Our First Impressions of Book Seven

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Our First Impressions of Book Seven

Post  Elanor on Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:07 am

Our First Impressions of Book Seven

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. Elanor

Kip Carter - Jul 22, 2007 5:36 pm
co-Host with Steve on the Lexicon Forum, but he has the final say as the Owner!
Edited Aug 30, 2007 10:52 pm

This thread is to discuss Our First Impressions of Book Seven. It was suggested by mona amon.
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Our First Impressions of Book Seven (Post 1 to 50)

Post  Elanor on Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:07 am

TomProffitt - Jul 22, 2007 5:45 pm (#1 of 98)
Bullheaded empiricist
Edited Jul 22, 2007 7:11 pm
In the opening moments of DH the tension was enormous. First I thought Hagrid dead, then I feared that multiple friends died in Harry's flight from Privet Drive. I constantly wondered about who was under an Imperius, Lupin? Fleur? Molly? The tension never really faded until Harry left "King's Cross" alive, but even then I was prepared for more deaths.

Thank you Joanne Rowling for sticking to your guns, "How do you know Harry will survive?"

EDIT: Had to fix some grammar (subject-verb agreement).

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Mediwitch - Jul 22, 2007 7:05 pm (#2 of 98)

"We could have all been killed-- or worse, expelled!"
I was practically breathless with that tension throughout the book, TomProffitt! I kept waiting for the next big bomb to drop. I was terrified for Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid especially throughout the whole book. It also amazed me how I could go from being in shock to laughing, in the blink of an eye (like when George was injured, then said he felt "saintly".) Awesome, truly awesome.

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Puck - Jul 22, 2007 8:14 pm (#3 of 98)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
I feel like I've been an emotionally hightenated state the last couple of days. It was pure tension, though I enjoyed it. I was gasping often, mumbling "oh no oh no oh no" under my breathe, and shed many tears.

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Veritaserum - Jul 22, 2007 8:23 pm (#4 of 98)

Go Jays!
I loved how it differed from the other books, plot structure wise, and I also loved how it brought up reminiscences of past books all throughout. It was an emotional roller coaster, every time something good happened, something bad happened right after. And I loved the way you got so close to the characters that you felt your life would truly be affected by whether they lived or died, and the euphoria you felt as everybody came back together again at the end...

oh, it was brilliant.

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totyle - Jul 22, 2007 8:43 pm (#5 of 98)

It was a roller coaster reading alrite. I had to close the book for a whole minute unable to go on when I thought Hagrid had died. And the relief, the gasps, the tears came all the way through right to the end chapter. Dudley...took me completely by surprise...I'm still shaking my head in disbelief!

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zelmia - Jul 22, 2007 9:19 pm (#6 of 98)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
MOLLY WEASLEY!!!!! (Need I say more?)

I confess at getting choked up at Neville's story more than anyone's. "I'll join you when Hell freezes over! DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY!" (Sheesh! Just typing that, and I'm going again). SO happy that he was the one who killed the final Horcrux (good thinking, there, Harry!)

I never believed Hagrid was dead because I knew he wasn't going to die.

Sadly, Lupin's death did not come as a shock, though I was a bit suprised at Tonks following him. Thought she might be inclined to stick around for their son.

Well done, Dudley!

Okay, I'm sorry to say this, but the epilogue was just a bit too cheesy. I mean, I know it's what we all wanted, but still: Albus Severus was a bit over the top for me.

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Finn BV - Jul 22, 2007 9:28 pm (#7 of 98)

Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
It was brilliant. I think it is vying to pass OOP as my favorite.

Some great parts: Kreacher, Dudley, Percy, Neville, Molly (I agree zelmia!)!!

My favorite new ship: Luna/Dean. How sweet!

Not enough Ginny, and not enough of the professors (I believe Trelawney was mentioned once in the entire book… albeit throwing her crystal balls!).

I agree, the constant action (particularly so early on as chapters 1 and 4) took me by surprise; the tension throughout was overwhelming (but that's a good thing!).

It was really incredible, I'm amazed at what a spectacular finale this was. I loved it.

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totyle - Jul 22, 2007 10:04 pm (#8 of 98)

Did anyone else think Ron's character was initially...not quite alrite? His statement (pg 46 uk edition) was I thought rather uncalled for.." because its the first time for all of us" in response to Harry's protest against them risking their lives for him. Harry has saved more of his family members many more times than theyve put their lives on line for him. So why was that? Jealousy..still? I actually thought that either he or Molly were under the Imperius and would end up as the Order's traitor. Only when he returned after walking out on H & Hr he seemed to be back to being the Ron we've known before.

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Madam Pince - Jul 22, 2007 10:20 pm (#9 of 98)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
First impressions quickly off the top of my head:

Brilliant, fantastic book! Loved it! Great suspense, lots of "Yay!" and "Oh NOOOO!" moments. (Also lots of questions about things that don't seem to fit, but that's another thread...)

Quite the bloodbath! Choices, you were keeping count -- what is the tally? It was a good bit worse than I was expecting!

Definite theme of our heroes not being everything they're cracked up to be. Everyone has flaws.

Desperately disappointed that Snape never got to know that Harry forgave him, nor that the rest of the Wizarding World finally knows the truth about him. No posthumous Order of Merlin First Class? Pah.

I was especially impressed and appreciated the many injections of humor into the parts that were getting so intense. Examples just off the top:

"'ear 'ear 'ear"

"So, 'ow eez leetle Teddy?" "Here, I've got a picture!"*waving it desperately*

Trelawney lobbing crystal balls at DEs in the final battle

McGonnagal leading a "Charge!" of animated galloping desks

(Anyone besides me think of Disney's Beauty and the Beast when all the furniture, etc. rises up to defend the castle? Also, all the teachers were using their specialties -- Sprout used plants, etc., but as Trelawney had nothing useful to contribute from Divination - like McGonnagal has said countless times - she was reduced to just lobbing the crystal balls at them -- this was priceless to me!)

"What is Xenophilius Lovegood wearing? He looks like an omelet."

"Rack your brains, Ron! That should only take a couple of seconds!"
* Lee:"And the rumors that (Voldy) keeps being sighted abroad?" Fred: "Well, who wouldn't want a nice little holiday after all the hard work he's been putting in?"

"Crookshanks??? Are you a wizard, or what?"

Given that Snape was such a major character in the resolution, and the "hatred" between he and Harry was so central to the series, and the question of "good Snape" vs. "bad Snape" was so crucial an issue among readers, I am surprised that JKR did not devote more space (actually, any space) immediately after the Pensieve memories scene to Harry thinking more about Snape and how wrong he had been about him. I think Snape deserved that. Granted, Harry had just learned that his destiny was that he had to die, but still... I feel JKR cheated us out of our bit of deserved Snape recognition.

But it was a great read! Super book.

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mona amon - Jul 23, 2007 3:39 am (#10 of 98)

Edited Jul 23, 2007 4:13 am
I loved it, and I think it will grow on me till it becomes one of my favourites. It is a profound book with its themes of temptation and sacrifice and of course choices, not one that I can 'get' on a first reading. Can't wait to re- read!

I was both happy and a little disappointed that I had managed to guess right on quite a few of the major points. Disappointed because there was not that much of a surprise. That's the problem with waiting for and thinking about a book for two years. I think future readers who jump straight from book six to book seven will have much more of a surprise.

