batyatoon: (the world is quiet here)
batyatoon ([personal profile] batyatoon) wrote2007-08-01 07:31 pm

That kid with the lightning scar

*takes off her NO SPOILER ZONE button, tosses it into the drawer*

Well, I'm back.

Rapid-fire, heavily spoilery reactions to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows behind the cut-tag.

THE GOOD
  • Redemptive moments for two of the three people I'd hoped -- Dudley Dursley (minor but significant) and Percy Weasley (pretty well complete). And the third, Draco Malfoy, gets to grow up.
  • Snape's true colors.
  • Aberforth Dumbledore, as a character.
  • Dobby's death and burial. Wah. But so beautiful.
  • Kreacher's turnaround. And ARMY OF HOUSE-ELVES. YES. Oh god yes.
  • What little we saw of what the kids have been up to at Hogwarts. I wanted more of that.
  • Brief insight into goblin concepts of ownership and sale. More of that too.
  • Harry/Ginny; Ron/Hermione. I'm not that vehement a 'shipper, I wouldn't have been too bent out of shape by anything different, but this was very satisfying. (Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] filkertom.)
  • The epilogue. *hugs wee Albus* (*also, may have cracked up at wee Scorpius's name*)

    THE BAD
  • Pacing problems all through this book. The fact that we're not at Hogwarts anymore means we don't have the structure of the academic year to help us keep track of when we are, and nothing took its place. While this was probably an accurate reflection of our protagonists' state of mind, I found it a touch off-putting.
  • The issue of how wizards treat Muggles has been pretty much abandoned. Likewise, for the most part, that of how wizards treat sentient magical creatures. I'm pretty disappointed, especially since it has seemed like the series was leading up to a breakthrough of some sort on that front. But no; we're still hiding from the Muggles and messing with their minds as it suits us. Phooey.
  • ...Guess they were just kidding about Imperio and Crucio being Unforgivable, huh.
  • Speaking of unforgivable: the death of Fred but not George Weasley. And worse, the fact that we don't see George afterwards. At all. Lady, if you're going to do something that brutal, show us the aftereffects.

    CALLED IT
  • Dumbledore choosing his own time to die.
  • Snape's motivation: a combination of unshakable loyalty to Albus Dumbledore and love for Lily Evans. (Damn I have to finish "Lily's Eyes".)
  • Snape's death at the hands of Voldemort -- though I was wrong about why it happened.
  • The nature of the green stuff in the not-Pensieve at the end of Book 6.
  • R.A.B.'s identity. Of course, that wasn't hard.
  • The nature of the childhood relationship between Lily and Petunia.

    CALLED IT WRONG
  • The Chocolate Frog cards. *pout* I liked my theory about the Chocolate Frog cards.
  • As mentioned above, the breakthrough in wizard-Muggle relations. I really thought that was coming.
  • The fate of Lucius Malfoy (and by extension, the Malfoy family). I thought for sure Voldemort would swat Lucius pretty early, thus providing motivation for Draco to switch sides; the motivation ended up going the other way, and without anyone getting killed.
  • All the other deaths. All the people I was most worried for -- Hagrid, Neville, Ron, Percy, the Weasley parents -- survived. I was saddened but not shocked by Moody's death, tough old survivor though he was; but Dobby I didn't see coming. And all the deaths that happened (or that we learned about) after Fred's: damn. That was merciless. Remus and Dora I didn't see coming. Colin Creevey was a gutpunch. Damn.

    NOT SURE WHAT TO THINK
  • The Dumbledore family history. I need to reread that sequence. (This time without the character-bleed, please.)
  • Albus Dumbledore himself. Flawed, and very aware of his flaws ... or is he?
  • The status quo of the wizarding world seems to have been restored. And ... is that it, then? Shouldn't this kind of thing change a society in some irrevocable ways? I feel like we cut to the epilogue too soon -- but possibly I was just reading too fast, by that time.

    Overall: Do I have complaints? Yeah. Did it make me happy anyway? Yeah.
    It's been a fun ride, and I'm glad I came.


    ETA: I missed most of your reactions, O my f'list, and I don't think I can search back and find them all. If you would care to reply here with links to your own Initial Reaction (or Later Discussion) entries, I'd be very pleased.
  • [identity profile] jezrana.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 12:15 am (UTC)(link)
    I have enough posts about it that I'm just going to link you to my "harry potter" tag (http://jezrana.livejournal.com/tag/harry+potter).

    I feel like the closest thing to a "breakthrough" with Wizard-magical creature relations was the final battle Voldemort including house elves and centaurs fighting for Harry of their own free will. But yeah, some indication of how things are for them in the future would have been nice.

