The final instalment in the Harry Potter book series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is there to tie up all the loose ends and round off the whole story by leading to the inevitable conclusion and final face-off between Harry and Voldemort. While there are a few surprises and twists along the way, the ending is what we’ve overall been expecting and it will leave readers satisfied and yet utterly nostalgic.
The story of the sevenths book itself is just as great as the others and I do love the twists and turns. But the formerly so magical mystery-solving element now has a deadly backdrop. Harry’s decisions and his character journey are very powerful and overall I can only applaud J.K. Rowling for her diligent characterwork again, as I did in almost all of my reviews for the series. There are so many layers to each character, so that it’s always interesting to follow them through their journey to who they become/are in the 7th book.
Sometimes I have to say the plot seems almost shoehorned in to fit the writer’s intentions. Some plot points come across as construed to keep action or movement going – like that Harry needs to move in the open, that Dumbledore really counted on Harry to figure all these things out by himself (and Hermione’s help), that Snape could give the information he does at that precise moment… In a way I can’t complain. The storytelling does go back to the early pattern in the series of one thing leading to another. The problem is that the world is much larger by now and what seemed like lucky coincidence in the first few books, does have a little forced feel to it in part 7. Eavesdropping on someone having vital information in school is more likely than doing so in the vast world outside, for example.
Also the book feels a bit a bit crammed at times, like Rowling tried to fit everything and everyone in before the end. I do appreciate it and I do like hearing about “forgotten” characters, but sometimes it’s too obvious they are only mentioned to tie up their role in the series, rather than having an actual function in that scene. The penultimate chapter reads very cut off towards the end. I know that not everything can be told and Harry is finally at his journey’s end and we are seeing the conclusion of what began in part 1. But still I would have liked to know about the fate of some more characters, more than just seeing a glimpse of them.
That’s what Pottermore was supposed to be for. Of course not ALL questions can ever be answered, but the additional details and character backgrounds were most intriguing. In its present state the site is a mess, though, and I find it very difficult to navigate (not even mentioning the listicles…). I do miss the old Pottermore. I still do. Anyway, some questions will just remain unanswered and it’s okay to leave that to our imagination.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows shows us so many ugly sides to the wizarding world. Like part 5, the overall tone is bleak and dark, with only very little humour interspersed. That’s probably why I would rank it among the bottom two. For Harry Potter I prefer the magical adventure parts best. Of course 7 is integral to to the storytelling as a whole and it is a worthy end. In general I am very grateful to J.K. Rowling for the high standard throughout her books. There are no drops in quality, just my personal preferences. And my personal order is (from least to most favourite)
5 – 7- 4 – 6 – 3- 1/2
Now after having re-read and re-lived the Harry Potter series again, I have to say I am quite intrigued what the play The Cursed Child is holding in store. I assume Harry will have proper adult issues and that will make me quite sad, because he was somehow always representing my inner teenager. The end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows makes me very nostalgic, too, because it makes me think right back to the beginning where it all started and thus back to my own childhood and teenage years. It makes me aware of what has changed around me since then and how I have changed and that makes me yearn back for that time. Well, I guess I’ll just read the series again, then 😉
Next up over the coming months: Reviews of all 8 Harry Potter films with some book comparisons, where appropriate. I like both media on their own, so I won’t say one is better than the other – there are elements I prefer in the books and elements I prefer in the films. But more on that later!