Sunday, July 22, 2007

Book Discussion


If you have already read the book and ARE DYING to talk about it: reply in the comments. If you're not finished--don't read the comments!

Let us begin!!


Birdwell said...

I loved how when the book began it was confirmed that Snape was evil--but then at the end--NOPE he was good all along!

I liked learning more of Dumbledore's history. It was shocking that he wasn't always saintly, but it made him more real. The fact that Grindelwald and he were once best friends is very interesting and tragic. As was his family history.

Dumbledore did tarnish himself in The Prince's Tale chapter--I was shocked. I liked how Snape rebuked the Headmaster, So you are basically raising him for slaughter then? (paraphrasing)

Also Fallen Warrior had me sobbing--you KNEW someone was going to die, but you didn't know WHO (at first I thought it was Hagrid). I felt as if I was with the characters looking up into the sky to see who wouldn't be coming back. Wasn't it GHASTLY that Umbridge has Mad-Eyes EYEBALL on her door. EEW.

I LOVED Draco's turn around--granted he didn't up and join the Order, but the fact that he DID NOT betray the Trio. Sure Draco did try to kill them again in the RoR, but he didn't seem to really have his heart in to it--Crabbe and Goyle seemed more murderous. I also loved how Narcissa saved Harry, by lying for him while he faked being dead. Sure it was all for Draco--but still!

The epilogue was neat, although I did wish for more info on the others. And what was Ginny and Harry's career? I had wished for more info on are backstories--but now there's nothing stopping JK from telling us stuff right?

Thoughts? Whose death made you cry the most? For me it was Harry--even though he didn't techincally die. His march into supposed death, the curse, and the "way station" I was sobbing.

I had bought tissues when I bought my book--I am glad I did.

What was YOUR favourite part? Anything that disappointed you?

Janet said...

I cried when Hedwig was killed. I am a softy for pets.
I did enjoy the scene w/Dudley saying good bye. Harry's line of "What did the dementor's do to you?" was priceless. Exact quotes not possible as DH is now reading the book.

Anyway the ending was kind of difficult as I ended up reading the last 3 chaps. twice just so I wouldn't miss something.

I did find that the patronuses being similar very odd. Stag/doe. Also Snape's pensieve answered a lot!!!

What took Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermoinie so long to start having kids? So they were 25 but what before then?

Treesh said...

I too cried when Hedwig was killed.

So I have a few questions about the ending. What was that thing that was in King's Cross? Was that the piece of Voldemort that was in Harry tat died when Voldemort hit Harry with the curse?

I was pleased that Neville stood up to Voldemort and that the Gryffindor sword came out of the Sorting Hat, just like it did for Harry. But then, does the Gryffindor sword have a mind of its own. It was last in the possession of the goblin after the raid on Gringotts so it wasn't at Hogwarts. Did it just magically come into the Sorting Hat?

I wish I knew what happened to Luna - nothing about her in the epilogue.

I don't own the books, so I can't look this one up. Did we already know that Lily's patronus was a doe? I wondered about that when I saw the doe. But then Harry didn't say anything to indicate that he though it was his mum's patronus. So did Snape had the same patronus because he loved Lily? (Like Tonks changing her patronus because she loved Lupin?)

I was sure sad when Fred and Lupin and Tonks all died. I wondered how George would carry on with the joke shop without Fred.

Finding out more about Dumbledore was interesting. He did have his flaws. I did want Snape to turn out to be good in the end, but I still don't like the way he treated Harry all those previous years.

I thought she tied up loose ends fairly well.

I'm now thinking of re-reading the whole series again. But I do think I need to actually buy all the books so I have them all at hand to look things up.

Birdwell said...

A good source of all things Harry Potter is It's GOT EVERYTHING from the books, from JKR interviews, and supplementary books. They work in a pinch if you need to look up something about a character or event.

Well like Dumbledore said in Snape's memories...the only proper way to receive Gryffindor's sword is to earn it, you must do a heroic deed...and the sorting hat is a known conduit.

I think that thing at Kings Cross was the bit of Voldemort's soul. Ick.

