wasn't counting because they weren't actually members of the order. They were just helping the Order. But we're just nitpicking at this point.


Originally Posted by wageslave
A few things I am having trouble with,

I thought J.K. was quoted as saying that

1) Somebody who normally couldn't normally do magic would do so under extraordinary circumstances. Er - Who was this?

2) It would be important that Harry has his mothers eyes. Um - Why?
1) I missed this too.

2) There was something in there about Harry's eyes being Lily's eyes, which is why Snape helped him, or something like that.
Old 07-24-07, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bdshort
...Blade: I agree about the "boring" parts lending to the authenticity of the whole story. It really had a vibe that reminded me of what it might have been like in many places during World War II... with the uncertainty, the fear, the propaganda, and the underground radio broadcasts....
And the pogroms against the muggle born. Consider that the children for whom the books are written may not be familiar with the Holocaust. Rowling has been writing of bias and discrimination since early in the series. In Book 7 one sees what can happen when the bigots take over the government. Shades of 1930s Germany.

I thought it was a nice touch, and clearly planned from a long time back.
Old 07-24-07, 09:47 AM
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1) The death that bothered me most was Hedwig. The poor thing was defenseless.
In hindsight, the death of Hedwig and the loss of his Firebolt at that moment isolated Harry from the Wizarding world. It would give him the necessary kick in the ass to get started on his mission.
Old 07-24-07, 10:02 AM
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Anyone have a good source for these quotes JK Rowling said about the last book (the deaths, Harry's eyes, etc.)? I'm having no luck at Wikipedia and I'm wondering if she truly changed whatever she was going to do or if we are all incorrectly remembering what she said.
Old 07-24-07, 10:21 AM
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The one who would perform magic that could not normally do so was Harry's wand during the first attack when the wand attacked and destroyed Malfoy's wand which Voldemort was using.
Old 07-24-07, 11:49 AM
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Are there female Werewolves? It never said if Greyback only bit males...
Old 07-24-07, 11:49 AM
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Harry's eyes being Lily's eyes was indeed about Snape. Harry was told that same thing multiple times by people that knew her. It was definitely important to Snape as the last thing Snape asked Harry to do as he was dying was to look at him, in my opinion, so he could look into the eyes of the only woman that he had ever and would ever truly love.
Old 07-24-07, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by shumway
Harry's eyes being Lily's eyes was indeed about Snape. Harry was told that same thing multiple times by people that knew her. It was definitely important to Snape as the last thing Snape asked Harry to do as he was dying was to look at him, in my opinion, so he could look into the eyes of the only woman that he had ever and would ever truly love.
I do believe you are correct. It makes perfect sense. Very insightful!
Old 07-24-07, 12:16 PM
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[QUOTE=Blade]I agree, the final blow could have been dealt by anyone who had taken the wand from Draco. In fact I believe that was implicit in Dumbledore telling Harry that he did not have to go back.

What only Harry could do was to sacrifice himself to destroy the part of
Originally Posted by Blade
Voldermort's soul in him and, equally importantly, sacrifice himself to protect the ones he loved. That's why Dumbledore kept praising Harry's innate drive to protect those around him (like in the underwater challenge in the Tri-Wizard Tournament).
But isn't this a major inconsistency and doesn't this go against everything JK adamantly stated about all of the wizards? Once they were gone, there was no coming back. What exactly did Harry sacrifice? Nothing as far as I can see. He had his life, he got to have a future. I don't see how anyone can argue that Harry sacrificed anything. The only thing he ever lost was his parents but that didn't make him special. Alot of other kids were in the same boat.

There are alot of things about the entire Harry/V plotline that continue to not make sense to me the more I think about it.