Not that there weren't surprises. Snape becoming Headmaster of Hogwarts and Draco going back as a student, Dumbledore's back story, the Locket ending up with Umbridge of all people, etc, and Harry turning out to be a Horcrux was a big surprise to me! The whole Deathly Hallows thing of course was completely unexpected. I've not really understood that properly yet.

I was slightly disappointed with Snape's role. I wanted more of Snape or for there to be more to him than that, whatever. But I think I will appreciate what she's done with him better after re-reading. For instance, I was stunned at his death the first time I read (this is the only passage I have read a second time as of now). Was this all? I had imagined him dying a heroic death, actively helping Harry to defeat Voldemort, and to just get cut down like that? But on my second reading I found it one of the most heart rending death scenes I've ever read. No doubt I'll change my mind about other parts of the story as well on subsequent readings.

Some favourite lines-

All the ones mentioned by Madam Pince above!

I just loved seeing Harry successfully use that crucio!

Aberforth's goat patronus.

Dudley's farewell.

Kreacher mothering the trio, promising to have steak and kidney pie ready for them...

I like the way a different person destroyed each of the Horcruxes. Harry the diary, Dumbledore the ring, Ron the locket, Hermione the cup, Crabbe (!) the tiara, Neville the snake and Voldemort himself the Harrycrux.

"Stuff like that always sounds cooler than it really was' said Harry,"I've been trying to tell you that for years."

"He knew what he was doing when he gave me the Deluminator didn't he?...He must have known I'd run out on you." "No' Harry corrected him,"he must have Known you'd always want to come back."

"Our Headmaster is taking a short break,' said professor McGonnagal pointing at the Snape shaped hole in the window. LOL! Can't help being reminded of Batman!

Hagrid's neat paraphrase of Voldemort's words, "Yeh got 'til midnight ter gimme Potter."

"IF WE DIE FOR THEM, I'LL KILL YOU, HARRY!"

'Look...at... me...' he whispered.

Of course there are a lot more!

Magnificent book!

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Erasmus - Jul 23, 2007 7:15 am (#11 of 98)

Did you feel like I did:

All the action

the deaths

the fear of who's next

It hurt so much I wanted to keep putting the book down. Often my eyes couldn't focus on the words.

The Prince's Tale was the chapter I reread the most. My comments about Snape are in the appropriate thread. JKR did right by him.

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Esther Rose - Jul 23, 2007 7:58 am (#12 of 98)

um after the first reading I did what any Harry Potter loving fan would do.

I flipped the book over and read it from cover to cover again paying special attention to my favorite parts. lol

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Chemyst - Jul 23, 2007 8:08 am (#13 of 98)

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up." A.A. Milne
First impression — there was no commentary on the back cover or inside flaps of the Scholastic edition except for "We now present the seventh and final installment in the epic tale of Harry Potter." .... perfectly appropriate.

* * * * * *

When I opened the cover for the first time, the tune Hedwig's Theme started playing inside my head.
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The giant squid - Jul 23, 2007 9:25 am (#14 of 98)

Chemyst, I agree completely--I noticed the same thing about the cover copy (or lack thereof).

My first impression was of a non-stop out of control train barrelling over a cliff. Once I'd started reading there was no way I could stop until I hit page 759. I had a few "I knew that was going to happen" moments (R.A.B., etc.) but there were far more surprises. I
--Mike

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Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 23, 2007 9:27 am (#15 of 98)

I really enjoyed the book. There is so much that connects back to the first book. I loved when they were at the Whomping Willow and Ron wanted Crookshankes to push the knot. Hermione gasped at him "Are you a Wizard or what?" LPO

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Puck - Jul 23, 2007 11:05 am (#16 of 98)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
I liked that line repeating from the first book as well, LPO. (Well, sort of, last time it was "Are you a witch or what?")

Partway through I starting thinking about Hagrid saying "No safer place than Gringotss, except maybe Hogwarts." Duh! I can't believe it didn't hit me until then. AFter that, I spent a couple hundred pages waiting for Harry to remember this.

I didn't think I would be able to re-read for awhile, it was so emotional reading it. Now that I know how it all comes out, I think I could do it again, but not right away.

Oh, I so thought Hermione was gone to run up and kiss Ron when he returned. Had to laugh at her hitting him instead. Then, when "Sorry" wasn't enough, I thought "I love you" would have been good, but....

I wish we had seen Harry's reunion with Ginny, but I guess that was meant to be a private moment.

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freshwater - Jul 23, 2007 12:03 pm (#17 of 98)

Connections, speculation, discussion: the best part of HP reading! Check out the on-going HP Lex Forum series re-read! Currently reading GoF...
And this is one more reason I love HP: being able to interact --virtually-- with other like-minded fans on this forum. So very many of you have spoken what's in my heart or mind that it would be silly of me to quote you, so I'll just mention a few....

I agree that, initially, Ron didn't seem his usual best-friend self...but I thought that indicated that sometimes even best friends find it hard to hang in there for the long haul when things are uncertain or tedious. It's often the little things in life --like being hungry-- that interfere the most with our better desires. Ron fell victim to that very human weakness. I could also see that he might have expected Harry to be more sure of himself and to have had more definate plans from DD. Waffling around aimlessly, as they seemed to have spent weeks doing at times, would get frustrating pretty quickly.

So many of us wanted Neville to do in Bellatrix....but I'm glad that JKR handled it the way she did: revenge is not the point. Neville became a courageous, noble young man who rose to the occassion when it was needed. One of the most satisfying bits:

"...Have you seen my grandson?" (Mrs. Longbottom)

"He's fighting," said Harry.

"Naturally," said the old lady proudly. "Excuse me, I must go assist him."

Also loved the SPEW connection along with the humor of Ron and Hermione's first kiss...and Harry's response..."Is this the moment?" Harry asked weakly..." and then later "OI! There's a war going on here!"

I, too, wish we'd seen more of Ginny, and that the epilogue had contained more detail about careers and other characters. But the final line was perfect, IMHO.

As for the reunion of Harry and Ginny being a private moment...that's sweet of you, but really now, we've all been living inside of Harry's head for the last 7 years of his life....one big hug and a smooch would have been quite appropriate! **grin**

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The Wandless Wizard - Jul 23, 2007 6:56 pm (#18 of 98)

When wands are outlawed, only outlaws will have wands.
My first impressions were jumbled. Immediately after putting it down, I thought of it as a book with amazing highs and some really low lows. In the beginning, the actions scenes were amazing, but the lulls between them were really boring and annoying. For example, the trio apparating from campsite to campsite was dreadfully boring and their constant arguments annoyed me. It might have been realistic, but it was still annoying. There were also some instances of what I consider lazy writing, such as a few deus ex mahcinas, inconsistent plot explanations, tacked on story elements, and dropped plot threads. The ending was excellent though. That was my initial feelings.

All of the complaints have since been over shadowed by the good stuff for the most part. Having had a couple of days to look back, those things do not bother me at all. They were part of my first impression. Now that I have digested it all, I think about the great parts a lot more than the few bad parts.

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T Vrana - Jul 23, 2007 7:44 pm (#19 of 98)

wandless- I agree with you almost completely. On the camping, did it help us feels the trio's frustration to have it seem to drag out? And yes, the good outweighs the not so good, and all was quite well done considering how many loose endsthere were to tie up and how nicely so many characters were brought in. Epilogue disappointing.

