Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

January 13, 2016 Coming of Age, Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction 12

Greetings, Bookworms.

We’ve reached the final, darkest, and most emotionally draining installment of the Potter Binge (sponsored by the Estella Society), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You know it’s going to be intense immediately if you’re listening to the audio books, because the musical introduction changes from a jaunty tune to a rather creeptastic interlude. We’re tackling this in two installments because I simply cannot contain my commentary. There are SO MANY SPOILERS in this and all of my Potter Binge posts. DO NOT READ THEM until you’ve read the books. Just don’t do it. I’m gonna need some fire whiskey to deal with all these feelings, guys. Here goes nothing.

  • Of COURSE the Malfoys have Peacocks. Pretentious much?
  • Dudley brings home the shocker of the century. A heartfelt goodbye for Harry. (I’ll admit it. I get a little misty here.)
  • I really feel for Harry when everyone gets to see him in his underoos. I mean, he’s 17, that’s a terribly awkward time of life. E’erybody got a peek. Heck, they got to BE him. That’s unsettling in the extreme.
  • D’awwww why’d she have to kill off Hedwig? I mean, she wasn’t cuddly or anything, but she was the first real birthday present Harry ever got (beyond his first birthday, obvi. Sirius did hook him up with that killer toy broomstick.)
  • More hugs from Hagrid. HARRY NEEDS HUGS, GUYS!
  • And a Molly Weasley hug, thank heaven. Poor girl. Her whole family in mortal peril all the time!
  • Snape sectum sempra’d George’s ear. (By accident, we later learn, but still.) Ouch. But, leave it to George to make a terrible pun whilst injured.
  • The body count in this book. I can’t even. Mad Eye. Terrible shame.
  • The more I learn about “the trace” the more I wonder about this underage magic ban. It seems like a thoroughly empty threat to any child growing up in a magical family. It only detects magic performed nearby, so anything in the home would probably not even register. I had a conversation with a coworker (Hi, Kyle!) about how the Malfoys probably never policed Draco at home and how that’s completely unfair given that someone with Hermione or Harry’s living situation would have no opportunity to practice over the holidays. I wonder if potion making counts as magic? Or only magic performed with a wand? What’s traceable?
  • Molly gave Harry her brother’s coming of age wizard watch. In case you didn’t realize Fabian and Gideon Pruett (two members of the original Order of the Phoenix bravely killed in action) were Molly’s brothers, now you know. That makes the gift extra special.
  • I love that British wizards still rock the wedding hat tradition. Bewitched birds add a certain panache to any occasion.
  • Bill and Fleur’s wedding sounds ridiculously gorgeous…
  • Until it’s crashed by the fall of the Ministry. RIP Scrimgeour. THE BODY COUNT.
  • Ron and Harry would have been so screwed without Hermione. That handbag of hers was a stroke of absolute genius. All the packing. All the books. All the everything. Hermione wins at life, as per usual.
  • Harry is terribly tactless with Lupin, but sheesh. I imagine fatherhood is terrifying for many, even without the whole werewolf and ministry persecution angle, but that’s still a crap reason to cut and run. I’m glad he has a change of heart.
  • Ugh. FIGURES Umbridge would end up with a horcrux as a friggin accessory. That woman. And stealing Mad Eye’s magical eye?! What the what? You’re grave robbing now? That’s just gross.
  • For as long as it takes the trio to discover and figure out how to destroy the locket, the last few horcruxes seem to present themselves and be dispatched with surprising ease.
  • RIP, Gregorovich. Body Count like whaaaaaaaat?
  • Man. The horcruxes are kind of like the RING. They make everyone all crazy like. You think Voldemort ever called a horcrux his “precious”? Probably. He was way too close to Nagini.
  • Ron suffers from a severe case of HANGRY. I can’t blame him. I suffer the same affliction.
  • I get so sad when the trio come upon the refugee muggle born campers. Ted Tonks. And Dean! He’s only a kid!
  • The bleakest part of the series has got to be Harry and Hermione wandering around aimlessly sans Ron.
  • Godric’s Hollow. So many emotions.
  • Um. A Bathilda suit? Gross move, Nagini. Ew. (But that’s another dead body, if you’re counting. And I am.)
  • Oh gosh, I’d forgotten about Harry’s busted wand. That suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.
  • Dude, Aberforth’s fascination with goats is… Troubling.
  • RON IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!
  • Aaaand you deserved Hermione’s pummeling, Ron. But she loves you, you ridiculous git.
  • The Lovegoods are rather into conspiracies for Ravenclaws, but, then again, we also apparently claim Sybil Trelawney. Stone cold pack of weirdos. Ravenclaw 4 Life!

Holy smokes. I’ve already cried several times and we’re not even to the REALLY rough part yet. It just hurts so good.

How you holding up, Bookworms? Have your insides been chewed up and spit out, or are you still hanging in there all strong waiting for the emotional blows still to come? 

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12 Responses to “Thoughts on Revisiting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1”

  1. bookgeeking

    Great Summerising. Although one of the biggest shockers to me was that RAB was Sirius’s brother, I knew his family were slytherin to the core but it just makes it even harder when his little brother helps Voldy himself

    • Words For Worms

      I really think Regulus’s moment of clarity comes when he sees what Voldy does to Kreacher. Regulus obviously bought into the whole pure blood mentality for a while, but when he saw what that looked like in practice, he just had to get out. I’m terribly proud of him, actually. I wish Sirius had known the extent of his change of heart before he died. But then, they were probably chilling together behind the veil, making up for lost earth time or something.

  2. magicallysuspicious

    The scene in the movie where Harry and Hermione are in the tent and he removes the locket and they dance…..that scene is so heartbreaking to me. It always makes me well up. It’s like one pure moment of carefree childhood that they allow themselves. And it is literally just one minute, and then they are back to saving the world.

    • Words For Worms

      I don’t recall that scene being in the book, but it’s a fitting addition, I think (unlike the burning of the Burrow. NOT OKAY.) Captures exactly the right spirit of the thing.

      • magicallysuspicious

        The dance wasn’t in the book and I remember when the movie came out, the purists were a bit rankled by its addition. But I was certainly willing to forgive that bit of creative license. I thought that one scene, in literally one minute, drove home the loss of innocence and the loneliness that the entire book held.

  3. Michelle

    Poor Hedwig. Out of the so very many deaths in this one book alone, that is the one death I just don’t understand and never will. There was no reason she had to die. He just had to walk away from his entire life, and then his pet is killed in front of his eyes? Seriously, Jo? Seriously?

    • Words For Worms

      Right? Sigh. I mean, I suppose they wouldn’t have been able to take her regardless, she was much too identifiable, but couldn’t she just have lived with the Weasleys and died of old owl age?

  4. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I thought it was a little much that later in the book, when Harry’s experiencing Snape’s memories, that Rowling felt the need to show us the ear thing was an accident. Like — Snape’s in DEEP COVER. He sat there and watched while one of his coworkers was murdered in front of him. It’s not that much of a stretch to imagine that he might have had to hurt innocent people in the course of this work (one), and two, I feel like Rowling could trust us at that point that Snape’s motives are generally good.

    • Words For Worms

      Oh I totally agree. I’d actually forgotten that he’d actually been aiming for someone else and had assumed for a long time that he’d intentionally done it because A. it wasn’t a fatal blow and B. losing an ear, though it would suck, is a fairly small price to pay given the conflict. It would have made him appear extra evil to the death eaters without actually causing extreme harm.

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