A big one I was just thinking about was that horcruxes had to be deliberately created. They just don't happen by accident. If they did, I'm sure that there were plenty of people who V killed who had someone who loved them just as much. Are we to believe that no one else did? Either V knew Harry was a horcrux or he didn't (which I don't see how he could not have as he could see into Harry's mind). I think he knew because Lily pleaded "not him" which seemed to me she knew what might go down and tried to put some protection on. Even if it was an accident, everyone else knew. That being the case, why would V EVER want Harry to die? It doesn't make sense. He wanted to protect everything that might have had a part of him in it. It was a must for him to be immortal. He should have wanted Harry captured and hidden away for eternity. That would have been the smartest. Kept him locked away from everyone who could have told him the truth and maybe even raised him in a brainwashed state to be a follower of his. I can see why Dumbledore's side would need Harry to die. He had to to get rid of V. But V would have never wanted it if things were being done logically.

Originally Posted by Blade
As for Nagini, I think that Voldermort felt that being the owner of an unbeatable wand, and destroying what he thought was the only real threat to his continuance, and decimating his foes who still occupied the school had made him feel understandably cocky. His arrogance has been a trademark flaw throughout the series as well.
Arrogance/cockyness does not equal stupidity. In the beginning, V told himself he must be much more careful. Yet, nothing of the sort happened. We are to believe that someone who was coming so close to their dreams would make blunder after blunder all the while telling themselves they must do better? We are to believe that someone like this would never think someone else might want to challenge his power and think about destroying the last horcrux to do it? I must live in a different reality.

Originally Posted by Blade
And in the end he was defeated the same way he had been defeated when he first tried to kill Harry. He continued to discount the subtle power that love played in that world and paid the price. This time, and after great sacrifice (you can't say she didn't kill or maim or orphan quite a few people in the last 2 books) he was dead for good because they had destroyed his keys to immortality by destroying the Horcruxes. Especially in this last book there was a real war going on with a lot of casualties. I didn't think very much of anything in here was really "easily" done.
I don't see how anyone can say that he would be gone for good. Harry DID NOT die, so the horcrux should not have been extinguished. It can't just evaporate. It has to be killed. You can't have it both ways. Harry should not have ever had the choice to come back if JK stayed consistent. That is what I thought should happen because he was always the tragic hero. Marked for death from the very beginning, but JK didn't have the guts.

Originally Posted by Blade
I don't, however, understand why you think the series should remain dark? To use LoTRings as an example, while Frodo had some melancholy and the elves left the land, it had a pretty upbeat ending after quite a lot of darkness. They defeated the great evil, they get to enjoy the fruits of their work. That's prety basic fantasy storytelling there.
This is not the same at LOTR. You have a group of fairly homogeneous people (all wizards - whether part human or not) (unlike LOTR where the dark wizard was creating his army in a workshop) and they all live and work together. Half of the wizarding world was following V. We are to believe that these evil people just faded away and no one aspired to fill the vacuum? I really felt it was doing a disservice to the message in the books. The main premise was good vs. evil. To just tell people that evil can "disappear" with one death and that everyone else will live happily ever after was not the message I would have sent.

Originally Posted by Blade
I guess if you want to say that the epilogue did not show that there were still bad wizards around, then I can see your point, but I felt the epilogue was at least partly meant as a kind of wave goodbye to characters that the readers and the author have grown pretty attached to over the years, so that intimations of hard times having been overcome or that were yet to come would have been kind of besides the point. Do you really think that anyone reading the series would think that there wouldn't be bad or evil people in the world again, and needed to be reminded that there would be in the epilogue?
I don't know where I would have shown it. But when half the wizarding world was ready to follow one man and overrun the other half, it shouldnt' have been handled so lightly.

Last edited by shifrbv; 07-24-07 at 12:25 PM.
Old 07-24-07, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
But isn't this a major inconsistency and doesn't this go against everything JK adamantly stated about all of the wizards? Once they were gone, there was no coming back. What exactly did Harry sacrifice? Nothing as far as I can see. He had his life, he got to have a future. I don't see how anyone can argue that Harry sacrificed anything. The only thing he ever lost was his parents but that didn't make him special. Alot of other kids were in the same boat.
By Harry thought he was going to die, and accepted it, and went through with allowing Voldemort to kill him to protect the rest of the wizarding world (and the rest of the muggle world too, for that matter) anyway. He didn't know going into it that there would be an option to return. It's the ultimate sacrifice. Frankly, I don't see how anyone could argue that he didn't sacrifice anything. What could be more sacrificial than freely going to your own death for the benefit of others?
Old 07-24-07, 01:38 PM
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Did anyone guess that the books take place in the 90's?

