Monday, July 23, 2007

discuss Deathly Hallows

Hi Everyone,

I made this blog so that we'd have a place to talk about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows while keeping our own blogs spoiler-free.

I don't normally use blogger other than when I post to group challenge blogs, so I have no idea how to make a password that I can give to other people who want to start different threads. If someone knows how, email me please! dew pie at gmail dot com. Otherwise you can email (or just use the comments) and ask me to start specific threads.

The first thread I want to start is this: Rowling's messages.

I think that Rowling was making some very strong statements in this book.

Examples:

1. By not mentioning what any of the most central characters did as jobs at the end (she only mentioned Neville's job and vaguely hinted at Percy's) but only showing who had married whom and what they named their kids, etc., I think she was making a statement that love and family are what really matters.

2. I also think that by letting some beloved characters die, she was really putting forth a message that war is not just a romantic adventure but will result in devastation and life-long grief and/or disabilities for survivors. I think this is something that today's kids desperately need to hear. I only wish she had focused more on George at the end. How did he live with the loss of his twin and his ear? I would have liked some more concrete demonstration of the effects of war on survivors, but then again, could kids have handled more than just the hint?


Does anyone have any other examples of themes/messages, or want to comment on what I brought up?

34 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

You're nicer to Rowling than I am. I think she didn't mention careers because she has no idea what they are.

I'm a relatively negative viewpoint around here, though. Just warning you now...

btw, thanks for setting up this new blog! Brilliant idea!

Dewey said...

Ha ha, Susan, you're so mean!

I wanted Harry to be headmaster at Hogwarts, or an Auror (if those are still needed?) but I mostly want to know what Hermione's career is. I was getting annoyed throughout the book when the Weasley family couldn't work, and it only mattered to the boys, since Fleur and Molly just spent their days getting magic to cook things.

Journeywoman said...

I often wondered why Molly Weasly didn't work, especially since Ginny started Hogwarts in book 2 and she didn't really get in trouble with the misistry until book 4. Prior to Ginny going to Hogwarts well, I can definately see that you don't want to leave small witches and wizards alone in the house. (ESPECIALLY not Fred and George!)

I think she left the careers open so she can possibly do another book or two...or as has been suggested she might edit what is called in the industry as a "sandbox" book. (Here is my sandbox, other authors are allowed to play in it)

Nymeth said...

That first think you mentioned is interesting, I hadn't thought of it. I wonder if she meant it like that or if she really just wanted to leave people wondering.

As for the second thing, I completely agree, and I thought of it while reading the book. She mentioned more than fifty bodies at the end of the battle, but if there hadn't been "familiar faces" among them, it would remain an abstract thing. The many deaths showed that war has real costs: loved ones are lost, children are orphaned, everyone is vulnerable. That is definitely a necessary message these days.

Thanks for creating this blog, btw! It's a great idea!

Melissa said...

Must reading here: check out Cheryl Klein's blog, Brooklyn Arden, for her take on the Epilogue. She makes some very insightful points.

Melissa said...

Blast. That link didn't work.

http://chavelaque.blogspot.com/2007/07/some-thoughts-on-deathly-hallows.html

Thryn said...

Thanks for making this blog, Dewey! I don't have time for any deep analysis, but I found it very enjoyable. It was extremely tense and emotional, them getting caught a billion times, always to narrowly escape. They were doing dangerous, risky things and I expected nothing less. I felt it answered all of my burning questions, and while I, like many others, am tempted into wanting to know every little detail and never let the story be over, I appreciated the brief epilogue and how it left a lot of details out so you still have something left for the imagination.

I agree about the role of women though. Even though Bellatrix was important enough to be one of Voldemort's closest, most other women seemed to be in less important roles and their careers weren't emphasized. Nothing wrong with the witches staying home to take care of kids if they want to, but it would have been nice if there was more of a balance.

Dewey said...

Molly, sure, but why not Fleur? She was talented enough to be in the triwizard tournament, but they graduated, and Bill gets a job but she doesn't? They had no kids. Maybe she didn't have a work visa yet. ;)

Thanks for the link, Melissa!