I am sure it's going to be very hard for George for quite sometime. Losing a twin must be horrible! I am hoping that Lee Jordan becomes a partner of the shop. I am wondering if JKR left so many unanswered questions in the epi to allow for tons of fan fic... I truly hope Umbridge got herself a cell in Azkaban.

I also wonder what happened to Lupin and Tonk's son--is he living Ton's Mum? I hate that they BOTH had to die.

What did y'all think of Lupin wanting out of his marriage and son? Did you think Harry was over reacting when he called Lupin out on it?

Treesh said...

I think that Tonks son must be living with Tonks mum. But apparently he spends LOTs of time with Harry's family. So was he snogging Bill's and Fleur's daughter? I figured that's who Victoire was.

Lynn said...

Where to start?
I was sad when Hedwig died, but think JKR did that for ease in the rest of the book. It wouldn't be that easy to be on the run with a snowy owl, after all.

I thought it was interesting that Ron bailed on them but then really redeemed himself by going down in the Secret Chamber to get the basilisk tooth/venom.

I was surprised it took so long for Ron and Hermie to actually kiss.

When Harry 'died' and was talking to Dumbledore all I could think about was the Matrix. The white room Neo was in..

I knew one of the twins would have to die, and I felt so much for Mrs Weasley. Loved the 'Get away from her you bitch!' or whatever the exact quote was. DH, as others have mentioned, has it now!

I'm not sure really how I feel about the ending. I felt it was unresolved without a real confrontation with Harry and Snape. His memories were quite revealing though.

JKR mentioned that she gave a character a reprieve but killed two in that persons place. I'm guessing one of the trio was going to die, but instead she killed Tonks and Lupin. It's better that both went, since I can't imagine one surviving without the other. Teddy will have Harry to help him in his life with grief and such.

Wow. This book causes rambling..

Lynn said...

Thanks Birdwell!
I found the quote I wanted at the Lexicon.

JKR: “The final chapter is hidden away, although it has now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve, but I have to say two [main characters] die that I didn't intend to die.” [link to source]

EnnaVic said...

I didn't cry at Hedwig - but Dobby? that really upset me. I had 2 characters I wanted to survive and Dobby was one of them. (Hagrid was the other).

Taking one of the twins was also really sad - I knew a Weasley or 2 would die, but thought (hoped) it would be Percy. Lupin and Tonks going together made sense to me - but was hard having the baby left behind. Very similar to Harry's circumstances esp with godfathers etc. I also liked the epilogue and loved the names of Harry's son with Lily's eyes, and Harry's comment about it. I am glad Snape turned out to be on the good side - I thought he would but that it might be for more selfish reasons.

It was a good read overall, but I need time to absorb it and re-read it before I could critique it fairly.

Birdwell said...

Lynn, YES--I forgot--I totally wanted a confrontation between Snape and Harry--the pensieve didn't prove any sort of release I think. Maybe I wanted Snape to apologize for treating Harry so unfairly--perhaps really understand what sort of life/upbringing Harry actually had. Snape never saw Harry; I think he only saw James--and at times Lily in Harry's eyes.

We know Harry forgave Snape--but we didn't get to see/experience it.

I'm still trying to get my head around Snape's love/obsession with Lily. I expected it. But how do I interpret it? The fact that Snape's life revolved around Lily, i.e. the choices me made. Or was it different? I think I need to seriously re-read that Snape chapter.

Gosh--I wish JKR would write a prequel. I want to know about Harry's family and Snape. I want a Dumbledore book! What exactly are the 12 uses for dragon's blood?

Just A Knit Wit said...

I loved the book. I absolutely loved it.

I bawled when Dobby died and Harry hand-dug his grave, then everyone gave him clothes to wear. Even now it makes me get a bit weepy.

I wasn't at all surprised when Ron abandoned Harry. I really expected him to die in the book, but I'm glad she didn't kill him off. It would have been a touch cliche.

