Monday, July 23, 2007

I read Harry Potter in 11 hours and all I got was this stupid depression.

Unless you're mental do not continue if you have not read all seven Harry Potter books, there are loads of SPOILERS! below.

Look, I know this book was great. I REALLY enjoyed reading it while I was in the act of reading. I have never set a book down to take a deep breath so many times. I had to tell myself, "It's okay, Ron's not dead...he has to make it to the part with the treasure," about thirteen times before I could pick it up again at one point. I know that there are some moments that will make me squee upon every re-read and that I just haven't had the time to take in yet. Irregardless, finishing Deathly Hallows was rather hallow after all. I'm very glad Harry didn't die, but what stopped me in my tracks was that last title- NINETEEN YEARS LATER.

We have followed Harry step-by-step through seven years, and in a page turn we lost nineteen years. Even though I cried heavily when he was standing in that white mist and I thought Jo might actually have killed him, in a way it seems impossible that Harry will live on without us. Better than the alternative, but impossible and sad.

It's sad that we didnt' find out that much about how the trio ended up. It could be that Dumbledore's words about power forshadowed Harry would become Minister of Magic, but it was very subtle. All we really know is that they all finally became family for real, Harry forgave Snape and no one found a better way to get to Hogwarts than a train in nineteen years. In the end Harry got what we all get...a life.

In addition to the loss of leaving Harry his life beyond the page, this book held the loss of a mentor. Harry- probably inevitably- reached the point where the student surpasses the teacher. He became a better man than Dumbledore, stronger and more selfless. While it was nice to find out more about our mysterious headmaster, it also made him rather less mysterious. While in time the real Dumbledore with all of his faults will likely hold more value than the infallible man we knew before, it's hard to take him down from that pedestal. He used the wand that Harry gave up, he sought power over more than just evil and he allowed himself to die when Harry needed him because of desire to wield power over death. Believing that Dumbledore selflessly planned his death preserved his invincibility. It takes some getting used to...this flawed Dumbledore. Harry, on the other hand, seemed to be able to handle this news well. All he wanted was the truth, he didn't care if it was a duller truth. Perhaps because he's always felt so flawed himself.

Ron and Hermione were amazing in this book. From the moment that they revealed the lengths they were willing to go to for Harry. Putting not only themselves, but their families in danger and wisking Harry to safety at the wedding. It is easy to say that they had to do it, as Harry did, to save the world, but I always felt they cared more about saving Harry than anything. Harry wanted to save everyone. Ron and Hermione wanted to save him. I've found that amazing. Yeah, Ron was a prat there in the middle, but not because he realized he was giving up too much for Harry.

You know, I have officially talked myself out of my funk regarding this book. I'm going home to start my re-read. Only one thing left to do...

Thanks Jo for writing and for Harry Potter. Cheers.

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