On page 328 (Chapter 16 - Godric's Hallow), we see the grave of Lily & James who died 31 October 1981. Since Harry is 17 in book 7, the final book takes place in 1997. Whoda thunk it?! Of course it helps explain why Dudley owning technology is hardly mentioned (computer, internet, etc.).

I do believe it is the only time we are shown a date that points to the actual time in history that the stories take place.
Old 07-24-07, 01:42 PM
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Going back to book 2, at Nearly Headless Nick's 500th Deathday party, they have a cake w/ a tombstone on it that says 1492. I wondered if she would reference a year anywhere else and she did. This would make Harry roughly 6 months younger than my wife... I kinda like that.
Old 07-24-07, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
But isn't this a major inconsistency and doesn't this go against everything JK adamantly stated about all of the wizards? Once they were gone, there was no coming back. What exactly did Harry sacrifice? Nothing as far as I can see. He had his life, he got to have a future. I don't see how anyone can argue that Harry sacrificed anything. The only thing he ever lost was his parents but that didn't make him special. Alot of other kids were in the same boat.
Sirius, Colin Creevy, Fred, Dobby, Dumbledore, Cedric Diggory...the list goes on. Harry's suffered quite a lot of loss in this book. His aunt/uncle were borderline child abusers during the first 10 years of his life, and his years at Hogwarts haven't been pain free or emotionally/physically easy compared with most of his peers. I see that you thought of him as a tragic hero who would ultimately sacrifice his life...while JKR certainly gave hints that that would happen, I never really expected that. It is a children's book after all. It could have gone either way and the end result would have been the same. Evil was defeated but only at great cost and sacrifice to the hero...though in this case, JKR spread that cost and sacrifice around.

There are alot of things about the entire Harry/V plotline that continue to not make sense to me the more I think about it.

A big one I was just thinking about was that horcruxes had to be deliberately created. They just don't happen by accident. If they did, I'm sure that there were plenty of people who V killed who had someone who loved them just as much. Are we to believe that no one else did? Either V knew Harry was a horcrux or he didn't (which I don't see how he could not have as he could see into Harry's mind). I think he knew because Lily pleaded "not him" which seemed to me she knew what might go down and tried to put some protection on. Even if it was an accident, everyone else knew. That being the case, why would V EVER want Harry to die? It doesn't make sense. He wanted to protect everything that might have had a part of him in it. It was a must for him to be immortal. He should have wanted Harry captured and hidden away for eternity. That would have been the smartest. Kept him locked away from everyone who could have told him the truth and maybe even raised him in a brainwashed state to be a follower of his. I can see why Dumbledore's side would need Harry to die. He had to to get rid of V. But V would have never wanted it if things were being done logically.
Lily didn't know, and it even took Dumbledore a while to figure out. It was explained many times during the series that V. did not research that which he had no respect for. He said to the end that he thought it was an accident that Harry had survived. Clearly V. did not know that he had made Harry into another Horcrux (I would also point out V.'s surprise at not knowing that his other Horcruxes had been destroyed, evidence that V.'s knowledge of how they worked was limited), and even if he did, he interpreted the Prophecy to mean that Harry was the only wizard who could defeat him. As was revealed in HBP, the great irony here is that it was V. who sowed the seeds of his own defeat by trying to kill Harry in the first place.

As to your first point though, I agree that is quite a coincidence. It does seem unlikely that Harry's mom was the first person to ever sacrifice her own life to keep him from killing someone. Or even one of his followers running into the same situation. I could explain this away by saying that prior to Harry his targets were probably not as well protected and that the number of people he killed really wasn't that great, so the opportunities for a situation like this were not that great, but ultimately I think this is just something you have to accept as part of the premise of the story.

