I have put this off far longer than I had wanted. Originally, I had planned to write this a few hours after finishing reading the Deathly Hallows, but time ran out on me and then things piled up. As it stands, I am currently penning this in a meeting and will type it up later in my blog! (That makes fine use of all these meetings that I have to sit in, I must say!!)
Forgive me as my thoughts will meander a bit, but I think for the most part my points will come across just the same.
SPOILER ALERT: If you have not yet read the last Harry Potter book and do not want to know what happens, proceed no further!
The Leak and The Casualties
Looking back, Iâ€™m glad that I was able to avoid the leaked spoiler circulating in various areas on the internet. However, the spoiler itself was a bit misleading in that it was not only one character that died in this book. This final chapter in the Harry Potter saga covered the end of the war between followers of He Who Must Not Be Named and those who chose to stand up and fight. Among those who were lost, the ones who come foremost to my mind are: Hedwig the owl, Dobby the free elf, Mad-eye Moody, Colin McCreevy, Severus Snape, Remus and Tonks Lupin, and last but certainly not least, Fred Weasley.
Many people naturally speculated that Harry would fall and at one point in the book, I found myself believing that as well. Harry learns that for Voldemort to be vanquished, they both must die. He prepares himself for his demise and sacrifices himself to save the world from this great terrible evil. (sound familiar?) This act of self-sacrifice allows Harry a moment to reflect and confer with Dumbledore, to discover truths which he already knew but needed sorting out and putting together in order to better fight. He awakens to find he is not dead after all and defeats Voldemort once and for all.
One of things I really enjoyed about this final volume was seeing Severus Snapeâ€™s name â€œclearedâ€ in the virtual sense. Found dying of a bite from Voldemortâ€™s snake, Harry is given a few strands of Snapeâ€™s memories, divulging his childhood friendship and lengthy history (and obsession) with Lily, Harryâ€™s mother. He also learns of a mishap that dooms Dumbledore, and Snapeâ€™s promise to kill him so that young Draco Malfoy wonâ€™t have to. Harry learns that all of the â€œevilsâ€ that Snape has done have been for a good cause.
Something else that struck me as peculiar â€¦ when Harry and Hermione were wandering around in the wilderness with a Horcrux that must worn around the neck, which brought the wearer terrible fears and loathsome feelings, and they despaired and often wondered when they would see their home and loved ones again â€¦ sound familiar? (Lord of the Rings, anyone?)
For the most part, I think Ms. Rowling tied up most of the loose ends pretty well. Harry and Ginny of course end up together, marry, and have kids. Ron and Hermione do the same. There was no mention of George, however, so I am left wondering about him. (What about the joke shop? Will he continue to develop new products? Too bad he doesn’t make radar detectors ;P)
Neville became the Hogwarts Herbology professor — no surprise there, but there is no mention of who he marries (if at all?). There has been speculation of he and Luna Lovegood, but I think Luna and Dean end up together. But that is not confirmed either. And what became of Bill and Fleur? Or Charlie Weasley?
Not a Great Wizard
Last but not least, I think what stuck out most about this story was that it finally became clear that Harry had long been assumed to be a â€œgreat wizardâ€ due to his mysterious past and â€œyou know whoâ€, but this book proves this to be untrue in a sense. Yes, his spell-casting could be characterized as predictable, but not without its merits. He has his strengths and in areas where he has weaknesses he is blessed to have help in friends and loved ones to help out when needed. Harry is at last shown to have a strong and moral character, something that both does and doesnâ€™t make him remarkable â€“ and something that every hero should have.