Friday, July 15, 2011

J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (AKA, My Reflections On Harry Potter As)

Author: J.K. Rowling
Title:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Published: July 2007
Publisher: Raincoast
Length: 759 pages
Genre: Magical fantasy
Target age: Children (of all ages~ :P)
Why I picked it up: Rereading the series
Rating: 3.5 stars
Challenges: Harry Potter 2011 | 100+
Buy: Chapters | Barnes and Noble | Check your local bookstore!

Here we go. The big Harry Potter post. This post will be a very messy mash up of my thoughts on the series as a whole, the last book individually, the book vs. the movie, and the whole community built up around Rowling's magical world.

So. I finished rereading this on Wednesday, watched Part One of the movie for the first time on Thursday and then went to the midnight premier of Part Two with a friend of mine. For someone who wouldn't really call herself a Harry Potter fan, I've been keeping right up in all this Potter business! But that's how I wanted it to be. Harry Potter means so, so much to all my friends and to all the online communities I'm a part of that I wanted to experience that too, just for this last time. HP never meant anything to me like it does to so many other people...and I have to admit, now that it's all over, I'm a bit sad that it wasn't important to me. I'm not really sure how that happened. Maybe it's because HP was the series that got so many of those people into reading and helped them find a community of friends where they belonged, and it just wasn't that for me. I read the books the day after they came out (borrowing them from my best friend) and only watched the first three movies. It just wasn't a big deal for me, but I absolutely love how this magical book series transformed so many people's lives, people who are very much like me, and I just wanted to experience that sense of community with this 'ending', which is why I ended up at the midnight premiere.

Here's how my premiere night went. (You can skip this paragraph if you want ;P It's a messy 'This is what we did then' paragraph). We'll skip to about 11:15PM on Thursday. My friend Jack and I had been in line for six hours that went by very quickly. Jack's brother, Greg, and two of his friends had been in line with us at the beginning, but had gone to a football game and were due back any time. I should note that Jack and Greg had dressed up as Death Eaters, and they probably had the most impressive costumes in our line (there weren't a lot of people decked out in full costume...). They had big black cloaks, Dark Marks drawn in sharpie on their arms by their talented artsy sister, wands carved from tree branches and painted silvery masks. So. There's a massive crowd of us waiting in line and we're all just standing around, being all anxious, when someone comes running into lobby, shouting something. People cheer, but I can't really see anything because I'm short. Then Jack goes 'I think that's Greg.' I push my way through the crowd a bit, and sure enough, there's Greg, running around and getting people all hyped up. Eventually he yelled 'Where's my bro, where's my bro Jack?' so Jack puts up his hood and mask and goes out, and they terrorize people for a minute when two Gryffindors come out and challenge Jack and Greg and they have a little duel until the movie theatre people yell at them for wearing masks. People cheered and took videos on their phones. It is hard to describe in words how awesome this all was, so just picture it in your head and you should be able to understand then :P  Then it was time to go into the theatre. This was kind of scary and pretty intense, everyone rushing to get good seats without running. I liked it when everyone cheered (Ron and Hermione's kiss [I loved the lack of enthusiasm for Harry and Ginny, haha. What a poorly constructed relationship.], Neville killing Nagini, and plenty of other bits I can't remember) together and cried together. (I especially liked it when everyone 'Whooo~'d at the Sherlock Holmes trailer, when RDJ came on screen XD). As with all the HP (in my humble opinion), it could have been so much better but it got enough parts right that it'll be a satisfying conclusion for fans, I think. Even I teared up two or three times (Snape's death [that was so well done. Man.], the Weasleys crying over Fred [if they had actually shown his death (which I am very disappointed they didn't, it could've made the whole battle scene so much more meaningful and emotional), I would've bawled] and at the end, before the epilogue). The epilogue was a joke, though. It was kind of bad in the book, but in the movie it was ridiculous. Lots of laughing. And what was with Voldemort hugging Malfoy?? Way to destroy the tension. Also, Mrs. Weasley's line could have been so much better, it's like they quickly threw it in because they knew we all wanted it. It sounded half-hearted. There was so so much they had to leave out, which is too bad. But still. There were enough proper emotional bits.

Random movie notes: What I like best about the movies is that they provide material for making music videos, not that they're a 'good adaptation of the books' :P My 3D glasses, shaped like Harry's, are now sitting on the two HP books I own (I'm working on getting them all, don't worry...). Watching the movie, I couldn't help but think 'Frodo!!' in my head for good portion of the film towards the end. This wasn't something I ever thought while reading the book. Obviously, there are some similarities between the two and their 'final showdown situation', but each character and scenario holds their own. I think it was the cinematic environment that put those thoughts in my head. XP

What I love most about this series is the characters and their relationships. There's far too much that I could say about that subject, I don't even know where to begin. I love the Weasley family. I love how Lupin and Sirius and Dumbledore and Snape and all those grown-ups do their best to support Harry. I love the friendships of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna and all. I love the characterization of Umbridge and Stan Shunpike and Tonks and Fred and George and every single other character. All the characters support each other and play their own significant roles in the story so well. Meh blah wahietpiouaer. I don't even know what to say. It's such a big subject and so emotionally tangled for each person, I can't elaborate on my own feelings XD For the whole Harry Potter phenomenon as a whole, the books and the movies, I don't really care about, but I admire so much the characters and their interactions. I'm jealous of Harry and Hermione and Ron. Blarg. I'll shut up now. ^^; Meh, no. I'll keep on that it's properly finished, er, wait, for me, back when the last book came out, I was like 'Okay, that's that', the movies didn't mean anything for me, but now that I spent the year rereading the series and getting caught up in it all, I feel like it really is properly over and now I can look back and see this incredible story about friendship and growing up and love and being strong, it's a pretty incredible thing, these Harry Potter books, and who knows when or if we'll ever see another book series that will revolutionize the world (because it did, really, this series affected millions of people, helped them grow and change for the better) in the way that this one did. I love how it affected/created the nerdfighter community. That's just one tiny example, but that's what I like about Harry Potter. And this is one of the most rambling posts ever XD Basically. Now that it's complete, I can look back and see how much I really did enjoy the series, even if it wasn't meaningful for me, and I can see how it's ultimately affected me by affecting everyone around me. I don't love the books as books, but I love them for what they've done to my world.

Hm, I haven't talked about the book at all...I dunno, it's kind of hard to try and give this final book an objective review, especially right now, when there's so much going on surrounding the story.  I think I'll just leave you with my jumbled up thoughts...
One quick final thought: Yup, book three is still my favourite, hands down, for all the reasons I said when I gave it a tiny review. :P

And an afterthought (^^;): It's been four years since I started watching vlogbrothers. I was one of the ones who started watching at Hank's song Accio Deathly Hallows and here we are again...his annual Potter song:

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