Series‘ End: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The final touch to the Let’s read it in English … once more! challenge hosted by Books and Senses, is the last volume of Joanne K. Rowlings story about young wizard Harry Potter who finds himself fighting a battle of life and death against the evil Lord Voldemort. As the former books in the series already foreshadowed, the finale provides a good deal of action, emotion, sadness but also truths and revelations.

When I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the first time when it came out in 2007, I was a little bored by the long sequence at the beginning of the book in which nothing really happens except Harry, Ron and Hermione fleeing into the forests and hiding from Lord Voldemort and his henchmen. That was a bit too ‚extreme camping‘ for my taste back then. This time reading, however, I was much less irritated by that because I noticed how many things happen between the three main characters on an emotional and psychological basis. I thought that rather interesting.

A second issue I didn’t like so much the first time was the ending. I thought it a bit kitschy and kind of dime novelly. I don’t know whether I grew more soft or whether I appreciated it more with the knowledge that it definitely IS the end of Harry Potter, anyhow this time I thought the ending quite sweet. It’s astonishing again and again how impressions and preferences in regard to passages in books change over the course of time.

One of the things that I liked most in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was that we finally see Severus Snape as what he really is. Throughout the series Rowling cleverly succeeds in keeping a last doubt always alive in regard to Snape’s faithfulness. Like baddy Julian Sark in the TV series Alias says about himself: „I’m a man with flexible loyalties“ – one could never safely exclude that Snape wasn’t either. Characterwise, Snape certainly is one of the most intriguing persons in the series. He is what you call a round character, well-defined by individual character traits and attributes. In the series Snape doesn’t only stand for a general principle or a theme like for example Dolores Umbridge portrays a type of human which is coward, false and cruel. He instead is ambiguous and really hard to make out. Only at the very end it is revealed how he really feels or has felt all the time and especially why.

J. K. Rowling’s masterstroke Harry Potter which turned children and adults alike into avid readers, has come to an end with The Deathly Hallows in 2007. This year, the author’s new book, The Casual Vacancy, came out but I admit that I am not too tempted to give it a look. I regard Harry Potter as an outstanding phenomenon like To Kill a Mockingbird was for Harper Lee (no substantial literary comparison intended). Not that I don’t trust J. K. Rowling to be able to tell another interesting story, it’s not that. But for me, Harry Potter simply was IT, funnily enough considering my long lasting indifference.

In regard to the movie adaptations of Harry Potter that I re-viewed after every book I read – I felt slightly reconciled after watching the last Harry Potter movie – the one with two parts! They started out so fine, the first three parts were really nice to look at, but then, from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on – major catastrophe in my opinion. I can’t count how often I wished that the directors would have taken Lord of the Rings maker Peter Jackson as an example and had divided the larger books into two movies as well, like they finally did with The Deathly Hallows.

So, one of my two challenges this year I’ve finished – yippiehh! 🙂
The other one, the Japanese Literature Challenge 6 hosted by Dolce Bellezza TECHNICALLY is done also, but I like to add one or two more books to it before it ends at the end of January, 2013.


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