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Puck - Jul 23, 2007 7:47 pm (#20 of 98)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
Squid Mike and Weeny Owl mentioned on another thread about the book ending a chapter short. I want to say that I agree. There was no rising or falling action in the book. I allowed for the former, as I figured 6 other books was enough of a lead in, but after all the stress and tension, I would have like a chapter to unwind.

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Thom Matheson - Jul 23, 2007 7:57 pm (#21 of 98)

I never thought that there would be a match for OoP and I guess that really there wasn't as DH far exceeded OoP. Never thought I would say that.

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Magic Words - Jul 23, 2007 9:57 pm (#22 of 98)

First impression? I practically had a psychosomatic reaction--heart pounding the whole time, sobbing into my pillow maybe half the time, choked up the other half, got to the point where I had to put the book down until I could breathe properly. Then I realized I'd missed lunch and dinner, had quite the stomachache the next day... and the fact that it's one o'clock in the morning right now and I'm not remotely tired should tell you something too.

I was disappointed in Snape's death, but I think J.K. Rowling did it that way on purpose. When she writes a death she always wants to convey the shock and suddenness and wrongness of it, so it seems to me. Since you'd expect Snape to die heroically after Harry forgives him, that wouldn't have seemed wrong.

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Madam Pince - Jul 24, 2007 8:07 am (#23 of 98)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
Wandless, I agree with you, too, about the book dragging a little bit there while the trio were moving from campsite to campsite. It seemed like JKR just needed some time to pass before she could carry the story on, but that resulted in the trio just sitting around not doing anything. Bit boring, and frustrating for them too.

One thought I had was that it was sort of intended to mirror the frustration Lily and James must've felt while they were in hiding from Voldemort. Being hunted down and having to skulk around and stay put must be horribly frustrating -- she showed us this with Sirius at 12 GP also. I'm thinking JKR herself must be one of those people who wants to be "on the go" all the time, since she portrays sitting around as being so terribly frustrating. (Personally, I just pick up a book, but hey... )

When she writes a death she always wants to convey the shock and suddenness and wrongness of it, so it seems to me. -- I agree 100%, Magic Words. She's not one for protracted deathbed scenes, is she? I think you've hit it right on the head about the "wrong-ness" aspect. Plus, it so often happens that way in "real life," and you don't always get the opportunity to say all the things you want to say, and I think she's speaking to this with all her death scenes. Be sure to say what you want to say while they're still around, because you never know when they might not be around, so to speak.

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T Vrana - Jul 24, 2007 9:44 am (#24 of 98)

Be sure to say what you want to say while they're still around, because you never know when they might not be around, so to speak.

In reverse for poor Percy. Fred's sudden death after Percy's return was heart wrenching not just becasue I LOVE Fred, but poor Percy finally comes to his senses and loses Fred. His inability to let go of Fred's body was......*sob* (can't even witer it now, tearing up).

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Die Zimtzicke - Jul 24, 2007 11:35 am (#25 of 98)

Loved the book, flints and all. Hated the epilogue, with all of the unanswered questions desperately. Jo said it would tell us what happened to the survivors, not just a few of them. She said we'd know everything, but we certainly don't know half of what we wanted to know as well as we'd like, from what I'm hearing from people..

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T Vrana - Jul 24, 2007 1:50 pm (#26 of 98)

As ready as Jo is to be done with HP, and as hard as it would be to undertake another such endeavor, I do note that she left Harry seven years before his first child was born, and, perhaps the epilogue was so limited because she does not want to nail down the fate of any other characters.

I don't think Jo is planning any additional books, but she certainly left the door open if she changes her mind. Course we would already know Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermione and Malfoy survive.

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Loopy Lupin - Jul 24, 2007 2:41 pm (#27 of 98)

I noticed the lack of synopsis on the dust jacket and thought that appropriate as well and a nice touch.

When Harry's escort party took to the air and was immediately surrounded by Death Eaters, I whispered "Oh No!" aloud. It dawned on me later that there were about 600 pages to go at that point, but I was still tense and worried. And, I'm not sure exactly how to articulate this without seeming unfeeling, but when Hedwig died I knew that Rowling "meant business" so to speak. Hedwig was one of the more iconic symbols of the earlier books was pretty much the first thing of real meaning to meet its fate. Clearly, play time was over.

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blue vespa girl - Jul 24, 2007 3:03 pm (#28 of 98)

What a great way to end the series. I'm pleased with the ending, sad it's over, but pleased with her amazing creativity to wrap it all up. The epilogue was a bit confusing, but I hadn't had much sleep at that point. I'm anxious to go back and read it a bit more slowly to pick up on things I missed from reading too quickly.

Did she really need to kill Hedwig? But yes, it was that point too I realized, no one was safe!

I'll proudly admit I cried when Doby died. And even choked up a bit when Kreacher shouted for everyone to help his master!

Question - Once I finished the book, I studied the cover art / book jacket. For the life of me, I can't figure out what the cover picture (the US edition) represents. Can someone tell me what the cover is about, what part of the book does it represent? Who are the people in the background?

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T Vrana - Jul 24, 2007 3:35 pm (#29 of 98)

Someone suggested the end when Harry catches the Elder wand during the battle with LV Makes sense to me!

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legolas returns - Jul 24, 2007 5:27 pm (#30 of 98)

Magic Words said "First impression? I practically had a psychosomatic reaction--heart pounding the whole time, sobbing into my pillow maybe half the time, choked up the other half, got to the point where I had to put the book down until I could breathe properly. Then I realized I'd missed lunch and dinner, had quite the stomachache the next day... and the fact that it's one o'clock in the morning right now and I'm not remotely tired should tell you something too. "

I totally agree thats how I felt -did not miss food though. I had to put the book down so many times. It was like-How on earth is Harry going to do it?

I have never had such a reaction to a book. Perhaps at the end of a book I might have had a few tears.

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Puck - Jul 24, 2007 7:18 pm (#31 of 98)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
Did any of you notice that Harry escaped LV 7times before the final battle?

Once as a baby

At the end of SS

In the Chamber of Secrets

In the graveyard

In the MoM

During the flight from the Burrow

In Godric's Hollow

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Veritaserum - Jul 24, 2007 7:22 pm (#32 of 98)

Go Jays!
I actually did notice that, and I thought it was pretty cool.

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Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 24, 2007 7:52 pm (#33 of 98)

Thanks Puck, I didn't notice that!

During my first read I was also frustrated with the camping scenes. It isn't so long or bad the second time around. Some real important stuff takes place then. LPO

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The Wandless Wizard - Jul 24, 2007 10:28 pm (#34 of 98)

When wands are outlawed, only outlaws will have wands.
Well 7 after all is a powerful number in the wizarding world. 7 pieces of Voldemorts soul, 7 Harry Potter escapes from Voldemort, and 7 books. But wait....there are actually 8 of the first two.

Soul pieces: 1. diary, 2. ring, 3. locket, 4. cup, 5. tiara, 6. Nagini, 7. Harrycrux, and 8. Voldemort himself.

Harry escpapes: 1. Godric's Hollow as a baby, 2. End of SS, 3. Chamber of Secrets, 4. In the Graveyard, 5. In the Ministry, 6. Escaping from 12 Privet Drive to the Burrow, 7. Godric's Hollow as an adult, and 8. The Battle of Hogwort's (killing him is escaping, escaping for good).

Does that mean we get 8 books too? Wishful thinking

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legolas returns - Jul 25, 2007 12:41 am (#35 of 98)

Dont you also have the forrest scene as well?