See, now I loved the fact that there was no big confrontation between Harry and Snape. Harry had grown past the need to rage and stamp and yell. Just the fact that when he sees Snape killed he is disgusted with the way it's done shows how much he's grown. Though he still believes Snape a murderer he goes to him so that he doesn't die alone. And the memories! I loved them. It explained so much. And his last words "Look at me." He wanted to see Lily's eyes one last time before dying.

I don't think he was obsessed with Lily. He loved her. She chose someone else but he still loved her. He tried to save her and when he couldn't he devoted his life to protecting Harry to make amends.

I'm glad that there wasn't a big magical duel between Voldemort and Harry at the end. I was worried she might go that route and it would have been far too much of a stretch. Harry just doesn't have that sort of power or control. And I loved that he called him Riddle.

And yay for Neville! When everyone else is grieving Harry, lost without their hope, Neville alone steps forward to continue to fight.

I'm listening to the book on CD right now, which I always seems to get more out of than reading, cause I can't listen faster or hurry him along in his reading.

Jo said...


What a book!

I don't think I'll be able to say everything I want to say about it in one comment, but here goes.

I was so sad when Dobby died. And Harry dug the grave. But when Ron took off his socks, it destroyed me.

I was so glad that Harry was saved by Ron and that he got Griffindor's sword. Ron needed that and certainly Harry needed saving at the time. I'm sure if he had ever put an extremity in icy water, he never would have gone after the sword.

Once things started going wrong at Gringotts, it was an almost out-of-control tobboggan ride to the end.

Getting the baselisk fangs was inspired.

Once Luna told Harry about the diadem, I knew instantly what and where it was, and I kept waiting for Harry to figure it out.

Luna was wonderful, and Neville was magnificent! The instant Voldemort put the sorting hat on his head, I KNEW what Neville was going to do! But didn't we all?

I loved that Harry explained to Voldemort where his reasoning had gone wrong. I knew some of what he explained, but I had missed a couple of points. This made it very clear.

I was upset that Harry had used some of the unforgivable curses along the way, but I was so happy that in the end, he used expelarmous, and Riddle killed himself with his own curse.

I would have liked to have found out what happened to Luna and Neville.

I LOVED the book!

Jo said...

Oh, and... I was especially pleased that Harry got the Weaslys as his real family, and that he then created his own family with Ginny. And that Hermionie became a Weasley, too.

Donna said...

I was a little slower than the rest reading the book. I had to work all day Saturday, then had church twice on Sunday, but here goes.

It was horrible when Hedwig died. I understand why now, but it was awful then it happened. Then, Moody a few pages later.

I knew Ron has always been in Harry's shadow and was bound to leave a some point but loved the way JK brought him back.

I really didn't like the whole section with the goblin.

Still rolling around all the things we found out about Snape. The things about Dumbledore didn't shock me as much, but I have disliked Snape for so long, then to see the reasons for his behavior.

I LOVED the way she wrote the epilogue at the end. I was so afraid she was going to end the story at the end of the battle. I do wonder who's the Headmaster at the school now and about the legal status of the centaurs and other non magic creatures.

Do you all think the Malfoys have changed their ways?

Overall, I LOVED the book!!! I would absolutely love another story between book 7 and the epilogue.

Janet said...

JO- Neville goes on to teach Herbology at Hogwarts. "Give Professor Longbottom our love." Malfoy also was at the train saying goodbye to his youth. And what did happen to Luna? Where is Kreacher too? And Dudley?

I totally missed the part where Ron gave Dobby his socks. And am very glad that Harry finally grew up in this book. When the Dementor's attempted to "kiss Dudley" in the OTP did he see himself tormenting Harry and was remorseful and that is why Dudley was concerned about Harry leaving? Snape's memory explains a lot about Aunt Petunia's actions.
I also didn't like how history repeats itself in that Tonks and Lupin's son is left behind in the care of Grandma. To much like Neville. I really loved Neville's Grandma. That is one gutsy old lady.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this book. I can't believe J. K. actually thought some people would loathe it- it's my new favorite. :D

I think my favorite parts are when the trio infiltrate the Death Eater-controlled Ministry and when they arrive back at Hogwarts and all the teachers and students (besides Slytherin) band together to fight the Death Eaters. The only part of the book I didn't like was the period where Ron was gone. That felt awful! His saving Harry's life was another of my favorite moments.

