Hi everyone! Okay, I am several reviews behind. But I figured I would start this week by finishing my Harry Potter Marathon 2016. If you remember, I read one Harry Potter book from May to December and posted a fun review of them. I did actually read the final installment of the series in December, but with first trimester illness, I am still playing catch up.
This is one of my favorite books in the series. And it didn’t disappoint this time. So without further ado, some thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
My first experience with this book – I was at a church summer camp when this book came out so my mom brought it to me when she picked us up. I was with my cousin again and again I beat him easily to finish. I remember crying as Fred, Lupin, Tonks, Dobby and others died. But respecting Rowling for being willing to sacrifice her characters for the story. What I remember loving most about this book is the ending. I love the way the last few books become so connected and the little encounters that become so pivotal to the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. Every time I read this book, it lives up to my expectations–one of the best finales ever.
What surprised me this time – I was surprised how many times Harry almost dies in this book. I remember there being a lot of these moments when I’ve read this in the past. But it really stuck out to me this time. Of course, the whole series is full of near-death experiences for Harry. Also, I was surprised by how much time passes in this book. Every step they take requires weeks or months of planning. I also forgot how little Harry actually learns from Dumbledore about Voldemort. Harry doesn’t have a lot of information about some of the horcruxes. Sometimes it was a small miracle they figure out where another horcrux is located or manage to escape a dire situation. But that’s always what I love about this series. It’s a classic good vs. evil story, a story about a boy trying to save the world, and while we love the action, we also want Harry to win.
Who I love most in this book – I think Hermione proves how incredible she is in this book both in knowledge and in friendship. Even though the search for horcruxes doesn’t always go very well, she does not abandon Harry and his quest. I love Dobby. He doesn’t hesitate to come save Harry and the others. He values friendship over everything else. And he sacrifices everything to help. I love Snape in this book. He is one of my favorite characters in the series because of how complex he is. His role as a double agent is so intriguing. I love Molly Weasley in this book. She is such a wonderful, caring, and strong mother. Love her defeat of Bellatrix LeStrange as well. And I love Professor McGonagall, Lupin, Kreacher, and all the others who help Harry along the way.
How I see Harry, Ron, and Hermione changing – It’s interesting how insightful Dumbledore is in the gifts he bequeaths these three. First, he sees the journey Ron will have to make to return to Harry after doubting him and leaving. Second, he knows Hermione will be inquisitive and thorough enough to find the deathly hallows sign and discover it’s meaning. And he knew Harry’s eventual fate but also knew Harry was stronger than he thought and braver than Voldemort understood. These three characters have sure come a long way from the first book. But in many ways, their best qualities have been amplified–courage, loyalty, and a belief in what’s right.
What I learn from this book – Good can always triumph over evil. A classic theme that Harry Potter beautifully offers to readers. There are far worse fates than death. Voldemort is obsessed with finding immortality and avoiding death. Yet, we see that his use of horcruxes has damaged his soul beyond repair, and he is unwilling to change. Harry approaches death with peace and surrounded by those he love. I know who I want to be like–Harry. The love of family and friendship are worth more than anything else in this world. It is because of his family and friends that Harry can overcome all the obstacles thrown at him. And I love the strength and loyalty he finds in them.
How I would teach this book in a class – Oh the beautiful bookish possibilities here! I would love to have students write a culmination essay about the entire series after reading this one. Perhaps charting the development of a character over time. Or discussing the ways death, loyalty, greed, or history change as the series progresses. A discussion of Dumbledore would be interesting in connection with this book when we learn so much more about his childhood and former views. How has he changed? Does that change how we feel about him as a character? And I think it would be fun to discuss the epilogue to the book. It might be fun to assign students a point of view (either they like it or think it is a waste) and see what they come up with to debate. I happen to like it, just for the record. And of course, we could do a fun essay on titles in the series or Harry’s development, or even bring in The Cursed Child in to the discussion.
As always, some great quotes in this book:
As always, I have to give this book high marks. It was this series that got me reading, kept me reading late into the night, and inspired me to continue to read my whole life. Thank you, Harry.
Thanks for joining me on this journey to reread Harry Potter. Please check out my other reviews of the books found on my review page.
Which Harry Potter book is your favorite?