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PatPat - Jul 25, 2007 6:01 pm (#36 of 98)

Question - Once I finished the book, I studied the cover art / book jacket. For the life of me, I can't figure out what the cover picture (the US edition) represents. Can someone tell me what the cover is about, what part of the book does it represent? Who are the people in the background?

The cover art on the US edition represents the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. It shows Harry holding up his hand to catch the elder wand. The people in the background are all of the people who were standing around watching. The only thing missing is Harry should have a wand in his other hand, but I assume it was left off because it would have given too much away to show Harry with a wand and Voldemort without one.

As far as my first impression of the book, I LOVED it. Beginning to end. I did not find the camping scenes boring at all as there was a lot of character development there. It was more information than action, true, but I think there was plenty of action in the rest of the book to make up for it. I would have to say I was in tears for about 60% of the book. Never have I been so emotionally affected by a book. I have seen some reviews saying that JKR is not as skillful a writer as Tolkien or CS Lewis and I have to disagree with that. It's true that she sometimes uses too much cliche' and her use of language is certainly more down to earth. BUT she is unmatched in her plot structure and her characterization. Her characters are totally realistic and relatable. Every one of her characters is flawed and human. Harry is a masterpiece of a creation. Heroic and brave and strong and talented, yet also hot-tempered, stubborn, and impulsive. We can relate to him and admire him as a true hero, all at the same time. Sheer brilliance.

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Madam Pince - Jul 25, 2007 7:21 pm (#37 of 98)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
You know, now that I study that cover art, I can kick myself. Before the book came out, I was thinking that it looked like an outdoors scene, and I was imagining that "Behind The Veil" was going to be outdoors-y (they thought they saw a wind billowing the veil outwards), so I'd convinced myself it was beyond the Veil.

But how many times have we had it drilled into us that the ceiling of the Great Hall is bewitched to look like the outside sky???

Can't you just hear Hermione? "Have you never read Hogwarts, A History???" ***bangs forehead against desk repeatedly...***

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The Wandless Wizard - Jul 25, 2007 8:32 pm (#38 of 98)

When wands are outlawed, only outlaws will have wands.
PatPat wrote: "I did not find the camping scenes boring at all as there was a lot of character development there. It was more information than action, true, but I think there was plenty of action in the rest of the book to make up for it."

It had nothing to do with the lack of action. I agree that there was plenty of action. I just do not think the camping/planning scenes were written particularly well. Some were, but there were also parts that were recycled. They had the same arguments, cast the same protective spells, had the same discussions. The repetition got boring. The arguments got annoying.

As one example, Hermione kept on telling Harry he should try Occlumency to keep Voldemort out of his head. They had this argument several times in the book. Never once did Harry point out that he was taught Occlumency by a Death Eater. During the lessons he thought Snape was making him more susceptible to Voldemort. Everyone ignored him because Snape was a good guy. Now that everyone is on the Snape's evil bandwagon, Harry doesn't mention this once. Instead we are treated to:

Hermione: Use Occlumency. Harry: Never worked. Hermione: You are not trying. Harry: Doesn't work. Hermione: You want the visions. Harry: No I don't. Hermione: Then use Occlumency. Harry: Never worked. Hermione: You are not trying. Harry: Doesn't work. Hermione: You want the visions. Harry: No I don't. Hermione: Then use Occlumency....

Rinse and repeat ad nauseum.

In addition to Occlumency, there is the argument about going to Godric's Hollow, Hollows vs. Horcrux argument, whether Harry's wan acted on its own. These arguments come up 3-4 times each and each time both sides say the same thing by rote. You would think the trio would learn to trust each other's instincts a little more by now.

These repetitive parts of the story were put in sections when little else is going on, and it bored me. But as I said before, that was a small thing compared to how good the book was as a whole. If you liked those sections, that's good. I didn't.

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T Vrana - Jul 26, 2007 7:54 am (#39 of 98)

wandless- I do agree that at points I was disppointed in the actual quality of the writing. It seemed that some areas could have been 'tightened', refined, perhaps. I never felt this about any previous book. While past elements were brought in nicely in some cases, they were overused and stale in others. Perhaps as a 'wrap up' book she didn't want to bring up anything new, but in the end then, some moments seemed too rehashed.

Like you, though, the overall outweighs the minor complaints...

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Joanne Reid - Jul 26, 2007 10:31 am (#40 of 98)

Hi,

Like the rest of you I loved it!

For years, I have asserted that this is a modern Celtic Hero epic. The essence of such a tale is that the Hero must believe him/herself to be doomed. Yet, the true Hero faces that doom to overcome Evil. In so doing, and by the very act of facing Death resolutely, the Hero overcomes Evil and passes through that foretold Doom to create a new and better era.

Yet, from the first, I wasn't sure my predictions would come true. Mad-Eye and Hedwig killed. Dudley grows up in spite of his parents.

Death everywhere. The Minsistry falls. The Wedding is interrupted.

The long scenes in the forests were important to me. Three kids, hunted by the most powerful of governments led by the most powerful of magical folk. Hurrah for Lee Jordan, Dean Thomas and all their troop. Ron rebuilds his character to save Harry. Hermione, the ever faithful, but nagging friend. Ron finally overcoming his great fears by killing the Horcrux.

More deaths! Minor triumphs. Dobby to the rescue! Dobby dies! I wept bitterly. I had envisioned Dobby living in Harry's home, caring for his children, while earning a Galleon a week. He died a free elf, and I used half a box of tissues.

Goblin treachery. Riding a dragon. Caught and escaped time and again.

Battle of Hogwarts. Suits of armor to the gates! Crystal balls shatter the enemy! Galloping desks. Percy returns. Haven't we always said nobody should anger Molly Prewitt Weasley?

Fred. Remus. Tonks. Collin.

Ron remembers the basilisk tooth. Ron listened! Ron used parselmouth to open the Chamber of Secrets to recover the basilisk tooth. Hermione killed it once and for all.

The gruesome death of Severus Snape. He deserved it. He could have done his job without torturing Harry. His unrequited love of Lily was an obsession, not a worthy one.

Harry seeks his own death with the equanimity of the true hero.

Hurrah for Neville! He earned the right to kill Nagini and more.

Harry emulates his hero, Albus Dumbledore, by trying to help Tom Riddle to see the errors of his way and to atone. Failing in that, he seizes the Elder Wand, yet refuses the three Deathly Hallows, which he and only he has the right and the power to command.

Nineteen years later, Harry and Ginny and their three children are alive and well. Ron and Hermione and their child are also alive and well. And there is plenty of time in those intervening years for much to have happened in the life of the justifiably famous Harry Potter and his friends that will fill many books in the coming years.

I have started them all over. Knowing the end has only spurred my interest in re-reading them all. What hints did Joanne leave for us to discover? What old things will I finally appreciate? Now I can enjoy every page, knowing that my children will survive and prosper.

Thank you, Joanne Rowling, for this wonderful adventure.

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T Vrana - Jul 26, 2007 12:56 pm (#41 of 98)

The gruesome death of Severus Snape. He deserved it. He could have done his job without torturing Harry. His unrequited love of Lily was an obsession, not a worthy one

Wow. Harsh. I think Harry and Jo disagree. I know I do.

