Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Disappointed? Not in the least: SPOILERS!!!!!!!

Over at Sword of Gryffindor, Travis has a post that addresses the disappointment that some people have expressed. It's excellent, as usual, and the discussion that follows is as well. I decided to just copy my post, as is, because I've put down some of my reactions that I wanted to capture.

Travis, thanks so much for all your insight on the reactions of some who are disappointed. (I actually read a comment somewhere that someone thought this was the worst of the series, which truly baffles me. I can only think that the person didn’t get the book that they themselves would have written–as you pointed out, too tied to their own theories.)

Like most of you I’m still struggling with Crucio. Don’t know if I’ll ever get past that one, but maybe someday. The language? While I didn’t like it, I didn’t let it bother me coming from the kids, but I wish Rowling had given Molly something a different word to express her outrage and grief at what Bellatrix had done and was trying to do to her children. Though, now that I put it that way, I’m not sure what would come out of my mouth were I in a similar position–so maybe I’ll get over that one sooner than I thought.

I’ve said elsewhere that I loved this book. When I finished, bleary eyed from lack of sleep and a lot of crying, I walked around the room just holding the closed finished book close to me. I still couldn’t put it down.

Many of the things that I thought would happen did, though not at all in the way I thought. And I was surprised that I was OK with Harry having that fragment of Voldemort’s soul in him. But the image of a piece of Riddle’s soul, clinging to life, and finding only Harry worked well. I think what I had always objected to was that so many of the theories were too complicated, and I just didn’t think she would get that complicated for Harry’s connection to Voldemort.

One of my favorite ideas was that Harry had unintentionally been using Legilimency all along, and at the end, that’s exactly what he was doing, even though it was never named as such.

I enjoyed all the discussions about Draco-Wolfboy, and still wonder what’s on Draco’s arm (must be the Dark Mark, though, which is what I first thought anyway), and the idea that Madam Pince was Snape’s mother being protected and hidden with a new identity. But what we got for the person he had loved was so much better.

As I kept reading far into Saturday night (I read slowly, savoring every moment), I was so afraid that Snape was going to turn out to be on Voldemort’s side. So having Harry see him die, at Voldemort’s hand, and then Harry going to him, and Snape looking into Lily’s eyes one more time as he gave Harry all the information he’d withheld–that was perfect. I think my favorite chapter will be the one with all those memories compressed into one chapter. It was like Harry stumbling upon Snape’s diary, and suddenly being able to put all the pieces together–the reason that Snape had always always protected him, the reason that Snape had never said anything bad about his mother, the reason that Snape was so unfailingly loyal to Dumbledore. No wonder, years later, after he’d had time to think it all through, he named one of his sons after Dumbledore and Snape, and said Severus was the bravest of them all.

In the winter before HBP, I read “A Tale of Two Cities” and saw Snape written all over Sydney Carton. Carton’s reason for his sacrifice at the end was the same as Snape’s–he did all for the woman that he loved, and in giving his life sacrificially was redeemed. Perfect.

Someone said that Harry accepted Snape too easily. But that was another indication that for all of Harry’s bitterness and hatred that he had directed towards Snape, he did, after all, have a pure heart; he saw how merciless Voldemort was towards Snape, and there was that same part of Harry’s heart that was touched, just as when he felt sorry for the young Tom Riddle and for Draco when he saw him crying in the bathroom. Harry had already experienced feelings of compassion for Snape when he saw his Worst Memory, so that wasn’t at all a shock to me. He had much the same sort of acceptance with Sirius in the Shrieking Shack. And might there not have been a moment as Harry looked into Snape’s black eyes that he was able to see what was really behind them, what Snape had hidden from him all those years? I think so.


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