Thursday, August 09, 2007

thinking back to my pre-DH questions

I just went back and re-read my questions that I listed before DH came out.

I guess most of them were answered. Some of the ones from story lines earlier than HBP were not addressed, and I still wish we'd learned a bit more about Harry's parents. I thought we would.

My biggest disappointment, in terms of questions that were not answered is really one I didn't even list because I was so sure we'd been promised an answer to it already -- what happened at Godric's Hollow immediately following the death of Harry's parents up to the point we see Hagrid bringing Harry to Privet Drive? I thought we'd learn more about that.

And Pettigrew. If he had Voldemort's wand, where did he keep it while he was a rat pet of the Weasleys? And, back to my question about the prophecy, how exactly was he "chained these twelve years" and unable to help his master until the events in PoA transpired. I guess we'll never know -- I thought those words had some mysterious significance that we hadn't yet learned, but I guess not.

So, Dumbledore was a manipulative old so-and-so, and we're left with the fact that Harry is okay with that. Am I okay with it? I guess, seeing how it turned out -- it could have been a lot worse. He does seem sort of a puppetmaster, pulling strings to get just the right performance out of both Harry and Snape without telling either more than they need to know to play their own part. I wonder if Snape would have done the same if he'd known more -- or would he have let on something of the plan to Voldemort, even by accident?

I just re-read a bit of the scene in Chamber when Harry asks Dumbledore about being able to speak Parseltongue, and how he says that Voldemort left a bit of himself in Harry. Dumbledore confirms this quite honestly at this point, but later he neglects to mention this part of his theory to Harry. What would Harry have done differently if he'd have known all along?

Snape and Lily -- and Petunia. I didn't expect this, despite the fact that I did think "that awful boy" was probably Snape. And while reading DH, I thought maybe "the source we discussed" that told Snape the date they were moving Harry out of Privet Drive was Petunia, because (1) she knew the date but not the full plan (2) she seemed unable to meet Harry's eye but seemed to have something she was leaving unsaid, and I wondered if it was guilt at having given him away.

"Remember my last" takes on a bit of new meaning, as does Dumbledore's greeting to Petunia, "we have corresponded" in HBP. I always wondered if Petunia's problem was jealousy. She wanted to go along with Lily to Hogwarts. But I'm unclear -- is she trying to stamp out Harry's magical abilities again because of jealousy or has she now convinced herself that wizards are indeed freaks? Doe she secretly wish Dudley could go to Hogwarts or was she worried he would develop magical abilities and glad that he didn't?

Much more to come.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

My reaction to Deathly Hallows, now that I'm done

I'm still trying to define my feelings. I don't know if it's because I'm sad it's over, or because I didn't find the book contained the HUGE surprise I was hoping for, but I'm feeling just a bit disappointed.

Don't get me wrong. I loved the book. I thought most of the plot was great, and several parts were brilliant. But I expected that, after all was said and done, this would be my favorite out of the series. And I'm left feeling that PoA is still number 1 in my heart. Maybe that will change, I don't know. I expected a surprise on the order of what we learned about Peter Pettigrew and Sirius at the end of PoA, or at least the true identity of the person we thought was Mad-Eye Moody all through GoF. Now I'm wondering, did it have to be a true-identity surprise to satisfy me? She'd done that twice already, maybe it's wrong to think it would happen again. And I guess the switching-loyalties surprise is the best I could hope for, but I spent so much time theorizing that I expected it when it came so I wasn't surprised.

I would have liked it better if wasn't an undying love for Lily that was Snape's motivation, I think. And I would have liked to have a bit more Petunia.

I wanted to get to read the letter Dumbledore left with Harry. And instead we learn of more correspondence we'll never get to read. Suddenly Dumbledore's "We have corresponded" comment to Petunia at the beginning of HBP takes on a whole new meaning. Did she not give us the text of these letters just to supply the fan fiction authors with something to do?

I wanted to know more ab0ut Lily and James' past, both their families and situations before Hogwarts and also their life together before they died. Not nearly enough of that in there.

I guess those are my big disappointments. Aside from the deaths of Hedwig, Fred, and Lupin. :::::sob:::::

So what did I like?

I liked the wedding (though I still want to know more about the tufty-haired man who officiated). I liked seeing the Patronus-messengers. I liked them living at Number 12 Grimmauld Place, I wish we would have had a bit more of that.

I liked the Deathly Hallows. I liked Xenophilius Lovegood, except I wish he would have realized trusting Harry to rescue Luna would be better than turing Harry over to the Death Eaters. I liked getting to see Luna's house.

I liked the whole Dumbledore backstory and the Snape memories and the death and resurrection of Harry. I liked the inclusion of Aberforth, though I wish it would have been a regular tunnel rather than this magical portrait thing that I still don't understand. Don't they realize that there's a tunnel that leads to the Hogsmeade Public Library from the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library, and that the tunnel behind the 4th Floor Mirror leads to the Hog's Head. Oh, that's right, that tunnel's blocked. I forgot. I was hoping we'd really learn where all of them were, so I'd know if my fan fiction predictions were even close.

I liked the Ravenclaw Common Room and the backstory about the Bloody Baron. And the romance with Ron and Hermione was perfect. And I'm so glad Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny all lived!

I have lots of other thoughts, I'll probably be digesting this for quite a while. I've got lots of other things to do so I can't write about Harry full time.