I didn't really feel much for Hedwig, somehow. I couldn't believe that Harry dropped the broom Sirius had given him and never thought about it again. Kind of unbelievable, but maybe he was focused on bigger things at that point.

I liked how Kreacher became their friend after Hermione got through to Harry about why Kreacher was faithful to evil twits like Bellatrix.

I also liked the escape from the Malfoys'. That whole part was really good I thought. It looked a bit serious for the trio at that point.

I didn't like Aberforth too much. Too gruff. Kind of an anti-Albus. Hmph. I wasn't crazy about how Harry was forced to question Dumbledore throughout the book, but I did like Dumbledore's explanation at the end. I thought that part was really satisfying. I noticed something about Dumbledore's portrait: didn't it seem to give too much advice? I thought they couldn't really do that, they were just "imprints of the souls". Hmm.

I liked the Hallows vs. Horcuxes thing. I was proud of Harry for trusting Dumbledore enough to choose Horcruxes over Hallows when he was pressed for time.

I was impressed with Neville, but horrified at how Hogwarts ended up under the Carrows' control. I was surprised at how many things I was right about in this book: I knew Snape was good, I was expecting that he had loved Lily, I suspected towards the end that Tonks and Lupin were both going to die. I also had hope that even though Harry was convinced he had to die, that because he sacrificed himself he wouldn't die. (Couldn't believe I was right about that one...) These weren't my ideas of course, ones I heard others express. I wonder how they realized these things would happen! Haha.

Hmm. I don't know about that epilogue...not very well developed. We all knew Neville would teach Herbology!! :D

Jo said...

Yeah, I got that Neville was teaching herbology at Hogwarts, but that doesn't tell much. Did he find the right person and get married? I'm sure he likes teaching, but it takes more than that to make a full life.

I'm rereading the last third of the book, then I'll probably reread them all.

This book proved that I picked the right house with Ravenclaw. I moved into a new apartment last December and haven't finished decorating the living room, but it already looks a lot like the Ravenclaw common room. I fell in love with that room after reading the description!

Miss Scarlett said...

Oh goodness. What else to say?

This is by far my favourite book.
Finally, Harry grows up. I was having a very hard time with him when he was doubting Dumbledore. Surely even great people make mistakes? was what I was thinking and nearly deliriously frustrated that Harry could not see that.

Oh, oh, oh. I was heartbroken when Dobby died. And then Fred. Those laughing, light hearted twins to be seperated for so long. I was glad that he got to be reunited with Percy before the end, but it was little comfort. Boy we had to wait a long time for Percy's return!

The saddest for me was Snape's memories. The heartbreak and loneliness he endured for all his life! Always misunderstood. How perfectly dreadful. Yet somehow I missed what was behind this: And his last words "Look at me." He wanted to see Lily's eyes one last time before dying.
I was always sure that he loved Lily and still I missed the significance of that - thank you Just a Knit Wit.
That chapter had me crying and crying.

Then Tonks and Lupin both. And Collin Creevey.

I studiously avoided all spoilers on and offline all these years - still predicted: Harry was the 7th Horcrux, he would survive (though sometimes I doubted...)Snape was good, good, good and loved Lily, Dumbledore was not finished as a main character though he was dead, sympathy for Malfoy would be significant to Harry's survival (rather like Bilbo Baggins and Gollum that){do any of us think Narcissa would have lied if Harry told her Draco was dead?}, Dumbledore's brother would be revealed and be a player in the conclusion, Kreacher would be redeemed and the tiara on the dummy was going to be important -- that last one, I have no idea why but when it was mentioned it really stuck with me and came back as soon as first Fleur's and then Xeno's tiaras were mentioned, weird hey?

There could be more but I was awake most of the night reading. I didn't get home from holiday until very early Monday morning and had to finish reading before I go back to work tomorrow.

I am going to go and re-read the last few chapters.