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PatPat - Jul 26, 2007 6:01 pm (#42 of 98)

Actually, T Vrana, JKR was on the Today show this morning and she actually gasped when the word "hero" was associated with Snape. She warned again about seeing him this way. She said he is definitely brave but also a bully and very scathing. In fact, when she was asked if Snape would have cared about Harry if he hadn't loved Lily, she said No. She said he couldn't care less about the boy. I believe JKR sees Snape as someone who was on the side of good, but not because he felt it was right, but for his own selfish reasons. This is how I have always seen Snape as well.

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Allison R - Jul 26, 2007 10:52 pm (#43 of 98)

Saying goodbye to a friend: We love you, Dusty Bunny. You will be missed.
PatPat, that's exactly the impression I got from her interview as well.

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Madam Pince - Jul 26, 2007 11:23 pm (#44 of 98)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
I, also, got that impression from the interview regarding how JKR feels about Snape, but it is definitely not the way I read him. Isn't it odd how the author, the creator of the character, can feel one way, and tons of fans can feel another way?

Masterful, in a way, that her characters are so ambiguous. There are a lot of widely varying opinions of Dumbledore, too, after DH.

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T Vrana - Jul 27, 2007 6:26 am (#45 of 98)

patpat- I agree that Snape is a very flawed hero, and a terrible person in many, many ways. But working within his very flawed personality, he did love Lily and did spend the rest of his days trying to atone for what he did. Even when he knew he could never have Lily, that DD intended to warn and protect Lily AND James and their son, when DD asked what Snape would do in return...'ANYTHING'. Snape was not perfect, at all, but he was motivated by love and ended up doing the right thing at great risk, and died still doing the right thing. To say he deserved his awful death is harsh.

Only the truly good can know remorse? What of all the imperfect souls? So, he didn't like Harry. He loved Harry's mother enough to sacrifice it all, and Harry, at least, found that to be quite brave.

He knew remorse and repentance, that it was for the love of one, makes him imperfect and not a nice guy, or a role model, but not worthy of such heartless scorn, IMO. That is reserved for Riddle, who could not love.

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T Vrana - Jul 27, 2007 7:50 am (#46 of 98)

I believe JKR sees Snape as someone who was on the side of good, but not because he felt it was right, but for his own selfish reasons

Agree with all except the selfish part. Love is not selfish. Most everything else about Snape was horrid, but his love for Lily was not selfish. Snape agreed to do 'Anything' DD asked to save Lily, not for himself, but for her. Anything. This is his one redeeming quality. And he asked for nothign in return, just to save her, that's all.

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Puck - Jul 27, 2007 10:19 am (#47 of 98)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
If Snape had treated characters like Neville better, I'd have softer feelings toward him. If it was only Harry -who reminded him of the arrogant James that ended up marrying his beloved- that he was terrible to it would be almost understandable. But his crualty has too many outlets for my taste.

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Magic Words - Jul 27, 2007 12:33 pm (#48 of 98)

But Neville was also mixed up in the whole prophecy debacle. He's only alive because Voldemort went after Harry instead, so of course he reminds him of his greatest mistake.

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T Vrana - Jul 27, 2007 12:41 pm (#49 of 98)

Puck- Oh Snape was a nasty git no doubt...but even McGonogall yelled at Neville not to embarass Hogwarts during the Triwizard Cup.

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legolas returns - Jul 27, 2007 12:43 pm (#50 of 98)

She had started complimenting him at the begining of book 6. I wonder what she said to Neville after he stood up to Voldemort and had fillited Nagini?
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Our First Impressions of Book Seven (Post 51 to 98)

Post  Elanor on Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:10 am

PatPat - Jul 27, 2007 4:01 pm (#51 of 98)
But Neville was also mixed up in the whole prophecy debacle. He's only alive because Voldemort went after Harry instead, so of course he reminds him of his greatest mistake Magic Words

Snape treated other characters horribly too. He was mean to Hermione on many occasions. One that sticks out in my mind is "I see no difference." after her teeth grew from a hex. In fact, the only student I can recall him being particularly nice to is Draco.

Agree with all except the selfish part. Love is not selfish. Most everything else about Snape was horrid, but his love for Lily was not selfish. Snape agreed to do 'Anything' DD asked to save Lily, not for himself, but for her. Anything. This is his one redeeming quality. And he asked for nothign in return, just to save her, that's all. T Vrana

It's true that he loved Lily and certainly seemed to feel remorse for what his actions did to her. But, the fact is that he wouldn't have cared at all if it was someone else that Voldemort chose to go after. He would have been perfectly fine with his master killing anyone but Lily. Even a little baby who had no way of defending himself. It wasn't until Dumbledore called him on it that he even bothered to ask him to protect all of them rather than just Lily. To me, this is the part that is selfish. He didn't care who else suffered for his actions as long as it wasn't the one person that HE personally cared about.

I, too, find it amazing that we can all read the same thing and come to different conclusions. Different conclusions even than the creator. Wonderful!

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legolas returns - Jul 27, 2007 4:40 pm (#52 of 98)

Sorry to go Star Warsy on you all but didnt Obi Wan say something about something being true from a certain point of view.

I thought that most of JKR comments about Snape were said before the release of book 6. We had still to witness him AKing Dumbledore.

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T Vrana - Jul 27, 2007 7:59 pm (#53 of 98)

PatPat-- I see where you are coming to the 'selfish' conclusion.

Yes, it took personal pain to turn Snape from LV to DD. But he was turned (DD did say love was the only thing more powerful than LV's lure of power). That Snape could feel this depth of love, and risk what he risked, feel the incredible remorse, and sacrifice, without any promise of reward, redeems him to me. In the end, he paid dearly for his mistakes. It doesn't make him a great person, but it did make him the best person he could be, and a very tragic figure. Lily brought out the best in him, in the end.....imagine if he hadn't had his love for her to bring him back.

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zelmia - Jul 27, 2007 9:12 pm (#54 of 98)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
He loved Harry's mother enough to sacrifice it all.
What exactly was he sacrificing? What did he even have to sacrifice besides his miserable life? I don't see that Snape had anything special to offer that many other people did not also risk to try to rid the world of Voldemort.

But perhaps we'd better continue this particular discussion on the Snape Thread.

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Steve Newton - Jul 28, 2007 5:32 am (#55 of 98)

Librarian
I think that most would think that sacrificing your life is quite a lot.

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Mrs Brisbee - Jul 28, 2007 6:50 am (#56 of 98)

I think the point is that many, many people sacrificed and risked everything to defeat Voldemort. I too take issue with the idea that Snape was "better" than the rest.

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Steve Newton - Jul 28, 2007 6:52 am (#57 of 98)

Librarian
Better is always debatable but I don't think that this would lessen the sacrifice. I'm not sure that he was 'better' but he did sacrifice himself.

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Puck - Jul 28, 2007 6:59 am (#58 of 98)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
And I think Neville is the bravest in the books. He has no reason he has to fight LV, he just does it because it's the right thing to do. He's not the Chosen One, he has no sins to make up for, yet he runs from the crowd and tells the most powerful Dark wizard off. He must have expected to be killed at that moment. Perhaps he just wanted to inspire the others to keep fighting. He could have turned back. He could have played along to save his own skin. Gryffindor, through and through. Neville Rocks!

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PatPat - Jul 28, 2007 7:02 am (#59 of 98)

I thought that most of JKR comments about Snape were said before the release of book 6. We had still to witness him AKing Dumbledore. legolas returns

The comments we are referring to were made 2 days ago on the Today show. She was asked if Snape was always intended to be a hero. She actually gasped and said that she didn't see Snape as a hero. He was immensely brave, but also a bully and very scathing. She also indicated that Snape would not have cared at all about Harry if he ahd not loved Lily.

