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22 July 2007 @ 10:43 pm
Harry Potter  
My cousin's wedding was great. More on that later. But now it is time to grump. I bought Deathly Hallows on Saturday and read it in the car on the way home.

Spoiler-free impressions: it was an engaging read. Various main and major characters matured in believable ways without losing their basic personalities. It was especially cool to see once-bumbling kids skillfully cast spells whenever necessary. I was happy that my opinions on the biggest spoiler of Book 6 were vindicated. (Namely, I had suspected that a certain pivotal event was not cut-and-dry evil as it seemed to be.)

On the other hand...I liked Harry Potter better when it was more whimsy, less serious business, with character interactions focused around goings-on at Hogwarts, people's houses, and whatnot. Deathly Hallows came off like some hybrid of Star Wars and the Zion battle in Matrix Revolutions. I knew the serious business was going to have to get resolved in a spectacular finale, but it still feels strange. I'm also pretty chafed about a certain character death. Spoilers - you have been warned.

Fred Weasley bought the farm. Fred as in Fred and George, Ron's goofy kickass brothers who flipped the proverbial bird to a tyrannical Hogwarts headmaster and dropped out of school to start their own successful business selling magical pranks.

Some of the deaths made sense in context. Certain characters were killed for understandable reasons. And really, I wouldn't expect the entire population of Hogwarts to survive a Death Eater attack unscathed. But this and other deaths came off as Russian roulette with popular characters. A Death Eater blew up a wall and Fred got unlucky. WHY?!
Current Mood: indescribableindescribable
Current Music: Rammstein - Sonne
Jill: Pötterdämmerungwanderingrogue on July 23rd, 2007 04:08 am (UTC)
While she has no problem killing off the adults around Harry, Rowling really seemed like she wanted to kill at least one of the kids that we knew and loved, but, naturally, it couldn't be one of the three. I guess Fred was the unfortunate chosen one. It also gave Mrs. Weasley the power (and the necessary rage) to kill Bellatrix Lestrange. And it probably helped drive home to Percy the fact that he really fucked up.

I guess, anyway. But at the heart of it, I'll bet it really was that Rowling didn't want to wuss out so she had to kill at least one of Harry's close friends, but didn't want to be chased through the streets of Europe by rabid Ron or Hermione fans brandishing pitchforks for killing one of them off (and you know it could happy...Harry Potter fandom is just that crazy ;)).
Jillwanderingrogue on July 23rd, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)

I'm far too sleepy to be typing right now.
Liz: Terrable by Deidreladyaltara on July 23rd, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that sucked, I wasn't really expecting that. I was in bed and gasped, and Brian was like "oh, someone else just died" lol. I'm not sure why she killed him off, it may be like wanderingrogue said. She needed to kill someone close off lol.
Personally, I'm kind of surprised Hagrid or even Neville didn't die. Neville was awesome at the end though :)
Skurtchasor: Mooskurtchasor on July 23rd, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
It seems to me that JKR was trying to show that, given this is war, even the "good guys" can die in ways that seem sudden and meaningless at the time, but can serve as a source of strength later. If this was her plan, I don't think it was well-executed at all, except maybe in the case of Lupin.

But back to Fred--his death had no dramatic consequences, and as you've observed, no real meaning. If, as wanderingrogue suggests, his death was supposed to charge Molly with enough emotional energy to defeat Bellatrix, then it would have been more effective if Bella had actually been the one to kill Fred, or we had a scene of Molly greiving over her dead son before the final battle. As far as I can remember, Bella never actually fought any of the Weasleys directly prior to this book. So it seemed like her attacking Ginny was the trigger for the Weasley parents to flip out and go DBZ.