FOR YOUR MUGGLE READING PLEASURE, THIS POST IS SPOILER-FREE.
So the tale of Harry Potter comes to an end in The Deathly Hallow, with over 750 pages worth of reading. Let me say this, I never thought Rowling was a great writer; she had a great idea but not the best of writing to back it up. That being said, I should keep in mind her stories were designed to appeal to younger sensibilities. Nevertheless, The Deathly Hallows is the most mature in the series. From occasional curse words to love triangles to complex plots that flew over my head at 90 km/h.
Yes, my problem was really with the unnecessary complexity of the plot. This is a book that sought to make sense not only of every plot in the past but also the current plot that unfolds within the current one. It’s a difficult task and Rowling did an alright job. It would’ve been easier to just continue the original story without having to mix a whole other subplot to the mix. But the one thing that always turned me off about the Potter books was the constant questioning. Harry will constantly go on for ages just asking question after question in his head and it’s really just a technique used to keep the reader in tune. But really, does Harry need to go on a mental question rampage for some two whole pages?
What’s more, there is nothing subtle about some of the things Rowling wants to reveal or even emphasize and it gets to a point where I’m mentally screaming “HEY! I GET IT ALREADY! MOVE ON WUD’YEH?!”
But back to the story…
Regardless of my quarrels with the writing, the series has always been a compelling one, managing to keep millions of readers awake all night turning the pages to find out what happens next. This book is no different regardless of its length.
Upon finishing I really didn’t feel entirely satisfied. I think it’s because of that sensation you get when you watch a movie and you know they’re setting it up for a sequel. The author really couldn’t let go of her characters and even the epilogue had a ‘to be continued’ feeling to it.
In Lord of the Rings fashion, this final chapter in the series is more of a character struggle than a character discovering him or herself. Harry struggles with confusion, with themes of good and evil, courage and cowardice, knowledge and power, etc.
Don’t get me wrong though, I did enjoy the book regardless of its predictable ending, regardless of its length, writing, redundancy and recycled themes. I have to admit, it didn’t quite feel the same that the story didn’t have Potter and his friends returning to Hogwarts and unraveling a mystery, but instead going off to fight a war.
Do I really think this is the last one?
Well Sir Arthur Conan Doyle retired the Sherlock Holmes series with a great splash because he wanted to go back to his practice, but sure enough Sherlock and Watson reappeared years later. Potter may just as well sink to the bottom of the time capsule that defined the last decade, but I expect with more and more of its movies coming out, the Potter-demand will not go away easily and only make it harder for Rowling to stay away from her word processor.
But for now….an ode to the Harry Potter series…and that whole magical world we escaped to for as long as we could.