But, I agree we should probably continue this discussion on the Snape thread!

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Thom Matheson - Jul 28, 2007 7:23 am (#60 of 98)

Couple things. Did Snape "sacrafice" out of love for Lily, or want revenge from Voldemort? Is love selfish? Sure it is. Snape spent his whole life hating James for always beating him at everything. Especially Lily. In Harry, he was just constantly reminded of James. His only redeeming feature here is that he loved Lily. I don't see that as redemption, on the whole. His work for DD was Lily motivated, and assisting Harry, regardless of his methods, was to get Voldemort, through the actions he heard from the prophacy.

As far as his memories, he wanted Harry to know the truth finally about his relationship with his mother and to have him see the DD scene. For me it was "I didn't kill Dumbledore, look for yourself".

He was a Slytherin after all, and to the end he was looking out for his own best interest. His life wasn't sacraficed, Voldemort murdered him. I am sure that he would have preferred to be alive, and in fact tried to plead his case. He would not have been able to share anything with Harry had Harry not been in the Shack. Snape could not have planned for that, he just got lucky.

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Puck - Jul 28, 2007 8:43 am (#61 of 98)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
I think he only gave Harry the background about himself and Lily so he would believe in Snape enough to trust that he (Harry) had to sacrifice himself.

Are we allowed to continue this on the Snape thread? I thought we had to keep spoilers over here for the time being...

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T Vrana - Jul 28, 2007 9:25 am (#62 of 98)

snape thread has spoiler alert...ok to post there

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totyle - Jul 30, 2007 9:52 pm (#63 of 98)

Not sure where to post this so I'll put it here...I posted much earlier regarding my first impressions and now Ive done my reread..just wanted to say there's so much more to this book than what you get on the first read. And its been like that for me for every HP book. Every reread reveals something more, something significant, some link with other books and I just wanted to say I think this book is the crowning glory of this series. Its brilliant. I could stay quite emotionally detached (not all the time!) 2nd time around...it's been a wondorous read altogether.

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megfox* - Jul 31, 2007 5:58 am (#64 of 98)

I think that I will need to do a very slow reread this weekend. I was so excited, anxious, and eager to find out what happened, that I know I rushed through some parts, and I couldn't read the all words through the tears in others. I think I pretty much cried through the last 200 pages of the book. I feel like this book was exactly how I wanted it to be. Jo was able to make everything work out without it being too Happily Ever After. But now I need to go back and find all of the little things that make the books so much fun and so amazing to read!

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PatPat - Jul 31, 2007 7:23 pm (#65 of 98)

I've been doing a nice slow re-read too, totyle, and I agree. I am finding new things every page. I think the book is absolutely brilliant. JKR's characterization is so amazing that I could actually feel Harry's emotions throughout. Wonderful. Totally fulfilled my expectations and more. Thanks, Jo!!

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T Vrana - Aug 1, 2007 10:16 am (#66 of 98)

While I really enjoyed it, and am re-reading at a nice slow pace. I am troubled by little mistakes that were not present in past books. One example, the diner scene where a mini battle breaks out, things are smashed, Ron extinguishes all the lights, but no one appears from the kitchen to find out what is going on? The waitress was alone? Taking orders, cooking and doing up the dishes?

LV stashed the tiara in a cathedral sized room full of hidden and abandoned stuff and thinks no one else knows about the RoR?

The DEs are looking for Harry and he strolls around the graveyard at Godric's Hollow, out in the open?

There are a few other moments I can't recall from the first read.

The overall story, emotion and the tying together of so many things was great. Loved it, but the little 'sloppy' moments were an irksome surprise.

Having said that, Jo is brilliant and has pulled off a major literary victory in bringing us Harry's amazing and thought provoking adventure, filled with fantastic characters who will live in the hearts of readers for generations to come.

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Holly T. - Aug 1, 2007 11:21 am (#67 of 98)


The DEs are looking for Harry and he strolls around the graveyard at Godric's Hollow, out in the open?


He and Hermione were Polyjuiced to look like a Muggle couple.

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T Vrana - Aug 1, 2007 11:29 am (#68 of 98)

True, but they were looking for Harry's parents and didn't hide the fact very well. If I recall correctly. Haven't re-read, but I remember thinking they were not being very covert in their interest in certain grave sites.

Also thought Polyjuice became the duct tape of the WW for DH.

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Magic Words - Aug 1, 2007 1:00 pm (#69 of 98)

Polyjuice and Imperio, yeah.

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PatPat - Aug 1, 2007 4:08 pm (#70 of 98)

LV stashed the tiara in a cathedral sized room full of hidden and abandoned stuff and thinks no one else knows about the RoR?

That's an interesing point, T Vrana. That was actually the reason I didn't think that the tiara in the ROR was a horcrux before the book came out. But, now, after reading it, for some reason I thought that some of the stuff was actually placed there by Voldemort. I'm not sure why, but I figured the other stuff was put there AFTER Voldemort put the tiara in the room. I don't know why I thought this. I haven't gotten to that part in my re-read yet.

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T Vrana - Aug 1, 2007 6:06 pm (#71 of 98)

I figured the bloody ax might be the one used on poor Nick, and the volume, a catherdral stacked with wall after wall, must be more than just 50 years of stuff.

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Potteraholic - Aug 1, 2007 7:06 pm (#72 of 98)

"Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There's talent - and a nice thirst to prove yourself ..." (PS/SS)
Puck [Post #16]: "Oh, I so thought Hermione was gone to run up and kiss Ron when he returned. Had to laugh at her hitting him instead. Then, when "Sorry" wasn't enough, I thought "I love you" would have been good, but...." I know the subject of this thread has changed direction quite a bit from the sentiment expressed in your post, but I just had to respond to the excerpt I've included because that is exactly what I felt when Ron and Hermione reunite!

On a different note, I think it is hard to have 2 similar threads, overall impressions about DH, in 2 different places: this folder and the DH chapter-by-chapter folder. I wonder if these 2 threads could be combined somehow? (Not that I have the slightest idea how this could even be done!)

I say this because I haven't read the posts from this particular folder in over a week -- there are just too many great discussion threads to catch up on all over the forum, not to mention HP books to reread (and real life to live )-- and I feel that having similar threads scattered over the forum inadvertently adds to the volume of posts to read. (Sorry if I'm coming across as slightly bossy/efficient a la Hermione.) I just like reading as many Forum posts as I can and wish I could read as much new info. as possible.

Perhaps this is a question for the hosts?

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T Vrana - Aug 3, 2007 6:22 am (#73 of 98)

Well, I re-read the graveyard scene and I stick by my original impression that Harry and Hermione were very careless. They showed interest in only a few grave sites and Hermione called out to Harry a few times, by name. So they may have looked like a couple of Muggles, but it seems to me the DEs would expect some type of disguise and would be suspect of Harry and Hermione's actions.

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Puck - Aug 3, 2007 5:37 pm (#74 of 98)

Mommy, Queen of Everything
I also caught on and found it carelss the way they used each other's names while polyjuiced to look like someone else.

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PatPat - Aug 3, 2007 5:38 pm (#75 of 98)

Yeah, actually T Vrana I agree with you (Again.) Harry and Hermione were not especially quiet or inconspicuous about what they were looking for, especially since Hermione was the one that was concerned that the DE's would have expected them to go there. I don't know why they weren't wearing the cloak in the graveyard.

