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Deathly Hallows

July 22nd, 2007 (01:43 am)
exhausted

current location: London
current mood: exhausted

Having stalwartly resisted reading the 'Carpet Book' (if by resisted, one means seeing how difficult the images were and thinking 'fuck that noise') I got my greedy little hands on a copy of the new Harry Potter at 12.30 last night...

The Good
  1. Molly Weasley does Ripley from Aliens.  No words.  Easily one of the best moments of the book for me.
  2. Hardcore!Neville.  Oh how I love him - I want to make Neville my drinking buddy, and cuddle him inappropriately as we become increasingly more sozzled.
  3. Harry telling off Lupin.  I love Lupin, but that was so well deserved.  I wanted to pat my boy on the back.
  4. The whole infiltrating the Ministry/registration of Muggle-borns passage.  This was genuinely creepy, and I liked that Rowling didn't pull any punches with it.  Well done.  Indeed the whole Muggleborn/halfblood prejudice finally felt threatening in this book (in earlier ones, to me at least, it had always felt rather too abstract).
  5. The escape from Gringotts.  They blew it up!  With a dragon!  Awesome
  6. The Battle of Hogwarts.  Such a brilliantly written scene, and incredibly well put together -  so many wonderful moments and images coming together in that moment.  Brilliant.
  7. Ron killing H/Hr with a Big Fuck Off Sword (and the whole scene where Harry and Ron get the sword was pretty damn cool).
  8. Hermione going to hug Ginny after the Battle - made my friend-shipping heart jump for joy.
  9. Luna's wall painting.  Aww, Luna. (And Luna/Dean!)
  10. Dobby's dead!  (Yes, I know, I am evil incarnate, but I hated Dobby with an irrational passion.  Just a pity Hagrid wasn't knocked off too).
  11. Auntie Muriel...was special!
  12. Aberforth Dumbledore, really didn't disappoint.  I cackled at some of his lines, especially as I felt he was the Voice of the Sceptical Reader.
  13. That weird flayed baby thing in the scene with Harry and Dumbledore.  Cree-py
  14. Minerva McGonagall kicks ASS!  Duelling Voldemort - sending the school desks off on a desperate charge - defending Harry to the death.  I loves her HARD.
  15. The Ron/Hermione kiss.  Perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  Had I not been rushing on to the conclusion I would have taken a long, long time to savour that.
  16. Krum was funny.  I didn't know Krum could be funny.
  17. Voldemort actually got a clue at last, and started acting like a proper Dark Lord.  (except for that unforgivable moment when he thought about the location of the Horcruxes.  I wanted to slap him - 'Dude!  The brat can see into your mind.  Think about it!')
  18. Scrimgeour.  I cant help it - I know I'm supposed to hate him, but I love how much of a dick he is.
  19. 'You look much tastier than Crabbe, Harry.'  I loved the Harry/Hermione relationship in this book so much.  I could really sense the love each had for the other, and it was really beautiful.  I still think their kids would have fucked up hair, but I do understand now why someone might ship them (I'll always think they're best as pseudo-siblings, but I do get it now).
The Bad
  1. Holy Exposition Batman!  Dear God, it just never stopped.  There was just this relentless flood of information at us all the time - admittedly conveyed a little more elegantly than in Half-Blood Prince, but still.  I actually groaned when I realized we were going to get a Pensieve scene (because, I'm sorry, but the Pensieve sucks donkey balls).  And then there was the long scene between Dumbledore and Harry when I honestly wasn't sure I could stand any more - it was just being dumped on us.
  2. The final dialogue between Harry and Voldemort.  Holy God that was cheesy.  Just...bad.  Bad, bad, bad.
  3. Harry becoming disillusioned in Dumbledore.  Not that the idea (that Dumbledore had a dark past) wasn't interesting, but I couldn't help but feel that we'd been there before, with James and Sirius in OotP - so I knew that, sooner or later, he'd accept any failings and love Dumbledore anyway, which kind of sucked the drama out of the whole thing.
  4. Where the Inferi?  I was so looking forward to seeing Zombies!
The Ugly
To be honest, I only have one here, but man, it annoyed me.  It's possible I may become ranty, or even wanky, in the next few sentences, so apologies for that.

The Lily and Ginny plotlines were appalling.  I never thought Rowling could inspire my feminist rage, but she really managed it here.

First of all - the big secret about Lily, the huge thing we've been waiting all this time to hear, that's been built up for so long, is that Snape was in love with her!  So, in effect, the huge secret about Lily is actually a huge secret about Snape.  We finish this book knowing no more about Lily than we did at the beginning.  We know more about Petunia than we do about Lily!  And to add insult to injury, when she does reappear, at the end of the book escorting Harry to his 'death' she doesn't even say anything!

