Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J. K. Rowling
Publication Date: July 21, 2007
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Audible (Jim Dale editions)
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Harry Potter is leaving Privet Drive for the last time. But as he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid’s motorbike and they take to the skies, he knows Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters will not be far behind.
The protective charm that has kept him safe until now is broken. But the Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything he loves. And he knows he can’t keep hiding.
To stop Voldemort, Harry knows he must find the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them.
He will have to face his enemy in one final battle.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“I open at the close.”
After a full week in the wizarding world, I won’t act like it’s weird to be writing this review. I didn’t realize it at first, but I’ve only read this last book once. It was released shortly before my family moved from Connecticut to Minnesota and we listened to the audiobook on the road trip out. With the exception of visiting The Tale of the Three Brothers many times over the years, I was so surprised to discover that I really didn’t know this book as well as its predecessor.
As far as conclusions go, this one was handled pretty well. I felt like the build-up to the final fight with Voldemort was done quite well, and the epilogue did a great job bookending the series with a strong close. I also really liked how much wizarding lore was introduced in this book, between the Tale of the Three Brothers leading to three very real magical artifacts, to introducing us to wand lore, and the wizard-creature relations continuing to be explored. I honestly wish that Rowling didn’t completely botch all of this with later reveals and retcons, because the wizarding world this book opened up for us would’ve made some amazing content. With the exception of Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts, I haven’t read any of the supplemental material, but I really want to visit The Tales of Beetle the Bard now.
One criticism I have of this book was how slow-paced the first half of the book felt. This is a complaint I’ve seen by other readers as well, but without the day-to-day life of Hogwarts speeding the plot along, this one just felt noticeably slow at parts. Of course, I didn’t expect Harry and co. to find the Horcruxes right away, but I forgot how much time there was before the relocated the sword and got back on their quest.
I’m also super mixed on the parting of the ways with the Dursleys. Of course, I liked the notion that Harry and Dudley were able to be civil by the last book and were even hinted at being able to maintain a distant relationship as adults, but I just find it so hard to believe that Dudley and Harry would finally be able to make up after 15 years of abuse. I do give credit that most of the last summer, Harry was removed from the Durselys and there really wasn’t time to see how much things really had changed after the dementor attack.
Going off of that, it’s finally time to talk about Snape’s redemption arc. Look, I said it before, the “always” scene gets me every time in the movie, however, I really don’t think that his unrequited love for Lily is enough to absolve him of the years of abuse he dealt out. I can understand Snape not wanting to be in Jame’s debt, or like having a shadow of James in his classroom every year. I can even understand Snape being a git to Harry, but the amount of abuse he dealt out to other students as well just crosses a line. Snape was a bully that tried to blame everything on not getting the girl. Frankly, I don’t think it’s enough. I’m okay with Harry understanding Snape’s motives, I’m even okay with Harry trusting Snape, but I’m not okay with Snape being the bravest man Harry ever met. Albus Severus Potter should’ve been Albus Rubius Potter, and this is a hill I will die on.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
My heart also went out for Draco in this scene. Making a 17-year-old torture (if not kill) his pet because of a “mistake” he made is a new level of cruel. You all know I’m super sensitive to animal cruelty and deaths in books, but wow that was something I forgot and it really stung. I also liked how in this book, you see that Lucius may have agreed with Voldemort’s cause (at least at first, unsure if he still does at the end), but you can also tell Narcissa and Draco got caught up in it due to Lucius and both have vastly different motives. Draco didn’t sell out Harry and Narcissa was only concerned with Draco’s safety.
Harry saving Draco from the fiendfire probably did the same “I respect you now” thing that Harry and Dudley had. I’m more open to it from Draco, because other than schoolyard taunting, Draco didn’t really do much to Harry (don’t get me wrong, he verbally expressed racist views and was a total ass, but it’s not like he actually showed up to any of the fights), compared to Dudley that used Harry as a punching bag for most of his childhood. I think Harry definitely could’ve found peace with both over the years, and I would love to see Scorpius and Albus be friends in a story that’s not the fanfiction that is Cursed Child, but that’s just not the kind of thing that happens overnight.
I had some mixed feelings of Ron always being the friend that’s a bit of an ass, though I understand it more in this book. At 17, Ron is worried about his family, his safety, and frustrated about the quest he signed up. I like that he tried to return shortly after making the mistake, but I wish there was more communication rather than just running out on Harry and Hermione. That being said, taking the locket into account, I can’t exactly fault his behavior. I did like that he was given his moment to shine by not only resuing Harry, but getting more basilisk fangs from Chamber. I also liked how he let Hermione destroy the cup “so she could get a chance” and made sure the house-elves got out safe. After watching him not care about S.P.E.W. in the previous books, I really think that showed his growth and definitely earned him Hermione. Side note, Harry’s comment about focusing on the battle and not making out did get a serious chuckle out of me.
I also really like how Harry’s views towards Kreature changed in this book. I totally get Harry being pissed that Kreature sold out Sirus, but Dumbledore also made a good point about Sirus treating him like garbage and Kreature responding in kind. Kreature leading the charge at the end, in honor of Regulus really just warms the heart during such a sad battle.
Also, we stan Molly’s “not my daughter you bitch.” That will forever be iconic.
Writing the review for this really feels like the end of an era. I think one of the reasons I don’t revisit this book as much as the others is the sheer finality of this book. There’s just this sense of loss with the deaths of beloved characters and the hole finishing the series leaves. Spending a week in the world of Harry Potter reminded me why I loved this series so much growing up and really demonstrated how timeless this series is. I completely get that not everyone loves this series, but I do love how people can read this series at all ages and discover the magic as if they read it for the first time.
Harry Potter was one of the most fundamental book series in my journey of becoming the reader that I am today and resisting this world during these trying times has been such a great time. Hogwarts really is my home.