EDIT: But I'm not sure this is really a mistake or careless writing. We have to remember that they are really still kids and don't always think things through. And Harry, at least, tends to be a little too trusting. (Fake Made-Eye Moody and fake Bathilda Bagshot, for example.)

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Vulture - Aug 7, 2007 10:47 am (#76 of 98)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
I actually jotted down impressions as I read the book (in a day and a night !!). Obviously, I've had to amend things given how it all turned out, but here's the gist:

1. Good opening: the two, initially un-named, figures, appearing with wands brandished at each other, then:

"News ?" asked the taller of the two. "The best" replied Severus Snape.

That short, curt paragraph on its own, ending by revealing Snape as one of the two on the scene _ it's a feeling of "game ON" from the word go.

Mind you, a good opening guarantees nothing _ Book 6, had at least 3 of the damn things, in one chapter after another, before going flat. But it definitely whets the appetite.

2. First 5 chapters speed along _ action-packed. Apart from Dumbledore's mysterious will, things slow down from then with all the Burrow and wedding stuff _ and (recalling Book 6) I was getting worried _ until the sudden end of the wedding itself. From then until Ch.14, pace picks up.

3. Interesting _ JKR (so far) seems to have lost what in Book 6 seemed to be her fear of being un-original, which ironically ended up making much of Book 6 seem like a bad re-hash. From Chapters 9 to 13, she reaches for a lot of old reliables _ Kreacher, Grimmauld Place, the Ministry, as well as Harry's connection with Voldemort, all last seen in Book 5. In short, it's as if she's gone back to Book 5 to dig up what WORKS. And it DOES work _ far from seeming half-baked or un-original, it comes across as fresh and new. Partly this is because, at last, our heroes are fighting BACK for the first time since Dumbledore's Army _ we've been waiting for this since that portentuous chapter title "The Second War Begins" at the end of Book 5, which Book 6 never lived up to.

Another point about this 'fighting back' feeling is that it keeps us turning the pages too fast to question one or two improbabilities _ such as the sudden niceness of Kreacher and Dudley !! And I don't say that as a criticism _ it gets by. Yet I know that, if Kreacher or Dudley had been like this in Book 6, I'd have torn it to bits _ simply because too much of Book 6 was failing to grip. Another improbability which we excuse due to the story's pace is that Harry-Voldemort link I mentioned _ last seen in Book 5. We were given a good reason in Book 6 why Harry's scar was no longer hurting _ i.e. that Voldemort had realised about the connection and was using Occlumency against Harry. Yet in Book 7, Voldemort appears to have stopped doing so, and we're given no reason why.

4. Snape: sits by during the execution of a fellow-teacher, and cuts off George's ear with a (presumably poorly-aimed) Sectumsempra. Before I got to the end, I felt that, if he was on the good side, he was a hell of an actor _ or at least, believed that "the end justifies the means", which I don't agree with.

5. Originality versus copying: Originality is not, IN ITSELF, always a good thing, and copying other writer's ideas is not, IN ITSELF, always a bad one. The essential point in a story is whether it RINGS TRUE. If it doesn't, we notice the un-original bits; if it does, we regard the un-original bits as justified artistic licence. Book 6's problems meant that the too-long-signalled killing of Obi-Wan _ ahem, Dumbledore _ became the 500lb elephant that sank the boat. On the other hand, when Kingsley's voice ends chapter 8 with "The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming", its tone is a rip-off of Balin's Moria chronicle in Tolkien's "Lord Of The Rings" (which, no doubt, is ripping off something else. But it WORKS _ and that's the point.

6. Lupin: Hats off to everyone who referred to the Disloyal Lupin theory before Book 7 came out. There were a lot of (carefully-planted !!) disturbing moments with him ... and of course, there's Snape's cryptic reference to "the source" of information leaked to the Dark side. In the end, it seems that Lupin's demeanour was just about whether his child would be a werewolf.

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Holly T. - Aug 7, 2007 11:11 am (#77 of 98)

One of my co-workers, who has a Ph.D. in military history, stuck his head in my office the other day to tell me he'd finally finished the book. His daughters (one in high school and one in college) wouldn't let him have it until he'd finished HBP, so he ended up reading HBP and DH right in a row. He found it all to be extremely derivitive of World War II, but liked some of the little touches, like the radio show. But overall he found it satisfying and we agreed that at some point someone is going to be in a world history class learning about the Nazis and have a light bulb go off that "that's where J. K. Rowling got the idea for the Death Eaters," etc.

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Jenniffler - Aug 7, 2007 11:15 am (#78 of 98)

Searching for gold in the HP world. Oh, here it is!
I thought that Potterwatch was a winking nod to Mugglecast and the similar podcasts about HP that have sprung up.

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The Wandless Wizard - Aug 7, 2007 11:17 pm (#79 of 98)

When wands are outlawed, only outlaws will have wands.
I recently finished my second read through. This was much slower reading, both because I wanted to devle more deeply and due to time contraints. I know this is a thread about first impressions. However, I'd like to modify my impressions. As I said before, I felt the book had wonderful highs and some low lows. The lows came especially from the middle section which was filled with the trio rehashing the same old disagreements without ever changing their same old arguments (despite new information, or increased trust). Overall I initially loved the book, as the good outweighed the bad.

I am happy to say the book got even better the second time around. A lot of what I originally thought of as "lazy writing" actually makes sense when you know the whole story. As an example, I at first thought the silver doe chapter was an excercise in conveneince. Someone happens to find Harry the same night Ron does. And Ron happens to arrive just in time to save Harry thus repairing the breach between them. It was a little too neatly wrapped up. However, on a slower read I see that Ron had been following Harry, but it was the first time Harry left the protections so Ron could see him. The timing was still convenient that Ron came as Harry was choking, rather than when he was undressing, but the whole thing reads better when I understand it all. The clues were also there as to why Ron started following them the night before, and why Snape chose that night. They were so subtle as to be easily missable without them being pointed out.

Secondly, a lot of my annoyance at the arguments and general lack of direction seemed to come from a desire to want to know what happened next. I want to know why Dumbledore gave Harry the snitch, where the Horcruxes are, and how Harry will beat Riddle. So when I instead get an argument recycled from book 5 about how Harry should try harder at Occlumency, I got impatient. Impatient leads to not enjoying what I am reading. The arguments were still all recycled, but they were less bothersome on the second read through. The bickering also made more sense in light of the danger these kids were in, alone and hunted.

So the lows were not as low on the second read through, did that mean the highs were not as high? Not at all. The highs provided just as much of a punch as they did the first time. The action was still first rate even if I knew where it would lead. The emotions were so genuine, they'll get you even if you know they are coming. They are almost more powerful cause you know they are coming and they sucker punch you anyway. "I am not going to get choked up when Harry talks to his mom...not going to happen...Awww, she was proud of him...sniffle".

So I really think DH is an amazing book. My eagerness for it slightly hindered my enjoyment of it the first time. The second time I got to appreciate it as a good book, not a series of answers to questions that I have been pondering for years.

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PatPat - Aug 8, 2007 11:39 am (#80 of 98)

Wandless, I agree with you that the second read made a lot more sense. I think that's true of all books with a complex and mysterious plot. It's easier to understand characters' actions, dialogue, and motivations when you know the whole story. I'm now going to go back and re-read the entire series to see if I catch anything new now that some of the mysteries are cleared up.

