BOOK NOTES #2 : Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a book that I had not intended to re-read. It’s not that I thought negatively of it (hardly the case). It’s just that I simply lost interest in the series. Personally, it’s hard for me to sustain and maintain a fervent interest for a series once it has finished. There are no more books to look forward to, no novelty to feed the hunger of curiosity. When Harry Potter concluded, I simply accepted the end of a wonderful series, and moved on. I still thought fondly of the story from time to time, but it was no longer an active interest. New books caught my attention, new TV shows and period dramas distracted me when I should have been concentrating on other things (like working that short story that I had been saying that I would write since January). Life went on.

Enter my roommate, whom I shall fondly refer to as HRH. Long story short, she inadvertently re-introduced me to the series, which led me to re-read Deathly Hallows, which led me to remember all the fond memories I had associated with the series, and why I fell in love with it in the first place.

As silly as this sounds, I think it’s appropriate that my return to Harry Potter began at the end. Deathly Hallows, I realized, is such a nostalgic book. Not only does it conclude an amazing and wonderful series that was such a significant fixture of my adolescence, it looks back at seven (book) years of memories, both good and bad, that are remembered and cherished by Harry, Ron, Hermione, and all the other characters. And often, the references to previous events in previous books are subtle, off-hand, as if Rowling had intended them to be a sort of inside joke, a sly wink, a secret little present for readers who have, as she put it, “stuck with Harry until the very end.” To have come to the end, and to all this remembering, after three years of forgetting was pretty darn poignant. I think I felt more overwhelmed by the profound mixture of sadness and gladness this time around, than I did when I first finished the book, and closed the covers with a loaded sigh.

I wish I could be more specific, and present to you guys a more detailed idea of how I reacted to the book — and some actual quotes and excerpts from the book, hellooo — but this was one of the books that got away with not being, er, “tracked” by my reading journal. I’ll remember to faithfully journal on my next re-read. But in the meantime, all I have to offer is … the above paragraph. Haha.

I’m quite sure that I’m not the only Harry Potter fan out there, much more in my social circle, so please speak up and leave comments! What were your reactions to the book, the closing of the series? How did you feel when you finished the book for the first time?

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5 thoughts on “BOOK NOTES #2 : Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling”

  1. to be honest, i think my most predominant feeling after finishing the 7th book was relief. i was glad that the series was finally over and i could have closure haha. not that i didn’t enjoy the harry potter series. i faithfully bought each book as it first came out and stayed up all night reading them. but after six books and several years later, i just wanted to know how rowling was going to end the thing. i did feel some nostalgia because the books spanned through my middle school, high school and beginning of my college years so it’s been with me (and millions of other people) for a while.
    also, i was a bit disappointed in the ending, particularly the “flash forward” which i thought a bit trite.

    1. Haha, I can understand that. After going through so much, it just feels GOOD having all loose ends tied up.

      I actually liked the epilogue. Yeah, it was sort of cheesy, but I’m the type of reader who after finishing a book ponders about what characters would do and act like 10, 20, 30 years down the line. And likewise, what they were like growing up, etc. Perhaps I care about them too much, lol.

    2. The seventh book really made the series for me. I’d held on through the difficult and stressful 5th and 6th books, and I needed to see Harry finally get a happy ending or some peace at the very least. Closing the book, I’d felt happy if only because Harry had made it through; he didn’t have to be sacrificed for the ultimate evil to be defeated. That’s the way it should be. Though often worthy, martyrdom tinges victory with sorrow. I’ll admit it was difficult to get through seven. They did an awful lot of wandering around in the forest and too much waffling between horcruxes and hallows. But once I got to the end, I got the peace that I’d so sorely needed as a lover of the series.

      I did have mixed feelings about a few things though. I thought the epilogue was a bit fan-servicey, but I was okay with that given she didn’t really have time for a better one. I maintain that Hedwig and Dobby didn’t have to die; the ending was hard won enough without them dying. I especially thought the message behind Hedwig’s death was contradictory. The idea was that Harry had to lose everything dear so he could face Voldemort alone, but throughout the books he got in trouble for not relying outside help. Harry didn’t have to go it alone, and I think Hedwig’s death was out of convenience.

      1. Closing the book, I’d felt happy if only because Harry had made it through; he didn’t have to be sacrificed for the ultimate evil to be defeated.
        Definitely with you on that.

        I thought the epilogue was a bit fan-servicey
        True. But I still liked it. I thought it neat to see the second generation. Brings the story full circle, you know?

        Harry didn’t have to go it alone, and I think Hedwig’s death was out of convenience.
        I think Harry did have to do it alone, at least for the sake of sustaining the intensity of the scene. Isolating Harry from those he loves brings focus exclusively to him and Voldemort.

        All the same, I WAS sad when Hedwig died. And the fact that Harry never really had time to mourn her death made me all the more sad.

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