Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Harry Potter Discussion

Harry Potter fans, it is time to "geek out" and discuss the book.

In order not to be a spoiler, the discussion should take place in the comments. If you have not read the book, read the comments at your own risk.

So - What did you think? Where you happy with the ending? Did the book leave you wanting more Harry Potter? What was the most surprising part of the story for you?


Jennifer said...

Overall, I thought the book was a good read and I was happy how the story ended. And I feel like it truly did end (though I would like to know what Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny do as grownups).

Though not suprising, it felt strange for so little of the book to take place at Hogworths. But I really, really liked that Neville finally found his courage and made his Gran proud.

Also strange was that Snape was not really in the book at all. Though he played a pivotal role in the end. And I was happy that he turned out to be a good guy.

Abby said...

I loved the book. It was kinda weird for me, right when I finished it I felt oddly melancholic and a little depressed. After talking to my brother about it, I realized that I really did love the book (I think it's my second favorite after the 3rd one), I just felt kinda sad that it's over now.

I'm not one who obsesses about details and finds every tiny little plot hole (which is why some of the hard core fans are unhappy with it). I read books for the characters mostly and the last book had so much great character development. I love that we got to see Dumbledore's mistakes (I could never really relate to him before, he was too perfect and all knowing). I actually like him a lot more because he seems human to me now.

I also liked how she handled Snape. He is not a nice person at all, and remained so at the end. I think it would have been unrealistic for him to turn completely around and be kind to Harry. But he did have one really good part to him, the part that loved Lily so devoutly. It was great to see that and really undersand Snape.

Finally, I loved Ron in this book. He's my favorite character, actually. I hated that he left the trio for a while (and yes he was being a bit of an brat there), but I love how he came back and faced his greatest fears.

I could say more, but I leave it at that for now.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

I was very satisfied. (Jennifer, by the way, the recent interviews with Rawling are great, as she talks about Ginny playing for the all-witch quiddich team and the other such stuff).

I was most pleased with the treatment of Snape, Neville, Dumbledore and Draco. I'll admit I was surprised to see that Dumbledore did not come back more directly (Phoenix, Gandolf, Christ and all) and was very pleased to see him as a flawed, if annoyingly far-seeing, human who truly did not fear death, even though death is the end of life here.
Neville was great. Draco is fabulously human. And I was really astounded to find out that Snape was doing it all for love-- not that I was surprised about his affection for Lily, but rather really impressed that it could tie in with the "Love is the greatest power in the universe" theme while keeping him true to character.

There were two scenes that I thought were perhaps made for the movie (although not out of character-- just struck me as movie scenes the way that few scenes do while reading)-- Harry defending McGonagal when she is spat upon and Mrs. Weasley fighting. I will look forward to the quiet women kicking some ass in the movie.

Anyway, I am reading the whole lot right now and am becoming increasingly impressed with the plotting. Some of the stuff that seems so weak plot wise (the invisibility cloak, the sword coming out of the hat) fits much better with a whole. And then the little details I've never noticed (Snape not meeting Harry's eyes, etc.). So I really am impressed.

I thought the end was left a bit too open for other series, but, oh well. . .

Abby said...

Yay Neville! I agree, Neville was great in this book. He has been becoming braver and stronger over the course of the series and I think not having Ron, Hermione and Harry around during the school year was good for him. It forced him to step up and become a leader (I think he is like Harry in the sense that Neville would never choose or want to be the leader, but accepts the role if needed). I'm kinda glad he didn't kill Bellatrix and yet he still had an important role at the end.

And I agree with Lisa that Draco was very well done by JKR.

Irene said...

I enjoyed most of the book, but I was especially delighted by the ending. Harry dies... but he doesn't! Perfect for both the ones who thought he would, and the ones who thought he wouldn't. Everyone was right!

Same with Snape. In many ways, those who thought he was 'bad' were correct; after all, he turned against Voldemort only because of Lily. But those who figured he was secretly on Harry's side were also right.

I loved it that Neville grew up to be a professor of Herbology. I missed the physical setting of Hogwarts during this book.

The revelations about Dumbledore, though, were a bit difficult to put together into one seamless character. To me, it seemed very awkward trying to integrate the young arrogant Muggle-dominating fellow with the old wise guy. I think that was my one major complaint with the book.

Jenny said...

I really enjoyed it too, and am sad to see the series come to a close. You guys have already covered it pretty well and my thoughts mirror many of those already mentioned, but I will add that I also really liked how the Harry-Kreatcher relationship turned out (she really tied in earlier references to house elves and how they work). I was very sad about Dobby, his death caught me a bit off guard.
Gosh, I hope that there will be another series that engrosses people like this in my lifetime.

Jenny said...

I guess there are two things that I wish were included: like Jennifer, I'd like to know what Harry et al. did as grownups, but I also really, really wanted to see Dolores Umbridge get her comeuppance.