Like most of you I really wanted a conculsion for Luna. Now I have to fight the desire for JKR to write more, anything about this magical world. It makes me a little queasy with sadness to think it is all finished though. Sigh.
Oh and thanks to Treesh - that makes the most sense that Victoire was Bill and Fleur's daughter, didn't even think about it!

I was wondering this too: 'What took Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermoinie so long to start having kids? So they were 25 but what before then?'

Any theories??

Nicole said...

I cried when Hedwig died too but was unmoved when moody died. everyone else that died made me burst out in angiush, thank go I had the house to myself. I was convinced that Harry had died,I was so happy that he didn't. I LOVED Neville's character, he was deffinatly the most changed. The last sentence was kind of stupid but still the entire book was AWSOME!!!

Ann said...

I've really enjoyed reading everyone's comments. I've been dying to discuss the book since finishing it Sunday night, but no one I know in non-cyberspace has finished it yet.(EM!!!)
I cried up a storm when Harry buried Dobby. And when Ron put his socks on him and Dean put his hat on him. Killing Dobby was quite harsh.
I was also disappointed that both Tonks and Lupin were killed. That only leaves Teddy with his grandmother - and Harry. When Harry was looking over the dead bodies of Fred, TOnks, Lupin, and Colin, that's when the tears really started rolling.
I loved that Neville had a big part in the finishing of Voldemort. I wish he had had a part in Bellatrix's demise. But I did love Molly's fight with her.
The last chapter was just a bit to happy ending for me. Their ages at having kids is fine with me - I had my first at 30. I, too, would like to know what happened to Luna.
I would have liked Victor Krum to have been in the final Battle.
The goblins bothered me. They really didn't seem to have much redeeming qualities. Also wish that more Slytherins had been helping out in the final battle.
Look forward to rereading it.

knitwhit said...

Let's see... So many points to cover...

1) I loved how we found out what the Hallows were, and how they were found. I also was fascinated that Harry & Voldemort were related, altho that's too be expected in the old wizarding families.

2) I also liked the maturity shown by Harry.

3) I couldn't understand why Ron left. It didn't make sense, really, except to have him come back to save Harry.

4) I liked how their treatment of Kreacher changed his behavior.

5) I thought some of the deaths didn't seem necessary. And who were some of the other "fifty or so" who died during the battle.

6) Hagrid and the acramantula's, and thinking Hagrid had been killed.

7) I never thought that Harry would be the 7th Horcrux - boy, was I wrong!

8) Mention of Aberforth in the previous books made him sound like a complete idiot, barely capable of speech. As we saw in Deathly Hallows, that's obviously not true.

9) I'm glad she included an epilogue, but it seemed to leave out more than it answered. What do they do for a living? Do Harry & Ginny live in Grimauld Place? Who did Malfoy marry? What happened to some of the death eaters after the battle? Why did Ron need to get a driver's license? I was disappointed that students at Hogwarts were sorted in different houses. I also thought Victoire was Bill & Fleur's daughter.

Birdwell said...

JKR did an interview with the Today and she said that she'll probably write an Encylopedia with all the stuff she wrote as back story and such. HOPEFULLY all the rest of the questions we're dying to know are there. She said it would be a while--as she is taking a bit of a break.

As for why Harry and Ginny waited till they were 25 to have kids....I'd love to know too--but I am assumming perhaps they had to finish school/got careers and they dated...took it slow, then enjoyed each other for a bit before having kids.

I wonder if the Trio got full automatic NEWTS since they took down Voldemort....

Oh here's the article with JKR.

Although I think it is also fun to imagine for ourselves the missing bits. Definitely fodder for all of us that write.

Janet said...

I so have to re read the book now. I totally missed the parts about giving Dobby clothes and that Harry and Voldemort were related.

I really teared up when Hermoinie told the tale about what she did to her parents to secure their safety. Erasing their memories and sending them to Australia w/no knowledge that they ever had a daughter.

Also Sybil(Professor Trelawleny) really pulled through w/her uses of crystal balls.

Very interesting the story about Lady Gray and the Bloody Baron. I really was under the impression that a person had to die on premises to be a ghost at Hogwart's.