Kitty said...

1. I actually assumed Rowling didn't include their jobs in the epilogue because it would've been just way way TOO cheesy, in my opinion. I thought the epilogue was almost too cheesy on its own (ooh look, that person married that person and they had babies and named them this and ooh that person is kissing that person HOW CUTE!!), if Rowling had included comments about everyone's jobs I probably would've barfed.

2. I really didn't notice the thing about women and jobs. With Molly and Fleur I think it made sense that their characters wouldn't get jobs. Molly seems like the kind of person who doesn't ever want to be anything but a wife and mother (and she seems to be busy enough knitting sweaters, having houseguests and cooking for all their visitors) and I think Tonks provided a nice balance to Fleur who just seemed like someone who also just wants to be a wife and mother (hey did Fleur even fight in the final battle?). On the other hand, I felt like there were plenty of women in positions of power mentioned throughout the book even though maybe they weren't focused on very much.

HOWEVER, that reminds me of how I've always thought it was weird and lame that Harry's father's friends played such a huge role in the books but there was no mention at all of any of Lily's friends (other than Snape at the end of this one). Did Harry not have a godmother? If everyone loved Lily so much how come none of her friends stepped up for Harry? I know that, since Harry is a boy and a lot like his father, maybe it just makes more sense that he'd be closer to his father's friends but I still think it was weird and stupid that there was no mention at all of any of Lily's friends.

3. And I do wish there had been some sort of memorial scene at the end or something. But maybe you're right when you (Dewey) say that maybe kids couldn't have handled more.

Kitty Glendower said...

I Hermoine seemed to be gearing toward becoming a doctor, a healer.

Dewey said...

Kitty, you're right that there were a lot of women with positions of power. I guess just the Weasley family seemed odd in that way. Though, yeah, Molly does seem like a homemaker. But I can remember even back a few books, when the Weasleys were portrayed as so poor, and all the kids were at at school,I wondered why Molly didn't get a job, or I don't know, run a bakery or something.

That's a good point about Lily. I never noticed that.

It would have been so great seeing Hermione as Madam Pomfrey's replacement at Hogwarts. But the train station scene seemed to hint that none of them worked there. Sending love to Neville, etc.

Anonymous said...

Dean again:

I had hoped Harry would become an Auror too, and I did sort of what to know what their jobs were, but I really liked that Albus' middle name was Severus and that Harry told Albus that it was okay if he ended up in the Slytherin house, but it was okay too if he didn't want to.

Melissa said...

I think Lily's friends didn't get mentioned for two reasons. 1) it would have given Snape away too soon and ruined the end. and 2) Harry's a BOY. He's not interested in his mom's friends.

I'm firmly convinced by Cheryl's interpretation of the epilogue: jobs were not the most important thing to discuss. Who did what, while interesting, is not important. Family and love is.

Fleur didn't show up at the final battle because, well, she's French and it's not her fight. And I thought she had a job at Gringotts. Isn't that how she met
Bill? There was no mention of her going off to work while Harry was staying at her house, but that doesn't mean she didn't. (Again, we were seeing things through Harry's eyes, and he had more important things to notice and think about than whether or not Fleur took off to work in the mornings.)

And it's not like Bellatrix had a career (unless you call sniveling after Voldemort and killing people a career): she spent the book trapped in Malfoy Manor.

Melissa said...

"It would have been so great seeing Hermione as Madam Pomfrey's replacement at Hogwarts. But the train station scene seemed to hint that none of them worked there. Sending love to Neville, etc. "

I just thought of this: were any of the professors at Hogwarts married? I got the impression that they were all single. Being away for 9 months of the year to live at Hogwarts would be a bit tough on family life (unless your family could come live there, but Rowling never went into that).

Dewey said...

Melissa: I think I remember an actual listing of who was being kept home from work by the situation, with no mention of Fleur.

Also, I remember reading somewhere that we would find out in book 7 if any of the professors were married, and what that meant to the plot. But there was no mention of it, was there?

In a way, I thought that the lack of mention of the teachers' personal lives throughout the series reflected how kids see their teachers. They really don't think about their teachers having hobbies or families or whatever. They just think of them as teachers only.