Arrogance/cockyness does not equal stupidity. In the beginning, V told himself he must be much more careful. Yet, nothing of the sort happened. We are to believe that someone who was coming so close to their dreams would make blunder after blunder all the while telling themselves they must do better? We are to believe that someone like this would never think someone else might want to challenge his power and think about destroying the last horcrux to do it? I must live in a different reality.
Again, I feel V. felt that Harry was the only real threat to his safety because of his interpretation of the prophecy. Having killed him and having the Wizarding school essentially beat I don't think he was very concerned anymore. Remember, he did not know that reinforcements were coming for the final battle, and I imagine he had the same respect for the Sorting Hat that the young Tom Riddle did.

I don't see how anyone can say that he would be gone for good. Harry DID NOT die, so the horcrux should not have been extinguished. It can't just evaporate. It has to be killed. You can't have it both ways. Harry should not have ever had the choice to come back if JK stayed consistent. That is what I thought should happen because he was always the tragic hero. Marked for death from the very beginning, but JK didn't have the guts.
It was a kind of near death experience. V.'s soul had become part of Harry's and that part was what was destroyed by V.'s curse. I think you have trouble with this because Harry dieing was the emotional pay off you were expecting (ie. tragic hero) and not because JKR's version isn't consistent with the rules of her world. I can understand that, this whole section kind of threw me a bit too. But having survived one killing curse because of V.'s imperfect understanding of the rules of magic, I didn't have a real problem with him failing again because that same character flaw.

This is not the same at LOTR. You have a group of fairly homogeneous people (all wizards - whether part human or not) (unlike LOTR where the dark wizard was creating his army in a workshop) and they all live and work together. Half of the wizarding world was following V. We are to believe that these evil people just faded away and no one aspired to fill the vacuum? I really felt it was doing a disservice to the message in the books. The main premise was good vs. evil. To just tell people that evil can "disappear" with one death and that everyone else will live happily ever after was not the message I would have sent.

I don't know where I would have shown it. But when half the wizarding world was ready to follow one man and overrun the other half, it shouldnt' have been handled so lightly.
I never got the sense that half the wizarding world was on his side. I looked at it more like the rise of Hitler in Germany. Good people too afraid to fight and not wanting to believe that anything that bad could happen (again in this case) and a small core of evil people who succeeded because they dared to do evil things while others did not dare to stand up to them (in both cases because of a reasonably justified sense of fear).

I think a good point you make here is that the Wizarding world got complacent/foolish very quickly the first time V. died and paid a price by making it possible for V. to rise to power again so quickly upon his return. I do think, however, that the books made this point throughout the entire series. Not including some kind of reference to this is definitely a weakness in the delivery of the conclusion of her story, but I think it's safe to assume that Harry, Ron, Hermione and the people who made up the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore's Army wouldn't sit around and let things be handled so shabbily this time around. As such, I don't feel it breaks the story for me.
Old 07-24-07, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rfduncan
Did anyone guess that the books take place in the 90's?

On page 328 (Chapter 16 - Godric's Hallow), we see the grave of Lily & James who died 31 October 1981. Since Harry is 17 in book 7, the final book takes place in 1997. Whoda thunk it?! Of course it helps explain why Dudley owning technology is hardly mentioned (computer, internet, etc.).

I do believe it is the only time we are shown a date that points to the actual time in history that the stories take place.
http://www.hp-lexicon.org/timeline.html

Some people have put waaaaay too much thought into these books!
Old 07-24-07, 02:24 PM
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I have read it twice in a row and I think the book is just the most amazing ending of the series. It's all I could have hoped for. I got all stupid sentimental both times reading the last few chapters and how brave all the kids were and I just love this series. I was afraid the ending was going to be a big letdown but I was wrong to ever doubt JK.

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