Saturday, July 30, 2016

Harry Potter Reread: Deathly Hallows

 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) 

Potter fever is ramping up this year thanks to two exciting new projects: the eighth story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will be debuting in London's West End on July 30 and the first in a new movie trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will hit theaters in November. In preparation, I decided to revisit my most beloved series and blog about it. (Besides, I don't really need an excuse to reread Harry Potter.)

Origin Story

Back in 2007, everyone was eagerly counting down the days until the final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, would be unleashed upon the world. At midnight on July 21, 2007, Potter fans around the world attended midnight release parties. As for me...

....I got my copy of Deathly Hallows at a Costco.
That's not even the worst part. I didn't even get it on the day it came out AND I got my mom to pick it up for me. I wasn't even there to buy it in person! This is one of my most shameful moments in my personal history of Potter fandom. (OH THE HUMANITY!)

In my defense, Harry Potter wouldn't come to be my absolute favorite book series until I reread all 7 books in a row. Only then did I grasp the true genius of the series. But if I had a Time Turner, I'd go back and do it properly - anticipate each book eagerly as it came out, attend all of the midnight releases, and spend years in agony between each installment. Not that I didn't look forward to each Harry Potter book as they came out but still...I could've been a bit more obsessive about it, like a proper fangirl. 

Things I Noticed This Time Around

p.115- Fred says, 'When I get married...' and all I could think was 'OH NO, FRED!' J.K. Rowling, why must you be so cruel?

p. 524- In the scene in the Shrieking Shack, Snape says this to Voldemort:

" 'Let me find the boy. Let me bring you Potter. I know I can find him, my Lord. Please.' "

Snape is practically begging Voldemort to let him go and find Harry but it's not because he wants to hand him over to Voldemort, IT'S BECAUSE HE WANTS TO FIND HARRY AND TELL HIM THE TRUTH!

p.607- Harry names his second son 'Albus Severus Potter.' This is a matter of great contention within the Potter fandom. Some people are outraged that Harry named one of his children after Snape and not someone else like Hagrid or Lupin. This has always annoyed me because I don't think these people understand how stories work. The story arc of Severus Snape is clearly a redemption arc. His ultimate redemption is Harry forgiving him and naming his son after him so that his sacrifice won't be forgotten. DO PEOPLE HONESTLY NOT GET THIS?

Favorite Parts/Lines

-Chapter Thirty-Three, 'The Prince's Tale' is my favorite chapter in the entire Harry Potter series. At the end of it, I'm reduced to a sobbing pile of feelings and tears. 

-p.578 'Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.'

Concluding Thoughts

Reading all seven books in the Harry Potter series always makes me feel exhausted but in the best possible way. I feel transformed at the end of Deathly Hallows, like I have been through this great trial with Harry and his friends and I emerge from it a better person, with a better understanding of what's important in life - love, friendship, hope, courage, and self-sacrifice. People who say Harry Potter is overhyped or is just a children's book series have either never read it or never read it properly. I encourage those people to give it another chance. 

I will continue to reread the Harry Potter series throughout my life - hopefully once every couple of years or so. It is a story that I will always return to, a story that will always feel like home. 

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