Melissa said...

True about Fleur and work. Maybe she was only working to keep her green card, and when she got married to Bill, she didn't need/want to?

Dewey said...

I laughed at that, but it is sort of true throughout the books that there is a magical bureaucracy just like in the muggle world!

Kitty Glendower said...

Fluer did show up to the fight, the Battle of Hogwarts.

Pg. 603. Deathly Hallows,

As the room came into view, Harry slipped down a few stairs in shock. It was packed, far more crowded than when he had last been in there. Kingsley and Lupin were looking up at him, as were Oliver Wood, Katie Bell, Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet, Bill and Fleur, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.

Melissa said...

I stand corrected. I read it too fast. :)

Karen Olson said...

One thing I thought interesting was that Ted Lupin was a boy orphan, and boy orphans were a sort of theme throughout the series.

pussreboots said...

I've added a link from my site.

Imani said...

Why wouldn't Harry be interested in his Mom's friends? If I were an orphan I wouldn't be really picky about something like that. And even if Harry weren't interested I don't know how that would have prevented one of Lily's friends from piping up anyway.

Dewey said...

(Thanks, Puss.)

Maybe Lily spent more time with James' friends than with other girls? Hermione's best friends are boys, so maybe Rowling was like that as a kid and didn't think of Lily having girlfriends. Still, who is the godmother? Sirius must have a female counterpart. For that matter, who is Ted's godmother?

Jennifer said...

"Maybe Lily spent more time with James' friends than with other girls?"

Well throughout most all of their school days Lily detested James and his friends (or at least pretended to) so I think she would have had to have some friends other than Snape. In fact: "'None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you.'" Lily to Severus after he calls her a mudblood. pg 675 DH American Hardback.


On a different note I too agree that some of the female characters would have done better to have been more than mommy and wifey. Especially Ginny, who is the only female Weasley (other then her mother, of course) and as such is much stronger than your average girl (who wouldn't be, being the little sister of Fred and George). I thought she would have become at least a bigger part in the war than aiming hexes at Death Eaters, if not move on to be an important woman in wizarding society.

Ahh, but it was still an excellent book, no matter the minor issues such as the parts women played.

Thanks for the blog idea too! I just finished the book maybe thirty minutes ago and looked online for somewhere to discuss it without worrying about those who had not yet read it. Woohoo!

Dean said...

I'm rereading the Half-blood prince, and I did come across where Fleur mentions working at Gringott's. She says that she works there part-time "For her English." It doesn't seem as though she feels like she has to work, and she seems far more interested in talking about the details of the wedding she's planning, and why everything at home is better than everything in the English system.

Dewey said...

Jennifer: I thought that the fifth movie set Ginny up to be strong enough to be Harry's partner, by showing her doing very well in the DAtDA class, and also that she was interested in him by showing her stopping and looking back at Harry when he lingered behind to talk to Cho. But I can't remember if the books also have a lot of that sort of foreshadowing or not. I didn't see much of it in HPatDH.

Dean: Thanks! Maybe she comes from a wealthy family?

Callista said...

Harry couldn't have been an auror, he didn't finish schooling. That must have limited his jobs.

Anonymous said...

I'm Bec, I just feel that after such a long journey with these characters it would have been nice to read a bit about them afterwards, maybe when they all get back to the Burrow. I was waiting and waiting for the big love "talk" between Ron and Hermione and the romantic kiss- I mean COMMON we've been waiting for that for years and it was a dud fire cracker that just went fizz. Same with Harry and Ginny! What happpened to Luna? How was George after losing Fred? You didn't see anyone after the fight at all (apart from 19 years later) I mean don't get me wrong I LOVED it. I just feel it ended too abruptly- I've been left hangin!

tbabe09 said...

i agree about the job thing i wanted to know who was headmaster and who was minister of magic and what everyone was doing. i also agree with anonymouse that i t ended to abrupt she just said that everything was okey then it ended and who is victoria that lupin and tonks' son was kissing is the bill and fleur's daughter she can't introduce a new character then end but over all it was a good book i loved it but i do wish she would have made the epiloge longer. if she does decide to make another book i would love to read her notes even the ones not published in the series i think that would be awesome

div said...

