Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
By request, an open-chat, spoliers-welcome thread for Harry Potter.
One nit to pick. It seems like Harry never progressed as a wizard beyond protego, stupefy, and expelliarmus and used these three spells almost entirely to defeat the greatest evil wizard of all time. I thought Dumbledore's battle with Voldemort in Order of the Phoenix showed where I hoped Harry would end up as a wizard. As it is it seemed like he didn't progress or evolve much on that account. A small nit to pick in the grand scheme of things.
My wife and I tried something new with the last book and took turns reading chapters out loud. This took both of us longer to read the book but it turned out to be a great way to finish the series as we would discuss each chapter and how it tied in with the previous books. One thing we found out is that it is very hard to read out loud during sad scenes, with the Dobby scene being the hardest. I did feel satisfied with the ending but I could have done without the epilogue. The Gringott chapter was lame and I felt the weakest in the book other then the Dursley scenes which I could have always done without throughout the series after the 1st book. The one line that I'll always remember from the 7 books was Dumbledore expressing the opinion that "sometimes we sort to soon". At the end I wished that Snape had a more glorious death and why wasn't he in the headmasters room with all the other headmasters after he died?
While watching the Harry Potter movie we saw the previews for the Golden Compass. Has anyone read that series? We picked it up yesterday and started reading it. The review said that the book was against God but I have a feeling they mean it was against religion so I'm curious to find it which one is true.
I liked the last book. There are things I didn't love, but overall I thought it was a very satisfying conclusion.
Snape remained the best character through the whole series. Snape. Wow.
I thought about this after we are told why Snape acted the way he did and in particular how Harry having Lily's eyes was a constant reminder of love lost, I wondered if Harry had the same effect on his Aunt Petunia?
As we learned in the Deathly Hallows, it appears to me that Lily valued her relationship with her sister, at least until she attended Hogwarts. No doubt that Petunia was envious in the beginning and later resentful of Lily as she got older and was she unable to foster any affection towards Harry because of that.
Not a big plot point but I wished we knew what happened to Harry's relationships with the Dursleys after the last book, I would hope he was able to repair it, it certainly seemed like Dudley would have liked to be part of Harry's life as he got older.
What I liked best about the final book were two characteristics in particular:
1. everyone had a hand in defeating Voldemort. As in, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Neville, Crabbe unintentionally, Voldemort himself (also unintentionally), and finally Harry all destroyed one of the horcruxes.
2. all the heroes did something legitimately stupid along the way. Harry said "Voldemort" out loud, which got the death eaters to find them. Ron ran off. Dumbledore (and this one was the biggest stretch to me) put on the ring with the resurrection stone without thinking that it'd be cursed. I mean, come on--one of the most brilliant wizards ever spends all that time to find the horcrux, knowing that there have to be horrible curses on it the whole time and on his guard, and then he just kinda forgets and puts on the ring?? Please! But I guess we had to have a reason to not feel so bad when Snape killed him.
I guess the takeaway point from these patterns is that even great people with good hearts can make mistakes, but we can overcome them through love, teamwork, and dedication to each other. I think that's a pretty good message in the end and one that, if we listened to a little more, the world would probably be a much better place.
8. I thought the epilogue may have gone on a tad too long, but I agree it was a fitting coda for the main characters.
J.K. Rowling has been quoted as saying she is currently working on two books, one for children and one for adults. It will be interesting to read what she does next. No pressure.
Petunia is a damaged little girl and Vernon is just an ass. I'm sure they just went on being so, without any contact with Harry.
7 - Perhaps Dumbledore was merely having a Senior Moment.
I liked the Epilogue. I think stories too often end on a climactic high and fail to wrap things up. It did leave me wondering where the young Tonks boy lived. His grandmother perhaps? Also, if it was 19 years later, wouldn't he be done with Hogwarts? I go the impression that he was still in school. Any ideas?
1 Expelliarmus became Harry's signature spell; he used it rather than the killing curse for reasons that could (and no doubt will) be subject to interpretation for a long time to come.
I really liked the Lupin/Tonks relationship and was sorry to see them killed, but I admit that having it happen in the general confusion of war was a lot more true to life than some huge confrontation (say, Eowyn and the head of the Nazgul) on the battlefield would have been.
I thought the Dursley chapter was a little pointless until Dudley stepped up to the plate. I suppose it added something because of that.
Ah well. Here's a link to a huge comment thread (586 at last look) about the final book, the series as a whole, and life its ownself (well, maybe not that last). The community consists of SF & F fans, writers, editors, and interested parties.
So no one thought it strange that Longbottom was able to pull the sword out of the hat since the sword was now in the possesion of the goblins? I did like the role that Longbottom was allowed to play in the last few books.
Neville was a great character. Top three in the series for me.
I didn't question too much that Neville pulled the sword out of the hat. I was actually quite pleased that Neville could do something quite integral to the story that I just glossed over it. It's magic, after all.
Harry overpowered Draco. Defeated him in battle. Overpowered him. Harry was the master of the elder wand.
