“Harry is waiting in Privet Drive, The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing- if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfil the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?”
Whenever I think of ‘The Deathly Hallows’ I can’t help but feel the need to cry. The finale of J.K. Rowling’s sensational and magical series will always mean a great deal to me but the thing is that it’s sad. Not just because it’s the last book in the amazing series that took up such a huge part of my childhood, but due to the sheer volume of characters who died in the Battle of Hogwarts. Now, I know that in a Battle usually people get hurt and yes it would be unrealistic to expect everyone to live happily ever after but I mean come on! As if Sirius and Dumbledore’s deaths weren’t heartbreaking enough then she expects me to be ok with Mad-Eye, Dobby, Fred, Tonks and Remus. There’s a good reason so many people like their fanfics ‘AU where everyone lives’ and this is why. Killing major characters who you’ve just spent 6 books making us fall in love with is all sorts of not ok.
But despite the amount of horrendous deaths, this book is still a masterclass of writing. All the loose threads established in the series were so neatly tied up that when reading the final chapter you couldn’t help but feel an immense sense of closure and pleasure. The scene at Kings Cross with the grown up families was so heartwarming (and such a welcome change from the death and destruction of the previous chapter) that it makes me smile just thinking about it. And the bit about Neville going on to be a professor is so beautiful. This book really showed the characters at their breaking points and their responses of love, compassion and strength was a message that meant a lot to me, growing up.
Specific scenes, such as the dragon fueled escape from Gringotts, the discovery of the Sword of Godric Gryffindor, the visit to Godric’s Hollow and the final Battle will forever live in my memory. They were absolutely spellbinding and the fact that Rowling was able to use these incredible scenes to such good effect was brilliant as it made up for the fact that most of the book Harry, Ron and Hermione were going from campsite to campsite for weeks on end.
My one issue with this book (apart from the harsh and pointless deaths) is the celebration of Severus Snape. Now, I fully acknowledge that I loved the reveal with the Pensieve and I thought those memories were fascinating and brilliantly written. But my problem is that Severus Snape is still a racist, cruel and all round horrendous person and I don’t think his frankly alarming obsession with Lily Evans should suddenly redeem all the other terrible things he did. I mean, Neville Longbottoms parents were tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange on Voldemort’s orders and yet his greatest fear was still Snape! Honestly, Snape was a great character but an absolutely awful human being and the fact that Harry actually named one of his children after him is just, well, gross.
I do love this book, a lot, but it never gets any easier to read. I still want to cry whenever I remember Fred’s last laugh or the fact Remus may well have died thinking Tonks was safe at home with Teddy. I will always love this series, and to be frank that just makes it hurt all the more. J.K, you had my heart and you successfully crushed it so thanks for that.