    And, along similar lines--JKR's done a news interview and an online Q&A thing since and given extra information, among it that the Ministry has undergone an overhaul and that Hermione's high-up in Magical Law Enforcement, which I'd say bodes well for society-changing. (Also, she hasn't said Kingsley didn't stay Minister, so as far as I'm concerned he did.) Which, y'know, a word or two about that in the book itself might have been nice, JKR.
    ext_2233: Writing MamaDeb (Default)

    [identity profile] mamadeb.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 12:18 am (UTC)(link)
    Initial Thoughts (http://mamadeb.livejournal.com/731082.html)
    More thoughts (http://mamadeb.livejournal.com/2007/07/22/)

    [identity profile] scifantasy.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 12:41 am (UTC)(link)
    It's worth mentioning that some post-book interviews with JKR have cleared up the question of the status quo--in short, by nineteen years later Harry, Ron, Hermione, and co. have fixed it so that it's not so troubling.
    ext_27060: Sumer is icomen in; llude sing cucu! (Default)

    [identity profile] rymenhild.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
    I feel like I've seen a "Lily's Eyes" Snape filk before. Have you posted some of it, or have I read one someone else wrote?

    [identity profile] autographedcat.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 03:10 am (UTC)(link)
    I haven't seen one specifically on that motif, though I haven't been looking, but I will point out Joyce Lanterman's "Lament for LIlly Potter":

    http://www.rejoycing.com/music/lament.htm
    madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (CarlWindow)

    [personal profile] madfilkentist 2007-08-02 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
    The manner of Voldemort's death has been bothering me. His Avada Kedavra bounced off Harry's Expelliarmus and came back at him. Is there any precedent for Expelliarmus working that way?

    [identity profile] sdorn.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 01:25 am (UTC)(link)
    Did anyone else think the fireman's carry of Colin was like Henry V carrying the Boy off the battlefield?
    vivien: (Default)

    [personal profile] vivien 2007-08-02 02:08 am (UTC)(link)
    *happy sigh*

    I pretty much concur with most of what you wrote (in the Good and the Bad). I think a few big loose ends were left undone, but I was thoroughly pleased with what we got.

    You know, the more I think on it, the more I really love the flawed Dumbledore we now have. I so did not call that, though I did call a bit of the manipulative side of him. I knew he was pulling strings like a crazy man.

    But yeah, the treatment of Muggles - even Hermione's memory mod of her parents for their safety - is kind of... unsettling, I guess the word is? Maybe things got better with the next generation. :-P


    Here are some DH memories for you I've been collecting.
    skygiants: Sokka from Avatar: the Last Airbender peers through an eyeglass (*peers*)

    [personal profile] skygiants 2007-08-02 02:33 am (UTC)(link)
    I loved the flawed Dumbledore too - just because Dumbledore's manipulativeness has been bugging me for the past six books, so it's nice that the books themselves actually acknowledged it. I liked him a lot more as a flawed character trying very hard to be good than as the Really Good Character Who Did Everything For Your Own Good Even If It Meant Acting Like An Ass At The Time, Do Not Question.

    (What did bug me? The Grey Lady's story. Not that there's anything wrong with it in and of itself, just . . . why is it there?)

    Anyways, reactions: here for me, and here for the rest of my family.

    [identity profile] bigscary.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 03:02 am (UTC)(link)
    Status Quo of the wizarding world: JKR has said in an interview that H/R/H are part of a revolution in the Ministry -- they're highly placed as of 19yl and it's not the old Ministry anymore.

    I LOVED the Dumbledore's family parts. Loved them.

    [identity profile] autographedcat.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 03:06 am (UTC)(link)
    Never made any myself, but here's the ones I noted:

    http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=autographedcat&keyword=HP7&filter=all

    [identity profile] autographedcat.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
    And in particular to this:

    http://davehogg.livejournal.com/1018597.html
    sophistry: (Default)

    [personal profile] sophistry 2007-08-02 09:47 am (UTC)(link)
    My reaction post is... not coherent, since it is literally typed along with my first read. But - I am hilariously, rabidly contemptuous of the WOEBIE SNAPE DID IT ALL FOR THE LOVE OF LILY EVANS... thing. If I wanted to read that, I would be reading badfic at FF.net.