OK everyone - here are your answers: In an interview and online chat,Rowling gave additional information on the futures of the main characters that she chose not to include in the epilogue of the book. She stated that Harry becomes an Auror at the Ministry of Magic, and is later appointed head of the department. He keeps Sirius's motorcycle, which Arthur Weasley repaired for him, but can no longer speak Parseltongue after the destruction of Voldemort's soul fragment inside him. Ginny Weasley plays for the Holyhead Harpies Quidditch team for a time, then becomes the lead Quidditch correspondent for the Daily Prophet.

Ron works for a time with George at his store, Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, and later joins Harry as an Auror. Hermione finds her parents in Australia and removes the memory modification charm she put on them. She initially works for the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, greatly improving life for house-elves and their ilk. She later moves to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and assists in eradicating oppressive, pro-pureblood laws.

Rowling also explained the fates of several secondary characters. George Weasley runs his successful joke shop, initially helped by Ron. George names his first child Fred, after his late twin brother. Luna Lovegood searches the world for odd and unique creatures. She eventually marries Rolf, a grandson of the famed naturalist, Newt Scamander. Her father's publication, The Quibbler, has returned to its usual condition of "advanced lunacy" and is appreciated for its unintentional humour. Firenze is welcomed back into his herd, who acknowledge that his pro-human leanings were not shameful, but honourable. Dolores Umbridge is arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned for crimes against Muggle-borns.

There has been a transformation in the wider wizarding world. Kingsley Shacklebolt becomes the Minister for Magic, with Percy Weasley working under him as a high official. As one of the reforms introduced by Shacklebolt, Azkaban no longer uses Dementors. Consequently, the world is now a "much sunnier place". Harry, Ron and Hermione also help revamp the Ministry in their respective capacities. At Hogwarts, Slytherin House has become more diluted and is no longer the pureblood bastion it once was. Nevertheless, its dark reputation lingers. Voldemort's jinx on the Defence Against the Dark Arts (DADA) position was broken with his death, and there is a permanent DADA teacher. A portrait of Snape, who briefly served as Hogwarts Headmaster following Dumbledore's death, does not appear in the headmaster's office as he abandoned his post. Harry intends to lobby for the addition of Snape's portrait, and reveals to all Snape's true allegiance.

div said...

so, here are my questions:
Why was the chapter called "the Prince's tale" given this title? why didn't any of the other schools that compete in the triwizard competition fight in the battle against voldy? whatever happened to Cho?

lick acid said...

the titled was called The Prince's Tale because it told the tale of Snape who is the half blood prince

lick acid said...

the titled was called The Prince's Tale because it told the tale of Snape who is the half blood prince

Anonymous said...

The Harry Potter phenomenon is gradually dwindling to an end with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows-Part One premiering
Nov. 18.

Luckily for Potter fans, it is a slowly coming with Part Two being released in summer 2011.

I have yet to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows- Part One but I am grateful that Warner Bros. is splitting up the seventh and final book to this epic world of wizardry that has swept across the globe.

“I love the Harry Potter movies, however, I never feel they put enough into them,” said Jessica, a University of Alabama quidditch player.

I feel the same way about the movies. I love them but they could do more. However, I do understand that they have only a certain allotted length time to make these films. I feel that splitting the final chapter of this saga will give the director more time to add valuable information to why Harry Potter is who he is and why he is doing what he is doing. The travels that Harry and his friends make are bleak and frightening in this last book.

As an avid reader of the Harry Potter series, I easily catch some of the changes Warner Bros. has made to the films that differ from the books. Many changes include missing parts of the books as well as changing some of the actor’s lines. But I still love the Harry Potter movies. I might have loved them if I had not read the books. The books are pretty epic.

It is very likely this final set of movies will break box office records around the world. It is predicted that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows- Part One will gross $130 million for the opening weekend, according to boxoffice.com.

I am quite sad I was unable to go to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows-Part One, but I will see the adventure soon.