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The Wandless Wizard - Aug 8, 2007 11:51 am (#81 of 98)

When wands are outlawed, only outlaws will have wands.
I agree Patpat. It is almost always easier to understand mysterious plots on an additional read. I expected this on re-reading DH. However, what shocked me, and hence why I posted, was that it was not only easier to understand, but this understanding made it more enjoyable. Normally, you can never recapture the excitement of reading, hearing or seeing a story for the first time. It is why people avoid spoilers. But even knowing the secrets, DH was written so well as to be more enjoyable. DH was the only book in the series that I felt like this, and one of the few books ever. As much as I enjoy re-reading the other HP books, I can never capture the feeling of reading it the first time.

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Esther Rose - Aug 8, 2007 11:54 am (#82 of 98)

Wandless Wizard.

I hug my DH book tightly every time I finish reading it. (3 times so far)It's an involuntary reaction I think.

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Joanne Reid - Aug 8, 2007 4:32 pm (#83 of 98)

Hi, I was thinking about the tiara in the RoR. I think the reason it was hidden there was because it was filled with so much junk. Isn't this a case of hiding a leaf in the forest?

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PatPat - Aug 8, 2007 5:12 pm (#84 of 98)

LOL, Esther! I was afraid I was the only one who did that!

That's a good point Joanne, but then the question becomes: why did Voldemort think he was the only one who knew of the room?

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Joanne Reid - Aug 8, 2007 7:03 pm (#85 of 98)

Hi,

I was thinking that it really didn't matter. The room was huge - I keep thinking of the enormous warehouse in Indiana Jones - and it was filled with a profusions of junk, lying all about. Students had been using it as a waste basket for centuries, as had everyone else who had run across it. So what was one more piece of junk? That's why the analogy of the leaf in a forest seemed apropos.

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Luna Logic - Aug 9, 2007 1:48 am (#86 of 98)

from the other side (of the Channel)
Yes, but we learn in DH that Ravenclaw students were seeking the Ravenclaw diadem for centuries.... Tom Riddle must have learned that also from the Grey Lady. So it was not wise at all to let the diadem in a room used by students to depose their junk!

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TomProffitt - Aug 9, 2007 10:55 am (#87 of 98)

Bullheaded empiricist
I think Riddle hid the Diadem in a different aspect of the Room of Requirement and didn't realize that it could appear in the Room should the Room take on a different "personality."

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Mrs Brisbee - Aug 9, 2007 11:30 am (#88 of 98)

I think Riddle hid the Diadem in a different aspect of the Room of Requirement and didn't realize that it could appear in the Room should the Room take on a different "personality."

I was wondering if that might be the case. Perhaps Riddle conjured up a room that only he could get into, that no else would know about. But then he didn't realize that any contents of the room would go back to the Master Version Storage Room when he wasn't in his secret room.

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Soul Search - Aug 9, 2007 11:41 am (#89 of 98)

The "Room of Requirement" appears when needed and equipped as "required."

In GoF, Dumbledore mentions the Chamber Pot room. He seemed to be in need and the room supplied what was required.

In OotP, Harry needed a room to practice defense againse the dark arts, and the room provided everyting needed, even though Harry didn't think of all the specifics. Later, the room even provided a whistle when Harry needed it. Fred and George also mention the room as providing them a hiding place. Filch finds supplies there. Dobby uses it for Winky. Very smart room.

Tom Riddle needed a secret place to hide his tiara horcrux so the room gave him an empty place that no one had ever seen. (Thanks for the inspiration, Mrs Brisbee.)

In HBP, Harry needed a place to hide his book, but this was after he had learned about horcruxes from Dumbledore. Harry also needed to find Tom Riddle's horcruxes. The room provided both. A cluttered room full of books and junk, perfect for hiding something. The room also provided Harry with the tiara horcrux he had in his mind.

In Deathly Hallows, when Harry needed to find the tiara horcrux, the Room provided the same room it had given him in HBP.

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Luna Logic - Aug 11, 2007 1:54 am (#90 of 98)

from the other side (of the Channel)
Soul Search: In HBP, Harry needed a place to hide his book, but this was after he had learned about horcruxes from Dumbledore. Harry also needed to find Tom Riddle's horcruxes. The room provided both. A cluttered room full of books and junk, perfect for hiding something. The room also provided Harry with the tiara Horcrux he had in his mind.
Very well thought!
(But Harry had not in mind the tiara... just a Horcruxe, perhaps a Ravenclaw relic...)

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Madam Pince - Aug 12, 2007 2:38 pm (#91 of 98)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
Soul Search, that's the best explanation I've heard anywhere about the seeming "JKR error" of: Why would Voldemort hide a horcrux in the ROR, when he should've seen by the many items placed there that tons of other people obviously knew about the room? I smack myself in the forehead for not having thought of that myself (***thunk***) -- Duh! Naturally, when Riddle was thinking "I need a secret place that nobody's ever seen before, to hide something," the ROR would present itself as an empty room. No wonder he thought he was the first person to think of it.

Great job! 50 points to your house!

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Columbine Fairy - Aug 14, 2007 4:14 pm (#92 of 98)

I wondered why, if no one found it there for centuries, he didn't leave it in the tree...

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Luna Logic - Aug 15, 2007 1:20 am (#93 of 98)

from the other side (of the Channel)
The Trio discuss the possible places in Chapter 15. It is said Voldemort wanted places important to him. They did thought of Albania, then dismissed that idea (p. 237 Bloomsbury). Later Harry remembers Dumbledore saying that "Voldemort sought grandeur or mystique in his hiding places." (p. 239)
As always, I was saying to myself at this point, why the sordid Gaunt's house, then?

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Columbine Fairy - Aug 15, 2007 10:23 am (#94 of 98)

I did realise that. But if no one found it for centuries, it has to be a good hiding spot, doesnt it? Rather than a school with hundreds of students running through it every year.

Actually, when DD mentioned Nagini being a Horcrux, I thought, wouldn't the Basilisk have been a good one? Lives for centuries, hidden in a chamber only the heir of slytherin (or someone being possessed by him or sharing his soul) can open... not that easy to destroy... just a thought. That sword's going to have a nickname like " The Snake-Slayer!" or something like that soon...

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Luna Logic - Aug 15, 2007 10:28 am (#95 of 98)

from the other side (of the Channel)
Edited by Aug 15, 2007 10:29 am
Columbine Fairy :if no one found it for centuries, it has to be a good hiding spot, doesnt it? Rather than a school with hundreds of students running through it every year. You are right! Hundred, millions of safer places were possible for him to hide his Horcruxes! But Voldemort was Voldemort... Or, Tom Riddle was Voldemort... dreaming of "grandeur" and thinking himself smarter than others.

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Columbine Fairy - Aug 15, 2007 3:06 pm (#96 of 98)

Yes.. perhaps, if the above theories are correct, the room presented itself as a grand throne room with a raised dais in the centre, where the horcrux could rest on a moroon velvet cushion with soft light playing down from above as if from a heavenly source... oh, but that might be drawing a bit too much attention, wouldn't it...

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Xenophilius - Aug 15, 2007 3:32 pm (#97 of 98)

Columbine Fairy you forgot the music. May I suggest "Voldy is our King!"

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Columbine Fairy - Aug 16, 2007 4:15 am (#98 of 98)

Oh yes, how could I have forgotton the atmospheric tones! Voldy is Our King will do very nicely, I think...
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