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The only topic of conversation this weekend

So, I finished the book. I liked a *lot* of it. I rolled my eyes at some of it. But...


Anyone want to talk about it, pitch up in the comments. I've got an appointment with some hardcore this afternoon (oh, get your minds out of the gutter, it's rubble, I'm building a couple of walkways for my nascent vegetable garden) but aside from that my only duty today is dubbing DVDs for a couple of people.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 21st, 2007 10:50 am (UTC)

I had to get past "Oh, Hedwig" before I could get to "Oh, Snape.". The bodycount was brutal, but it didn't shirk the fact that it was war, and that for most of the book the good guys were not so much on the losing side as the side that had already lost.

I thought that the way Harry finally got to learn about Snape's motivations was right for the pair of them. Even before the events of HBP neither of them was capable of having a conversation, because no matter what explanations one trotted out, the other was hard-wired not to hear them. So Harry getting inside Snape's head one last time was pretty much the only way it could happen.
Jul. 21st, 2007 11:00 am (UTC)
I know. When she casually blasted Hedwig, I was all "oh, so THIS is how it's going to be". I really liked the sense of doom in the early part of the book though didn't the way she kept whomping on the trio remind you of fanfic? In a good, you-know-our-gen-kink sort of way? Or perhaps that was just me *g*

I think you're absolutely right about Snape and that being the only mechanism that she could use to get Harry to finally understand just how invidious Snape's position was. I found his death scene a little cursory so I was delighted when the next chapter was almost all backstory. I was surprised by how deeply she made me feel Snape's commitment to Lily and how it surmounted everything, even his hatred of his tormentors, the Marauders.

I need a Snape icon
Jul. 21st, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
That explanation of why Snape killed Dumbledore was so exactly, word for word, entirely what I thought must have happened - save Draco from becoming a murderer, gunna die anyway; I couldn't understand how people didn't suspect Snape might be good based on Dumbledore's continued trust in him. I mean, seriously, isn't Dumbledore's judgment sort of trusted in these things?

The only other point that I had made when I read HBP is that by having Snape kill off the dying Dumbledore, Snape could also get some mileage out of it in terms of ingratiating himself with Voldy... that's why he needed a frozen witness that he did it.

After reading all the memories I had to go back and re-read the death scene. Harry has Lily's eyes. Awwwwww....
Jul. 21st, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)

What killed me far more than I'd have expected was Dobby's sacrifice and death. I didn't even LIKE him, but it was another loss in the horrible string of losses that were inevitable in this book, and for some reason it really broke me up.

But then, so many things did.
Jul. 22nd, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
Me too! I hate those damn house elves. And here I am, getting all teary.

Hedwig's death did nothing to me. I kind of laughed and said "starting off easy, are we, Ms. Rowling?"
Jul. 22nd, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
I know-- I felt bad for Harry, not as much because it was Hedwig per se.

I kept tearing up and having to calm down throughout the book. And I have to admit that while I was sure that at least on Weasley would die, I was hoping so damn hard it wasn't one of the twins. It killed me.

We're not even going to talk about Tonks and Lupin, because I don't have Kleenex handy right now.
Jul. 21st, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, Snape, indeed.
Jul. 22nd, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
What got me, more than the deaths, is the support. I got teary when everyone showed up to help Harry--even his dead parents. When all the others arrived to fight, when McGonnagal let out that scream when she thought Harry was dead...well, it just tore me up.

But Tonks and Lupin hurt. It really did. I actually did a sort of "huh-huh-huh" backwards inhale because it snuck around the corner on us, focused on Fred.

I was happy the epilogue was what it was, but it seemed pure fandom to me. There was a happily ever after and I'm glad she showed us it. It doesn't stop me from wanting to know each moment of those nineteen years we skip.

And Christmas at Godfric Hollow. That was a crazy sentimental chance but JKR made it work.

Good on her, I think. Good on her for all of us.
Jul. 22nd, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
A few pieces were really OTT, but regardless... What I enjoyed most from reading this was getting the sense of how fond JKR was of her characters and how much she loved writing this. I can forgive OTT plotpoints and Symbol Anvils if I feel like someone's doing it from an excess of feeling about the story they're telling (and have been telling for so long!) and the process of spooling it out and letting it go.

Good for her, good for Snape. Good for us. :o)
Jul. 22nd, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
I have so few arguments with this book (the Nazi anvils, etc) and part of the reason I loved it so much was that it was such a clean, lovely end for these characters. It felt very much to me like Harry, Ron, and Hermione grew up in this book and that JKR let them leave her like a parent would let a child leave home--with regret and sadness, sure, but with a palpable sense of joy and hope as well. Also, let's hear it for deciding to just go ahead and let The Hero's Journey arc end in a classic way instead of using it as an opportunity to be overly clever or a total showoff. not that I'm at all bitter about this trend or anything
Jul. 22nd, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
I am so glad Snape was vindicated. AND that Harry finally appreciated all he'd done and that it had been hard. Albus Severus.

And the fact that Snape and Lily's friendship began BEFORE they ever went to Hogwarts was really unexpected.

I found the epilogue a little sickening, but I liked little Al.

I loved all the ordinary people who were out of the fight being randomly caught up in things and hurt. The "wandless" in Diagon Alley, the awful Ministry hearings. The weight of governmental apparatus turned on the populace.

The wicked body count, and NEVILLE and Dobby, who I didn't like made me cry. But Lupin and Tonks BOTH right after they'd had a baby. They were given short shrift because of the narrative, but it was still awful. Fred.

I loved the Krull-like moving camp every day and how Dumbledore's lighter helped Ron find them again. There was quite a lot of clever magical logic in this one. Good on her. That's good world-building. And how intricately she set it up over many books. All the wand-magic info was really cool.

And SERIOUSLY the SNAKE inside Bathilda Bagshot's dead body was ICKY. And the crying flayed baby under the seats and King's Cross. There is wonderful horror in this.
Jul. 22nd, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
I thought it was marvelous, for the most part, and true to the essence of the story that she was trying to tell. However, it was obvious to me at quite a few key points that she was clearly saying to her fandom, "No. This is the way it is."

I don't actually have a problem with that, though, because it was/is her story to tell.

Besides, people will still do what they want.

One of the things I most pleased with was the House Elf subplot, which I loathed throughout the book, in a kind of 'what is the point of this?' way. I think she requited its inclusion -- making me cry over the death of Dobby (whom I disliked) -- showed me what a deft hand she had in this book.

Things were a lot more grey in this book: Heroic figures not as pure; villains revealed as foolish aside from evil. I really think she did a marvelous job.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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