And then there's Ginny.  Let's get one thing straight, I'm a hardcore Ginny lover.  She's one of my favourite characters, up there with Harry and Hermione and Sirius and Ron.  I adore her.  But her arc in this book was dreadful.  She's shunted off to the beginning and the end of the book - which I could have lived with, I suppose, had it not been that her entire plot-line consisted of not being allowed to do things.   I thought, from the previous books and Rowling's interviews, that Ginny was supposed to be a powerful, kickass, dangerous witch.  In this book however she does precisely nothing.  What made it even more infuriating however was that Rowling set up the opportunity for Ginny to play some kind of role (say something on a par with Luna or Neville, which would have been fitting really) in the last Battle perfectly, and then did nothing with it.  (Neville destroys a Horcrux, Luna helps save Harry, Hermione and Ron from Dementors, and Ginny waits in the Room of Requirement!  I mean, really.)

In the end both Lily and Ginny were reduced to being accessories to male characters - James, Snape and Harry.  Whatever agency or importance they might have had for themselves is never mentioned in the narrative - they play no part in the narrative themselves but only through the feelings they inspire in men.  It left a very bad taste in my mouth to be honest, and I had expected much better.

Fic-wise
I didn't get Jossed!

Well, I did, sort of - Lily's letter to Sirius puts them in a slightly different situation than I had envisaged in A Lost Generation, and Lily's relationship with Snape will make a certain scene rather odd (in Chapter 18), and I think this pretty much confirms that Snape only became a double-agent long after I'd written him as one, but these are details really.  Emotionally, everything I wrote in A Lost Generation still leads into canon about as well as it did before.

And Ginny and Hermione are friends!  (Well, I always knew they were, but...)  And you just know Hermione stayed back to comfort Ginny when Harry thought she might be crying, in the Burrow.  And then there was the post-Battle hug.  And who do you think was the first person Hermione told about her kiss with Ron?

(I know I'm probably the only person who cares that much about Ginny and Hermione's friendship, but what can I say)
There isn't any opportunity for a full-length sequel to The Best Ship of All unfortunately (there just isn't <i>anywhere</i> in the book I can really use) but I do foresee a number of extended one-shots instead.  (If anyone can think of a time between the Burrow and the Battle when Ginny and Hermione might have...corresponded, please let me know, because I might be able to come up with something <i>short</i> then.  I'd need some kind of bridging point to give shape to it).



So, in the end, Deathly Hallows isn't my favourite.  That will always be split among PoA, OotP and HBP.  But I like it as much as GoF and more than CoS.  (And a lot more than PS, but then I tend to think PS is really, really lousy, so that isn't exactly a surprise).

Comments

Posted by: Caroline (gryffindor1475)
Posted at: July 23rd, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)

Great icon! that was an awesome scene in the book!

I agree with most of your comments. But, I liked the scene between Dumbledore and Harry.

The Battle at Hogwarts rocked!

Posted by: Emily (pokie4389)
Posted at: July 24th, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
like a dream (h/g or l/j)

I agree with most everything you wrote! I was really disappointed in how little JKR used Ginny. Especially when she had all these things going for her.. being the only daughter, the seventh child, etc. I thought she might have done more than try to steal Gryffindor's sword.

And then Lily, she has ALWAYS been minimized! Remember in GOF when she comes out of Voldemort's wand all she says is "Your father's coming, he wants to talk to you" or some rubbish.

I also liked how much more real and frightening the blood prejudices were in this book. Some reviews I've read so far hated the "WW2" references but I feel as if those references are to be expected when your dealing with such outrageous prejudices.

I'm glad you'll continue writing stories in this fandom... some people are stopping for some reason that I can't fathom, haha.

Posted by: siriusrocks18 (siriusrocks18)
Posted at: July 24th, 2007 05:52 am (UTC)
hi

hi! i'm here through jenadamson's journal. you don't know me but i've been following your stories (left behind and the best ship of all) and i think you've got a pretty solid grasp of HP characters - especially ginny, who is one of my three favorite characters (the other 2 being harry and sirius).

i thought i'd leave a comment on your Dh review because i think it is spot on. i agree with your view of how the characters of lily and ginny were treated. i was quite dissatisfied with their story arcs as well, and while i enjoyed the book, i couldn't help but feel somewhat cheated after reading it.

i expected so much more, especially in ginny's case. it's a rich, complex character and more should've been done with her story. not just in terms of her relationship with harry but also (and more, actually) about her own journey, her own fight. i would have loved seeing her in action with neville and luna (i wish we found out about their activities not through the grapevine, but through some form of real communication with the trio, since the whole story's told from their point of view). we didn't get to see the tough, powerful witch she is. we didn't get to see that girl who told harry off in OotP.

i really really wish we did.

anyway, i'm going to have to rely on fanfic for that now. it's a comfort there's a number of writers out there, like you, who can give us the ginny we know and love.

so thanks for sharing your thoughts, and i'm looking forward to reading more from you!


take care.

theresa

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