    Just. skdhfkladhglcfu. I don't think there could have been a more hackneyed and lame backstory to give him. His Patronus is Lily's doe? *vomits*

    I agree w/r/t the pacing, but still, the first half of the book with all the dystopic, horrifying Ministry stuff was A+++++++++++, WOULD BE CREEPED OUT BY AGAIN. The second half... mnnh, bar some truly excellent character moments. NEVILLE. :x:x:x

    Let's... not speak of what I thought of the epilogue. Oh my god. =;

    [identity profile] tinuviel8994.livejournal.com 2007-08-02 09:41 pm (UTC)(link)
    I thought the Mudblood/Pureblood whatnot, especially the Chairs of Doom at the Ministry, were very Holocausty. And I think it's interesting that that kind of eugenically driven violence is what JK decided was guaranteed to jerk revulsion out of a modern audience (I do quite like HP, but it is very much mass entertainment) - eugenics was pretty accepted globally and in the US in particular pre-WWII (esp. in the '20s), and Hitler kind of changed all that and made eugenic sentiment the height of evil forever. That was my primitive sociological observation of the book.
    ext_11786: (Default)

    [identity profile] dotfic.livejournal.com 2007-08-03 11:34 pm (UTC)(link)
    We will have to discuss in more detail, but I felt as you did -- flawed and fabulous. And fabulous kind of won the balance. :D

    There's my not terribly meta-y Initial Post Of Flail (http://dotfic.livejournal.com/85157.html#cutid1) and my post in defense of the epilogue (http://dotfic.livejournal.com/85490.html) (which I posted only because so many people expressed their dislike of it and I saw very little from another pov).

    [identity profile] drcpunk.livejournal.com 2007-08-09 10:21 pm (UTC)(link)
    For me, reading the series was always a matter of keeping up with the Joneses. Rowling's just good enough that I really get ticked at how sloppy she is.

    For all that, I recognized that the fact that I was so annoyed at her killing off Cedric in book 4 meant that it was the right call. Book 3 may be technically the best -- I'd have to reread it, and I admit I was sorry the hippogriff didn't die after all the comments about how much darker book 3 was -- but, despite its flaws, I probably enjoyed book 4 the best.

    Then came book 5. Bleah.

    Oh, it had some lovely sequences, and Umbridge was a great villain. And I did like Harry actually being a sulky bratty teenager. For five minutes. After that, I've had enough, realistic or no. And, the book really needed a trim of 100 - 200 pages.

    But, the real problem with the book is the lack of follow through on book 4.

    When Dumbledore toasts Cedric, half the Slytherins don't raise their glasses.

    As you pointed out, the important things is, or ought to be, that half of them do.

    Digression: Anyone see the movie Teachers? Near the end, there's a firedrill. The principal says, in disgust to the protagonist who's supporting his students, "Half of them won't even come back to class after the fire drill."

    The teacher replies, "But the other half will. And I think they're worth it."

    Or words to that effect. End digression.

    Comes book 5 and --

    Slytherin is no longer the House of Ruthless People, but the House of Evil Bigots. Book 7 doesn't change that. Snape is still a bigot. It's just that Lily is Different.

    The Sorting Hat says (paraphrasing): Stop with the squabbling between different houses.

    Not only is it largely ignored, especially where Slytherin is concerned; the text gives every indication that it should be ignored. The Slytherin students are all evil. Or nonentities, and nonentities don't count. Oh, and not one is at all interested in learning defense against the dark arts. Or, maybe no one asks them. I really don't care which.

    It would have been great if there had been Slytherins in Harry's class, and ones who a) did not betray him and b) were utterly ruthless in their loyalty, causing interesting problems.

    Then again, Gryffindor is the only house that counts. By all rights, Hermione should have been in Ravenclaw and Neville in Hufflepuff. But, okay, I'll take your point that the hat puts people where they chose, and that Hermione and Neville value bravery most. But, gee, there just don't seem to be any smart Ravenclaws among the students.

    I don't remember a lot about book 6. Book 7 opened well, and I liked what she did with Dursley. I hated the wandering in the woods sniping. I could rewatch Blair Witch Project if I wanted that.

    I loved Neville's role, especially at it kept things nicely ambiguous about just who that prophecy was about.

    I think the Holocausty witch hunt (muggle hunt?) was lowball, doing something that was just really easy to get the audience booing for the black hats and cheering for the white hats, but so it goes.

    My assistant told me that her daughter hit the climax, and said, "Mommy! They're cursing!" My assistant wasn't thrilled by this, noting that these books are read by kids and that there's a group trying to get the word "bitch" out as a way to refer to a human woman. I'm not sure where I stand there.

    Could have done with a bit less Harry-as-Christ, but so it goes.

    I don't have a problem with Harry's about face on Snape after 19 years.

    On reflection, I'm not thrilled that Snape's all encompassing motive is love for Lily, but, given that, I do like the way his relationship with Dumbledore changed over the years. And, gooey or not, the Snape-Lily thing is thematically in keeping with what the author is doing in book 7 with Voldemort and his weaknesses.

    But, mostly, I'm glad it's finally over. I had far more fun writing my paper for Mythcon, eye problems, wresting with Proteus, and all, than I did reading book 7.