When Lord Thingy tried to use the wand against it's master, his curse rebounded on him.
Molly took her out with the fire of a thousand suns.
I loved Snape from the beginning. I think she did the best with him she could, though there were times I thought he was weakened by ambiguity. For me Alan Rickman really enriches him, perhaps more so than any other actor in the movies.
I love reading what you all think about the book(s).
Also found the Dobby scene really emotional.
When the movie comes out for book 6 I can see the audience giving him a big cheer when he takes out Dumbledore. Part of the problem with knowing how it all ends.
I wonder if Rowling will consider a series on the founders of Hogwarts after she finishes the encyclopedia.
More answers from Rowlings here, in a transcribed webchat at the Leaky Cauldron, one of the major Potter websites:
There are explanations in there about the Big Three's careers, as well as some of the others.
39 My thought on Rowling choosing to kill both Remus and Tonks is that she loves patterns. Harry was an orphan, was unable to have much contact with his godfather, and his godfather was killed. (And Voldemort is also an orphan, and Neville is a de facto orphan.) But Teddy Lupin gets to grow up with a sense of family, and with a strong and lasting relationship with godfather Harry. (Although I assume Arabella Tonks, who lost her husband, daughter and son-in-law, did the actual raising.)
Snape/Draco is another parallel. We saw that Lily really did care about Snape, and tried to get him to make better choices about who he chose to associate with, but he didn't change until it was far too late. The fact Draco's wife goes unnamed in the epilogue means he didn't marry Pansy Parkinson, who revealed herself to be truly rotten to the core, and that tells me that he did start making better choices about who he associated with - it wasn't too late for him.
In respect to their future careers, I can totally see Harry and Ron as Aurors (with Harry running the department), Neville as Professor of Herbology, and Luna as a naturalist. But I can't really buy Hermione as a lawyer. If she had just been smart, then yes. But she was also, overall, the best at magic in her year - the Patronus spell was the only one that ever caused her any difficulty. I'm sure all Ministry jobs involve magic to one degree or another, but I'm guessing the legal department is on the low end of the scale.
"Hermione began her post-Hogwarts career at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures where she was instrumental in greatly improving life for house-elves and their ilk. She then moved (despite her jibe to Scrimgeour) to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement."
My favorite Hermoine scene, well there are two from the last book, the first one is where she describes almost as a matter of fact how she has bewitched her parents into thinking there are different people that don't have a daughter and that she sent them off to Austraila (Austraila is the last great safe destination for all mankind) and the second one is when Ron leaves the trio and she stays showing both her loyality to Harry and the greater cause at hand and also to test Ron and find out whether his jealousy/envy of Harry was stronger than his feelings (not yet spoken) for her.
I think in some ways, Harry and Hermoine were very alike, both could be stubborn about certain things, very competititve, they were also insecure, Harry just being the "Chosen One" and Hermoine always striving to be the best student, have the right answers. But really, neither ever showed any signs of romantic feelings at all toward each other,
I think the fact that neither had any siblings (Rowling said she always intended to give Hermoine a sister but never got around to it) and that they grew up in a Muggle world gave them a foundation and understanding of one another that probably went unspoken.
Thanks for the info on the Dark Materials.
Well, how old were you when you read The Lord of the Rings? I was 16 when it first was published in the US in paperback (1966), and I read that sucker through in about three days.
1. The promotional tease for the book was all about Snape - Friend or Foe? And then comes the book, and behold - Snape is barely in it at all. He gets a chapter and a half, and I was left with the feeling that JKR just crammed it in to get it done. Harry and Snape had no resolution. And no, Harry naming his son Albus Severus does not count as resolution.
2. The first half of the book is so slow, then the second half is so fast. I had to read it twice just to catch the ending.
3. It bugged me that the "good" guys used "unforgivable" curses.
4. The end was too sudden. In that context, the Epilogue is cheesy, and both too long and insufficient. If she'd done a better job of summing up in the last chapter, the Epilogue would have been better.
All in all, I love the whole series, and this book was a good way to wrap it up. I own them all, and I'll enjoy it when my kids are old enough to read them.
The "unforgivable curese" were only unforgiveable becuase the MoM said so. The Ministry had authorized aurors to use them during the First Wizarding War. Once the legitimate government has fallen, Harry and his allies are forced into a no-holds-barred insurgency against the pretenders. It provides a nice shade of gray to the book.
That link with Rowling's interview was great.
My wife and I live about 2000 miles apart and see each other about 5 times a year. She's been reading me Harry Potter chapter by chapter for the last four weeks. Every night I would go home excited, wondering what was going to happen next. Last night we finished the book. I was very satisfied with the series. I was most impressed by the planning that must have gone into it; the seven books make a cohesive whole. There's nothing like a great story well told. The most emotional part for me was when his parents were walking beside him, and said, "you have been so brave. We are all so very proud of you". That choked me up.
I'll miss being read the series; but I look forward to reading it to my kids.
Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.