Monday, August 10, 2009

harry potter and the deathly hallows (spoilerrific!)

Re-reading this book really makes me like it a lot more. The first read through was accompanied by shock, certainly, with the death of characters coming fast and think, and evoking real emotion. Yet sadly the first time round the book also had to deal with the weight of expectation. There were certain scenes I had wanted (a proper showdown with Snape, for example), that never occurred, or occurred differently to how I imagined, that jarred me.

Reading again though, this book is absolutely lovely. The emotional moments are still strong, and the tying together of the plot is wonderful. One of the cleverest parts of the book are the revelations about Dumbledore's past. This was something I had never thought about, but made complete sense- Harry not only loses his guardian figures, but realises they were never perfect- see his father and Sirius before hand. It is also made clear that Dumbledore's clinging to secrecy was something ingrained within him, and not necessarily very wise, which is nice, as while his plan is convoluted, the reasons for this become plain: Dumbledore just doesn't trust everyone enough.

Yes, the book still has weaknesses. The epilogue is made of saccharine, and is actually a little frustratingly inconclusive for a "ten years later" story, but it does do several things nicely- first of all, Harry now has a family, which is EXACTLY what he always craved (there was discontent among certain fans that apparently all Harry cares about is breeding. To get focused on this ignores Harry's background, and his want, always to not be alone), and secondly we finally get to see Slytherin not being the evil house anymore. The book does spend too long in the bloody forest, but it is necessary.

The book will certainly work well in film. There are endles set pieces, each being terribly inventive, with the final wonder of the battle of Hogwarts. I look forward to it.

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