September 23 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsWell, I finally read it. And what did I think of the fabled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

It sucked.

(There may be spoilers from here on out, but as the book is two months old, you can lump it.)

The only thing I can think to say is that Ms. Rowling has succumbed more and more to her own hype. Everything, in her mind at least, is of dire importance to the reader. But, then again, things that were important, and she had even promised us, were of no importance it seems.

A perfect case is fans asked her repeatedly what James and Lily, Harry’s parents, did for a living. She always said she couldn’t tell because it would give away some of the future plot points. Well, the final book is done, you still never told us, care to share that now?

Rowling suffers from a severe lack of a strong-willed editor. If she worked with one who actually had a backbone, a lot of these problems would never come up. Take for instance the deaths of Lupin and Tonks. Lupin has been a fairly major character since book 3, but he is sent to the afterlife… off-screen? You’re kidding me, right? A lot of the deaths felt very tacked on and like she didn’t know how to handle them, or even why she was doing them.

Then there is the whole matter of the namesake of the title of the book: “The Deathly Hallows”. Was there any logical reason to even introduce this concept? Wasn’t there enough going on with hunting down the Horcruxes? No, no let’s throw in a second quest/mystery in to an already busy book. How about you cut the Hallows, which could have easily been done, and instead of the trio sitting in a tent for weeks on end, let’s have them go on more elaborate challenges to get the Horcruxes? You could have still done the Elder Wand and cut who knows how many chapters of fluff.

The tent brings up the point of Rowling’s pacing. What the hell woman! You stuck an entire chapter of character exploration… IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FINAL BATTLE! Now… right now… you feel is the time to finally explore Snape’s motivations? In the middle of a fight we’ve built to since book 1. Okay, yeah, that makes total sense.

And how about the final battle, huh folks? Voldemort, the biggest, baddest wizard in the history of the wizarding world dies from… a backfire. He died, from a backfiring spell. Wow. That was a great method there.

After all that, we get to the epilogue. I… there are no words for how bad that was. Truly, none. Albus Severus? Scorpius? *bangs head repeatedly on his keyboard* And, really… you end a seven book series with “All was well.”? Well, newsflash Ms. Rowling, all is not well. You failed, and failed miserably.

The sad thing is, I kind of knew it was coming. Starting with book 5, she fell apart plot wise. She knew she had waited too long to get to the meat of things and she started doing silly, contrived, things to move the story forward. This was also when the editor problem kicked in, they LET her just do whatever she wanted without exerting any control over her. So while I blame her, I also blame her editors.

There was a time that I actually felt I would be sad to see this series end, and now I couldn’t be happier. It’s over, and I can stop asking “Why am I reading this?!?”, every other page.

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